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Reviewed: Planet Fitness Gym Membership – SI Showcase

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With more locations than any other gym chain, Planet Fitness gyms dot the landscape across America—chances are there’s even one in your neighborhood.

Even a quick internet search will show that Planet Fitness is not like other gyms. Planet Fitness is known for its laid-back approach to fitness and has received some criticism. The brand’s tagline is “a refreshing approach to fitness” “judgment-free zone,”You may have heard it called “a” “progress-free zone.” 

All joking aside, Planet Fitness can be an excellent option for many people—it just depends on your fitness level and what you’re looking for. We did some research on Planet Fitness to find out what the club has to offer and who might be most benefitted from it.

What is Planet Fitness?

Planet Fitness is a fast-growing franchise that operates fitness centers all across America. Planet Fitness is based in Hampton, New Hampshire and has approximately 2,039 locations worldwide.

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A typical location measures approximately 20,000 square feet. It is easily identified by the yellow and purple shingle outside. The same branding will be found inside the cardio, weight-training and circuit training equipment.

Planet Fitness was established in 1992. “judgment-free zone.”It was created for casual users and people just starting to exercise.


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How much does Planet Fitness cost?

Planet Fitness offers two levels of membership: guest passes for guests, day passes for prospective members and summer passes for teens.

Membership

Planet Fitness is relatively affordable—$10 per month (plus taxes and fees) gets you unlimited access to your home club, Planet Fitness app workouts, free fitness training and free Wi-Fi. A monthly gym membership costs just over $40 in the US.

While monthly dues are only $10, it’s important to note that Planet Fitness charges an annual fee of $39 and a one-time start-up fee of $1. That said, there’s no commitment.

Planet Fitness Black Card membership

Planet Fitness offers a black membership for those who have more flexibility in their bank accounts (and perhaps their calendars) and gives you some additional perks.

Black card members receive all the standard benefits (unlimited access and Planet Fitness app workouts, free Fitness Training, free Wi-Fi, and unlimited access to your home club) plus a few extra goodies:

Like the standard Planet Fitness membership, the PF black card membership requires a $39 annual fee and a $1 start-up fee, and there’s no commitment.

Day Pass

Planet Fitness offers free day passes to any club that you choose, for those who are interested in giving it a shot. Anyone who’s interested can fill out a form online, and a day pass will be e-mailed to them. If you’re using a day pass to check out your local club, keep in mind that you may be required to showAll day pass holders must show a valid ID to check in.

Summer Pass

Citing research that showed teens weren’t meeting their Daily physical activity recommendationDuring the pandemic CDC statistics point to a mental crisis among teensPlanet Fitness officially launched its new website. High School Summer Pass ProgramIn May 2022. The company offered summer memberships at no cost to high school students until August 31, 2022.

Planet Fitness Hours and Locations

Planet Fitness currently has more than 2,000 locations around the world. Planet Fitness locations can be accessed 24 hours a days, while others are only open 24 hours on weekdays and have more limited hours on weekends. As you might have guessed holiday hours can vary.

If you’re trying to get a feel for how much foot traffic you can expect at your local club, the website for your local Planet Fitness club will most likely have a crowd meter, so you know when to go and when to steer clear. 


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Planet Fitness has what type of workout equipment?

Machines

Planet Fitness is a gym, so you’ll find a good selection of the usual suspects, including Cardio machines, ellipticals and exercise bikes, as well as treadmills.

Each location has a range of:

What you won’t find at Planet Fitness are squat racks. Planet Fitness is committed to welcoming all members. This means that heavy weights and weightlifters grunting, dropping weights, and other intimidating behaviors are not allowed.

Classes

Planet Fitness doesn’t offer workout classes per se, but it does offer [email protected]. This is basically a series fitness training sessions led and monitored by certified instructors. The classes are meant to help new members become familiar with the equipment, and possibly even create a personal work plan. The sessions are typically conducted in small groups, and they’re free to fitness members and often available on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Weights Free

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 as far as weight lifting goes at Planet Fitness.

Personal Trainers

Planet Fitness offers personal training on-site, just like most gyms. Like most gyms, personal training is also available. They are accredited by organizations such as the American Council on Exercise (ACE) and the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Your Planet Fitness membership includes personal training sessions for no cost.

Keep in mind that while personal trainers at Planet Fitness are there to answer your questions, offer some assistance when you’re using a new machine and possibly provide some guidance when you’ve hit a plateau in your weight loss. The trainers are not there for you to guide you through your workouts, or monitor your progress.

Bench Press

Planet Fitness locations don’t have bench presses. If you want to lift weights, however, a Smith machine is the best choice.

What are the Amenities Available at Planet Fitness?

Planet Fitness offers several nice amenities to its members. Some amenities are available to all membership levels. Others are only available for black card members. Some may be only available at certain locations. If you’re eyeing any of the following as a possible perk, you may want to call your local club to make sure they offer it.

When researching this article, I wanted to know if Planet Fitness still offers Total Body Enhancement. I called my local club. Turns out my local club doesn’t, but one of the friendly staff members told me that the PF club about 40 minutes away does.

Hydromassage

Many Planet Fitness locations will offer Hydromassage beds or lounge chairs. Hydromassagers massage the body with water, as their name suggests. These machines are a great way to soothe tired muscles, and they’re great for post-workout massages. Black Card members can only use the Hydromassage machine.

Tanning

Planet Fitness offers its Black Card members access the tanning booths, and beds. The time for tanning sessions is limited to fifteen minutes. If someone is using the tanning equipment, not only will you have to wait until they’re done, but you’ll also have to wait for staff members to clean the equipment before you can hop in.

With your Black Card membership, you can use the tanning bed whenever you like during your club’s opening hours, whereas spray tan booths usually have posted hours of operation. 

Total Body Enhancement

Planet Fitness has a total body augmentation machine. This machine, also known as the Beauty Angel Booth or red light therapy, is a scientifically-based machine. Disappointingly it’s not a time machine, but according to research, red light therapy may help:

Massage chairs

Planet Fitness Black Card members can use the massage chairs at any gym without restrictions

Showers

Planet Fitness locations often have showers available for members post-workout.

It’s worth noting that they don’t have a towel service, so you’ll have to bring your own.

Locker Rooms

PF clubs have lockers available for members. However, you can only store your belongings during your workout and not overnight.

Sauna

While Planet Fitness has plenty of gym equipment, massage chairs, tanning beds and Hydromassagers, they don’t have saunas. 


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Planet Fitness: The Pros

  • It’s beginner-friendly.
  • Even if you choose to sign up for Black Card, your monthly membership fees will still be under $30. This is a significant savings over most. There are no hidden fees.
  • Black card memberships offer many perks and amenities.

Planet Fitness’ Cons

  • It is only applicable to more casual users and beginners.
  • There are no barbells.
  • Planet Fitness dumbbells only weigh 75 pounds.

Who Planet Fitness is Best For

Planet Fitness targets beginners and casual users, while many gyms target those who are more advanced in their fitness journey. Planet Fitness is ideal for those who are new to fitness and prefer a laid-back approach.

Who Planet Fitness Isn’t Best for?

Planet Fitness is not recommended for advanced users or for fitness buffs. Planet fitness dumbbells only support 75-pound weights, so people who are not at that level of fitness may not find it challenging.

How can you cancel a Planet Fitness membership

Planet Fitness memberships can’t be canceled by email or phone, but the process is still relatively easy. When you’re ready to part ways, you can fill out a cancellation form at your local club or send a letter to your club requesting a cancellation. 

How Planet Fitness stacks up against other national gym chains

A gym is a gym, and you’ll likely find the same types of workout equipment. There are a variety of equipment available. Each gym will offer its own amenities and prioritize them. Whatever the brand thinks its customer would like is what you’ll likely find.

Planet Fitness is different from other gyms because of its atmosphere and user’s fitness level. Planet Fitness is a gym that caters to all levels of fitness, unlike LA Fitness and Crunch which cater to everyone. However, Planet Fitness insists that only occasional users and beginners are it’s bread and butter. Planet Fitness offers more robust amenities, such as tanning beds and hydromassagers, than the free weights.

Ultimately, it’s up to the individual to decide what their goals are. This will help them make an informed decision about which gym they should choose.


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FAQ

Can Planet Fitness memberships be cancelled easily?

Planet fitness memberships can be cancelled easily, even though members must cancel in writing and not by phone or text.

Can you bring the same guest with you to Planet Fitness?

Planet Fitness allows you to bring anyone you like as your guest.

Can I go to Planet Fitness twice in a single day?

Planet Fitness memberships allow unlimited access to your local club so you can go as often as you want.

Can you take a shower in Planet Fitness?

Yes, all Planet Fitness locations have showers available for members.

What is the Hydromassage at Planet Fitness?

Planet Fitness’s Hydromassagers are beds and lounge chairs that use water power to massage the body without the annoyance of removing your clothes. There’s no charge for the Hydromassagers, but only black card members can access them.

Planet Fitness: How does the 30-minute circuit work?

Planet Fitness offers a 30-minute workout that targets all muscle groups.

The circuit is approximately 30 minutes long and includes:

Is there a dress code for Planet Fitness?

Planet Fitness has a dress code, but it does not require members to wear clothes. “that may be perceived as intimidating, revealing, or offensive.”

They also don’t allow clothing that may be considered a safety hazard or anything that could potentially damage the equipment.

Final Thoughts

Planet Fitness has been a well-respected fitness center that has won many awards. It is clear that it was able to define its target market right from the start and has not strayed far from its original intent. Ultimately, Planet Fitness was created with novices and casual users in mind, and for some, that’s their shortcoming. But for the busy mom who wants the freedom to get a workout in when time permits, or the newbie who’s just getting started on their fitness journey, Planet Fitness has a lot to offer.


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