Planet Fitness is often touted as one of the most affordable gyms in the world, offering a range of equipment and facilities to customers. However, when it comes to actually helping their customers make progress towards their fitness goals, Planet Fitness falls woefully short. In fact, it can be argued that Planet Fitness is the worst gym in the world, given their business practices that are counterintuitive to common fitness goals.
Pizza > Push-ups
The first example of irony in the Planet Fitness business model is their pizza parties. Yes, you read that right - Planet Fitness holds pizza parties for their members. While this may seem like a fun way to socialize with other gym-goers, it is completely counterproductive to the goal of getting fit. Pizza, although delicious, is notorious for being high in calories and low in nutritional value. By serving pizza to their members, like a Jack Daniels sales rep at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, Planet Fitness is essentially sabotaging any efforts their members may be making towards a healthier lifestyle.
Cardio vs Candy
Another shining example of counterproductive policies is the free candy that Planet Fitness offers. Like pizza, their signature purple Tootsie Roll looking candy is also high in calories and low in nutritional value. By offering free candy to their members, Planet Fitness is promoting unhealthy eating habits and hindering any efforts towards actual weight loss.
Dress to Oppress
In addition to their questionable dietary offerings, Planet Fitness also has a dress code that seems more focused on ruling over members like an authoritative purple gestapo than actual fitness. Members are not allowed to wear certain tank tops, styles of hats, yoga pants, and more because they may show off muscles or otherwise “intimidate” other members. Planet Fitness seems to be more concerned with creating a certain image rather than encouraging members to be comfortable and free to exercise in any attire that they choose.
Judgement Free Zone
The most obvious ironic aspect of Planet Fitness, however, is their slogan - “Judgement Free Zone”. While this may seem like a positive message, it is contradicted by the “lunk alarm” that is present in many of their gyms. The “lunk alarm” is essentially a loud air raid siren and spinning blueish-purple light that goes off when a member is deemed to be lifting too much weight or grunting too loudly. This is not only embarrassing for the member, but it also creates an environment where anyone who is serious about lifting weights is shamed and ostracized. This goes against the very idea of a “judgement free zone” and creates a disgusting, toxic atmosphere in the gym that Planet Fitness seems intent on perpetuating.
Judgement…& More Judgement
The judgement so clearly illustrated by the lunk alarm is only topped by the dreamt-up, stereotype-laden image of a “lunk” posted on the walls of Planet Fitness gyms. This made up fantasy of an “intimidating” and “problematic” gym goer is even hypocritically appointed with specific descriptions of “how to spot a lunk” by criticizing their attire or water bottle. The term “lunk” is used to describe people who are perceived to be lifting too much weight, grunting loudly, or displaying any other behavior deemed unacceptable by Planet Fitness. By posting this image and descriptions, Planet Fitness is carelessly creating and promoting a culture of body shaming and gym elitism.
Laughable Liquid Limitations
Despite everything that has already been stated, the ultimate display of irony at this purple and yellow funhouse of failure has to be that Planet Fitness limits the size of water bottles that members can bring into the gym. This may seem like a small detail, but it is yet another example of how Planet Fitness is more focused on creating a certain image than actually helping their members. Many people bring large water bottles to the gym to ensure that they stay hydrated during their workout. By limiting the size of water bottles, Planet Fitness is making it harder for their members to stay properly hydrated.
In conclusion, Planet Fitness may seem like an affordable option for people looking to get fit, but their business practices are counterintuitive to common fitness goals. By offering pizza parties, free candy, and promoting a certain image rather than encouraging members to be comfortable and free to exercise in any attire that they choose, Planet Fitness is not truly invested in their members’ fitness journeys. Their “lunk alarm” and water bottle size limit policies, along with the posting of “how to spot a lunk” images, create a toxic and judgmental environment that goes directly against their “judgement free zone” slogan. For these reasons, Planet Fitness is the worst gym in the world.