Between the limited equipment, the loud noise that rings out when you drop weight too loudly, and the free pizza nights, a lot of experienced bodybuilders would say Planet Fitness is a bad gym. From their more experienced point of view, maybe they’re right.
Or maybe they’re dead wrong.
Read on to find out how Planet Fitness may not be great for experienced exercisers, but maybe the salvation beginners are looking for.
Table of Contents
1. It’s Dirt Cheap
According to an average gym price analysis done in 2021 comparing gym chains around the country, Planet Fitness has the cheapest gym membership fees. At $10 a month for Classic membership and $22.99 a month for a Black Card membership, Planet Fitness beats out 15 other gyms for the title of Cheapest Chain Gym Ever.
Annually, a Classic member can expect to pay $159 a year and a Black Card member can expect to pay $315 a year. That is $11 to $23 less than the next cheapest option, Youfit.
Now, the cheapness does come with a few drawbacks. Planet Fitness isn’t what I’d call glamorous–no pool, no sauna room, and forget about fancy workout machines–but if you’re unsure if you want to try your hand at regularly exercising without burning a hole in your pocket, then that’ll be great for you.
2. It’s the Judgement Free Zone
As the great actor Terry Crews once wrote:
TREAT THE GYM LIKE A SPA.
Yes. It has to feel good. I tell people this a lot – go to the gym, and just sit there, and read a magazine, and then go home. And do this every day.
Go to the gym, don’t even work out. Just GO. Because the habit of going to the gym is more important than the workout. Because it doesn’t matter what you do. You can have fun – but as long as you’re having fun, you continue to do it.
In summary, it’s hard to go to the gym if you’re not having fun. Therefore, it’s hard to have fun if you think you’re being judged.
Planet Fitness lauds itself as a judgment-free zone. In fact, there are many signs throughout the chain gym that reaffirm this, telling people not to judge others.
And yet, many people on the internet (surprise, surprise) have argued against this, stating that a judgment-free zone encourages coddling and celebrates little genuine progress. Those types of people are probably not the type of people you want to surround yourself with if you’re an intimidated beginner.
Well, with the Judgement Free Zone, you don’t have to worry about them. The brand always has people’s comfort in mind, to the point of even banning loud noises and the dropping of heavyweights–anything to ensure a peaceful workout for its Planet Fitness members.
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3. Fewer Chances of Injury
Planet Fitness doesn’t have squat racks, free weights heavier than 60 to 80 pounds, bench presses, or a lot of other equipment, really. A lot would argue that the limited equipment Planet Fitness provides can only get you so far–and that may be true, to a degree–but it also prevents beginners from getting into workouts too tough to handle.
Between the lunk alarm and the equipment designed to be as easy to use and safe as possible (like the assisted pull-up machine or back extension machine), the chances of you sustaining an injury–not to say an improper form won’t injure you, but that’s another matter entirely–are very low.
4. Easy Access Across America (With a Black Card Membership)
If you’re someone who has always wanted to work out on the regular but couldn’t because of work travel, then this is a big bonus to you. With the Black Card Membership, you can use any Planet Fitness near you, regardless of distance from your usual gym.
“How?” you might ask. Well, to put it in perspective, there are over 2,000 Planet Fitnesses across the country, and while there’s not a guarantee that your work will land you close to a Planet Fitness if you travel a lot and really wish to keep your gains steady, then it’s a valuable investment to consider.
Simply go to the Planet Fitness nearest your accommodations, flash your Black Card Membership, and you can continue your usual workout with ease.
5. Bring a Friend (With a Black Card Membership)
One difficulty of getting into shape and starting a routine is accountability. Some of us need others to keep us in line and make sure we’re not lying to ourselves during the New Year when we say we’ll work out.
If you aren’t one of those people, then congrats, skip on. But if you are someone who needs accountability, then Planet Fitness’ Black Card Membership may be for you.
One of the important perks of the Black Card is the ability to bring a guest every time you enter the gym.
Need a spotter? Bring a guest.
Need someone to just cheer you on? Bring a guest.
Need someone to hold your iPad up so you can watch the new Marvel movie while working out? Weird but not a bannable offense and, you guessed it, bring a guest!
A 2014 dissertation from Queen’s University asks a simple question: does Planet Fitness deliver? In this dissertation, the author conducted a study of Boston, Massachusetts Planet Fitness and what Planet Fitness means for today’s society.
Planet Fitness is a one-of-a-kind gym aimed at those who have never seen a gym before but also those who can’t afford the usual gym costs. It is convenient not only financially, but socially and geographically.
Afraid to be judged? Don’t be. The motto is “Judgement Free Zone”.
Afraid you can’t afford it? It’s the cheapest chain gym around.
Afraid your travels will make it so the monthly fee isn’t worth it? There’s over 2,000 locations in America. Chances are you’ll find yourself near one no matter how much you travel.
So if you’re a beginner that’s been lagging around thinking of joining a gym, consider Planet Fitness.
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