Are Planet Fitness Weights Really Lighter Than They Should Be!?

I remember when I first started lifting and exercising, I was really only motivated by the perfect physiques of actors and models I saw on the TV. Maybe this is something that’s common to the last few generations because that’s how we were conditioned. Before the penetration of the TV and the internet into our daily lives, people used to have actual goals. 

When I asked my father why the folks from his generation used to exercise, his reasoning was completely different. It was rather surprising- even though it shouldn’t have been; to know that people actually used to exercise to stay fit and strong. No, not the typical definition of fit that you and I have come to expect. Fitness didn’t mean six-pack abs or increasing muscle size alone, it used to mean increasing one’s strength and lifting capacity.

Fitness has evolved or rather devolved, into a herd mentality that focuses solely on looking good when naked. Earlier, fitness used to encompass various aspects like conditioning, strength, endurance, and much more. However, in today’s social media-obsessed world, it’s limited to achieving a beach body. 

All of this would’ve been a great thing, only if the people who take up fitness didn’t quit midway through their journey. Most of them don’t even get a proper start before they call it quits and this is the kind of mentality that Planet Fitness has been promoting recently. Sure, the brand name of Planet Fitness has become well-known among the masses, but not necessarily in a positive manner. 

It has been claimed by many regular gymgoers that the weights used by Planet Fitness are actually lighter than what is claimed. Most people who already train at other gyms often end up wondering “Are planet fitness weights lighter?” If you’re looking forward to going to a gym and building up your strength then this is something that should bother you. This is why, in this article, we’re going to discuss in detail whether the weights are actually mislabeled, and if not, then is it still worth it?

The Burning Question: Are Planet Fitness Weights Lighter?

dumbbells
dumbbells

If you just went to PF for the first time or visited it after you trained at other gyms, you might also be wondering about the legitimacy of their weights. According to most people, they were able to lift considerably heavier weights and do more reps when they went to PF. Since PF focuses mainly on those who haven’t been to any other gyms, the anecdotal evidence to support this claim is almost completely absent. However, there are a couple of reasons why the more experienced lifters might feel the weights are lighter:

Reason Number One

There can be many reasons why people feel that the purple weights at PF are lighter. One of the most common errors made by people is that they don’t account for the unit of measurement. Depending on the manufacturer of weights or machines, the units used can be either kilograms or pounds. Since one pound equals roughly 450 grams, it can be that these people forget to notice which standard is being used. 

Reason Number Two

Another very probable reason for the disparity between what one feels and what’s actually claimed could be the condition of the machines in the gym. Almost all exercise machines utilize levers and pulleys, and depending on the maintenance schedule, the pulleys can be either stiff or smooth. If the machines in your primary gym aren’t regularly maintained then they might feel tighter and in turn, heavier than PF weights. 

This still doesn’t mean that PF doesn’t suffer from other issues that should make you avoid it like plague. In the next few sections, we’re going to take a look at the other red flags of PF that you should be aware of. 

Does Planet Fitness Carry Enough Heavier Weights?

barbell
barbell

The weights at PF might not be incorrectly labeled, but the biggest issue with PF is that the weights aren’t usually heavy enough for most lifters. Remember that we used the term lifters since it can make a significant difference. 

For those who’ve been consistently lifting for quite some time, PF will be a disappointment. With a maximum of 60-70 lbs of barbells and dumbbells, anyone who’s not a newbie will not benefit a lot. Most people who've been lifting consistently won’t find these small weights to be any challenge at all and it won’t help them progress further. If you’re an absolute beginner with no prior experience lifting then it might work out for you, but it’s still not recommended due to the other issues with the franchise. 

How Does Planet Fitness Operate?

Planet Fitness judgement free zone
Planet Fitness judgement free zone

The marketing strategy of Planet Fitness is to target those who have never been to a gym before. These people are usually intimidated by the lifters who’ve been lifting for a while since they appear daunting. PF exploits this weakness to sell its membership by claiming to be a judgment-free zone. 

The truth, however, is quite different than what’s portrayed in PF advertisements. The regular lifters might appear big and scary but they won’t gobble you up and will most likely help you out if you ask for help. However, the issue with PF is that no serious lifters will stay there for long because of their discriminatory practices towards the apparently “intimidating” people. 

When we factor in the monthly “Pizza Nights” and “Bagle Mornings” offered by PF, the situation seems even bleaker. PF wants you to do the bare minimum exercises that make you feel like you’ve done something and will not focus on nutrition at all. This leads to a vicious cycle that only profits PF in the end. People don’t go to PF to get fit, they go there to stay fat or worse, get even fatter. 

Alternatives to Planet Fitness: Your Own Home Gym?

home gym
home gym

Now, this is the part that will do you more good than membership of PF ever will. The best way forward is to either join a reputed gym where there are no stupid gimmicks like free candy, a lunk alarm, or pizza parties. Go to a gym where people already have the physique that you desire and you’ll learn much more.

It might be scary initially, but everyone who starts is scared and everyone has to start somewhere. If it bothers you too much then you can even set up your own home gym which will be far more effective than PF. It doesn’t even have to be expensive either as you can build a lot of your own equipment if you’re into DIY

A home gym will often be far more sustainable and you can even find affordable equipment with just a little bit of research. Even if establishing your own gym costs more, you’ll have your own equipment for the rest of your life. You’ll be able to lift as much as you want, you won’t have to control your natural impulses like grunting, and you’ll actually get fit.