Why Do People Hate Planet Fitness?

Planet Fitness
Planet Fitness Newington CT, photo credit: JeepersMedia via photopin cc

Full disclaimer: I do not work for and am not otherwise affiliated with Planet Fitness. I have been a member previously and will likely be a member again because I happen to like Planet Fitness. I used to drive quite a distance to reach the closest location. After a while it got to be too difficult to drag myself that far and I let my membership lapse. The other day when I saw they were opening a location just down the street I was ecstatic. A quick internet search to see if they were running any membership specials yield many results about Planet Fitness and tons of them were negative. So why do people hate Planet Fitness?

People Hate the Color Scheme at Planet Fitness

The color scheme seems to enrage lots of people. I know, this reason is super weird. In purple and yellow Planet Fitness does rock a bright color scheme. A lot of their equipment is finished in these colors, but the gym walls are mostly gray or black at the location I frequented and so are most of the other fixtures and the floors. Personally, I think the bright pops of purple and yellow are fun and happy. I’ve heard and even read comments about the decor being silly or not serious enough. If the color of your gym/gym equipment really invokes deeply negative feelings I think you may be taking things too seriously.

People Hate the Lunk Alarm at Planet Fitness

The idea of the Lunk Alarm can seem kind of appealing. From the Planet Fitness website:

“The Lunk Alarm is something we have in all of our locations nationwide, as part of who we are and what makes us different. A Lunk™ is someone who grunts, drops weights or judges. This alarm goes off when someone is grunting at the gym, drops weights or is judging others/making others feel uncomfortable. At Planet Fitness, we do not cater to bodybuilders, dropping weights, or grunting. We want our members to feel comfortable in a non-intimidating atmosphere. We are about general fitness, and most of our members are in fact first time users of a gym.”

For people wanting to work out without the intimidation of overly serious gym-goers I see the Lunk Alarm as kind of a silly symbol not to take things super seriously. The issue that seems to really piss people off is that the Lunk Alarm actually gets used at some locations. You can find stories online about people getting kicked out of Plant Fitness for violating their Lunk Alarm policies. It seems that use of the Lunk Alarm is discretionary and there have been times where this has ended in members feeling discriminated against for just trying to workout at Planet Fitness.

So what’s wrong with body builders, dropping weights and grunting anyway? If a totally muscle-bound dude is using the bench press and you want on next you may feel intimidated, like you can’t compete, you don’t know as much or may never reach their level. I’ve witnessed this particular type of person be less than courteous to fellow gym-goers (not at Planet Fitness) and that just makes a bad environment no matter where you are. That being said, not all body builders are like this at all. Seeing successful people can often serve as inspiration and they may even offer a bit of help or guidance to newbies. As for dropping weights and grunting – well, that’s just discourteous in my opinion. You shouldn’t bother other patrons with your workout no matter where you’re doing it.

People Hate the Free Food at Planet Fitness

Lots of people seem to be very angry about the free food offered by Planet Fitness. Once a month Plant Fitness offers a free pizza night. Free bagels are offered one morning per month. Free candy is typically available in a bowl on the front desk (at least from my experience). So what’s the deal here? You can’t be healthy and eat this crap, right? I think you can be healthy and still have a treat now and then and a slice of pizza, a bagel or the occasional Tootsie Roll isn’t going to kill you. The questionable part is that Planet Fitness isn’t really promoting the most healthy lifestyle with these giveaways. Instead of pizza, why not salads? Instead of bagels, why not yogurt? Maybe sugar-free gum on the front desk or another slightly better option. When you have the platform to promote something, as Planet Fitness does, I am not sure that promoting the consumption of these types of things is a great message. But here’s the good part… you don’t have to eat it if you don’t want to, so if you find it objectionable then stroll right on by and don’t worry about it.

People Hate the Membership Terms at Planet Fitness

You can look up any big-name gym for complaints on their membership terms and you’ll hear tons of stories about how awful their membership terms are, how difficult it was to cancel, how terrible their customer service is, etc., etc. Planet Fitness is not immune to such complaints. Many seem to be agitated by the yearly fee that gets charged to members (once per year, price dependent on your level of membership). The yearly fee is pretty clearly spelled out on their website, but I am not sure how their contract reads so I don’t know if people are just failing to read or there is some confusion when they are signing up. Again, pretty much every gym suffers the same complaints regarding membership. Since Planet Fitness locations are franchised I can see where you might get different answers or levels of customer service, but reading and understanding your contract terms is important.

I found that one way to avoid any headaches associated with the membership fees/contract is to buy a full year of membership outright. Apparently this is not something that is always offered, but when it is it can be a great way to pre-pay a whole year of membership, avoid the yearly membership fee and not worry about renewal terms, monthly drafts and the like.

People Hate the Lack of Services at Planet Fitness

At the time of writing this a basic monthly membership costs $10. For $10 a month I am surprised they have more than 3 treadmills. Instead they have a massive gym with just about any piece of equipment you could think of, not to mention a track and decent locker room. For another $10 a month you get some additional perks. I think tanning and massage chair use is included and possibly some other benefits. All members have access to group personal training. I have no idea what the quality of this is and probably wouldn’t put a lot of faith in it – but hey, it’s something. For a newbie exerciser this might not be an ideal situation, but for someone with gym experience, the lack of training might be fine. At this price point I just don’t think it’s fair to expect services beyond the use of good equipment. If you’re looking for a lot of services you would probably be happier at a bigger gym, but the monthly membership fee is going to reflect those extras.

So it seems like people hate Planet Fitness for pretty much all the reasons they might hate anything else. All kinds of little silly things add up to a bunch of grumpiness. I, for one, think Planet Fitness can be an excellent, budget friendly, choice for people at various levels of fitness. It may definitely not be for everyone, but for a small price per month it may be just the thing to get you off the couch.  If you’re interested in learning more about my favorite part of Planet Fitness, the 30 Minute Express Circuit, please check out my articles: Review: Planet Fitness 30 Minute Express Circuit and Take the Planet Fitness 30 Minute Express Circuit to the Next Level.

About the Author
Alicen Ronan is a Kansas City personal trainer, fitness coach and writer. She has been a certified personal trainer since 2009 when she decided that she wanted to help others make positive lifestyle changes. She is available for personal training and fitness coaching 7 days a week both in the Kansas City metro and virtually.

If you liked this article please share it with your friends! Use the share buttons to post it to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and more.

Friday Finds 10-24-14

Friday Finds from Former Fitness Flunky
It’s finally Friday! I’ve found lots of articles I want to share with you this week. I hope you find these ones as useful, interesting or thought provoking as I did:

Fitness

A Plank Modification That Will Tone Abs Faster
The idea of placing your palms facing upward, rather than against the floor is pretty simple, but one I had never considered. Doing this reportedly helps shift the engagement of muscles more to your core. Have you tried planking this way? Have you seen or felt a difference?

7 Simple Exercises That Undo the Damage of Sitting
I immediately loved this article the first time I read it. The stretches/exercises presented here are easy enough for most people to incorporate at least a couple throughout the day. I am a big fan of pigeon pose because it feels awesome, though I caution you that it can be a bit intense so you may need to be careful when trying it. I am currently working on my grok squat because I find that not only does it stretch out my legs/hips, it also challenges my balance.

This Philly Trainer Says You’re Working Out All Wrong
This article is about everything I ever learned about when becoming a personal trainer – first things first. In fact, it’s the model I use when building programs for my clients too: you have to start with building a strong base. You have to work on flexibility, balance, mobility and correction of movement before you can graduate to doing more intense stuff. It’s not always glorious because a lot of people want to jump head first into a program that may be above their abilities, but I promise as a professional, working on the basics first will yield better results in the end.

Food

Watercress Tops List of Powerhouse Fruit and Vegetables
The catchy tag line of this article “Kale’s Not the Superfood You Think” might make you immediately second guess all the you know about greens, but relax. As the media often does, the truth is kind of twisted to make this article sound sensational. Yes, watercress may score higher nutritionally when consumed on a calorie for calorie basis with other greens but who is going to sit down to a whole sack filled with the stuff? This is a good example of why you need to read articles in full and a great example of why a varied diet is important.

More

4 Crazy Simple Ways To Live More In The Moment
Time has a way from getting away from us. Rushing around, thinking about the future, worrying about things. Sometimes just slowing things down for a moment and taking a look at where you’re at and what you’re doing can help bring you back to the present. This can be a good way to calm your mind and help you focus more on the things that are actually happening right now.

I hope you have a wonderful, activity-filled weekend!

About the Author
Alicen Ronan is a Kansas City personal trainer, fitness coach and writer. She has been a certified personal trainer since 2009 when she decided that she wanted to help others make positive lifestyle changes. She is available for personal training and fitness coaching 7 days a week both in the Kansas City metro and virtually.

If you liked this article please share it with your friends! Use the share buttons to post it to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and more.

Guest Post: How to Dress a New Athletic Body

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Today’s article was written by guest author Tina Hamilton. If you’d like to contact Tina please check out her social media and contact info at the end of the article.

Making the decision to lose weight, eat healthy and get into shape is one of the best decisions a person can make. Women everywhere are beginning to see the importance of a healthy lifestyle, not only for themselves but for their families as well. Therefore, every woman should be proud of her new healthy body once she finally sheds that extra weight and builds some lean muscle.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of women who don’t feel this way. Many women are self-conscious of their new, fit body and struggle to feel confident in their new skin. The most common reason for this is because they cannot find clothes that fit their body properly anymore. Especially for women who were able to make a drastic change in their physic, the clothes that used to fit them well might not fit at all anymore, this can be extremely frustrating.

Instead of giving up on fashion entirely and resorting to only wearing fitness clothing, women should embrace their new bodies and be proud of what they have done to create a healthier life. Here are some tips to help fit women dress their new athletic body.

Start with the basics
Finding the right fit is the biggest struggle for athletic women. Women with new, fit bodies should try to start from the most basic wardrobe elements to create looks that will flatter their new figure. For example, women should look for a perfect fitting t-shirt bra that will work for their new cup size. Women who have changed a lot in cup size should even consider getting a professional bra fitting to make sure that they have the best fit possible. There are even bra fitting mobile apps that even the most self-conscious woman can use in the comfort of her own home. Creating this base will make every item of clothing fit better, making creating an outfit that much easier.

Show off strong shoulders
Prominent shoulders are one of the most common complaints of an athletic built woman. Strong shoulders are proof of what fit women are capable of, inside and outside of the gym, so they should be proud and excited to show them off as much as possible instead of trying to mask them. A great trendy item to try is halter tank tops with high necklines that draw attention to the face and make the shoulders look more balanced against an otherwise small frame. This effect can also be achieved with big necklaces and bracelets to dress up any look. However, when using jewelry, fit women should try to stick to one bold piece at a time instead of stacking on layers of big jewels to create a more professional and functional look.

Embrace skirts
Finding pants that fit around muscular thighs while still hugging a small waist can seem almost impossible. Fit women will try on hundreds of pairs of jeans before they find a pair that fits their correctly. However, a lot of great skirts can be found that flatter a fit figure and fit properly in all the right places. Fit women can look for fuller A-line skirts for a classic look that accentuates a small waist, or even try a daring pencil skirt that will create an hourglass figure. When wearing pencil skirts, fit women can look for skirts with piping that will balance out their hips and thighs, but they should never be afraid to try out a slim fitting skirt. Wearing skirts means much less tailoring and an easily flirty look every day.

Play with patterns to define a waistline
Most women, especially women with athletic figures, are afraid to play with big patterns and other new trends on the market. Patterns can seem intimidating, but pattern can be a great way to define a small waist and perfectly proportion a healthy body. Though fit women may not be able to work with the printed pants trend, they are lucky that most new trends will be able to work on their bodies better than anyone else’s. Use horizontal stripes around the waist and hips to make them look fuller, or even play with some big jewelry around the neck to draw attention to the face. These ideas can help any fit woman feel more beautiful and confident in her new body every day.

Tina Hamilton HeadshotAuthor Bio:
Tina Hamilton is a journalist, blogger and social media guru. You can usually find her online or walking along one of Southern California’s beaches with her dog, Joey. You can find her on Twitter.

Foodie Friday: 25 Healthy Recipes for Fall

autumn-207854_640_mini Happy Friday! Today I’m bringing you a collection of 25 Healthy Recipes for Fall.  When it starts to get colder you may crave heartier fare, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice health or nutrition.  These recipes are great for celebrating the best of fall – pumpkin, squash, apples, rich spices and more while keeping your nutrition in check.  This collection of fall-inspired recipes includes soups/stews, main dishes, snacks, side dishes and desserts. They also range from vegetarian to paleo, so there’s a little something for everyone.

Soups/Stews/Mains

Italian Sausage Tortellini Soup
Slow Cooker Rotisserie Style Chicken
Harvest Cobb Salad
Autumn Minestrone Soup
Slow Cooker Tuscan Chicken Stew
Apple Cider Glazed Pork Chops
Lentil-Vegetable Soup
Pork Roast with Sweet Potatoes, Apples and Onions

Snacks

How to Make Perfect Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin Spice Granola
Chocolate Hummus
Pumpkin Pie Protein Smoothie
Baked Cinnamon Apple Chips

Sides

Maple-Glazed Parsnips And Carrots
Fennel Roasted Fall Vegetables
Roasted Butternut Squash & Apple
Spinach and Artichoke Sweet Potato Skins
Autumn Kale Salad with Fennel, Honeycrisp and Goat Cheese
Crunchy Cauliflower Bites

Sweets

Sea Salt Dark Chocolate Mousse
No Bake Healthy Chocolate Protein Bars
Pumpkin Spice Donuts (Grain-Free, Nut-Free)
Gluten and Dairy Free Pumpkin Mousse
5-Ingredient Pumpkin Pie Fudge
Flourless Chocolate Pumpkin Cookies

A huge thank you to all the wonderful chefs and authors sharing their recipes and cooking talent!

As of the date of this post all links are working. Some of these recipes are getting older so if you find a broken link please let me know so I can take it down.

About the Author
Alicen Ronan is a Kansas City personal trainer, fitness coach and writer. She has been a certified personal trainer since 2009 when she decided that she wanted to help others make positive lifestyle changes. She is available for personal training and fitness coaching 7 days a week both in the Kansas City metro and virtually.

If you liked this article please share it with your friends! Use the share buttons to post it to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and more.

Guest Post: A Guide to Working Out with Back Pain

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Today’s article was written by guest author Tina Hamilton. If you’d like to contact Tina please check out her social media and contact info at the end of the article.

Many people get very excited and enthusiastic when starting or maintaining a workout regimen for the first time. They want to go hard every day and never want to miss a workout every again. This is great motivation that should always be encouraged, but it can cause some problems for people looking to improve their fitness level. Rest days are very important to incorporate into any fitness regimen because they help the body recover and build muscle. These days are essential for helping the body reach its full potential and prevent injury, but sometimes, rest is not always the best answer.

Many people experience back pain on a daily basis. Those who are starting a new workout plan or trying to advance their fitness level often report bothersome back pain. However, there are a lot of different reasons for back pain to occur, and a person needs to know what the specific cause is before he or she can find the right treatment for it. Here is a simple guide to back pain while exercising and how one can treat their back pain effectively.

Learn the type of back pain being experienced
There are different types of back pain that can be experienced. Knowing the type of pain being experienced is essential to finding the right treatment for that back pain. Back pain can usually be categorized into three types: acute, chronic, and neuropathic pain. Acute pain is often easy to pinpoint, and therefore treat, like a minor injury that just requires a day’s rest. Chronic pain is longer lasting and can be the result of an injury or an issue that is not easy to determine. This can range from a muscle tear to bigger issues that require spinal stenosis treatment. Neuropathic pain is difficult to diagnose and may not have an easy treatment method. For both chronic and neuropathic pain, one should speak with a medical health professional before resuming any physical activity.

Understand the causes of that type of back pain
Causes of acute and sometimes chronic pain can usually be lead back to a certain injury. Athletes should be careful when treating their own back pain. Back pain is difficult to treat not only because not using your back literally means lying in bed for that period of time, but not using your back for too long can cause problems of its own. To keep the back loose and the muscles supporting it strong, everyone should try to do some physical activity daily unless they are sustaining a major injury. Try some exercises specifically for treating back pain in the daily routine.

Know what possible treatments are available for that type of pain
Once a person knows the types of back pain and the cause of his or her back pain, he or she can begin to treat it. Some people may find one day of rest will be enough, others will need to maintain regular back strengthening exercises to avoid recurring back pain. More intensive treatments might be prescribed by a doctor to control neuropathic pain. Many people can treat back pain easily by correcting form and doing exercises to strengthen the back muscles. However, athletes should be sure to take rest days when needed, meaning real rest days with no physical activity, not just a lighter than usual day at the gym. After the rest day, light walking or easy yoga can be done to slowly transition back into a workout program.

Manage and prevent pain from returning
This step goes hand in hand with the treatment of back pain. Athletes don’t want a quick fix for their back pain, they want a solution that will keep them free from pain. This can involve strengthening exercises, a better mattress to sleep on or a better chair to sit on during the work day. More importantly, athletes should always be sure that they are preforming each exercise correctly to prevent injury. A personal trainer is a great tool to use to learn correct form and make sure each exercise is being performed correctly. Athletes can also use mirrors to see that they are performing an exercise correctly and adjust as needed to get the best results every time they workout.

 

Tina Hamilton HeadshotAuthor Bio:
Tina Hamilton is a journalist, blogger and social media guru. You can usually find her online or walking along one of Southern California’s beaches with her dog, Joey. You can find her on Twitter.