If you’ve followed me at all over the past year or so, you’ll know that I’ve bounced around from gym to gym a bit. When we lived in Savannah, we were members of the YMCA. We went to one near our house but, when that one closed, we had to go to one across town. Around July of last year, I started doing CrossFit and LOVED it. When we moved, we found the CrossFit gyms were much more expensive and, at the time, we didn’t know how long we’d be paying rent and floating a mortage. We also didn’t know how much I would actually be taking home from my new job, so we decided it was smarter to not join a CrossFit gym and we signed up for Planet Fitness instead.
Fast forward to last week and we cancelled our Planet Fitness membership and signed up at Gold’s Gym. We were at Planet Fitness for three months, which I feel is a pretty good length of time to form an opinion and weigh pros and cons. I went about 3-4 times a week, so I was pretty familiar with the facility and what not, but I wanted to talk a little bit about why we ended up leaving.
First, the pros!
Planet Fitness is not, by any means, a bad gym. Our Planet Fitness had a ton of cardio and weight equipment, two different circuit stations- one with your standard weight machines and one with more body weight/conditioning contraptions, nice locker rooms, plenty of locker storage, tanning, hydro massage beds, and more. The amenities were great and the price was unbeatable. I had a Black Card membership which was $20 a month and included the tanning, massage beds, and half off drinks from the cooler. Even which enrollment fees, we didn’t pay an arm and a leg.
Also, I never once heard the Lunk Alarm. I will be the first to admit that when Planet Fitness went through their “NO Lunks” policy push, I thought it was stupid and judgmental. Pizza Monday’s and Bagel Tuesdays? Ridiculous. While I still think those things, to some extent, those things really weren’t pushed as much as I thought they were. I never worked out when those things were there and they aren’t every week. Each of those food days areonly on the first Monday and Tuesday of every month and, honestly, I don’t know how many people actually partake. Anyways, I didn’t have the experience of it being this crazy strict “NO FIT PEOPLE” gym that it’s been made out to be. I saw plenty of girls in spandex and plenty of guys in tank tops. The only thing I never saw were people with shirts off.
Now, into the cons and why we ended up leaving.
First and foremost, Planet Fitness does not have child care. Mike and I had been balancing working out on our own fairly well, but it eats up a lot of our Saturday when we have to go separately. We used to work out together all the time and we enjoyed it so we wanted to find a gym with child care.
Second, Planet Fitness gets PACKED at peak hours. I know every gym has it’s busy times, but Planet Fitness, specifically our location, would get so busy that literally EVERY machine would be used. I quickly changed the time I went to the gym because of it. I think most of the reason this happens is because it IS so cheap so there are a lot of members.
Third, while Planet Fitness does have a lot of equipment, they don’t have olympic bars. The closest thing to a bench or a squat rack is a Smith machine. This wouldn’t bother some people, but I love to lift heavy and do olympic style lifts. Planet Fitness does not have the equipment for that and the company itself is not catered to that type of gym-goer so I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
Last, and probably most importantly to me personally, I ended up lacking motivation. Our location is very bright. It’s very open and I felt sort of like I was in a classroom. I loved it when I first signed up, but, as time went on, I found myself really not wanting to workout and most of it was just due to the environment of the gym. Some people really hate going to places with people who drink out of gallon jugs and yell when they lift heavy and drop weight without REALLY needing to. I TOTALLY understand why some people don’t like gyms like that and, if that’s you, Planet Fitness might be a great place for you to go. I actually prefer the meathead gyms because I find I work harder there.
At the end of the day, Planet Fitness definitely served its purpose, but I felt like I “outgrew” it, in some sense. When we signed up, we had lived in Tennessee for about 36 hours and we needed a cheap place to work out. Once we got settled, figured out what our finances were, and got into a routine, we came to realize we needed something different.
Questions for you:
- Do you have a gym membership?
- What is your favorite part about your gym?