I’m no longer welcome at Planet Fitness.
When I joined, right out of college, my local PF was a regular gym that had just bought a franchise. Nothing changed, not right away. There were still lots of benches, lots of squat racks, and lots of rusty old barbells. They sold beer at the front counter, and they didn’t mind when I threw a barbell over my head for a few dozen reps.
But slowly the gym changed. They bought new machines, but that was okay because it gave the cardio bunnies someplace to be that wasn’t where I was about to drop a two hundred pound jerk. Then the heavy dumbbells went away, but that was okay because I used an Olympic bar. But one day, when the gym moved to its new location, everything was different. Everything was shiny and purple. There were three dozen treadmills, but only one bench. The squat racks were gone, replaced with Smith Machines. They started offering free candy and free pizza.
For a while, I soldiered on. But then they set the Lunk Alarm off on me.
I wasn’t doing anything crazy. I wasn’t yelling. I wasn’t breathing hard. I was deadlifting, a relatively light 315 pounds. But as soon as I set the bar down, the lights started flashing and the alarm started blaring. A tiny, leathery “fitness coach” came over and informed me that I wasn’t allowed to deadlift anymore, because it’s “scary” and “dangerous.”
That was my last day at Planet Fatass.
They’ve gotten worse over the years. Now, they’ll kick you out for not being fat, and daring to wear a tank top. The message is clear: they don’t want you to succeed, because that might make other people feel bad.
Planet Fitness, and gyms like it, aren’t there to help you achieve your goals. They exist to take money from you and tell you that its all right to fail. They claim to be a judgment free zone, but if you break out of their sedentary, comfortable mold, they’ll judge the hell out of you, guaranteed.
I felt like dogshit yesterday, and skipped. I didn’t feel much better today, but I get grumpy when I haven’t picked up something heavy in a while, so I scaled back and took my time.
When I bench, I always use a close grip; my shoulders explode otherwise. Interestingly enough, when I do overhead work (either an overhead press or a push press), it feels much better to use a snatch grip. I’m weaker, because I’ve never really trained that position, but I don’t get that awful clicking noise in my left shoulder. So, snatch grip it is.
- 5 rounds for time (20 minutes)
- Front squats, 95lbs, 10 reps
- Overhead press, 95lbs, 10 reps
- Chins, 2 reps
- Kettlebell snatch, 34lbs, 10 reps / side
- Bench leg raises, 10 reps