We just surpassed the time of year where we get lambasted with fitness ads, as typically January is a very busy time for commercial gyms. Within these ads, an outlier pops up frequently claiming to be “Judgment Free” and “Not a gym”. I, of course, am talking about Planet Fitness.
A lot of their ads come up, and immediately their hypocrisy is visible. Their latest ad insinuates smaller gyms flip “truck” tires, and that you need to flip “truck” tires or you won’t be welcome. Previously they’ve had ads showing that you need to flip a tire across the gym to use the bathroom (they have an infatuation with tires apparently). They also refer to some people as “Lunk Heads”, have kicked out members for being “too toned” and breathing too hard, and sound their ridiculous “Lunk alarm” on people for doing things like box jumps (here’s a link to some of these stories).
Let me step off my soap box for one second, and iterate that I don’t care how someone runs their business. If their business model is targeted at certain people and they don’t want others in their gym, that’s fine. However, by the very nature of making those decisions they are making JUDGMENTS about people, which is why I have an issue with them claiming they’re judgment free.
Darcie and I went into a Planet Fitness once and the first thing we were told is “We don’t cater to bodybuilders or powerlifters”. Without knowing either of us at all, they took one look at us and judged that we weren’t the people they were looking for. Again, that’s their prerogative. Though let’s imagine for a second if we turned the body types around, and there was a gym that wouldn’t allow overweight people in. You can already feel the Internet ramping up the outrage.
Now, compare all of this to No Limit Fitness Studio/NLFS CrossFit. At what point, EVER, has anyone been told they can’t workout with us? At what point, EVER, have we judged someone right off the bat based on their looks? At what point, EVER, have we turned someone away for ANY thing? We want to help everyone we can. We’ve trained high school/college students and athletes, middle-aged people, overweight people, underweight people, runners, body builders, people into their 60s and 70s, people recovering from medical issues and injuries. You name it, we’ve probably worked with them in some way.
So, who’s really judgment free? The place that takes a look at you and says “No thanks”, or the place that says “Come in and check out what we’re doing today!”. I’ll leave you to decide, but we all know the answer.