By Danielle Bartling
PURPLE IS THE NEW BLACK AT PLANET FITNESS (PF), which opened its 3rd area fitness center in late 2017. Since 2015, its Milton location (13071 Hwy 9) has been welcoming members and their guests with bright colors, friendly faces, pristine / open space, and state-of-the-art equipment.
An upbeat staff contributes to the laid-back, non-intimidating environment in which members of varying fitness levels improve their health at their own pace – and without the typical pressures associated with many other gym memberships. Amenities like the free unlimited fitness training and the ultramodern, high-end locker rooms with extensive granite and exquisite tile are all included with a standard ($10 per month!) membership. Many come to PF with specific health and fitness goals in mind but don’t know where to begin or how to achieve them.
The Design Your Own program – included with the standard (yup, just $10 per month!) membership – with the assistance of certified trainers provides simple road maps to assist new gym-goers in figuring it out as they go. The PE@PF Program, also included with all memberships, offers unlimited free fitness instruction by certified trainers in both small groups and one-on-one sessions. Whether it’s an abs class or 30-minute circuit full body workout, the intentional small class settings (less than 5 people at a time) guarantee more of an instructor’s individual attention.
One example, the PF 30-Minute Express Circuit combines 10 strength machines and 10 cardio-step stations. Members can start anywhere in the circuit but must go in sequence. The circuit operates on a green light/red light system. When the light turns green, exercising begins for 60 seconds. When the light turns red, that means there are 30 seconds to move to the next station. At the end of 30 minutes, the circuit is complete and participants have received true full-body workouts.
The Black Card membership comes with a host of additional privileges for just $21.99 per month, including unlimited bring-a-buddy-for-free workout passes, access to any of PF’s 1,400 nationwide locations (more than 25 in Metro Atlanta), and a special key tag, which grants access to the Black Card Spa. This key opens a door to complimentary tanning, drink discounts, light therapy, massage chairs and Hydromassage beds, giving members full body massages via pressurized water jets to relax weary muscles.
A simple mission promotes a Judgement Free Zone® which is strategically coupled with a low-cost business model. These two ideas encourage occasional or first-time gym members to give health and fitness a try. Members find no leering eyes or superiority complexes at PF. By not trying to be all things to all fitness levels, the staff is able to focus on the things that really matter to the 80% of the population who don’t currently belong to gyms.
Every Planet Fitness location, nationally, offers a Judgement Free Zone®, which ensures individual members are embraced regardless of age, sex, weight, fitness level, relationship status, or equipment expertise. Members both seasoned and new are encouraged to “celebrate every triumph,” and are regularly reminded of the PF motto, “The world judges. We don’t.” Make no mistake, the owners don’t just “talk the talk.” They follow up these words by walking their messages of inclusivity and non-judgment into the local communities in which they operate. To launch the company’s philanthropic initiative, The Judgement Free Generation®, Planet Fitness partnered with STOMP Out Bullying, an organization dedicated to bullying prevention, as well as the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA).
The company has commendably donated more than $1 million to these initiatives locally and nationally. These efforts have impacted local youth to encourage them to adopt this infectious, positive and unifying attitude. In addition to company-wide initiatives, the local gyms host awareness training, fund prevention programs, provide TVs, and grant $1000 donations with each grand opening of a new PF facility. In January the Thomasville BGCA directly benefited from these local efforts. Elsewhere, PF has designed, built and funded Mini Judgement Free Zones® inside some of BGCA facilities to “cultivate a culture of kindness and encouragement” for the kids.
Every day, PF trainers are eager to guide regular and new members in creating pressure-free, sustainable, active lifestyles. So, if some feel a little unwelcome on this blue planet, they can visit a nearby purple one where everything is refreshingly down to earth. DB