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 43 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: 7 1 star:  28
Bottom Line: 19% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 43
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  • Great customer service

    • By Joe Rosales,
    • Albuquerque, NM,
    • Apr 16, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I am a member of the Planet Fitness on Gibson in Albuquerque. The employees have always been very courteous and keep the gym very clean and well stocked. One of the employees, Genevieve, in particular is very customer friendly and professional. It is a joy to see her smiling face early in the morning.

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


  • Best gym for the money

    • By Bill King,
    • Kane,
    • May 5, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have been working out at gyms for the last 40 years. I have trained under pro wrestlers and am certified as an elite personal trainer with the ISSA. This gym is light years better than any other. Hardcore bodybuilders don't belong here, but they are a tiny fraction of society and not good for business. They intimidate members and hog several machines at the same time. Times have changed, and so has gym etiquette.

    Planet Fitness has solved the "LUNK" bully attitude with their rules and restrictions. I have canceled my membership twice and never a problem. The facility has everything to get and stay in great shape. It also offers unlimited club membership, tanning, red light therapy and massage an additional 10 dollars a month. Tanning alone cost $25 a month at any salon. The red light therapy is $30 per session at doctor's offices who offer it. Always clean and never too crowded (except on the smith machines).

    The only drawback is no lap pool, but swimming is overrated in calorie burn. Also, I quit the last gym due to having to wait for lap lanes to open. For 90% of the population, this is your best bet for a great workout and great price. The free personal training is the icing on the cake. I would hate other gyms when personal trainers would interrupt your workout to try to tell you a better way and charge you for it.

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


  • Nice place

    • By Ykicia Y.,
    • California,
    • May 26, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Planet Fitness is a nice place to work out. It's always clean, and the staff is nice. There is no waiting, it's never crowded. I would recommend Planet Fitness to everyone that I know; family and friends and even people I don't know. I love coming here to the no judgment zone and I love the total body enhancement.

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


  • Planet Fitness experience with free unlimited trainer Carlos Zarate

    • By Jewels P.,
    • Nevada,
    • Sep 16, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    As far as gyms go, I've been a member of several in Law Vegas including LVAC and 24 Hour Fitness. I joined Planet Fitness a few months ago and am loving it there. Not only is it affordable for anybody the personal trainer at my location on Sahara and Nellis named Carlos Zarate has been a huge help. He keeps me motivated and has trained with me to reach my goals. At other gyms, I felt as if I was just going through the motions. Here, I am pushing myself, setting goals and reaching them. Carlos has shown me what I need to do to get to where I want to be and anytime I need help he has been there. At other gyms, I've asked for assistance and had to wait, and wait and wait. Carlos Zarate has been very informative and is probably the reason I am sticking with my work out plan! Planet Fitness has all the equipment I need and is a friendly environment. I love it there!

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


  • Tyesha's superb customer service skills

    • By Saundra T.,
    • Seat Pleasant, MD,
    • Feb 18, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I want to express my great experience with Tyesha at Planet Fitness located in Seat Pleasant, MD. She assisted me with renewing my membership. I watched the way she interacted with the vendors that were coming in to do work and the members. She was very pleasant and attentive to everyone she interacted with. From what I saw, she also has excellent multitasking skills. She greeted everyone with a smile and those who were leaving the gym, she made sure she told them to enjoy their day. I could tell customer service is her passion. I truly appreciate her assisting me and would be most appreciative if you would please make sure she is acknowledged for her great customer service skills. I wish her the best!

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


  • Awesome staff

    • By Judy F.,
    • Cleburne, TX,
    • Apr 9, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I joined the Planet Fitness in Cleburne, Texas in May of 2018. I had been bedridden the year prior. The entire staff was so warm and welcoming from the moment I walked in the door. I was shown around the gym and introduced to the personal trainer who was able to start training with me later that week. I was always welcomed when I walked in. I was sorry to be leaving my PF family. They will be sorely missed. Our new place has a fully stocked gym so I won’t be needing PF any longer. Thank you to my PF gurus in Cleburne, Texas. God bless you.

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


  • Get rid of cell phones

    • By Myron M.,
    • 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


  • Cheap but with problems

    • By Stephen P.,
    • 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


  • Not satisfied

    • By Thelma D.,
    • Binghamton, NY,
    • Jun 27, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I joined Planet Fitness for one year. I called the gym and told the lady I will not continue for another year because I cannot afford it, and she told me I have to come in person. She did not tell me that they will charge me another fee if I didn't come exactly a year, and they did charge my bank another $39 after my deadline.

    I am warning people out there that this is a catch and please spread it so this doesn't happen to more people because I will let my Facebook friends know about this. Not fair, it says one year, not two.

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


  • AC very frequently out of order

    • By Bill M.,
    • Moreno Valley, CA,
    • Aug 18, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have not been a gym member for a lot of years, and my body showed it. I was looking for a convenient, judgment-free option near my new home, as I had just moved to Moreno Valley, California. Planet Fitness was quite close, and they have plenty of equipment. The place appeared to be in pretty good working order, and they are open 24 hours a day.

    Unfortunately, my local Planet Fitness is not a good place to work out. I have been a member for three months, and the problems are numerous. First and foremost, the AC has gone out at least three times in just three months! And it usually takes a week or more for them to fix it! Meanwhile, even a moderate workout is a total sweat bath, even if I go early in the morning. Lesser problems include dirty locker rooms and poor supervision of the members. Members take their gym bags onto the floor, despite a safety policy against it. Members go into the 30-minute-workout area and fail to move from one station to the next prompt.

    Instead, they settle in on a machine and work out on that one machine as they own it, despite signs on the wall clearly forbidding this behavior. The employees say nothing, even when they see what is happening. I am glad I got the no-commitment monthly membership, because I am seriously considering switching to a gym twice as far away and more expensive, to get a better environment.

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


  • Inexpensive, BUT...

    • By Matthew L.,
    • Virginia,
    • Dec 28, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    The good:

    1. Cost is fairly inexpensive and is about $22/month for access to all clubs, which is why I still hang on.

    2. Equipment is new and usually in good condition

    3. There is often plenty of equipment in quantity to go around.

    4. I like the many TV screens viewable when I jog and work out.

    5. Their hours are better than most clubs. They say that they are open all night and all weekends, which can be convenient

    The bad is:

    1. It is often hot and stuffy inside. This is bad for us serious fitness people (i..e. the Lunks). I run 3 miles on the treadmill at 5MPH, and because it is hot and stuffy, my entire shirt often gets wet from perspiration. This is unnecessary as a bit more circulation and/or cooler temperatures would keep me dry. Temperatures are often in excess of 70F, and the air circulation is near non-existent, which may be nice for a dainty thin woman walking in, but is extremely discomforting (and possibly dangerous) for an older, overweight person who is serious about working out. They do have ceiling fans, but they are very tiny and do not provide any significant boost in comfort. They do not allow me a personal fan to keep me cool, so my hands are tied. They do have digital display thermostats, but they are generally out of visibility to the customer. Often, when I ask some staff person if I can see the thermometers, they are fresh and rude and will not let me see them.

    2. Rock and rollers and deadheads at Planet Fitness are dominant over people who like peace and quiet . Many people who jog wear earphones, and these are the same people who slam their feet on the treadmill continuously. When one of these people starts exercising next to me on the treadmill and disturbs me, and if I complain to a staff member, they often do nothing. If you need peace and quiet when you work out and you use the tread mill, you may become frustrated.

    3. Lack of Supervision and Accountability - If I do not like the way I am treated by a staff member or if I have a complaint about a facility, corporate headquarters (1.844.880.7180) often does not help. I've called in about one club refusing to fix their air conditioner in the middle of a heat wave, and corporate takes the position that each club is independently owned and operated, and thus there is little they can do. As a result, individual clubs can behave like pompous asses and not be subject to reproach.

    4. 24/7 hours is a bit of a misnomer. In actuality, they are closed on holidays, and their closure is very generous for the employees. For example, they close at 1 PM on Christmas Eve and are closed all day on Christmas day. They have closures for the new year and Thanksgiving too, to name a few. Corporate is very liberal about the hours individual facilities close. Furthermore, these closures are not publicized on their websites, so it is a bit of a surprise and an inconvenience.

    5. Staff can be rude and threatening to customers. In addition to not letting me see the thermostat, the staff can often be quite rude. If they have a surprise closure and you do not leave quickly, they threaten to call security and gang up on me. While working out, the laugh loudly behind the counter. When checking in, instead of letting you the customer wand in, they insist in taking your keys away from you and out of your sight to check you in.

    6. No one cares what you think and feel. As a customer, their attitude is "This is what we offer, and if you don't like it..." If it is too hot and stuffy and you feel that exercising can be unhealthful and potentially dangerous, they could not care less because they assert others find it too cold even though it is stuffy and in excess of 70F. If a rock and roller moves in next to you on the treadmill and starts pounding away and you have to stop and move to another machine, no one cares.

    In short, if I could buy a treadmill for my home and use a fan on said home treadmill, I would. But if I am trying to save money, this may be the next best choice.

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


Showing 1-11 of 43

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