First thing’s first, I’m not here to badmouth what Planet Fitness and other big box gyms are doing. In fact, I’ve belonged to Planet Fitness and other “regular” gyms for the majority of my adult life. I’m fully aware that moving your body and getting stronger can be done in many different ways and in many different environments. There’s very rarely one tool for the job!
In fact, there are some great things about gyms like Planet Fitness including cheap membership rates, convenient locations, long hours and lots of space (usually).
The location we visited on our vacation over Memorial day did not have any barbells or kettlebells. There was no pull-up bar (except for an assisted pull-up machine) and there was just a small area with dumbells. What it did have was 2 separate sections filled with Nautilus machines (which no one was really using), rows and rows of treadmills and other cardio machines, and plenty of tanning beds.
I laughed to myself at the sign for the lunk alarm, but figured it was just a joke. However, after posting the photo above on Instagram, one of my followers said that she actually set off the lunk alarm at 6 months pregnant when deadlifting. Awesome.
Who knew the lunk alarm was real? I didn’t.
- There were people tanning between sets of arm exercises.
- I saw very strange couple come in just to tan and sit in the massage chairs.
- Most men were engaging in excessive amounts of “curls for the girls.”
- Most women were walking on treadmills or watching TV from a stationary bike or elliptical.
Most of you already know that bicep curls, tanning sessions, slow walks on the treadmill and HGTV aren’t the best ways to obtain your dream body and a perfect blood profile. Can you get in the best shape of your life while training at a regular box gym with limited equipment? Sure. Is it the most efficient (and fun)? In my opinion, no. In fact, I’d argue that setting up a home gym with a few kettlebells and a pull-up bar and utilizing the great outdoors would be a better option.
I apologize for judging in the judgement-free zone and I hope none of this came across as conceited, but this trip to Planet Fitness really reminded me that I have found my true fitness passion(s). I’m sad that I wasted so much time on cardio machines and other fancy equipment in the past, but I’m happy that I have learned so much about how to train my body properly over the last 5+ years.
Looking back at all those forced hour-long runs outside and even longer cardio sessions at the gym, I’m thankful that I enjoy my training now. I set goals and work at achieving them. I get excited about my training sessions. I set strength goals instead of worrying about a number on the scale.
I’m glad to call Skill of Strength, our gym in Chelmsford MA, my second home. We lift heavy things (and drop them;)). We do a lot of pull-ups. We swing and snatch kettlebells. We push heavy sleds. We sprint. We jump rope. We don’t need expensive equipment or fancy TV’s to get strong and have fun.
Do you belong to a gym you love? Why? What do you love about it?