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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  • Unhelpful staff

    It’s a ripoff. Sadly. I was told that outside of a prescheduled class no one could help me with the equipment. And then that I’d have to wait weeks for a class opening. So a month into it, I still don’t know how to use stuff.

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


  • Lousy customer service

    • By John Kinsey,
    • Anderson, SC,
    • Apr 21, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I paid for a black card membership, and some days later came in for my first session. There were two gals, maybe twenties, at the front desk.

    The gal took her eyes off the TV she was watching and scanned my card, then back to the TV.

    I told her this was my first visit and I wanted to get onto a stationary bike. She told me I had to fill out an application to join Planet Fitness first. Then she noticed the Planet Fitness card she had just scanned. She waved towards the back of the room, and told me to find an available bike, and help myself.

    The bikes were different than the ones at the Physical Therapy I had been using. It took me 10 minutes to get one adjusted and turned on. I finally selected "manual" since I had not figured out how to program the thing.

    The machine alternated between "resume" and "pause." Each "pause" released all resistance causing me and my new knee replacement to be thrown forward. After a half-dozen or so painful events, I walked out.

    One of the gals did say "have a great day," but apparently missed my angry face.

    The wife and I have found a new fitness place that acts like they give a crap.

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


  • Open on time

    • By James Hunter,
    • Natick, MA,
    • Apr 25, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I don't mind the mess, or the paper towels not being refilled. I don't mind the low-end equipment that keeps breaking down and is never maintained. They have over 12,000 members in a gym that can't hold 100, so I go early so I can get a parking spot. They are cheap and pay minimum wages and get stoners to open that don't show, it's a recurring problem that never gets solved. My best solution is to join a reputable gym, and that's what I'm going to do.

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


  • Incompetent billing and staff

    • By Kenneth S.,
    • Knoxville, TN,
    • Jun 1, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I am a 65-year-old retired military officer.

    I have been a member of Planet Fitness in Dallas, Texas and Knoxville, Tennessee for years. About a month ago I was questioned about my payment of the monthly bill.

    The first thing that happened was the Planet Fitness staff said my credit card expired in 2016 (it is now May of 2018) and that Planet Fitness had not been paid since 2016. Wrong - the credit had not expired, and a history check on my credit card billing clearly showed Planet Fitness had been paid for the last two years. Never the less, I proceeded to let them re-run the credit card, and I was told all was ok.

    This same process happened on my next four visits to the gym. Finally, I said, "let me speak to a manager." The manager comes out and is totally ignorant of the previous events or a process to correct Planet Fitness's billing problem. However, he said he would get it fixed. He DID NOT!

    Now I am receiving automated phone calls from Planet Fitness about this problem and being accused of not paying my bill. I was instructed to call this Planet Fitness by this automated call. When I did return the call - no answer.

    When I called the front desk (as I have done several times), I get another minimum wage, low information staff member who has not a clue.

    On the last call I was instructed, by a staff member, to bring in two credit cards and my bank numbers to put on file. There is not a chance of that happening.

    There are other issues with using this gym to work out. It seems to be a gathering ground for people who like to sit on machines and use their cell phones as opposed to using the machine for exercise. I have also been told I cannot use other equipment not supplied by the gym, for example, weight belts or gravity boots for stretching. On one occasion, I had a staff member come up and tell me I could not lay my sweatshirt on the floor beside me while I used a machine.

    I would not recommend Planet Fitness to anyone. Their handling of billing and customer service leaves a lot to be desired. I am at a loss as to how to proceed/fix the problem. Therefore, I am looking for another gym.

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


  • Easy to join/difficult to leave

    • By David E.,
    • Washington,
    • Jun 9, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I was one of the first members at the Renton location. I signed up in April of 2011 and I have paid them $1,630 in fees. I recently moved out of the area. When I called to cancel my membership, I was told that I had to come in in-person or send a certified letter in the mail to cancel. I was told that if I refused to pay, my dues would accrue and be sent to collection. After 7 years of loyal membership, I found their refusal to let me cancel over the phone after moving out of the area to be unimpressive.

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


  • No such thing as a free lunch.

    • By Ted W.,
    • Rogers, AR,
    • Jun 22, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have belonged to Planet Fitness in Melbourne, Florida and now in Rogers, Arkansas. Can't beat the price. Can't beat the hours. Equipment has always been adequate.

    Bad points: Music sucks and too many people use weight machines as lounge chairs as they text.

    Worst bad thing: I just tried to cancel my membership before relocating to another city. Late at night, the guy at the desk said the computers were down. In the day I learned that I had to pay a buy-out fee equal to about six months of payments. I did not recall being told of that requirement when I joined. Because my annual membership was ending in two months, I just tried to cancel my membership at the end of the year. They said no. The guy at the desk said I had to come in during the last month to cancel.

    If it were not for their shameful policy of preventing members from closing their membership, I would give Planet Fitness at least a 4-star rating. But, I hate con artists and companies that try to steal from their customers, so they get one star and a warning to those who might join.

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


  • Nightmare cancellation

    • By Ramon M.,
    • Miami, FL,
    • Jul 2, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I tried to cancel my membership on-site and over the phone and always they found an excuse. They charged me $150.09 because I refuse to pay for the last two months.

    Never again Planet Fitness.

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


  • Horrible customer service

    • By Abhi S.,
    • Kitchener, Ontario, Canada,
    • Jul 4, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    One horrible place to go to. Their employees, they are all nice, until they get your bank details and money. However, they do not want to treat their members with respect whatsoever after.

    My membership was canceled on April 29, 2018 (I have the proof on canceling it as of this date too) and for two months in a row, the money was being debited without my knowledge. When I asked them for a refund of my money, Josh (supervisor/manager) said that I have to wait for my money that was taken out of my account without my permission for 12-15 business days, this is called daylight robbery. How is this even fair? This is horrible customer service.

    There is not even another person I could talk to in that place who can resolve a simple issue. And also their BS about the 30-day notice to cancel the membership was not advised while signing up. I went through the contract and it does not talk about the 30-day notice to cancel the membership. I am sure I am not the only one who has had this experience. I do not recommend this place. These guys are true scammers.

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


  • Scam

    • By Olivia T.,
    • Champaign, IL,
    • Sep 19, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I went in to work out and start a membership. I only need it for three months. They want to charge a $60 new membership fee, plus $10 a month, plus charge me an annual membership fee of $30 starting November 1st. So for 2 and 1/2 months of working out, they wanna charge me $120. I thought they were supposed to be the cheapest center in town. And they don’t cater to students who only need a membership for a few months. They want to charge you for a whole year's membership. I will never go here!

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


  • Rip-off

    • By T B.,
    • Milton, GA,
    • Sep 22, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Planet Fitness ripped off my college-age son. They told him he could join for the summer at the advertised “No Commitment” $10/month level, and then cancel when school started to avoid the yearly fee, as long as he canceled by 8/31/18. When he went to the Planet Fitness Milton GA location to cancel, on 8/31/18, they told him, “Oh, sorry, we already sent in our financials for the month, last week.” Well, well, imagine that. Reporting early, just before the end of the month. Such diligent employees. I wonder how many other people this “early” submission affected? When my son reminded the Planet Fitness representative of the agreement that he could cancel on or before 8/31/18, he was told that he would just have to take that up with his bank and try to get it charged back.

    So out of frustration, I posted on Twitter about our experience. Planet Fitness replied:

    8:42 PM - 18 Sep 2018

    That is not what we like to hear! We always want to provide our members with all of the info that is necessary to cancel. We’d like to invite you to reach out to the management team at your home club, they’ll be the best to help resolve your concerns. Thank you!

    I replied:

    10:28 AM - 20 Sep 2018

    Sorry you don’t like to hear it. And thanks for the invitation, but he already tried that. They offered no help at all. Told him he would have to deal with it through his bank. We plan to share our experience via every ratings means available.

    So, with no further response, we’re sharing. Buyer beware. Our experience is, you cannot trust what Planet Fitness tells you about your contract. The No Commitment $10/month sounds great. But, as usual, when something sounds too good to be true, it is. Short-sighted scammers like Planet Fitness count on the fact that most people have lives and families and work, and therefore won’t have time to waste fighting to get back a lousy $40 or $50 or whatever your yearly fee is. You’ll pay it, maybe grumble a bit about it, but Planet Fitness will end up with your money. Count on it.

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


  • Don’t give out you credit card information

    • By Colleen B.,
    • Wichita Falls, TX,
    • Nov 3, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    So my experience, don’t give out your credit card info to Planet Fitness, just look at the ratings. When the manager is 12 and has no experience and every word she says is "unfortunately," then you have a problem. So in the few days, I called about canceling my account. I have $21, then another $42 taken out if my account. If you have circumstances that you cannot physically drive to Planet Fitness, then you have to write a letter. Ok.

    So read all these reviews.

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


Showing 1-11 of 43

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