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Planet Fitness gyms are located in more locations than any other gym chain across America – chances are there’s even one in your area.
But even a cursory Internet search will reveal that Planet Fitness is different from many other gyms. The brand has a laid-back approach to fitness, and some people criticize it for it. Although its slogan is “judgment free zone”, you may have heard it referred to as “progress free zone”.
Jokes aside, Planet Fitness can be a great option for a lot of people – it just depends on your fitness level and what you’re looking for. We did some digging around Planet Fitness to find out what the fitness club has to offer and who can benefit from a membership.
What is Planet Fitness?
Planet Fitness is a fast growing chain of fitness centers across America. Planet Fitness, based in Hampton, New Hampshire, has approximately 2,039 fitness centers worldwide located in the US, Canada, Dominican Republic, Panama, Mexico and Australia.
The typical location is about 20,000 square feet and is easily identified by the purplish-yellow pebbles on the outside. Inside, users will find the same purple and yellow markings on equipment for cardio, strength training, and circuit training.
Founded in 1992, Planet Fitness was originally conceived as a “judgment free zone”. It was created and designed for regular users and those who are just starting to get into fitness.
How much does Planet Fitness cost?
Planet Fitness offers two levels of membership, daily memberships for potential members, guest memberships, and even summer memberships for teens.
Planet Fitness is relatively affordable—$10 a month (plus taxes and fees) gives you unlimited access to a home club, Planet Fitness workouts, free fitness sessions, and free Wi-Fi. (The national average for a monthly gym membership is just over $40.)
While the monthly fees are only $10, it’s important to note that Planet Fitness charges an annual fee of $39 and a one-time initial fee of $1. However, there are no obligations.
Membership in the Black Card Planet Fitness
For those with a little more flexibility in their bank account (and possibly their calendars), Planet Fitness offers a black card membership that gives you a few more perks.
For $24.99 plus taxes and fees, Black Card members get all the standard membership perks (unlimited home club access, Planet Fitness workouts, free fitness workouts, and free Wi-Fi) with several additional benefits, including:
- Access to any Planet Fitness facility worldwide
- Possibility to bring a guest at any time
- The use of hydromassage
- Use of solariums
- 50% discount on selected drinks
- 20% Off Reebok.com
Like the standard Planet Fitness membership, the PF Black Card membership requires an annual fee of $39 and an initial fee of $1, and there are no obligations.
For those who want to give it a try, Planet Fitness offers free day passes to the club of your choice. Anyone can fill out the online form and the day pass will be emailed to them. If you are using a day pass to visit a local club, please be aware that you may be required to show ID at check-in and day pass users must take a free tour.
Referring to a study that showed that adolescents do not recommendations for daily physical activity during a pandemic and CDC statistics pointing to mental health crisis among teens“Planet Fitness” has officially launched its High School Summer Pass Program in May 2022. As part of this program, the company was offering high school students a free summer membership until August 31, 2022.
Opening hours and location Planet Fitness
Planet Fitness currently has over 2,000 locations worldwide. Some Planet Fitness locations are open 24 hours a day, and some are only open 24 hours on certain weekdays with more limited weekend schedules. And, as you might guess, the hours of the holidays vary.
If you’re trying to figure out how many visitors you can expect at your local club, your local Planet Fitness club’s website will likely have an attendance counter so you know when to go and when to stay away.
What workout equipment does Planet Fitness have?
Planet Fitness is a gym, so you’ll find a good selection of the usual suspects, including cardio machines, ellipticals, exercise bikes, and treadmills.
The gym in each location also includes an assortment of:
- Ab machines
- chest press
- Biceps Curls
- leg press
- Smith machines
- Peck deck
What you won’t find at Planet Fitness is squat racks. Remember that Planet Fitness strives to maintain a welcoming environment, so things that may seem intimidating to its members, such as heavy weights and weightlifters, grunting and dropping weights, etc., are not really welcome.
Planet Fitness does not offer workouts per se, but does offer [email protected]. In fact, this is a series of fitness workouts led by certified fitness instructors. The classes are designed to help beginners become familiar with the equipment and maybe even create a personalized training plan for them to follow. Classes are usually held in small groups, are free for fitness members, and are often available on a first-come, first-served basis.
While there are no free weights at Planet Fitness, members have access to dumbbells and Smith machines (a machine that combines a squat rack with a barbell), but that’s really what Planet Fitness’s weight lifting is all about.
Like most gyms, Planet Fitness also has personal trainers. And again, like most gyms, personal trainers are accredited by organizations like the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) or the American Council on Exercise (ACE). Personal training is free with a Planet Fitness membership.
Keep in mind that while the personal trainers at Planet Fitness are available to answer your questions, offer some help when you’re using a new machine, and maybe give you some guidance when you hit a weight loss plateau. Coaches are not meant to constantly coach you during your workouts or check your progress in any way.
Planet Fitness does not offer bench presses; however, if you want to get into weight lifting, the Smith machine is your best bet.
What facilities does Planet Fitness have?
Planet Fitness offers several nice amenities to its members. Some amenities are available to all membership levels, some are only available to members with a black card, and some may only be available at certain locations. If you are considering any of the following benefits as a possible bonus, you can call your local club to see if they offer it.
For example, while writing this article, I needed to know if Planet Fitness offered a Total Body Enhancement program, so I called my local club. Turns out my local club doesn’t, but one of the friendly staff told me that the PF club about 40 minutes away has.
Most Planet Fitness locations have spa beds and sun loungers. As the name suggests, hydro massagers use water to massage the body. These machines are a great way to soothe tired muscles and are great for a post-workout massage. Hot tubs are only available to Black Card members.
Planet Fitness offers its Black Card members access to its tanning beds and cabanas. Tanning sessions are limited to 15 minutes and equipment is provided on a first come, first served basis. If someone is using the tanning equipment, you will not only have to wait for them to finish the job, but also wait for the staff to clean the equipment before you can enter.
With a Black Card membership, you can use the solarium at any time during your club’s opening hours, while tanning booths usually have opening hours.
Full body improvement
Some Planet Fitness locations also have full body machines. Also known as the Beauty Angel Booth, this machine is based on the science of red light therapy. Unfortunately, this is not a time machine, but according to research, red light therapy can help:
- Stimulate the release of adenosine triphosphate (ATP)which can give you the kick in your pants you need for your workout (it also boosts your energy levels)
- Stimulate collagen productionwhich can increase elasticity and improve the overall appearance of your skin
- stimulate blood flow
- Reduce inflammation in muscles and joints
Black Card Planet Fitness holders have unlimited use of the massage chairs available at every gym.
Planet Fitness facilities typically have showers that members can use after their workout.
It’s worth noting that they don’t have towel service, so you’ll have to bring your own.
PF clubs also have lockers for their members, but be aware that you can only store your belongings for the duration of the workout, not overnight.
While Planet Fitness has plenty of exercise machines, massage chairs, tanning beds, and hot tubs, they don’t have saunas.
Pros of Planet Fitness
- This is convenient for beginners.
- Even if you choose a Black Card membership, your monthly membership costs are still less than $30, which is less than most. In addition, there are no hidden fees.
- There are many amenities and perks with a black card membership.
Cons of Planet Fitness
- Its applicability is limited to beginners and more casual users.
- There are no bars.
- The dumbbells at Planet Fitness weigh no more than 75 pounds.
Who is Planet Fitness best for?
While many gyms aim to…