21-15-9 reps for time of:
Here’s what you need to know…
- Planet Fitness: The gym for people who don’t really want to get in shape, owned by people who really can’t afford for the members to be there.
- A survey of over 20 different Planet Fitness locations in 12 different states revealed that they provide no nutritional guidance. They do however supply candy and pizza.
- Planet Fitness seems to promise that health and fitness will ultimately be comfortable and not involve any real effort.
- Planet Fitness is a big, purple-colored adult daycare marketed to people afraid to go to an actual gym.
- Many Planet Fitness members do want to make progress of course, but the gym’s own rules and operating guidelines seem to dissuade this.
“We’re Not a Gym.” Obviously.
I’d heard things about Planet Fitness gyms that I found hard to believe. These stories included strict rules disallowing heavy weights and the presence of a “Lunk Alarm.”
I’ve also seen the commercials, which try to instill fear into the average person and scare them away from other gyms. According to the TV ads, all non-Planet Fitness gyms are filled with “gymtimidating” meatheads and beautiful women who’ll make you feel bad about yourself by fat shaming you with the mere presence of their perfect bodies.
You will, according to the commercials, possibly be prison-raped in the locker room and bullied by big scary bodybuilders from the 1990s.
So I decided to investigate Planet Fitness and pay them a visit. It was worse than I’d imagined. Far, far worse. The dumbbells are limited to 60 pounds. The heaviest fixed barbell is also 60 pounds. They had 95 assorted cardio machines – rows and rows of them. They had isolated resistance machines with laughably light weight stacks.
The did, however, have 33 large-screen TVs, some of which were affixed to the wall in front of water massage beds. They even hosted monthly pizza nights and bagel mornings. Free Tootsie Rolls was available at the front desk.
Despite the playground-esque vibe, there were lots of people attempting to get in shape, or at least trying to get less out of shape. This, at least, gave me a positive impression. It seemed that these were people who, had they not found this “unthreatening place,” might otherwise not be exercising at all.
A deeper look revealed a rather devious reality hidden just underneath the surface.
Planet Fitness seems to represent a sort of “fitness methadone” concept. It looks like the real thing and it kinda-sorta feels like the real thing, but it’s not the real thing at all. Instead, it’s a fascinating place where getting people into shape simply isn’t the primary goal. In this regard, Planet Fitness turns the very idea of a “gym” completely on its head.
A typical gym generally represents a form of linear progression. That is, you go there to improve physically, but no doubt there are people there who started before you, have more experience, eat a healthier diet, and/or have great genetics.
So there are likely going to be folks who are in better shape and some who are in worse shape than you, whether you’re comfortable with that or not. It’s generally understood though that people are at the gym to improve physically.
I stepped into my first gym as a pudgy, weak 17 year old. It was filled with bouncers, cops, athletes, serious bodybuilders, and assorted meatheads of all kinds. It was intimidating. The old metal dumbbells went up to 200 pounds. It had a reputation for having the most weight and the biggest, strongest members. And that’s exactly why I joined.
Related: Don’t Be the Strongest Weakling
Yes, assholes weren’t a rarity, yet in the few years I went there, the owner and most of the bigger, stronger guys taught and motivated me enough to get bigger, stronger, and in better shape than I could ever have imagined. This would never have happened at Planet Fitness. It simply wouldn’t have allowed any of my youthful aspirations to be met.
The impulse might be to cut Planet Fitness some slack and label it “gym training wheels,” where, after a time, a trainee would learn enough about training or feel confident enough in his own abilities to join a “real” gym.
Oddly though, it seems to be Planet Fitness’ policy to purposely blunt and highly discourage this natural progression of less fit to more fit. This discouragement is oppressive and pervasive throughout the establishment.
As far as thoughtful, proven, and effective training methods and an environment within which to practice them, there’s far too much about Planet Fitness to critique.
Find the rest here
20 min EMOM
5 strict pull up