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Planet Fitness Weight Loss Plan: How Does it Work?

by | Apr 18, 2019 | Last updated Feb 15, 2022

Author: Stephanie Santoro

Planet Fitness is one of the largest fitness clubs in the country, with over 1,700 convenient locations. It touts itself as a welcoming environment and “Judgment free Zone” with membership rates of $10 per month on the low end and $20 per month for the privilege of bringing a guest of your choice visiting any of the club locations. But is it possible to use Planet Fitness for an intensive weight loss plan?

What a Planet Fitness Membership is like

The Planet Fitness schtick is all about accessibility, in the broad sense. The company tries to deliver a welcoming atmosphere for a diverse range of fitness levels, and give each member a good bang for their buck. They’re also trying to create an environment free of typical gym intimidation, and complimentary services like free personal training and personalized fitness plans.

The company claims to offer a high-quality fitness experience for “The Best Value on the Planet.” But for $10 – $20, you’re left either to design your own experience or hire a seasoned fitness trainer. In other words, you’re flying solo at Planet Fitness. Some customers accept this once they get past the hype of it all, because it still feels like a good deal – even for people who rarely show up to the gym.

So what’s the Planet Fitness Weight Loss Plan?

The short answer: There isn’t one. If you’ve heard about a Planet Fitness Weight Loss plan, you were probably actually hearing about the Planet Fitness training program. There’s a big difference.

The training program isn’t very personal or accessible, and it’s the closest thing they offer to an actual weight loss plan. While it might seem like there’s personalized training available all the time, you actually have to sign up on a schedule – and there’s anywhere from one to five people in these sessions at any given time. It’s also not real fitness training! It more closely resembles a group tour of the gym with tips on how to use their machines properly.

The Planet Fitness name for this program is PE@PF. It stands for ‘Physical Education at Planet Fitness.’ They emphasize the word training twice during a video segment where curious-looking members only look at a workout machine with a Planet Fitness employee. There’s no engagement whatsoever between the member and the equipment or instruction besides pointing at the machine and talking. The expectation they want to set: Don’t think you’re actually going to get real training.

The personalized training plan that a Planet Fitness trainer develops for individual members is also different than what you might expect from the sales pitch. A custom plan amounts to an impersonal piece of paper with boilerplate lists, checked boxes, and repetitions handwritten in for each. There is little to no emphasis on proper form or function throughout the consultation and tour process, though this can vary widely depending on the enthusiasm and engagement level of your Planet Fitness trainer.

Can you really lose weight at Planet Fitness?

Is weight loss possible at Planet Fitness? Of course. But it might be a lot harder than you expect. Research shows that exercise alone is not effective for healthy short-term or long-term weight loss. That means you’ll need to make lifestyle changes outside of the gym.

And even if you do get a personalized fitness plan for your Planet Fitness workouts, it will still be a boilerplate exercise routine. Alternatively, you could design your own plan, with no expert guidance or support – which leaves all the responsibility of success and failure on you. Are any of these sounding like exciting, motivating opportunities for weight loss? A low subscription fee of $10 is still too much if you’re getting nothing in return.

The reality, for a lot of Planet Fitness members, is that the psychological buildup toward motivation, promises of hands-on support, and sense of belonging turn up empty. And again, there is no actual weight loss “plan” delivered in these terms. Sure, you can learn to lift weights and get familiar with the machines. But given the statistically low rates at which people actually use gym memberships, and the psychological barriers some experience with the gym atmosphere, you might end up more discouraged than you stated.

With Noom, a truly personalized weight loss plan

Noom’s approach is fundamentally different. Unlike a gym, you don’t have to drive to Noom. You don’t have to parse out chunks of your day for the task, just to wait for machines at peak hours and attend consultations with trainers on someone else’s schedule.

The Noom app offers fitness alternatives that work for your lifestyle. It was developed, and continues to evolve, with oversight from licensed psychologists. When you work with Noom, you get a real, personalized plan to build a healthy lifestyle that is manageable and accessible on your terms.

Support, access to a global community, meal ideas, coaching, and progress tracking are just some of the services that are included. It’s super easy to sign up, starting with a free, 30-second evaluation of your weight loss goals. If you’re looking for healthy habits that lasts a lifetime, this is where you should start.