Are Planet Fitness Weights Lighter? (Debunking the Myth)

Written by — Tonya

Have you ever questioned whether the weights at Planet Fitness are on par with those at other gyms? This is a topic that has been up for debate for some time. In this blog post, I aim to answer this question and take a deeper look into Planet Fitness weightlifting strategy.

Contrary to popular belief, the weights at Planet Fitness are not lighter than those at other gyms. It’s unlikely that either the gym or its members would see any benefits from this approach.

Now that we have settled that Planet Fitness weights are not lighter than other gyms let’s examine how Planet Fitness approaches weightlifting.

Are Planet Fitness weights lighter? 

It’s a complete myth that Planet Fitness weights are lighter than any other gym’s. So how did this belief come about?

We have a few ideas.

  1. Planet Fitness doesn’t have traditional squat racks, but they do have Smith machines. There is a great discrepancy in how heavy the initial resistance is, depending on the brand of Smith machine in your location. You may be used to a standard Olympic bar that weighs 45 pounds, but a Smith machine’s resistance typically ranges from 10 to 45 pounds.
  2. Another issue is that most of the weights at Planet Fitness are actually resistance machines. Most people can do more with a machine than free weights because of the control it provides and how easily the pulley system glides.
  3. Something else that can be confusing is when a machine has independently moving sides (left and right), the total weight may be divided between the two sides. So, for example, you may be chest pressing a total of 80 pounds, but the machine setting is 40 because the two sides operate independently of one another.
  4. Whether the weights are listed in pounds or kilograms can greatly impact how much you can lift. One kilogram equals 2.2 pounds, so you may lift double (or half) the weight from Planet Fitness to another gym.

How heavy are the weights at Planet Fitness?

So now that we’ve cleared up the reasons for debate about the accuracy of Planet Fitness weights, we’ll share some details about the weights offered in these gyms.

Below are some common weights in Planet Fitness and how much they max out at.

Dumbbells

Planet Fitness dumbbells only go to 50 or 75 pounds (again, dependent upon your location). In contrast, some gyms have dumbbells up to 125 or even higher.

Plates on Smith Machine

There are a limited number of plates at Planet Fitness for the Smith machines. These plates can be found in regular increments of 5, 10, 25, 35, and 45 pounds. There generally are not any bumper plates at Planet Fitness.

Barbells

Planet Fitness does not have free weights such as barbells unless the location inherited equipment from the franchise that previously owned the building. Mostly, you’ll find preloaded bars rather than barbells. Like their dumbbells, these barbells go up to around 70 to 80 pounds.

Are Planet Fitness weights accurate? 

Despite the criticism and questioning, I assure you that Planet Fitness weights are accurate.

The issue is not really in how heavy the weights are but in how they are being used. A Resistance machine with 100 pounds of weight requires much less effort to lift and manipulate compared to deadlifting 100 pounds.

With these machines, you don’t have to balance the weight, and you’re only concerned with movement in one direction, allowing you to focus all your attention — and the correct muscle groups — on the exercise.

Does Planet Fitness offer heavier weights? 

Unfortunately, Planet Fitness is not known for offering heavier weights.

The gym openly markets its gyms to people who want a relaxed gym environment. This is great for first-time gym members and people who what to get in shape or maintain their results, but not necessarily for those wanting to make significant gains.

The heaviest dumbbells vary from location to location, but you won’t find any heavy individual weights to load up for squats or bench presses.

Is Planet Fitness a place for serious weightlifting? 

Since Planet Fitness is geared towards beginners and those who haven’t been in the gym for a while, it isn’t a place for serious weightlifters.

Some people report that, although Planet Fitness is a “judgment-free zone,” the franchise isn’t very welcoming to powerlifters. For example, the Lunk Alarm sounds when a lifter drops weights or a lifter grunts too loud.

Aside from the Lunk Alarm, Planet Fitness isn’t ideal for serious weight lifting due to the free weight and dumbbell shortage. The Smith machines are acceptable for squats, benches, and lunges because they make the lifts easier, but these machines can also alter your form and add stress to your joints.

The best alternative to Planet Fitness 

If cardio is your goal, you’re all set at Planet Fitness. These gyms are unmatched in their number of treadmills, elliptical machines, bikes, and stair climbers when compared to other gyms their size.

However, if bodybuilding and making major gains are what you’re after, you probably won’t be satisfied at Planet Fitness.

Your best bet is to look for a gym with lots of free weights and bumper plates.

Alternatively, if you have the budget for it, you can build your own home gym that is perfectly situated to help you meet your serious lifting goals. 

Conclusion

So there you have it, everything that you need to know about how to build a home gym in your shed.

A shed gym can be an excellent option for people who want to get in shape but don’t have the time or money to go to a traditional gym, and they are convenient, affordable, and customizable to your own needs.

Setting up a gym shed will increase your fitness routine without breaking the bank with careful planning ahead of time. And best of all, you can use them in any weather condition! So if you’re looking for an easy way to get in shape, a shed gym is the way to go.