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Inside the World of Planet Fitness

I stepped into the world of Planet Fitness, mostly because of the price, but also because of the “judgment free zone”. Hey, a gym could have worse ethos, right? This is the first post in a series covering all the gyms in Nashua. It may take me a while… it’s so hard to get myself to the gym…but my goal is to have a decent collective round-up before everyone’s post holiday/New Years resolution to go to the gym.

Where: Planet Fitness, 150 Coliseum Ave, Nashua, NH 03063

A second location is right off Amherst St – 18 Northwest Blvd. Nashua, NH 03063

Hours: Open 24 hours, 7 days a week

Website: http://www.planetfitness.com/gyms/nashua-coliseum-nh-46

I took great care in making sure I didn’t take pics of anyone working out in these pictures below, so that meant I didn’t photograph the weight area or take a pic of the whole gym. But you still get the idea!

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At various times in my life I’ve been a member of Best Fitness, both the Nashua and Merrimack YMCA and Gold’s Gym. And for all the special classes and equipment and pools and saunas they offer, I’ve rarely dragged myself to the gym for anything other than the treadmill.

I consider getting myself to workout an exercise in itself, so when I’m finally there I just hop on the treadmill or elliptical and get the thing over with.

That’s why Planet Fitness is perfect for someone like me. Why pay extra for amenities I will rarely take advantage of? This club offers just the basics, but with a few nice perks.

Membership start-up fees vary, I think I paid in the $30 range. *You will also pay a yearly fee. So keep in mind it’s a $10 a month, but once a year an additional fee, I think mine is around $30. There are more options than what’s listed on the website, but the two most popular options are:

$10 a month, no monthly commitment  

or

$20 a month, 12 month commitment for Black Card (allows you access to any PF gym and unlimited use of hyrdomassage chairs, among other perks)

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A bright, large, open space

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You can plug your headphones into any of the machines to listen to the TVs

Planet Fitness makes a point to create a welcoming environment. Cheery inspiration peppers the walls, and there are even rules meant to discourage the kind of intimidating or annoying gym ethos of other places.

For example, there is a “no lunk” rule. I wouldn’t think twice about this if I hadn’t just been a member at a gym where the weights were on the second floor, and while I was on the treadmill on the floor below, I would jump every 5 minutes as massive weights dropped repeatedly. Before I knew it was the sound of weights, I once ran to the front desk to ask if something was exploding in the building – it was that loud. They explained that was people dropping weights, and they couldn’t do anything about it.

Don’t worry about that at Planet Fitness. No dropping weights or even grunting heavily. I’m sure many weight lifters wouldn’t like that, so this is probably not the gym for them.

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They really try to drill the happiness in here.

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These weight machines are in front of the exercise machines, but are nicely shielded for privacy.

While all the machines are in one massive area, there are three smaller areas for weight lifting. One is a 30 minute express area. Machines are set up in a half circle, and you can follow red and green lights to know when you switch to the next machine. A simple, guided method for a quick workout. I love it, because I hate wandering around the weight machines, trying to figure them out, and trying to find ones for each part of my body. This area makes it so easy!

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The ab area. Plenty of room to grab a mat and stretch out as well.

If you don’t believe it’s really a judgment free zone, PF even offers a free pizza night once a month, free bagels once a month as well, and keeps a giant bucket of tootsie rolls on the check-in desk.

Other amenities include reduce priced hair cuts, and if you’re a Black card member, free tanning, free use of hydromassage chairs, and discounts at some sport retail stores.

They don’t offer classes like yoga or zumba or pilates. And I do miss that. But I’d rather pay $10 a month and just take specific classes elsewhere, maybe somewhere you can pay by class. I also like to workout outside during summer and fall, so the inexpensive membership doesn’t leave you feeling guilty about how often you visit. (They do offer some kind of free personal training and group workouts, but I’ve never tested this or know anyone who’s taken them up on that, so I can’t attest to the quality.)

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the hyrdomassage chairs (there are two in this room)

Maybe most importantly, PF is super clean gym. They maintain the equipment well, and there’s always plenty of staff around for help.

(Don’t worry, there was no one in the locker room when I took these pics… I came at an ungodly hour of the night.)

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Pros:

  • inexpensive monthly membership
  • clean, bright facility and big open space
  • tons of machines
  • open 24 hours
  • Fun perks like pizza, bagels, and if you’re black card, free massages

Cons:

  • No traditional gym classes, like yoga or step
  • The TVS are so far away and high up, especially if you’re on a treadmill in the back row
  • If you’re a serious bodybuilder, probably not the right environment for you
  • Fun perks, like pizza bagels, and if you don’t have a black card, no free massages

Overall, I love Planet Fitness. It’s beautiful space and inviting environment to work out in, offers just what I need, and is the perfect price. Now if only I get drag myself there more often.

I might have thought this was rude if it wasn't kinda true for me.

I might have thought this was rude if it wasn’t kinda true for me.

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