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


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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


  • Discriminate and poorly managed gym

    • By Carlos M.,
    • 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


  • 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


  • 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


  • All they care about is your money

    • By Virginia L.,
    • 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


  • 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


Showing 1-11 of 43

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