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The Beacon

The news of today reported by the journalists of tomorrow

The Beacon

The news of today reported by the journalists of tomorrow

The Beacon

Planet Fitness does not deserve the constant hate

Why the gym’s inclusive measures should be applauded

Bodybuilders and self-identified “gym rats” outspokenly ridicule commercial gym chain Planet Fitness, but as someone who has been a member for years, I think this hate is undeserved. There are three main reasons why I think Planet Fitness is better than many make it out to be.



One of the most defining advantages Planet Fitness has over other gyms is its accessibility. At only $10 a month, a membership cost is significantly lower than the average monthly gym fee, which is $58 a month, according to Healthline. This makes physical fitness significantly more accessible to those who may not be able to afford a gym membership otherwise.

Not only is it financially accessible, but locations and hours allow for attainable workouts. With nearly 2,250 locations in the U.S., there is likely a Planet Fitness close by. Black Card members, the premium membership that is still only half of the national average, can access any Planet Fitness across the country.

Additionally, being open 24 hours a day during the week with staff allows me to go when I am available without worry. As a college student, I cannot workout during typical hours of operation, so having access to a gym during the early mornings and late nights allows me to fit fitness into my schedule.


Practical amenities

Perhaps the biggest criticism Planet Fitness receives is that it does not have equipment they may need. It may not have the bells and whistles of other gyms that have state-of-the-art equipment and amenities, but it has everything the average gym-goer needs like cardio machines, smith machines, dumbbells, and other equipment.

Although many disapprove of Planet Fitness having no free weights and few heavy dumbbells, smith machines are available. Most heavy lifts, including squats, deadlifts, bench presses, and even hip thrusts, can be achieved—in arguably a safer manner—on the smith machines.

Many feel pressured to buy expensive gym memberships with promises of better amenities when the equipment is nearly identical. Although Planet Fitness may not have a pool, track, or intricate modern equipment, it has the services most actually use.

Typically, the average person goes to the gym to lift weights or do cardio exercises. Both are achievable at Planet Fitness for a sixth of the cost of other gyms.


Welcoming environment

Planet Fitness’s motto is that they are a “Judgement Free Zone,” and for the most part, this statement is true. When I am at the gym, I see older people, young people, men, women, bodybuilders and beginners working out within the same facility. There was never a time I felt judged or unwelcome.

A common criticism of Planet Fitness is that it is “anti-bodybuilder” due to their “lunk alarm” that goes off to discourage unwanted behavior, such as slamming weights or grunting loudly. I do not see it as anti-bodybuilder. I see this as a measure against fitness elitism and obnoxious egotists. It is possible to lift heavy without slamming it and damaging the equipment in the process.

In my experience, the “lunk alarm” sounds incredibly infrequently anyway. After going to Planet Fitness a few times each week for two years, I have heard the alarm about two or three times due to excessively dangerous acts.

There is also a great sense of community at Planet Fitness. It just looks different from other gyms. Since people of all walks of life go to Planet Fitness, not everyone is there because they’re competitive athletes. Older people may be there for mobility, parents may be there to increase confidence, and young people may be there to better their mental health.

Regardless of the reason, most are supportive of others and help each other when needed. That is what the fitness community is all about.

About the Contributor
Sydney Allabaugh
Sydney Allabaugh, Opinion Editor
Sydney Allabaugh is the opinion editor of The Beacon. Allabaugh got her start with The Beacon as a contributing writer in the fall of 2021, became the opinion staff writer in the fall of 2022, worked as the assistant opinion editor in the spring of 2023, and was promoted to her current role in the fall of 2023. Allabaugh will be graduating in May of 2025 with a major in Communication Studies with concentrations in Media Production and Strategic Communication, as well as a minor in Women's and Gender Studies. Outside of The Beacon, Allabaugh is the director of Wilkes Now!, Wilkes' student-run television program. She joined Wilkes Now! in the fall of 2021, became a production assistant in the fall of 2022, and began directing in the fall of 2023.  Allabaugh is striving to work in television or public relations in her future.