It’s still close enough to New Year's that your resolution to get fit doesn’t seem untenable -- but your schedule’s a beast, shopping gyms is tiresome, and sometimes Waze lies to you, trapping you on the 405 when you really believed you might get to Pilates in time to finally give it a try. It’d be great to have an app that has on-demand workouts near to you, that you don’t need to schedule in advance, that are actually interesting -- which is where Open Sweat comes in.
Four LA guys with tech and marketing backgrounds noticed a couple years ago that along with many other things in LA, fun and trendy fitness experimentation could be made available on demand. Their idea became Open Sweat, an iOS app that lets you book last-minute group workouts at a discount. Unlike competitor ClassPass, you don’t have to buy a package of classes and then use them -- you buy as you go.
Open Sweat co-founder Neil Rothstein and his partners don’t come from the fitness industry and aren’t gym rats. And that helped them to think up a service for people who don’t live in the locker room, but still want to make time for exercise. “We definitely saw an opportunity to create a model that we think is more consumer friendly and more friendly to the studios,” Rothstein said.
Here’s how it works: You download the free app to your iPhone or iPad, register on the platform, then use it to browse under-booked classes around town. Last-minute reservations at discounts up to 50% off open up at 6pm the night before and close 30 minutes before class starts. You pay for your class in the app and then just show up to sample some of Open Sweat’s ultra-LA offerings -- like aerial performance suspended in giant silk ribbons, a yoga-calisthenics hybrid you can practice out on the bars at Santa Monica beach, or a non-workout in which you sit on a vibrating plate to try to quake off your cellulite (yes, really).