A Planet Fitness location in Ypsilanti Township, Michigan in April 2010.
|Trading name||Planet Fitness|
|Industry||Exercising, Health Clubs|
|Number of locations||780|
Planet Fitness is an American franchise of fitness centers based in Newington, New Hampshire. Each gym features exercise equipment and personal trainers to assist its members. It markets itself as a "Judgement Free Zone", though somewhat controversially it has rules in place to discourage bodybuilders, power-lifters and "grunters" and in many instances have discriminated against them and banned them from their facilities. Planet Fitness opened its 500th location on December 27, 2012.
As of January 2012 it is the national gym sponsor of NBC's reality show The Biggest Loser. The contestants on the show will work out on Planet Fitness equipment while at The Biggest Loser Ranch in Calabasas, California, and then at Planet Fitness gyms near their homes, working with Planet Fitness personal trainers.
The fitness club was founded in 1992, when Michael Grondahl acquired a financially struggling gym and dramatically reduced prices to compete against better-known brands. The low-cost business model focuses on the needs of occasional or first-time health club members rather than more experienced members.
There are 53 corporately owned gyms, with the rest being independently owned and operated. The franchise is concentrated mostly in the Northeast, but it is a nationwide franchise. The Franchise has been added to the Inc. 500 list.
The chain was the subject of controversy in 2006 because of a New York Times article describing the public cancellation of a patron's membership (for "grunting") at their Wappingers Falls, New York location. Similarly, in 2014, a woman exercising at their Richmond, California location was told to change because her "toned body" was "too intimidating."
Starting January 1, 2014, members of Planet Fitness are required to a pay a tax on their memberships as mandatory by the implementation of provisions of the Affordable Health Care Act. The membership fee is not increasing but rather it is a tax required by the federal government. The reasoning behind the tax is due to the option for members to tan at Planet Fitness. The increase is a "five-cent-per-month tax related to the ability to tan under the membership." It does not matter if the member uses or does not use the tanning facilities.
- The New York Times: "No Grunting, They Said, and He Was at the Gym"
- "Planet Fitness opens 600th gym". Foster's Daily Democrat/Fosters.com. Retrieved January 23, 2012.
- "Planet Fitness strikes a deal as ‘Biggest Loser’ gym partner". "Yahoo Finance". Retrieved January 23, 2012.
- Fit for franchising: From first gym in Dover, Planet Fitness building big brand http://www.fosters.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20091108/GJBUSINESS_01/711089989/-1/FOSNEWS0415
- "Planet Fitness - Health". Inc.com. Retrieved 2010-11-18.
- No Grunting, They Said, and He Was at the Gym. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/18/nyregion/18grunt.html
- Gym tells woman she's intimidating guests with 'toned body'. http://www.ktvu.com/news/news/local/gym-tells-woman-shes-intimidating-guests-toned-bod/nfGHz/
- Funk, Luke (10 February 2014). "Gym memberships add Obamacare tax". My Fox New York. Retrieved 11 February 2014.
- Pratte, Ashley (10 February 2014). "PLANET FITNESS CITES OBAMACARE FOR TAX ON GYM MEMBERSHIPS". Breitbart. Retrieved 11 February 2014.
- Pratte, Ashley (10 February 2014). "PRATTE: Obamacare taxing a healthy lifestyle at the gym". Washington Times. Retrieved 11 February 2014.
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