Planet Fitness Gym Review | Gym & Health Club Reviews

[ 321 ] May 2, 2008 |



The Planet Fitness Health Club Chain Promises a Less Intimidating Gym Experience, But Do They Deliver? And At What Cost?

Gym/Health Club: Planet Fitness
Location Reviewed: Northville, MI
Hours: Varies by location; many locations 24 hours

Ratings (1-4 Scale: 1= poor, 2= fair, 3= good, 4= excellent)

Cleanliness: 3
Weight Training Equipment: 2Image of Planet Fitness Logo
Cardio Equipment: 3
Fitness Knowledge of Staff: 1
Amenities: 1
Overall Facility: 3
Price/Value: 3
Overall Rating: 2.2
Planet Fitness Review

First, let’s be honest: gyms and health clubs can be intimidating places, especially for a beginner.  If you are overweight, out of shape and trying to live a more active and healthy lifestyle, being surrounded by really in-shape people can either be an inspiration or incredibly demotivating.

And because everyone’s goals are different, most gyms will attractive a diverse group of people, from hardcore bodybuilders, to power lifters to soccer moms and teenagers. This of course varies tremendously from gym-to-gym, but in general, gyms are a microcosms of the rest of society. And like the rest of society, we have to live with each other and get along. Period.

Gyms can also be a magnet for all kinds of stupid and annoying behavior, from high school kids loitering around the bench press and flexing in the mirror, to middle-aged “bodybuilders” in striped clown pants grunting loudly with weights that don’t really warrant that level of exertion, to rude patrons who needlessly bang weights around or leave their equipment strewn across the floor behind them after each exercise like a Tsunami of sweat, testosterone and ripped Gold’s Gym shirts.

So when Planet Fitness says it wants to change that and make gyms a little less intimidating for average people, the fitness populist in me says “it’s about time.”

Before we go any further, however, a quick disclosure.

I’m currently a member of the Northville, Michigan, Planet Fitness. The Northville location used to be an excellent premium, full-service gym called “The Water Wheel Health Club.”


Two years ago, the owner converted it to a Planet Fitness. I stayed on primarily for the location and convenience. This is not the first gym I’ve belonged to (I’ve been a Powerhouse member in the past and have spent a fair amount of time in other gyms over the years), so I have a pretty good feel for how different gyms stack up against each other. 

While my review discusses some specific qualities of the Northville Planet Fitness location, it still is part of the overall Planet Fitness chain, and is subject to the same corporate policies as other locations. So the general experience is probably consistent with other Planet Fitness centers, with some exceptions that I discuss below.

The Planet Fitness Philosophy: Judgment Free Exercise

Planet Fitness, based in Dover, New Hampshire, is one of the fastest growing fitness chains in the country, with new locations sprouting up every day. In 2006, Planet Fitness acquired Joe Gold’s (of Gold’s Gym fame) World Gym franchise, which certainly jumpstarted their recent expansion. To date they operate around 260 Planet Fitness locations in 23 states.  

So here’s the concept of Planet Fitness: Create an inexpensive, clean, low-frills fitness center that caters to beginning exercisers by creating a “judgment-free” gym. Emphasize machines over free weights, and enforce a code-of-conduct among members that discourages some of the more intimidating behavior you might find in a more hardcore gym.

So far, so good.

What To Expect at a Planet Fitness Center

Here’s what you should expect to find at the typical Planet Fitness gym:

  • No squat racks
  • No dumbbells over 70 lbs (in some gym locations this may go up to 80 lbs)
  • Limited barbells (often only two to three bench presses)
  • Prohibition on use of chalk for heavy lifts like deadlifts
  • Preference for machines over free-weights
  • Higher ratio of cardio machines versus weight and resistance training equipment
  • No group exercise rooms
  • A dress code that prohibits certain articles of clothing like bandanas, skull caps, jeans, boots, do rags
  • No cell phone usage on the floor
  • Ban on grunting, swearing and “psyching-up” rituals
  • Ban on excessive noise (like banging dumbbells or dropping weights)
  • A Giant Purple “Lunk Alarm” light in each major area of the gym that the staff will activate when someone breaks the code-of-conduct.

In theory, many of their policies make sense.

The cell phone usage policy is one that I wish more gyms would embrace, since there is nothing more obnoxious than listening to someone blather on about their colonoscopy at the treadmill next to you or pace around the free weight room on their Nextel talking to their girlfriend.Image of Planet Fitness Elliptical Machines and Treadmills at Northville Michigan Location

Also, discouraging excessively loud grunting and dropping of weights is also something more gyms should consider emulating. It’s rarely necessary to do either one of these activities to work out effectively (although, just to be fair, there is some evidence to support that grunting does assist in exerting more force during certain lifts.)

 The dress code is a bit silly, since if someone wants to dress like a pirate and wear a do-rag, it’s not really your gym’s job to play the role of fashion police, as ridiculous as you may look. Your lack of dates will probably help you learn that faster than a Planet Fitness staffer or an alarm on the wall.

What About The Planet Fitness Lunk Alarm? 

It’s this controversial “Lunk Alarm” that has gotten the gym most of it’s attention, both favorable and not-so-favorable. 

Planet Fitness defines a “lunk” as anyone who engages in disruptive or obnoxious behavior in the gym (dropping weights, swearing, grunting, etc.) or someone who “judges.” 

The “judges” part is interesting, because clearly Planet Fitness itself pre-judges its customers on how much weight they can lift or how serious they are about their training. The heavier you go, their theory seems to suggest, the more likely you are to be a “lunk.” The correlation is thin, at best. But it works for their marketing and it makes things much more black and white for the gym staff.

It’s also arguable that the term “lunk” in Planet Fitness’ eyes is really a code-name for “bodybuilder” — a clientele they clearly do not cater to, even if those bodybuilders are polite in the gym (which, believe it or not, they often are.) Indeed, the gym deliberately limits its free-weight equipment to deter bodybuilders from joining the fitness center.

The Planet Fitness ”Lunk Alarm” is applied as a form of social pressure to essentially embarrass anyone who exhibits these behaviors, either intentionally or accidentally (which does happen some times.)

It’s a high-pressure, highly-public form of humiliation that’s intended to enforce the gym’s code of behavior. Whether you approve of the Lunk Alarm, or think it’s an obnoxious, heavy-handed tactic of social control, will really will depend how far you think gyms should go to publicly-enforce codes-of-conduct among their members. There are probably more subtle ways to weed out impolite behaviors in the gym (like maybe just taking someone aside and suggesting that they take it down a notch), but this level of subtlety doesn’t have as much mass marketing appeal as a big purple light.

To Grunt or Not To Grunt?

The Lunk Alarm and the Planet Fitness practice of revoking memberships of people who violate the gym’s code of behavior hasn’t come without it’s share of controversy. In 2006, the New York Times picked up on the story of  Albert Argibay, a bodybuilder and corrections officer, who had his membership yanked for grunting during a particularly heavy set of squats. Image of Planet Fitness Weight Room in Nuagatuck CT

Management called the police, he was escorted from the gym, and he filed suit against Planet Fitness for defamation. Whether Argibay’s suit has merit is unclear, but the New York Times article does do a nice job of exploring some of the issues raised by Planet Fitness’ desire to micro-manage their members behavior so closely

Use of the “Lunk Alarm” also seems to vary based on the particular Planet Fitness location and whoever may be on staff at that time.

Some Planet Fitness locations and operators are less zealous in their use of the “Lunk Alarm” — and some locations have never used them. However, the “Lunk Alarm” is ever-present at any Planet Fitness franchise, looming over the gym like a great big purple reminder that if you stray to far from the Planet Fitness “philosophy”, you’ll be instantly called-out … and maybe kicked-out.

For some people, even those of us who find some of the idea of less grunting and posturing a good thing — the Lunk Alarm seems a bit over-the-top. It clearly has been a great marketing gimmick for the Planet Fitness franchise, and even the negative publicity it has garnered for them seems to help them further position their gym as a place for “regular people.”

What To Expect From a Planet Fitness Facility

Despite the lack of amenities that more upscale gyms and health clubs offer, the Planet Fitness facilities themselves are generally clean and well-maintained.

Because this is a relatively new chain, most of the equipment will be new or only a few years old. If you are looking for things like towel service or little perks in the locker room, like private lockers, this isn’t the gym for you. Some locations have even removed the omnipresent bathroom scale in the locker rooms, ostensibly to discourage people from not only judging each other — but apparently even judging themselves.

Most locations also offer tanning beds for those of you who want a little fake and bake with your workout. Customers can pay for use of the tanning beds by session, or if they upgrade to the Planet Fitness Black Card, they get free, unlimited tanning including in their monthly membership. This seems to be a particularly popular membership perk among high-school girls, who appear to be joining Planet Fitness in droves (at least at my location) more for the cheap tanning, than to stay in shape.  

The chain also recently added coin-operated “massage-chairs” like you find in the mall to many of their locations. Again, with the Planet Fitness Black Card upgrade you get free use of the massage chairs to help you work out those kinks that you acquired from your Judgment Free workout. It also helps with digesting the free pizza and bagels they serve you once a month.Image of Planet Fitness Gym in Northville Michigan

Be forewarned also that if you have an aversion to the color combination of purple and yellow, you’ll pass on Planet Fitness purely on the aesthetics. The chain has ensured that the colors permeate the entire gym, from the custom paint jobs on their resistance machines to the walls, carpet and floors. I personally don’t have a problem with it, but some people may find it kind of garish and distracting.

What To Expect from the Equipment at Planet Fitness

Again, because most of the Planet Fitness locations have opened in the past 2-3 years, the equipment itself is typically new and in good shape. The franchise has some fairly strict rules around what types of equipment their locations  can and can’t offer (more on that in a second), but the operators are given some leeway when it comes to other equipment that they provide, especially cable machines.

For example, at the Northville, Michigan Planet Fitness that I based this review on,  they feature a dozen expensive, high-quality FreeMotion Fitness strength machines which are very effective at emulating a free-weight workout on a cable machine. 

In terms of variety, you’ll find most of the standard basic pulley-and-lever resistance machines, as well as a smattering of other cable machines, including the standard cable-stack stations. You typically won’t find multiple-installations of the same machine, nor some of the variations on machines that you might find in a Golds Gym, Powerhouse Gym or Life Time Fitness. This may vary from location-to-location, however. 

Be aware, also, that the franchise purposely limits the amount of weight available on these machines. Again, the point here is to discourage heavy lifters (aka, “lunks”, apparently) from joining the gym. Advanced trainees may find themselves quickly hitting the maximum weights on a lot of these machines, which means if you want to continue progressing, you’ll either have to figure out a way to put additional stress on your muscles through slower-reps, more reps or higher set volume, or switch gyms.

Planet Fitness also offers a light-weight 30 minute circuit workout.Image of Planet Fitness 30 Minute Workout Area

This consists of a series of stations with lever-and-pulley machines for each major muscle group. A green light tells you to start performing the exercise, and a red light tells you when to stop and switch machines. This is actually not a bad approach for beginners, and it takes some of the guesswork out of ordering exercises and choosing rep and set ranges. So while it’s not for me, or other more experienced members, it is a nice feature for people who are just getting started.

What About Free Weights?

If an extensive variety of free weight equipment is what you crave, you’re probably not going to love Planet Fitness.

They generally limit the number of available bench presses to three (less, in some locations), ban squat racks at the corporate level for all franchise locations, and limit dumbbells to 70-80 lbs. You won’t find traditional chin-up bars or T-Row Bars, either (although they may have a assisted pull-up station which is an acceptable substitute.)

They also seem to deliberately limit the amount of plates available for barbells and the Smith Machine to discourage heavy lifting.  At the Northville location, you’re prohibited from using barbells for standard exercises like deadlifts, bent over rows, cleans or standing military presses. This seems to be a standard practice across all Planet Fitness locations. The size of the weight room at my gym is also limited, which is a bit ironic, because based on how crowded it usually is, it’s apparent that there is a demand among clients for more free-weight options.

For a beginning or intermediate lifter — and most women — the lack of weights above 80 lbs probably won’t be an issue. However, if you are serious about your training, it’s likely you’ll eventually max out on their weight selection. You can always switch to barbell moves, where it’s possible to pile on more weight, but in terms of dumbbells, you’ll be dead-in-the-water.

That Missing Squat Rack?

The lack of squat racks should be a concern to anyone who is trying to get a well-rounded workout.

Squats are fantastic compound exercises that almost everyone should incorporate into their workout, regardless of their experience level. They prohibit squat racks because they believe it encourages “lunks”, but it really does a disservice to their clients. Planet Fitness seems to believe that a Smith Machine is an acceptable replacement for a squat rack, but Smiths are among the most dangerous machines when it comes to encouraging injury, since they have a tendency to force you into unnatural planes of motion and place unnecessary stress on connective tissue.

Again, because there is some variation in equipment from location-to-location, you’ll want to take a tour of the facility before signing up to see if it will meet your needs. You’ll also want to consider where you expect to be in terms of strength eight months from joining, since you may find yourself outgrowing their equipment or weights.

Cardio Machines

If pounding away on a treadmill or elliptical machine is your cup-of-tea, you’ll generally be happy with Planet Fitness.

The chain tends to have a fairly wide-variety (and large number) of cardio equipment, including elliptical trainers, treadmills, stair-steppers, and recumbent bikes.

In terms of entertainment, most locations have a series of big-screen TVs that you can plug into and share with other exercisers. At the Northville location, they also have some cardio units with their own built-in entertainment centers, which can come in handy if you aren’t interested in watching another episode of “The Real Housewives of Orange County” with the rest of the hamsters in the cardio room.

Aerobics and Specialized Classes

Planet Fitness does not offer aerobics or specialized group classes like pilates, kick-boxing, Body Pump, or yoga. So if this is important to you, you’ll need to find another gym, or supplement your Planet Fitness membership with walk-in classes offered by other gyms, the YMCA, or a local community rec center.

Gym Staff and Personal Trainers

Some Planet Fitness locations may have independent personal trainers available if you need one, but they are not included in the membership package, and they typically don’t keep trainers on staff, even for hire.

Also, don’t expect to get much of an orientation from the staff showing you how to use the equipment. When you join Planet Fitness, you are pretty much on your own in terms of figuring out what to do. The staff is primarily there to scan people in, sign up new members, give prospective gym members tours of the facility, schedule tanning bed appointments, walk around to make sure people aren’t grunting, and depending on the location, activate the Lunk Alarm.

This isn’t as much of an issue for people who are already experienced at weight training, but for beginners, it’s critical.

Also, it’s important to know that their staff is not necessarily trained or certified in the fitness field. Since they are primarily hiring people to check clients in, the staff doesn’t have to have any fitness expertise or experience to work at Planet Fitness. In other words, they are just as likely to work at Wendy’s, as they are at Planet Fitness. Remember, this is McExercise, not the fitness equivalent of dinner at Spagos.

I personally have some issues with the lack of basic instruction on use of gym equipment at Planet Fitness, especially since they deliberately try to appeal to “average people” with little or no exercise experience.

There is a legitimate concern about safety and whether Planet Fitness, for all of it’s talk of empowering people to improve their health at their own pace, really has “average Joe’s” best health interests in mind. Clearly their emphasis on keeping costs down is behind their lack of trained staff, but it’s questionable whether they are really doing their novice clients any favors by skimping in this area. At every gym, you see people performing exercises incorrectly or with ineffective (and often dangerous) form, but this seems to be even more prevalent among the Planet Fitness clientele at my gym.

The Planet Fitness Gym Clientele

Obviously, the clientele at any given Planet Fitness gym will vary based on the location and how aggressively they enforce their “No Lunks” policy.

In general, expect to find a lot of casual exercisers, quite a few people with little experience in the gym, a ton of teenagers (since the $10 a month membership fee and tanning is appealing to this group), and a smattering of people who are serious about their fitness training.

The lack of certain basic free weight equipment will naturally limit the number of powerlifters, serious bodybuilders and even more experienced fitness buffs (male and female) that join the gym. It is possible for an advanced trainee to get a pretty good basic workout with the equipment available at Planet Fitness, but again, you have to get creative, especially without the squat rack and weights that exceed 80 lbs.

At the Planet Fitness that I belong to, the management is reasonable and does a generally good job at running a good shop. I’ve never seen them use the Lunk Alarm, and they take a more one-on-one, individual approach to enforcing the gym’s code of conduct with people who may occasionally slip up. I appreciate this, since I don’t think gyms need a bunch of wanna-be fitness Torquemadas running amok in the weight room. I do know that some people have had their memberships revoked for repeated violations, but this is probably the exception, versus the rule.  I hated it when they removed the squat rack, but I adapted (although I wish it were still there.)

Complaints About Planet Fitness

My two biggest gripes have less to do with the equipment and more to do with a desire to see the chain do more about discouraging certain behaviors not from “lunks” but from their “Average Joe” clients.

The first complaint is that Planet Fitness could do more to educate their new members on basic gym ettiquete.

It’s not unusual at my location to see people leisurely camping out on equipment and benches (I’ve even repeatedly seen a guy reading the newspaper between his sets on the pec deck), hovering around your bench waiting for you to finish, not re-racking weights, or jumping in on a piece of equipment between your sets without even asking if you are done or if they can work in. 

While this behavior isn’t unique to Planet Fitness, it’s ironic that the chain focuses all of it’s attention on gross violations like grunting from “lunks,” but doesn’t hold its other members accountable to the far more common violations of simple gym etiquette.

My second gripe concerns the proliferation of teenagers at my location — especially in the already congested free-weight room. 

I fundamentally have no issue with teens wanting to workout and weight train (and actually think it’s great), but there seems to be a lot of loitering going on, and very little weight lifting among this group. And because Black Card Memberships allow you to bring in a free guest, I suspect there is a lot of doubling-up going on among ’bros who bring their buddies in gratis.

With limited space in the free weight room, and limited equipment like bench presses, the teens have a tendency to not only overcrowd the free-weight room while they watch their buddies pump iron, but they also round-robin on the benches which can tie up the equipment for better than 30 minutes without a chance for anyone to work in.

Again, these experiences may be unique to my particular Planet Fitness location, but it’s a product primarily of their drive to sign-up new members without providing any coaching on how to behave in the gym — which, of course, runs counter to their whole marketing pitch about creating a more respectful environment.

Perks: Free Pizza, Bagels and Candy?

In addition to the free tanning and Shiatsu massage chairs that come with a the Black Card upgrade, Planet Fitness offers three other perks to all of their members: free pizza once a month, free bagels once a month and the ever-present jar of purple Tootsie Rolls at the front desk.

Yes. I’m not joking.

When you join Planet Fitness to get in shape, once a month they reward you for those 300 calories you just burned on the treadmill with a nice 500 calorie slice of greasy, cheap pizza from a local pizzeria.  Or how about a giant, high-glycemic carb bagel to set you on your way to great summer abs? And when you’re done working out each day, grab a couple of purple Toostie Rolls loaded with high fructose corn syrup.

This whole thing would be laughable if it wasn’t so absurd.  I can understand providing some kind of “treat” to your customers every once in a while, but outside of serving fried chicken or corn dogs, I can’t think of two more unhealthy foods to offer.  A better approach would be to provide some type of healthy snack for their members, that helped them get an idea that eating better can taste good as well. Why not wraps, high-fiber protein bars, or even a healthy version of pizza?

How Much Does a Planet Fitness Membership Cost?

Setting aside some of the limitations of the gym, there is no doubt that Planet Fitness offers one of the lowest monthly membership costs in the industry.

The basic package is $10 per month, with a one-time $59 start-up fee. The membership also is month-to-month, so if you move or decide to switch gyms, you’re not locked into paying-off 12-month contract. The worst that would happen is you if you left is that are out your $59 start-up fee. The basic membership is exactly that — you get use of the Planet Fitness facility (but not the massage chairs or tanning beds) for yourself. And of course, you get that free slice of pizza and bagel.

For the basic membership, you’re looking at about $180 dollars a year. This is a great value for someone who is new to the gym, because it allows you to get started with minimum financial commitment.

The Planet Fitness Black Card option is $19.99 and doesn’t have a start-up fee. However, it DOES require a 12 month minimum term, so if you need to cancel your membership, you’re going to have to ante up the balance.

The Planet Fitness Black Card

The PF Black Card  (the $19.99 upgrade with the 12 year contract) does comes with a few perks:

  • Free reciprocal use of all Planet Fitness Franchise Locations
  • Unlimited use of the Planet Fitness massage chairs
  • Unlimited Planet Fitness guest privileges (so you can bring a spouse or friend along with you for free)
  • Unlimited tanning
  • 1/2 price cooler drinks
  • A Planet Fitness T-Shirt

The biggest value to the PF Black Card membership is the guest privileges, since it’s nice to be able to bring someone along for free without the high charges usually associated with day passes at other gyms. Also, if you happen to travel a lot to cities with Planet Fitness locations, the ability to workout for free is nice.  Finally, setting aside the health concerns of regular tanning, the free tanning alone makes the upgrade worth it, since a typical tanning package from a tanning salon would cost you around $20 a month itself. 

With the PF Black Card upgrade, your total cost of membership for a year would be $240 dollars.

Additional Planet Fitness Black Card Perks

In terms of the other perks, the 1/2 price cooler drinks isn’t that impressive, because their selection has been deliberately limited so as not to appeal to bodybuilders, serious fitness devotees or powerlifters. You won’t find protein drinks, but instead a pretty weak selection of Gatorade, bottled water and Vitamin Waters. 

The massage chair is okay. I sat in it once when they first got them to try it out, and have never used it since.  At my location they don’t seem to be used very often (except by the staff), so this just feels like another Planet Fitness franchise gimmick to make you feel like you are getting something more with your membership. Looks good on a marketing flyer, though. 

Finally, the Planet Fitness T-Shirt isn’t anything to write home about — it’s your basic Beefy-T with a big “Planet Fitness” logo on the front (with the PF “Thumbs Up!”) and some marketing blather on the back about how being a black card members has it’s perks. Basically free marketing for Planet Fitness, provided anyone would actually want to wear this monstrosity of a T-Shirt. I cut mine up for cotton rags to wash windows with.  I’m sure there are plenty of other, more creative uses for this. 

Be aware that Planet Fitness loves to run their regular membership package and the PF Black Card upgrades as “limited time specials.”

I’ve seen the same specials being run “for a limited time only” with an actual date for when the promotion ends, only to see that deadline continuously extended in perpetuity. So if the staff tells you this promotion is about to end and you need to make a decision now on your membership, there’s a good chance that the exact same promotion will be running two months later should you return.

Should I Join Planet Fitness?

Like any decision you make, whether Planet Fitness is the right fit for you, will depend a lot on your experience in the gym, your health and fitness goals and your budget. If you are just starting out and are concerned about investing in a gym membership that you may rarely use, then Planet Fitness makes a lot of sense.

Also, if you find yourself feeling intimidated by other gyms you may have visited that are filled with hardbodies and chiseled abs, Planet Fitness might be exactly the environment you need to start getting in-shape, at your own pace, without the attitude and additional pressure to fit in. 

However, if you are a beginner and are hoping that the gym staff will give you extra guidance on how to structure your workouts, use the equipment and develop a healthy diet to support your fat-loss and exercise regimen, it will be difficult to find that level of support from your typical Planet Fitness location. Remember, you get what you pay for, and at Planet Fitness, that’s typically a clean gym, a bunch of cardio machines, some basic weight training equipment and not much else.

For experienced trainees or more serious bodybuilders or power lifters, Planet Fitness will probably drive you up the wall. 

Buyer Beware: Not A Gym For Everyone

If you are looking for a hardcore gym, don’t let the cheap price entice you in. You’ll be singled out fairly quickly as a “lunk” — especially if you subscribe to the “grunting helps you lift more weight” camp — regardless of how polite you otherwise try to be.

Setting aside whether this is fair or not, Planet Fitness clearly doesn’t want you there, and they’ll remind you of this every chance they get with their goofy “Judgment Free Zone” slogans and purple alarm. Save yourself the mental grief and just head back to Powerhouse, which has a better selection of equipment, anyway. You’re not going to change Planet Fitness, no matter how much the rebel in you tries.

Making The Most of Planet Fitness If You Decide To Join

That’s not to say that you can’t be serious about fitness and weight training and still take advantage of the low-cost and basic equipment that Planet Fitness offers.

Personally, I’m a back-to-basics guy, and aside from not having a squat rack, I’ve managed to continue to progress fairly well even with some of the equipment constraints Planet Fitness has placed on me.  Even without the squat rack, there are plenty of ways to adapt your workout to continue making progress.

In some ways, I kind of like the challenge that comes with having to work under less than ideal equipment conditions.  Kind of like the soldiers in Iraq who make barbells out of broom sticks and sand-filled water containers. I admire that ingenuity. 

For example, performing walking lunges with 70 lbs dumbbells would challenge even the heaviest of squatters. Sometimes I think we’ve grown spoiled with all of the fancy Plate-Loaded machines and working with limited resources forces us to change things up more often — and that’s always a good thing.

A Niche Product That Some People Will Love

I also suspect that women (even females who take their weight-training very seriously) will generally find Planet Fitness a pleasant place to workout. It doesn’t have the same “meat-market” feel of a Crunch or LifeTime Fitness, and the weight room will likely be more inviting to a woman than the one at Golds. And because women aren’t typically going to max out over 80 lbs, the dumbbell weight restrictions are less of limiting factor than for men.

Bottom line is to know what you are getting into … and not getting at all. 

You have to admire the marketing chops of Planet Fitness, since they clearly understand that if you don’t stand for something … you’ll stand for nothing at all.

Regardless of your feelings for their heavy-handed tactics, there is no doubt that they are appealing directly to an underserved market segment that will likely respond favorably to their pitch. And with more big fitness chains fighting for market share, their angle will probably work. Just understand this before you fall in love with their $19.99 price tag …. it does come with lots of strings.

Planet Fitness Update (9/12/2008)

After publishing this review of Planet Fitness, the manager (Dan) of the Planet Fitness that I belong to pointed out a few things that I wanted to pass along.

Since my goal here was to provide a fair and accurate assessment of what to expect at Planet Fitness, there are a few valid points that deserve some additional attention. Rather than going back and changing the original review, I’m going to deal with them here. I’ll let you make your own conclusions.

First, in terms of the age of equipment at Planet Fitness (and I have seen a fair amount of complaints from other members at Planet Fitness locations around the condition and age of equipment), I’ve been told that all Planet Fitness locations are required to update their equipment every five years. Take-away here is that if you are considering joining Planet Fitness, you should check with the management before joining to see when their last update was.

In terms of the apparent deluge of teenagers loitering around at my particular Planet Fitness location, management tells me that Planet Fitness Black Card member guests must be at least 18 years of age to use the gym, and they are required to sign a document stating so. Anyone under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to use the equipment.

Practically speaking, this hasn’t really resolved the issue I have with the groups of near-teens dominating the little equipment available as they do whatever it is they are doing — but this is really has to do with not having enough available equipment to accommodate the new members they are recruiting. Add some more equipment, and I really don’t care how long you sit on the bench press between sets or how many of your buddies are cycling in.

Planet Fitness Cooler Drink Discount for Black Carb Members

Management points out that the half-off cooler drinks for Planet Fitness Black Card members are a great deal if you take advantage of it. If you drink 10 drinks a month, you basically gain back the difference between the Black Card membership and the normal membership cost in savings. I’ll buy that, but my complaint about the cooler drinks has less to do with the discount (which I actually think is good) and has more to do with the drinks that they offer.  Selection is limited to Gatorade and recently — energy drinks like Rock Star. There’s not a single drink available in the cooler that provides protein, so they aren’t particularly useful post-workout. I rarely use this benefit for that reason. Add some protein drinks like Isopure in the cooler and I’ll change my mind on this. Also, what’s the deal with the Rock Star energy drinks? They are basically nutritionally-empty. I could think of a dozen drinks that would be healthier for your members.

The Infamous Planet Fitness Bagel and Pizza Nights

The management of my local Planet Fitness says that the free pizza and bagel nights are a “member appreciation” perk that is intended to show that “we are all human and pizza and bagels are okay in moderation.” Okay, I get this. People can have cheat meals and still hit their fitness goals. I don’t eat clean 24/7 and readily admit that. That said, I still  maintain that one of the responsibilities of a gym or health club is to encourage people to understand that there are healthy options out there besides bagels and pizza. People have plenty of opportunity to eat crappy food all day long outside of the gym, they don’t need a “Planet Fitness” member appreciation pizza nosh to give them permission to eat junk food. They are probably doing it already. So let’s not pile it on more. If there is one place that you should not be greeted by fast food, I’d argue it should be a gym or health club. I’m still not convinced on this one guys.

Why In The World Does It Seem Planet Fitness Corporate Doesn’t Want You To Contact Them?

Since originally posting this review, I’ve had a number of questions from people about various Planet Fitness policies.

My local Planet Fitness has been great about clarifying things when they can, but sometimes, there are questions that are best answered directly from Planet Fitness corporate.  For instance, there was a complaint from a South African about their local Planet Fitness posted in the comments on this review. I suspected that this was a gym not associated with the Planet Fitness franchise in the U.S. — but there was no way to confirm with Planet Fitness themselves because they do not (as far as I can tell) provide any method on their website of contacting corporate directly. Perhaps I missed it … and if I did, please correct me here. This is unfortunate, because if the reader’s comments had nothing to do with Planet Fitness US, I wanted to make sure this was clear.

I’m going to give Planet Fitness the benefit of the doubt here and chalk this up to an oversight. But based on some of the negative feedback (along with plenty of positive, to be fair), one has to wonder why any company would not provide a direct, and immediate method for its customers to provide feedback online to them? I would hate to think this is to avoid having to deal with negative feedback. Several times I have asked Planet Fitness CEO Mike Grondahl to respond to certain questions from readers here, and I haven’t heard back from him (despite knowing for a fact that he is aware of this review, since he has commented here once already.)

If you’re going to run a business, you’re going to take the bad with the good. I’ve found in my career that most people are reasonable when it comes to issues they have with companies, so why does Planet Fitness.com make it so damn hard to contact them? I just don’t get it.  Maybe Mike Grondahl can provide a reasonable answer. We just need to hear it. So what is it Mike?

Summary
Reviewer
Answer Fitness
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Planet Fitness Gym
Author Rating
2
Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter
If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Category: Gym & Health Club Reviews

About the Author ()

Leader of the Best Internet Marketing Team in the World By Day, Fitness Nerd By Night.

Comments (321)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. fitby09 (1 comments) says:

    Great post. I once asked a staff member if the alarm really works. Nope! Just a scare tactic. (At a location in New York City.)

  2. Mike Grondahl (1 comments) says:

    Wow I barely can believe anyone could know this much about PF…….. one thing you don’t know is “LUNK” came from the 3 stooges which my Dad called me most of the time while growing up.
    Yes, the LUNK alarms do go off…. but they are meant for fun. If it is too hard on your ego then you take yourself a bit serious.
    I think you are pretty fair in your review…. but man what do you do in your spare time ?
    Mike Grondahl PF CEO

    • Concerned customer (1 comments) says:

      Regarding the lunk alarm..  In your comment you said it was fun..
      It’s not fun when it is hurting someone. The sound has to be equivalent to an air raid siren. I’m sure if they checked the decibels they would see that it is damaging to a person’s hearing. Not to mention some people have issues with their hearing already, this can be even more damaging to them. Also, I don’t see how it is fun when maybe somebody just made a single mistake.. and now they have everyone staring at them and judging them in a proclaimed “judgement free zone.” I don’t know anyone who wants to be singled out like that.
      plus it has been my personal experience of staff members at the gyms using the alarm to call other employees to the front desk. So some of the customers don’t even know why it is being used. I have heard it being used as a pager 5 times in a 10 minute period. Also, on the weekends I have heard them sounding off the alarm to signal that the gym will be closing in 30 minutes.  
      And when I say using.. I mean, they are holding down the alarm for 20 seconds or more at a time. Very loud and damaging.
      I know you won’t get rid of the lunk alarm. But, at the least I think the staff should be trained on when to use it and for how long at a time. There is no reason it should be sounded for 20 seconds. If it is that bad then they need to walk over and say something to the person. Also, don’t use it as a pager. Buy a $20 set of walkie talkies so they won’t sound the alarm to get someone to the front desk. Plus don’t be sounding the alarm as notification that the club will be closing soon.
      Just some thoughts and suggestions to make EVERYONE comfortable as your motto states, from a concerned customer

    • Nikki Tenniswood (1 comments) says:

      Mike could I by any chance get a number so I can contact someone to complain about our experience at a local Planet Fitness, we were discriminated against and I feel as though we were poorly treated, in that we were kicked out our second time there for something my husband didn’t do.  Plus are there usually camera servalliance around so we can prove our point.  My husband did nothing wrong.  I feel as though your non judgment zone is false.

    • Nicole (4 comments) says:

      I agree with Matt’s review, there are some limitations to the equipment in PF locations, but I am glad for it. No matter how polite the bodybuilders may be, having them in the gym may be intimidating enough. PF caters to a particular clientele with specific fitness interests, and there are many other gyms available to people looking for a different experience. 
      I also appreciate that there are not an abundence of amenities that will drive up the price. I go to the gym for equipment, I don’t spend the day tanning for sitting in a sauna; I want to get in and out as quickly as possible. 

  3. Matt (194 comments) says:

    Mike, thanks for stopping by. I’m actually quite impressed:

    a.) that you are close enough to your business to think of Googling it (you’d be surprised at how many CEOs aren’t) and

    b.) that you have the courage and foresight to start a friendly conversation here around my review and some of the points it raises.

    At a business level, I have to admit that I admire what you’ve created with Planet Fitness, even if I have some criticisms of it. You definitely have defined a market niche, positioned yourself into it, and stuck to your guns.

    In terms of my knowledge around PF … I’m a member, so I have first-hand experience with both the Northville location and a few others I’ve visited while travelling. So I guess you could say I’m highly-qualified to comment on the details of what it’s like to be a Planet Fitness member.

    I also take some pride in being able to write balanced, well-researched articles. I’m not interested in ranting or doing a hatchet job on anyone, although I might make some smart ass comments every now and then for effect. I’m glad you think I treated PF fairly — that was my goal.

    My main objective was to let people know what to expect with Planet Fitness. Nothing more, nothing less.

    What do I do in my spare time?

    Well, I spend about 90 minutes a night in your gym, about 60 minutes a night blogging about fitness and the rest of the time I’m checking my Blackberry as part of my “day” job.

    Also, thanks for the background on the term “lunk” — I think I’ll add it to the main article.

    One last question: Any thought of providing members with a basic orientation to PF that includes a primer on gym etiquette? And maybe better training on the equipment? And what about the suggestion to provide more healthy snacks and food to people in place of the pizza and bagels? Seems like a no-brainer to me and would silence one of the chief talking points of PF critics.

  4. Shelby (1 comments) says:

    They opened up a planet fitness down the street from me and everyone thinks its a joke! i work out at my gym and hope they will go out of buisness. This article was so helpful because people are always asking about planet fitness but i never know what to tell them! THAT GYM SHOULD NOT EVEN BE CONSIDERED A GYM! ITS FOR FAT PEOPLE WHO WANT TO STAY FAT AND EAT PIZZA!

    • Alexa (1 comments) says:

      I live in a town where a lot of people are over weight. A planet fitness opened up about two years ago, and i have lost around 50 pounds and counting. And you know what. I EAT THE PIZZA! That kind of stuff is fine in moderation. And I love PF because it keeps out judge mental jerks like you

      • Laura (5 comments) says:

        Shelby, 
         That is why Planet Fitness is.  To keep judgemental people like you from snubbing your nose up at people like me who are at least trying to be fit.  Your body chemistry & health could change in a day and you could be a fatty trying to be skinny in a gym full of fat haters. Just remember the tables could turn on you! 

      • Odessa (1 comments) says:

        Alexa I agree 100%. They should offer a better snack rather than pizza but no one is forcing people to eat it. It’s also ONE A MONTH. It’s not pizza night every night. I really enjoy this gym and I’m proud to say I’ve lost 87lbs an I too EAT THE PIZZA! I don;t like when people judge stuff they know nothing about. 
        And saying its for fat people is a very rude insecure thing to say. Everyone at my gym is pretty fit. If you work had you get results your looking for but then again I don’t go around calling people fat.

    • Anita M. (1 comments) says:

      It may be 4 years later, but I just had to respond to this comment (even if no one ever sees it).  I recently joined Planet Fitness after walking through the front door and realizing that the atmosphere was very comfortable to me.  The “average” people they embrace are not looking to stay fat, or they wouldn’t even step through the door.  Planet Fitness is a great starting point for people who are seriously out of shape or need the low-impact exercise for health purposes.  Planet Fitness appeals to sooo many people BECAUSE of this type of attitude.  That’s why they labeled it the “no judgement zone” – and why it will be around for a long, long time! 

    • pheonix41 (2 comments) says:

      At least the person who wrote the article  shares some facts.

  5. frank huxton (1 comments) says:

    Very informative review. I was just on PF’s site thinking about joining. The monthly $10 fee got my attention although after the start-up fee & annual fee the 1st year cost comes out to about $16.58 @mth (a 60% increase from what’s advertised). Well after reading this review & few others I wouldn’t go near a PF. No jeans! No grunting! Scare tactic alarms! Employess (gestapos) patrolling the premises. PF sounds a bit too totalitarian for my liking. I’d prefer to pay more at another Gym/Health Club & retain my human rights.

  6. Mark (13 comments) says:

    I have always been intimidated by gyms, and I grunt when I work out, it is just natural for me. So I don’t think they are really taking away the intimidation factor.

    When I think about why I am intimidated by gyms it comes back to a few things:

    1) I am always thinking I am doing something wrong and other people are looking at me and laughing in their heads.

    2) I always feel like people who are in better shape have more of a right to be using the equipment that I am using.

    I think a general overview of gym etiquette would really help to solve each problem (I think this would even be a good post idea for Answer fitness).

    I think another way a gym could do it is by raising the price of entry for everyone but adding a “roaming trainer” who is always looking to help those who may be using the equipment incorrectly. This would still cater to a specific sector of the market, and would effectively eliminate the “Lunks” who would not be willing to pay extra for this perk.

    Overall, I would think that by instilling more rules the gym is a more intimidating place than a normal gym would be, but the mere fact that the CEO cares enough to comment makes me want to check it out.

  7. NN4 (1 comments) says:

    The planet fitness I belong to is barely worth the $10/mo. Much of the equipment works poorly if at all and the audio for the treadmills either doesn’t work or only picks up 2-4 televisions. It’s OK for the money, but just barely.

  8. Member (1 comments) says:

    Music system is very cheap and they play it too loud.
    When certain mamagers are there it is louder.
    there seems to be a need for a policy on that.
    Personally I think no music would be the best and customers can bring there sound devices and listen to what they choose.
    Sometimes the music is so loud you can’t listen to your own music on head phones.
    If you ask the (inexperienced)workers to tuen it down they get scared and say. We can’t do that.
    the management won’t allow it. I don’t believe them.
    Plus the music that is played is awful with no beat.
    Also how can you expect a room ful of people to want the same thing? I find that impossible.
    I say…”Shut the music off” Who needs it?

  9. KC (1 comments) says:

    I just joined a planet fitness a couple weeks ago and absolutely love it! i am a female and never worked out much until now, but i love going to planet fitness. i dont feel like i am being watched by everyone, and im comfortable to work out. the staff does walk around but its not like they are hunting you down or watching you. like stated in the article, yes there are guys that are a lot of muscle, but there are also people of the complete opposite size! i would recommend it to anyone!

  10. Sue (3 comments) says:

    My husband and I belong to PF in Stoughton,Ma. Can’t beat the price and it’s very clean. We love it. It’s busy but not over crowded. The staff is friendly but does not parade around patrolling the place. People of all ages,shapes and sizes seem to work out and respect each other. We have lockers and showers. No, the lumk alarm has never gone off. We have several popular personal trainers who do long or short term training. Sure, I would recommend a healthy snack option, like protein/fruit drinks or gum. I defintely think that it’s irresponsible to not provide some initial training on the equipment. That could also be done on the PF website which I was very suprised not to find. Although it’s not for everyone. I think its a great, affordable choice in a gym.

  11. Steve (4 comments) says:

    My wife joined PF this week and I went along with her at the weekend. As a runner/cyclist, I was happy to see such a large array of cardio equipment.

    The review seems fair to me. A few gimmicks to attract the average person in the door – certainly the tanning is what enticed my wife to sign up.

    I have to thank Shelby for his/her comment – shows exactly why there is a need for Planet Fitness; so the rest of us can work out without being subjected to the likes of Shelby.

  12. Matt (194 comments) says:

    Thanks for stopping by Steve. I try not to censor comments — seems like it’s generally best to let people speak for themselves, and allow smart individuals to make their own conclusions.

    Which is exactly what you did.

    PF isn’t for everyone — and it’s not intended to be. The main thing is whether you found a place that you feel comfortable going to. It’s better than the alternative — which is being so demotivated that you never use your membership and your health doesn’t improve.

  13. Patsy Mac (1 comments) says:

    Thanks for the review, and I also enjoyed the comments. My sister and I are considering joining a PF in Greensboro NC and this page has helped me make up my mind (I’m going to join at the basic level). I’m disappointed to learn the staff are not into training or teaching members how to use the machines. Since I’m more experienced than my sister, I now know I’ll have to help her get acquainted with the equipment, if she also decides to join. A very useful site, Matt, thanks!

  14. Buff-Daddy (1 comments) says:

    Here is a link to epinions’ currently 82 reviews regarding planet fitness. The overall rating of Planet Fitness is 2 out of 5 stars. ENJOY!

    http://www0.epinions.com/Planet_Fitness/display_~reviews

  15. Matt (194 comments) says:

    Patsy, thanks for the comments. I do want to make a correction to the original review based on some recent information I got from the operator of my Planet Fitness. Planet Fitness DOES offer an orientation for any member to the equipment and will go over the basic exercises. I wasn’t aware of this because I was an existing member of the previous health club before the transition to PF and didn’t really go through the whole members-benefits routine. So you should definitely ask whether they offer that kind of orientation at the Greensboro location and have your sister take advantage of it. Best of luck in hitting your fitness goals! – Matt

  16. Kevin (8 comments) says:

    Matt, great review man. My local gym just closed and I am going to check out a PF tonight (NYC location). I’m glad I was able to get a good idea of what to expect from your article. Will check back in once I go to see this place.

  17. seung (1 comments) says:

    I have a question. I will like to ask you if the gym provide a daycare for kids & babies???

  18. Whitty (2 comments) says:

    Great Detailed Post! Gave me all the information that I needed

  19. Whitty (2 comments) says:

    Great DETAILED post. Let me know everything I needed.

  20. Michael Williams (5 comments) says:

    Anyone who works out with resistance equipment, male or female, rather they weigh 80 pounds or 300 pounds, rather they compete in bodybuilding contests or not, regardless of age, regardless of fitness level, is a bodybuilder. With that in mind, this is not an issue of bodybuilders versus non-bodybuilders, this is an issue of men versus women. Planet Fitness discriminates against men of all colors in general, and minority men in particular. They like to use the terms “Lunk” and “Do-Rag” to vilify men with muscles in general, and black men with or without muscles in particular, but the true definition of a bodybuilder is a person who works out with weights.

    Based on the real definition of bodybuilding stated above, in order for Planet Fitness to not cater to bodybuilders, it would have to remove all of the weight resistance machines and all of the free weights. The only equipment that should be in their gym should be exercise bikes, stair-masters, and elliptical machines. Planet Fitness’ stating that it doesn’t cater to bodybuilders without the removal of all weight-bearing equipment is the equivalent of saying yes we have basketball courts but we don’t cater to basketball players. Yes we have tennis courts but we don’t cater to tennis players. Yes we have a golf course, but we don’t cater to golfers. Because they took away only the heaviest of equipment, the equipment most likely used by men, this is discrimination against men who weight train and not discrimination against women who weight train.

    Every fifteen to twenty minutes, via Planet Fitness’ audio system, you’ll hear the following male-bashing commercial:

    “Remember at Planet Fitness there’s no Lunks (Dumb Men), no Bodybuilders (Dumb Men with Muscles), no Critics”

    Imagine the reception this female-bashing public service announcement would get:

    “Remember at Planet Fitness there’s no Dumb Blondes, no Fat Chicks, no Critics”

    Or better yet, how about this lifestyle-bashing one:

    “Remember at Planet Fitness there’s no Jews, no Gay People, no Christians”

    I don’t have a problem with a women’s only facility. I understand that some women don’t feel comfortable working out with men. I do however have a problem with a gym that says it’s a “Judgment Free Zone” and then judges and discriminates against men.

    Listed below is a hyperlink to my experience with Planet Fitness and the discrimination I had to endure because of my gender and my race:

    http://www99.epinions.com/content_425941962372

    Gender is a federally protected classification. So if you are a man of any color and you were discriminated against because of your gender, please contact your state’s civil rights commission or your state’s Attorney General’s office. No man regardless of color or fitness level should ever have to go through what I went through.

  21. Matt (194 comments) says:

    Michael, thanks for stopping by. I appreciate the honest, well-thought out perspective on Planet Fitness and their club policies. I actually recently read your ePinions review, so I’m familiar with your issues with PF and I think you raise some interesting points. While I would agree with you in principle that anyone who works out with weights — male or female — is trying to add muscle or strength or both, I’m not sure I would go as far as to say the definition of a “bodybuilder” is someone who simply works out with weights. “Bodybuilder” has a very specific definition (and some very subjective connotations, as the Planet Fitness case shows.) A “bodybuilder” is typically a person who not just trains with resistance, but also trains with the goal of maximizing hypertrophy or size. Not everyone who lifts weights has that goal — you could be resistance training to improve sports performance or conditioning, to improve muscle endurance, to increase metabolism to lose body fat, increase core strength, etc. And depending how you resistance train, you may not actually put on much size at all. That’s the definition. Planet Fitness has taken it a step further and has added all kinds of “connotative” stuff to their definition of “bodybuilder”: amount of weight you use (over 70 lbs is the threshold in PFs mind apparently between bodybuilder and whatever everyone else who lifts under 70 lbs is); clothing (do-rags, stocking caps, work boots, whatever); choice of equipment (squat racks, T-Row bars, Olympic weight equipment, etc.); behavior (grunting, dropping weights, swearing); and food (whey drinks, gallon jugs of water and protein bars.) In other words, they have created a stereotype (a clownish one at that — right down to the caricature of the “Lunk” that’s plastered on the walls) in order to make their own “judgments” easier to execute on. As you point out, the problem with this stereotype is that you can be a perfect gentleman in the gym and be respectful and courteous with other members, but if you exhibit ANY of these traits (and they are pretty broad) you’re going to get swept up in the generalization. Let’s also be honest here: there are also plenty of people (yes, primarily men) who by choice decide to dress and act within this stereotype. All you have to do is go into a Powerhouse Gym to see a walking, talking example of this stereotype: ripped muscle shirt, unnecessarily loud grunting on moves or with weight that doesn’t really warrant it, slamming weights around, a constant stream of “fucks” coming out of their mouths; and yes, “do rags” and “skullcaps” — which certainly have a religious role for some people — but for a lot of these guys, are worn because they saw Jay Cutler in Muscular Development wearing one. The flip side is that their are also a lot (probably more) male bodybuilders who don’t exhibit any of these outward characteristics, aside from wanting to use a squat rack and lift more than 70 lbs. Frankly, I could care less about whether a person decides to wear a stocking cap, do-rag or skullcap. The problem with PF’s policy on this (and actually all of their policies) is that they’ve painted themselves into a corner with all of these stereotypes. If they are selectively applying the dress code — in other words, if you are black and they tell you have to remove the ski-cap, but if you’re white, you can leave it on — then I would agree that their is racial bias. Same thing for women – if a woman is allowed to wear a bandana, but not a man, then their is a gender issue. In terms of ethnic discrimination, I think you are going to have a harder time making a case that a unilateral ban on certain headgear as part of a club dress code discriminates against African-Americans and Latinos. My Chicano friends never wear bandanas. In fact, I would argue that’s a stereotype in itself, so the mere fact that you enforce a dress code in a commercial gym (provided it’s applied consistently regardless of race, gender or ethnicity) doesn’t necessarily qualify as discrimination. In terms of religious head wear (which you make a great point about), I would be very interested in knowing how Planet Fitness has handled or would handle this. Perhaps Mike Grondahl, the PF CEO, will chime in and explain (he’s posted here before.) Also, as I point out in my review, there is a great deal of inconsistency across individual Planet Fitness locations in terms of how aggressively they enforce certain policies. In your case, it sounds like the management is really on the PF Kool-Aid, and if I was in your gym, I would probably feel much the same way as you. At my gym, there is no “Big Brother” on the PA repeating the “No Lunk” and “Judgement Free” mantra every 15 minutes. I’ve only once been called out for rule breaking (I was performing preacher cable curls using a back extension bench for angle, which apparently you can’t do), but this came from a new employee and I’ve never heard anything from management since when I do this exercise. Will I continue with my PF membership? Honestly, I’m not sure. Location only goes so far, especially since there are other alternatives that aren’t much further. If there truly is wide-spread, corporate-encouraged gender and racial discrimination going on, then that would also be enough for me to cancel. I just don’t know if that’s the case yet (other than the specific instance you bring up, which may have more to do with the franchise owner than the entire chain.) At my location, they run a pretty good shop, and have made some recent changes that addressed some of the concerns I had around the weight room and space. They’ve also started to calling out some of the newbies who sit on the equipment picking zits on their face or reading the newspaper. I’ve never seen the lunk alarm go off and management seems to treat everyone respectfully and equally. But that’s just my location. If you feel you were truly discriminated again, then who am I to challenge that. Sounds like you found a better gym that is less oppressive than the PF you belonged to and allows you to feel more comfortable and welcome. In a free market, you get to vote with your dollars … sounds like you did exactly that. Again, thanks for stopping by. I wouldn’t have spent this much time on a reply if I didn’t think you raised some thought-provoking questions. Again, my goal here is to provide as many different perspectives on Planet Fitness as possible so people can make the right choice BEFORE they sign up. It’s important to know what you are getting into, so that you can find a gym that fits your style, goals and personality. I would be really interested in knowing what PF’s CEO makes of all of this. I hope you’ll visit again outside of the PF debate and find something useful here for your training. Best of luck with your training Michael!

  22. Michael Williams (5 comments) says:

    Matt,

    Planet Fitness’ “No Do-Rag, No Bandanas, No Skullcap” policy says to me, thanks to the harassment I received while walking on a treadmill, “Please try your best to look more European and less African-American so we can feel comfortable around you because we truly aren’t a judgment free zone. We can’t handle the diversity you’re bringing to the table.” It’s the equivalent of saying could you please lighten your skin, straighten and dye your hair blonde, wear blue contact lenses, and get a nose job, i.e., could you please look less ethnic because our new target audience; overweight, insecure, passively racist, passively sexist against men, predominantly white women are afraid of you even though you’ve done nothing to them to warrant such fears.

    Yes there are white guys who wear the above mentioned headgear, but let’s not forget the headgear is of African-American and Minority origin. So those white men who are celebrating African-American culture will also be harassed. And if Planet Fitness truly is a “Judgment Free Zone” the ethnicity of your clothing should not be a problem. We should all be judged on our behavior not on our physical exteriors.

    I wasn’t wearing a do-rag. My ski-hat magically changed into a do-rag because it was on my African-American head. Once I was told that the combination of my male muscular body (I’m 5’10” and weight 180 lbs) and my do-rag (that was really a ski-hat) made the new target audience feel uncomfortable, once I realized I had just been racially profiled, after almost 20 years of excellent gym citizenship (it was Gold’s before it was Planet Fitness, same owner, different franchise), I couldn’t take anymore of the hostile atmosphere toward men of all colors in general and toward minority men in particular. I knew from that point, no matter how good of a gym client I was, I would have to deal with continued harassment until I either exploded in a fit of anger or until I quit. I chose to quit and find a gym (ironically filled with overweight middle-aged white women) that judges me on the content of my character and not on the ethnicity of my clothing, the color of my skin, or my gender.

    Planet Fitness is just a reflection of the true American Culture we live in today. The next time you watch television, pay closer attention to the commercials. You’ll see that if the commercial has a man and a woman in it, the man is always dumb and the woman is always smart. Also, if the commercial is interracial, the white guy (yes, the white guy) is always stupid and the minority person is always smart.

    Discrimination in all its many facets, whether it’s in a T.V. commercial or within the walls of Planet Fitness, has no place in modern day society.

  23. Matt (194 comments) says:

    Michael, as you point out, the issues that you are most concerned about transcend the scope of this review, which is intended to let people know what to expect when they join Planet Fitness.

    Like you, I have some reservations about how true Planet Fitness is to their “Judgment Free Zone” philosophy, and I would rather see the franchise deal on a case-by-case basis with badly BEHAVED members, versus trying to divide people by applying a stereotype to appearances — since, as you point out — appearances can be deceiving.

    That said, private commercial businesses have a right to enforce certain codes of conduct — and that can include a dress code. Wouldn’t you agree that a restaurant has the right to require a jacket or turn people away for wearing blue jeans, if that’s the environment they are trying to cultivate AND provided that policy is clearly stated and applied equally regardless of gender, race, ethnicity or any other protected class?

    Wouldn’t you also support a gym that limited cell phone usage to non-workout areas? Or prohibited spitting in the drinking fountains? Or enforced a policy that members should allow people to “work-in” on machines during rest periods? Or not workout in bare feet?

    As long as the policies are applied universally, regardless of race, gender or ethnicity, I don’t see a problem with this. If you can prove otherwise, than we have a real issue.

    In your case (which was similar to mine) the gym you belonged to changed their “format” and that format wasn’t what you had signed on to years ago. It sucked, because they switched the rules on us (I know this feeling first hand.) But that’s life. The rules change every day. We had the choice to accept them, or leave. I chose to accept them, because outside of losing some equipment, overall they had minimum impact on my training. If anything, it’s pushed me to change some of my workout routine, and I have better development than a year ago. But that’s me.

    If I loved to work out in a stocking cap, I probably would have had a different opinion. Then again, I would have asked myself how much it really mattered to me. More than likely, I would have lost the stocking cap and moved on.

    But we were the exception, not the rule. New members are clearly told what the “rules” are before signing — and it’s up to them to decide whether they want to play by them. If they don’t like it, they can join a gym that is a better fit with their style. This is the same option people have with restaurants that require jackets — if you hate jackets, you’re not going to go there. Period.

    Planet Fitness posts their code of conduct everywhere — it’s pretty hard to mis-interpret or miss.

    I agree with you that racism and discrimination exists and it’s widespread, but subtle. A few weeks ago an African-American colleague and I went to a club where they had a “no white T-shirt” rule. Problem was, there were white guys all over the place wearing white T-shirts, yet my colleague was asked to put on a jacket or change his shirt. That was clear discrimination because a policy was selectively enforced.

    My understanding is that Planet Fitness has an across the board ban on headwear and tries to apply it equally. That’s not discrimination in my book, it’s enforcing a club-wide dress code. If you encountered otherwise, then you have a legitimate complaint. But if white guys are asked to remove their ski caps, than I don’t see any “selective” enforcement … or discrimination.

    I can’t comment at all on what was said to you by management at your particular Planet Fitness location. I wasn’t there, and I’ll trust you on this — I have no reason not to. If the problem was that you were black and muscular and “intimidated” the other members, I will join your crusade. If the problem was that you refused to remove your “ski hat” in compliance with the no headgear policy (provided it was applied universally), you’re going to have to fight that battle on your own. I just don’t buy the argument that says that alone was racial discrimination.

    I also have to politely disagree with you that headgear — especially bandanas — are of African-American or minority origin exclusively. People of all races have been covering their heads with cloth and bandanas for centuries — including Caucasians. No race owns head-garb. It’s pretty much universal. I would agree that Kufis, for example, are a unique expression of African-American culture, but I’ve rarely seen anyone working out in one. Indeed, I would argue (and I really don’t mean this with any disrespect) that if your cultural heritage is so tied in with your clothing (including head gear) then you’ve essentially bought-into the very evil that you’ve been railing against — placing too much emphasis on outward appearances. Just something to think about since we ALL can fall prey to it.

    Just think about how powerful of a statement it would have made if you said, “Sure, I’ll remove my ski hat, I’m more than what you see on the outside. This doesn’t matter and you’re a fool to place so much power in it.”

    Just something to consider.

    Maybe if the tables were turned, I’d feel differently. I’m open to that. If Planet Fitness told me tomorrow I couldn’t wear Under Armor because it’s too “lunkish,” I’d probably leave. If I was in a predominately African-American gym and I was told that my “whiteness” made the new members “uncomfortable”, I’d probably be as pissed as you. I’m not so obtuse or wrapped in my “whiteness” to not be able to — for a moment at least — imagine the sense of injustice you must have felt … or I would feel, in a parallel situation.

    I do think, however, that I would do what you did: Which is to find a place I feel comfortable and accepted in and reward that place with my dollars. In the end, that can change things little by little.

    In the end, I don’t think this is a corporate policy and I haven’t seen any of this kind of behavior in my Northville, MI location. But I do appreciate the warning, and it’s something I will watch to see if it’s more widespread. If it is, I will bring it to light.

  24. FitMom (3 comments) says:

    Move gyms. Too many policies.

  25. Michael Williams (5 comments) says:

    Matt,

    I never refused to take off the cap, I was actually given permission from the owner of the gym to leave the cap on for the remainder of my workout. I was never in violation of their no do-rag policy because I wasn’t wearing a do-rag. I don’t prefer to workout in a stocking cap, I normally wear a baseball cap, but that particular day I forgot my cap, it was Novemeber, it was cold, I’m bald, you do the math.

    One of the employees of the gym, a female, wore her ski cap while on duty on more than one occassion and no one seemed to have a problem with it.

    If the restaurant that you’re talking about advertised itself as a Judgment Free Zone and then turned around and discriminated against people wearing jeans, then they would be just as hypocritical as Planet Fitness.

    Since this really is an issue of male versus female, if Planet Fitness had done what Urban Active does, set aside a portion of the gym for females only, this wouldn’t be an issue.

    Planet Fitness’ no big men policy with their threats of public humiliation to the men remaining, reminds my of the honor killings extremist Muslim Men inflict on their women. Let’s kill a few women who have the nerve to live their lives based on their own rules, which in turn will scare the hell out of the rest of the women so they will be submissive.

    In my particular case, one of the women who complained about me is now at my new gym and she apologized to me because she was an eyewitness to the harassment I had to endure.

    I also have a direct quote from a Lawyer who has had dealings with Mike Grondal in the past and his direct quote is,

    “I always believed that their ‘No Do-Rag’ policy was inherently discriminatory against blacks based on my conversations with Planet Fitness CEO Mike Grondahl.”

    I’m not grasping at straws here Matt, there truly is an undercurrent of discrimination toward men in general and toward minority men in particular. I’ve observed it and I’ve experienced it. I’ve seen many good men, predominantly white men, some with muscles some without, be treated like crap at the expense of making insecure women feel more comfortable in the Judgment Free Zone.

    This is why I’m encouraging any man who was discriminated against to file a complaint with their state’s Attorney General’s office.

    Matt, if and when you’re treated like crap because you’re a man working out in a gym that’s set up to make insecure women feel superior, drop me a line, we’ll talk.

  26. Matt (194 comments) says:

    Michael, thanks for the additional detail. It was helpful. I think you’ve made your case. Now I’ll let the readers sift through all of this and come to their own conclusions. I appreciate the honesty and civility during our discussion. You raised a lot of thought-provoking, challenging questions and issues — many of which go far beyond Planet Fitness. I’m not sure that I agree entirely on some of the parallels that you draw, but I do respect the intelligence behind those connections and understand the larger point you’re trying to make — which I fundamentally share. I wish you the best of luck and hope you’ll stop by again to join in on discussions around fitness and training that don’t have to do with your unfortunate experiences with Planet Fitness. Maybe even write a review of the gym that you are currently at … it sounds like you are very happy with it and I’m sure my readers would be interested in hearing more. Regards — Matt

  27. Clayda (1 comments) says:

    Michael

    Man, you hit on the nose with the stupid white guys with black people in commercials analogy. What the hell is up with that anyway? I’m a white guy who grew up in predominately black Detroit and (obviously) I’ve had hundreds of black friends and I want to smash my TV when I see stuff like that. It drives me crazy and it is so obviously targeted to people who have NEVER lived with people who don’t look like themselves (unfortunately the majority of America).

    Anyway, I think you did the right thing by leaving Planet Fitness and frankly, the Planet Fitness policies are so fucking stupid they deserve to go out of business. I mean, what the hell type of gym doesn’t want body builders?

    Your analogy about Muslim terrorists is a little over the top, but I think you’ve made your points well. I’m not a body builder (unless you consider eating a huge variety of foods body building), but I think any gym that would ask anyone to remove a ski cap because some lady who probably won’t even be there in six months is uncomfortable is a gym not worth supporting.

    If they want to be the “anti-gym” let them be so. They’ll probably be out of business anyway in a few years anyway. Who cares?

    Gyms are for people who want to work out. Get sweaty. Grunt. Wear whatever the hell they want. Get big. Get strong. Get less fat. Whatever. Unless you are coming over to some fat white lady and telling her she better get her sloppy white ass off the machine cause you want to use it, nobody should give a damn what you do when you work out.

    You know, this makes me want to take my soft ass to gym and grunt. I think I will. Thanks for the inspiration.

  28. Matt (194 comments) says:

    Um … Clayda … I’m speechless for once. Note to readers: I do not endorse the views of people who may choose to comment on Answer Fitness. However, I will defend their right to do it — as potentially offensive as it may be. I’m trying to figure out if this is satire or how you really feel. As always, I’ll let the court of public opinion decide. Clearly you won’t be joining Planet Fitness anytime soon.

  29. jessica (3 comments) says:

    hmmmm …. lots of strong opinions in here. i’ve had a planet fitness membership for about two years. it’s not my first gym. i would say that matt’s comments about the planet fitness atmosphere being different from location to location is probably right. i’ve seen plenty of in-shape men in my gym and i don’t think i’ve ever heard the lunk alarm go off. it’s a pleasant place to work out and is a little less “meat market” than what i found at lifetime fitness. im would consider myself to be in really good shape. i lift weights and am not a cardio bunny. people seem to get along fine with each other at my planet fitness. i would like a squat rack also but i just do a lot of dumbbell lunges instead. its all good. pizza and bagels do bother me though.

  30. Anonymous (4 comments) says:

    You can read about my experience here.

    http://eastfallschurchplanetfitness.wordpress.com/

  31. Matt (194 comments) says:

    Sueng, sorry for missing your comment. No, Planet Fitness does not offer daycare for members.

  32. Raymond Pearo (1 comments) says:

    I am a member of Planet Fitness in raymond,NHband am very pleased with the chain. I feel that you get good return for your money. My gym does have staff which will go over machines and basic excercises with you on jioning or any other time you desire.

  33. Mike (11 comments) says:

    Planet Fitness has to be the biggest joke of a gym there is.. You want to talk about the rules. The location in Stamford has no air conditioning at all. Some days its more than a hundred degrees in there. And the staff there actually had the balls to tell a guy that he couldn’t wear his muscle shirt when he was dripping sweat.. The staff has been saying since April that the AC will be fixed next week, here it is Sept and its still not… Not to mention about 10 different machines here have been broken the entire summer and the bathrooms are disgusting.

  34. Monica (5 comments) says:

    I’ve had a Plant Fitness membership for just over a year and have basically been happy with it. I wouldn’t call myself a novice in the gym (yes, I lift a lot of weights) … I’ve been working out regularly since college and have belonged to both Lifetime Fitness and Crunch. In comparison to those two gyms, Planet Fitness is pretty basic. But I never found myself using half of the extras at Lifetime nor many of the classes at Crunch — so the additional expense for things I don’t use didn’t make sense for me anymore. My Planet Fitness has always been clean and the equipment is more than enough for me to get a good workout. I can see, however, how some men might be annoyed with the lack of free weight equipment and even for me, there are sometimes when I have to wait to get on benches and certain equipment whichh really wasn’t a problem at Lifetime or Crunch. The other thing I like is that Planet Fitness has less of a meatmarket feel to it, especially compared to Crunch, where I was continuously getting hit on. Overall, this is a decent gym with a low-key atmosphere. I’ve never seen the “Lunk Alarm” used.

  35. Matt (194 comments) says:

    Monica, I know a fair amount of women who like the Planet Fitness environment as well. Clearly, this is a gym that sparks a lot of emotion and strong-opinions in people. It seems like people fall into one of three camps with Planet Fitness: 1.) They love it 2.) They hate it with a passion 3.) They are kind of indifferent. And as you can see from the comments around Planet Fitness, the quality of the franchise locations really does vary based on management. This is why it’s important to ask a lot of questions about the location you are considering, as well as spend some time online reading the reviews of Planet Fitness (both positive and negative.) Thanks for stopping by and good luck with your fitness goals. Hope you’ll visit again.

  36. Louis (1 comments) says:

    Great, detailed review of Planet Fitness. I’m considering joining and I’ve read some of the other reviews online. A lot of them seem to be rants by people with personal axes to grind with either their local Planet Fitness or the the Planet Fitness franchise. Your review was by far the most balanced and useful and it even got the attention of the CEO of Planet Fitness!

  37. Jason (7 comments) says:

    I just joined planet fitness after deciding that 60 dollars a month for the YMCA is way too much.. Im not a huge guy, or bodybuilder type. However, I have been working out for many years and am in pretty good shape. The fact is – 70 lbs on a dumbbell really isnt much. After working out for only 7 months or so – most males will be benching that. i really miss the squat rack!

    I have noticed there are quite a few ‘buff’ but polite guys at the planet i go to. When I say buff, i mean huge on top with toothpick legs. hah! I have never seen anyone do any leg exercises in the month i have been going!

  38. Mr. Meltdown (1 comments) says:

    Great information about this gym! I will be joining this gym and plan to use it to assist me on losing weight. Keep the stories coming!

    Mr. Meltdown
    check out my weight loss blog!

    http://www.mrmeltdown.com

  39. Matt (194 comments) says:

    Jason, I’m totally with you on the squat rack. This might be part of the reason you see so many guys walking around with the silhouette of a carrot at Planet Fitness – big on top, skinny legs. I have to admit that I’ve even lost some balance since my Planet Fitness hauled out the squat rack one night. That said, I don’t necessarily think the lack of upper and lower-body balance is really unique to men who work out at Planet Fitness. In general, guys love to train chest and arms and neglect the lower body. So you’ll even find toothpick legs over at Golds Gym. Thanks for stopping by and I hope this won’t be your last visit. Check out the Full Body Workout or free exercise log sheets here on Answer Fitness when you get a chance. They are both very popular.

  40. Maria (2 comments) says:

    Hmm. I think you’re way too hard on PF–It absolutely delivers exactly what it promises. No more, no less. This is not a club for trophy wives to strut around in, nor a gym for hardcore body builders. That is the whole basic premise of the gym, so how can you criticize that? I can’t say I’m a die hard, but I’ve been a member of a variety of different types of clubs. You are speaking from an expert point of view, and I don’t think that’s fair. I’ve done both machine training and free weight training, and I’ve got to say that for beginners, it’s a lot easier to injure yourself with free weights, because there is less control over the weight.

    Your biggest complaint is lack of training on the machines, but I think you may be mistaken. Members are urged to make an appointment to discuss and create an individual fitness plan. You are not required to do so, but at sign-up you are strongly urged to do so. After you’ve been advised on a program that will help you meet the goals you’ve discussed, you are escorted to each of the cardio machines, and instructed on their use, and then you are instructed on each of the machines included in the suggested workout. You are also urged to request more instruction as your program changes. And there is a whole different session for the 30 Minute Workout. They walk you through that station by station.

    Maybe you’ve forgotten that they asked if you wanted instruction when you signed up? You would have said no. All the machines and weights would be familiar to anyone who’s ever been in a gym. But I can’t believe that they don’t offer this at your club, because the scheduled times for various instruction are printed on PF stationary (yellow, of course) and distributed around the room in purple “inbox” things. So it looks like something that is chain-wide.

    As to the teenagers–well, anything that gets kids moving these days is okay with me. Fortunately, I have a flexible schedule since I work out of my home, so I never run into that problem, because I know what times the kids go in.

    But I gotta agree with you on the tootsie rolls, pizza and bagels! Maybe that’s their statement to distinguish them from a more serious gym, but it’s silly.

    I’d personally rather see free lattes once a month, but then, I didn’t even get those in the gym I was paying TEN TIMES as much at. And that’s my final gripe with you. How the heck can you not be in raptures over that price???? You think only the teenagers like that price??!!

    It is perfect for beginners, and those who know a little more CAN get a good workout. I’m not sure what else you are looking for in a club that openly caters to the “average joe.” It’s not a Gold’s, but then it specifically states that it doesn’t aspire to be.

  41. masum (1 comments) says:

    what will be the budget, if want to establish a gym for business?

  42. Matt (194 comments) says:

    Masum, thanks for stopping by. Your question is a little off topic here, since this really intended to be a forum on discussing or reviewing Planet Fitness.

    However, I’ll try to point you in the right direction.

    Gyms and health clubs are typically capital intensive businesses. You biggest costs will be real estate/rent, insurance and equipment. How much of these costs you’ll have to shoulder yourself really depends on if you go independent or work with a franchise like Planet Fitness.

    Like many industries, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to compete as an independent against bigger fitness and gym chains like Planet Fitness or Life Time Fitness. However, if you are in a smaller, under-served community when it comes to gyms and fitness centers and there is not the presence of franchises like Planet Fitness, you have a better chance of success. Do your research.

    Estimated initial investment costs to open your own gym or fitness center are typically $250,000 to $400,000 dollars, depending on your location and the typo gym you want to open up.

    In terms of how much it costs to establish a Planet Fitness (if that’s your question … I’m not sure), I don’t know the answer, but I can dig around.

    Maybe Mike Grondahl, the founder and CEO of Planet Fitness, can provide us with some numbers. He has been known to stop in now-and-then. Or if there are any Planet Fitness franchise owners visiting the site, maybe one of them can anonymously let us know what their initial investment in a Planet Fitness gym was.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  43. Matt (194 comments) says:

    Maria, I appreciate the perspective.

    The goal of this review was to provide people with a fair and balanced sense of what Planet Fitness is all about and what it offers. My objective was also to help people make better decisions before they sign-up around whether Planet Fitness is the right gym for them. Finally, I wanted to give people in my area some background on the Northville, MI, Planet Fitness so they could decide whether it’s a good fit.

    Overall, I think the Northville location is well-managed and I haven’t seen some of the “seedier” stuff that some people have accussed other Planet Fitness locations of practicing. They generally run a good shop.

    I was also hoping to trigger a conversation between Planet Fitness fans and detractors – or at least let people who have first-hand experience as members of the gym talk about what they like or hate about Planet Fitness.

    So I’m glad that you stopped by and took the time to comment. You clearly are a fan of Planet Fitness and find the environment to be a good match for your fitness goals. That’s fantastic. It’s all about finding the right gym for you.

    If you read my review carefully, you’ll see that I actually don’t have much of an issue with the balance of free-weight equipment to machines. In fact, at my location, we have nearly a dozen Free Motion machines, which are excellent. They do a nice job of combining the ease-of-use of a traditional pulley and lever machine with the ability to adjust your movement in a manner that closely mimics free weights. I use them frequently.

    I still find the lack of a squat rack to be problematic. I know WHY Planet Fitness doesn’t allow them (they view them as too “hardcore” and are afraid they’ll attract “lunks”), but I still think omitting the squat rack does a dis-service to members. If you are trying to do full-body compound workouts (which should be the basis of any good workout, regardless of your experience), a squat rack is indispensible and, indeed, fundamental. Right now, there is no place to perform barbell squats, deadlifts or standing military presses safely. These aren’t “lunk” exercises (whatever a “lunk” actually is), they are basic exercises that when done properly should be part of most workouts.

    You are correct that Planet Fitness DOES offer a basic orientation for new members that goes over the equipment and basic usage. I wasn’t aware of it when I wrote the original review, because when they transitioned our gym over to Planet Fitness, it wasn’t really promoted. I’ve since added this to the review in the additional notes at the end of the article, because above-all, I want the review to be factual and accurate. I didn’t forget about this — they never offered it to me or asked me if I wanted it. However, I’m fairly experienced and was a transition member, which probably explains why it was NOT offered to me — I didn’t really need it.

    Also, I have zero issue with teenagers in the gym in principle. And I agree that seeing them active is a positive thing — especially in light of adolescent obesity rates in this country. In practice, unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out so well. Some teenage males have a tendency to hang out in packs of three or more, and they can tie up a single piece of equipment solid for 30-45 minutes. And because my Planet Fitness location only has two benches (an incline and flat), this can be a real problem sometimes. My solution is to work around it with a different exercise, but I’m not sure that I should have to. I’m pretty patient around working in, but I’m not very thrilled about waiting 45 minutes to catch a flat bench.

    I don’t want to overstate this problem — because so far it’s been infrequent. However, remember that you have the luxury of working out when the teenagers aren’t there — most people don’t.

    My main issue is with gym manners and stereotypes.

    Planet Fitness as a chain is very comfortable about making judgments based on how someone looks or how they workout (lunk versus average person), but they don’t pay as much attention to individual behaviors, regardless of a person’s exterior.

    I think this is misguided and counterproductive. There are “average joes” in the gym who are far more annoying than bodybuilders. At my location, management seems to look at things case-by-case much more, which I appreciate. But I don’t get the sense from what I’ve seen and heard from other members or ex-members of Planet Fintness that this is a consistent approach across the PF chain.

    I do wonder what you mean by “Maybe that’s their statement to distinguish them from a more serious gym.” What IS the definition of a “serious gym?” And what is the alternative? A “not serious” gym?

    I would say the first mission of any gym is to help its members become more fit and healthy. And that’s something any gym should take “seriously.” Is encouraging your members to eat junk food that they already can get easily any day of the week looking out for their best fitness interests? Is not offering certain fundamental equipment truly serving your members fitness goals?

    The real issue is that Planet Fitness has painted themselves into a corner with all of their talk of “no judging.” The chain clearly does plenty of judging, right down to the clownish charicture of weight lifters they use in their ads and materials. The implicit message this sends to members is that being too serious about weight training means you’re a meathead … or if you are a woman, some kind of freakish amazon.

    The bottom line is that resistance and weight training is critical for overall fitness and health, regardless of gender, age or experience. This is backed up by hundreds of research articles. People should do more of it and probably go heavier. But Planet Fitness plays into the stereotype that if you lift weights — especially heavy ones — or use certain equipment you are a “bad member” that they don’t want around. This is absurd.

    Yes, the price is good. But the price, ironically, can also attract a lot of riff-raff and people who don’t really have any skin in the game when it comes to how they behave or work out in the gym. And this, oddly enough, was what I thought they were trying to avoid.

    I would challenge the idea that to have a friendly, open and affordable gym you have to concoct an “enemy” like the “lunk” in order to reinforce member behavior. If you have people who cause problems in the gym, deal with them individually, but don’t demonize entire groups of people who may be very serious about their training (and extremely well-behaved) because you don’t have the cojones to call out the individual offenders. That’s called being a “coward.” And no-one respects a coward.

    Thanks again for stopping by and sharing your feelings about Planet Fitness. I want all sides to be presented here … that was my goal. But I do have a view point on this whole thing (which is open to change, of course.)

  44. marlene (1 comments) says:

    Has your new facility in Bedfordview opened yet?

    Thanking you

  45. YogaChick (3 comments) says:

    I’m a member of the same Planet Fitness as Matt and I think his review is fair and pretty accurate based on my own experiences there.

    I joined Planet Fitness about a year ago after being a LifeTime Fitness members for a couple of years. I try to work out every day, so I’m not a beginner in any sense of the word. I left Lifetime for Planet Fitness because of the price. Paying $50 a month for stuff I never used like the pool just didn’t make any sense. Overall, the quality of my workout has gone down, even though Planet Fitness doesn’t have as much equipment as Lifetime. I agree with Matt that the Freemotion stuff is very good though.

    I also agree with him about some of the members at PF. I guess you’ll have to deal with annoying people no matter where you go, but the Matt is right about the teenaged boys. I think they are actually probably 18 or 19, but they do have a tendency to hang around too much, and work out too little. It seems they are more interested in socializing that training and they do get in the way, especially in the dumbbell area. The problem is mostly at night or on the weekends.

    I’ve heard from some people that before it became a Planet Fitness the membership was a little more serious and older and that there weren’t so many teen males. But I guess when you lower your price so much, you’ll attract this demographic. I’m not really sure what PF could do about this anyway. Still, it is annoying.

    The free tanning is kind of nice if you have the Black Card, even though I know it’s not really the healthiest activity. Still, it comes in handy if your getting ready to go on a vaca and don’t want to blind your boyfriend on the beach.

    There still is a little bit of “ass-staring” at Planet Fitness, mostly from the younger guys (yes, we can tell boys, you are not THAT sly about it), but it’s probabably less than I experienced at Lifetime Fitness which can be kind of a meatmarket at times.

    Overall I would say this is a pretty good value if your main goal is to get in daily cardio and resistance workouts. The gym is also kept very clean and I like the room upstairs with the cable towers, mats, medicine balls and foam rollers. Some times I just go up there when the main floor gets too crowded.

  46. John (14 comments) says:

    I have belonged to a few gyms and have just joined Planet Fitness a few weeks ago along with a few co-workers. We all agree it is a great place for the price. It does not have a lot of free weights, but there is enough to help give us a good workout. The hours are also great. Not many gyms offer 24 hour service. I took the $20.00 membership so I could bring my wife, daughters, or a friend. There is no lack of cardio equipment. Other gyms I have been to required sign up times for the use of treadmills and elliptical machines. So far there is always a piece of equipment available everytime I went in. If you are afraid of a long term contract just join for a $10.00 membership if it is available. If you want to get in shape I think it is a great place. You won’t be sorry.

  47. Matt (194 comments) says:

    John, thanks for stopping by and giving us yet another perspective on Planet Fitness. Your review of Planet Fitness is particularly useful for readers because you’re actually a member of the gym. A lot of readers and gym members like the Planet Fitness Black Card benefit of being able to bring in guests. If you think about it, from an economic standpoint, you are essentially able to cut one Planet Fitness gym membership out for a family-member with the Black Card (more if you have other family members who “ride along” each time you workout. So the net effect is a $10 monthly membership … or less if other family members tag along. I do think this is a nice feature of Planet Fitness that isn’t available anywhere else as far as I know. The downside, of course, is that they have to come in when you do, so the flexibility isn’t as good as with a full Planet Fitness membership. Still, I do agree that the price is very competitive. Hope you’ll stop by again.

  48. Casey (1 comments) says:

    I’m a PF member and really appreciate the price and the simplicity. Basically, i don’t pay for what I don’t need.

    The only issue I have regarding the chain of discussions above (I know you all thought this was closed, but I feel the need to rip off the band aid) is the charges of racism against PF instead of the locale that the racist behavior took place in. I’ve been to McDonalds in 20 states and 4 countries (the reason I need to work out, perhaps?) and while I’ve been harassed as a woman in one and a minority in another, I hardly blame the corporation. I blame the douchebag manager of the location that allowed it to happen. Trust me when I say no one I know has ever been harassed at any PF in my area, so I’d suggest checking the local one out before making judgment.

    Like Matt said, private businesses (at least in my area) can restrict dress code however they want. Additionally, they can refuse service at any time for any reason, so if it’s strictly a dress code thing, it’s legal. If it’s truly a racism thing (which the vignette above suggests) I’d suggest the following course of action for anyone experiencing it at any business:

    1) Try to get in to talk politely with the manager about what happened. Be cool, they may not have known about it and be as pissed as you.

    2) If they won’t see you, won’t resolve your issue or are the issue themselves, take it to corporate (or the owner). Make a paper trail. Email, call, and write a registered letter to them describing the incident. They likely don’t know what’s going on a the chains, and they may be angry and work to fix it. Get people with similar experiences to do the same.

    3) Hope corporate fixes it or take further political action – organize or join a group that actually takes action (so silly email lists, those just preach to the choir and don’t change a thing).

    The fact is that minorities will always have difficulty making their voices heard because there are fewer voices (hence the minority status), so make sure that corporations hear it by writing in, often. But be sure to be clear – in the post above, the first topic was ambiguous, and without all the details I wasn’t sure if it was discrimination or just a guy mad about his hat. The details that came out below were what made it stick and convinced me to listen. But some people just read the first one and were turned off and ignored the rest. Put all the evidence up front if you want us to agree with you!

    I apologize for my off topic rant, but it does come back to PF. My point is that I find it to be a great gym for maintaining my health (not becoming the next WWE Diva) and I want to make sure people give it a shot and that it has a chance of survival. Though I doubt it’ll go out of business, I’d rather see changes happen so that it becomes better rather than throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Yup, it’s missing some stuff that is in most gyms and it has a few odd policies (the reason no jeans were allowed at my old gym, not a PF, was because the rivets can damage the equipment and are binding, which can cause injury, ditto for boots) regarding dress, but I like the no-grunting (which isn’t gendered – I was a shot putter in high school and I grunt too, just not when I press), I like the simplicity.

    The argument is that a gym like this is ideal for many. We’ve been called mediocre in many reviews of PF, and maybe we are. But remember, there are a ton of us around the median (that’s why we’re called “average” after all) who want something just like this.

    I actually want to tell Matt that I love him – one of the best reviews and moderated discussions I’ve ever seen, and since I spend the time I’m not at PF online, beleive that it’s high prise. I will continue to read your stuff, as it rocks!

  49. John (14 comments) says:

    Matt, I just wanted to add a few comments. I know a lot of people were mentioning the squat rack. The PF in my area has 4 bench press stations with a guided free weight system. I think this could be used for light squating.

    As I mentioned, a gym that I belonged to in the past not only had a sign up sheet for cardio machines, but also had a half hour time limit during peak hours.PF has an abundant amount of cardio machines available. I have been there during early morning hours (5:45 AM) and after work (between 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM) and there are both weight and cardio machines available.

    You also mentioned the potential of making this a family membership. Most of the people that I know that have joined planned on bringing a family member or a friend at some point.
    Dollar for dollar I think it is the ideal place for me. I am just happy to start working out again. I am losing weight and feeling more energetic. The only thing I disagree with is the no jeans policy. I would like to stop in at lunch time just to do a half hour work-out. I also think they could put a scale in the locker rooms.

  50. Matt (194 comments) says:

    Hey John, thanks for stopping back by.  I would agree that based on my experience, there is usually little problem finding an open cardio machine — Planet Fitness typically has plenty of them.

    Equipment at Planet Fitness does seem to vary significantly by location, so it’s important for people to visit their location and see exactly what they offer, versus making any assumptions based on my particular location. The Northville location has two fixed benches (an incline and a flat bench) and two Smith Machines, which can be used for bench pressing if you move a portable bench over.  But availability of this equipment really depends on when you go.

    In terms of squatting, your correct that you can use a Smith, and I do.

    Smith’s have their place, but I’ll be honest, there is simply no better piece of equipment for building overall lower body strength than a barbell squat rack. The Smith, because it’s a fixed plane of motion, doesn’t allow people to easily adjust their movement based on their own physiology.
     
    It  also doesn’t recruit as much core, because the machine stabilizes the weight for you. But as you point out, it can be used. I just don’t prefer it.

    The reason Planet Fitness keeps the squat rack out is because they view it as a "lunk-magnet." This is silly. If you buy this line of reasoning, why not also pull out the bench presses, since most bodybuilders I know love to bench?

    With a few exceptions, the squat rack is beneficial to anyone, provided the staff takes a couple of minutes to show you how to correctly perform a barbell squat. The noise around squats being dangerous and and prone to bad form is a bunch of bunk. If you show someone how to do it, they are very safe exercises … and they are actually quite easy to learn.

    I’m glad you like your Planet Fitness — like I’ve said, if it works for you, go there. Finding the right fit is what it’s all about.

    Cheers …

  51. Matt (194 comments) says:

    Casey, EXCELLENT comments on Planet Fitness and especially some of the broader societal issues that transcend this review. We generally have a pretty high caliber of posters and commentors here, but your comments were especially good and appreciated.

    What I especially liked was your focus on "solutions" and not simply complaints. You gave people a path that they could follow, based on your own experience as a woman and minority, when they run into this kind of B.S..

    I let these comments go a little off-topic because, frankly, I enjoy seeing my articles probe into deeper issues.  Just the other day, a retired pharma employee stopped by to comment on my Portfolio Diet article and we had a great exchange around diet versus drugs around cholesterol control. Debate and dissent isn’t a bad thing — it’s a democratic duty. 

    I actually find the entire Planet Fitness "controversy" fascinating because there are so many things about the Planet Fitness philosophy that in principle and practice I support: making people feel comfortable working out, a focus on trying to stem the worst behaviors that we see in typical gyms, and keeping the cost of improving your fitness and health low and accessible.

    That said, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. If you can’t execute fairly on your corporate principles and keep your franchise managers and owners from turning "judgement free" into "judgement of thee", then you’ve got a real problem on your hands. People will smell the hypocrisy a mile away and your corporate philosophy will reek of a cheap marketing sham. I’m not sure that Planet Fitness is there yet, but they certainly need to watch out for this.

    You’re right, of course, that if they make a few adjustments to how they "enforce" their policies and maybe ease off of the simplistic "lunk" stereotypes, this would be a much better gym for everyone, and the "noise" around the chain would decrease.

    But to be honest, I’m not certain that’s Planet Fitness CEO Mike Grondahl’s goal. I actually think he loves the controversy, based on some things I’ve heard through the grapevine in fitness and training circles.  A staff source at my Planet Fitness said Grondahl told Argibay that the publicity and lawsuit was the greatest thing that ever happened to Planet Fitness — memberships are up and the more Argibay complains, the more he can paint him as the "lunk" that Planet Fitness wants to keep out.  So I think fostering some devisiveness and "us-versus-them" mentality may be a business and marketing strategy for Planet Fitness.

    I haven’t seen this in my own Planet Fitness location, so I’m really talking academically here around some of the more interesting aspects of the Planet Fitness "philosophy" and business and marketing strategies.  I just find the whole thing really intriguing. 

    Again Casey, thanks for stopping by and sharing your perspective. It’s really appreciated.  I especially enjoyed the thoughfulness and "deeper" analysis around this whole thing. I hope you’ll stop by again and continue to contribute to the site.

    Best of luck!
    matt

  52. Trever (1 comments) says:

    Matt,

    wonderful review on Planet Fitness. I am 25 and have been lifting since I was 18. I just moved on consequently selected Planet Fitness due to it’s location. I am a police officer and love the fact that i can get out of work and go to the gym a 2 a.m. !
    my only criticism would be the no grunting policy. i have never actually had a staff member say anything to, but i find myself slacking on the final reps because i don’t want to accidently "grunt" as i’m fatiguing.
    oh yeah, and the teenager thing is extremily annoying!! my gym is in western MA, and yes the loitering is present here as well. Not to mention the blatent gawking at the female members. Last week I overheard a kid hitting on a girl who was probably in her late twenties. I jumped in and told the kid she was my girlfiend. Hmm, i haven’t seen him back yet… She later thanked me and we both got a good kick out of it.

    Keep up the good work

  53. Matt (194 comments) says:

    Hey Trever, thanks for stopping by and leaving your (first-hand) experiences with Planet Fitness. Really appreciate that you took the time to share them with the broader readership.  Sounds like maybe the teenager loitering thing at Planet Fitness is a little more widespread than just my location. I like the way you handled the "gawker" incident.  Very smooth.

    Stop by again …

  54. Aaron (2 comments) says:

    Wow. Quite a review of Planet Fitness and lots of opinions here.  From reading the comments it seems like the people who have the biggest gripes with Planet Fitness are people who belonged to the gym before it became a Planet Fitness. 

    I belong to a Planet Fitness that used to be a World Gym, although I never was a World Gym member. I do know that for quite a while I heard a lot of complaining from members who were there when it was World Gym. Seems like most of them have moved on now and things are quieter.

    I guess if I was used to a certain gym and environment for years, and then I walked in one day and found out that the rules were going to change, I might be a bit miffed. Especially if I chose that gym for location or something like that. On the other hand, it seems like there are plenty of options out there in most cities, so I guess if you don’t like the Planet Fitness approach, then cut your losses and move on.

    Overall, it’s an okay gym. I don’t love it, but I don’t hate it either. It’s just kind of … average. Which is seems to be what Planet Fitness wants. Price tag is probably the main point of attraction.

  55. Michael Williams (5 comments) says:

    Here’s more discrimination information. I’ve copied the article here, the hyperlink is below.
    Like thousands of New Yorkers, Navdeep Singh liked to keep fit. That’s why he became a member of Planet Fitness, a gymnasium in the Bronx where he worked out regularly for six months before his membership was terminated. It turns out that Planet Fitness had a “no bandanas” policy that they applied to the tight cloth Navdeep tied around his head in lieu of a turban while he worked out. They gave Navdeep a choice between losing his membership or replacing his head covering with a hat instead. Though Navdeep explained that the Sikh faith explicitly prohibits wearing caps or hats instead of cloth turbans or patkas, the management at Planet Fitness terminated his membership.
    Federal law prohibits discrimination against any person based on his/her race, national origin, and religion(among other things) in a number of settings, including access to businesses and buildings and federal services. Still, the situation on the ground is at odds with the law as far as Sikhs are concerned.
    One in 25 Sikhs we surveyed have been refused service by a private business because of their Sikh identity.
    Wearing a turban is the most common cause of being refused service by a private business.
    http://www.sikhcoalition.org/RaisingOurVoicesReport.pdf

  56. Nikk (2 comments) says:

    Very good review. I belong to the Scranton, Pa. Planet Fitness and being that I’m relatively new to the gym scene (however having some knowledge of what I’m doing), I must say that it’s overall not that bad. I’m there for about 6 hours a day except sundays, and during my time I do see people who have no idea what they’re doing. None of the staff is walking around monitoring this type of behaivor, but then again, there’s no harm in asking if you don’t know what you’re doing. The first thing I did when I signed up, was talk to the personal trainer they have there. Just to make sure I was on the right track. Also, I must say it IS a relief that there aren’t any really HUGE bodybuilder types. Nothing against people like that, its just simply that it can be discouraging. I’ve never been to a gym before Planet Fitness, but all in all I’m very comfortable working out there.

  57. Nikk (2 comments) says:

    Also, I don’t understand the whole not being able to wear a bandana thing. Aren’t they used to soak up sweat too? Its much better than wiping your face and head with a towel only to have a massive puff ball on top of your shoulders. Haha. And that lunk alarm. Why embarass someone who drops weights? Like seriously? Oops? I’ve pushed a little too far on some of the machines and they’ve banged, but no lunk alarm luckily. Its not like I had meant to.  By the way, if you want to grunt and sound like some sort of animalistic caveman, go for it. Its only going to provide amusement for me. Which in turn may play into that whole "dont judge" thing. I’ll be the first to admit, if someones busting his ass in front of me and starts grunting, I’m going to find that rather humorous.  Like I had said before, its a very friendly environment and is perfect for people who really don’t know what they’re doing but think they have a good handle on it. Even though they don’t.

  58. Michael Williams (5 comments) says:

    Mike Grondahl is Ashley Todd  I was recently in two situations I’d like to share with you. In the first scenario, I was in a moderately busy fast food restaurant. Of the four black men there, two of us were wearing doo-rags (I was not one of them). We all ate our food quietly and left. However of the 15-20 white men at the restaurant, none of them were wearing doo-rags.  In the second situation, I was in the cafeteria of a multi-million dollar business. Of the three black men eating there, two of us were wearing doo-rags (again, I was not one of them). Once again, we all acted like perfect gentlemen, ate our food and left. However, of the probably 70 white men in the establishment, none of them were wearing doo-rags.  So in the first situation, if the four black men were to walk into Planet Fitness, 50% of us would have been harassed for wearing doo-rags. In the second situation, if the three black men had walked into Planet Fitness, two-thirds of us would have been harassed. However, in both situations, none of the white men in the two scenarios above would have been harassed because the doo-rag really isn’t part of white culture.  So, to say that the Planet Fitness no doo-rag policy doesn’t target African-American men is a complete fallacy.  Ashley Todd is the woman who claimed that she was attacked and disfigured by a huge angry black man because she had a vote for John McCain bumper sticker on her car. Her goal was to scare white America into voting against Barack Obama for fear of having a black man as the President of the United States. Luckily for black men all over America, this turned out to be a hoax.  Mike Grondahl, the owner of the Planet Fitness chain, uses the same scare tactics Ashley Todd uses in order to sell his product. Just like Ashley Todd, he’s created the ultimate imaginary muscular super-villain that he can say he’s protecting his target audience from.  Before Planet Fitness took over my gym, I was just another paying customer with 20 years of excellent citizenship under my belt. However, with Planet Fitness’ offensive signage of a super muscular cartoon character man firmly in place, along with their man-bashing lunk alarm, and their racist dress code policy, each time I walked into Planet Fitness I magically transformed into Ashley Todd’s imaginary terrorist. I magically transform into a 6’4” (I’m 5’10”), 200 lbs (actually I weigh 180 lbs), scary ethnic doo-rag wearing (it was a generic winter ski hat), black man who’s only goals in life are to grunt, purposely drop heavy weights, and attack innocent white women, hold them down, and carve a backward letter B on their faces. (Actually, when I was 19, I prevented the rape of a white woman by a white man but neither Mike Grondahl nor Ashley Todd care about that.)  This is why I left Planet Fitness. I was tired of being judged in the “judgment free zone”.   If you believe that man-bashing and race baiting are wrong, please boycott Planet Fitness.  If you’re a man of any color and you feel like you were discriminated against due to your gender, race, or any other federally protected classification, please contact your State Attorney General’s office.  As long as race baiting people like Mike Grondahl and Ashley Todd are allowed to succeed, I’ll always be an African-American and not just an American. As long as Planet Hypocrite exists, the United States of American will continue to be a country of hyphenated Americans, and not just Americans.

  59. Matt (194 comments) says:

    Nikk, thanks for stopping by and giving us your "new member" take on Planet Fitness.

    One question: Did you really mean that you spend six hours A DAY in the gym? Or did you mean six hours a week?

    Also, I took a listen to your band. I really like the "Cheated" track. Solid.

  60. Matt (194 comments) says:

    Michael, thanks for stopping by again. I’m still not convinced the no do-rag policy at Planet Fitness is inherently racist.  While do-rags may not be a significant part of "white culture" as your example tries to illustrate, I think stocking caps and bandanas are — and Planet Fitness prohibits those as well.  Planet Fitness also prohibits jeans and workboots. Does that mean Planet Fitness is discriminating against women (women wear jeans) and construction workers (construction workers wear boots)? 

    As long as Planet Fitness is applying their no do-rag/stocking cap/bandana/jeans/workboots policy equally regardless of race, I don’t see this as discriminatory. If they are being selective about it based on race, gender or ethnicity, then they (or the local operator) deserves to be sued and lose.

    Now, I do agree with you that in terms of religious headwear Planet Fitness has painted themselves into something of a corner and I’m not sure how they are going to manage around this one once a lawsuit gets filed.

    You have made a pretty detailed (and convincing) case for why you believe you were discriminated against by your local Planet Fitness and it’s management.  But as Casey has pointed out, it’s not clear at all that Planet Fitness corporate had anything to do with this. More than likely, it sounds like your location had crappy management.

    At my location, I’ve seen nothing to suggest that Planet Fitness wants to exclude people based on race, gender or ethnicity. They do seem to want to exclude people based on the amount of muscle they carry on their frame or their propensity to grunt while working out — but that’s not racism, even if I think it’s silly and judgmental.

  61. linds (4 comments) says:

    I’m sorry but having a giant alarm on the wall just seems really over the top. They just opened up a Planet Fitness near my work and I’m tempted to stop by just to see if it’s as bad as some of the people on this board have made it out to be. The $10 membership and free tanning is kind of enticing, but I’m not sure if it’s worth it if you are going to be monitored all of the time. Grunting is annoying (but kind of entertaining as well), but I’m not sure it deserves a giant alarm!

  62. Yont (1 comments) says:

    Hi PF has franchises all over the world – some info on the type of customer service you can expect from a South African branch:

    LIES LIES LIES! From Spider Man no less!!!! On the 25th of Sep 2008 I accompanied my boyfriend to the Planet Fitness branch in Claremont in order for him to cancel his contract. He was asked to submit his request in writing which he then did, and handed to the person at the desk who assured him that it would be dealt with. Two months later – PF is still debiting his account.

    On Saturday 8 Nov when we went to PF Claremont to enquire about why PF are still taking money out of his account the employee at the front desk handed us over to a male employee who upon questioning identified himself as the branch manager. His attitude left much to be desired from the very beginning, talking to us in a very impatient tone like we were wasting his time and interrogating us about whom the cancellation letter had been handed to and when it had been done.

    Annoyed by his rude behaviour I asked for his name (Apparently they do not wear name badges at this branch) to which he replied Peter. I then asked for his last name, to which he replied “Parker”. When I laughed at him and told him that Peter Parker was Spiderman his tone became very aggressive and he insisted that his name was indeed Peter Parker. My boyfriend then wrote another letter to cancel his gym subscription, and “Peter Parker” signed it as proof of receipt on behalf of PF. My boyfriend included HIS contact details and NAME. AT NO TIME DID I GIVE THEM ANY OF MY OWN PERSONAL DETAILS!

    This morning (10 Nov 08) I called the branch manager at Claremont branch (Grant) to find out if there was indeed a Peter Parker working there, he confirmed my suspicion that there was no one by that name employed at his branch. I then related the incident to him, giving him a description of the employee as well as the name of another employee that had been watching the incident. He then proceeded to try and SELL me a contract before promising to get back to me. I then gave him MY contact details. A minute later I received a call from PETER PARKER who assured me that the issue had been sent to Admin. When I questioned him as to why the manager didn’t know who he was, he spun me story about being from PF Head Office, and that he was simply “filling in” at this branch. Clearly his manager had given him my contact details and was helping him cover up his LIES!!!!!

    I then called PF head office and was told that they have no one by that name working there. I was also told that no one from HO would be working in a branch on a Saturday as this is not standard operating procedure.

    What is going to happen with membership fees that continue to be fraudulently taken out of my boyfriends account? What is going to happen to Spiderman when we eventually find out his real name? Is Planet Fitness going to deal with him or continue to let him treat clients the way currently is? Because clearly his manager at the branch has no intention of taking disciplinary action against him.

  63. Tim (3 comments) says:

    The planet fitness that I just joined advised that I would receive 4 free appointments with there personal trainer.  They have a calender at the desk where you can sign up.  The first appointment was classified in the calander as "Upper Body".  I thought she would assist me with an upper body workout.  All I got was a tour of the equipment, but was told for a $25.00 fee she would provide me with a specifically designed work out.  So I think the personal trainer thing is basically a scam and useless.  Has anyone had any similar experiences or know what the company policy really states as far as including 4 free appointments with a personal trainer?

  64. Kevin Puritan (2 comments) says:

    Interesting reviews and some well thought out writing on both sides of the coin. One thing about Planet Fitness is that they stir up more emotions and controversy (good and bad) than any other gym in the fitness industry; perhaps this is the goal of their CEO.  A Planet Fitness is supposedly opening in my town of Coventry, RI. The location would be exactly 10 minutes from my driveway. Between this and the $10.00/month combined with gas prices, Planet Fitness looks like an attractive possibility. Even though I am very happy at the gym I currently go to, a PF membership would be $240.00 less per year for me. Needless to say that is a significant savings.  Now, will Planet Fitness be for me? I honestly don’t know. Even though I found this article to be tremendously informative, I am a person who makes his own decisions and forms his own opinions based on personal experiences rather than on opinions of others. I think one problem with our society is people are quick to make opinions on organizations and individuals based on what someone lese thinks…”I don’t like that person because my friend doesn’t”…”I won’t go to that store because my next door neighbor doesn’t like it”…etc. etc. So therefore I’ll join and form my own decision as to whether or not I stay for a long period of time.  Back to my question, I have been lifting weights for about 30 years. Between high school football, college football and military service I’ve spent plenty of time in various civilian and military gyms. However, at this point of my life I am much more interested in cardio work than I am in weights. In fact I find cardio work to be much more fun! But this does not mean that I want to abandon strength training. I plan to continue my lifting and 80 lbs. dumbbells at this point of my life are fine with me. Due to my background I’ve had plenty of shoulder problems and I am not looking to add to it. So strength training will continue for me, just not with a heavy workload. Will PF have a problem with my workout routine? We shall see. I’m not a grunter or screamer but I breathe a little heavy (especially on cardio machines) and I believe in hard work. If PF has no problem with this then I will have no issue with them and we should have a good relationship.  In closing let me say that I think Planet Fitness needs to get more in touch with the times when it comes to their thinking. The types of people they are looking to discourage really don’t exist very much any more. I won’t say they are extinct because there are a few of them in my current gym. But they are a very small minority and have toned it down quite a bit because SURPRISE… they’ve been spoken to about their behavior and threatened with their memberships being terminated. The stereotypical 1980’s bodybuilder is pretty much a thing of the past. Most gyms such as Gold’s (yes Gold’s) and World don’t even cater to that type anymore. In fact in most gyms, which today are usually called health clubs, a wide variety of people are usually found and more often than not are being courteous to one another. Time for Planet Fitness to get with the times.

  65. Matt (194 comments) says:

    Yont, thanks for stopping by and sharing your opinions of Planet Fitness … from South Africa, no less. I think this is the first international review I’ve received of Planet Fitness so far. So you can consider yourself a trail-blazer in that regard.

    The whole "Peter Parker" story is pretty funny, even if it was nothing but a giant headache for you and your boyfriend.
    Now here’s the wrinkle in all of this: I’m not sure that the Planet Fitness in South Africa is at all related-to or owned-by the same company that runs the Planet Fitness franchise in the United States. I’m trying to confirm this.  So you might be complaining about the wrong place – I’m just not sure.

    One concern I have when I visit the Planet Fitness website is that I can’t for the life of me find any way for a member to contact Planet Fitness corporate directly.  If I want to buy a franchise, there is (a very long) multi-step marketing preso I have to click through that eventually results in a form, but zero methods for members to contact Planet Fitness. This seems really odd to me. So I’ll have to dig around to see if I can find a way to contact Planet Fitness to determine whether they are even associated with your location.

    Stay tuned.

  66. robert joseph (1 comments) says:

    i do have a complaint i have been a member for three years and the ventilation is bad maybe a few fans would help i know they would. there is just no air at all during off seasons like now where it is to cool for heat nad too hot for a/c i know many members that have left for many other reasons and that of telling the counter people of concers and they scrub there shoulders at you i ask for the door to be open and they say they can’t then i say well please turn on the fan to the a/c unit and they just never do i am thinking and many of other memebers switching to another gym like many have already.i would like some kind of answer if all possiable and just a few fan"s just to move the air around its really a simply soulation you may respond to me at my email thank you your memeber robert joseph at the south ave gyn staten island ny

  67. Matt (194 comments) says:

    Robert, thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts on Planet Fitness.  If you and other members have already raised the issue with the South Avenue, Staten Island Planet Fitness management, then I would consider contacting Planet Fitness corporate to make them aware of your complaint.

    The trick, however (as I’ve discovered personally) is to actually find a contact number or contact email for Planet Fitness corporate on the Planet Fitness website. I will continue to dig around and see what I can find … and if I can locate one, I’ll post it here.

    Mike Grondahl, the CEO and founder of Planet Fitness has visited my site before, so perhaps he’ll take notice and have someone reach out to your local Planet Fitness location.

    Best of luck!

  68. diamondchica (5 comments) says:

    i just joined the new planet fitness gym that opened up here in miami on 107th and love it.  i consider myself to be in good shape, and have belonged to a lot of other gyms over the years and really don’t know what all complaining is about. my planet fitness is clean, has brand new equipment and so far doesn’t have all the creepy, leering men that seem to hang out at some of my other gyms. there are plenty of people who are in good shape that work out here so the idea that planet fitness is filled with fatties isn’t what i’ve found so far at my location.

  69. Schlauchboot (1 comments) says:

    Hey! I like your post “Fitness Gym Review | Gym & Health Club Reviews from Answer Fitness®” so well that I like to ask you whether I should translate into German and linking back. Answer welcome. Greetings Schlauchboot

  70. Tammy (2 comments) says:

    Thanks for the review of Planet Fitness. I was looking for just such information and have decided to join the new one opening near my home.

    The way I see it….you get what you pay for! If certain people expect more from a gym, then do the rest of us a favor and join another one. I figure, it’s good to be doing something for exercise, even if it’s not body building. Some of us just want to stay alive!

    Incidentially, the PF opening near me has regularly scheduled group training sessions each week for instruction on equipment use. There is a print out sheet with the days and times those sessions occur.

  71. Chris (12 comments) says:

    Thanks for this well thought out, and fair review. I’m nearing the end of my college career, I was looking at my local PF for employment. I’ll probably go and try to talk to the management later today to try and help with my decision. 

    I definitely won’t be leaving my current gym though.

  72. Matt (194 comments) says:

    Chris, thanks for leaving your thoughts regarding Planet Fitness and my review. Appreciate you taking the time to participate in the discussion here.

    I think your approach is a good one in terms of employment. Spend some time talking with the management to find out how they run their particular location, what their attitudes are toward the members, etc. Also pay special attention to how the Planet Fitness you are considering applying with maintains the equipment, facility, etc. That tells you a lot about the owners.

    Between the Planet Fitness review and all of the comments here, you should have a pretty good idea going in what some of the potential warning signs might be — so use that to make a good decision.

    I do think it’s funny that you would possibly work at Planet Fitness, but keep your gym membership at another gym. I wonder how often that happens with Planet Fitness staff … and I wonder how management reacts to that.

    Stop back by and let us know how things go.

    Matt

  73. hellinhighheels (1 comments) says:

    Matt, great website and even better review of Planet Fitness.

    Here’s my issue, which I guess is less about Planet Fitness than it is about gyms and health clubs in general.

    I would love it if there was a gym for ADULTS — now, I know "adult" is a subjective term, but it’s getting harder-and-harder to find a gym that caters to professionals and people who are serious about staying in shape and always getting in better shape.

    You used to be able to get this with independent, "private" gyms, but those places seem to be disappearing with all of the chains that are opening up.

    A Planet Fitness opened up near me about six months ago, and I thought I’d take a look. The equipment was all shiny and new, but I was instantly turned off by all of the teenage boys hanging out there. Now, they might have been 19 or 20, but there seemed to be a lot of "douchebaggery" going on in the free-weight room with these guys. You know, hanging out in groups, setting their drinks on benches while they talked and cheated up bicep curls with way more weight than they should have been using.

    So I basically agree with you that the low-cost membership attracts a certain kind of clientele that I think would just end up annoying the hell out of me by the time I finished my workout.

    Yes, there were "adults" there … but at least when I visited Planet Fitness, it seemed to be dominated by a bunch of boys in tank tops (tip for guys: Unless you’re a Calvin Klein underwear model, wife beaters are NOT attractive and you will NOT get dates wearing them to the gym.)

    So I have way less issues with serious bodybuilders and fitness-types than I do with the average age of members.  I’m 27, so it’s not like I’m a grandmother or anything, but I’d really like to be able to find a gym where people are serious about their training and not using it as a social club.

    I suppose at the end of the day, that means joining a private, independent gym with a high membership fee that makes it out of the reach of 19 year olds. Guess that’s just reality. But the idea that Planet Fitness is somehow any less annoying when it comes to member behavior just doesn’t seem accurate based on my brief experiences touring it.

    I probably sound bitchy and age-ist, but it’s not really about age as much as behavior and attitude in the gym. I’m sure my dream gym is out there somewhere … or maybe not. Would love to hear from your readers around whether they’ve found that "perfect gym." Thanks – alana

      

  74. ravensgal63 (1 comments) says:

    I belong to the Planet Fitness in Falls Church. other than the mgr, the place is fine. All the other staff is helpful and happy go lucky. I am working out 6-7 days a week and no problems. The trainer is great but they need to give him more freedom to help people on the floor working out. they take a no socializing position, which in a gym is bs.

  75. Work Boots Guy (1 comments) says:

    Ah, good post – gave me something decent to read while I am bored at work.  I’ll have to check your site out more often :)   Thanks!

  76. Cindy (3 comments) says:

    Matt,

    Thanks so much for the review!  I have enjoyed reading the comments that have been made by everyone and I love the fact that you have responded to each one. 

    I have belonged to several gyms in the DC/MD area over the years and as I primarily use the gym for cardio workouts, PF is perfect for me.  A brand new PF just opened up in my area and will be open 24/7 soon.  With my hectic work schedule, this is extremely appealing to me. 

    I had planned on joining the local YMCA with my daughter and her husband, but it is rather expensive.  Plus, the hours at the YMCA aren’t as flexible as I need. 

    I took a tour of the new facility past weekend and am going back this coming Friday to join.  I asked the woman that gave me the tour when the "special" price was over and she responded that she wasn’t sure, but it could be the end of the year.  I am sure it is a gimmick because the PF in my area ran the same price as a pre-grand opening special a couple of months ago.  There is even a large white panel truck parked outside of the location with the "special" price painted on it.  Regardless of the gimmick, since it is cardio I want, it will be cardio I get.  All for the low, low price of $19.99 a month.  (I travel for my job, so the perk of being able to hit the gym at any location is also appealing to me.  That’s the reason I am choosing the $19.99 price)

    I’ll keep you posted if I enjoy my decision to join PF…

    Take care!
    Cindy

  77. Matt (194 comments) says:

    Ravensgal, thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences with Planet Fitness (Falls Church). Really appreciate it. When I wrote this review, I figured I’d get a few comments here or there, but I never expected to get such a diverse set of opinions on Planet Fitness — people who love it, people who hate it and people who are in-between.

    I don’t get the sense that Planet Fitness overall puts a lot of attention around personal training. It seems that most locations have them, but they are often not regular staff — but rather free-lancers.  The irony is that their clientele probably could benefit from some good trainers, since they tend to skew toward people who don’t have much experience in a gym.

    However, not keeping trainers on payroll is probably one of the ways they keep operational costs down, and memberships low. Whether that’s a good thing depends on your specific needs and perspective, I suppose.

    Again, thanks for sharing your experiences with Planet Fitness. Hope you’ll stop by again and use some of the other resources on the site to help you hit your fitness goals.

  78. New gym user (1 comments) says:

    I just wanted to add my comment in. Thanks for the article Matt. I think people just need to keep their eyes open and acknowledge PF for what it is: a basic, no frills gym that’s aimed towards consumers who need a cheaper or less intimidating or less fancy place to work out.

    I don’t have too much experiences with gyms and shied away from joining one due to all the horror stories out there. I was part of a new and fancy-schmancy gym at my college, and I realized: I don’t really use the classes or the pool or most of the machines (it was huge). They’re nice, but not necessary for ME.

    Personally I like the no bandana, no do-rag, no lunks, etc. The people I see at PF are of various ages, races, shapes and sizes and I feel comfortable working out. I do get some looks, but I think that’s probably just part of the gym experience. They don’t leer or stare.

    The employees don’t patrol (although they sometimes seem oblivious), but they do answer any questions if I come up to them and I’ve seen them help customers or potential customers. They seem hands-off unless someone comes up to them and I prefer that instead of an employee walking around, judging or interrupting my workout.

    Thanks again for the article.

  79. Jon King (1 comments) says:

    Planet Fitness is not a viable, long term concept.  6000 members is possible during the initial hype upon opening.  But within a few months people realize that it is literally impossible for a 15000 square foot club to support 3000 members, let alone 6000.  If you can’t work out due to crowding or don’t have trained staff to help members, the low price is worthless. They will stop going and eventually quit.  Planet Fitness has an average member retention rate of 66%.  That is scary low for a club that is new and has low prices.  Members need trained staff helping them stay motivated or most will drop out. I predict within 2-3 years there will be Planet Fitness franchises going out of business.  They will burn through their $10 members in most areas. 

  80. Matt (194 comments) says:

    Cindy, thanks for leaving your comments on Planet Fitness. The price is definitely attractive — and depending on your goals, it will probably work just fine for you. Please stop back and let us know how your experience turns out with Planet Fitness after joining.

    On an un-related note, consider adding some weight training in with your cardio. You’ll probably get even better results than just spending all of your time on a hamster wheel. ;-) To find out why, check out the article on body toning workouts and why most of them fail.

    Again, thanks for the insight into why you decided to join Planet Fitness and I hope you’ll stop by again.

  81. Matt (194 comments) says:

    New Gym User, thanks for your perspective on Planet Fitness. Something only has value if it meets your needs. If you are paying for services (like group classes or a pool) that you never use, then you’re not getting the value you are looking for.  It would be silly to continue paying for frills, when what you basically want is a cardio machine and a T.V. to plugin to. So from that perspective, Planet Fitness is probably a "great" value for you.  For others (which is your point), Planet Fitness may not offer the range of equipment, trainers or amenities they are looking for, so they’ll likely be happier at one of the more expensive, but fuller-service, fitness centers like Life Time Fitness.

    Thanks for stopping by ….

  82. Matt (194 comments) says:

    Jon, you raise some really interesting points around the viability of Planet Fitness’ business model. 

    Any "discount" service isn’t going to make its money on margin, but scale. So to remain profitable, Planet Fitness has to continually scale it’s membership. And as you point out, scale is dependent on capacity. If you can’t accomodate all of the volume physically, then people will start to bail. And since barriers to membership at Planet Fitness are pretty low in terms of fees, there’s not much to keep a person around financially if they get frustrated with the crowds.

    One tactic would be to just put up more locations — which seems to be the approach of most discount gyms, including Planet Fitness.  Someone seems to believe this model is viable, because in just the last 12 months I’ve watched a half-dozen discount, McGym’s open up in a 10 square mile area around my home, including a Fitness 19 and a couple Snap Fitnesses.  The question, of course, is whether there are enough potential members in the area to keep all of these facilities full and growing.

    Planet Fitness had the first-mover advantage on the sub-$20 a month membership, but it will be interesting to see how they fare as more competition enters this segment of the market (which is happening very quickly.)  Even more interesting, is that most of these discount fitness centers come with fewer rules and no ideology. This will make them more attractive to some of the people who are looking for a bargain gym, but without all of the "Judgement Free Zone" hooha. While Grondahl and the Planet Fitness marketing machine love to believe that the "No Lunks" philosophy is what makes people want to join their gym, I suspect it has more to do with the $10 a month membership fee — especially for people who are looking to cut extraneous expenses (like epensive gym memberships) because of the abysmal economy. 

    So if the "Judgement Free Zone" and free pizza and bagels isn’t really what drives people to join Planet Fitness, but rather the rock-bottom price, there will be plenty more options for consumers as these competitors start flooding the market.

    We shall see …

    Thanks for the thought-provoking comments.

  83. DaleK (1 comments) says:

    I got "lunked" for moving the pins on the bench press too loudly! AND! I’m a girl!!

    My location uses the alarm too frequently for my liking – depending on who’s working. I find the alarm far more obnoxious than grunting.  I wish they would use it on the guys who leave 450lbs of plates on the leg press. And the ones who stand around (in my way lol) talking about how they’d "hit this or that".  And the swarms of kids – sometimes 5 at a time – commandeering equipment for 30 minutes or more. It really does get ridiculous.

    PF worked for me for about a year provided I worked out during off-peak hours.  I’ve since joined a "real" gym, though I’m still a PF member as it is within walking distance, convenient for cardio, and yeah, I love the tanning!

    I like to squat. I also like to use equipment.  My location has become over crowded. There is also an independent trainer who’s primary function seems to be making sure no one uses the piece of equipment her trainee will be using next. Given the swarms, I can’t say I blame her.

    My biggest gripe with PF is this:  I have a black card membership yet I am not allowed to bring my own trainer. I was told I must use one of the trainers who have a contract agreement with the location. There is only one who I would consider working with but I really don’t see the point in paying $75 a session if I am going to have to work around swarms of kids who half the time aren’t even using the equipment properly. We also need a lunk alarm for folks who use benches for wrist curls. Yes, I’ve seen it. Repeatedly.

    My daughter was home over the summer and I brought her in and went through a workout with her. I am a CPT. I was told by management that I was not allowed to train her – despite the fact that she is my daughter!!  I was told that one of the contract trainers had complained.  Technically, yes, I was training her – but she is my kid after all, and I’m certainly not paying some trainer to count her reps and hold equipment for her.

    One suggestion I would make, and it holds true for any gym, is to visit during the time you plan on working out and get a feel. Atomosphere can change depending on time of day. PF is certainly great for newbies and/or those who just want to get in the cardio.

  84. Volleyball Chick (1 comments) says:

    Hey Matt, thanks for the post! I thought it was great. I was about to buy my membership at PF, but decided to research a little bit, and I found you article both informative and helpful. I’ve been working out for about 2 years, while being a volleyball player, and I was afraid that PF would be too "soft" for me, but after reading this, it’s clear that it provides a good workout at 3 times less than the price i was paying at Gold’s Gym, where i had to deal with the "lunks", which annoyed me. I hated feeling judged at Gold’s, and am sure PF will be better.

    It does suck that they don’t offer sauna, or stuff like that, but at those prices, what more could you want?

    Now, in regards to the guy with the "racial" aspect of PF, i would have to say that he is the one making the racial assumptions in saying what hispanics, muslims, and jews would wear. I am brasilian, and hang out with many latinos, and not one of them wear it.

    Once again, thanks for the post! Very helpful!

  85. Ms Fit (1 comments) says:

    I used to be a member of the planet fitness in walpole, ma.  It was the good old boy network lead by the one and only Bill Whelan, cell phone [Number Removed] They would literally stand their and not tell the truth to your face.  Very discriminatory against woman – they thought that we were stupid and please do not make a complaint or they threaten you with discontinuing your membership.  Do you know what they actually told a member who asked to have the channel changed – which by the way- all were either on sports or infomercials – they told this member to move to another machine- This leadership by bill whelan is exactly what we do not need

  86. Zod the Pod (1 comments) says:

    I go to the Milford, Ma PF. What we lack for lunks in membership we make up for in staff. They tie up machines having people alternate sets and when asked if you can "work in" being told "we have 2 more sets". They also have the disgusting habit of eating on the floor while Personal Training

  87. Jackrabbit (1 comments) says:

    Gee, some of these folks take themselves wayyy too seriously! I suspect that that’s the whole point of the rules at PF. Keep "them" out of our faces. PF is a place for us "other folk" to enhance our fitness.

    As a 60-something, over-weight, white, hetero, lazy, busy male, I sort of fit in at the same PF that Matt belongs to. I like to not be bothered by the mass of beefcake fellas and gals at the "upscale" gyms. The rules are not sufficent to keep out those nasty good looking, in-shape people completely, but I’m not intimidated by the more balanced mix of people that come in to this gym. Maybe this will keep the gym less crowded than the place where I tore my abs showing off among the buff weightlifters many years ago.

    Lighten up. The Northville PF is just fine. It does not need to pretend to be the ultimate gym, nor the place for me to meet a trophy bride (the sweethart that I have will fill that role admirably for another 40 years, thanks).

    I must comment on one thing at the Northville PF. Why do people take the shortcut across the grass into the parking lot, rather than walk 8 or 10 paces farther along the sidewalk?

  88. Joe (9 comments) says:

    PF is racist.  Head gear policy is truly racist.  White boys can wear baseball caps.  ?????

  89. Joe (9 comments) says:

    And tanning rooms, who needs that?  White folks.  What does tanning  have to do with getting healthy and fit.

  90. Jennie (1 comments) says:

    I am one of those middle aged white ladies.  I joined Bally’s a few years ago and as soon as my check cleared, I was abandoned (I had no clue how to use the equipment!).  I looked at Peak’s and my wide butt was not welcomed or comfortable (all of the fit pretty people work out there).  I joined Planet Fitness in Charlotte and have been extremely happy.  I’ve had a lot of guidance from Rick (my trainer) including a personal workout regiment.  I workout side by side with every type, color, gender, and degree of fitness.  I have to wear tank tops and t-shirts instead of sports bras.  They require a certain modesty in dressing.  I can wear sweat bands or ball caps but not my biker bandanas.  This is not racism, it’s an adjustment for everyone.  If you don’t like your location, quit!  The only thing I dislike about my location is the number of people that refuse to clean the equipment after they use it.  Dollar for dollar, Planet Fitness ROCKS!!! I’d love to see a yoga class but then if  I required one, I would have joined the YMCA at $50.00 per month.  

  91. Chris (12 comments) says:

    I was thinking of joining PF around New Year’s.  The rates were $15/month with $15 startup, no commitment.  Plus the $30 "annual guarantee" not to raise the rates, which seems like a ripoff to me.   If I can quit anytime, what do I need the guarantee for?  They’re charging two extra months fee for nothing "instead" of raising the rates — that IS raising the rates.  I tried to point that out to the guy who gave me the tour, but either he didn’t understand or he acted like he didn’t.

    Anyway, I figured I’d wait until Jan. 1 to join, since every gym in the country seems to offer some incentive for people to join after New Year’s Day.   PF lowered the rates from $15 to $10/month, but raised the guarantee to $39 and the startup from $15 to $69 – almost a 400% increase!  For what?  I guess I shouldn’t have waited, but I can’t go along with that new price structure.

  92. Matt (194 comments) says:

    Lots of comments rolling in around Planet Fitness. It’s obvious it’s now January and gym-membership season is now officially in full-swing.

    First, thanks to everyone who has left their "opinion" of Planet Fitness over the past couple of weeks. 

    A few specific responses from me (en bulk):

    DaleK: The "no outside" trainer policy is kind of silly. I understand why they do it (they are being "protective" of their onstaff trainers and there may be some liability issues), but I agree that it’s lame.  It seems like Planet Fitness locations in general don’t keep personal trainers on payroll the same way full-service gyms do, so you’re going to have to expect people to find their own.  Frankly, I’m not really sure how they would identify or "prove" that you are a "personal trainer" — especially in the situation that you described.  There are plenty of couples and friends who workout together and "train each other" so I don’t see exactly how Planet Fitness would reasonably differentiate between these two activities. Are you doing "personal training" if you are keeping track of someone’s exercises on a clip board and giving them advice? In the case of your daughter, I’d just say that you are working out together and leave it at that.  If they persist in challenging you, go to another gym where the staff has less of a stick up their rear. There are a lot of other low-cost options to Planet Fitness springing up these days, so you should check them out.

    Jackrabbit: Found your comment really entertaining. I’m impressed that you ripped an ab once. How did that feel. ;-) And you are right — there is a certain irony about people who are going to exercise taking a "short-cut" across the grass at the Northville, MI Planet Fitness.  Thanks for stopping by and lending your unique perspective to the discussion here.

    Joe, I think the whole "Planet Fitness is racist because of their headgear policy" has been thoroughly debated here. Again, if they are consistent in their enforcement regardless of race or ethnicity, there is no discrimination going on. However, I can’t personally vouch that this is the case at all Planet Fitnesses. So I’ll just let the readers make up their own minds based on the feedback from others like you. Thanks for leaving your thoughts.

    Jennie: Glad you found a gym you feel comfortable at and is helping you meet your fitness goals. That’s what it’s all about.

    Chris: As you point out, with any gym membership and contract, the devil is always in the details. You need to ask lots of questions and read all of the fine print. Sounds like you did that. And you’re correct, rate increase "insurance" is probably unnecessary with Planet Fitness — they are almost always running membership specials. So if rates increased on you, quit for a few weeks and then come back and sign up again. You might even get a BETTER deal than the original one you had. Be sure, however, to check the contract to see if they slide any "restrictions" on cancelling and then resigning. There may be some kind of inactivity period you have to go through after cancelling before you can sign up again.

  93. Rick S. (1 comments) says:

    I recently signed up for a membership to PF at a location in Rochester, NY that doesn’t open until monday Jan 12th 2009, so I am actually excited to use the brand new equipment and tanning option. I’ll let you know what I think of PF after Valentine’s Day 2009, a full month or so after I began my membership!

  94. Tim (3 comments) says:

    I work out at the Northville PF as well.  I have to say I love it.  I run outside from April to October.  The rest of the time I just want a cheap place to run. There are places in Plymouth that charge $45 per month (storefront workout facilities!). They’re all empty and PF is full. They’re smart. I go, I run, I leave and I’m happy. You said in another post that not every gym is for everyone.  This is one of those cases. This is the gym for me, maybe not you but I can understand where you’re coming from.

  95. Jaime (1 comments) says:

    I just started going with a friend of mine..and am curious why at Planet Fitness I can do 2-sometimes 3 times the weight I can do at the YMCA on most of the machines? Has anyone noticed this? On the thigh adducter machine at the YMCA I was at about 40lbs..at Planet Fitness I set it 40lbs and it was like paper! I ended up moving it all the way to 130#!

  96. Matt (194 comments) says:

    Rick, thanks for stopping by. Let us know what you think of Planet Fitness after you’ve been working out there for a while.

  97. Matt (194 comments) says:

    Tim, appreciate the feedback on Planet Fitness.  Whether the Planet Fitness meets your needs will have a great deal to do with what your goals are. In your case, it seems like you are basically looking for a place to run indoors during the "off-season." In terms of cardio, Planet Fitness (at least the Northville location) seems to have plenty of cardio equipment, so overcrowding isn’t a huge issue (yet — although with continued membership growth, it may someday.)

    On the other hand, if you’re doing a lot of free weight work, the free-weight area can quickly become congested – especially during the busy hours. And because the total amount of equipment is limited, you’re more than likely going to have to do a lot of working around people. I don’t, however, know if this is the case at all Planet Fitness locations, but Northville does get crowded in the weight room.

    I’m glad to hear, though, that it’s working out for you and your goals. Hope you’ll stop by again. And good luck with your training!

  98. Matt (194 comments) says:

    Jamie, that’s a great question. I do know that Planet Fitness limits the amount of total weight available on certain machines, but I don’t know if they mark the weight differently. Are you trying to start a conspiracy theory that Planet Fitness marks it’s weight differently to make people "feel good" about themselves? ;-)

    One thing to keep in mind is that the actual resistance on machines can often vary from brand-to-brand and even from model-to-model within a brand’s product lineup, even if the weight plates say you’re doing an equal amount of resistance.

    This has to do with how the weight is leveraged, the pulley systems they use, etc. Even how well a machine is maintained can impact how much resistance you "feel" during an exercise.

    I actually have a couple of different gym memberships, so I have some first hand experience with this. I’ve used identical Cybex cable towers at two different gyms and had to adjust my resistance up or down because one felt heavier than the other.  So this isn’t a phenomenon that’s unique just to Planet Fitness.

    Also, it’s important to realize that the numbers on machine plates don’t always correspond in resistance directly to that weight in a free-weight situation. The pulleys and levels help you move weight more effeciently, so while you might be able to do 150 lbs on a chest press machine for 12 reps, it’s unlikely you would be able to do the same on a barbell chest press.

    Finally, if consistency in resistance is important to you, consider more free weights. Generally free weights like dumbbells, barbells and the plates you use with this type of equipment are more-or-less standardized. You won’t get the variation in resistance that you typically experience with machines.

    Thanks for stopping by. I would be interested in knowing if anyone else has experienced this particular issue with Planet Fitness’ weight machines.  

  99. Vince (1 comments) says:

    Damn pizza/bagels to remind the clients that they’re human and that these foods are ok in moderation?  Sure and why not station hookers and meth dealers in the back foyers of churches to remind parishioners that they’re only human and these things are acceptable in moderation haha

  100. Strawberry (1 comments) says:

    I just joined PF in Orange City, FL, and I love it. I am 18 year old female. Although I am not considered "fat", I am not in shape. (meaning i would not be able to run around the block without tiring out) I mean lets face it, American people have gotton lazy.
    I never enjoyed the thought of going to the gym to run on the treadmill, but if you are familiar with Florida’s weather, you would know that jogging outside could give you a stroke. So I use PF mainly for the cardio machines. I feel very comfortable going by myself instead of "having" to have a work out buddy.
    This gym is for out of shape people, newbies, and the younger crowd.  (come on the have chairs in the shape of hands this gym naturally attracts a younger crowd) So i fit right in.
    If you enjoy working out without the pressure, then PF is perfect for you. I know that i will never go over the 80lb free weights. But if you go to the gym solely to gain muscel mass, then investing in another gym would be worthwhile for you.

  101. Maureen (3 comments) says:

    PF Corporate is IMPOSSIBLE to contact.  I had a billing issue and was told by the staff at my local PF that they are "not permitted" to give out the names or phone numbers to anyone in corporate.  I was told the email option on the PF website was the only to contact anyone.  After 7 unanswered emails, my bank had to get involved and hunt down a billing department phone number (based out of the Bronx, NY) for me.  After that debacle, and although I had been a loyal PF member for FOUR YEARS,  I felt their lack of customer service FORCED me to cancel my membership.  My boyfriend canceled his too. You suck, Planet Fitness!

  102. stephen (4 comments) says:

    I just recently got a membership at my local PF in San Antonio and after only a couple days there I already know i’m going to be buying out my contract.  I got pulled to the side for barley dropping ONE 45-lb plate about 2 inches from the ground.  Right after that I kept getting stared down by some staff and felt like I was treated really rude.  There is almost no free-weights (which is a shame, since machines will not help the "average-person" to really see any noticeable weight lose).  I guess you get what you pay for, so if your low on cash and want to get a half-ass workout then go to PF, if your serious about your health and want to lose some weight so you won’t be judged then find another gym.

  103. Desmond (2 comments) says:

    I have read this entire thread pretty much.  I have thoroughly enjoyed the comments and views left by all of you, regardless if I agreed with them or not.  I appreciated and respected each everyone’s opinion.  It really made for an interesting read, and in-depth discussion.  I too recently signed up to this Gym.  I have been working out for years, and through trial and error I have found what works for my body, and what it is that I respond too.

    That is most important, besides your DIET, which is exteremly important.  I cannot stress that enough.  Excercises that work for one person, may not necessarily work with the same results for you.  Once you get your basic foundation excercises down, you will learn through exploration of trying different excerises, various ways, which ones your body responds too and stimulates maximum growth. 

    Touching on the comment left above me, I would strongly beg to differ.  PF is catered to more then anything else, weight loss.  There Cardio display, I have to admit is very impressive.  It is a fat, or chunky person’s dream.  You do need free weights to lose weights, they were actually never designed to do such a thing.  Free weights builds strentgh, can help add muscle mass, can help add tone to a person’s body.  You can and will burn calories why using free weights, but this is not an conventional nor effective way of an overweight person trying to lose weight.

    I must say though, that I sometimes feel uncomfortable there, lol.  I have been working out for years, and when I go to the Gym, I have noticeable muscular build, and I am being watched sometimes when I work out.  Most noticeably at the Dip Machine. 

    Most people that work out at the Gym I attend, are beginners, for the most part.  So when I done a set of something, dips, pull ups.  I turn around, and about 4 set of eyes are on me sometimes, lol.  I don’t know whether to smile, wave, or start dancing, lol.  I wish someone would just walk up to me and say what’s on there mind, or at least Hi, that’s the least they can do if there going to stare at me, lol.  Great thread Matt and everybody else, thanks.

  104. Desmond (2 comments) says:

    Excuse the typos in my above post, it’s 3:30am where I’m at, lol.

  105. vanessa (2 comments) says:

    ok so i think planet fitness is the worst gym in the world. i signed up online, about a year ago..let me say that i was only 16 at the time and apprently they didnt car. Not even 2 months into my membership they told me that my membership expired and that i was not allowed back in in which case i was perfectly fine cause i didnt like the gym anyways so i didnt argue about it…like 6 months later i get a letter from thier financial service saying i owe them almost 200 bucks ….so i went to go argue and they kept jerking me around telling me to call this and that number…nothing got fixed at the moment…andi eventaully got sent to collection…so i physically went to planet fitness and then i came to find out that it was a mistake that my membership was never cancelled and that i still have to pay the amount plus late fee’s…..which is like 300 bucks …NEVER EVER GO TO PLANET FITNESS…you have too stand and wiat forever for machines and half of the treadmils never work!!!!! ugh …horrible gym but then again you pay for what you get

  106. Jenn (1 comments) says:

    there is nothing judgment free about pf. the staff babysits you the entire time, making sure you don’t break any of their silly rules that don’t belong at a gym, and then makes up a few new ones that aren’t even posted. i’ve been going there two weeks and got told about my straps twice. apparently your straps must be at least 1 inch thick, even if you are wearing a shirt made specifically for working out. i asked where this rule was posted or in writing, and it’s not. but everything is "at their judgment". the staff has no fitness training whatsoever, the equipment is crap, the only pro is the price, which is becoming not worth it. i would much rather belong to a real gym, with people who actually look like they work out once in a while, where i’m not being bossed around like a highschool student for my attire. unfortunately for me, there are no other gyms in the area. i imagine this is how the place stays in business. AND they took the first months membership fee out of my bank account when i already paid it there in person. how many people do they do that to who never notice?

  107. Katie (4 comments) says:

    Thanks for the review! The only thing that is making me hesitant to join Planet Fitness is the cancellation policy. I hate that they want a certified letter to cancel your enrollment, that’s obsured! LA Fitness let me cancel my membership over the internet. I don’t expect that, but I think I should be able to cancel at the location. But, come on, certified mail?

  108. Not saying (2 comments) says:

    I work there, and i do not recomend this place for anyone.   Corporate works their employees like slaves for very minimal costs, which creates ALOT of mistakes!  Credit card/financial information gets messed up continuously.

    Corporate seems to think that us employees are ok with making 8 dollar and hour, getting to work at 1pm and getting off work at 2am.   I am certainly not ok with that….

    If you want your financial information secured do not join!!! I am going to be quitting soon, because I am not at all impressed with the way they treat their staff.

    For those who are complaining about staff…I do not blame you!!!   If the people up top do not treat their employees well…I hardly think we even want to be there…atelast from my point of view.  

    Not only is your financial information thrown everywhere, but files aren’t locked, contracts are lost, and corporate does not value their employees.  If they do not value us, how are they valueing you the members!

  109. Not saying (2 comments) says:

    For those of you who complain about the stupid idiotic rules we have at planet fitness then i am right there with you.   Us employees have about 40 pieces of paperwork we have to fill out on a daily basis ( no joke! ) when we are in meetings we are trained for 8 straight hours on customer service!    So when we actually have to do paperwork we aren’t very knowledgable.  THey don’t train their employees, they just don’t care!  if you want my opinion: planet fitness is money hungry. I suggest you  read the comment i left above this one. 

    Do not join!!

  110. Kathy (2 comments) says:

    I started at Planet Fitness a couple of weeks ago.  No stranger to gyms, but my gym of 20 years went out of business, and then in September I broke my leg.  After getting the go-ahead from my doc and shopping around, I found the PF which had recently opened here in Fremont, CA. 

    I love it.  Not just because of the price (although that’s nifty), but because it’s got just what I need.  The staff *do* offer orientation, not just for a workout plan, but for all the machines and the 30-minute circuit.  The place is brand new, as are the machines (we’ll see how that goes when things start to age), the place is clean and I really don’t miss the intensity of some of the males at my old gym who seemed to feel that the whole place was interested in their workout, so intent were they on making as much noise as possible.  Particularly alarming was working out on the cardio machines which were directly beneath the free weight floor upstairs.  I swear it sounded like some of those weights were going to come right through the floor when they were dropped.

    In other words, as a middle-aged, non-hard-body female who just wants a decent cardio workout and some resistance training for strength and toning, and isn’t interested in a show, this really is the place for me.  

    It may have to do with my particular franchise, but I haven’t noticed the staff prowling the floor harassing anyone about anything.  I’m cool with the dress code, the price is right, the atmosphere is relaxed, and it’s just really great to be getting back to working out.

  111. Matt (194 comments) says:

    Desmond, thanks for stopping by and leaving your honest and intelligent assessment of Planet Fitness. Great addition to the dialogue here.

  112. Matt (194 comments) says:

    Maureen, I have heard this as well. It can be very difficult to actually find a real contact at Planet Fitness corporate if you have an issue or concern. Everything seems to get directed through the generic "form" on their site. And we know how great the response from companies are from online forms ;-)

    Thanks for sharing your experiences.

  113. Matt (194 comments) says:

    Jenn, you raise some interesting points about Planet Fitness and the apparent "arbitrariness" of their policies in certain locations — especially around dress. I think this is a theme that comes up fairly often.  Thanks for stopping by and sharing your review or Planet Fitness.

  114. Matt (194 comments) says:

    Not Saying … my advice would be to find another job. ;-) Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comments.

  115. Matt (194 comments) says:

    Kathy, glad Planet Fitness is working out for you. Along with the negative reviews and experiences, there do seem to be plenty of people who like PF as well. I appreciate all of the perspectives here.

    Best of luck with your fitness goals!

  116. Matt (194 comments) says:

    Vince, Strawberry, Stephen and Vanessa … appreciate you sharing your experiences with Planet Fitness. Hope you’ll stop back again.

  117. Mike (11 comments) says:

    Great article, and very very accurate.

    I’m a PF member in CT, and one of the other things not mentioned in the article (and I’m not sure if this applies to all PF locations or the two I use) is that they clearly state when you sign up that you are not allowed to use free weights in excess of 250lbs.

    Which I can understand from the perspective of keeping a teen who can’t actually bench press that much weight from trying and subsequently getting hurt, however, a 250lb dead-lift does not usually take long to reach for men, and after asking for clarification from the staff at both locations I visited, this would include using the smith machine as well (and a 250lb squat was not far out of reach for me when I started lifting weights when I was 16) which can present a problem for some people.

    I asked the manager of my PF about this and he explained that it is more for insurance reasons, as even he stated that a lot of the regulars (who do actually lift weights) can dead-lift, squat, or bench well over that. Logical, when both of the PF locations I use are riddled with teens.

  118. Roy (1 comments) says:

    I have been hearing the radio commercials for Planet Fitness here in MS. They say “Intimidation Free” and “Judgement Free” zones! Wow. After reading all of this on this site, I know PF is not for me. I am a powerlifter, and will not be looking into PF anymore. I am here just wondering how they intended to pull these “Zones” off. I suppose this is a good starting point for beginners. Once they are ready, they can seek me out. In the meantime, good luck to all at PF!! Setting and then reaching your goals are great accomplishments. Anyplace that will help beginners is OK with me. Have Fun!

  119. J. Smith (1 comments) says:

    I have been to a few Planet Fitness gyms in Maryland, including Lutherville, MD and Ellicott City, MD.   In both of these gyms the staff and particularly the management and owners are extremely rude.  The gyms are dirty.  I heard someone got that skin disease msa they talk about on the news.  Credit card receipts are noticeably un filed, and easy to read.  The equipment is faulty, and bathrooms FILTHY!!  They serve PIZZA and candy, taunt people who aren’t following their rules.  Then I heard the teenagers on the staff teasing about fat people on the treadmill and then talking about the owner having several different plastic surgeries.  I tried to discuss issues w/ the manager and owners but they were so rude, and I was cackled and taunted by them!!!  They were so obnoxious, so sarcastic, so belittling.  You get what you pay for. It may be cheap, but the price reflects the owners personalities and the corporate attitudes.  I had a lot of trouble contacting corporate, and the franchises aren’t helpful.  They heckle you and are so insulting.  I will never, ever go back, and I will never recommend anyone joins this gym!

  120. Ross (6 comments) says:

    I love planet, the equipment is great, the gym is      clean and the staff is very nice, but my only complaint is that the music is too loud.  The manager has tried to lower it but was unable to do so.  I was told that corporate has to do this.  Do I have to buy a sound blocking head set?   

  121. Mary (4 comments) says:

    Just wondering how old you have to be to join planet fitness my friend is 16 and says its great but most gyms u have to be 18 and i am only 14 and was wondering if i can join and how old u have to be if i cant join.

    • Matt (194 comments) says:

      Mary, I believe it is sixteen years old, but you have to be put on a parent or legal-guardians contract or membership. I would give your local Planet Fitness location a phone call to confirm.

  122. Mrs M (1 comments) says:

    I recently joined the PF in Peckville, Pa - so far so good.  I was a member at another gym about two years ago and loved it, just couldn’t afford it anymore at the time.
    I do miss the scale however, I like to feel accomplished with my once a week weigh in.
    In response to one poster who swears they ask if you want to work with the trainer, I call BS. I was expecting someone to ask me and waited for it. It never came. I can slightly remember the workout from my previous gym so I have been going off of memory thus far. I never asked because I assumed since they didn’t offer it to me at sign up, it didn’t exist there.
    The main reason I went to this gym versus my former gym was the cost and what I get for the price. I do tan, so the tanning along with the gym sold me right away. Of course I do miss the child care my last gym offered because now I am restricted to go only at night after my son is in bed.  
    I have and would recommend this gym. My only complaints are that I didnt recieve a workout plan, the missing scale,  and closing at 9 on Friday and 7 on Saturday.
    Other then those minor issues Im happy and plan on sticking around for a while.
    ps – I have heard the lunk alarm three times so far, I never looked up from what I was doing though to notice who it was for. Heck, for all I know it might have been me, which would flatter me a little to think someone found nothing better to do than watch me =0)

    • Matt (194 comments) says:

      Mrs. M — Thanks for stopping by and sharing your personal experiences as a Planet Fitness member. Hope you’ll drop in again!

  123. Fitness Gym (1 comments) says:

    Are you going to do more reviews? What about Bally Total Fitness? It would be interesting to see a review of several fitness gyms that you can critique on!
    Thanks

  124. sandy (2 comments) says:

    Maybe you should check the place out before you join so you have nothing to complain about, just like any other purchase. I am a memeber and have no problems in Va

  125. AMB (1 comments) says:

    I recently had an episode at the Planet fitness in Waterford, Mi.  I was using equipment and people (mostly women) kept rudly steping in front of me when I was trying to do a circuit.  I started getting a little huffy to the point that they complained to the owner.  The owner told me to leave and terminated my membership without any regards to my side of the story.  I even hmbly apologized but it didn’t matter 5 against 1. 

         I have enjoyed working out there, but that was just a bit overboard.  That day I went over to the local powerhouse and re-joined.  I understand that there are policies, but I do not believe there was any cause for kicking me out. 
    To the owner I have this to say-I am sorry for any trouble on my part but what comes around goes around and word does travel.

  126. Brian (2 comments) says:

    You bring up some good points that I as a PF employee find odd about PF policy as well. The dress code thing is a bit much to me and I will say is not enforced too strictly at my gym, though 99% of members abide by the dress code.

    However, you mention there are no trainers that work for PF and that is not the case at all PF locations. We encourage all our members to meet with our trainer who shows clients how  to properly use the equipment as well as design plans for them to follow on their own.
    In regards to membership cancellation, I can guarentee one “lunk” incident is not enough to get you booted. People arn’t asked to be silent when they lift either…..just not obnoxious

  127. Sandy (2 comments) says:

    Matt’s review and the follow posts have been interesting to read.  As in any franchised business, you’re going to have variations on owner’s involvement and business accumen, quality of staff committment, as well as the public who is buying the service.  My local PF in Essex Jct., VT appears to be one of the better run locations.  I’ve asked for assistance using the machines from the desk staff and they’ve been very gracious and helpful and training classes are readily available with a posted schedule.  The staff is friendly, exceptional even.  Many of them greet my husband and me by name and are willing to share about their personal lives when we ask.  Agreed, the pizza/bagel/candy are strange things to be offering at a gym, but no one is being forced to eat these items.  Get what you can from your gym, and if it’s not right for you, look for something else.  I’m in my 6th month at PF and have  just what I need at this facility.

  128. What a sweproperly.What a great scam Bernie Madoff would be proud!!! (1 comments) says:

    The Attorney General needs to be notified of PF’s deceptive cancellation policies and I am doing that.Anyone who has tried to cancel their membership and has not been able to -even though management(kevin)has been told and letters sent should be encouraged to do the same. Planet Fitness is taking money out automatically from unsuspecting customers who have cancelled their memberships and still direct depositing it to their corporate accounts. Ever wonder why corporate is so hard to reach?  With all the PF’s throughout the state of Fl. alone think of all that money they are making just by saying that,” you did not cancel correctly.” What a sweet deal for PF. Bernie Madoff would be proud!!!

  129. Les (1 comments) says:

    I’ve been using PF for about 6 months now.  So far so good. 

    I like that you can go there 24/7 (depends on the location – some hours vary), there are locations in places I spend time as I’m on the road a lot, price is right, lots of cardio equipment. 

    Depending on the location – there are large locker rooms… some offer more privacy than others (wish PF would have a “no penis zone” – especially in more cramped quarters)… some have better air circulation than others.  Equipment varies from location to location… most is in good condition.  10-12 TV channels – but you can only listen on the cardio equipment… not able to tune-in on your MP3 player if it has FM. 

    Cons:  limited equipment in the free weights area, some locations are small/cramped and when it’s busy you may end up waiting.  Agree with some about groups of younger college age guys capitalizing equipment. 

    Overall – it’s a good experience… no gym will ever be “perfect”.  They keep things clean and in good working order. 

    For the price, PF is a good deal.  More upscale gyms will run you $40+ a month. 

  130. Rob M. (1 comments) says:

    My fiance and I are in the process of finding out what is the best way to send feedback to Planet Fitness.  We joined the Rochester, NY (Henrietta) gym back in January when it first opened and yes the machines are brand new, the TVs are nice, and there is plenty of equipment.  However there are a couple things that we feel are pretty bad.

    We go often – sometimes 5 times a week usually in the evening.  Almost every single evening there is a group of 2-3 employees sitting at the tables right next to the main desk eating pizza, breadsticks and soda.  This is daily!  We can’t believe that that employees of Planet Fitness are allowed to pig out on pizza and calzones every night in front of hundreds of people that are going to the gym and are trying hard to avoid those foods.  Not only this, but when those 3 employees are busy eating it leaves usually 1 person to man the front desk and do the tanning sign ins.  We can’t count the number of times we’ve come in and had to wait to get our cards scanned.  If the employees are not eating they are usually hanging out with each other in little groups avoiding customers.

    I know, I know, it’s only $10 or $20 a month but I don’t think it’s that absurd to want to go to a gym where people aren’t eating bad food in front of you every single time or making you wait to have your card scanned to actually start working out.

    • Matt (194 comments) says:

      Rob, thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts on Planet Fitness.

      I think one reader described the “pizza and bagel” nights as akin to going to a methadone clinic for treatment of heroine addiction and finding the counselors shooting up at the front desk.

      A bit over-the-top, but entertaining.

      The bagel and pizza stuff is infrequent enough that a person could probably justify them as a “cheat meal” — which I am all in favor of. However, if the staff is stuffing their faces on junk food in front of the members there are two issues raised: First, it’s not professional and second, it’s not a good example.

      Planet Fitness locations seem to be a bit like the Wild Wild West — some locations are run very well and others seem to be less tidy and prone to a lot more arbitrariness by staff and management. It really seems to depend on which sheriff is running the town.

      To be fair, any nation-wide business with multiple locations will prone to this lack of consistency. At the end of the day, the people you hire will in large part determine your success and the environment of the gym. Planet Fitness corporate seems to be an absent father in a lot of these locations, with the exception of swooping in every now and then to make sure the lunk alarm is hooked up and the bathrooms are free of “judgment” devices like bathroom scales or Lunk magnets like 100 lb weights or squat racks.

      The best policy with any gym is to tour it carefully, ask lots of questions (not just of the staff but the members), and if possible do a trial for a few days. Generally you’ll discover any of the warts that way.

      Also, if you have an independent, family-run gym in the area, you may want to consider that over a McGym chain. While the price may be somewhat higher, you’ll typically have a more “high-touch” experience with much more accountability from management. And since it’s their livelihood, they’ll be more sensitive to how the place is run and more open to your feedback.

      Thanks for stopping by and best of luck with your fitness goal!

  131. Celia Qualich (1 comments) says:

    I just started going to they gym using my co-workers free guest pass. W have been going for 2 weeks.  I LOVE IT. I’m going today to sign up for the $10 monthly plan.

    My location (Tampa FL) is exceptionally clean… although I think it may be newer. The equipment is great. I get off work at noon, and hit the gym right after.  Not sure if it is slow at that time, but there is plenty of extra equipment for everyone. I like how I really dont feel intimidated.  There are all ages from young to old, and definately a span of fitness levels. The workers in the Tampa gym are polite and the equipment is very new, and they have something specific for every part of the body. Its far from where I live, but I hit it on the way home from work. It is WELL worth  the money in my opinion.

  132. mary pikka (1 comments) says:

    Greetings,
    I have not been to PF yet, but am planning a trip in the next couple days with my husband.
    I’m a Christian woman who wears a head covering as an outward symbol and reminder to myself that I’m under the Lord’s authority, and my husband’s and not my own.  It is my choice to do this, as I am proud to be the Lord’s, and submit to my awesome husband.  I usually wear a bandanna wherever I go, typically that matches my outfit.  In reading this review, apparently I won’t be able to wear my bandanna to this gym, which I find annoying, but I’m also an understanding person that has great respect for people’s rules running their companies.  I also wanted to let the owner know that bandanna’s do not automatically say you are a gang member, I am much the opposite. 
    Some other things, with the pizza and bagels, I do know that each person has, or should have control over what they eat, therefore, what does it matter if the have junkfood there?  Surely I don’t agree that it’s there being served, and high fructose corn syrup tootsie rolls are also horrible, but people need to hold themselves accountable and have some self control, if you know something is bad for you, don’t eat it.
    However, being a “gym”, I really think they should stand up for healthy things.  There are really healthy, good tasting snacks out there.  I make many of them dirt cheap at home, and they could make huge profits, like popcorn, and veggies, which would give people more energy, and help people reach thier goals, they would see that they’re reaching thier goals, and keep coming back.
    I know the bottom line with capitalism is the dollar.  Which I agree with, however, like everything else in this part of life, what goes around comes around.  If this gym treats people badly and is sending a contradictory message by stuffing people with low self control with junkfood, then they will fail at some point.  There’s no reason why Capitalism cannot be both profitable and actually help people at the same time.
    I used to work at lifetime fitness, which raises the bar high, and used to be a member of fitness usa, and you do get what you pay for.
    Me and my husband simply want the cardio, and I doubt he can lift more than 80 lbs anyways, so this gym will likely be fine for us.  They want to serve us pizza and crap to eat, I can simply say no thank you and eat my salad and tuna when i get home. 
    I agree with the CEO on the first thing that was written, people take themselves way to seriously.  If this gym isn’t what you want, simply go somewhere else.  If they do something like keep charging you and won’t give you info on how to contact them, I’d sue.  I’m hoping I can simply pay cash each month, that way there’s no money trail.
    It’s funny that the biggest worry on my mind with this gym is if I have to get a different head covering, when everyone is being dramatic about the junkfood and other stuff that they can simply turn down.
    As for the grunting, is it not a common noise for a human to make upon physical exertion?  I even make noise when exerting myself in certain situations, and i’m a 5’5 31 year old Christian woman.  If people want to not be “intimidated” they need to be putting thier confidence in the fact that Christ died for us, and that if we accept Him into our lives, and if we are a child of Christ, then He lives in us, therefore there’s no reason to be “intimidated.”  I’ve worked out many times next to huge guys and very in shape women, I often compliment them, and ask them what they do to get that way.
    Seems like if you like the look of someone, and want what they have(but not being envious), you should ask them what they did to get to that state, not try to have alarms go off and keep people from “judging” each other.  Human nature makes us “judge” each other, you cannot control something in someone that is not seen.  Believe me, there are going to be people being judged in your gym, and checked out, but you will not see all of it since most of it is internal.  Just makes me laugh.  I honestly don’t think the problem is the dreaded “judgement”, the problem is the fact that people are so insecure with themselves.  I’m loved beyond measure by my one and only true God, and my husband, why would I care if someone’s going to check me out?  Or work out next to someone that’s working hard?  Is that not what the gym is for?  I dress modestly, and take it as a compliment when someone notices my feminity, but I don’t fluant it.
    Praise the Lord that there is a cheap place to workout at for my husband and I:)  even if I do have to modify a little bit to abide by thier rules.
    I’m also thankful for living in the USA where we have access to all these wonderful things that people in third world countries don’t have, as well as freedom of expression and of the press!  I’m excited to have been able to write and contribute:)
    God bless

  133. phil (2 comments) says:

    I find it a little on the Rude side that your Staff at your Amesbury Ma. gym can not say a simple good morning or a have a nice day to people coming and going

  134. Pete Witerski (1 comments) says:

    Wondered if “corporate” might check the men’s shower area
    at the Dewey Rd location in Greece, NY.?   The showers don’t
    seem to get cleaned very well, especially the curtains?  It
    smells in there.  A few of us have tried bringing in our own
    mold & bacteria spray cleaners, but we can’t keep us as they
    get stolen much.  Check out the entire bathroom area. 
    I’m told local management can only do so much & their
    hands are tied.     Thanks!

  135. Maria (2 comments) says:

    You can also register a contact the Attorney General’s office from your state with any kind of problems.   If you cannot contact the corporate office they will.    Once they hear from the Attorney General’s office they better answer.   The Attorney General can shut them down.   

  136. Mike Carpenter (1 comments) says:

    FOXNEWS 3,390,000
    MSNBC 1,210,000
    CNN 1,070,000
    CNN HEADLINE 909,000
    With this being said, why can’t we view Foxnews at the club?

  137. mike (11 comments) says:

    I will say it simply…you get what you pay for! I think Planet fitness is o.k. for the beginner, but for me, it SUCKS!!! This is the worst “gym” atmosphere I ever experienced. The bad economy is clouding peoples decision making. Sure, $10 a month…but if I saw another person reading the paper on a machine, or a 12 year old kid (who will probably hurt themselves) hogging machines without knowing what the f___ they are doing, or the high school kid  making out with his girlfriend in the middle of the gym floor…I would have lost it. I will never go back to that toilet again. I compare it to the “community pool”. You get every idot that was put on this planet (pardon the pun) for $10 a month. Why was I there? It was World Gym before it got infected with the debilitating “planet fitness” disease! I have since left, never to return. I would pay 10 times that amount for a great gym! Well, the idiots have to go somewhere…Oh yeah, a message to corporate…nice con job! If people feel screwed, they only have themselves to blame!

  138. Dave Annis (1 comments) says:

    The music at our Planet Fitness is too loud and too young.  So loud I can’t hear the TV through ear plugs.  So young I have never heard a song I recognize.  Why waste your music on the young folks anyways?  Almost all are plugged into their own sound.  Take a sample of your ages in PF.  If you want to make “diverse” and “comfortable” for all, adjust your music policy.

  139. Kevin Puritan (2 comments) says:

    Well I did it! Yes I did it! I finally went to try and join a PF. The one that was supposed to open in Coventry, RI is NOT going to open so I visited the one in Providence, RI that recently opened.  I was given a tour by this overweight young woman who looked like she never worked out a day in her life. No biggie, I wasn’t bothered by it and she seemed nice enough…seemed.

    The gym itself was a nice place and I was interested in joining right there on the spot after I was given the tour. The only problem was I told by my tour guide “not to bother”. Now, I’ve been a member of many gyms in my life and this was the first time I was ever told something like this. Before my jaw dropped to the floor I asked her why I couldn’t join. She explained to me that she tells this to all bodybuilders. I asked her if I looked like a bodybuilder and she told me I did. I told her fine and that I would respect her wishes. I then told her that she looked overweight and she might want to consider staying out of any bakeries.

    Truth be told folks. I’m not a bodybuilder. I may look like one because I lifted heavily at one time (many years ago) and I did probably a 100,000 pushups during my Army career. I also ran a few thousand miles in that same Army career and actually prefer cardio over weights. I was interested in joining PF for the strength training machines since shoulder injuries now prevent me from doing heavy lifting. But my primary reason for joining was for the tremendous amount of cardio equipment in the PF that I visited. Not to brag but I work in the IT profession and make a good salary, so paying my bill at PF would have been no problem and I planned on staying there for an indefinite period of time.

    Oh well, plenty of gyms, health clubs etc. out there where I will take my business and give my money to. Because of PF’s foolish outlook and irresponsible business practices I see no reason to join. PF’s loss will be another health club’s gain.

    In all honesty I have to say that I really had a hard time believing some of the anti-PF postings that I read on this board. I guess sometimes you just have to experience things for yourself.
     

  140. smith (1 comments) says:

    First to the author…I appriciate the fact that you have looked at both the bad and good facts to PF. I curently own multilpe PF locations, have owned World Gym locations and have been higher mgmt of other well known fitness franchises. So I feel I have a pretty solid idea of the real deal with PF as well as other gyms. There was a couple specific things I wanted to reply to.
    1st: One person metioned that price was the true reason for PF high volume of membership. FALSE. The Judgement Free Zone plays a huge role in the high membership. If you don’t believe this check out your local PF and ask what the % of female membership is. I’m willing to bet 60% and higher. This isn’t because of $10 per mth this is because women feel comfortable at PF. The price is important but the JFZ is the big factor.
    2nd: Someone stated it’s impossible to maitain 6000 members. FALSE. A lot of PFs are maintaining those #s. At $10 a mth many many people keep the membership even if the don’t use it that often.
    3rd The personal trainers are on payroll. The are paid hourly and required to be on staff atleast 36 (or more) hrs per week.
    Again I have not only managed but owned other fitness franchises and I can tell you that the business model works. It’s not for everybody but I really feel it’s for the majority. The pricing combined with the Judgement Free Zone equal a great facility. As for other low rate gyms poping up thats great but as I stated the low rate is only half of the puzzle. Its the atmosphere.
    As for Mike G and the rest of PF Corp….I feel (remember this is an owners stand point) they do a great job. They are involved with the franchisees and have a great vision for the future of PF. Look at what they have done in an incedably short period of time. When I owned World Gyms there was no Corp structure, no leadership, no future. Now obviously they can’t keep a close eye on every PF location and there will always be PF owners and staff that don’t do as they should but as a whole PF is a really strong franchise and a great business model.  To the people out there thinking about joining it’s really simple. If you like to slam weights ( no reason to do so), grunt (again what reason) or feel you you need more than 70lb dumbells PF isn’t for you. To be honest even gyms with heavy dumbells aren’t going to allow the grunting and slamming weights. However if you have never worked out before, feel uncomfotable in gyms, or don’t want to be around grunting and slamming of weights PF is most likley a great fit for you. They are all extremly well priced and I know for a fact the majority are clean, have nice equipment (great cardio), freindly staff and will do there best to make you comfortable. I hope this helps clear up some concerns for potential members. PF is here to stay! One last thing I can say from my expirecence is that PF members are much more satisfied and comfortable than the members I had at WG as well as other facilities I’ve managed. That speaks volumes to me. Good luck in choosing a gym.

  141. An Employee (1 comments) says:

    I would like to agree with a lot of the statements made here about PF. I do work for them and I can sympathize with some of the opinions stated here but there are a few things I wanted to clear up. First, you can be as young as 14 to join. The pizza and Bagel thing is only one day a month and its the same day every single time so even if it is a strange thing for a gym to offer, just avoid it that one day out of the month. 

    It is true that you do not need a fitness background to work there but as an employee you are required to know all the equipment, where its located, how to operate it, ect… As well as having general fitness knowledge.  I have also worked for two other large gym chains in the past and I can assure you they are exactly the same.

    We don’t have traditional aerobic classes but we do offer free one on one training sessions. Its a ‘how to session’ and we get you started on a personalized training program if you want it. You are also welcome to do them as often as you like.

    One other point that I wanted to clear up was the cancellation policy. You most certainly can walk right into the club you joined and cancel right then and there. Yes it’s true we do ask for at least 30 days notice, but that’s it. Except for canceling your membership, you can do everything else regarding memberships right online. 

    I am offended that our job title is reduced to standing behind a counter just greeting the members. Just because it is what you see does not mean there isn’t a whole lot more to our jobs.

    Planet Fitness is a beginners gym. It’s not for everyone and it does discourage against the body builder type. We are an “Average Joe’s “  for all practical purposes and if it doesn’t suit your gym needs then that is completely fair. Everyone has different goals. But before you bash it or listen to random opinions, try it for yourself as you would with any other decision you were trying to make. You can take a tour and see for yourself.

  142. Christina (2 comments) says:

    I have tryed to cancel my black membership which does not have a yearly fee and they told me at the cliftonPark NY location that I would need to pay a 68 yearly service fee inorder to cancel! They would not let me cancel without it! I will be contacting the attorney generals office about this club!!! Becareful when you sign up because you may have to deal with these problems that I am having!!

  143. Elissa Gerzog (1 comments) says:

    I never could afford a center before and certainly never wanted to be tied to a contract.  I found a “flyer” with the cost and no pressure no contract info. This is certainly a good deal, with very little financial risk.

    Equipment is nicely arranged and people rotate on and off  so there really is no waiting around.  But that was M-F during the day. I will see what happens this weekend.

    My only complaint is that it is hard to find someone on the floor to ask questions about the proper use of some of the equipment, as I am REALLY new to using more than the treadmill, bike and steppers.  I searched the website but didn’t find anything that shows each machine and tell me what the use of it should do for me.  Is there such a site where I can learn more about the equipment? 
     

    BTW
     I tried a free trial at CURVES.  Even though I am close to social security, CURVES is for old ladies who just want to exercise.  WHAT a joke. No challenge and no growth potential.  Worse yet, the cost is disgusting for what you get, or should I say, don’t get.

    EHG

  144. Javin (1 comments) says:

    Excellent and thorough review, Matt, and I was even compelled to read the entire (long) thread of comments.  My girlfriend is currently looking to join a gym and after reading numerous reviews (and yours being by far the best) I believe that the new PF being built near her work would be particularly ideal for her.

    However, I did finally decide I had to say something due to SO MANY people echoing what “Clayda” states here:

    “Gyms are for people who want to work out. Get sweaty. Grunt. Wear whatever the hell they want. Get big. Get strong. Get less fat. Whatever. Unless you are coming over to some fat white lady and telling her she better get her sloppy white ass off the machine cause you want to use it, nobody should give a damn what you do when you work out.”

    This is your opinion, and you’re entitled to it.  However, those who enjoy PF and their policies are every bit as entitled to their opinion that people SHOULD ‘give a damn’ and that you should ‘behave’ a certain way when working out.

    What many, many, many of the commentors seem to be completely missing is that some people *do* “give a damn what you do when you work out.”  Talking on your cell phone, swearing, grunting, slamming weights, how you dress, and yes, even JUST BEING AROUND very muscular body builders can be, and very much *is* intimidating for a lot of gym newbies. 

    Being prior Army, I’ve spent my share of time around “lunks” when working out and I have to admit that for someone who has no interest in body building, but rather in staying fit, PF is even starting to appeal to me.  Despite having spent a good deal of time in “lunk” gyms, I do still find the steriotyped behavior irritating, and honestly, who wants to be irritated, however mildly, while working out?  (Some of us don’t enjoy the workout in the first place, but rather see it as a necessary evil.)

    Perhaps finding the grunts, weight slams, swearing, cell phones, do-rags, etc. etc. etc. annoying is actually a fault in myself, but so be it.  Why should people who don’t wish to be around those things NOT have the option to work out in a place where they’re strongly discouraged? 

    People that thrash PF for their policies completely and utterly miss the point that they have the option of simply going to every… other… gym… in… the… world… to avoid these policies.  PF could be an oasis for people like my girlfriend, and possibly even myself.  (We have yet to actually check it out, but being a newly built one, I’ve no doubt it’ll look better now than it will in 3 years.)

    For every person here who has gone to a PF and then complained that they weren’t allowed to wear their headgear, or were reprimanded for grunting, or were angry because there wasn’t enough weight on the dumbells, or because there was too much cardio equipment, etc. etc. etc. I say this:  This would be the equivilent of me walking into a Sushi restaurant and then writing a scathing review because I couldn’t get a good ribeye.

    The analogy being that yes, it is still a restaurant, but it’s just not that KIND of restaurant.  If I want a ribeye, I can go to most other restaurants, and especially to a steakhouse (ie: a Powerhouse Gym) to get specifically what I want.  Why would you go to a restaurant specifically designed NOT to cater to you then complain when it doesn’t?

    This being said, while I find the PF policies promising, I am concerned about those that have had problems with billing, and then follow-up problems with contacting the corporate office.  I know this kind of pain all too recently (my own experience with brookstone is in my website link.)  Whether or not I will encourage the girlfriend to get a membership will depend on my personal review of the local PF gym.  Unfortunately, therein lies the problem with any franchise:  “Individual experiences may vary.”

    So far, the vast majority of the negative comments I’ve seen also seem to have been written by the very people that PF is attempting not to attract to their gyms.  If anything I find this to be a promising thing showing that their policies do in fact, however ridiculous they may seem, work.

    -Javin

  145. Kristen (1 comments) says:

    I just got a membership here and here are my pros and cons!

    pros: i consider it more of a women’s gym because of the limits on weights and more cardio machines, and i’m a woman, so yeah. also i like how you can tune into the tv’s while you work out. it’s busy and i like busy gyms, but you might not.

    cons: in front of all the tredmills (which everyone goes on) are other equipment and it feels like everyones watching you there when you work out. also i don’t like how they have no scales and discourage weight loss.

    i like it though and i actually look forward to going!

  146. Buffalo'd by Planet Fitness (1 comments) says:

    Williamsville NY Planet Fitness is a disgrace. Employees have bad attitudes and are lazy. The place is unsanitary. Good location gets people to join but attitude of workers and dirty facility are causing them to leave. Don’t waste your time trying this place, there are many other well kept, and well run places nearby.

  147. cecil (1 comments) says:

    I was asked to remove my pink bandana

  148. john (14 comments) says:

    Planet Fit-less is a big joke they need put multiple rows of lazy boy chairs in front of the TV’s. Just dont grunt when you pull the recline handle. I was a member for over a year they started out as a 24/7 gym then cut abck the hours. ‘Then they removed the squat rack and incline bench press. Why “because it was attracting lunks” wow people getting fit and bigger at a gym what a concept.  Sorry you coach potato types who never lifted anything bigger than a fork of food to your face are intimidated. hey maybe we should open a gym for drug users or drinkers and smokers and kep healthy people out so no one feels bad. Hey I have spent years getting into and staying in shape sorry you didn’t take care of yourself. My membership will be done  this month gonna go to a real gym.  hey maybe Krispy creme should buy a gym?

  149. Martin (2 comments) says:

    I was going to planet fitness in miami (107 & 16st) horrible duty inside, people from the staff really rude and when you try to talk to the owner the stuff don’t let  you and when you finally get to talk to him, He (Al) doesn’t give a sh…. about your concerns or what happend, he protected his rude manager n stuff. PEOPLE BEFORE YOU SIGN IN HERE, READ THE CONTRACT AND BY THE WAY THERE MANY OTHER GYMS AROUND CLEANER N BETTER OFFERS.

  150. Margie (1 comments) says:

    I am a member of a new Planet Fitness in Albuquerque, NM.  I must say that I am very impressed thus far.  This site does have a nice free – weight section, but also a plethora of cardio machines as well as a nicely equipped pin – machine room.  I love the 30 – min wkout section.  I don’t know about the other locations, but this location does provide a training session with a personal trainer for a variety of areas.  The first session is free.  After this, there is a fee with the with trainer, but very reasonable.  Agreed, it does not have any of the amenities, of other gyms, but it is perfect if you want to workout.  I was a member of one the gym’s that did offer classes, a pool, etc.  First of all, the classes were first come first serve and it was very difficult to get into them unless you were there much earlier. What bothered me the most about this particular gym was that there were men and women walking around acting as if they were privileged because of their perfect bodies.  This is one of the reasons I decided to not return after a few months.  Planet Fitness is a solid location!  There is nothing wrong with getting back to the basics. 

  151. Helene (1 comments) says:

    I belonged to the Planet Fitness on Indianola in COlumbus Ohio.I tried for over a year to cancel my membership to this facility. I fulfilled the requirement of sending a letter, I then called,and I sent an email. I finally had to physically go to the facility and fill the form out IN PERSON in order to make them stop charging my credit card. The person at the desk refused to acknowledge that mistakes in their office might have been made, continuing to insist that the mistake was mine because I did not send the cancellation letter by certified mail.

    In addition, I received collection notices twice, while I was still a member, for payments I made IN PERSON and ON TIME. They failed to record the payments in a timely way and sent my account to collections TWICE. They eventually called and canceled the collections because their records clearly showed I had paid on time, but it was a huge pain in the butt until that happened.

  152. BARB EWING (1 comments) says:

    Planet fitness is not a fair compamy to deal with, I joined in 2007 and they still are taking the 19.99 out of my checking account, When I tried to cancel they said I owed them around $ 50.00 , so I did not keep any monies in the account after that a now it is 2 yaers later and they are taking monies again, I contacted my bank and they said they can not stop them because they are submitting each month as a separate transaction, CALLED TODAY AND TRIED AGAIN TO CANCEL
    now they say I owe 149.00 rip off!!!!! will never again join a gym

  153. Sam (2 comments) says:

    The important thing is that people work out! Find a place that works for you, and go! All health clubs lack something, but it is up to you to find the one (or combo) that works for you. Lot’s of great comments though…

  154. B Rogers (1 comments) says:

    The Planet Fitness Club in Edwardsville, PA has succeeded in creating the most annoying, unrelaxed, distracting atmosphere I have ever experienced in a gym.  First, the sound system turns on and off consistently about every 30 seconds. Numerous complaints from members about how this breaks concentration have gone unanswered.

    Secondly, the music that is used is monotonous “club” type music reminiscent of the disco era. Most members that I see are older and usually bring  iPods so they will not have to endure the intermittently interrupted bad music.

    Finally, the absolutely silly siren is the most ridiculous idea I have ever heard of. In other words, come to our gym and try to get fit; however, don’t try too hard here-it’s OK to be mediocre and we will ensure that no one stretches the limits beyond mediocrity. In the first place, 99% of the people never know why the siren is going off, and those who do just laugh about it and ignore it.

    My family and I have always belonged to a gym, but we’ve had about enough of this farce. We’re going back to a gym that costs four times as much, and glad to be doing it. 

  155. Cathy (1 comments) says:

    I am a fairly fit 55-year old woman and I have been a member of PF for about 3 years now.  In a nutshell,  it generally meets my fitness needs.  However, there are some mornings when I am unable to do my complete 60 minute workout (cardio and weight-training) and I only have time for the “30 minute workout”.  Can anyone tell me if this will suffice on those days and approximately how many calories this would burn?  I am 5′ 5″ and weigh 145 lbs.  Thanks for your input.

  156. Shelly (2 comments) says:

    I generally don’t have a problem with my location (Ephrata, PA) but I did once have a problem with their “trainer”, Steve. I have a friend who is a certified personal trainer and I wanted her to come and do a workout with me so she could help me set up a routine. We asked the manager if that would be okay (we didn’t want to step on anyone’s toes) and he said no, that they had their own trainer for hire and he was available. I was a little surprised by that, but I didn’t make a big deal about it. I wasn’t even aware that Steve was an actual trainer because I’d never seen him training anyone, just showing people how to use the equipment. Well, the manager must have told Steve the trainner that we had wanted to bring in our own trainer and Steve was not happy. He at that point began being rude to me anytime he was around me and even once, while training another client, insinuated that I was hogging a machine and using it incorrectly. Well, either he left of his own volition or was let go (which wouldn’t be a surprise, I’m sure I’m not the only person he’s been rude to), because he’s no longer there. Anyway, the point of my story is, beware of Planet Fitness’ “free personal training” because it’s not actual training. They only demonstrate how to use the equipment. They will not develop a plan for you or help you accomplish fitness goals because they are not certified personal trainers, they are simply “fitness enthusiasts” who know just a little bit more about working out than the average Joe.

  157. Amb00 (2 comments) says:

    LOVE PF!!! north adams, MA!!! ok well i have been bad and havent gone to the gym in a few months. due to it being summer love being outside. so my question is when and why did the hours change??? the reason why i even went there is because it was a 24hr weekday. i work all the time and i dont get out till after 11pm sometimes. this just really upsets me as the mornings are okay but the nights are freezing.

  158. John (14 comments) says:

    It has been a year since I joined the Sranton, PA location.   I go most days of the week.  The machines are maintained, and the gym is kept clean.  I also find the staff to be friendly.  I think I heard the lunk alarm 2 times  since I have been there.  I think it is a great place for the price.  I think each Planet Fitness must vary by the individual owner.  I have also used the Pekville location which also seems to be in the same condition as the Scranton location.

  159. Wayne (2 comments) says:

    5 weeks ago I joined PF in Appleton, WI for their $19.99 ‘Black Card’ membership.  I have been going 3-5 times per week, and have already seen a lot of progress.  Having had a few memberships at other gyms though, I really wish I had looked further into the gym itself.  For the price, it’s hard to go wrong.  But as soon as my year is up, I will join up elsewhere, and here’s why.  First off, one of my two primary goals is to lose as much fat as possible.  I have been overweight most of my life, and being 25 and having had shin splints come and go for the last 5 years, as well as a diabetic family history, I really need to shed the pounds.  On previous diets/work out routines, being able to weigh myself keeps me motivated to keep working hard or amp it up even.  No scales?  Of course I didn’t check for that before signing on, every gym has a scale.  Do they know what scales do?  Despite many jokes, I’ve never heard a scale say something judgemental like ‘One at a time please’ or ‘Aw, you’re squishy’.  Scales are a tool of measurement, and can be all the motivation one needs.  This ‘philosiphy’ is just as ludacris as saying ‘clocks judge how much time you waste doing this or that, we can’t have them’.  Absolutely rediculous.  Could I buy a home scale and stub my toe on it every other day?  Sure, but I signed on thinking I would have a high quality scale at my disposal.  Sigh.

    There is something else I have a BIG problem with.  If they demand a judgement free zone, then why would they only offer smaller sizes of t-shirts to black card members?  Right off the bat they are making a judgement on you, by infering that you should be in a certain size range.  That’s BULL!  Nothing is more irritating than hypocricy, and that’s what it is, at its finest.  Shame on corporate for this, very rude. 

    I also happen to notice more hypocritical policy, in big lettered signs, located at eye level.  The sign I’m talking about says, in big lettering, ‘Who cares about status?’  and directly underneath it says something to the affect of ‘Get a PF Black Card Membership’.  How is their ‘special membership’ with better benefits not imply a ‘higher status’?  This doesn’t really affect me, just pointing out contradicting policy.

    Other than no scales and no squat racks, I must admit I am enjoying the membership.  A lot.  It’s an open, airy facility, and kept very clean.  All the staff are very friendly and helpful, except for one girl who seems to be cold and better than everyone else. 

    I take my mp3 player, hop on an eliptical by the sports channel on a big screen, and kick a great round of cardio before using their weight lifting equipment.  It is often inconvenient that this location only has one bench for bench press, but they do have a lot of plain and adjustable benches.  As I haven’t been lifting the last few years like I should, I am able to get a great lift in with what they have.  But I see myself passing up their limits in 10 months to a year on certain lifts, which is why I am sure I will be joining up else where. 

    The locker room is big, has three very nice, private shower stalls.  Few things feel better to me than a nice hot shower after a good workout, and I dont have to run around naked and embarrassed to take one.  The only thing that really feels better than some hot water afterwards is a massage, which I get from the free massage chair use, and I use it everytime. 

    In other words, PF is a lot like most of the girls I’ve dated.  On a 1-10, I give ‘er a 7.  I’m enjoying some good benefits, but some things drive me nuts and have me fantasizing of better.

  160. Wayne (2 comments) says:

    One more comment I forgot to mention in my previous post.  There is nothing more annoying than somebody grunting excessively load.  It ruins my concentration to listen to someone trying to call that much attention to themselves.  PF nailed that one on the head.

  161. Sheila Frazier (1 comments) says:

    This evening, I was kicked out of the Planet Fitness in St. Cloud, FL.  They made up a rule that you can not bring bags into the workout area.  I have a small bag (9 inches x 7 inches) that holds my keys and cell phone, since I don’t trust the open shelves they provide right near the door.  As I said, the “rule” of no bag is not in the contract, but the last time I was at Planet Fitness they warned me twice about my bag, but then backed off when I pointed out that the rule was not in the contract.  This evening, they warned me again, said it was the third time and they told me they were cancelling my membership and that if I didn’t leave immediately, they would call the police.  I am now considering my legal options.  My husband says he’s fine with going somewhere else, because Planet Fitness has sucked all the testosterone out of the place anyway.  It’s basically a gym for women and old guys.

  162. Joe (9 comments) says:

    Wow, there seems to be ALOT of complaining here over the gyms. Well, to start off I haven’t had any problems. I work out at the Fredicksburg Rd. P.F. in San Antonio, TX. It’s tidy and see the other customers cleaning after themselves. Staff is polite. The drinks I really don’t care much about, I buy my own protein and can handle the fountain water for an hour or so.  Unless someone has died over it, I’m cool.  My little brother had the membership first about a year ago. He said he had his good workouts without any issues. The owner/manager even greeted people every now and then.  Seen that before, I give that a plus. Like Matt said, in some places it’s cool in others it might not be worth it. I’m enjoying the Black Membership to it’s fullest. I’m not overweight obese nor skinny to the bone. So I apologize if I hurt someone’s feelings but, I appreciate the lack of ‘bodybuilders’. THOSE are the ones that hogg the machines and weights…shoot, even the looks on hot femmes, lol. Oh and the lack of squat machines, I’m cool with the leg-press and the smith machine. Over all, I’m very content as a client and with what I’m paying.

  163. S Clark (1 comments) says:

    I have considered joining PF, but now I will not…I tried looking for more positive comments against the negative…Unfortunately, the negative over ruled the positive…my main concern is the financial practices, really turned me off…I would like to thank everyone for helping me in making my decision towards planet fitness.

  164. southpaw (1 comments) says:

    Planet Fitness with their methods are contributing to the pussification of America with their policies.

    I personally went into a PF when my gym closed down for a week for annual repairs with my EX GF since she has a membership. They kicked my out for doing stack plate rows because they don’t allow Bent Over BB Rows.

    Ridiculous.

    They call it a judgment free zone, but are essentially judging the people who have worked hard to achieve what they have, by restricting what they can do.

    They don’t allow DL’s and Squats which is pathetic as well, these lifts aren’t just restricted to “lunks”

    I’m also surprised that these people are still in business when they don’t require training certification or even basic knowledge of it. I long for the day when someone injures themselves for improperly executing an exercise.

    Second thing is the lunk alarm, which is a HUGE safety issue. I can’t wait to hear a lunk alarm go off and hear about someone losing their concentration and dropping weigh on themselves.

    I thought the Y was pathetic in term of stupid policies and business practices, but this place is on a whole other level.

  165. Jeff (1 comments) says:

    Much like others, Planet Fitness duped me into there membership and then started charging my card randomly.  In a 5 week period I was charged $30 for a start up fee (I agreed to that), 2 monthly charges, and today charged for a “yearly” fee.     When I signed up, I was told the $30 start up fee would cover me for 1 year.   Also, shouldn’t a yearly fee be charged after a year?  I was told at the local Planet Fitness there was nothing I could do about it and if I dropped my membership I would be out the $80 I had already paid for 1 MONTH of membership.  Beyond that, it’s impossible to get a hold of the corporate level to talk to anyone.   To make it worse, when I walked into the gym they were running a special for $1 sign up.   After asking about that, the front desk just answered “bad timing on your part.”   Thanks….

  166. Amb00 (2 comments) says:

    i just dont get it!!! how can all ur PF things say open 24hrs and its NOT!!! the one in north adams, MA isnt open 24 anymore WHY??? makes no sence. people sign up for things then puff they change. i just dont get it.  its not right to do that. sorry but this is driving me crazy!!!!

  167. Biff Fullerton (1 comments) says:

    Planet Fitness is just not for me. I’ve read the excellent article and all the comments. I was considering checking out PF, not anymore. Planet Fitness seems to be the Starbucks of gyms. Starbucks is good coffee until you’ve had truly good coffee then you realize Starbucks sucks. Planet Fitness seems like a good gym until you’ve worked out at a proper, fully-loaded gym then you realize PF sucks. Planet Fitness is admittedly more interested in signing up old farts, fatties, moms with gunts, teens, emasculated & easily intimidated males, and random females as members. Actually I wish my gym had more females. I actually applaud Planet Fitness for this otherwise these people would be at my gym camping out on equipment/benches and sitting the wrong way in machines. Hardcore bodybuilders should know right away that PF is not a good fit for them. If they are not a perceptive person then that’s their problem and only have themselves to blame. Planet Fitness is what it is…..a generic, low level gym. I’m glad a place like this exists because it gives the old farts, fatties, moms with gunts, teens, emasculated & easily intimidated males, and random females of the world a place to go for an hour. PF’s rules and lunk alarm are there to protect their precious, aforementioned clientele. Planet Fitness can’t afford to have the likes of Biff Fullerton, Rip Vegas, and Flex Thunder bench press 700lbs in front of the clientele and scare them away like cockroaches. Is Planet Fitness a publicly traded company? Considering the obesity crisis in the USA, that stock would go through the roof.

  168. Joe (9 comments) says:

    I will spend every spare minute I have from now on standing on the hilltops and shouting to anyone who will listen about my disdain for my local Planet Fitness and their corporate offices. 

    I joined a new Planet Fitness in Roanoke, VA.  I signed up for their $10 a month membership and paid a $39 registration fee.  OK, no big deal.  During my sign up process, they only had one person working in the entire gym and he trying to do too many things at once.  During this, I watched the owner sit off to the side and read his newspaper and drink his coffee. 

    The guy signing me up rushed me thru the contract and just told me to sign here, initial here… etc.  He neglected to tell me about an annual fee that they charge on all their memberships.  Had I known this, I definitely would not have signed up.  I refuse to pay an annual fee on top of a monthly fee on top of a registration fee.  When I noticed that there were multiple charges made on my account, I called the gym and spoke with a manager.  She (Lindsay) immediately got rude with me and said that there was nothing I could do because I signed the contract.  When I told her that I wanted to cancel my membership, she said, “You are not going to tell me what to do with your account.  We decide whose memberships get cancelled and when.”  When I asked to speak to her boss, she said, “Trust me, you don’t want to talk to him…  He’s worse than me.  He’s the one who trained me to deal with people like you.”  When  I asked for the number to the corporate offices, she laughed and said, “They don’t want to hear from customers.  You can contact them thru the website.”  Which was a bold face lie.  Nowhere on the PF website is there a way to contact their corporate offices.

    I was totally appalled.  First off, at the level of customer service.  The quickness with which she got rude with me and the “scripted” answers I got told me that that is exactly how she was trained to talk to her customers.  Second, what kind of company purposefully refuses to give any way to contact them?  They obviously don’t care how their franchise owners are running their businesses. 

    Their contracts contain hidden fees, their owners and managers are extremely rude, and the company as a whole is a big stinking turd.

    DO NOT JOIN THIS ATROCITY OR YOU, TOO, WILL BE HIT WITH HIDDEN FEES!!

  169. Ginger (1 comments) says:

    I was at Planet today and have noticed since I have been there the 1 out of 12 flat screen tvs the volume has a mind of its own so I thought.  It just so happeneds to be the VH1 channel so I kindly asked the owner if he could fix the volume and then he told me that TVs volume dose not work so I kindly asked him if he could change the channel on another one of the TVs.  He then told me absoultly not and that VH1 was offensive to the older people there who like to watch the news.  There were already 6 channels of news on so whats the big deal there were only 2 other people on cardio equipment and we all have our own head phones.  Judgement free are you kidding!  Everyone has the right to listen to which channel they prefer.  He was being nice and put the captions on though.  Thanks I love to read captions when I want to hear music.  Is there anything I can do about this?  There are alot of programs I like on that station like Brook Knows Best,  Sweet 16,  and those bridal reality shows I am a girl and I like very girly things I am 31 years old and I am just more motivated by reality shows and music than news.  Please HELP…..

  170. Mister P (1 comments) says:

    I’ve belonged to the PF in Stoughton MA for one year. It’s great if you  are self-motivated and know what you want.  I’m not a power lifter, so the available equipment is suitably ample for my needs.  Obviously, the price is right too.  What ruins the whole thing is that the MUSIC IS SO LOUD!!  I’ve asked the staff to lower it just a little, but they act stupid and defensive and refuse to do anything.   I’m not gonna put headphones on and turn it up super loud just to drown out their sound system.  Sometimes I’m working so hard on the exercycle for one hour that I don’t want any distraction..I just want to concentrate.  And they never have quieter times, i.e. like Sunday mornings, or before noontime, which I think they should.  If they played classical music or jazz it would be more tolerable, but having to listen to pop singers shrieking and moaning throught the sound system makes me want to barf!

    • Matt (194 comments) says:

      Mister P … no worries. Didn’t delete you post. Just got behind on them. It’s now live. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your opinion of Planet Fitness.

  171. Cynthia Plude (1 comments) says:

    Where to begin? After joining a PF in Marlboro, MA several months ago I am so sorry I did. Yes, the Black Card membership seems like a great deal but don’t be fooled. The staff  are nothing short of harassing and patrol the facility like desk Nazi’s. Many issues had arisen over the few short months I was a member, space constraints limits my ability to list them all. The final straw came last night. Now bear in mind, my daughters friend had been coming with me every Tuesday and Friday for several months to help me train. Yet suddenly I am informed that personnel training is not allowed. Black Card membership and being able to bring someone with me was the deciding factor in my choice to join PF. To add insult to injury, airing my grievances to the manager resulted in being told “If you are unhappy you can always leave”. I cancelled my membership. When it comes to great membership relations this PF in Marlboro, MA rates a big fat “ZERO” in my eyes. P.S. Several weeks after I joined, while I was enjoying a walk on the treadmill, a very irate man could be heard screaming at the manager. I can now understand his frustration.

  172. kbrod (1 comments) says:

    the gym is 10$ a month…. most gyms, especially in the NYC tri-state area  are atleast 70$ a month… it’s a bargain! stop complaining! what do you expect for 10$ a month??

  173. randy (1 comments) says:

    Planet Fitness is the worst excuse for a gym I have ever seen. Dont be fooled by their price tag. If you want to get a decent workout, look elsewhere. If you just want a place to use a treadmill a couple times a week then planet Fitness is the place for you. I went to the one in Henrietta , NY, rude staff, manager was a complete ass

  174. taylor (2 comments) says:

    You have a terms of contract that you fail to uphold and take out fees that are not authorized is this the general and present method for business procedures? I have attempted to contact headquarters but there is no co-operation for resolution of my claims. I am interested in seeing if this is just a poor cutomer service or deliberate fraud on the companies part

  175. Jen (4 comments) says:

    I recently joined the PF in Clifton Heights Pa . I love that the membership is so low. I recently lost my job and I thought getting back into shape would help offset the “low” feeling of being unemployed, so PF really fit for me. I Love everything about it so far. Everyone at my location is very nice. I am focusing on Cardio until I meet my goal weight and then I will start toning. At that point I will see how well they instruct on the machines. My location is pretty new, and the whole facility is kept very clean.  Whether or not there are body builders or not really doesn’t bother me either way. I can do without the music they play, so i bring my i Pod or watch tv. I think if people are negative about life in general they are gonna find something negative about everyting they come into contact with.

  176. Vladekk (1 comments) says:

    Very detailed review, thanks ;-)
    It seems like PF will fit me, but I can visit only for a month, let’s hope they can waive sign-up fee for me.

  177. Mike (11 comments) says:

    Belong to the PF in Marlboro Massachusetts and pay approx. $50 per month to belong. Why? For one thing, I will never turn over my bank account # to anyone for electronic transfer of funds…that’s just plain insane. Secondly, I will not give a credit card to anyone without knowing for sure that I won’t continue to be charged when I decide to revoke my membership privileges. Both of these are often requirements at most clubs to join. I prefer the cash option, it prevents employees and other people from gaining access to my personal financial information and overcharging me in the event I choose to quit the club. The way in which all “health clubs” charge and finance memberships is a subject for the attorney generals of all states to investigate….it’s a travesty.  That being said, my experience at the PF of Marlboro Massachusetts has been for the most part, very pleasant. Gone is the arrogance,attitudes and sometimes downright discriminatory behavior I’ve seen and experienced at other chain and privately held clubs. The cliques and high school like behavior of the patrons and management seems to absent for the most part. It’s really refreshing to workout without someone judging or playing little minds games with you. Gyms in general seem to be the breeding grounds for everyones’ psychological baggage…I tend not to see this at this PF in Marlboro. Overall, except for the “confusing” fee agreement, I’ve had an overall positive experience here, compared to most gyms.

  178. Nomad (1 comments) says:

    This facility is clean and effective. I’ve been coming here for months and have seen the improvement in other patrons.
    Celia Qualich has firmed up her badonka-donk to the point where its almost flawless.
    I need to step it up a notch if im going to keep up . THANKS
     

  179. Kelvin (1 comments) says:

    Thanks for all the comments. I was planning on visiting/joing PF, but due to all the bad experiences, I think I’ll pass. The cancellation policy is the main reason.

  180. Jason (7 comments) says:

    I joined my local PF (Cambridge, MA) about one year ago ans I’ll soon be leaving the gym.  While the initial fee ($30 start up; 10 per month) was the most agreeable for my pocket, I soon learned the old adage is correct: “You get what you pay for.”    First, the whole “Intimidation/Judgement Free Zone” marketing ploy is a joke, if not disingenuous at best.  By saying that, you’re already judging a person.  My attitude is that being intimidated is a choice and if you’re scared by any gym or health center environment, here’s a tip for you: Get a dog and grow up!

    I’ve been “lunked” twice, but not for being loud, grunting or even judging, but for putting the weighted rack on “too loudly.”  Really…seriously?  If the equipment wasn’t so outdated, maybe that wouldn’t have happened, but I digress.

    But for me and most frustrating is the equipment.  I’m not the biggest fitness guy walking, but when I do workout, I want to feel that I got the best workout that I could’ve done .  And P.F.’s equipment only hinders not helps my development.

    Except for the aforementioned two times I’ve been approached by the staff, I have no major complaints about them.  Where I’m going next will be a little more expensive in terms of money, but it’ll worth it in the short and long term in terms of environment , equipment and physical prowess.

  181. pfisgayy (1 comments) says:

    Planet fitness is a scam, I have an account with them and they charge my account twice in one month, constantly call and leave messages on my phone even though they have taken mone out of my account saying there is something wrong with my billing information, and having an account with them was a big mistake, i regret ever going there. Their staff is rude and lazy, very unhelpfull and just mess around on their phones all day. The part that gets me the most as that they try to charge me a MONTHLY fee, TWICE A MONTH.

    dont ever get involved with them, they’re a SCAM!!!

  182. Courtney (1 comments) says:

    This was an excellent review.  You covered all the major points that needed to be discussed.  I was looking into joining Planet Fitness but was hesitant because their membership fees seemed so low.  Now I understand that I am getting what I pay for, and for me Planet Fitness offers exactly what I want.  Thank you, I feel so much more comfortable joining my gym location now.

  183. Chris (12 comments) says:

    I’ve belonged to PF for over two years, regularly workout 4-5 per week and have visited numerous PF locations as I travel for my job.  My home gym in Syracuse is OK, people are polite, etc.  I bought the BC membership specifically so I could go to different gyms as I travel or even home to see the kids.  While PF’s can vary in terms of size and cleanliness (the one in Henrietta, NY is an example of a really nice version, the one in Lutherville, MD is an example of a dumpy version), I do like the fact the equipment is fairly standardized.  I’m pretty serious about fitness, but tend to more of the cardio and light weights as I get older, so PF is certainly sufficient for me, especially considering the price.  I’ve never experienced ‘hidden fees’, so I’m not sure what people here are complaining about – my feeling is that may be poor communication on the part of certain PF employees.  The ones I’ve run into have generally been pretty good.

    As far as visiting different gyms, I have noticed a difference is how a BC member signs in from location to location.  Some actually check ID, some require your membership number (which is NOT on the card), most make you sign in the registery, and I’ve even had a couple just wave me in when I held out the tag.  I’ve never had an issue getting in, it’s just an observation.

    One BIG complaint, and one I have experienced at all 12 PF’s I have been to (Mister P hit it on the head!), the music sucks and is really loud.  I don’t know who programs ‘Planet Fitness Radio’, but when you try play a wide variety of pop music to please everyone, and you PLAY IT REALLY LOUD, generally, it just angers people.  There is a young contingent at PF’s, but I would say the average client is in the late 30′s to early 50′s  (yeah, I know, a big range! Sorry!), and most everyone I’ve seen wears earphones, so why PF insists on playing the bad music loud is beyond me.   

    Overall, I very satisfied with the workout I get as I’m independant and self-motivated, so it’s fine for me, but I could see where it’s not for everyone.  Even though I’ve been inside of 12 PF’s about 200/year, I have never seen the ‘Lunk Alarm’ go off, so I think that’s more hype and marketing than anything else.  Honestly, I had forgetten about it until I read this review!

  184. KJ (1 comments) says:

    I was a member at the North Dartmouth, MA PF and I will never go there again. The place is cheap – and that is the problem – you get what you pay for. They are not family friendly and the help there is poorly trained.

  185. jay (4 comments) says:

    i have been working at planet fitness for 4 years now. actually two of them. the facts about these two particular gyms are that the dumbells go up to 80. there are no flat benches and each has two smith machines. neither one has a lunk alarm but i have had to cancel a membership because of grunting. we have showers, private lockers, tanning but no massage chairs. we have everyone from 13 year olds to 90 year old priests coming here. there are body builders too. they never grunt its the idiot middle age men that are trying to show off that grunt. im 5’9 190 and can easily handle all the weights in these gyms without having to grunt. our prices are 29 to sign up 10 a month. and then a prorated amount for the black card with a 39 annual fee. free unlimited group fitness training is available with any membership. that means anyone can meet with our triner for free. this guy knows his stuff and could easily be on the cover of mens health magazine. all of our staff knows how to use every machine as we all workout here. also if you just read the instructions on the equipment then the exercises are a no brainer. they even hightlight the regions that will be worked out. i personally have no problem with heavy lifting but some women and older folks do so i understand the no lunk policy. we do have a lot of highschool girls that come to tan but so what? they pay to use the facility. anyways. i just wish i got paid more. and it does kinda suck that there is no way to get in touch with corporate because i have some issues with the fact that i had to work on christmas and new years.

  186. jlgadv (1 comments) says:

    I am not happy with this gym at all! I joined in columbus and moved to the buffalo location.  The process was such a pain.  They charged me twice for one month and then sent me two late fees. Now I’m stuck in my contract for the next four months and they just moved the one that is 10 minutes away from my house even further away.  I now have to drive 35 minutes if I want to go work out.  Overall, I think this gym is very unorganized.

  187. Lisa Weber (1 comments) says:

    People just love to complain dont they?! Get over yourselves! PF is a really great gym. They offer alot of services for a great price. Not every gym is going to have what you want. If you dont like PF then quit it and go pay top dollar to get just as mad at the staff if not more and not have any idea how to use their equipment! Seriously people, all you have to do is go in the gym, mind your own business get your work out done and leave. Who needs fance equipment? if you know how to work out, then you should be able to do so without any equipment!

  188. Mari (1 comments) says:

    I’m incredibly disappointed with PF.  I went over on my lunch hour to sign up.  I had already looked into getting the upgrade membership because I would be using two locations.  I came with cash in hand and was refused!!! Can you believe that?  They refused to grant me a membership because I did not want the same scam routine that many gyms pull by continuing to charge money out of your account even after you cancel your membership.  How can a legitimate business refuse cash money?  Just proves to me that they want to run the scam.  I will never join a gym that does business this way.

  189. Meli (1 comments) says:

    I wish people would ease up a bit. I’m glad they kicked that guy out for grunting- he must have been loud if they did that and from experience that behavior is distracting and annoying as hell. I used to work out at the Jamaica Qns Loc- where the rules where posted but unfortunately not enforced. I personally don’t want to go to a gym and hear sweaty men grunting and cursing and talking Sh*! anyway, all that grunting and dropping weights is all excessive Macho stupidity. It’s bad enough we have to smell the sweat on some of these dudes that forget there is a thing called deodorant. And as far as kids at the gym- working out- that’s another rule not enforced! I was there at like 10 at night and there’s this little skinny kid with no shirt on the weight machines with no towel or anything. Not only is this unsanitary but it is dangerous- for the kid. I agree with the rules but they need to be enforced.

  190. Julie W (1 comments) says:

    So I just cancelled my credit card after months of attempting to cancel my gym membership! Ive come to the conclusion this is how they make their money! Ten dollars a month? Sure! …but for how long?! How about the rest of your life?? I told them they would not get another nickel from me and finally cancelled my card!

    Why did I want to cancel my membership? The list goes on and on but here are a few examples:

    1.  Maybe because the price is so low it welcomes the lovely homeless crowd or those just released from prison, but I dont like feeling I have just entered the ghetto and need a bullet scar or prison tat to work out there!

    2.  There is a VERY limited amount of equipment and the machines that are available usually have a defect of one kind or another. They brag about the tvs on the cardio, but when you have to read lips because the volume/speakers are broken, whats the point?!

    Okay….Im making myself angry all over again just writing this so I will stop, but the list is ridiculously long! I wrote letters, send emails, called etc. but the charges kept on coming. I was not in the area and wanted to cancel my membership! This should not be that difficult of a task! I have been a member at Bally’s, 24 Hr Fitness, and Gold’s Gym and have never had as many problems or delt with as much shit as I have for this poor excuse for a gym!  I still am getting the “here is how you can pay us” emails and bills in the mail and I told them they can just keep on sending them. They wont get a penny. I even went into the gym and told them to cancel my membership and they would not because they SAID I owed them for the months after my first and several other attempts to cancel my membership and they would not cancel the membership until I paid the bogus charges!  I went online and tried to delete my card info and the system will not let you remove your account info without giving them another valid credit card.

    I am writing this for all those debating to join the gym, because if you are already a “member”, you’re already screwed!  And for those of you that think I may have just done something to elicit this response from the gym, you are sadly mistaked. I have discussed this with several individuals and the ONLY one that got her membership cancelled….FINALLY…was a police officer that got mad enough and went in there fully dressed in uniform and demaded it! (I tried the same course of action, I must add, minus the nice little uniform, and was denied! Suprise suprise!)

  191. rich (2 comments) says:

    about 2 months ago, got blood work results from doctor,  he informed me that i had to start working out or die young,  being a police officer in Philadelphia, that was not what i wanted to hear.  i use to work out at other gyms years ago, and was not really happy there.  had to sign contract and work out on their hours of business.  i was a pretty muscular guy but never like being around sweetie people that left the equipment wet with their sweat, and all that yelling and grunting was just stupid.   will i guess you can figure out i stopped going (but still had to pay until contract was over)…so luck be with me, i seen a planet fitness commercial, 1 dollar to joint and 10 dollars a month with no contract.  i quickly went on your website, took a tour and sign up.  i was very impress at out clean everything was, especially your locker rooms and showers.    it’s a middle age crowed like myself, and no one is yelling, swearing or grunting. everyone is just working out, very friendly and very respectful of the equipment and individuals working out.   my only complaint is some of your t.v.’s the sound is very poor,   everything else is perfect.   also i love your hours (open 24 hrs) now i can work out on my schedule.  thank you………..

  192. Chantille (2 comments) says:

    don’t even dare to get membership with planet fitness….they have on the windows big and large NO CONTRACT, just $15.00 monthly…….WOW……so i told myself, i can waste $15.00 a month and join this.  I don’t have to join as my company ****tech in SSF has several gyms but just wanted to get membership here so that when i am in SF i can just hop in.  but ever since i joined, never did i enter that place again.   now, i relocated somewhere in the midwest so i have to cancel but the manager told me to pay the whole year i SIGNED A CONTRACT.   THE MANAGER IS BULL AND SHE LOOKS LIKE A BULL…….WTF!!!!  I told them to go to hell and send me to collection I don’t care.  

    BEWARE YOU GUYS…DO NOT EVER JOIN THIS FITNESS…PAY A LITTLE MORE TO GET SOMETHING DECENT.  YOU WILL BE WORKING OUT LIKE SARDINES HERE…

  193. Chantille (2 comments) says:

    don’t even dare to get membership with planet fitness….they have on the windows big and large NO CONTRACT, just $15.00 monthly…….WOW……so i told myself, i can waste $15.00 a month and join this.  I don’t have to join as my company ****tech in SSF has several gyms but just wanted to get membership here so that when i am in SF i can just hop in.  but ever since i joined, never did i enter that place again.   now, i relocated somewhere in the midwest so i have to cancel but the manager told me to pay the whole year i SIGNED A CONTRACT.   THE MANAGER IS BULL AND SHE LOOKS LIKE A BULL…….WTF!!!!  I told them to go to hell and send me to collection I don’t care.  

    BEWARE YOU GUYS…DO NOT EVER JOIN THIS FITNESS…PAY A LITTLE MORE TO GET SOMETHING DECENT.  YOU WILL BE WORKING OUT LIKE SARDINES HERE…

  194. jaded (1 comments) says:

    The PF I joined actually had required group training sessions covering cardio, uppe body and lower body workouts as an intro to the gym  The trainer was a college student studying fitness.  (Location in CA) so it probably differs from location to location.  They also has handy graphs to tell you the busiest times for the gym.

  195. Lora Lazur (1 comments) says:

    Use to belong to the Northville, Mi PF but I’m not going any more because it’s too dirty and the staff is rude. Just couldn’t take it anymore. Transferred my membership to the Westland facility and it’s super clean and staff is always friendly. I’m there to stay.

  196. Cari (1 comments) says:

    I am a personal trainer for Planet Fitness & I must say that every PF is to have one personal trainer on staff to instruct the group training aside from working as a sub-contractor in personal training. I spend 32 hours a week at my PF doing the 4 training classes offered: Design Your Own Program, Upper Body, Lower Body & Abs, & PF 30 min express. Design is the first class to take where you’ll learn the basic in & outs of gym etiquette. My style is I’ll go over some info in the beginning explaining stuff then start them out on cardio & finish up with showing some machines to start a basic workout. From there, each member can decide if they’d like to take the other classes to add on to the machines or do the rest on their own. Perhaps this isn’t the case at every PF but it is their philosophy. & yes, as a personal trainer it’s not the dream location for a highly progressive bodybuilder etc… but I enjoy the fact of passing on my knowledge to those who don’t have a clue & seeing people walk in feeling lost & within no time they’re become gym rats and are happy to have a place to call their own!

  197. Christian Quiroz (1 comments) says:

    I am here with my co-worker from planet fitness and we think that PF is a great place not olny to workout but also to be part of the staff. everybody here is friendly and only want to see our members accomplish their goals.  we do everything possible to provide a great environment meaning our facilities are spotless due to our great cleaning crew that comes in 5 times a week. we have great bonds with our members, since most of them are regulars. if you have any doubts come find out for yourself 

  198. Rich Herndon (2 comments) says:

    Tulsa OKLAHOMA Planet Fitness Is One of The Tackiest Fitness centers I’ve ever been apart Of. I’ve Been there a Full YEAr this MONTH . The First 9 months Was Ok , But the last 3 Months has Been Trash Everywhere , Mud, Locker Rooms Filthy and I’ve COMPLAINEd Time after Time, and NOTHINg Has Been DOne . This Has Continued to CONTINUe ………………………I’ve Mentioned this to several people and memebers of STAFF. .SOMEONE Needs to Do SOMETHING ABOUT this ISSUE N O W !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! New Members Come to work Out with their Butts hanging Out, and memebers Come Stinking terribly LIKE Rotten ONIONS Constanlty ———-Stinking up the ENTIRE SHOP. plus Somedays the WHOLE BUILDING Smells Like Rotten DIRTY BUTT. And When I Say Something , . The Fitness center Continues to Be Just as Trashy and Smelly day after Day . ***********This is Either going to CHANGE or I’m CHANGING GYMS………………If anyone needs to Speak with me My number is 918-949-9804

  199. Rich Herndon (2 comments) says:

    Tulsa OKLAHOMA Planet Fitness Is One of The Tackiest Fitness centers I’ve ever been apart Of. I’ve Been there a Full YEAr this MONTH . The First 9 months Was Ok , But the last 3 Months has Been Trash Everywhere , Mud, Locker Rooms Filthy and I’ve COMPLAINEd Time after Time, and NOTHINg Has Been DOne . This Has Continued to CONTINUe ………………………I’ve Mentioned this to several people and memebers of STAFF. .SOMEONE Needs to Do SOMETHING ABOUT this ISSUE N O W !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! New Members Come to work Out with their Butts hanging Out, and memebers Come Stinking terribly LIKE Rotten ONIONS Constanlty ———-Stinking up the ENTIRE SHOP. plus Somedays the WHOLE BUILDING Smells Like Rotten DIRTY BUTT. And When I Say Something , . The Fitness center Continues to Be Just as Trashy and Smelly day after Day . ***********This is Either going to CHANGE or I’m CHANGING GYMS………………If anyone needs to Speak with me My number is 918-949-9804    I Go To the GYm At Different  Hours  . Sometimes at  Night , Sometimes In the Mornings  , and Throughout the Days , and This Seems to Be  …….The Same thing AROUND the CLOCK.  The GYM Has Clean Days , But I’ve REALLY Noticed Hear Lately Alot . Trash , and Really Tacky , Filthy , Out of ORDER  THings (NEEDING) addressed

  200. steven mason (1 comments) says:

    Problems with planet fitness this is one of the letter I sent to corperate..
    To whom this may concern, I work out at the Planet Fitness at the Henderson location in Nevada. There has been many complaints from my wife about two particular older male staff members that work there. One the other hand I love working out there and have had no complaints untill today. Working out on the smith machine I set it up like I normally do every time I go there.( not knowing there was a rite or wrong way) this time rite when I was going to bench press the owner came up to me yelling, as I almost dropped the weights on myself I sat up to see what was going on. The owner said, “ you need to turn this bench around” I said that I have been doing this way for many years and did not see anything wrong with it as long as I was not making any kind of noise. Then if that wasn’t bad enough he asked three guys next to me, “Which way does this bench go?” they complied but after he left everyone that heard the conversation just shook their heads. Very pissed off at the situation I just left not knowing when I would be back. There is a proper way to say something to someone and obviously this guy had a problem. I have never bitched about any establishment, but now that I realize that some of the staff at this gym are !!!!!!!!, I think this is an issue that had to be brought up.  

  201. Dave (5 comments) says:

    I have been a black card member of Planet Fitness in Sunrise FL and have NEVER received a T-Shirt, most of the tan beds are broekn and they are so crowded you must wait hours to use one, I have never even SEEN a massage chair?!?!

    I joined about 2 years ago and am no longer under any contract but they keep billing me monthly.  I no longer live in a city with a Planet Fitness (moved about 6 months ago) and have tried to cancel and was told that I needed to send a notorized letter certified mail to the headquarters.  When I said that was reduculious they threatened to put me into collections.
    This gym is underhanded and sleazy.

  202. Julia Dean (1 comments) says:

    I am not happy with Planet Fitness. I joined the Madison Heights,MI when they opened. They have so many members I could not get on the equipment I wanted to use and have had to leave the gym several times!!!
    Beware of their cancellation contract terms!! My bank info
    changed my account was closed. 2 months later Planet Fitness billed me. THEY SAID UNTIL i CAME IN PHYSICALLY OR SENT A CERTIFIED LETTER WITH PAYMENT IN FULL INCLUDING THE $10.00 A MONTH LATE FEE!!! THEY WOULD CONTINUE TO BILL MY ACCOUNTANT AND I COULD NOT CLOSE THE ACCOUNTANT UNTIL IT WAS PAID IN FULL.
    I DON’T KNOW IF THIS IS LEGAL!!! ANY ATTORNEY’S OUT THERE? HOW ABOUT A CLASS ACTION SUIT? THEY THINK BECAUSE THEY ARE SO CHEAP PEOPLE WILL PAY FOREVER,IN CASE THAY WANT TO GO TO THE GYM!!!
    THEY DON’T CARE IF THERE IS ENOUUGH EQUIPMENT!
    IT’S ALL ABOUT THE $$$$$$$ FOR PLANET FITNESS!!!!!!

  203. Sarah Jane (1 comments) says:

    I also suspect that women (even females who take their weight-training very seriously) will generally find Planet Fitness a pleasant place to workout.

    Uhh, no. Women who take their weight training very seriously like to squat and deadlift, which apparently one cannot do at PF. We also need the same spinal stabilization as men do for heavy lifts, i.e. Valsalva, which could possibly result in, horror of all horrors, a GRUNT.

  204. J Lantor (1 comments) says:

    I will be cancelling my membership the day that it expires.  I joined the gym in August of 2009, with two black card memberships.  Well, June 1st has come, and our credit card was just debited $85 for an annual fee, even though our 12 month membership is only 9 1/2 months old.  No invoice or reminder was sent to let me know that I was going to be charged that.   I remember when I joined that I was specifically told that an invoice would be sent.   I was told that even if I cancelled my membership today, the day that the fee was charged, I would still have to pay the membership fee for the following year.    Terrible gym if you can’t get there during banker’s hours.  Gym here in Albuquerque is dark and very uninviting.   I have not set foot in that dark, dirty gym since October 20, 2009 and when I tried to reach the corporate to complain, all I hit are brick walls.  I have never heard of a company who refuses to listen to their clientelle.  For this reason, I have been and will continue to tell everyone I know to run far, far away from ANY Planet Fitness…… and even that is not far enough.

  205. Domenic Aragona (1 comments) says:

    I’m a member at the Aston Pa. location, after returning from  vacation discovered renovations had taken place. The treadmills and related equipment are now located closer to the entrance where the machines used to be and the machines are now located along a block wall. The new layout appears to make better use of the floor plan except the elimination of an aisle that was lined up with the locker rooms, a minor inconvenience! A major problem is the machines now face a block wall which which does not promte motivation! I feel confied and not part of the workout atmosphere, the machines should be facing the treadmills. I asked several other members about my observations and three agreed and one did not mind.
    I hope this situation could be rectified.    thankyou

  206. Sydney (1 comments) says:

    It is very obvious to me that it depends which location you go to – I have a black card and use both Stamford, CT locations. The staff is truly fantastic at both locations, everyone is beyond nice and knowledgeable, and they are constantly wandering around cleaning anything in sight that needs it and they are only a few feet away if you have a question.
    There is rarely a machine that’s broken but it is clearly marked when they are, leaving plenty of others to use. I do not go to the free-weight section but the weight resistance machines and cardio areas are never packed full of people (unless it’s a weekday around dinnertime). I always get to be on what I want to be on and never feel rushed, plus the weight resistance machines have weights that go over 180 lbs. There are some seriously beefy people that work out right next to the newbies and I’d say in the four or five years I’ve been a member, I’ve only felt uncomfortable once.

    (My gym had protein drinks btw, the last time I looked.)

    I feel bad that some of the commenters had such bad experiences, but I have consistently had great experiences which is why I stick with them.

    Shoutout to all the employees at Harborview Stamford!

  207. Maureen (3 comments) says:

    The PF I belong to is in Scranton Pa.  It is so hot in there, the temperature usually registers at around 75 or 76 degrees. The young snide female manager refuses to admit there is a problem and dismisses each complaint.  We don’t know where to turn for help. It’s a heartbreaking situation.

  208. Aubrey (1 comments) says:

    I’ve been at PF in VA Beach for about 3 months. I must say I absolutely love the gym, the staff, and the environment. Everyone seems very respectful of others and follows the rules. Since I’ve been going to PF, I’ve heard the lunk alarm 3 times. When it goes off everyone kinda just laughs. It’s not anything to take too seriously.  The entire gym is very clean, and the locker room is spacious and cool. I’ve lost 60 pounds this year, and I’m still going, and I like the simplicity of PF. Obviously the price is appealing. Other gyms in this area are around 60-80 a month which is way too expensive. The location of the gym is also very convenient. My suggestion to anyone who is thinking about getting a gym membership is to check out all of the gyms in your area. Settle with the one that best suits you. If you are an aspiring bodybuilder…work out at a gym that is geared more towards bodybuilders. If you just want to get active, lose weight, and tone up then PF could be great for you. Also, try to realize that people’s opinions are based upon their preferences and their expectations. Most people only write reviews when they have a bad experience, so you have to check things out for yourself to make a fair decision.

  209. Current Member (1 comments) says:

    I’m a current member and for the most part, the worst time to go is between 4pm-9pm when everyone gets off of work/school.  And I do feel that since the price point is so low, it is accessible to some of the wrong crowds….it does feel like I have died and gone back to the projects on weekends…..so I just plan my gym time around early mornings or really late nights……other than that, no complaints for the cost.  The local YMCA was $45/month and not so great either.  It would be a trade from the ghetto for the senior citizen home….and they (senior citizens) hog machines just like the ghetto folk…..  I once spent a while waiting on the Smith press bc some 90 yr old wanted to catch up with his bridge buddy I guess…….  Not too many oldilocks at PF which I dig.   Love old people everywhere but at the gym and on the road.

  210. Joe Random (1 comments) says:

    I have to say, I can agree with just about all of your points and thoughts. Gym ettiquete is important and cleaning up your gear for the next person should be standard. From this article and from others I have read recently I get a very bad picture of this chain of gyms. At the same time, I think I’ve gotten extremely lucky at my local PF because I have not experienced a lot of the things I’ve read.

    We have a core of us that workout in the early mornings and we lift very heavy every day in the three big lifts and the auxiliary muscles. Minimal noise and mess because we ARE nice guys who DO want to get along with those around us. We control our weights both up and down, and while we may strain and exhale as we push our limits, we are not screaming like morons. We even use a chalk on deadlift day and we go to lengths to keep it contained and thoroughly clean up after ourselves. Maybe it’s because we are there so early, or maybe it’s the person working the desk (a great person, and probably the point on which we are the luckiest), but we get along fine with PF…so far. ;) (Notice I’m not going to identify where I’m working out.)

    My main reason for using PF was the “24-hour” nature of it. I needed a place that was open for more extended hours. If I had another choice I would certainly consider a more non-judgemental “Non-Judgemental” gym. Like I said, I think my crew has gotten lucky and like anything else, your mileage may vary.

    Good review!

  211. Concerned Confused and SCARED! (1 comments) says:

    Long story short – This morning I noticed a Planet Fitness by my new home in Casselberry Florida so I threw on my sneakers and went to join.  I filled out all the paper work, paid and got my member number.  A young girl employee turned on the tanning bed for me so I went in.  The bed shut off so I went to the front desk.  A man told me I was already a member with a balacne of over $100.  I was very confused and asked from when I was a member.  The man stated from January 2009 and I laughed and stated I was living over seas at this time.  I politely asked him to see the manager and a short bald man came out to the front.  He didnt introduce himself to me but I asked him if he had a moment to sit and figure out the mix up with me.  He showed me a picture on the computer (which was blurry and far away and looked nothing like me) and said “this is you.”
    I said it was not and I was out of the country when I became a member according to them.  The manager walked into his office and I followed.  I pulled out my passport and asked him to please look at the departure date on the pass port and the arrival dates and he refused.  He told me he wasnt stupid and I was lying.  I picked up the phone and called my mother.  I asked her to please confirm to the manager that I was infact not in the United Stated when he says I signed up and she did and then asked me if I was ok because the manager was ranting on and on.  I told her I would call her back.
    When I got off the phone the manager durring his ranting called me a “bitch” and said why would be believe my mother wasnt a liar just like me.
    I asked him for his name and he refused to provide me with it.  I pushed for it and he took a stop closer to me and said I better get out of  there before I pissed him off more and something happened.
    I took a card off the corner of his desk and hurried out. confused and scared!!!
    His name is Floyd Moore and he is the manager of the Casselberry Florida Planet Fitness.  I understand he was probably confused himself but I provided him proof that I was living in Europe at the time he was telling me I signed up.  He didnt care what I said and was rude, out of control and threatened me.
    I am not only reporting him to corp but to the police for the threat he made to me and because if someone really signed up at his gym back when I was out of the country then I guess my identity was stolen?

    STAY AWAY FROM THAT PLANET FITNESS AND FLOYD MOORE.
    JUNE 22 2010

  212. kathy (2 comments) says:

    The Planet Fitness in Waterford, Mi. is terrible. It is always dirty. The employees are rude, they would rather sit and talk with their friends than help the customer.
    When I first staterd a year ago they had a wonderful staff. When they changed managers it has gone down. I’m not renewing my membership.    I would not recomend this place to anyone I know.

  213. valerie (1 comments) says:

    I have been a member of PF for over a year now.  This gym is perfect for me, it has the right equipment for what I need, great price, and great location.  The one thing that I don’t like are some of the members who use this place.  It’s just pure lazyness for someone to not wipe off their machine after they use it, I would hate to see what their house looks like.  Another anoying thing is when you go to use a spray bottle to wipe down the machine you have to send out search and rescue to find one.  This is because the members are too lazy to go get one, use it, then put it back, instead they want to keep it with them the whole time they are at PF.  Just plain lazyness. 

  214. Rulus (1 comments) says:

    I joined the one in MetroWest, Orlando, Fl.  BIG MISTAKE. Do yourself a favor.  Spend a little more and join a real gym.  The staff and management are rude.  And god forbid you have an issue, cause they will cancel your membership quick.  That’s their idea of customer service.  Good luck on contacting corporate to express a complaint, or the owner of they gym, cause neither the management of staff will supply you with the information.  They have so many rules that you have to follow, It feels like working out in communist russia. Here is the number to Planet Fitness Corporate 603-750-0001

  215. Grace (3 comments) says:

    If you are looking for a clean gym, Planet Fitness in Knightdale is the way to go.  Apparently, they vacuum all day long.  If I go to excercise at 10 am they are vacuuming.  If I go at 8 pm they are vacuuming.  I know.  For most of you, this would not be a problem as you are listening to your music, tv, etc.  However, I sustained a hearing injury from a noise blast and am unable to endure the vacuuming for 30 minutes to an hour.  When I explained my situation to  the guy at the receptionist desk, without looking up from his calculator,  he simply replied, “we have to vacuum.”  Then I inquired if it would be possible to call ahead and make an appointment for vacuuming-free exercising.  He handed me the manager’s card.  Does anyone out there have a R2D2 style commercial vacuum they could offer PF in Knightdale at a deal?  No doubt they could cut their vacuuming time in half if they quit using the Dirt Devil with a 1″ x 11″ head.  The company doesn’t want noise from “lunking,” yet vacuum noise is supposed to be an enjoyable background noise while trying to relieve stress. 

  216. Matt Andrews (1 comments) says:

    I just stopped by my local Planet Fitness on Albuquerque’s Westside.  The location is close to my house and just opened a week ago.  While the place looked great(why wouldn’t it, it’s brand new), I got a very strange feel from the salesman showing me around.  When I asked whether I could pay a fee to try the facility out for a few days, I was informed that this would not be  possible.   The sale person informed me that corporte did not allow for this because of the already low cost of $10/mth plus a one time start up fee of $20.  He stated that if I didn’t like the gym I could just cancel my contract and only be  out the $30.  My gut instinct told me: “no way, dude”.  So, I stated that while I understood that this was  a great rate, why was it necessary to go thru all the paperwork and process of cancellation when a two day pass would be sufficient to know whether the gym was right for me.  Afterall,  what a hassle to have to sign a contract and then cancel it just a few days later.  I clearly empasized that people don’t like signing contracts just to try a facility out.  At this point the salesman became quite “cocky” and extremely defensive/unprofessional  stating that. “ Planet Fitness” must be doing something right since it had 25,000 members that had no problem with this.  I told him that what works for 25,000 members may not work for me.  At this point, I cut the tour short and said goodbye.  What is it that they are trying to hide and/ or is it that they know you WILL NOT BE ABLE TO CANCELL SO EASILY.   So, then I come on line to check out possible complaints and am not surprised(remember my gut feeling) to find out about cancellation/billing nightmares from current/former customers.  No thanks, Ill pay way more each month for peace of mind and quality service.  Planet Fitness ABQ, we’re on to you.  Noone is going to tell me I have to sign a contract in order to try a facility out.  What u should have done was  asked me  to sign an injury waiver for a two day pass.(THAT U WILL NOT OFFER)  Be very cautious, unscrupulous business practices  have no place here.  Never sign a contract with the promise that you can just cancel two days later.  You have got to be kidding me!     

  217. Laura P (1 comments) says:

    The lunk alarm works for expired memberships too.  Ashame that they couldn’t have notified me in advance that I was getting close to my annual renewly but a very cocky teenage employee told me it wasn’t their job, I should have paid more attention.  And they have no corporate office number to call.  I have joined another gym.  Very large, local business, and many more opportunities for a good health plan.

  218. Ann (1 comments) says:

    Planet Fitness is the greatest thing to come into my town.  Prior to PF, other facilities charged enormous fees that were not affordable to those on a budget.  I don’t care about pools and saunas, just a place to burn calories.  Planet Fitness is awesome!  I lost over 40 lbs and maintained it for the past three years.  It is a comfortable place with plenty of televisions to choose from, music for those that do not choose to watch television, tons of machines and a friendly environment.  The best thing is the very low price for what you get.  I think they are losing money from me.  I go very often and get more than my money’s worth.  So glad PF came into my neighborhood.  I love it!  And so does my health.

  219. Melissa W (1 comments) says:

    Joined Stuart, Florida location as my home location and use the Palm Beach Gardens location once a week.  I am very happy with the kind and friendly staff, clean gym atmosphere and congenial guests.  I am very happy to have taken advantage of the black card status so that I can use both locations and tan, at a low monthly price.

  220. Jacquie - Orlando, FL location (1 comments) says:

    I found the Belle Island Orlando, FL location to be full of snobs. Especially the staff. They were all rude as could be. My trainer was a half hour late for a 6 am session and never even apologized – like my time was of no value at 6 am. Her advice was horrible on food. I know nutrition and she didn’t have a clue. The standard eat more meat jargon you expect from someone clueless on healthy eating habits. If you don’t know what to say shut up and don’t say anything.  The staff stands at the front desk inspecting people as they walk in. How about a hi how are, so glad to see you? I am canceling my membership after two months which is a hassle in itself. I emailed the manager to tell him why and got some generic reply about how his staff is very nice instead of I am so sorry to hear you feel that way.

  221. John (14 comments) says:

    The fitness franchise Planet Fitness has not been all that impressive to me as it moved in a few blocks from my office.  First of all the exercise equipment is not well kept and the facility is really dirty.  I have also found that the fitness staff is not very helpful at all.  I am considering the YMCA as it is a larger gym with much more to offer than Planet Fitness.  Maybe there are better franchise units around the country. 

  222. JOEY YOUNG (1 comments) says:

    There is ONE and only ONE answer to every single question anyone can post about P.F., and it is also the answer to EVERY SINGLE criticism that a P.F. faces.  Are you ready?

    Answer: A Planet Fitness gym makes more profit than any gym franchise available, and its corporate office makes more profit than any chain in history.  So, tootsie rolls or not, teens or not, returned phone calls or not, squat racks or not…..if you want to make ROI from a gym, you build a Planet Fitness.

    The more you accept that as an answer, the less questions you will have.

  223. Grace (3 comments) says:

    If you are looking for a clean gym, Planet Fitness in Knightdale is the way to go.  Apparently, they vacuum all day long.  If I go to exercise at 10 am, they are vacuuming.  If I go to exercise at 8 pm at night, they are vacuuming.  I know.  For most of you, this would not be a problem, as you are listening to your music, tv, etc.  However, I sustained a hearing injury from a noise blast and am unable to endure the vacuuming from 30 minutes to an hour.  When I explained my situation to the guy at the receptionist desk, without looking up from his calculator, he simply replied, “we have to vacuum.”  Then, I inquired if it would be possible to call ahead and make an appointment for vacuum-free exercising.  He handed me the manager’s card.  Does anyone out there have a R2D2 style commercial vacuum they could offer PF in Knightdale at a deal?  No doubt they could cut their vacuuming time in half if they quit using the Dirt Devil with a 1″x11″ head.  The company doesn’t want noise from “lunking”, but vacuum noise is supposed to be an enjoyable background noise while trying to relieve stress.

  224. jon smoot (1 comments) says:

    hahahaahaha this planet fitness is so funny like really anyone who is any kind of a lifter would not step in this gym this place is a joke they should call it planet fagness non intimidating atmosphere please im a powerlifter a real lifter ill go in and throw chalk scream and curl your 80 pound dumbells and make the fitness homos who are in there that weigh 110 pounds soaking wet with a neck that looks like a stack of dimes wet themselves haha what a joke this is this kind of place makes me pissed off because it gives lifting a bad name

  225. g dey (1 comments) says:

    This article shows that a good review can generate years of productive comments. I think that Matt is very correct about Planet Fitness’ lack of interest in being contacted. I was loudly berated by what apparently was a long-time club employee for trying to take advantage of a published ‘unlimited’ benefit for Black Card members. There didn’t seem to be any interest at the local club in correcting what appeared to be an ongoing attitude problem. Logically, Planet Fitness should be concerned, because a club which does not want members to be intimidated by other member behavior should avoid allowing members to feel abused or intimidated by people that they employ.

    Like Matt and other commenters, I could not find any way to contact anything above club level of the company to discuss this kind of problem (a non-trivial problem because a ‘nationwide’ membership does cost about double that for a single club).  I went to the extreme of providing full contact information and a description of the problem in the franchise info contact section of the website, as this was the only possible place to ask for a followup (I presented the problem as a franchisee-selection issue; suggesting an alternative franchisee for that area). Even that kind of desperate approach elicited no reaction at all.
    I hope that reviewers continue to hit this point with respect to Planet Fitness; I have belonged to several multi-location clubs, and find the Planet Fitness approach to be a bad sign, and potentially even dangerous for both the corporation and its members.

  226. smb (1 comments) says:

    Ok, if this helps people decide since I did not go through reviews when I joined, lost $132 because they overcharged my credit card even after cancellation, they refuse to accept my cancellation because I cannot reproduce my cancellation form after 10 months or so when I came to know about it thanks to one time $32 charge they put to my card to renew my membership for next year, otherwise they would have kept charging small fee every month which most of us would probably miss. Location Overland Park, KS

  227. ms treated (1 comments) says:

    I have been a member a long time and could write a book about my experiences there. My advice is just go in, work out, and don’t befirend the staff. It will cause u nothing but grief. There is def. a pecking order in there. i am looking for another gym.

  228. Mindstamina (1 comments) says:

    To the poster Matt who wrote this article.  You are clearly a geek who has never lifted more than 20 pounds. Grunting is NECESSARY when bench pressing lots of weights or doing squats or leg lifts.

    To say most gyms should enforce this rule is idiotic and you are ignorant at best. Lifting heavy weights put massive stress on the body and any type of extra "pump" needed to help the person lift heavy and go through the motion of lifting heavy while the body goes through such stress would be really helpful.

    Glad you have a good gym like PF to run on your threadmill with your matching headband and spandex while discussing the show "Gossip Girls" with your gay male friend or girlfriends.

    SMH.

  229. marie (2 comments) says:

    I agree with most of the comments I have read. Been working out 3 yrs, and it was all i could do to keep my membership. Alot of office politics, and if one person doesn’t like u look out.   Place is good for the price, as long as u don’t ruffle any feathers. I actually interviewed for a new location, and he told me basically it is for newbies, people with no experience in a gym. Thats the mentality he said you will be dealing with. Also seemed down on using smith machine for squats. If its all u offer…….   I will say that u get what u pay for. If u can deal with it, its worth the money. If not, join a “real Gym” I do agree why offer a black card membership, then grill people over who they bring in and why. It is hard to tell who is training, under the radar, and who is helping a friend. Why should it matter, all they want is a cut of the money you make if you are an outside trainer. I see people getting away with it, but they watch some of us like a hawk. And yes if its hot as all in there cause the ac isn’t working right, I am gonna workout in my sports bra, and so far no complaints. Although the other location said its unacceptable. Well they should see what some of the women wear to workout.They could be streetwalkers. Its all a matter of what yu are willing to put up with.

  230. debbee palmer (1 comments) says:

    I’m OUT!  I have been there less than a month.  The staff was not friendly, in fact, they were downright unprofessional at times.  There is no referral program and when I inquired about this, they said, “we will ‘make note’ of it in the system”.  Really?!  what does that mean.  But the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back for me was when they allowed someone else to sign up under my account WITH MEMBERSHIP FEES COMING OUT OF MY CHECKING ACCCOUNT WITHOUT MY PERMISSION.  I absolutely WILL NOT give my business to anyone that treats my financial information lightly. 

  231. paul b (1 comments) says:

    First of all.. this is a business… these smaller gyms are set up as a money maker… they offer a low cost membership to entice people. every year, especially after the holidays, people join a gym… they generally go maybe 3 or 4 times and thats it, but the gym owner keeps collecting the monthly fee, if you desire to cancel, then you pay a fee, but you figure, well, i might start agin, so you keep the membership… the owners laugh to the bank… when you see an empty gym,. they are actually making money… they have maybe 600 memberships, but maybe 10 percent actually show up… this means little wear and tear on the equipment and little need of employees.. thus, the perfect money maker!!! How do i know this…. i am a friend of one of the owners!!!

  232. Dear Mike Grondahl
    You are a compete Douche Bag.
    Your Franchise is a joke and you are not getting anyone in shape you are just babysitting them and hurting the Personal Training Industry that helps keep people safe. I can not wait until someone drops dead in your club because they were not monitored professionally. Then you will lose money and that is all you care about your FAT BASTARD
    Go to hell your asshole.

    Posted by James Jefferson M.E.S. C.P.T. C.S.N. at December 21, 2010

  233. Ravic (1 comments) says:

    Some of the other sides of “Planet Fitness” include:
    1. Untrained and rude personal
    2. Idiotic rules: friends can’t wait in the waiting room
    3. Dirty contaminated equipment: provided sprayers just spread mess around
    4. Zero to none weight loss.
    5. Multiple security problems
    6. Using UV light – cancer hazard.
    My advice for 2011 – skip it. There are some better places around.

  234. Nicole A (1 comments) says:

    Today I was going to join Planet Fitness online…I’m SO glad I read the reviews first! There’s a whole website page full of negative reviews about this place! I’ve seen WAY more bad reviews than good. The price is a big eye catcher, but I really don’t feel like being embarrassed for accidently making a noise that they find to be “against the rules”. The cost seems great, but it’s not worth the trouble to me. I’m a beginner and if I accidently make noise with the weights or something I’d rather not be punished for that. I’ve also read about a lot of contract problems, being charged too much, rude employees, and many other issues that Planet Fitness has. I’m SO glad that I decided not to join. I would rather pay 60 dollars a month at my old gym and feel comfortable, not like I’m walking a thin line for trying to better myself. The training caught my eye as well, but that clearly isn’t as it seemed either. I would like someone to guide me and give me pointers, especially being new at this.

  235. Chalmer (1 comments) says:

    To whom it my concern
    I have been a client of Planet Fitness (PF) for quite a while and use the facility on regular basis. One of the premier things I like about the facility is its cleanliness and up keep of the equipment, the employees do a great job there.  The overall attitude in the fitness center is very good; the judgment free thing is a good concept.   I, as a client, like the fact that there is proper clothing worn by patrons and staff.  Now there are a few things that have changed recently and they have not gone unnoticed. 
     First thing is not being able to keep a gym bag with me in the gym while working out, that has gym equipment in it. I could understand if it was a big garment bag, those need to be in the locker room.   
     Second I have noticed that the presence of professional trainers is no longer readily available.  I understand that professional trainers are not part of your organization but their advice on training and nutritional questions can no longer be answered without leaving your facility and going to their offices next door in the strip mall.  The arrangement and presence of the trainers was a bonus (free to Planet Fitness), one of the reasons why I chose to train in your facility (I see this as a loss for all).   
     Third, this has got to be one of the lamest excuses I have ever heard.  Removing the Olympic style flat bench and incline bench because they make too much noise!  We were told this by an employee that appears to have been moved into a supervisor roll.  COME ON!  This has left three smith machines and three bench machines to handle all your customers.  This probably won’t affect members during non-peak hours but during peak hours, you have cut the customer’s chest training capabilities by 1/3 and have affected a multitude of other training used on the smith machines.
     I did some home work First I called Broken Arrow since it’s the closest. I was told they never put those types of benches in because they are not promoting body building and it was a corporate decision.  (now that sounds a little better). Since the things I have pointed out are less than believable, I picked at random from the PF website and called Austin, TX. and Anaheim, CA.  Neither of these two PF’s have heard anything about removing the benches and have them in use. 
     I also took the time to read the reviews on the internet. WOW less than flattering!  With this latest change you are going to have a few problems.  You’re going to lose customers, a very few but they are customers and they also carry a lot of word of mouth to non members who are considering joining a fitness club.  That does go along way!!!!
      I suspect this will be tossed to the curb like the other 150 plus complaints that are posted on the internet.  But there is something I learned after 20 years in the Air Force.  When there is enough documentation good or bad things will change.  Now I have added mine to the list. 

     

  236. msd (1 comments) says:

    I just saw the add on tv for Planet Fitness and I was totally disgusted.  It portrays a very muscular adult male repeating the phrase “I pick things up and put them down” over and over as if he is mentally very slow or retarded, and then being ushered out the back door because he is not welcome there.  I can’t believe anyone would think this is funny.  What are the advertising agents for this company thinking???

    Shame on them.

  237. mike oxlong (1 comments) says:

    well let me tell you straight up what planet fitness is its a bunch of fags who cant train anywhere else because there are scared of being judged by powerlifters or bodybuilders haha what a load of shit planet fitness is the most biased place out there and a bunch of scam artists i cant believe they even function as a buisness nation wide like jon said get real people dont use this shit hole of a gym because if you do your either a homo or a smuck because if you are a real lifter dont be fooled by there talk and or there shit just take a second to walk into that gym and look and see the atomsphere and music and people and you will know that this place is horriable and if your where unfortunate to have fallen into there trap and stole your money im sorry but now the best thing you can do is spread the word and bash them fitness fags good and help hinder there Clientele and try and drive out this gym and bring in real gyms people can train at and not lunk alarms and bullshit like that

  238. Jesse (2 comments) says:

    @Julie W
    The cancellation policy is super simple. It’s listed on your contract and you can always ask an employee. When you want to cancel either walk in and cancel or cancel via certified mail BEFORE THE 10th of the month in which you want to cancel.
    The reason you are having trouble is because you didn’t cancel and you ended up with a balance. Just pay yer balance girl and cancel, geez. It’s only 10bucks.

  239. KJinAK (1 comments) says:

    Just cancelled my PF membership. two days later I noticed I was charged the $19.99 monthly fee.  I called to find out how I can be charged for the next month when I had cancelled my member ship. The guy imediately turned in to a smart ass and said, “billing goes out on the 10th, if you quit in that time period, you’ll be billed for the next month. Its in the contract.”  so it takes at least 8 days for PF to electronically charge the credit card. interesting cause when I first signed up, payments showed up damn near instantly.  When I asked about this the only replay was “if you don’t like it, you shouldn’t have signed up.”

  240. Sally (3 comments) says:

    I think the new commercial is a joke. You don’t welcome the type of people who started this gym business, and it sure seems to be judging them. Not a Judment free zone as I found out after I had to go because someone” didn’t like me anymore” I felt like I was in high school. So if you do join, stay the h away from the employees and work out and leave. But if you are a serious bodybuilder, go to Golds.

  241. Jen (4 comments) says:

    Avoid this place. The ceilings leak, theirs mold on them, the help loves to gossip, their is way too much drama and a friend of mine had the worst experience ever in a gym there. Had nothing to do with working out either. Too much drama, gossip, jealousy, and backstabbing. Go to Golds if you want to get a real workout in.

  242. Jen (4 comments) says:

    have you seen the new commercials?? And they still call themselves a judgment free zone??????????

  243. ten nay (1 comments) says:

    thanks alot , super helpful

  244. Tom (2 comments) says:

    Well I just signed up for PF and I have to say the only thing I am really upset about is the free shirt.  It wasn’t even offered to me when I got my card.  The other thing is that I would have liked to talk to a trainer since I just had a major surgery and there are certain things I can and cannot do, but it seems I am on my own to figure out the equipment.   Other then that here is the contact info:

    CONTACT INFORMATION
    If you have any questions, comments or concerns regarding Planet Fitness privacy policy and/or practices, you may e-mail us at [email protected] or write us at

    Planet Fitness
    26 Fox Run Rd.
    Newington, NH 03801

  245. Charles (1 comments) says:

    OK!!! Is it just me or does anyone else think MATT is being compensated by PF. He seems to concur with all positive comments. Yet refutes or has an explanation for ALL negative comments. My negative comments are coming soon but I am still compiling my list. And my location has only open for a month or so. (Southfield, MI)
    So PF is horrible and now reading the other complaints  I so regret signing up.

    • Matt (194 comments) says:

      Hi Charles,
      I can assure you 100% that I am NOT being compensated by Planet Fitness. I have tried to be fair and balanced in my assessment of PF. Sometimes I will jump in and provide my perspective on other people’s comments — especially when they seem to stray into areas that just become silly. In other words, I try to “moderate” so that the discussion stays focused and doesn’t go too far off track. If anything, I am actually quite critical of Planet Fitness, but I just present it in such a way that I don’t come off as a meathead with an axe to grind. My readers should also know that since writing this review, I canceled my membership at Planet Fitness. I did this because I continued to be troubled by the double-standard behind their philosophy, as well as because of some of the silly policies I started seeing being enforced at my local Planet Fitness … for example, asking female members of the gym who were in excellent shape to wear a sweat shirt over their sports bra/top because it “intimidated” the less fit members of the gym to see their exposed midriffs.

      I encourage everyone to share both their positive and negative experiences and critiques of Planet Fitness. This is really the best way for people to decide for themselves whether this gym is the right fit for them. I hope you’ll share your list with our readers, Charles.

      Thanks-
      matt

  246. lilenforcer24 (2 comments) says:

    Good Evening,
     
    Today as I walked into the gym, the same staff member that I complained about opening late on Sunday, March 13, 2011, at the Germantown, MD gym, approached me and stated that I could not have my bag on the floor. I placed my bag in my locker in the ladies room. Minutes later another member came into the gym and placed his black book bag on the floor. This member was in the gym for approximately two hours. The same staff member passed him several times, while showing new visitors around and while standing in clear view of the front desk, but did not approach the member about the black book bag on the floor. I have provided three different pictures of the different machines the member was working on and where the black book bag was placed. As other members entered the gym, the staff member did not approach them to remove their bags off the floor. I feel I am being targeted after placing a complaint about the staff member’s lateness. I should not be targeted for any reason. I have my payment deducted faithfully out of my checking account. The complaint I made regarding the opening of your gym on time was legit. Before this all occurred, I emailed your office last night regarding the inconveniences. I have yet to receive a response. Your gym is not equipped with certain handle bars, bands or exercise balls that I utilize during my workouts on a daily basis. I am a clean person. I keep my things neatly in my small draw string bag. I clean the machines before and after I use them. The first set of fans in the gym are not working. Circulation is important in a facility that people utilize to exercise.  It is incredible to see that your staff members would act in such manner. If rules are going to be enforced, they should be applied to every member that walks into the gym no matter race, color or gender. I am being retaliated against and I am feeling very uncomfortable in a place that I spend other than my home or work. I take my workouts very seriously. I don’t want anyone to interrupt me unless there is an emergency. I would really appreciate if the right measures be taken based on my complaints.
     
    I would really appreciate your attention with these matters.
     
    Many thanks,
     
    Current Member
     

      8 Attached Images
























  247. lilenforcer24 (2 comments) says:

    Good Morning,

     
     
    I go to the gym located in Germantown, MD. I have several complaints that I would like to see addressed. For starters, I was in the parking lot at 6:58am on March 13, 2011, and there was no one inside of the gym. When calling other locations, they were opened. A staff member didn’t get in until after 7:15am. This really cut into my cardio excercise time due to the fact that I needed to attend Sunday service at 10am. The lockers in the women’s locker room are completely filthy. Pictures were provided with this email as proof. They have lots of dust in them. The showers are constantly filled with hair and the shower curtains have massive soap scum. The shower curtains are constantly hanging and the rings are all over the floor of the showers. The machines have constant pet hairs and mud. The fans don’t work properly.
     
    I don’t like to complain. But this gym has become my second home. I utilize this gym for about 3 to 4 hours, six days a week. Because I am serious about my training, I would expect that your staff members take their workplace seriously. I know that things can never be perfect, but there should be several staff members alerted to some of these areas on a constant basis. Fans should be on everyday for good circulation. I don’t want to feel disgusted when I come to the gym. I want to feel as comfortable as I can considering the punishment I put my body through.
     
    The fact that you serve pizza and bagels on certain days is an insult. All the carbs involved make me want to hate coming into the gym on those days. I try to burn as much calories as I can and to see that type of food laying there is a total turn off. There should be better food ideas that can be appealing to a gym setting. Fresh veggies or fruits can be substituted. And the tootsie rolls on every table and counter, really?
     
    I hope that someone can take running these types of gyms more seriously. I work hard for my money and I don’t want to waste it away on a place that I am not happy with.
     
    Many thanks,
     
    Current Member

      4 Attached Images












  248. Derek (3 comments) says:

    People really like to complain I see – I agree with Lisa Weber, if you know how to workout probably then you can get a great workout at PF. I was going to NY Sports Club for the longest, and when I was there I was benching the 100lb dumbbells. Then I moved to where I had a PF, and was upset at first that their db only go up to 60, but let me tell you I changed my workout around to work with what PF has, and I feel healthier and stronger then I ever did before!!!!!
    Quit bitchin people and learn how to workout!

  249. teegal (1 comments) says:

    My husband and I are both PF members. We signed up for the black card membership. I called before we actually signed up to see if there was anyway I can sign up for the black card membership for me and my husband the only problem is that we can’t go at the same time because we have kids and so one of us has to stay home with the kids while the other one goes to the gym. They told me that I couldn’t do that because we would both have to be there at the same time. So, I decided to sign up for the black card for the both of us because of all the “perks” that you get with the black card. And man was it the wrong thing to do..lol. The massage chairs are a complete JOKE. The massage chairs at the nail shop are a whole lot better. I called to see if there’s anyway I can downgrade my membership and they told me I would have to pay $116.00 to downgrade. I don’t use any of the “perks” and I’m wasting $40.00 a month on this stupid membership. It’s not like I’m asking to cancel my membership from the gym I just want to downgrade it..ugggghhh. Also my friends and I joined the gym so that we can motivate each other and we have a friend that’s fit and is working on becoming a personal trainer so he was helping us out with different workouts to do and etc. I found out recently that the mangaer spoke to him and told him that he can’t help us anymore because “people” were complaining and that he’s taking away from their trainers doing their job..WHAT? There are no trainers there when we go and we go @ around 11pm. There is only one guy there at the front desk checking people in and there are maybe 10 people in the gym while we’re there. So, I don’t see what the big deal is.

  250. john (14 comments) says:

    i love planet fitness

  251. bob (6 comments) says:

    “The first complaint is that Planet Fitness could do more to educate their new members on basic gym ettiquete.”

    I’ve been going to several locations for a while now, and by far the most irritating thing is all the popping of chewing gum. It’s absolutely epidemic, especially at the Charlotte Whitehall location. Even a lot of the “men” do it. I’ve heard many people gripe about it, and on one occasion after a guy in the locker room was overhead griping about it by some thin-skinned gum-popper, a fight nearly ensued. It is a far bigger problems and a lot more irritating that cell phone usage (rare) or banging of weights. Gum should simply not be allowed, I think. At the least they should put a sign on the desk stating that it is a rule violation (and that it’s rude and shows a serious lack of class and character.) If there were another gym in the area that forbid this, I’d go there instead even if it cost more.

    I’ve personally complained to Whitehall about this, including by email, and have heard others do so as well. Doesn’t help.

  252. Andrea Holcomb (1 comments) says:

    I am a current Member of Planet Fitness at the Kernersville NC location .
    During the Month of may you had the Susan Cole Breast cancer foundation special running .I inquired information by one Manger on how I could support this foundation . I then was told by her that I could purchase the Tshirt for ten dollars .The following week I came back in the morning to purchase two T Shirts one for me and one for my Daughter witch is also a Member .I then got told that I am not able to get these Tshirts .Well at that time I asked the Manger that was  there that morningand she replied  that this is for New Members only .Because of my requiring an answer to why this was a discriminating factor to new Members only I got threaten that my Membership will be canceled….so I left this matter alone only to see that the following week  the T Shirt were able to be bought then  when I  got turned down prior   …Bewafales me to all get out .
    I have been going to this Gym pretty much since it has opened.Many times I find the staff just chatting and not attending the gyms need  …filling up paper towel holders making sure the Tanning Beds are cleaned ect …Today .this morning the Manager on  Duty  passed an empty paper towel holder for your Members to clean the machine with  twice once when she was entering the back then then again when she came out. After a few minutes of me waiting and hoping she would fix the problem I look to the front desk and see she is chatting it up with a coworker that also has passed this empty paper towel holder .I went to the front desk and told her that that paper towel holder was empty and that she and the coworker have passed this situation twice and if she could rectified   the problem ….I returned to continue my work out ..The Manager came up to me and I was told that my membership was canceled imidiatley and that I need to leave the premises now or she would call the police .
    My question here is …is your staff properly trained to understand their function as employees of a Gym ??.Is this normal to get your membership canceled when you address the obvious …and get threatened to leave or the police will be called on you .I am just asking .There also was another member there that talked to me in the gym about the same problem and she said she would address the staff on leaving when done with work out .Wondering if her membership was canceled as well or was it just mine ??
    Hoping to get an answer here soon .I am having a feeling that I will call channel 12 with this to investigate to see if all members are threatend in this Matter !!!!

    Also my Membership did get canceled and  I never got questioned about any of these incidents that ac cured.
    So again …When you complain about dirty tanning Bed and empty Paper towel holders …and a staff of 4 behing the counter either chatting or playing quarters is this standard procedure to get threatened to  get escorted out with the police ???

  253. Rob (2 comments) says:

    There is a new facility that was just built in my area which replaced a Gold’s Gym. Since my old gym closed I’ve done my cardio in the form of running the streets and using a TotalGym in my basement. I considered joining due to some of the harsh snow storms we’ve had which render running very limited at certain times. After taking an “informative tour” led by the local high school employee who knew nothing about anything, and reading everyone’s comments I feel this is nothing more than a membership grabbing factory. I have done other research (like I do before purchasing anything) and reviewed thier policies/business practice which is another story in itself. Thanks to all who left comments….if it reaches one person you’ve done your job

  254. Lisa Mathison (1 comments) says:

    The staff is rude and very impersonal. I called and asked what I needed to do to cancel my membership and was told to come in and fill out a cancellation form before the end of May. When I went in on May 28th to fill out the form I was then told that because I didn’t come in by May 27th to fill out the form I would be charged the $39.00 membership for the next year. They took no responsibility for giving me incorrect information. I will definitely never go back and recommend that anyone considering it to make a smart choice and find another gym. I try to tell everyone I know about my bad experience so that they can profit from my bad experience.

  255. Christine (4 comments) says:

    PLANETFITNESS  SUCKS I HATE THIS GYM!!!! I’M NOT FAT AND I STILL FELT UNWELLCOME THERE, AND I’V BEEN HAVE MORE CRAB TRYING TO STOPE MY MEMBERSHIP THER THEN I HAVE EVER HAD ANY WHERE ELS IN MY 29 YS OF LIFE THEY CAN ONLY TELL ME THAT THE LAST PERSON I TALK TO HAS BEEN FIRED AND THAT THEY HAD TO FIX ALL HIS CRAP + THEY SAID I SINED THE PAPER SO I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER.. SO WHAT I WANA KNOW IS WHAT IS THERE JOB THER IF WE’R  HAVE TO REMEMBER ALL THE SHIT THEY TOLD US 12 MONTHS AGO THE JUST HAVE TO STAND THER DOING NOTHING! I HAVE A LOT MORE I WANA SAY IF SOME ONE FROM PF CAN EMAIL ME…. ASAP. THEY DID’NT WANA GIVE ME ANY #’S TO TALK TO ANY ONE OTHER THEN THEM AND I CAN’T SEEM TO FINDE ONE ON THE SITE! 

  256. joyce sandler (1 comments) says:

    the gym souds great  it called my attention with this code of conduct they have someones may think is excessive but it looks good to me, seems to be good workout in a “peaceful”  place and i like the most what they do about the cellphones, really people nobady needs to know about your private life while we’re trying to relax workingout

  257. George (5 comments) says:

    As a beginner I do enjoy planet fitness. First week I had a “fitness trainer” giving me a work out plan for 1 and 1/2 months. I’ve been following it religiously, it’s been only 4 weeks I’m seeing a huge differences in my body and definition.

    Some of the de-advantage that I receive from the fitness trainer. Is when I ask him if they measure body fat, muscles to see if in 1 and 1/2 month I can measure progress. Is there a boot camp? His answer was no, this gym doesn’t provided that.

    Advantage – I really enjoy the average joe status for the gym. I’m a very skinny guy. I went to a local gym, I felt really insecure people would laugh at me, smirk or make a smart comment how weak I am (huge bodybuilder guys). Transfer to this gym, I been working out 5 x a week for 4 weeks. (new personal records, if I go for one day I would miss 4 weeks). Same guys transfer to PF, only seen them once possible went back to the other gym.

    Also, in 4 weeks I’m seeing my body getting define quickly. I don’t want to get bulk or huge. All I want is to be define, sculpture, and refined. Hopefully, I can do this in PF since that all I want.

  258. George (5 comments) says:

    Planet Fitness attend new location: Homestead, Florida

  259. Maristela Black (1 comments) says:

    I just got my membership in Planet Fitness.

  260. Chris (12 comments) says:

    I believe the no du rags rule, is to prevent one from getting them self caught in the apparatus.

  261. James (8 comments) says:

    I been working out with my wife for 11 months… both black card members mostly for the tanning. We go to the location in Albuquerque ( ladera ) recently they got a new “manager” at night he must be 20 / 22?? all of sudden after 11 months he has been telling us all the different rules we are ” breaking” yet the young kids hanging around the “gym” are all doing the things they ask us not to do. As a business owner of seven stores in Albq, I am a pretty good judge of people. He seems to be on some kind of power trip. He has no leadership or concept of business. He is there to make us customers happy and have a reason to stay at the gym he is getting paid by. With out customers like us who stay and pay the monthly fee on time there is NO job! He has no training on fitness, no management skills. While reading this blog on PF I see we are not in violation of any rules just some “kid” trying to push us around. Well note to owner consider us gone and taking as many people who will listen. Owning seven stores we know many, many locals. My biggest complaint is that the gym is always hot they have a thermostat and I have yet to see it under 80 degrees…. Even after we complained….. My next letter will be to turn them in for a unsafe environment to work out in…. Good luck to this owner as I see his short sightedness costing him business….

  262. Stephanie (3 comments) says:

    I have had mostly positive experiences with Planet Fitness. Granted, I’m nowhere near what someone would call a “lunk,” but if you’re looking for a good environment to get in your daily cardio and some moderate weight training, Planet Fitness gets the job done. I will say that not all locations are as bad as some of these reviews claim. My location in Fishtown – Philadelphia, PA is relatively new, and as such it is clean and well-organized.

    My only complaint is that sometimes the staff perform their daily cleaning duties perhaps a little too diligently. By that I mean that you could be running on a treadmill and a staff member will come to the machine next to you with a bucket of smelly pink cleaning solution and start cleaning. It’s really hard to breathe while running with chemical fumes wafting toward you. This only happened to me twice over the course of a year, but I was appalled that the staff thought that it was an acceptable thing to do. On the other hand, you can be sure that the machines are clean.

    I am having a hard time believing some of these reviews, probably because some of them are so inflammatory. I have been to multiple PF locations and none of them have appeared dirty (let alone filthy), the lunk alarm goes off infrequently, and the machines are in good working order. If that’s what you’re looking for in a gym, Planet Fitness is a good value. If you’re looking for fitness classes, training or certain machines better suited for heavy lifting, it is simply not for you. I, however, am a happy customer.

  263. j s (1 comments) says:

    Gym experience was positive, but after the first monyh my retired wife and I realized it was too far and too inconvenient.  So we didn’t return.

    The fine print in the contract says
    By submitting this agreement, you have authorized the club to bill your bank account or credit card for your monthly dues
    and
    To cancel your monthly membership and stop the monthly billing on the 17th of the month, the club requires written notification by the 10th of the month delivered to the club in person or preferably via certified mail. Memberships cannot be cancelled via fax, phone, or email.

    I realized they had been billing my checking account for the monthly membership.  I called to cancel.  Can’t do it.  I was told I can send it by mail.  Did it.
    Now I’m told my contract said it had to be done in person or by certified mail.

    They called my home phone to tell me that.

    READ THE FINE PRINT!

  264. R.C. Hegeman (1 comments) says:

    I am a 62-year-old female member of Planet Fitness in Oneida, NY. I just joined a couple weeks ago as a “white card” member under their $99 deal that ended August 31. This particular location DOES have a personal trainer on staff, and you don’t have to pay extra for an appointment with him or to join his group workout sessions. On my first day there, it was the trainer who showed me how to use machines I was unfamiliar with, and he was very patient. He also took the time to show me how to use some of the machines to work particular muscle groups and improve core body strength. I have arthritis and some nerve damage in my arms, and he showed me how to use the machines in ways that would give me desired results with the least amount of pain. In fact, all of the staff at this PF location is friendly and appears knowledgeable, and has never failed to help when I’ve needed it.

    For a woman who wants to use a gym to focus on cardio exercise, toning, and achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, Planet Fitness is ideal. It’s no-frills, and doesn’t have all the “bells and whistles” that other gyms have…and that’s good! I highly recommend it. I’ve never seen teenagers loitering or hanging out at this PF location…the only school-age person I’ve seen working out there was a young girl exercising to regain strength after a leg injury. Otherwise, it’s mostly middle-age adults and seniors during the middle of the day, which is when I go there to work out.

  265. Jay Duncan (1 comments) says:

    Planet Fitness has created a work out environment which exactly what they claim they’re trying to avoid.  They claim that they’re the no judgement zone and have no critics, but one look around any planet fitness shows this to be a very flase claim.  They have lists of things that they don’t want you to wear, say, or do.  That by it’s very defintion is a list of judgements and criticisms.  Unless you want to follow a very strict list of behavioral and dress codes you can very easily fall outside of the Planet Fitness policies and face any number of consequences, that is punishments, for not being a Planet Fitness drone.  You might get yelled at, you might have the lunk alarm go off (which is the ultimate is being judgemental and criticizing), you might be asked to leave or you might have your membership revoked.  Planet Fitness reminds me of the way the Nazi’s justified their activities with propaganda and cult like claims of doing good, while in reality they only did bad things.  Even the planet fitness commercials have a very heavy and distinct pejudicial judgement and criticism of  groups of people who they have improperly stereotyped.  It’s a reality that you’ll find jerks in any group that spoil things for everyone and actually behave like any given stereotype, but the Planet Fitness approach of portraying bodybuilders, powerlifters, and basically anyone into any amount of weight lifting as a bunch of stupid, loud and obnoxious people, is not only false and inaccurate, but is also a very judgemental, critical, rude, prejudicial and nasty approach for Planet Fitness to be doing to people.  Even little old ladies with no gym experience at all have commented that the commercials had an offensive slant to them.  In short, the Planet Fitness environment is a very intimidating one that makes you wonder which of their numerous policies you’ll end up inadvertantly conflicting with next.  They produce the feeling of someone staring at your every move looking for something that they have “judged” to be undesireable.  What’s next for Planet Fitness policies?…racial profiling?

    Just like anything, nothing is all bad.  Planet fitness does have some good points but they’re very few and trivial in the whole scope of things to do with pleasant experiences.  By far, the Planet Fitness experience is a very unpleasant one.  The two biggest pros are that they are a clean facility and they are typically quite cheap compared to many places.  Although it’s not hard to for them to be cheap when they hardly let you do much.

    The bad aspects of Planet Fitness is best presented as a list.
    1) Very Judgemental and critical of many people
    2) Restrictions on water bottle sizes, but allowing as many little bottles as you want to equal as much water as you can fit in one large bottle.  Who are they to tell me how much water I should drink?
    3) Large lists of dress code violations
    4) Prejudical commercials
    5) Insulting posters to anyone who lifts more than 5LBS. worth of weight.
    6) Staff members that don’t know what they’re doing.  Although work out knowledge is most often cited, they are also a number of complaints that the management of the facilities are often done in a very poor manner that plays favorites with people and let’s big issues slide while pestering people about trivial things.
    7) Limited amount of equipment
    8) Restrictions on the amount of weight you can lift
    9) Lack of promotion of good gym etiquette.

  266. Renee (1 comments) says:

    Very upset with customer service, especially at the Landover location. My husband and I have been trying to cancel membership for over 3 months! No one gives the right information and now I have to travel over 2 hours just to make sure our membership is cancelled! They would not even give us a refund for the annual $29 charges that we should not have been charged in the first place! This place is a rip off if you cant cancel via phone, fax, or  internet! Such an inconvience!!! Go elsewhere!

  267. Kaitlin (1 comments) says:

    I have to say so far I am loving PF. I go to one in York, PA and it is very clean and quiet. I just started working out to prepare for a major knee surgery. When I first got there, one of the trainers took me to every machine I could do, and showed me how to do them. She told me how many reps to start with, and when to up my weights. I was only there for 1 hour from 2:30 to 3:30, but I noticed that the staff cleaned the front twice in that time. They also cleaned the locker and bathrooms at least once.

    This is my first time ever going to a gym, and I am a little overweight. I am having no problem going 3 times a week for 1-2 hours. There really is not that many people there when I go, so most of the machines are opened. For $10, it is a good investment for me.

  268. brandon (3 comments) says:

    love it sore as hell an some cute girls in ther

  269. Bill Ross (1 comments) says:

    Ok so the new business model of corporate America for the last few years has been what I term empty box marketing. The theory I have goes that companies have figured out that if they decorate and empty box with enough pretty ribbons and bows they can sell it as effectively as real goods and services. People think they are buying something special when in fact it is just an empty box.I bring this because I just left a Groton, CT Planet Fitness. Now I travel a lot and have been working out for 34years. I have been to every sort of gym imaginable from an all-women’s “Curves” I talked my way into for a day to Venice Beach gym where the pro’s workout.I have never been to a gym where I felt I was intimidated and in fact at everyone without exception I have found pleasant helpful enthuiastic members as the majority. I am a very fit 52 yo but not a real big guy and I pretty much just go in, keep to myself, do my work out and am polite enough to re rack my weights, not hog machines or leave gear lying on the workout floor for others to trip over, clean my sweat off the equipment and I don’t wear offensive clothing that lets my private parts hang out. Today I was finishing up and stretching when the gym manager came over and pointed out that I was wearing a head rag. I have been for the last 3 days now. That is not allowed under their marketing banner but I see guys wearing watch caps everyday now that it has gotten cold so I looked around and pointed at the 500+lbs of weight someone left on the leg press a small women was struggling to unload so she could use it, the 200+lbs left on one of the benches with no one around, the dumbbells left on the floor, the 3 guys wearing watch caps and asked “so those things are ok and a head rag to keep the sweat out of my eyes is ‘judged’ unacceptable?” and pointed to the giant No Judgment Zone Sign painted in garish purple letters across the wall of the gym. He looked at me, blinked a couple of times and said “It’s gym policy”. Now I can understand some basic etique policies as the one I practice above and slamming weights is damaging to the floors and equipment and is not necessary for fitness nor is screaming loudly but when you overlook the basics and focus on extreme policing of the harmless like a head rag or a little grunting or sounding an obnoxious alarm at every lttle clank well…I just caved and left. The machine is just too inane to deal with on a holiday. For the first time in 34 years I left the gym feeling more stressed than when I got there. Planet Fitness is truly an obscenity in the world of fitness. Fortunately there are a great many worthy business competitors who stick to the basics.

  270. Shelly (2 comments) says:

    I’ve been working out for years. If you can’t do squats on a smith machine which they have plenty of there is something wrong with you.

  271. LA Bowen Insurance (1 comments) says:

    Planet fitness is actually pretty legit. I’ve been there a couple of times and have to say that I’m a fan.

  272. Mel (1 comments) says:

    I feel like my PF was more appropriate for my mom.  It was very basic.  My husband did like the free t-shirt!  I ended up quitting my PF and just got a used treadmill and elliptical and a few dumbbells.  I feel like i get them same workout but i’m home and it will pay for itself in 2 years!

  273. Denise Mitchell (1 comments) says:

    Wow, I was considering leaving a clean, upscale, recreation center to join Planet Fitness.  But after reading how financially greedy the owners are in using every deceptive tactic to keep withdrawling money from the account a customer used to sign up and the fact that you are subjected to behaviors that should be brought to a court and prosecuted I will opt to pass and sit back and watch until more people step up and legally put Planet Fitness in their place. 

  274. Steve (4 comments) says:

    I’ve been a member of Planet Fitness for about 5 years now (I live in NH where it all began) and I swear it just keeps getting worse and worse. 
    In the beginning they played a variety of music that appealed to all ages and tastes at a reasonable volume, now it’s the constant thump thump thump of what sounds like a hammer beating on the roof at 140 beats per minute,  a sickening collage of old and new songs set to an amazingly annoying cheap disco track that’s so loud you can’t even hear yourself think. 
    The staff, who in the beginning were in decent shape and were able to provide you with workout advice of you needed it, has been replaced with minimum wage paid teenage fatties who would be better suited to asking if you want fries with that in a burger joint than working in a health club.

    And speaking of health, between the buckets of high fructose corn syrup tootsie rolls that greet you at the front door as you walk in and the greasy pizza and gut fattening bagels they reward you with once a month it’s a wonder they don’t have people dropping dead from diabetic shock or clogged arteries halfway through their cardio routines.

    And if the food or music doesn’t kill you or drive you insane, plan on a chemotherapy filled future from the various cancers you’re likely to develope after being exposed to the cleaning chemicals they love to spray into the air and on your cardio equipment  WHILE your using it, usually  just as your breathing and heart rate reaches it’s peak ensuring that these poisons get sucked into every cell in your body, not just your nose, throat, or lungs.
    And last but not least, the large variety of basic chrome and black work out machines they started with have been replace with big ugly (and in many cases useless) purple and yellow hunks of steel that pose as weight machines but do little more that take up space.
    But hey, who cares about all that, this is the judgement free zone after all. (Unless of course you’re a man with bicepts larger than 6 inches around or god forbid accidentally lower your weights to the ground a little too quickly so that they make a barely audible thump (which we all know intimidates the hell out of the teenage fatties at the front door), in these cases, you will not only be judged,  you’ll be publicly humiliated by either the swirling purple light and siren they love to set off, or by the large cardboard cut out of a (must be a lunk cause he has muscles)  body builder that have at the entrance.
    I don’t know who runs this chain but I can easily envision adult versions of the kids who were picked last for the dodge ball teams in Jr High gym class and now that they’re all grown up they’re getting their revenge by making sure none of their members actually end up in better shape than they were all those years ago.

  275. Lokard Desmock (1 comments) says:

    I am just commenting to make you know of the incredible discovery my friend’s child obtained studying yuor web blog. She mastered so many issues, not to mention what it’s like to possess a great coaching spirit to get the others without problems comprehend a variety of problematic subject matter. You truly did more than our own expected results. Thank you for presenting these valuable, healthy, educational not to mention fun guidance on the topic to Evelyn.

  276. Amy (4 comments) says:

    Joined Planet Fitness 90 minutes ago. Cancelled my membership 30 minutes ago. Never had such an unfriendly, embarrassing experience in my life. After the girl at the counter grudgingly took my money, she told me to “wait over there” for a class. The class instructer showed up 25 minutes later, 10 minutes late, and told me I just needed to read the instructions on the machine. I asked how much weight to use and his expert opinion was “I don’t know. How should I know how strong your legs are?” Then he disappeared again while I stepped up and down on a block. Really? I paid to step up and down on a block? When he returned, he said he had had to find his cellphone that he had left somewhere else in the gym. We can’t have cellphones, but he can?  Employees were incredibly rude. They said it was for beginners, but after you pay, you are expected to just figure out what machines to use and how, and you get attitude if you interrupt the attendants with questions. Definately NOT a place for beginners or anyone who wants value for their money. Pay the few extra dollars and go to Baileys. I know I will.

  277. OffThePlanet (1 comments) says:

    After being a “weekend warrior” at another Planet Fitness, when one opened close to my workplace, I transferred my membership there and began going more often. Because I’m busy during the week, I took the opportunity to learn the 30-minute workout, and began doing that every other day (they discourage you from doing it two days in a row), followed by 30 to 60 minutes on the treadmill. On the other days, I’d do 60 minutes on the treadmill.
    I soon began to lose my patience with the lack of enforcement in the 30-minute circuit area. There is a sign that says the machines must be used in order, and that they are reserved for people doing the circuit. People were constantly coming in off the main gym floor, using a machine, and leaving, messing up those of us trying to do the circuit properly. Then there were the ones who were ostensibly doing the circuit, but going out of order and ignoring the prompts to switch machines, again messing us up. I complained several times, in person and online. The last straw came when I complained to a trainer in front of a rule breaker, who laughed in my face. I walked out of there and never came back.
    If you are a woman who is trying to lose weight, tone up and get fit, forget PF and its 30-minute circuit that’s “like Curves.” Join a real Curves. That’s what I did, and not only is it more pleasant, I’m seeing results I never saw while I was at PF. It’s $24 more a month and worth every penny.

  278. John (14 comments) says:

    I’ve read a lot of this therad and can understand a lot of the different view points.  I didn’t get through all the comments though as spending too much time on my PC is one of the reasons I’m out of shape now.  I signed up to PF over the weekend and went for the first time yesterday.  The staff was very polite and scheduled me for my first session with the trainer (which is tonight).  The location, Taylor, MI, is less than a year old so everything is pretty much new.  The place is spotless.  They have a huge fan on the ceiling and the air is set to a good temperature.  So far, I don’t have anything bad to say about my experience. 

    It seems to me that the biggest differences in people’s experiences are the result of

    1. What your expectations are.
    2. Your goals.
    3. Your level of experience
    4. Which location you go to.
    5. The staff.

    A lot of the bad experiences, which is true for most things, depends on the people you interact with.  I’m just glad that it seems like the location closest to my house is a new facility and is staffed with polite knowledgeable people.  I will know more after the session with the trainer tonight but as of now, my expectations are high.

  279. Brian (2 comments) says:

    I am a fitness nut and I was a member at a gym that offered up a lot more free weights and unassisted benchpresses. I work at a planet fitness now that I have gained lean muscle mass and that I love. I read bad reviews all the time but I really dont understand why people have such a big problem with planet fitness.

  280. Connie Stiffler (1 comments) says:

    I have been totally inactive most of my life (I’m now in my early 40′s).  I joined Planet Fitness in the hopes of getting in shape and feeling better.  Weight loss was not my priority (although it would be a nice bonus!)  I met with the personal trainer and was floored as he talked about women having “boobs”!  Even though he had us all share our fitness goals he just did not listen to each person’s needs.  In fact, he told us that he is ignoring his own doctors advice about gaining more weight (as if doctors didn’t know muscle weighs more than fat!).  This young man was very unprofessional and concerned me greatly! (Especially if I had a teenage daughter!)  He proceeded to tell us that there is no difference between losing weight and toning up.  I really didn’t want to see him again, but longed for a personal trainer to help me get into shape.  I took an ab class, I explained to him that I had previous surgeries on my abdomen and needed to be careful.  I had the o.k. from my doctor to work out.  I did the exercises even though they were really intense (remember I never worked out before!)  At first, during the workout I didn’t feel anything too much.  Yes it was hard, but I gave myself a pat on the back for doing it.  However, the next day I had so much pain in my abdomen that was similar to my c-section pain almost 6 years ago!  I have had to stop working out and take anti-inflammatory medication due to the intense amount of pain still going on 3 days later!  Thankfully there is another trainer at another location (pretty far out of my way) who has a degree in fitness and knows what she is doing and starts people off at where they are and works them up GRADUALLY!  I don’t want to quit working out at PF because this is the first gym I can afford and feel comfortable in.  I love the black card perks specifically the one about bringing a guest everyday.  I have a friend who is a member and we have started to work out together.  This helps me stay motivated!  I’ve said all this to say be careful of the personal trainers and don’t be afraid to ask about their qualifications and training.  Be wary if they have little to no training.  If you do meet with them and they aren’t being professional or listening to your needs/concerns let the manager know.  If the trainer is inexperienced I would definitely avoid the classes and just do the machines (they are pretty easy to figure out).  Otherwise than this I LOVE PF and plan to stay with it!

  281. derek (3 comments) says:

    Why are folks confused and/or complaining about PF?  They are fairly clear about their target audience.
     
    As to the issue with pizza n bagels:  Lots of gyms have customer appreciation events (some serve BBQ & beer). 

  282. Meg (2 comments) says:

    I’ve been at this gym for two days and I’ve already seen people in jeans.  I’ve seen men strutting around in tight muscle tees and girls in tiny tanks top with their goods out. So not all of these policies are enforced, just so ya know!  The reason I joined was 
    1) It’s cheap! I can work out, tan, and enjoy their massage beds for $20/month. Nothing beats that. Nothing!
    2) I hate getting hit on at the gym.  When you go to gyms with those big headed d-bags then prepare to be asked out, stared at, and annoyed.
    3)  I hate that people would kick me off my machine. In typical gyms (ahem, L..A..Fitness, ahem) they stand in front of your machine staring at you till you get off. what the heck is that? I need this machine more than they do!
    3)  The grunting. Omg. Thank you for the grunt machine. Grunting is meant to get attention. My theory is, if it’s so heavy that you grunt so the entire gym can hear you, then you can’t handle that weight! Stop it! It’s annoying and people hate you!
    4)  I’m average. I like to be around other average people.  I’m not a supermodel and I have insecurities. Do I wanna see all these ‘hott’ people walking around wearing close to nothing. No.
    5)  Theres less people there. At 5:30 PM Mon-Fri its not packed.  Thank god!

    That’s all. Meat heads stay away. PF fans dont want you there.  

    • Lloyd King (2 comments) says:

      agree with all you said I can’t understand why women come there with tights too tight and shirts too small to workout…. I rather a women who comes in baggy pants and loose fitted shirt because I know she’s there to exercise. Guys who come in jeans and boots/sandles to workout need not come because they’re just show boating which means nothing to serious women who is there to workout. Also I also hate when I’m using equipment and a knucklehead taps me while i’m focus to ask me how many more sets I have then stand in from watching me until I finally gets up Like that’s the only machine available.

  283. Laura (5 comments) says:

    Matt,

    It must be nice to realize people are STILL reading and commenting on your article. I see the first comment was 5/2008 – so you have a good topic and discussion.

    I joined a PF a month ago, I am excited and enthusiatiac about going but I don’ know what to do. I have no idea what some of the machines are, or what muscles they are for. I was searching looking for exercise machines so I could figure it out (by myself), and found your great site. Thanks!

       PF is inexpensive and I guess to make a profit, they have to sell memberships big time. They don’t really instruct you or show you anything about the machines. The one I joined opened in November, so it is pretty new and also very VERY busy. I try to get on a machine, do my reps, and get off, as others are waiting. – sometimes right in you’re face for the machine, (BACK OFF DUDE) which I think is rude.

    I will either hire a personal trainer and bring them with me to the gym, which would defeat the inexpensive membership costs, or perhaps I’ll search on the internet for how-to exercise on machine videos.    

    To sum up – if corporate is still reading –
    Yes – I like PF, Please give a bit of instruction so I know if I am doing everything correct, PF workers should walk around, and be available for quick questions.     

  284. Warren (1 comments) says:

    The article is well written and a wealth of information for potential PlanetFitness members. Thank you for the hard work writing it and the research and followup.  There are two questions:
    1. Is 12 years a typo?
     
    “The Planet Fitness Black Card
     The PF Black Card  (the $19.99 upgrade with the 12 year contract) does comes with a few perks:”
    12 years is a long contract!  Perhaps 12 Months is what was meant.

    2. Is “CARB” intentional? If so, it is kind of funny, and kind of unclear.

    “Planet Fitness Cooler Drink Discount for Black Carb Members
    Management points out that the half-off cooler drinks … There’s not a single drink available in the cooler that provides protein,…”
    So, No PROTEIN = carbs? 

    Or, is it a typo? 

    Thanks again for the article.
     

  285. Elizabeth (1 comments) says:

    I get so tired of reading such angry reports about PF. Let’s face it, it is not the gym for everyone. That is OKAY. 
    I love how these fitness fanatics think they are such great role models for those of us just getting started. No, actually, you are not. I do not want to see your skinny, sized 2, power lifting ass in my face. Sorry. I think you look unhealthy and is not what I am aiming for.
    There are gyms that really want weight lifters as their clientele, that is not PF. They are there for the average person. They are up front about what behaviors are not allowed. You have to sign off that you understand that those behaviors are not allowed. Really shouldn’t be surprised if you called out if you show up with a gallon of water, wearing and wife beater and a doo rag. Really should not surprise you if the lunk alarm goes off when you grunt real loud or drop weights.
    A tootsie roll has 11 calories! That is it! You don’t want a tootsie roll, don’t take them. I like to reward myself with one when I leave. I like the grape ones. I sure hope I burned off more that 11 calories during my workout, if not I am doing something wrong!
    Studies have shown that complete denial of favorite foods is not a long term solution for most people. A slice of pizza is not going to get you fat! Even 2 means you just need to work a little harder and stick to healthier choices for the rest of the week! If that is a reward for going to the gym for a month, so be it. Not to mention that life is about choices. Pizza, hamburgers, beer, cheetos are everywhere! We need to learn to say no to eating them in excess.
    So if you don’t like PF’s policies go to anther gym. There are plenty to choose from.
    I happen to love it and I am happy I joined. Sure it is not perfect. I would love to have a pool, but for the price, I love it.
     
     

  286. hkgarg (1 comments) says:

    It opened today in my neighborhood. Awesome! I like it. Good size and enough number of equipments of all kind. Very neat and clean. Will be surely spending more time there.

  287. Joe (9 comments) says:

    Reading most of these comments clearly demonstrate what is currently wrong with America : Everyone acting like spoiled brats and COMPLAINING!

    I read this blog/article, whatever you wanna call it and was pleasently surprised to find out it was exactly what I was looking for and needed. No one judges and everyone seems to do their own thing. I see a fair share of “big” guys, mostly with guts, but there are guys of all shapes and sizes. Luckily no meatheads. I love this place and don’t feel embarassed or afraid to work out there. 

  288. David G (1 comments) says:

    It is not for body builders. Some come to try to show off and strut around but most members just want to get into shape. Too many cell phone users on the gym floor. Rules not enforced well on this.

  289. Jessica (3 comments) says:

    Thanks for this article,
    this was really helpful for me. Ive been wanting to join but I never know what to do in a gym. the 30 minute thing sounds pretty great and I would certainly like to tan a few times before summer. This was very helpful and ill pass on the pizza from my gym but I would love to see some healthy snack alternatives to make at home. Ill be signng up tomorrow. Time to lose the 3rd child baby weight!   

  290. Lloyd King (2 comments) says:

    I been a member of planet fitness since it opened in canarsie on remsen  (brooklyn) I must say how disappointed I am with so many things about the gym. The first problem is I can’t understand why do I see kids as young as 12 years old using the equipment and nobody seems to think that’s a problem.(until one gets hurt) Also while there is a very good trainer there he is only there at certain times a day. 24 hour gym should have a 24 hour trainer on duty since the workers don’t know anything about training. Also whats with the pizza tissie rolls and bagels wow isn’t that the reason most of us are there. (Now I see why) keep us coming lol. also my most concern is the rest room seems to be a mess all the time but I blame that on the members… If I had to rate Planet Fitness I would give it a 6/10 but that’s great considering the price of membership allows anyone to join. Guys working out in boots and slippers also guys not wearing shirts and the workers seems scared to speak up. P.S still wish I had stock in it.lol

  291. Jeanne Christensen (1 comments) says:

    Planet Fitness has apparently given in to liberals because they are afraid for people to hear real newS…,not just fluff. They now have only liberal stations on their TV’s. CBS, ABC, NBC  and CNN.   They took off FOX news for ESPN   They ever asked for a survey of customers. I’m ticked.   Will be posting this on every web site I can find. 

  292. Madison (1 comments) says:

    Awesome post, thank you !

  293. Michael (2 comments) says:

    Thanks for this! It’s very helpful indeed. A PF is opening in my underserved neighborhood in Manhattan, and I’ve been thinking of joining. It’s by far the most affordable chain in NYC, and as a casual exerciser with no need for personal training expertise from the staff, it should fit my needs nicely. My one concern is the availability of equipment if this branch’s membership number grow large.
    You’re a good writer, by the way. I’m a grammar fanatic, however, and I hope you don’t object to a minor corrective criticism: “it’s” is the contraction of “it is,” and “its” (no apostrophe) is the possessive form of the pronoun, so if you are writing of PF’s business practices, for example, you should write, “..for all of its talk of empowering people,” rather than “for all of it’s talk…”
    Thanks again!

  294. jim (6 comments) says:

    I have nothing but praise for PF, great organization.  However, I have one issue.  The piped in music, if you want to call it that.  Not sure what the source of the music is but it is not conducive to working our with a rhythm, whether it be on the treadmill or machine.  Other fitness centers I have used always play music with a rhythm or beat to help you keep the stride.  Disco music is the best for exercising.  It pains me to hear the same music day after day that has no beat you can work out to.  Can something be done?  May I ask, is this the first time a member has mentioned the poor quality music?  Cheers.   

  295. Kim (1 comments) says:

    All is good until you try to cancel your membership. I did this in 2011 and to date they are still stealing money from my account! TWO YEARS. They cant find the cancellation and expect me to find a copy of the form from  2 years ago! Very bad business practices!

  296. Taryn (1 comments) says:

    Planet Fitness – Dallas (Garland North), TX is the biggest joke.If anyone has i membership there I recommend you CANCEL IT & KEEP YOUR RECEIPT.I canceled my membership months ago because I had bad customer service (I paid cash) and received a receipt. I threw it away a couple of weeks later because I didnt feel the need to let it sit on my desk everyday. Do we all keep our receipts when we purchase clothes at the department store or buy something new? idk about u but most of the time it gets thrown away with the bag it came in. This month planet fitness charged me THREE times. A total of $76! As soon as i spoke to the manager she told me my account was still active and if I didnt have my receipt she wouldn’t refund my money. In her computer it even said I HADNT BEEN THERE SINCE FEBRUARY. I told her that was her problem & not mine for having a dishonest employee that just pocketed my cancellation fee or SIXTY DOLLARS. She began to give me an attitude & responded with “well that’s why you need to keep your receipt.” My response was “well I expect to trust you guys when i give you my money to cancel an account to actually cancel it.” I didn’t think i’d need a receipt MONTHS LATER. I asked for the corporate number & she responded with “Ok I’ll give it to you but they’re just going to direct you back to me” NEVER have I been treated so badly with such terrible customer service. I thought managers were put in their positions to FIX THINGS especially after they stole from me. Investing an \extra $20 every month to workout at a better gym with GREAT customer service is definitely worth it. Not thieves, but I guess you get what you pay for.

Leave a Reply

Comments links could be nofollow free.