Is Planet Fitness a Real Gym?
by Christian Duque
One of the biggest concepts I’ve preached over the years is – realness. Some hardcore lifters might give you endless shit about joining PF or any other “fitness center” or “health club” for that matter. The reality is this. If you’re in a clean facility that has weights (bars, dumbbells, & machines), then you’re in an ideal situation. Whether you train in a ‘hardcore’ gym or not is totally immaterial. In fact, many of the meathead gyms that haven’t updated, are moldy, nasty, funky smelling dives. I, for one, am not terribly fond of rusty equipment or taped benches. Nonetheless, the same theory applies to a dumpy gym. If it has the bare necessities, you’re good to go.
Another key thing to remember is – who’s paying? When the critics pay your gym membership, then maybe they can get an opinion as where you train. What I love about PF is that there’s endless cardio equipment, there’s more than enough weights to work with, & the environment is clean – insanely clean. I have to admit, I’m somewhat of a germaphobe.
Of course, many fitness places (whether PF or others) are not ideal for all aspects of muscle building. This means the lifter will have to be a little creative. For example, many gyms don’t allow deadlifting. It’s noisy, often times poor form results in injuries, & it scares less hardcore member. No gym – anywhere – allow old school T-Bar rows (e.g., where some dope would put a bar in a corner & wear down the walls. Some gyms will put in a steel plate & a system that mimics the old way, but most will just throw you out if you try it.
Today’s lifter can still lift like they did in yesteryear, but there’s more than one way to skin a cat. I actually never liked that expression, but you know what I mean. Think about the target muscle, play the exercise & range of motion in your head, then look around the facility for acceptable alternatives. You just might surprise yourself with endless possibilities.