Planet Fitness is the go-to gym for everyone in the United States who is looking to improve their physique and health.
At just $10 a month, the global fitness chain houses some of the most affordable and accessible gyms around the world. Moreover, there are more than 2,000 fitness clubs affiliated with Planet Fitness in the United States. So, you never have to worry about having to drive too far to find PF gyms near you.
Despite the huge amount of fan-following, Planet Fitness is still not the perfect gym. There are certain controversies surrounding the many policies enforced by the chain to enact a ‘judgment-free zone’ for making newbies more comfortable while working out.
To give you an example, there is a theory circulating the internet that Planet Fitness weights are actually lighter than what they are labeled by the management. While nobody has presented concrete evidence to support this statement, many ex-members at Planet Fitness seem to agree or at least entertain this notion.
So, is there any truth to this conspiracy theory? Are the free weights, plates, and resistance machines at Planet Fitness wrongly labeled?
In this article, we’ll be debunking all the myths related to this aspect of Planet Fitness.
Are Planet Fitness Weights Lighter?
No, the theory that the weights at Planet Fitness are lighter than they are supposed to be is a myth. All the dumbbells and weight plates at PF gyms are labeled correctly. The staff and management at PF will gain nothing by misleading the public on this front.
There are many reasons why people claim that Planet Fitness’ weights feel lighter compared to the rest of the gyms.
In the case of Planet Fitness free weights, the primary reason behind this conspiracy theory is that the dumbbells or barbells at PF might feel lighter than they look or bulkier than they actually weigh. This is mostly because different PF gyms use different materials for making their free weights.
For example, if you are lifting a 50-pound plastic dumbbell, it will be larger than a 50-pound iron dumbbell. But both of them will weigh the same. But because the former looks larger, people will think that it should be heavier.
The same is the case with weighted plates. A set of iron plates and bumper plates that weigh the same might not necessarily look the same. This is because the density of the material largely determines what volume is required to reach a specific weight.
There are many other reasons why different users have claimed that Planet Fitness’s weights are considerably lighter than they should be. Fortunately, all of these claims can be debunked easily with proper reasoning. We shall be discussing this in the later sections.
Overall, it’s completely false that you are not lifting the right amount of weight at Planet Fitness because they have mislabeled the evidence. Planet Fitness is a reliable brand, and you can expect complete transparency from their end.
Are The Weights at Planet Fitness Accurate?
Yes, the weights at Planet Fitness are accurate in almost all cases. The chain uses reliable commercial-grade equipment to ensure accurate calibration and longevity.
However, if you feel that the weights that you are lifting are not labeled accurately, then there might be some underlying reasons for that:
- The quality of the weights has degraded over time. Planet Fitness sources its weights from reputable manufacturers that meet high standards. However, if the weights are outdated, they might vary in weight from what is mentioned on the label.
- The weights have not been calibrated properly. All equipment, including free weights, have to be tested and adjusted to ensure that they weigh correctly. If you feel that the weight is lighter than what it should be, report the matter to the staff.
- The equipment lacks maintenance. If there is any damage or wear and tear on free weights like dumbbells, weight plates, or barbells, it’ll affect the accuracy of the weights. Make sure that you talk to the staff if you feel this could be the case with some equipment at Planet Fitness.
- The weights are mentioned in a different unit of measurement. Sometimes, gyms might label certain weights in kilograms. Make sure that you take that into account before you start working out.
In all such cases, if you feel that the weights that you are lifting at Planet Fitness are lighter or heavier than they are supposed to be, contact the management and ask them to address the issue.
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Why Do Planet Fitness Weights Feel Lighter?
Don’t worry; if you feel that the weights at Planet Fitness are not as heavy as they should be, you’re not inside some conspiracy. There are several reasons that could compel you to feel this way.
Let’s talk about some of them.
Many people associate the size of Planet Fitness plates (for example) with their weight. They would feel that the 20-pound plate that they lifted at their local gym was smaller and, therefore, heavier.
But that is often not the case.
If Planet Fitness uses iron plates as opposed to bumper plates or rubber plates, they would appear smaller. That would not mean that the smaller plates are actually lighter. It simply means that iron is denser than rubber and requires less volume to weigh more.
So, the size of the weights and the equipment used at Planet Fitness could give people the illusion that they are lighter than what they are labeled.
Unit of Measurement
Some Planet Fitness gyms label their weights in terms of kilograms and not pounds. This is because the chain is a worldwide brand, and the metric system is globally accepted by all countries.
As such, if you are lifting a dumbbell that is labeled 30 kilograms, you are actually lifting somewhere around 65 pounds. So, pay close attention to what unit of measurement your gym is using.
It could also be the other way around. If you went to a gym where weights were measured in kilograms and switched to a Planet Fitness branch where the standard unit is in pounds, then you might feel that the weights labeled 30 at the new gym are far easier to lift than the weights labeled 30 at your previous gym.
Make sure that you are not making any such mistakes.
In most cases, people who claim that the weights at Planet Fitness are incorrectly labeled did so after using the chain’s resistance machines.
For instance, one user reported that after moving to Planet Fitness, he was able to do lat pull-downs at 130 pounds while he was stuck at around 60-70 in his previous gym.
A common reason behind such a scenario is the disparity between the condition of the machines at the two gyms. If there is friction or stiffness in the levers or pulleys that are being utilized by the machines, there will be greater resistance. This implies that you’ll need more strength to perform an exercise at the same weight.
At Planet Fitness, all machines and equipment are regularly calibrated, checked for wear and tear, and maintained to remove such issues.
As a result, it’s pretty common for members to feel that their machines are easier to work with, simply because there is no additional friction in their levers and pulleys.
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All things considered, it’s safe to say that Planet Fitness is not labeling its weights incorrectly. While these claims and theories do have some foundation, all of them can be debunked with proper research.
Global chains like Planet Fitness do have some restrictions because of their inclusive nature. But one benefit that you can enjoy as members of these large chains (as against local gyms) is that they are highly reliable and transparent.
So, you seldom have to worry about issues like the accuracy of weights.