Recently moving to a new area, I was in need of a gym. Planet Fitness is right around the corner from where I’m staying, is a well-known name, and is cheap…like dirt cheap. Fortunately for me, this particular location had just recently opened for business, so it still has that new gym smell. You know what I’m talking about…that weird new rubber smell that lingers on your clothes after you’ve left the facility. Now, I will be honest, I am not a fan of the “Judgement Free Zone” thing they tout at Planet Fitness; not because I judge people, but because it brings me a weird awareness to judgement…like now I feel I’m being judged..I don’t know. It’s almost like they’re pushing it too hard. This is probably just a me problem.
I walked up to the front desk with a buddy and was greeted by a friendly attendant. We weren’t pushed or “sold” on any particular monthly package, which I like. From personal experience, some gyms can be too sales-y. It can get ridiculous. I did not go into Planet Fitness with the intent of signing up for 12 months. I want a month-to-month contract until I get settled in before signing on with a different gym. I just want more equipment.
Oh, this is an afterthought, but Planet Fitness is just overloaded with purple. It’s like too much. My eyes hurt if I spend too much time in there. Planet Fitness, I get branding, but what’s with all the purple?
So, I was expecting to go in there and get a month-to-month contract for around ten bucks. Not a bad deal at all. This had been my previous experience at another Planet Fitness in Columbus, OH. Apparently that’s not the case here, or so I thought. I was told by the front desk staff that month-to-month was about fifteen dollars a month. If I wanted the cheaper cost I’d have to commit for a full 12 months. Then, if I wanted to sign up for all the bells and whistles package I’d be paying around $20/month. Since I didn’t want to commit to a full 12 months, and I’m not interested in tanning, I was going to pick the mid-tier options at $15/month. Their computer wasn’t working for this option at the time. We were given a free day pass and advised to sign-up online. I went to sign-up online the next day and on the website they advertised a month-to-month package at ten dollars…what I was expecting previously. This discrepancy was weird, but I figured I’d jump on it. Got my membership at month-to-month for $10/month. Checking back on the website today, 07/22/19, it reflects the price points the front staff informed us of originally. Weird.
The locker room can definitely make or break a gym for me. If the locker room smells like urine and corn chips, I’m out. Sorry folks, that’s straight up nasty. If I’m afraid to touch sink handles or counters, I’m going elsewhere. Now, for obvious reasons I’m unable comment on the women’s facilities, but the men’s was pleasantly surprising. They had showers with real doors…not some crappy vinyl curtain. They had private changing rooms if you want your own space. Floors were finished with a hard surface (that means you can mop all the nasty off the floor….carpet in locker rooms disgusts me…Can you imagine what’s crawling around on the carpet?!?!?!). Everything looked, and smelled, relatively clean. That was was a nice surprise.
If you’re a power lifter. This gym is not for you. Are you an olympic lifter? Go elsewhere. Are you a big fan of heavy squats, deadlifts, or bench pressing? This gym probably isn’t for you either. The dumbbell rack does surprisingly go up to 75lbs per dumbbell, which is more than adequate for most folks. They don’t have any free barbells, only smith machines. I can’t stand smith machines for most exercises, because they don’t allow for a natural range of motion. This can potentially cause problems for joints and connective tissues. They also have a couple of really nice selectorized cable systems. You can row, do lat pull-downs, hit some arms, and do anything else you’d use a cable system for.
Looking at the benches at this facility, the material is still in good repair. No tears in the fabric or rickety benches that wiggle and wobble when you lay down on them. They also have a huge variety of resistance training machines you can use, if that’s your style. These are what you’d expect to see in any gym. Stick the pin in the weight stack where you want it, line the machine up to fit your body, and go to town. My only complaint with Planet Fitness is the lack of barbells, and, some individuals may want/need heavier dumbbells.
Here’s where Plane Fitness really shines. It’s like there’s cardio equipment as far as the eye can see. They have your treadmills. They have stair climbers, rowing ergometers, and ellipticals. They even have a couple of upper body ergometers! There is no shortage of cardio equipment here. In front of the cardio equipment is rows of televisions with various channels turned on different t.v.’s to help the time go by quicker while you’re pounding away on the hamster wheel. Kind of a nice little area. Again, and this may because the club is so new, everything is kept nice and clean.
Planet Fitness has three other little areas that can be used if traditional weights or cardio aren’t your thing. It’s kind of nice to see them starting to develop these different options for their members. They have a set-up in one area with a stop light that changes from green to red every 60 seconds. This area can be used as a circuit. It has steps if you want to do lunges, step-ups, or any other exercise where you may need a platform. It also has selectorized resistance equipment. I think they use this for some of their classes??? I haven’t seen it being used for training or small groups yet.
The last two areas in the gym are my favorite. They have an area for stretching (who doesn’t love to stretch?!?!) and abs. Not a huge fan of the abs part, which is various machines you can hop on to hit those abs, but the stretch station and space to layout and open up those hammies and shoulders is pretty nice. I’d highly recommend checking this out after your done with your workout! Also, they have a functional fitness type area. I’m talking battle ropes, lighter kettlebells, resistance bands, suspension trainers, etc. This was the most impressive part of the whole facility. Seeing that Planet Fitness does not have free barbells in their facilities, I’m surprised that they allow kettlebells and suspension trainers. Hey, I’m not going to complain about that, though.
If you’re on a budget and just looking to stay healthy, this may be your gym. It’s an awesome price point for what you get in a decent setting. You won’t be setting any personal records here with the weights, but who cares?!?! If you’re looking to burn a few calories and don’t mind the “we don’t judge” thing or the absurd amount of purple, this may be the place for you. The staff seems friendly enough, the clientele won’t scare you away with their sleeveless hoodies and incessant screaming while slamming weights around the room, and it’s there’s enough of the right equipment you can still get a good workout in.