T Nation

I was a Planet Fitness Member

Just read this article and it’s oh soo true.

I’d lifted in traditional gyms in the past, then due to injury stopped. I was looking for a deal where I could lift to get back into shape, but PF eventually prevented my doing that there.

First off, the place had no barbells that weren’t attached to a Smith Machine. Ok so I use dumbbells, and the one I joined does actually have them to 100lbs, Because I already knew HOW to train, I pushed myself with dumbbells for a while.
One day I dropped a set and they sounded the “lunk alarm.” That was not encouraging for me to keep pushing but ok, I dealt with it for a few months.

Second, the heaviest leg option was a Hammer Strength Leg Press. It tops out at 8 plates per side. Plates are distributed between this and 4 Smith Machines, and to fully load the leg press often required a wait to scavenge plates after others were done using them (no Plate trees).

So I asked about them getting more plates multiple times. No luck. I eventually asked a guy who seemed to be a manager and was told he’d ask the higher ups but that he could already tell me it wouldn’t happen.

Now I did use some of their isolation machines BUT that doesn’t cover the need for compound movements.

I joined another gym at 2.5 times the price but it’s worth it in every regard. Plenty of barbells, power racks and plates, plus no clown sounding an alarm if I drop dumbbells or grunt while using anything.

I used PF to strengthen up but long term it prevents people from progressing just like the article says. So I used them without their guidance (they give none) and moved on,

Personally I wish I’d not considered the cost to be such a factor and had went to my current gym from the get go,

One thing I found interesting was that when I cancelled PF in person, no one asked why. They have plenty of people coming in to join where they won’t be “judged” so they could care less about one man leaving. Who knows, they may have pegged me as the future “lunk” who would tarnish their previous “workout” in comfort image - a sad oxymoron at best - and were glad I left before they had to kick me out.

Thank God there was a real gym close that wasn’t cost prohibitive! I’ll tolerate attitudes if they’re displayed , and as of yet they’ve not been, in order to have accesss to what is needed to get the results I want instead of worrying about their frickin “judgement free” zone BS rules.

Lastly, I’ve noted that the staff at my gym actually look like they workout, versus the doomed future sufferers of cardiac problems i saw at PF.

Sure they’re nice to their customers, but only as long as they don’t put forth enough effort to threaten the PF paradigm.

In summation, this was a great article, and

Viva la Barbells!

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A lot of people just want to feel like they’re doing something right. The actuality of what they’re doing doesn’t even matter. Its just how they want to feel.

Hell, I’m guilty of that myself, I just go about it differently. I give zero fucks about results anymore. I go to my buddies house and do what ever the hell I feel like for an hour or so a couple of times a week and feel great. Although that is somewhat of a misstatement because there is a continuity, purpose and progression built in to it. There just isn’t the type A elements of choosing an arbitrary point on an imaginary timeline and aggressively rushing to meet or beat it.

Its like going to the playground instead of the temple of iron. One of those later in life personal revelations.

Although, the actual playground also has a bunch of fitness equipment and a nice concrete barrier that doubles as a box jump platform too.


K sure I get what you’re saying, but do we agree that Planet “Fitness’” whole thing is business, not fitness?
They’re selling what some want - to feel good about doing something as u say.
But for the long term their business model is counterproductive to those who really do want results.

I see they’re making money with it & good for them. But bad for a man like me who would’ve kept the membership if they weren’t so, well, “sissy” about it.

I suppose I’m just echoing what the article points to - it’s not for serious lifters.

It’s not for anyone. They claim to help people but they’re hurting them. If you’re out of shape and overweight then you need to be made aware of it so you can save yourself from the inevitable health problems. If it offends you then tough. Get over it. It’s not an opinion like “you’re ugly”. It’s a scientific fact.

Everyone is afraid of hurting someone’s feelings so they tell them they’re perfect the way they are - - 5’6" and 260 lbs at the age of 28.

People should be offended because they’re being lied to and it’s negatively affecting their quality of life.


[quote=“JMaier31, post:4, topic:232722”]
It’s not for anyone. They claim to help people but they’re hurting them.[/quote]

I doubt they are hurting anyone. You can get to a level of fitness which will avoid health issues without barbells and heavy weights.

Most fatties are aware of the issues, I would think.

No, it isn’t. There probably are some people that go there and get bit by the bug to keep progressing too, and just end up leaving.

Although, credit where credit is due- It will never be a hard core or even comparable to just a general commercial gym, but if it gets someone that lives in a cubicle and ruminates over which donuts to eat that day up and moving- it will induce some sort of improvement in their general health.

It kind of reminds me of my wife and a lot of the people she works with. I took her to a friend of mines home gym to get her into working out a little more. Beautiful place with all of the right equipment that anybody on this site would love. Elite FTS equipped lifting heaven. My one buddy was doing ME squats that day, working up into the 7’s, another guy pulling in the 6’s- the place was rocking. Metal slamming glory.

She was scared shitless. Didn’t matter if it was free. Didn’t matter that she had access for pointers and training from a guy that treats and works with top level athletes from all over the world.

It was like throwing a house cat that eats meow mix and poops in a box into a pit of lions.


Yeah but body positive!

24 Hour Fitness is MUCH better than Planet Fitness. The only commercial gym I would ever go to is a 24 or a Gold’s Gym. I’ve heard depending on your location that Anytime Fitness has some awesome equipment. I would never go back to PF again.

But in terms of PF, I hate the culture at the one I’ve been to. I snatched at a PF once and got asked to leave lol. Literally was only snatching 135lbs and was setting the bar down lightly. The manager literally said to me “It’s a dangerous move and is intimidating to our clients.” I was like dude are you serious!?!?

Personally, I think people get babied too much. Life’s tough, so get tough. I’d WAY rather someone be brutally honest to me than making me feel “good”. Literally my wife a few days ago told me “I see your legs getting more muscular, but I see your belly getting rounder too, you should probably fix that”. I said YES baby that’s why I love you haha.


Exactly. Everyone is soooo into not hurting feelings, but it could hurt someone’s feelings to be ejected from the place for doing snatches.

I mean how about those of us who want to “embrace” who WE are. If fatties want to take the risks and embrace the fatness then fine, but for them to gripe about someone who is muscular being in their pseudo gym is the pot calling the kettle black.

Personally I want honesty like u describe with your wife. My missus wouldn’t have said it that directly but would have alluded to it in such a manner that I got the point.

About 3 years ago I had been morbidly obese for some years, at 387/6’2" and looking back I honestly wish she’d have said something like, “You’re a fatass and look like shit - not attractive, lose some weight you slob.” THAT would’ve gotten my attention enough to elicit lifestyle changes. And I recently told her just that…if I’m looking like shit AND unhealthy please bluntly say so.

Thank goodness she isn’t so shallow as to have left me over it, but damn if she had I’d have realized exactly how I caused that shit.

Oh well, I sometimes feel like I’m an anachronism for being honest even when it hurts feelings. If someone obviously needs to hear something I’m just honest enough to say it. However, when your wife asks, “Do these pants make my butt look big?,” NEVER reply with, “No, your butt makes your butt look big!” Never ever do that :stuck_out_tongue:

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You wouldn’t walk into a female only gym and get annoyed at being told to leave because you are a bloke, why get annoyed when you break the rules at a soft gym?

Obviously PF isn’t for you. Cool dude. Move on to something bigger and better. But obviously there is a crowd out there that PF caters to (otherwise it wouldn’t be as big as it is), so why not just let shy, less athletic crowd play with some weights?

-That’s one way I see it-

The other side of it is exactly as @Frank_C said. people these days are way to sensitive (I’m probably going to offend with this post) and sometimes they need a big kick up the arse rather than an anti-progress gym. Do you really think that everyone will respond positively to that kick up the arse and being thrown into a real gym where it is busy and sweaty and fit people are throwing big weights around? Some people may, but some people definitely won’t.

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Getting mad at Planet Fitness for not being Ironsport Gym is like getting mad at McDonalds for not being a steakhouse.


Their fish filet sandwiches are pretty good though lol.

Pretty much what @T3hPwnisher said…

I read this article awhile ago and it may alude to this, but I assume they hope you try the place, don’t feel ashamed, jog on a treadmill for about a month (January most likely), and give up. They’ve got your credit card, they bill you a small amount that is more of a hassle to cancel than its worth, and they know you will feel guilty cancelling. They’ve got a great business model really - billing someone for something they don’t use.


PF’s business model reflects the mindset of it’s target audience, not the other way around. Most people who embrace the culture there were never destined to make much progress anyway.

On the other hand, I doubt there is any way anyone who is serious about making progress in terms of general fitness and aesthetics will fail if he/she is training there. Which means failure would indicate that he/she was destined to embrace the PF culture all along and the PF marketing team knows more about you than what you know about yourself.

It’s always about destiny. Every man has but one. Go ask Don Corleone if you don’t believe me.


Yes godfather we understand. But I can make them an offer they can’t refuse.
Have you seen my horse by the way?

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I believe there are timid people who go to PF seeking knowledge and help and they’re misled. They would genuinely follow sound advice but they’re given crap instead. They’re babies in the fitness world and they buy into the lies and it leads them down a path to failure and negative feelings towards exercise. The end result being that they give up or find excuses for their obesity and health problems.

It’s a tragedy.

I fail to see how it’s different from noobs giving people advice online. Assuming PF is really deliberately giving bad advice to people, both still lead to the same outcome even with a lack of intent from the former.


Because there it’s real, not digital.

I’m real!

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