ClassPass just released a list of the hardest classes in the country according to user reviews—would you attempt one?

By Lauren Phillips
Updated March 04, 2020

Whether you’re a total gym rat or are just figuring out how to start working out, you likely appreciate (at least in theory) the physical and mental health benefits of a great sweat session. Some people like to run; others swear by simple stretching exercises, and still more just like to lift weights. Going to the gym on your own and cobbling together a workout certainly has its benefits, but there’s also something to be said for workout classes: instructor-led workouts that can be anything from a spin class to a yoga class to a boxing class.

A few years ago, workout classes were pretty niche. Now they’re the big thing in the exercise world, and the current passion for exercising means there really is a workout class for everyone. ClassPass, a subscription service that allows people to sample workout classes at different gyms and studios, is a popular method of trying all kinds of classes, though many people still prefer to pay for a membership or individual classes at their studio of choice.

The abundance of workout classes—and the ability to try many of them, thanks to ClassPass—means that people can take the most challenging, grueling class possible or choose to take it easy and attend a more mellow one: The options are endless. For those who want to really push themselves, though, there’s a way to figure out the hardest workout classes available: ClassPass’ new list of the 10 hardest classes in the U.S., according to reviews. (Obviously, studios that aren’t available on ClassPass weren’t included in the ranking, so keep that in mind if your favorite niche workout studio with impossibly challenging classes doesn’t appear.)

Unsurprisingly, these tough classes tend to be cardio-intensive workouts. At the top of the list is New York City’s Tone House, which offers strength training and HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts. As one reviewer writes, “Hardest workout of my life. If you think you’re fit…think again.” A Tone House instructor recommends that people eat at least two hours before attending a class—any sooner than that, and you may have an unfortunate experience. (Whether that suggestion includes coffee before a workout is up for interpretation.)

Next on the list is San Francisco’s BODYROK, a Pilates and cycling studio, followed by Pilates Plus in Los Angeles. (If you don’t think Pilates is tough, think again.) Fourth on the list is Class Studios in Dallas, which offers Pilates, strength training, and HIIT workouts, with Exhale in Boston (though locations are in cities across the country) rounding out the top five. Of Exhale, one ClassPasser said, “Amazing workout, I am very in shape and I thought I was going to throw up. I haven’t had such a good workout in years.” (Seems promising.)

Read on for the full list of the 10 hardest workouts in the country, according to ClassPassers, plus the toughest workout classes in major cities where ClassPass is available. Are you brave enough to try one? (Before you commit, just remember that a soothing yoga class is always a good alternative.)

The 10 hardest workouts on ClassPass

1. Tone House, New York City (strength training, HIIT)

2. BODYROK, San Francisco (cycling, Pilates)

3. Pilates Plus, Los Angeles (Pilates)

4. Class Studios, Dallas (Pilates, strength training, HIIT)

5. Exhale, Boston (yoga, barre)

6. Shred45, Chicago (strength training, running)

7. High Ride Cycle, Denver (cycling)

8. Sweat 1000, Houston (strength training, HIIT)

9. MINT Studio, Washington, D.C. (strength training, HIIT)

10. BurnCycle, Seattle (cycling)

The toughest ClassPass workouts by city*

*excluding those above

Atlanta: Vibe Ride

Austin: Pure Pilates Austin

Baltimore: [solidcore]

Charlotte: Fit Atelier

Cincinnati: Sage Yoga Co.

Columbus: StudioTorch

Honolulu: Pilates O Ka La

Indianapolis: [solidcore]

Kansas City: The Body Lab KC

Las Vegas: TruFusion

Miami: Jetset

Milwaukee: CycleBar


Nashville: Shed


Philadelphia: Focus Barre and Yoga

Phoenix: HUB Fitness

Pittsburgh: Mecka Fitness

Portland: Firelight Yoga

Raleigh: MADabolic

Sacramento: P2O Hot Pilates

Salt Lake City: Rebel House

San Diego: Rush Cycle

St. Louis: PLNK|CWE