Planet Fitness has a reputation for being a quirky, beginner-friendly gym, that offers very low membership. While the low membership fee may seem tempting, it comes at a cost as they often lack some basic equipment. Weight scales, for example, are an essential thing to have in a gym so gym members can track their progress.
So does planet fitness have scales? The truth is that Planet Fitness gyms do not have a weight scale.
Does Planet Fitness Have Scales? Why They Don’t
Planet Fitness provides a variety of reasons why they do not carry weight scales at their gyms. Some of these could potentially make sense, but they are not precisely valid reasons for not having a piece of equipment as basic as a weight scale.
Disheartens Their Members
The general line of thinking from Planet Fitness is that if members step on the scale and realize that they have not made as much progress as they realized, then they may become discouraged and not want to stay dedicated to their fitness goals.
So when gym goers, especially beginners, see weeks of hard work not make a dent on the scale, they will feel like it is pointless and just stops showing up.
Overreliance On Scales And Numbers
Everyone knows that health and fitness are complicated topics. Moreover, it is hard to judge how much progress someone is making on their fitness journey.
So from Planet Fitness’s point of view, putting scales in their gyms would cause their members to focus too much on their weight even though they may still be making progress in other areas.
For example, fitness progress can also be judged through progress pictures, strength, body composition, and more rather than just body weight alone.
Change Does Not Occur Overnight
The process of fat loss or muscle gaining can take several weeks before any real results start to show. On top of that, progress is not always linear. It is not uncommon for people that are doing everything right to have a day where their body weight stayed the same.
What really matters is the overall trend over the course of several weeks. While most people may understand this, it can be a hard pill to swallow not saying your weight budge.
So when people notice their weight is not going down every day, they may feel discouraged and not want to stick to their routine.
Why Is Having A Weight Scale In A Gym Important?
The reason that most gyms have weight scales is that despite what Planet Fitness may say, they are very important tools for tracking progress. Most people have goals that can be more or less tracked with a weight scale like fat loss or muscle gain.
While the logic of members becoming discouraged does make some sense, the opposite can also be true. If people are tracking their body weight and the first signs of weight loss, it can be a massive motivational factor to keep them going to the gym.
The reality is that Planet Fitness has simply bought too much into its own marketing here. The idea of a judgment-free gym has its merits, but to go as far as to not include a basic weight scale seems like overkill.
How To Track Progress Correctly Using A Weight Scale
If you want to track your progress with a weight scale, there are a few key tips you should follow so that you do it correctly:
Weigh Yourself At The Same Time Everyday
Your body weight can vary drastically based on what you have consumed that day, whether or not you gone to the bathroom, and on how much physical activity you have done. It is not uncommon for you to weigh 3-5 lbs more at night then you did in the morning.
It is not an exact science, but the best way to limit the variation in your body weight data is too weight yourself at the same time everyday. The best time is in the morning after you have gone to the bathroom.
But you can also do it at the gym before/after your workout.
Take A Weekly Average
Even if you do weigh yourself at the exact same time everyday, there will still be some variation due to a variety of factors. To further limit variation or noise in your body weight tracking, take a weekly average of your body weight.
Over the course of seven full days, you can remove some of the outliers.
Make Changes Based On The Trend
Once you have started to tracking your body weight, you can then make changes to your diet or training based on your goals. For example, if you notice that for two straight weeks your weight has not moved in the right direction, you can make some changes:
If you want to gain weight, just increase your daily calories by 100-300 kcal and check back in 2 weeks. If you want to loss weight, you can either lower your calories by 100-300 kcal or increase your cardio. Then check back 2 weeks to see how things are going.
The important thing is that you are not making any rash decisions based on day-to-day weight fluctuations. Also, when you do make changes keep in mind that slight changes can go a long way.
What Equipment Does Planet Fitness Have?
If Planet Fitness lacks something as basic as weight scales, it does make you wonder what other equipment they may be lacking.
Planet Fitness does not have squat racks. Their gyms tend to be more machine focused so that it is easier for beginners. Planet Fitness thinks that something as large as a squat rack can come across as intimidating and scare new members off.
On the bright side, Planet Fitness does carry dumbbells but they only go up to 80 lbs. This is fine for most beginners but most intermediate lifters will be needing more than 80 lbs for rows, presses, and squats.
Planet Fitness does carry rowing machines. In fact one of the areas they do best in is cardio equipment.
Planet Fitness is a major commercial gym chain with thousands of locations all across the United States. While there commitment to make their gym as judgment free as possible has clearly worked, the fact that they lack something as a basic as a weight scale makes it a hard gym to recommend.