Planet Fitness

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Planet Fitness
Traded as NYSEPLNT
Industry Health club
Founded 1992; 25 years ago (1992)
Number of locations

Planet Fitness is an American franchise of fitness centers based in Newington, New Hampshire.[1] Each gym features exercise equipment and fitness instructors to assist its members. It markets itself as a "Judgement Free Zone" that caters to novice and casual gym users. Planet Fitness currently has 1000 club locations across the US, with recent expansion into Canada and the Dominican Republic.


A Planet Fitness location in Revere, Massachusetts in November 2012.
Planet Fitness locations in the United States.

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. This low-cost business model focuses on the needs of occasional or first-time health club members, rather than more experienced members.

There are 53 corporate-owned gyms, with the rest being independently owned and operated.[2] The franchise is concentrated mostly in the Northeast, but has expanded into a nationwide franchise.[3] The Franchise has been added to the Inc. 500 list.[4]

In 2011, the co-founding Grondahl brothers were still leading the company, along with Chris Rondeau, who started out as the CFO (chief financial officer). More specifically, as the company continued to grow, the roles underwent some changes. Currently, Michael Grondahl serves as a board member, Chris Rondeau serves as CEO, and Mark Grondahl serves as CFO.[5]

In the Fall of 2013, the Planet Fitness franchise gained a new partnership with TSG Consumer Partners LLC. This partnership was negotiated and completed in just 30 days with the help of Richard Moore, who is currently the general counsel and chief administration officer for Planet Fitness.[6]


Planet Fitness currently has over 1000 locations with an estimated 6 million members across 48 states in the U.S.[6]

In December 2014, Planet Fitness opened their first international location in Toronto, Canada. The second Toronto location opened in early 2015.[7][8]


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 fitness instructors.[9]

In March 2013, Planet Fitness partnered with 50 Cent to sell his energy drink "Street King" [10]


Critics have questioned Planet Fitness' legitimacy as a gym on the basis of the intensity of equipment and classes offered. There is also demand for child care. Others claim that Planet Fitness' practice of giving out free food throughout the month is inconsistent with their position as a fitness source.[11]

In October 2011, an Albuquerque Planet Fitness refused to let Tarainia McDaniel wear her religious head covering while working out.[12] Despite signing a two-year contract with the gym, she was turned away and was told the head covering didn't meet the company’s dress code. The woman sued under the New Mexico Human Rights Act and the Unfair Practices Act, asserting that Planet Fitness illegally based the decision to deny her access upon her religion and race (she is African American). The suit further claimed the gym had no legitimate or non-pretextual reason to deny her entry. Planet Fitness denied all violations stating that the Muslim woman failed to participate in good faith and that the company has legitimate business reasons for its practice as well as measures to prevent discrimination.[13] The suit later settled for a confidential amount and Planet Fitness changed its policies nation-wide and allows headcoverings if the individuals says they are for religious reasons.[14]

In March 2015 a Michigan woman had her membership at Planet Fitness revoked after complaining to management that a man was using the women's locker room at her local gym. The woman said she felt her "safety was being violated" by the presence of a person with "the opposite parts" in a woman's locker room. She later went on to sue the company for revoking her membership, citing violations of her rights to freedom of speech, denial of terms of contract, and denial of access to and use of a public facility.[15]


  1. ^ "Business Entity". Retrieved 2014-06-08. 
  2. ^ Jeremiah Turner (2009-11-08). "Fit for franchising: From first gym in Dover, Planet Fitness building big brand". Retrieved 2014-06-08. 
  3. ^ "Find a Planet Fitness Near You". 
  4. ^ "Planet Fitness - Health". Retrieved 2010-11-18. 
  5. ^ "Q&A with Michael Grondahl, Co-founder of Planet Fitness". New Hampshire Business Review. 2011-06-03. Retrieved 2014-06-08. 
  6. ^ a b Lawrence, Kelli (2013-08-15). "A World Of Their Own". Profile Magazine. Retrieved 2014-06-08. 
  7. ^ "American gym powerhouse chooses Brampton for first suburban Canadian location". 
  8. ^ "Planet Fitness Announces Company's First International Expansion Into Canada". 
  9. ^ "Marc Grondahl of Planet Fitness: How a Lean Business Model Became a Franchise Heavyweight | OPEN Forum". Retrieved 2014-06-08. 
  10. ^ "50 Cent and Joan Rivers Kick It At The Gym [PHOTOS". The Urban Daily. 2012-03-28. Retrieved 2014-06-08. 
  11. ^ Judith Ohikuare (Feb 3, 2013). "The Secret of Planet Fitness's Success". 
  12. ^ Carol Kuruvilla (March 22, 2014). "Planet Fitness kicked Muslim woman out for wearing head scarf: lawsuit". Daily News. New York. Retrieved March 13, 2015. 
  13. ^ "Planet Fitness faces suit over Muslim head covering". Fox News. 20 March 2015. 
  14. ^ "Whatever happened to …? Catching up with 2014's top stories". Albuquerque Journal. 1 January 2015. 
  15. ^ Ben Axleson (March 26, 2015). "Woman sues Planet Fitness after gym bans her for complaint about transgender woman". 

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