Planet fitness has a reputation for seemingly attracting only beginner weightlifters rather than more seasoned heavy lifters. As a result, Planet Fitness lacks some gym equipment that you would expect to find in a standard gym, especially equipment that caters to the weightlifting needs of seasoned lifters.
This reputation has led to general questions regarding whether the fitness center has kettlebells. A kettlebell is a cast-steel or cast-iron ball that has a handle attached to the top. You can use kettlebells for various exercises, including kettlebell lunges, kettlebell squats, or kettlebell swings.
So does Planet Fitness have kettlebells?
Planet Fitness is a franchise of fitness centers with claims to having over 2000 fitness centers in different parts of the US. Their network extends outside the US to Canada, Dominican Republic, Panama, Mexico, and Australia. As a result, the practices and equipment in one Planet Fitness center may vary vastly from another.
Nevertheless, Planet Fitness has a fundamental principle of being a no-judgment zone, and to this extent, varying practices are common across the franchise. As a result, while some past or current members may have noticed there are no kettlebells in their preferred Planet Fitness club, some other users have reported the presence of kettlebells in their preferred club.
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What does Planet Fitness have and not have?
Many users have remarked that Planet Fitness does not have dumbbells that exceed particular pounds. For example, some have remarked that their preferred Planet Fitness club only has dumbbells that go up to 50lbs, while others have commented that their clubs have dumbbells that go up to 75lbs but no more.
Likewise, many users have remarked that the clubs do not have bench press sets. Instead, they have smith machines that you can use to perform bench presses. Similarly, they do not have adjustable barbells. That is, they pre-set their barbells with weight plates – like dumbbells. You can only use these pre-set barbells on the smith machine for your bench press.
Users have also reported that some Planet Fitness clubs do not allow deadlifts, with some centers going as far as putting up signs that prohibit deadlifts. However, this does not seem to be a general practice. As such, you can inquire from the staff regarding their deadlift practices. Similarly, many Planet Fitness users have noted that several centers do not have squat stations or racks.
Other Planet Fitness common practices
Planet Fitness targets amateur or beginner weightlifters or persons with a non-committal interest in weightlifting. As a result, their equipment caters specifically to this demography. In catering to this demography, the franchise discourages behaviors like grunting, dropping weights on the floor, and other actions they believe can intimidate their target market. As an offshoot, some users explain that the franchise discourages specific exercises that may be intimidating, including overhead presses and jumping ropes.
In enforcing this practice, most Planet Fitness centers have a lunk alarm that goes off when any user engages in any behavior the franchise dissuades. According to users, the lunk alarm goes off until that particular behavior stops.
The franchise also has a reputation for offering free meals to its member frequently. However, these meals comprise items that may be unhealthy or unsuitable for anyone looking to make serious gains. These meals range from pizza to candy, bagels, donuts, and cupcakes.
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Benefits of training with kettlebells
While the kettlebell is prohibited in various Planet Fitness clubs, kettlebells are essential fitness equipment because of their flexibility and convenience. Kettlebells are also excellent for home workouts as it is compact and can be stored almost anywhere. Here are some benefits you enjoy with kettlebells:
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Simplifies your training
Because of their unique design, kettlebells are one of the easiest weights to carry around while exercising. The weight also allows you to easily store it away in your garden shed, car boot, or garage. Furthermore, you typically do not require anything more than a kettlebell and your body weight to properly perform strength, conditioning training, and building muscles.
Substitute for cardio
Kettlebell workouts commonly feature a high-rep range. As a result, you typically work multiple muscles simultaneously. If you consistently use your kettlebells, they can provide similar aerobic benefits to HIIT training. For example, studies have shown that a 20-minute kettlebell snatch workout can burn about 14 calories a minute, equivalent to running a mile in six minutes.
Help you move better
Kettlebells are very useful for developing your strength and mobility base. If you are struggling with your barbell squat, the kettlebell goblet squat can help you practice proper form with a safer exercise that you can upgrade as your strength improves. Consequently, kettlebells offer the chance to move athletically with increased resistance from various angles and challenging positions.
Improved range of motion
Several kettlebell exercises have you move through several planes of motion, including swings, carries, presses, and more dynamic movements. These movements are often possible where it may be difficult to use a dumbbell or barbell. Likewise, studies have demonstrated that kettlebells contribute to a healthier lower back due to the movement and loading patterns.
Address muscle imbalances
Various kettlebell exercises are unilateral, requiring you to use a single arm or leg. This enables you to train both sides of your body equally, rather than depending on your stronger side to perform a movement. Training a limb at once also benefits your balance, as you have to stabilize yourself to handle the movement. For example, a one-arm overhead press forces you to stabilize through your trunk.
Home gym benefits
Because of their convenience, portability, flexibility, and many more, kettlebells are very suitable for home workouts and gyms. This allows you to set up your home gym with kettlebells as a piece of foundational equipment. As you develop, you can outfit your home gym with a barbell, a few dumbbells, a squat rack, a pull-up bar, and perhaps a cable machine.
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