My gym is Planet Fitness, home of the judgement free workout. Up until last week I looked at PF as a place I could get my workout on on the cheap. In the last week I have read two stories which is making me reconsider my gym home. First there was the woman asked to cover up for being too fit. Then I read a story about a Muslim woman asked to remove her hijab.
Come on Planet Fitness. What is going on?
At ten dollars a month the gym is a bargain. Sure, there are no classes or instructors roaming the gym to show you what to do but in exchange for such a low fee what do I really expect? I can almost feel comfortable with my sporadic attendance and not feel guilt at wasting money. To be fair, there is a trainer available and a schedule of days to be introduced to the equipment and I have taken advantage of them. To prepare myself for my PF visits I usually read up on a few books and magazines or chat up my more learned gym friends. And of course, the gym works when I work so my results are dependent on my actions.
But PF does have some questionable actions. Such as no head scarves. Seriously, not being able to wear a head scarf when I work out. When I asked the manager at my local PF his answer included something about corporate and the fear of gangs. So why not develop some kind of PF bandana that people could wear to protect their ‘dos? I know I don’t want my hair to fall victim to the sweat of a workout hence the scarf.
Also in question, the ambiguous rules for phone use. During my last two visits to the gym two people had very loud and very long conversations while using the treadmill, one was observed by a staff member who said nothing but shot dirty looks at the perpetrator through out the duration of the call. Why have signs posted if the rules will not be obeyed?
The no intimidation rule also seems arbitrary as well. There is the circuit training area with a sign expressly forbidding working out in the area if not doing the circuit. I dig it but what’s one to do when attempting to work out on the machines that are being hogged by people sorta working out? Or people invading the abs and stretching area to do weight training? Because the weight area is full of the jocks hoarding the benches, weights and machines. This is dependent on the time of day but how about this be addressed?
I posted to the Facebook and got a few comments both for and against PF (see below).
My friend Mary’s comment really resonated with me. For all of PF wanting to be so inclusive and their offers of no intimidation, why does a gym also provide candy, bagels and pizza to it’s members? I LOVE candy, bagels and pizza but as my goal is fitness, why offer things to negate any progress?
I know the responsibility is mine and that I cannot blame PF for me choosing to have a slice of pizza (I don’t…community food) or a piece of candy (I love tootsie rolls) but I don’t have to like the things I have heard. So far, other than phone yappers and the kids at the front desk who DO NOT enforce the rules, my gym is good for what I need. Equipment and machines and a treadmill when it’s too cold to use the track. The money I pay each month is worth a visit each week to make me feel like I am getting some value but it is time to revisit my time with Angel.
Tell me, what is your gym like? Do you like it, lump it or somewhere in between.
Also, I need your favorite workout routine…go!