Based in Newington, New Hampshire, Planet Fitness was founded in 1992 by Michael Grondahl after he acquired a financially struggling gym. He drastically reduced the membership fees in order to compete against other leading brands.
The club markets itself as a “Judgement Free Zone®” where novice and casual gym users can take advantage of the services provided. They claim that no individual should feel “Gymtimidated” by anyone and that each individual can be themselves once at their gym regardless of their workout goals. With access to new equipment and knowledgeable physical instructors, Planet Fitness is the place where you can find all the great benefits.
If you’re unaware of a fitness club near you, the quickest way to find out the locations is through their website. You can either browse by state or enter your full address including city, state, and zip code. However, finding a location won’t be a problem. As of March 2015, there are 958 locations in the U.S. with one in Toronto, Canada. So, there is a high probability that you can find a club near your residential or work area.
Flexibility in timing is another point that attracts many individuals to the club. Even though the hours of operation vary from one location to another, it usually opens at 5:00 or 5:30 a.m. and closes at 9:00 p.m. on weekdays (i.e. Monday to Friday). On weekends (Saturday and Sunday), the centers open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 7:00 p.m.; however, some locations remain open for 24 hours as well.
Membership Types and Amenities
There are 2 different membership options available―No Commitment and Black Card membership. Depending on which membership you opt for, you will be able to enjoy the perks.
◆ No Commitment Membership
The membership costs US $10 per month where you get a Planet Fitness t-shirt and have unlimited access to home club along with fitness training.
◆ Black Card Membership
The membership costs US $19.99 per month. Apart from the amenities available for the “No Commitment” membership, here, a member can use any locations (not just the one he/she got the membership at), unlimited guest privileges at all locations, use of tanning and massage chairs, 50% off on cooler drinks, benefits like unlimited hydromassage, haircuts, and total body enhancement (at select locations), and other perks such as 20% off at Reebok products and outlet locations, 10& off on Planet Fitness online store along with 10% off at SmartStyle, MasterCuts, and Regis Salons.
There have been a few recorded controversies at certain centers.
◆ Some members were not satisfied with the fitness instructions provided by the staffs.
◆ Another on the con is the absence of introductory classes or personal training wherein an instructor can pass on fitness tips which are very important for beginners.
◆ In October 2011, Tarainia McDaniel, a member at an Albuquerque center was refused to wear a religious head covering at the time of her workout. She had a 2-year contract with the gym and was still asked to remove the head covering as it didn’t meet the company’s dress code.
◆ In March 2014, another woman was asked to change her spaghetti strap tank top in a Richmond, California center as her clothing was violating their gym’s dress code. The woman later on canceled her membership and asked for her money back.
With this brief overview, we hope you will be able to make a correct decision. Keep all the amenities, benefits, perks, and issues involved with Planet Fitness in mind before deciding to join them or find another fitness center.