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Planet Fitness is a health club chain that everyone in fitness has an opinion about—they either love it or hate it. People rarely fall in the middle. If you've been working out at home for a while and would like to explore joining a gym, getting a Planet Fitness membership can be a worthwhile investment, especially if your goal is to improve your personal fitness, work out with like-minded people, and possibly work with the Planet Fitness in-house trainers. Others, such as powerlifters and Olympic weightlifters, or those who prefer the instructor-led HIIT-style workouts of Orangetheory Fitness, may reap no benefits because of what this gym doesn't have.
In this review, we break down the cost of a Planet Fitness membership, what to do if you need to cancel a Planet Fitness membership, and a personal experience of trying a facility as a guest. You may not decide to join one in your area based on our review, but at least you'll have some knowledge about how the Planet Fitness processes work, what their facilities are like, and the atmosphere itself before you go for a personal experience.
Planet Fitness Membership
Planet Fitness promotes itself as a “judgment free zone,” and their target markets are beginners as well as people who want to lose weight. The information that follows about PF memberships and facilities is based on a combination of research as well as my personal visit to a Planet Fitness location in Beckley, West Virginia, where I trained and spoke with staff about a potential membership for myself.
There are three categories of Planet Fitness memberships: Prepaid, Classic, and the PF Black Card. The Prepaid and Classic Memberships come with unlimited access to the member’s home club, where they sign up (hours vary by location), access to the PF Mobile App, and free fitness training in the club.
The Black Card membership is what PF heavily promotes. It comes with all the above benefits as well as virtual fitness training, permission to bring a guest for free, access to any PF location worldwide, and services located in the Black Club area, such as water massage, massage chairs, red light therapy, tanning beds, and 50 percent discounts on select beverages they sell.
Planet Fitness Membership Cost
If you wish to prepay for a year’s membership, the cost is $199. There is no enrollment fee and no cancellation; however, the prepaid membership is final, and you can't get a refund.
The Classic membership is $10 a month and the PF Black Card membership costs $24.99 a month. There is also a one-time enrollment fee, but the staff person I spoke with informed me that the fee changes daily. On the day I visited, I could've signed up for the Classic membership for an enrollment fee of $62.98, or I could've become a PF Black Card member by paying $37.15. Some days it could be less, others may be more, and if there is a promotion going on, there may be no cost at all.
Outside of the one-time enrollment fee, there is also an annual payment of $39 that must be paid on October 1st of every year that you're a member. All payments for Classic and PF Black Card memberships must be paid by automatic draft out of your bank account or credit card. You can't pay monthly fees in advance.
As of this writing, there are no family membership packages, but in the summer of 2022, students of middle school age or older were allowed to train for free.
How to Cancel a Planet Fitness Membership
If you have to move away, or if you simply wish to cancel your membership, you must sign a form at the location that you signed up at to confirm. There is no charge for canceling your membership, and you can even finish out the last month that was already drafted out of your account.
The other way your membership can be ended is if the management terminates it. One of the controversies surrounding Planet Fitness is the infamous “lunk alarm” that allegedly goes off if you make too much noise while training.
The lunk alarm is actually controlled by the staff, and they can sound the alarm from their desk if they feel you're making too much noise. Once the alarm is sounded, the management could potentially cancel your membership.
What We Like About Planet Fitness
- Numerous ways to train, including the leg and abs room, 30-minute room, and the 360-degree station
- Multiple rows of ellipticals, treadmills, stair steppers, and stationary bikes
- Several machines allow you to train your entire body adequately
- Cleaning stations are clearly located throughout the facility
- The PF Black Card membership offers several extra benefits
What We Don't Like About Planet Fitness
- There are no barbells, flat-bench press stations, or squat racks. The top weight for dumbbells is 75 lbs.
- Extra costs, including the different enrollment fees based on the day and the annual October 1 payment
- Ellipticals and recumbent bikes don't offer varying levels of resistance
- No family membership options
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FAQs About Planet Fitness
Is Black Card worth it at Planet Fitness?
If you wish to use tanning beds, massage services, and the other benefits that come with it, then yes, it will be worth upgrading to the Black Card. It could also be useful if you're a frequent traveler and need to train at other PF locations.
If those benefits aren't as valuable to you, you would be fine with a Classic or Prepaid membership package.
Can you bring a guest to Planet Fitness?
Black Card members can bring guests with them at any time, so long as they don't bring the same guest every day. If you're a Classic member and you're bringing a guest who may sign up as a new member, the staff may allow them to train for free that day.
When I went to PF to explore getting a membership, they let me work out as a guest at no charge, but I had to provide contact information and take a photo at the counter for their records. I didn't have to submit any financial information.
Is there a dress code at Planet Fitness?
The PF website says they're all for members expressing themselves, but they do have a standard code that should be followed, such as no open-toe shoes, jeans, or pants with grommets, and the shoes you wear must be clean. You also can't wear see-through clothing or items that they would consider “intimidating,” such as shirts with foul language or descriptions of violence.
How much does a personal trainer cost at Planet Fitness?
There is no cost to work with a PF trainer at the gym where you sign up. This service is included with all three types of membership. However, they don't allow outside trainers to train clients in their facilities—even if the trainer is also a member.