Planet Fitness Review: Is It the Right Gym for You?

By J.R. Duren
HighYa Staff
Updated on: Dec 13, 2019

Planet Fitness is a budget gym offering memberships for as little as $10.

The company’s philosophy focuses on making members feel welcome. “Judgement Free Zone” is the motto of each gym. If working out intimidates you and you want to sign up for a gym where you can be yourself, this focus on judgment-free fitness is very appealing.

Joining a gym is more than just finding the right philosophy, though. Our review will help you decide if Planet Fitness is right for you by analyzing key aspects of its membership.

Pros
  • Affordable monthly payments
  • Low-pressure, welcoming atmosphere
  • Free fitness training
  • 30-minute workout circuit simplifies weight training
  • TRX area
  • Massage chairs and hydromassage beds
Cons
  • Cheapest membership requires a 12-month contract
  • No group exercise classes
  • No pools or saunas
  • No child care

Membership Tiers, Fees, and Features

Planet Fitness offers the following three membership tiers:

  • Classic: $10/mo with 12-month contract
  • No Commitment: $15/mo with no contract
  • PF Black Card: $22.99/mo with 12-month contract
Classic No Commitment PF Black Card
Annual fee $39 $39 $39
Cancellation fee $58 None $58
Sign-up fee $29 $39 $0

If you want to save money on the sign-up fee, clubs in your area will run promotions. You should be able to capitalize on a $0, $0.25 or $1 promotion around January when sign-ups hit their peak.

Classic and No Commitment Plan Features

The Classic and No-Commitment plans give you access to:

  • One PF club you choose
  • Free weight training sessions
  • Free Wi-Fi at PF clubs

PF Black Card Features

Black Card gets you the three perks of the lower membership along with the use of all PF gyms across the country, discounts on food and drinks at PF gyms and the following complimentary perks:

  • Bring a guest for free every time you go to the gym
  • Free tanning bed access (first come, first served)
  • Free use of massage chairs (first come, first served)
  • Free hydromassage beds (first come, first served)

Black Card members also get 10% off at the Planet Fitness online store and 20% off purchases at Reebok.com. Additional discounts include:

  • 15% off at 1800Flowers.com
  • $80 off at BlueApron.com
  • $10 credit for Audible
  • Up to 60% off hotel bookings through PF’s travel site
  • 12% off at Shoebacca.com

How to Cancel Your Membership

You have to cancel your membership in-person at your local club. If you have a 12-month contract, you’ll pay the cancellation fee. To avoid making your next monthly payment (usually billed on the 17th) or the annual fee (Feb. 1), you have to cancel at least seven days before those dates.

If you don’t live near a Planet Fitness location, you’ll need to send a letter requesting cancellation to the club where you signed up.

PF recommends sending a certified letter via the USPS. A certified letter provides proof that you sent the letter and requires the recipient to sign for the mail.

Amenities

Most Planet Fitness gyms feature the following amenities:

  • Cardio machines: treadmills, ellipticals, bikes, stair climbers
  • Free weights: dumbbells, benches, squat racks
  • 30-minute Express Circuit
  • Medicine ball/resistance band area
  • TRX station
  • Locker rooms with showers
  • Free weight training sessions
  • Open 24 hours, in most cases

If you’re new to working out, Planet Fitness’ 30-minute weight circuit is a good fit for you. You’ll work through 10 weight machines and 10 step platforms, switching to each one according to a prominent flashing light in the circuit room.

The workout combines aerobic exercise (step stations) with resistance training (weight machines), two keys to burning fat and building endurance.

Another valuable benefit is that PF’s free weight training is a great way to learn how to lift weights with the right form. Good form helps you avoid injury. You can sign up for a session at the front desk. The sessions are organized by body region: arms, core, legs, etc. Trainers will also lead you through PF’s 30-minute Express Circuit.

Also, your trainer can help you learn how to use the various weight machines in your club.

Finally, Planet Fitness focuses on giving you a non-judgemental, welcoming workout environment. If you’re new to working out, this is a key advantage, as it’s easy to be intimidated and feel defeated in your first few weeks at the gym.

Analysis of Customer Review

Common Compliments:

  • Cheap: Many reviewers said they were amazed at how affordable Planet Fitness was compared to other gyms.

  • Friendly Staff: We saw multiple reviews from customers who enjoyed their interactions with PF staff. The praise covered interactions with managers as well as front desk staff.

  • Clean: There is a lot of praise for how clean PF locations are. However, cleanliness will vary from location to location.

Common Complaints:

  • Hard to Cancel: There are dozens of reviews from consumers noting how difficult it was to cancel a membership and how, in some cases, they were required to send a certified letter to the gym at which they signed up to cancel. We also read complaints about Planet Fitness’s unwillingness to budge on their cancellation fee, regardless of the circumstances of the cancellation (illness, injury, etc.).

  • Poor Customer Service: There are numerous accounts of PF customer service reps being rude and unhelpful. Many of the complaints we read pointed out staff was unhelpful and aloof when the customer tried to cancel their membership.

Takeaways:

First, you can avoid most of the issues customers complain about by signing up for the $15 no-commitment plan. You won’t have to worry about cancellation fees or club staff that slow down the process because they don’t want to lose your membership.

Second, factors like cleanliness and customer service will vary by location. Head to the Planet Fitness club you’ll most likely use. Talk with the staff there and get a feel for their attitude. Read reviews for that specific club.

Finally, if you choose to do a 12-month contract, ask for a copy of the contract before you sign. Read through all the fine print. Make sure you understand how you cancel your membership and when you’d need to cancel to avoid the annual fee charged in February.

Planet Fitness vs. LA Fitness and 24 Hour Fitness

Planet Fitness LA Fitness 24 Hour Fitness
Cheapest single-gym membership $10 $34.99 $31.99
Cheapest multi-gym membership $22.99 $39.99 $31.99
Sign-up fee Up to $29.00 Up to $99 Up to $29.99
Annual fee $39.99 $49.00 $49.99
Cancellation fee $58.00 None Remaining months on contract
Free classes No Yes Yes
Child care No Yes Yes

Planet Fitness’s low-cost model makes it the most economical choice. However, its amenities aren’t nearly as diverse as LA Fitness and 24 Hour Fitness.

Many LA Fitness and 24 Hour Fitness locations have pools, saunas, and basketball courts.

Planet Fitness provides free weight training sessions but does not offer the variety of dance, HIIT and cardio group classes you get with LA Fitness and 24 Hour Fitness.

The Bottom Line

Planet Fitness is a low-cost option whose facilities are tailored to newcomers or average people who aren’t looking for specialized workouts and just want to get some cardio and weightlifting in.

Who Is Planet Fitness Good For?

So, if you’re the kind of person who hasn’t been to the gym in years, or has never had a gym membership, we think that Planet Fitness will meet your needs.

If you’re a regular gymgoer but you feel intimidated at your current gym, Planet Fitness is an excellent alternative where you’ll feel more comfortable.

Also, if you have a busy work schedule or odd working hours, Planet Fitness’ emphasis on clubs being open 24 hours will give you time to work out. In some cases, though, clubs will not have 24-hour schedules on the weekend.

Who Planet Fitness May Not Be Good For?

If you’re someone who values group exercise and thrives on it, Planet Fitness is not a good fit.

Gyms with free classes usually have dance, HIIT, senior-focused and spin classes. Planet Fitness’ only “class” is its free daily weight training sessions that focus on learning and using weight machines.

Second, you won’t enjoy Planet Fitness if you want a high-end gym experience. PF’s amenities and fees are stripped down. Other gym chains provide a more upscale experience.

Finally, Planet Fitness isn’t good for you if you have kids and need to bring them with you when you workout. PF locations don’t offer childcare in order to keep membership fees low.

FAQ

What Is the Planet Fitness Lunk Alarm?

Planet Fitness activates a light- and sound-powered “lunk” alarm whenever members slam weights down and/or make loud grunting noises. This alarm is part of Planet Fitness’ emphasis on making their gyms non-intimidating and welcoming.

What Is Planet Fitness Hydromassage?

The hydromassage beds that Black Card members have access to are open-top beds that massage your back via pressurized water shooting below the bed’s surface.

Does Planet Fitness Have Showers?

Yes.

Does Planet Fitness Have a Sauna?

No.

Does Planet Fitness Have Pools?

No.

Does Planet Fitness Have Free Weights?

Yes. PF locations have a wide variety of free weights.

Does Planet Fitness Have Classes?

No. The gym has no group fitness classes. However, they do small-group weight training sessions through which trainers show you how to use weight machines effectively.

Is Planet Fitness Open 24 Hours?

Most locations have a 24-hour schedule. In some cases, clubs will do 24 hours during the week and have shorter hours on the weekend.

Does Planet Fitness Have Wi-Fi?

Yes. All members have access to PF’s free Wi-Fi.


Customer Reviews

Start your review of Planet Fitness:
  • 50 Customer Reviews
  • 18% Recommend This Company
1.8 out of 5
5 star: 16% 4 star: 0% 3 star: 2% 2 star: 14% 1 star: 68%

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We have a zero-tolerance policy for fake reviews, and companies cannot control or alter any reviews at any time.

Sort reviews by:

  • Run away!

    • By Leanne S.,
    • White Bear Lake, MN,
    • Sep 16, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    • Length of Use: 2+ years
    Overall Experience:

    I wish I had gotten the name of the little snot that refused to cancel my membership when it's for severe health issues. If I had known they would make me come in during a plague, when I'm incredibly high risk, and then refuse, I would have contacted the BBB first. I have NEVER had such a horrible experience as with Planet Fitness. Have you dealt with an insurance company? They're a treat compared to PF. You have to deal with only the local franchise and I've met ONE person in TWO YEARS that wasn't rude and/or inept. Think twice before you have anything to do with this horror show of a company - ANY other gym, even in a prison, would have to be an improvement. I really, really hope people check the reviews and take them seriously or they will absolutely regret it.

    Pros and Cons:

    • No “pros” were specified in this review
    • Rude and/or inept staff
    • Refusal to cancel
    • Cleanliness at the front was a joke

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Rude staff, stupid policies

    • By Catherine G.,
    • Panama City, FL,
    • Aug 11, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    • Length of Use: 1–2 years
    Overall Experience:

    The staff at Planet Fitness is useless! The equipment is always broken and they won’t help you with anything. They don’t rack the weights that are left around. They won’t help you adjust the machines or teach you how to use them. They won’t address any concerns you have. They let people tie up the 30-minute workout room; even though there are signs everywhere telling people that it is for the 30-minute workout only! The trainer that is supposed to come with your membership, is hardly ever or totally not available, and the trainer that has been available lately, is nice enough, but has not had enough training himself and WILL hurt someone if he continues training with the training he has had at this time.

    The new policy for masks! It is sooooo stupid. You only have to wear a mask if you are walking the supposed 6 feet between machines. If you are on a machine or just standing near one, you do not have to wear a mask. I was not wearing a mask, because this is a stupid policy. No one is abiding by this policy. I tried to take some pictures just to show the corporate office, and the manager not only came over and called me out about not wearing a mask, but she THREATENED me with calling the police in front of my Mom and other members! And later she called me at home to yell at me!

    The HIPPA laws don’t let you ask anyone about their medical conditions and if they have a problem wearing a mask and breathing, you are not supposed to make them wear one. I do not have an issue with this and I am sorry for anyone who does, but the manager said it didn’t matter, because Planet Fitness doesn’t allow this as an excuse to not wear a mask anyway and you still have to wear one.

    Also, the new policy at Planet Fitness requires that you carry the big heavy bottle of cleaner with you and clean your machines as you go. You were always supposed to clean your machine and towels were provided at cleaning stations throughout the club. I don’t have an issue with that, but I do with carrying around the heavy bottle, plus my own water bottle. And the bottle, if you drop it accidentally, comes apart and makes a huge mess. I have neck injuries and have trouble holding on to things, and I have dropped the stupid bottle twice.

    I have tried to call the corporate office 5 times and have left at least 3 messages. They do not answer their phones and will not call me back to let me voice my concerns! I told them in my message that I would post these complaints everywhere I could find to pot the online and this is to keep my promise. I am looking into other gyms. I may stay at Planet Fitness if I can get them to address my concerns, but only because they are the least expensive gym. Just know what you are getting into if you join this gym.

    Pros and Cons:

    • Price
    • Staff rude
    • Equipment broken
    • Stupid policies

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Cancel membership

    • By Jennifer M.,
    • Midland, TX,
    • Aug 7, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    • Length of Use: 2+ years
    Overall Experience:

    I walked into Planet Fitness in February to cancel the membership and was told I needed to do that online.

    I got online, and it only lets you change the level of membership - not cancel. Of course, I went back in person but the gym was closed from COVID-19. At that point, the app was not letting me access any changes since they were temporarily not billing due to COVID. Fast forward to July 17th, I get a $23 monthly fee out of my bank account. Then 2 weeks later, Aug 3rd, another $43 deduction for annual fees. I called the gym stating my annual renewal date was in April and I've been trying to cancel the membership since before then as to avoid the fee. But was told there's nothing they can do about it. I was very upset about the $66 out of my bank account within a 2-week period, for something I was unable to cancel or contact for 3 months because they were closed. However then, "since I was upset and so they could accommodate me," the girl said she COULD go ahead and cancel my membership. But I thought I had to come in to do that?

    The take away is, apparently they give you the runaround to not let you cancel, so you keep getting billed. Yet can adjust the policy when convenient to them. Of course, any refund is "out of their hands" and "per contract" the annual maintenance fee cannot be refunded, despite my efforts in the past 6 months to avoid this situation. And, there has been no correspondence stating when billing was to resume after closing for COVID.

    Poor customer service!

    Pros and Cons:

    • No “pros” were specified in this review
    • Customer service

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Best place to pick up the COVID-19 virus!

    • By Mick R.,
    • Bossier City, LA,
    • Aug 4, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    • Length of Use: 2+ years
    Overall Experience:

    I used to like going to the gym in Bossier City, LA. But now it's a dangerous place to be. The governor of LA mandates face covering in public places, but they won't enforce it in Planet Fitness. Now they say you have to wear a mask unless in an active work out. That means, if you are standing around doing nothing, must wear a mask. Otherwise, it doesn't matter. They are more worked about memberships than our safety. I'm really disappointed in these people. I love working out, but going to Planet Fitness is very dangerous now! Sad. Money is more important than human life to them.

    Pros and Cons:

    • Nice equipment
    • They don't care about the health of members
    • I was told that they don't enforce rules in fear of someone might quit
    • Poor management

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Disgusted with Planet Fitness

    • By Tia G.,
    • Pittsburgh, PA,
    • Jun 19, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    • Length of Use: 2+ years
    Overall Experience:

    I am disgusted with Planet Fitness...you send an email out on June 10, 2020 and resumed BILLING ON JUNE 17. AS CUSTOMERS WE SHOULD HAVE HAD 30 DAYS NOTICE. PEOPLE ARE FURLOUGHED, LAID OFF, and trying to regroup after this crisis. I understand money was lost but you don't sabotage loyal customers to get it?!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Updated review

    Great atmosphere, no jerks

    • By Solomon J.,
    • Salt Lake City, UT,
    • Jun 18, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    • Length of Use: Less than 3 months
    Overall Experience:

    Made up with my gym. Talked it out. Long story short, I was being difficult and I wanted to undo any damage I did. Great customer service. Staff is extremely nice and helpful. Disregard my older one-star review. Convenient location. Not too crowded in the morning, and no gym jerks so far. I like the Planet Fitness crowd a lot more than Gold's Gym or VASA. 24 Hour Fitness is kind of a mix between Gold's and Planet if you want a nice middle ground.

    Love it here so far!

    Pros and Cons:

    • Good atmosphere for the most part
    • Other gym members very respectful
    • Trainer that I slighted is actually a really cool laid back guy
    • Both girls at the front desk are very friendly
    • Greeted on the way in and way out
    • Great location, right by tracks and bus on way to many employers
    • More options on equipment
    • Be the perfect gym if they just added a few more things
    • Definitely would want a little better equipment

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

    • Previous review
    • Jun 10, 2020

    Harassing me while showering

    Right now in the Salt Lake City 4th South location, they have a guy going in the locker room to make sure people are not showering. It's a huge invasion of privacy and the guy was literally standing right outside of the showers. Threatened to take away my membership and was a complete jerk about it. When you trade the traditional jerk for this gym you are just getting the jerks from the other side. Complete invasion of privacy.

    (read moreread less...)

  • Horrible customer service

    • By Nancy K.,
    • Oklahoma,
    • Mar 7, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I had an annual membership and called to cancel. I was not told I needed to go in before February 27 or I would be billed another annual fee. When I went in to cancel I was not told I would still be charged another annual fee. I get emails all the time from Planet Fitness but never got a notice I would be billed another annual fee, like most places that offer annual subscriptions do. The manager said they have every legal right to charge that and it would not be refunded. I'm sure it is legal but customers should get a notification and charges like that should be refunded. The company lacks integrity.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Front desk personnel

    • By Sharon M.,
    • Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada,
    • Feb 5, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    Was not offered any kind of a tour by the fellow I spoke to at the front desk. That was a big-time disappointment and once he took my picture, did not even give directions to where the change rooms are. Not much of an area for the free weights. I go to another gym and was really considering Planet Fitness but was really bothered with the reception I received from this person. A person feels uncomfortable entering a new facility and it should be protocol to show that person around. Think I will stick with Shapes...

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Incompetent manager Jaime

    • By Minnie M.,
    • La Puente, CA,
    • Feb 1, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I went to work out on 1/28 and I was told by Jaime, the manager, my stretch capri leggings were not in the dress code because they were denim material and I would need to change. I asked if I could just work out today and would not wear them again, worn them many times and never a warning, I went home to change. I handed my card to Jaime and when she said "thank you," I said "not welcome," that was her reason to terminate my membership, and even though I apologized many times she refused to accept my apology. I've read other reviews and she has been mentioned as incompetent, customers should not be treated like she treats people, I am a senior and have had a membership with Planet Fitness for about 7 years and this is how they repay my loyalty.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • They ripped me off

    • By Jeremiah P.,
    • Kannapolis, NC,
    • Jan 16, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I joined at the end of October, I got 2 $10 a month memberships for my girlfriend and I. First month, November payment, they charged me $50 instead of $20. The next month, December, they charged me $50 instead of $20. Then the maintenance fees came and they charged me $54 two times for 2 memberships for a total of $108.00. What I should have been charged was in November $20 and December $20. Maintenance charges of $78.00. I called the manager, he said they don’t refund money. I called corporate, they said sorry. I went into the gym tonight to cancel both memberships and the guys at the desk were nice but just said sorry. What the heck does "sorry" do to me, you just stole my money and you say sorry? He claims he has been canceling my memberships. Hmmm, wonder why. This place is a scam. People, watch your accounts. They lie and steal your money.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Planet Fitness are liars and steal people's money

    • By Krystal W.,
    • Roseville, MN,
    • Jan 11, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    Planet Fitness has lied and took money off my card without permission and on numerous occasions said they were going to refund it and it was never refunded. I talked to the manager Greg in the Roseville, Minnesota Planet Fitness on numerous occasions that said it was one in process back to my card and now I cannot seem to get ahold of him. They took off over $150 from my card. I'm a single mom of 3 on disability and they just stole my money right off my card and will not refund it. Do not use these people for the gym because all they do is steal from innocent people and lie.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


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