I visited the Bloomington, Minnesota Planet Fitness on a whim. I was looking for a different gym to join that was a little cheaper than the my current gym (Life Time Fitness), and Planet Fitness piqued my interest, especially with its motto: “The Judgment Free Zone.”
Now, I’m not one who really cares what others think of me when I workout. So the motto doesn’t really appeal to me in the way that it might appeal to others. I suppose those who have never been members of a gym before might like Planet Fitness’ message, but it doesn’t do a thing for me. Nevertheless, I went in and got a guest pass to check it out.
Planet Fitness offers an inviting and friendly environment for people of all ages and fitness levels. This “judgment free zone” hullaballo is communicated and reinforced throughout the facility — from the “No critics” phrase printed on the walls, to the “Lunk Alarm” — a little bell that a Planet Fitness staff member rings whenever someone is heard moaning and groaning like a UFC wrestler in the weight room. Yes, I’m dead serious. They WILL do this, although I did not personally witness this.
Planet Fitness is fairly new to Minnesota; the Bloomington location was the first Planet Fitness, followed shortly by Brooklyn Park. The gym is painted in shades of purple, neon yellow and black. Hardwood floors make up the non-workout areas. A chain link fence encloses the workout floor. As for the cardio equipment, you’ll find state-of-the-art treadmills, elliptical machines, stair steppers and bikes. However, cardio junkies (like myself!) need to limit their time to 30 minutes on a machine. I found that quite discouraging, as I frequently like to spend an hour on the treadmill or stair stepper. To keep your mind occupied as you workout, HDTV’s can be viewed from any of the machines or the weight area.
Dozens of weight machines are available in the weight area, each with a sign reminding gym patrons of Planet Fitness’ “no grunting” policy. I found this quite silly, to be honest. After seeing so many of the “no grunting” signs, I came to the realization that Planet Fitness in Bloomington, Minnesota is not for me — and if you’re a serious “gym rat” like I am, you might not be happy becoming a Planet Fitness member.
Another caveat about Planet Fitness in Bloomington: the dress code. It’s quite strict: no beanies, skull caps, weight belts, revealing clothing (this means no wearing “just” a sports bra, ladies), or bandannas. Cell phones are prohibited from the workout floor–I found this ridiculous! I use my iPhone as my MP3 player when I workout–what, I can’t bring that on a treadmill? What century are we in?
Then, if you break their “rules”, you’ll get the Lunk Alarm sounded on you. Get the Lunk Alarm sounded on you too many times and the staff will revoke your membership!
What is this place, Papua New Guinea?
In conclusion, Planet Fitness in Bloomington, MN caters to the those new to fitness, moms, and students. Because of its limited range of dumbbell weights, limited weight equipment and rules on grunting, it is not for the bodybuilder or serious gym rats like myself. types. The gym’s busiest hours are late afternoons and evenings (for the after-work crowd) and on Saturday mornings before noon.
Oh, and did I mention that the on he first Monday of each month, this location throws a pizza party for its members starting at 6:00 p.m? Seriously?