Planet Fitness has grown from just one small gym in New Hampshire to hundreds across the US and Canada, making it one of the largest and most popular gym chains in the nation. But what exactly is Planet Fitness all about? Here’s a look at their mission statement, vision, history, and business model, so you can decide if this gym chain is right for you.
Planet Fitness may not be the first name that comes to mind when you think of luxury gyms, but with over 1200 locations in the United States and Canada, this well-known chain has become a powerhouse in the industry, and it’s easy to see why: When you join Planet Fitness, you can work out in peace knowing that the focus will always be on safety and an upbeat atmosphere, with no pressure to look your best or to even work out at all if that’s not what you’re looking for.
Founded in 1992, Planet Fitness is the largest and fastest-growing franchisor and operator of fitness centers in the United States. The company currently has more than 1,000 gyms open and more than 200 additional locations under development across the United States and Canada. With more than 10 million members across North America, Planet Fitness is revolutionizing the health club industry with its unique Anytime, Anywhere philosophy of providing high-quality fitness products and services at extremely low prices to fit both budget constraints and lifestyle choices.
What is Planet Fitness?
So what is Planet Fitness all about, exactly? That’s a good question. The short answer is that it’s a fitness gym… kind of. But if you think for one second that Planet Fitness is your average gym full of exercise equipment and stationary bikes, think again.
In fact, even calling it a gym feels like an exaggeration at best—and a misconception at worst. The truth is that PLF (Planet Fitness) has developed its own niche in the world of fitness and offers something different from what traditional gyms have to offer, which means they’re equally attractive to people who’ve never set foot in a gym before as they are to longtime exercisers. So what exactly makes them stand out?
A Quick History of Planet Fitness
Founded in 1992 by its current CEO, Chris Rondeau, Planet Fitness has a pretty short history as far as big-box gyms go. It began as a small business in Dover, New Hampshire, and has since ballooned into one of America’s largest health clubs with over 860 locations in 50 states.
The chain continues to grow at an impressive pace and it was recently voted #1 on Entrepreneur magazine’s list of 10 Hot Growth Businesses You Should Invest In Now. So what is planet fitness all about? This year, look for Planet Fitness to continue growing rapidly and soon spread overseas to countries like Canada and Mexico.
Why Workout at Planet Fitness
You don’t have to be a gym rat to know that exercise is an important part of health. But sometimes, finding an exercise routine can be daunting—especially if you’re not sure where to start. Where you choose to work out can make all of the difference, and a lot of people turn to Planet Fitness for their daily workouts.
As we’ll see below, there are plenty of reasons why working out at PF is a great option for your fitness needs—but first, let’s talk about what makes PF so unique!
What to Expect at the Gym?
Once you’ve decided to start working out at a gym, it can be a little daunting to figure out what exactly to expect. Here’s a quick breakdown of some key things about your gym experience: What type of locker will I have access to? Are there shower facilities or just bathroom facilities? What do other people wear when they work out here and what should I wear too? By asking these questions ahead of time, you’ll be prepared for your first trip to your local gym and can set yourself up for success before you even step foot in the door. (Did we mention these are great questions to ask before joining?)
How Much Does it Cost?
We all know that health clubs have high membership costs, but there’s a gym out there with a model that keeps costs low. For $10 a month, Planet Fitness offers 24-hour access to cardio equipment, free weights, and weight machines. Memberships are on a month-to-month basis so you don’t have to commit to one year of service or be locked into an auto-renewal contract as many gyms do.
You can even bring up to two guests at no extra charge. At just $10 per month and no contracts required, it’s not hard to see why Planet Fitness is one of America’s fastest-growing fitness chains with locations in 26 states.
The Ten Commitments
Since its inception in 1992, Planet Fitness has adhered to a set of Ten Commitments. The company has never wavered from its mission or principles: making fitness fun and accessible. It’s hard to imagine that when you walk into any Planet Fitness location today, what started out as one small club in Dover, New Hampshire is now a global force for health and wellness with over 1000 locations worldwide serving members from all walks of life and all fitness levels.
Planet Fitness was founded by a former York Barbell Club Gym member who shared a dream with one of his personal training clients. Jim Slane, who owned a small gym in Dover, New Hampshire wanted to expand his business. His client, Mike O’Hara shared a similar vision and proposed opening a non-intimidating gym together.
The two combined their love for fitness and opened their first location on Labor Day weekend in 1992 under the name Fitness Edge. They designed it as an alternative to traditional gyms of that time that only appealed to hardcore weightlifters. Their concept was simple: provide affordable and friendly workout facilities without all of the intimidating bells and whistles of typical health clubs.
What time does Planet Fitness close?
While there is no official closing time for any individual Planet Fitness location, most locations do close around 10 p.m. Eastern Time on weekdays and 11 p.m. on weekends. Some locations will close at 6 or 7 p.m., depending on local ordinances and state laws that regulate gym hours in certain jurisdictions; similarly, certain states have specific rules about when minors can work out with a parent or guardian present in person, so it’s important to check before heading out with your kids. In any case, you can be sure that every PF location will be open by 6 a.m. as well as between 5 a.m and 8:30 a.m.
Does Planet Fitness have Childcare?
If you are a parent and you want to get in shape, but can’t leave your child with a babysitter or family member while you work out then yes, Planet Fitness has childcare. This service allows children ages 8 weeks through 10 years old to come with their parents to fitness classes and watch them exercise. The kids can even play games on tablets while they wait for their parents to finish.
The cost is $10 per day for up to 4 children or $5 for 1 child if there are only 2 present. This fee must be paid at sign-up and is good for as many visits as desired during that billing cycle; typically, it lasts from 3 months to 1 year depending on how often you use it.
Does Planet Fitness have a pool?
No, but as part of their Judgement Free Zone initiative, they do have a large-scale hot tub (open during regular business hours) that is actually one of its most popular features. The mottos at Planet Fitness are simple: Work hard and you will get results. Come as you are, not as you think you should be. And sweating is just fine. In fact, it’s encouraged—all in keeping with what has come to be known as the PF way.
Does Planet Fitness have Wifi?
While every one of Planet Fitness’s 4,000 locations has a handful of standard items like treadmills and weights, each location is unique in terms of its amenities. In some cases, you might find more advanced machines than what you’d find at your local gym.
Other gyms have televisions or pool tables. Some locations offer on-site child care facilities or tanning salons. Most locations will allow customers to bring food from home (free of charge). A few even have arcade games for guests to enjoy while working out.
The Beginning of an Exciting Journey The beginning is always hard, but it doesn’t have to be scary. Starting a new business venture can be stressful, and starting one from scratch can make things even more intimidating. You might not know what you don’t know, but that’s okay. This guide should help ease some of those initial concerns and provide you with a few resources to get your journey off on the right foot. Best of luck in your business endeavors!
However, if there is anything you think we are missing. Don’t hesitate to inform us by dropping your advice in the comment section. Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below!
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