Is Planet Fitness a Scam?

For many fitness enthusiasts, their gym is as important as their diet and weightlifting habits. This is because your weightlifting environment plays a significant role in your fitness journey. It can provide you with ample motivation and support for your discipline. On the other hand, it can distract you or directly stunt your development with substandard unavailable equipment. 

Some other gyms have unscrupulous practices and cultures that may make their members uncomfortable using the gym. Planet fitness has come under a lot of scrutinies over the years as various clients have come out to complain about different aspects of their gym services. Here are some of those complaints.

Ingenuous billing practices

scam alert posters
scam alert posters

Several planet fitness users (or formers users) have complained about the gym’s resort to seemingly fraudulent billing practices. This comes in different ways, including charging a customer's card without their knowledge and not refunding it after the customer’s complaint. 

Other customers complain that the gym goes ahead to charge its annual membership fee regardless of whether the client freezes their membership. This particular brand of ingenuous billing was apparently rife during the pandemic as many persons couldn’t use gyms because of general lockdowns. 

According to aggrieved customers, the gym outfit’s policy is that you can only discontinue your membership in person while you can subscribe online. It is not difficult to see how this could be unscrupulous, as many clients were simply complying with lockdown rules. 

The only alternative to physically cancel your gym membership is to send in a certified letter, as a client cannot cancel it online or over the phone. 

Other customers have also complained that the gym sends no advance notice before it charges its annual membership fees from a client’s card. This enables them to charge unsuspecting members who may have lost track of time. 

Poor customer service 

Several customers have also complained about the outfit’s poor customer service. According to some, the management commonly allows its employees to disrespect customers. Other customers have also complained about the persistent judgment from the trainers, disrespectful and mannerless communication etiquette, and sometimes obvious lewd or intimidating stares at the clients. 

Additionally, the customer service representatives also do not proffer functional solutions to clients’ complaints. 

Poor gym facilities 

Many people have also complained about the weight ceiling in planet fitness gyms. The complaint is that the gym brand reduces the possibility of lifting heavy weights, with only smaller people enjoying the weights available in their gyms. 

According to other customers, the barbells have fixed weights, and the heaviest dumbbells do not go past 75 lbs. The gyms also either have very limited or no squat racks. Other customers have also disclosed that the gym offers free pizza and bagels on predetermined days. A few customers noted that it’s the gym's ploy to keep or get people fat and coming back.  

The lunk alarm

According to different customers, planet fitness has and enforces several rules, some of which are considered harsh. In addition to this, the manner of enforcing these rules is reportedly disturbing. One such enforcement method is the lunk alarm. 

The lunk alarm is a loud noise or siren that the fitness company employs to curb unwanted behaviors. Some behaviors that can set the alarm off include dropping the weights and misusing the gym equipment. According to the gym, this is because they discourage unwanted or unprofessional behavior that is prohibited. 

Wearing the wrong kind of gym outfit or grunting while using the weights can also set off the alarm 

What to look out for in a gym?

checklist
checklist

There are several factors you need to consider when selecting a gym, and here are some of them:

Location

Location is perhaps one of the most critical factors when selecting a gym. This is because you want to avoid a gym so far from your workplace or home that getting there is a challenge in itself. A gym in a suitable and convenient location will improve the likelihood of going regularly and realizing your targets sooner.

Gym hours. 

Most people are very busy trying to juggle family, exercise, work, and rest. As a result, you can only spare so much time for exercising, making a gym that conveniently accommodates your busy schedule a necessity. A gym that opens late or closes early, or both may not give you sufficient exercising time. You may also want to discover what the trainers offer during their open hours. 

The gym’s cleanliness 

This is also an essential factor to consider when picking out a gym. You may try to find out if the equipment, facilities, and bathrooms are clean. Finding out whether the gym also offers towels when you forget to bring yours is also vital. It’s also necessary to check if the gym has locker rooms where you change in and out of your gym outfit.

Home Gyms

home gym
home gym

A home gym naturally helps you avoid the ruckus of a public gym as you don’t have to contend with disrespectful trainers or toxic environments while working your muscles. A home gym also offers several benefits as it also helps you avoid the commute to the gym, provides you with incredible flexibility, reduces cost (in the long run), and gives you considerable control over the circumstances of your workout. 

The common challenge with home gyms is that they may be costly to build, as different machines can cost thousands of dollars. Regardless, different cheap alternatives can see you set up a workout station for cheaper than a thousand dollars. 

You only require setting it up with a few pieces of equipment. For example, you can get an Olympic barbell, weight plates (iron or rubber, depending on your budget), squat racks with pull-up bars a flat bench, and perhaps a jump rope.

We recommend people always start with purchasing a rack first. You can see some awesome Half Rack Options in this article. 

You should ensure you opt for pieces that are effective and offer variety. It’s essential to know that buying at an affordable price is different from buying cheap weights. This is because cheap equipment will probably cost you more in the long run. 
You can get more help building an affordable home gym by checking out our guide here.