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I have been a member of Planet Fitness for over a month and a half**. Not a long time I do know, but long to receive a nice sense of how things work there. While PF works well for my lifestyle and I enjoy going there, it also has some serious haters (with valid reasons for hating it). Here are some pros and cons of PF to help you pick if it is the right gym for you.

**Edit: It is been over years now! My opinions haven't changed but I am still going there so I guess that says something...

Pros

  • Open 24 hours.

This is important for me since I am an early morning exerciser. I take advantage of this by getting to the gym at 5am every day, along with the0 or so individuals who are already there when I arrive. What I like about 24 hour fitness centers is that you don't must plan your day around their hours and it helps make it simpler to keep away from busy times.

  • Cheap.

I pay $20 a month for my PF membership, and that is for the highest level they offer (includes limitless tanning, free visitor per day, access to any PF across the nation, limitless massage chair etc.). I think the least expensive membership is only $10 a month. To compare, other gyms in my area charge between $30 and $50 a month.

  • Tidy.

I can only speak for the handful of PF's that I have been to, but all of them have appeared to be tidy. The locker room at my location is always tidy and well stocked and the shower curtains are changed often. I do wish they would get the pre-moistened gym wipes in lieu of the paper towels and spray bottles though.

  • Lots of cardio machines.

Before graduating college I used my school's gym and in the event you went at a busy time you over likely would must wait for a cardio machine. PF has lots of treadmills, ellipticals, and bikes for everyone. Personally I have never seen the cardio deck full, there is always at least a quantity of each type open. I also like that they don't have a time limit for the machines. I have been to some gyms where they limit you to a 30 minute block and don't let you sign up for back to back times which is a immense hindrance to someone who likes to run over three or four miles.

The cardio deck in the Kalamazoo, Michigan Planet Fitness.
The cardio deck in the Kalamazoo, Michigan Planet Fitness.
Source: mlive

Cons

  • They encourage bad eating habits.

On the first Monday of each month PF has a "pizza night" where they give out limitless free slices of pizza. The first Tuesday morning of each month there is free bagels & coffee. That is not all, they also keep a immense jar of tootsie rolls on the front table & encourage people to take some as they leave. Some people have a theory that PF does this to obstruct their client's diets & force them to continue using the gym. I don't think that is their objective, but either way it is a bad thing for a gym to be doing.

  • The staff is not knowledgeable.

When I first went in to sign up for a membership, I was given a tour by of the men at the front table. As he took me around the gym he admitted that he didn't know how to make use of several of the machines. Personally I found this comic & wasn't concerned since I am experienced to know what I am doing, but for a first time gym goer this might be a actual issue that could cause an injury. Despite that I have always found the staff at my location to be friendly & in a nice mood.

The lunk alarm.
The lunk alarm.

  • The "Lunk Alarm".

I have mixed feelings about the Lunk Alarm. Planet Fitness defines "Lunk" as: "one who grunts, drops weights, or judges."The alarm will be set off when someone does any of those things. While I agree that some people taking grunting way far, you need to give them a little leeway. And dropping weights? Yes, it ought to be avoided, but it does happen. Would you have someone drop a weight on the ground or struggle with it and possibly hurt themselves? (Note: I have never seen the alarm be set off in my gym.)

  • Dress code.

Apparently PF has a dress code (my PF doesn't have of the signs) that says no denims, bananas, boots, sandals, or skullcaps. All right...that looks like common sense to me. I have also heard a rumor that they don't let you wear tank tops, but men and ladies (myself included) where them on a regular basis and nothing is ever said.

  • They do not offer group classes.

My largest complaint about PF is that they don't offer any kind of fitness classes. No pilates, no yoga, no spinning, etc. so if that is they type of thing you look for in a gym, sorry, you will must look elsewhere.

  • Difficult to cancel membership.

I have no firsthand experience with this, but I have heard from others that cancelling a membership at PF can be a challenge. In the event you cancel past a sure day then you will be charged for the whole month anyway. There's also been cases of people still being charged after their membership has been cancelled.

  • No WiFi

Now I am not sure if this is in the gyms I have been in, but in the ten or so I have visited across the country not a single has WiFi. This may appear like a finicky request, however as someone who listens to plenty of Pandora and watches Netflix on the treadmill, those knowledge charges add up! I do know some of the higher finish gyms around me do have WiFi, and naturally at the campus gym I can use theirs, but PF would receive a boost in my eyes in the event that they installed it, thinking about their massive clientele base.

  • Is Planet Fitness best for you?

In the event you are an avid weight lifter, probably not. In the event you are someone looking to get in shape or stay in shape, PF probably offers to satisfy you. In the event you have any experiences with PF that you would like to share, feel free to comment.

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