Jan 11, 2011

Posted by in Uncategorized | 10 Comments

Planet Fitness Outrage

So what’s so special about this US-based gym that I just have to write about it?

Well, it’s their policies. Planet Fitness has this very unique marketing idea which I’m not sure if it’s working for them or not, but I feel that it is highly stereotypical, discriminative, offensive and plain dumb.

bodybuilder



You see, Planet Fitness is a so-called “No Judgment Zone”, where any bodybuilders or guys with above-average are not allowed to judge and look down on smaller guys. Sounds decent, right? But done in a very wrong way!

planet fitness

Oh look! More people dislike their promo video than those who like them! I wonder why…

Now, where do we start? Let’s start with their ads. Planet Fitness’ ads depicts muscular guys as meatheads aka men who spent too much time growing their muscle until their brains lack the oxygen required to function. And yes, they are highly discriminative and offensive too. Just take a look at their ads and you’ll know what I mean.

See what I mean? Somehow, I feel highly judged. Most of you reading this probably have the right idea that being muscular or weight training has no way of interfering with your IQ level. And have you ever seen a bodybuilder shooting an invisible gun while filling up a form? Neither have I! But Planet Fitness just decides to perpetuate an absurd stereotype! And it gets worse!

lunk alarm

Planet Fitness has a Lunk Alarm, which is a loud alarm which goes off if you make noises when you train. What happen next is that, after the alarm has brought everyone’s attention to you, a gym staff will passive-aggressively escort you out of the gym. Wow! Isn’t that the totally best way to destroy someone’s ego AND DIGNITY? Now, that becomes very contradictory. The reason why Planet Fitness would want to have a Judgment-Free Zone is because they do not want some chiseled, rock-solid bodybuilder to lift twenty times the guy beside him and make the little guy have his ego destroyed. But the Lunk Alarm, hmm….

planet fitness

Now, this Judgment-Free Zone is a probably a good idea. But it has been taken to the extreme that it’s absurd. It’s just like a religion – practiced in moderation brings peace, harmony and probably a way to heaven. But when taken to the extreme, people go around bombing others in the name of God. Great job, Planet Fitness, so you have solved the problem of unfit members being discriminated. Unfortunately, you have swung the pendulum to the opposite end and discriminated another group of individuals. Shame on you!

And honestly, who are Planet Fitness trying to market themselves to? The I’m-very-fat-but-never-joined-a-gym-before-because-I-was-judged-by-a-bodybuilder group? If they are, that’s probably the only group they’ll attract. That’s because they won’t be attracting bodybuilders, athletes or anyone who decided to train hard to make a difference and improvement in their physical being. And here’s the thing – when I was a skinny kids years ago, I didn’t join a gym because I was looked down by a bodybuilder. I joined a gym because I was INSPIRED by a bodybuilder, namely Arnold. In short, Planet Fitness are lowering the standards of being fit and discriminating the elite group of fitness to make unfit people feel good for being mediocre!

Lastly, I know MANY bodybuilders – more than I can use my fingers, toes and teeth (including one hidden extra tooth) to count. And I must say, many of these guys are fun-loving, good-spirited, smart, generally great guys and no, none of them constantly repeats “I lift things up and put dem daawwuunn”. And yes, I know some who are assholes too, but please, using them to represent the rest of us is just a plain immature, inaccurate and insulting stereotype.

Phew! I’m glad that I’ve released the steam trapped in me after hearing about this gym for the first time. Here are some videos of other people’s comments about Planet Fitness. Check them out!

Planet Fitness Reviews

Comprehensive Planet Fitness Review

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Planet Fatness! Judgment-Filled Zone!

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  1. just moved from Phoenix to NC. I could not believe it when you can not grunt. I can understand yelling, or profanity, but planet fitness is at risk when because someone could not grunt or exhale, they caused a serious injury. Bodybuilders do not judge, they are judged, and bodybuilding is not about where you are at the moment, but where you can go, so the absurd myth a few out of control wanna be bodybuilders set as the trend trying to get attention is not correct. I laugh at planet fitness, and just continue to do my thing and educate people that real bodybuilding is not about this stereotype but is about perseverance, nutrition, effort, and in the end fun! Something a succesful exercise routine needs.

  2. Anonymous says:

    My girlfriend and I signed up and were going to Planet for 6 months at the Glen Burnie location in Maryland. The place is in ok shape but could be kept cleaner and needs some maintenance on the machines. There were at least 6 machines out of order for two months. Not sure if they were waiting for parts.

    Problem is,

    Our relationship ended and I did not want to keep bumping into my ex-gf so I went in to the Planet counter person and told him I wanted to cancel my membership. He was busy on the phone. I told him I could wait until he was finished. He handed me a pen and paper then told me to put my name, address and phone number down. I did this and he said he would take care of it.

    Three months went by and the bills kept coming. I thought it just took a few cycles for them to stop the billing. I called them about it but they said I had to go online and send "Corporate" my complaint about the bills that kept coming. I sent a few emails and eventually I received a phone call telling me that they had no info stating that I had cancelled my membership and that I would have to pay the entire amount. I told them that it was not my fault and that I refused to pay it.

    Well, in another month I received a pink notice that was from a collection agency. Now the bill was up to $112.00 plus other fees.

    I contacted them and I told them I had no intention to pay for it and why. They said it was already put against my credit report. Personally, I do not care what happens here I am not paying it. I told them to take me to court. She laughed and said well its on YOUR credit Report.

    I am not at fault and feel this is very un-professional. Even now that my other gym (SNAP Fitness) has closed in my neighborhood I want to go to Planet because its closer and cheaper but I refuse to eat my words so I am going to a place that costs more.
    I am not backing down. SNAP is the cleanest and best kept gym I have been to in Maryland.

    - KW.

    Spoke to Megan on April 6th 2011.

    She said the balance due is $120.00 after she waives the late fees but she is not waving the monthly fees.

    Rodney Farmer

    Is the general manager he is at the mall and un-available at time of call..and never returned my call.

    kwill690580@yahoo.com

  3. Anonymous says:

    Just wanted to say that I feel judged by some of the women there, because I choose to work out very hard! I'm not a body builder just an stheletic girl who wants to be left alone!

  4. Anonymous says:

    I've been an avid member of Planet Fitness for more than 3 years in Portland, ME. I tan frequently so its a pretty good value. I always felt the members and employees were all pretty nice—until recently that is. A few days ago I went to tan after working out. I got undressed and realized someone had taken the ext. phone from the room (direct line to front desk to request tanning time in each room) so I called from my cell. This girl (manager)gave me a big shovelful of attitude and told me if there wasnt a phone in the room that I must have taken it. I went back the next day to try to address and resolve the incident and the same girl handed me a "Cancellation Notice" and told me not to come back. I would never do anything like that or anything that would make other people uncomfortable or jeopardize my membership.

  5. I just joined. We will see how this goes. They told me about the lunk alarm AFTER I signed on the dotted line. Then they told me that the only headdress that was allowed was a baseball cap. I didn't know if they thought I was a muslim and planned to wear a headscarf, or a gansta and planned to wear a dew rag. Very odd.

  6. Paul Clinton says:

    some gyms let models train for free, then they change some of the equipment to accomodate models and start trying to make the gym elegant, which means new rules, and crap.

  7. TERRY GALLYOT - MR ASIA. says:

    Wee Kiat, don't worry bro, there is trend in this business. Gyms like this one will not last long..it is those smaller gyms that always stay because people know they can always get a good workout and not get scammed out of their money. Who da fcuk would wanna go to a gym that is so unfriendly?
    They forget, if it were not for bodybuilders and our ways, there won't be such a business today because it is us freaks that spend that much time in the gyms and making heads turn out there, getting people to reconsider picking up this habit of exercising. Also it has always been gym freaks that end up talking and educating people telling them the benefits of exercising etc. So just wait and see..of course there will always be that small % of asses who would continually support ass gyms like the above mentioned ;) …but not enough to keep them in business.
    Just my 2 cents ;)

  8. sgfitness says:

    Hi Wee Kiat,

    Great post. Enjoyed reading it tremendously. It's always sad when commercial gyms do stupid things to appeal to one segment of the population while discriminating against another. As for those who insist on stereotyping fit, muscular guys( or gals) as brainless idiots, they are often themselves the ONES whose brains are too UNDERDEVELOPED to comprehend the fact that brains and brawn CAN and DO often co-exist in harmony in many bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts!

  9. mewletter says:

    I won;t be surprised if their stock price went WAY down… Wait a minute! Time to short-sell their stock! LOL

    Lucky my local gym doesn't have such insane problems…

  10. LessThanPerfectParents says:

    When I first started working out I was very intimidated by the big guys lifting the heavy weights at the gym. It took all of my courage to drag myself off the cardio machines and start strength training. At first I had no idea what I was doing but so many of these bodybuilder types would take it upon themselves to help me and teach me new things I was an expert myself in no time. In my experience the men who are in awesome shape LOVE when a new person dedicates themselves to a healthy lifestyle. Most of them live for health and want to share their knowledge with others.

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