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: Cons:
  • Affordable monthly payments
  • Low-pressure, welcoming atmosphere
  • Free fitness training
  • 30-minute workout circuit simplifies weight training
  • TRX area
  • Massage chairs and hydromassage beds
  • 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.

Customer Review Analysis

Our analysis of Planet Fitness customer reviews reveals the following strengths and weaknesses:

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’ 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’ low-cost model makes it the most economical choice. However, Planet Fitness’ 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.


Read 38 Planet Fitness Customer Reviews and Complaints

Write a Review
Average Customer Rating: 1.9
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 7 4 star: 0 3 star: 1 2 star: 6 1 star:  24
Bottom Line: 21% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 38
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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Attention members of Planet Fitness regarding the annual fee

    • Eatontown, NJ,
    • Nov 11, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Be aware there is no notification by way of e-mail or regular mail letting you know the annual fee is coming up and will be posted to your charge card for the coming year. Just received my American Express bill and saw the annual fee posted. Because of health issues, I went down to cancel my membership. I was told there was no refund or adjustment refund of the annual fee. Reading some reviews I read after cancellation they were still being billed. Beware.

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

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Customer policy

    • Southbury, CT,
    • Sep 16, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have been a member for a long time, probably about 8-9 years now. I have never been in this situation before, where employees go out of their way to look up customers' information and reaching out to you. It was not business-related, and wasn’t professional at all. Made me feel so uncomfortable that this person is comfortable of doing that. He doesn’t even know me, only saw me there a couple of times, doesn’t even know my name. I’m pretty sure, this person is okay by looking up customer information and getting their phone numbers. It looks like Planet Fitness has no customer policy at all. Very disappointing, and I wound never step into the door again. You would think they would have some kind of training for keeping the customers' information private. And this person should’ve known better than if it’s not business-related you don’t reach out to someone you don’t know from your personal phone. It is not professional at all. So my question is, if a random person walks up to the counter, you will just give them all my personal information thinking it is okay to do so? Or just show up at my house randomly? Definitely need to change your policy and train your employees better.

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

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Lazy staff

    • State College, PA,
    • Sep 4, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I’m trying to get information about a membership and I can’t even get these people to email me back. Not only do you have to email your local club with questions, when you dig deeper into the site they offer a "higher" customer service to contact. When you click on it, it takes you to the same email form for your local club.

    Even their website is an atrocity. On their home page, they make the $10/month offer but the number one is actually the capital letter "I". If their lack of detail is that bad, their site is a work of futility and they can’t even bother to contact you back about a membership...why would you want to give them your money?

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

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  • Would not recommend

    • Hendersonville, NC,
    • Aug 19, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have been a member here since March 2018. I enjoyed the gym. It has a lot of equipment. As long as you can go in and not bother staff all is peachy. But as soon as you want to use the extra stuff they offer, you are lucky if you get waited on. 50 percent of the staff are helpful but the past few weeks I was there it was so aggravating...I dreaded going in. If you have any issue with anything there is not a customer service number that actually helps you. They just send you back into the gym to complain. Which is useless. Beware of Kristina Penn. Very rude. I'm very glad I'm not a part of this facility. I will be glad to give my money to another gym. I will definitely not ever recommend this place to anyone.

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

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  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Discriminate and poorly managed gym

    • West Palm Beach, FL,
    • Aug 17, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    At the Planet Fitness in West Palm Beach South Dixie #0873 in late July 2019, the trainer mistreated me, being very snappy and sharp, not allowing us to use a space and just very mean and unkind. We have observed her territorial behavior and odd ways she behaves toward some here like us since she started here a few weeks ago. Although my spouse or I never spoke to her when she mistreated us, my spouse made a comment to me about her nasty behavior and I guess she overheard it and took offense to it. She was behaving in a mean way and seems very hateful and homophobic it seems toward us, a married gay couple, who have gone to this gym for five years now since they opened. No other trainer here has ever treated us in such a nasty way before. She told the manager my spouse said a bad word about her. The manager came over to talk to us, my spouse was upset and told her it was not nice how she was treating us as customers and we have a right to defend ourselves from her nasty comportment.

    The following day the manager called my spouse telling him that his guest member privileges were being revoked and he could never use another Planet Fitness club again in his life and that I as the contract on the membership I could cancel if I wanted since we always come in together to use the gym and actually joined together. We came in and met with the manager who presented me with a form to sign online to cancel and emailed it to my spouse and me. The manager sided with the nasty and hateful employee over long-term customers of five+ years who have never created a problem in all the years and have paid upwards of $1000+ in membership fees over the years. What a slap in the face to us as members. My spouse also asked why the manager did not give any due process or a second chance, since the employee provoked the entire incident with her mean ways. This gym has deteriorated considerable since this manager took over now the past few months.

    The employees change every other week, the club is not cared for well, the bathrooms are filthy, the machines need greasing and do not work smoothly, and the employees are ill-trained and treat customers poorly or change so frequently. The management and staff here do not enforce the rules for members and allow all to be loud, swear, not break down weights, never clean up after themselves, talk on their phones and sit on machines on their phones not thinking of others.

    Since we were forced out by a mean and hateful employee, having my spouses membership revoked and then canceling mine and losing out on 18 days of the gym plus the annual fee, Planet Fitness should have to reimburse us for the time we now cannot use this gym. WE have spoken to our bank to make sure they do not try to charge us more, although we cancelled and have the cancellation; we have heard horror stories about this gym. We believe that this manager and trainer will not last based on how they treat people and their poor leadership. WE do believe Planet Fitness should dismiss them, as you should not have people like them working with your customers. Either way, they will be the cause of their own demise by the way they have been since being at this gym.

    Please refund us for our lost money with your gym. We will go to a better gym that can be kind and respectful of us without hate and the nasty ways of this trainer. The manager is not a problem solver, she is a young kid who really should not be running a business and has no right in a job like that, as she really does not care, and she does not even smile or treat most people well. Many former employees of this gym have told us they all left because of her nasty leadership, so many employees, they all leave, and this says something about this weak and pathetic manager. She would never listen to my spouse and sided with her new trainer who has been on a power trip since she started working at this club. PF should have a separate training area apart from the areas all people use to work out. Planet Fitness Headquarters needs to step in, intervene, and improve what is going on here. This manager gave a name and email of her superior, and then she called, but the number, name, or email do not show up on any Planet Fitness webpage. Therefore, we are taking the liberty to send our complaint and assessment of the altercation directly to the BBB so PF corporate or regional can address and know what is going on at this club. Please refund us the portions that we paid of the annual and monthly we were not able to use since you forced us out. We will also look into talking to some lawyers about how we were treated by the employee and manager and how there was never and due process given in this case to use just a revocation.

    We hope Planet Fitness will take this seriously and improve the management and situation on the ground at the Planet Fitness in West Palm Beach. There is a lot of questionable stuff going on here and customers should never be treated the way we were treated on Tuesday by this employee and then forced out like this by this manager. Please address this fairly and improve the situation here. Unfortunately, after this horrendous incident with your employee at your gym we could never speak highly of this gym or Planet Fitness as a whole, nor do a positive review, or promote Planet Fitness at all ever to friends, family, and loved one. We are mortified at how we were treated by this manager and your PF employee and wanted to share this review with others. This gym is poorly run now, dirty, and they do not maintain their equipment well here now and employees are ill trained. We hope they can improve and not chase good customers away by their mean and discriminating treatment.

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

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  • 1 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Cheap but with problems

    • Vero Beach, FL,
    • Aug 9, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I joined Planet Fitness at a great 18 months upfront payment rate, but soon found problems. The first is that certain machines and free weights and benches have a waiting line, making them unavailable. The gym needs more of these machine and free weights. The second problem is that the gym is always busy, even during the usual off-hour slots. The final and worst problem is that street people somehow get in to use the restrooms and showers. Who wants to use an unclean toilet or shower?

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

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    All they care about is your money

    • Minnesota,
    • Jul 25, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Decent place to work out, clean facilities, good equipment. Unfortunately, the staff, although most are decent, sent me away TWICE when I tried to cancel my membership! Claiming a manager must be present in order to cancel so I stopped in and was told since I didn't cancel a WEEK ahead of time I would still be charged for the month! Excuse me, I attempted to cancel 2 months in a row! I work 2 jobs so it's difficult for me to find time during the day, when a manager is present, to stop in! So if you wish to cancel, be prepared, they still want to take your money for services you won't be receiving!

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

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  • 1 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Get rid of cell phones

    • New Jersey,
    • Jul 15, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Get rid of the cell phones in the gym, too many members just sitting on the equipment and texting or talking, there is no oversite by the management team and it is going to cause fights if other members need to chastise the ones guilty of breaking the rules and tying up the equipment. By the way, I am a member in Camarillo, California and also work out at the facility in Mays Landing, New Jersey where I have a home and I have witnessed this cell phone problem at both facilities.

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

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  • 3 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Poor management

    • Greensburg, PA,
    • Jun 11, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I joined in November and was charged a large annual fee that everyone will get charged and you are not told nor do you see it on the $10 ads. My gym is so cluttered that it is unsafe. I bought it up to management. I was spoken to so badly that I am shocked. No customer service training, and worse, I sensed that it was based on Planet Fitness Training. I was told that safety is the user's problem, that they are only a family gym, and that you sign a waver and even that cameras won't lie and Planet Fitness would believe a manager over member when or if something happens. I am appalled! Planet Fitness corporate just refers you back to the same manager even though it is a corporate site I was told. I canceled, so did my whole family. Cheap and discount are not supposed to be lesser, but here it is. Even the no intimidation rules, they are based on keeping their site easier to clean and keep. It does not have much to do with people that are scared of people who really know how to lift. Plus, their staff at my site have no knowledge of lifting, by conservation and by appearance, so I think this is just the worst. Management told me to be quiet. Imagine politely bringing safety up and getting verbally attacked. I was told that if I did not know what Planet Fitness is like (people and staff who are not deeply into weight training and CrossFit, and if I did not know that it is also my fault).

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

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Don't do it!

    • Evanston, IL,
    • May 27, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    If you're serious about working out, DON'T go to PF! People don't know how to use the machines and they don't ask either. They don't monitor their 30-minute workout area and you have to tattle like a little kid to get the diddlers out. The 30-minute workout area is for serious workouts. You get on a machine when the light turns green and you get off when it turns red! Sounds simple right? NOPE! Not for the kind of people that go to the PF! They justify why they can't get on and get off the machines or they sit there for several minutes doing their reps. and they just get in the way! Eventually, you'll leave for a better gym where people know how to work out and do it correctly!

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

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  • 2 out 3 people found this review helpful

    No stars if possible to Planet Fitness scam

    • Centurion, South Africa,
    • May 7, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    This is the worst gym ever! I told the lady at reception to cancel my membership because it reached a year. She told me "it will not be a problem..." and scribbled my details on a paper A4. I finished my work out and left.

    I'm a student and the harsh reality is 4 months later attorneys send me an SMS that I owed interest and fees! I don't work since my studies are full time and I called them back, they actually noted my call FOR CANCELLATION on their system.

    So why now in April I get another SMS! Idiots! According to law, I am not responsible for all this money and they will not see a sent from me!

    No permission = no money!

    I wonder if the CEO in the USA knows what the people in SA are doing to harm his business!

    Centurion Gate Business Park The Gate Shopping Centre, Cnr Akkerboom and, John Vorster Dr, Centurion, 7440

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

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Showing 1-11 of 38

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