When you go to your preferred gym, you would expect to find well-equipped cardio and weightlifting sections.
Apart from advanced machines like treadmills and ellipticals, traditional weightlifting equipment like barbells and dumbbells are also needed for a holistic workout.
One particular weight machine that fitness lovers often use is the squat rack or a power rack. It is a useful piece of equipment that can help you target the leg and glute muscles by performing squats and other similar exercises safely.
The weight plates and the bar on the squat rack can be adjusted according to the individual’s requirements, making it a highly versatile, safe and efficient tool.
Generally, you would expect all gyms to have a squat rack.
As you know Planet Fitness is little different. It’s as well-stocked with advanced machines and equipment as any other gym franchise. But they don’t sponsor certain machines that can disrupt the comfortable environment of their gyms.
The question is – does Planet Fitness have squat racks? Let’s find out.
Does Planet Fitness Have Squat Racks?
No, Planet Fitness does not have squat racks anymore. Earlier, there were some PF branches where you could find a squat rack in the weightlifting section. But those have been removed following the franchise’s strict policies.
There are some other machines that can be used to imitate the benefits and workouts offered by a squat rack or a power cage. So even without squat racks, your experience at Planet Fitness is not going to be restricted.
But why did PF decide to remove the squat racks from their setup? There are many reasons behind this move.
Why Did Planet Fitness Get Rid of Squat Racks?
A few years ago, you could find a bunch of locations where Planet Fitness included squat racks in their weightlifting sections. But they were later removed due to various reasons.
The primary reason is Planet Fitness’s strict no-judgment policy. The gym franchise markets itself as a safe space for beginners who are just looking to start their fitness journey. As such, they make the environment as welcoming and comfortable for newbies as possible.
A newbie walking into the weightlifting section could be intimidated by the sight of regular gym-goers lifting impossible amounts of weight on squat racks.
Similarly, lifters using a squat rack often grunt and make loud noises under the strain of heavy weights. This is against Planet Fitness’s policies, as the hunk alarm usually goes off when a member is displaying discouraged behavior like dropping weights or grunting.
This is the main part of the reason why squat racks aren’t available at Planet Fitness.
The second reason is that most PF members are newbies who can’t lift heavy weights. As such, using squat racks without support from a trainer might result in injuries and result in liability issues, and insurance costs for Planet Fitness.
While squat racks are popular in the fitness community, it’s not the ideal equipment for a place like Planet Fitness, which is primarily aimed at attracting beginners who want a comfortable, judgment-free space for themselves.
There are other alternatives at PF gyms that reduce the risk of injuries and promote safe workouts.
What Can I Use Instead of Squat Rack at Planet Fitness?
The absence of squat racks at Planet Fitness does not mean that you can work on your leg and glute muscles. There are many alternatives that can help you perform squatting exercises safely and efficiently.
For example, you can perform dumbbell squats if you are just starting out. At Planet Fitness, dumbbells as heavy as 70 or 80 pounds can be found in the weightlifting section. As it’s not ridiculously heavy, you can squat with them safely until you get used to lifting heavier weights.
Similarly, there are fixed barbells at some PF locations. However, these barbells typically max out at just 60 pounds, so it’s only efficient for beginners.
The best alternative to squat racks at Planet Fitness is the Smith Machine.
Smith Machines are advanced gym equipment with an attached barbell. The safety adjustments of the machine ensure that the range of motion of the bar is limited and nobody can crumble under its weight.
Using Smith Machines is simple and convenient. All you need to do is stand inside the machine and pull/push the bar along the vertical track. By doing this, you can perform different kinds of exercises, including squats, bench presses, and shoulder presses.
There are also multiple safety spots that users can rely on to prevent any injury issues when they are not able to complete a lift.
The best thing about Smith Machines is that you do not need a trainer or a spotter to use them. So, even if there’s nobody available to help you out, you can start lifting as there are no associated risks due to the many safety features.
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Planet Fitness is an affordable option for many beginners who are looking to start going to the gym. The best thing about the franchise is its emphasis on creating a comfortable environment and its use of safe and secure equipment that can make a beginner’s workout more efficient.
By including equipment like the Smith Machine instead of using the traditional squat rack or power cage, PF gyms promote safe and efficient workouts, especially for beginners.