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Getting in shape is wonderful, but the negative environment is often the deal breaker. However, at Planet Fitness, there is but one rule. No posing.
There are so many benefits from being fit, it’s a wonder more people don’t take it seriously.
When it comes to getting physical, however, it’s quite usual for people to sit on the fence or the couch, or even indulge in exercises far less taxing.
They can feel intimidated by the very thought of entering a gym in case they’re surrounded by serious six-packs, or suffer a physique failure during the first exercise.
The Big Smoke paid a visit to a Planet Fitness health club to check out how it manages to attract members who harboured such misgivings and why it’s such a good fit for so many.
Jo, the Health Club manager, stood under a large banner that announced no Judgment, Intimidation or Hassles. She described her facility as a community, a place with a soul where people engage socially, rather than merely using the exercise equipment and leaving.
Club rules forbid bad language, hoodies, slamming weights on the floor, egos, gym bags left around the floor and general anti-social behaviour.
Jo mentioned one other no-no that I really liked: No posing. You have to be for real at Planet Fitness.
She introduced me to members who had left their babies at the club crèche, who were booked in for a waxing or massage at the beauty salon, who seemed to have just dropped in for a chat but all of them were undertaking a group session or personal training session as well.
I met Mark, who is a Planet Fitness member with disabilities. He told me how much he appreciates the physical benefits he derives from training but most of all he loves the community environment and especially the fact that he’s been accepted into it.
Emily, one of the Planet Fitness instructors, assured me that the Planet Fitness promise to members that they ‘won’t be judged, intimidated or hassled’ is ingrained in the psyche of every staff member because they know it works and it is the essential difference that sets them apart from the rest.
The members I met strongly agreed with that view. “There’s a lot more here than exercise equipment,” said one.
Some join to lose weight, some want to be fit enough to win races while others just want to get more out of life. They all get an individual programme and the support they need to realise their goals.
Jo finally summed it all up. Planet Fitness, she explained, believes that personal wellbeing derives from social engagement as well as physical conditioning and so they provide the complete treatment.
Some of her members hate exercising, but love what it does for them while others simply love exercising but for all of them it’s the unique community environment and the affordable fees that clinch the deal.
Planet Fitness health clubs are located at Lambton, Charlestown and Belmont in the New-castle area, at Gosford and at Casula in Sydney. If there isn’t one that’s convenient for you the chances are there soon will be. Contact any one of them to speak to a non-judgemental, non-intimidatory, hassle-free person like Jo about a free seven-day trial.
I have to confess to making a judgment while at Planet Fitness and that was they deliver on their promises. And the only posing I did was strictly related to questions.