Can I Do Starting Strength At Any Planet Fitness?

February 15th 2020

With all the memes and horrifying planet fitness stories about lifting heavy weights, can you do Starting Strength there?

If you are on a strict budget, this can make your brain spin a little.

Choosing which gym to go to can be tough.

You might be considering on signing up for planet fitness because of how affordable it is, how close it is to your home, or because of all its attractive ads.

Regardless of the reason, planet fitness is a popular gym franchise that appeals to a wide variety of lifters.

With that being said, is it possible to follow Starting Strength at planet fitness?

After all, starting strength requires a barbell to perform all the main lifts, and you also need to be able to deadlift which may be difficult at planet fitness due to the “lunk alarm.”

However, despite all these factors, it might still be possible for you to follow the program.

As long as your planet fitness has the minimum equipment that is required, and it allows deadlifting, you should be able to follow Starting Strength.

However, even if your planet fitness fits these criteria, it still might not be the most optimal place to train for you.

This is because planet fitness does not have a culture of lifting heavy, or strength training.

Planet fitness’s targeted audience is people who sign up for the gym to use treadmills or machines.

Free weights and planet fitness don’t mix too well.

But if it’s the only option, is planet fitness good for beginners?

Is planet fitness good for beginners?

For only $10 a month, most gyms can’t beat that price.

In fact, most of the gyms I know cost at least $20 a month, and some even go over $100 a month for extra amenities.

However, truth be told, planet fitness does lack a lot of the fundamental equipment you would need if you wish to follow starting strength.

In order to follow starting strength, you will need your gym to have barbells, and a squat or power rack.

Your planet fitness must also allow people to deadlift.

Because planet fitness is a franchise, I cannot answer whether your local planet fitness has the required equipment or not.

You will have to go there yourself to check it out and speak to the owner regarding their rules.

Planet fitness can be a great gym for some people, especially because of how cheap it is.

However, if you are looking to follow starting strength, you will most likely need to find another gym that has the right equipment and mindset for you.

Planet fitness is a gym equipped with machines and dumbbells.

It is not really a gym suitable for those who are interested in being able to lift heavy weights.

And even if your planet fitness has some of the right equipment, you might still want to consider signing up at a different gym with a better culture.

Gym culture is an important aspect that not many people talk about.

Imagine going to a gym where the population is mostly older adults.

You might find yourself weaker in that gym than if you were in a gym with serious lifters who are able to lift heavy weight.

This might sound silly but once you start lifting, you will realize what I mean.

A community full of those trying to get stronger will certainly motivate you to work even harder in the gym.

The Lunk Alarm

Another issue that must be mentioned is the lunk alarm.

Even if your planet fitness has all the required equipment for you to do starting strength, you might have trouble working out while avoiding triggering the lunk alarm.

What is the lunk alarm you might ask?

The lunk alarm is what separates planet fitness from most other gym franchises.

It is an alarm that goes off whenever somebody drops a weight or lifts loudly.

When the alarm goes off, it notifies an employee who will either warn you to quiet your workout, or tell you to stop completely.

This might some insane to you because it should be a gym, not a library.

But this is what planet fitness is.

Planet fitness has these alarms because their main audience is casual gym goers.

Those who are looking to get strong have to do exercises that require a lot more stress which can cause noise, and ultimately get you kicked out.

With all of these negatives for planet fitness, if you are trying to perform starting strength or any other strength program, you are better off going to any other commercial gym to avoid the hassle planet fitness will give you.

Which gym should you go to if you want to do strength training with barbells?

If you want to be able to perform strength training with barbells, you obviously need a gym with the right equipment.

I would recommend taking a tour of all the closest gyms in the area.

If you can, go during peak times to see how many people are in the gym and the main demographic.

You will also be able to tell how many other people are in the gym following strength program.

You definitely want to weigh the quality of the gym as a big factor when trying to decide which gym to go to.

If you sign up for a gym that fits all your criteria but it doesn’t contain the right demographic, you might not be as motivated to go to the gym.

Another factor you may want to consider is the quality of the equipment and whether you will need additional equipment other than the bare minimum that I described earlier.

If you plan on competing in other strength sports like strong-man, you should consider some place where you have access to strong-man equipment.

You might also want to have access to different types of barbells for different purposes.

All in all, selecting a gym can be tricky and time consuming.

There are a lot of factors for you to keep in mind when selecting a gym, that most beginners don’t know what to look for.

Because of this, I suggest you might be better suited to asking a friend or someone you know who is a serious gym goer what their opinion is on the various gyms in the area.

That way you can hopefully get a more accurate idea of what the gyms around your area are like.

If this isn’t an option, you can always check out some of these popular commercial gyms:

  • 24 hour fitness
  • Crunch Fitness
  • Retro fitness
  • LA fitness
  • Gold’s Gym
  • World Gym

You should search all of these names to see if there are any in your local area.

As for powerlifting/crossfit gyms, you will need to search those up individually on google as there aren’t many chain gyms for these sports.

Verdict: Should you do starting strength in planet fitness?

If you are tight on money and your local planet fitness has barbells and racks in their gym, you will have no choice. 

Otherwise, invest in yourself and try to find the next best alternative nearby. 

You do not need to break bank on a powerlifting gym but your gym should have the essentials for starting your barbell program.

If you have not grabbed a copy of the latest starting strength manual, you could do so here.

But once you find your second home in a nearby gym and can perform your barbell lifts, you will be on your way to progressing to the next level of your knowledge, strength, and improvement of your health.

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