Planet Fitness Vs. Fitness 19: Which Gym Is Right For You?

If you’re trying to decide between Planet Fitness and Fitness 19 for your gym membership, you’re not alone. These two budget-friendly gym chains are incredibly popular across the United States.

But which one is the better option for your fitness goals and budget? Read on for a complete breakdown of the pros, cons, features, and key differences between Planet Fitness and Fitness 19.

A Brief Comparison Table

FeaturesPlanet FitnessFitness 19
Cost$10 – $25 per month$10 – $30 per month
# Of LocationsOver 2,200 nationwideAround 140 locations in Midwest and West
24/7 AccessYesYes
Group ClassesNoneZumba, yoga, cycling, kickboxing, etc.
EquipmentBasic cardio and strength machines, dumbbells up to 75 lbsMore extensive selection including pools, courts, heavier weights
AmenitiesLimited amenities beyond exercise equipmentMore amenities like pools, courts, saunas
AtmosphereBeginner-friendly, “Judgement Free Zone”Self-driven workout vibe, less rigid rules
Bring a GuestWith Black Card membershipWith select membership tiers
Personal TrainingFree casual fitness coachingPaid personal training available
VibeLaidback, non-intimidatingBetween a budget and full-service gym

Overview Of Planet Fitness

Founded in 1992 in Dover, New Hampshire, Planet Fitness has grown to become one of the largest gym franchises in the United States. As of 2023, there are more than 2,200 Planet Fitness locations nationwide.

Planet Fitness aims to provide a welcoming, non-intimidating environment for casual gym members or those new to working out. The gyms are outfitted with plenty of cardiovascular machines and some strength training equipment. Free fitness coaching is available by request.

Here are some key things to know about Planet Fitness:

Planet Fitness
Planet Fitness
  • 24/7 Access: Most locations are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can work out on your schedule.
  • PF Black Card Membership: This premium membership gives access to all Planet Fitness locations nationwide, along with additional perks like the ability to bring a guest anytime and access to hydromassage beds and chairs.
  • Lunk Alarm: Planet Fitness locations have a “Lunk Alarm” siren to deter grunting, dropping weights, and intimidating behavior. The gym promotes a “no judgement” zone.
  • Pizza Mondays: Free pizza is offered on the first Monday of every month. Bagels are available on the second Tuesday of the month.
  • No Frills Experience: Basic dumbbells up to 75 lbs. Cardio and strength equipment is relatively limited compared to full-service gyms. Bring your own towel and locks for the locker room. No pools, courts, classes, etc.

Membership fees start around $10/month for basic access to your home gym. As you can see, Planet Fitness centers itself as an affordable, casual gym for beginners. Now let’s look at Fitness 19.

Also Read: Comparison Between VASA Fitness And Chuze Fitness.

Overview Of Fitness 19

Founded in 2003 in Maple Grove, MN, Fitness 19 operates over 140 locations in the Midwestern and Western United States.

Like Planet Fitness, Fitness 19 provides an affordable gym membership. But the facilities are typically more spacious and have a wider selection of amenities and group exercise classes. Here are some key things to know:

Fitness 19
Fitness 19
  • 24/7 Access: Most Fitness 19 gyms are open 24/7 for members.
  • Wide Variety of Classes: Group fitness classes like Zumba, yoga, cycling, and kickboxing offered at many locations.
  • Standard and Premium Memberships: Can choose a $10/month basic membership or upgraded memberships with more amenities and perks.
  • Gym Amenities: In addition to strength and cardio equipment, many locations have basketball courts, exercise pools, and other amenities not found at Planet Fitness.
  • Brings a Friend: On select membership levels, you can bring a friend as a guest when you work out.
  • No Lunk Alarm: Fitness 19 does not actively discourage or “police” grunting or dropping weights like Planet Fitness does. The atmosphere lies somewhere between a budget gym and a full-service gym.

Membership rates start around $10/month for a standard membership. Like Planet Fitness, Fitness 19 provides exceptional value compared to more expensive gyms.

So, who should choose Planet Fitness, and who is better suited for Fitness 19? Let’s explore that next.

Who Should Choose Planet Fitness?

Here are some of the key factors that point towards Planet Fitness as the better gym choice for you:

  • You’re brand new to working out and want a non-intimidating environment to get started. The “Judgement Free Zone” helps you ease into fitness.
  • You consider yourself a casual gym member. You’re looking for basic equipment for cardio and some strength training a few times per week.
  • You want national gym coverage. With 2,200+ locations, a Black Card membership gives you gym access anywhere. Fitness 19 only operates regionally.
  • You are motivated by the community incentives. Free pizza night, bagel mornings, and a welcoming atmosphere can help you enjoy hitting the gym.
  • You want reliably low membership fees. At around $10/month, Planet Fitness offers exceptional value for casual gym users who don’t need lots of bells and whistles.

Also Read: Comparison Between LA Fitness And XSport.

Who Should Choose Fitness 19?

Here are some key factors that point towards Fitness 19 as a better gym choice:

  • You want group fitness classes. The wide variety of classes at Fitness 19 provides guidance, structure, and motivation for your workouts. Planet Fitness has no fitness classes.
  • You want fuller gym amenities. If you plan to use the pool, basketball court, group classes, or premium equipment, Fitness 19 can be a better option compared to the basics at Planet Fitness.
  • You don’t want to feel policed on your workouts. Fitness 19 does not discourage grunting or dropping weights. The vibe lies somewhere between a budget gym and a full-service gym.
  • You want some personalization. Paid personal training is available at Fitness 19 for customized workout plans. Planet Fitness only has free casual coaching.
  • You appreciate upgraded features. Premium memberships at Fitness 19 include perks like guest privileges, HydroMassage, tanning, and more that Planet Fitness lacks.

Key Takeaways: Choosing The Best Gym

  • For a friendly, judgement-free zone at an ultra-low price point, choose Planet Fitness.
  • For group classes, amenities, and flexibility between a budget and full-service gym, Fitness 19 is a great option.
  • Consider your fitness goals and preferences. Casual go-at-your-own-pace workouts or structured classes? Basic cardio/weights or premium features?
  • You can’t go wrong with either gym for the exceptional value. Visit your local franchises to see which you like better.
  • Look into membership rates and amenities at each location, as they can vary. A higher-tier membership may make sense if you will use the perks.
  • Try out a no commitment month-to-month membership before committing to an annual contract.

Getting in shape doesn’t have to break the bank. With friendly staff and judgement-free zones, Planet Fitness and Fitness 19 aim to provide a welcoming environment for members of all fitness levels.

For the affordable price, you really can’t go wrong by giving either gym a try.

Watch this about Planet Fitness!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Who is Planet Fitness biggest competitor?

Planet Fitness’ biggest competitor is Fitness 19. Other competitors include Crunch Fitness, LA Fitness, YouFit, and other affordable national gym chains. However, Fitness 19 comes closest to matching Planet Fitness in terms of ultra-low membership fees and budget gym experience.

Which gym is best for beginners?

For true beginners just starting on their fitness journey, Planet Fitness tends to cater best to new gym members. The Judgement Free Zone helps beginners feel comfortable easing into workouts using Planet Fitness’ basic cardio machines and strength equipment.

What is the most popular gym in America?

Currently, Planet Fitness is the most popular gym chain in the United States with over 15 million members among their 2,200+ locations. Planet Fitness edged out competitors like LA Fitness and 24 Hour Fitness to become the largest gym brand in terms of membership.

Is Planet Fitness a good option?

For the average casual gym goer, Planet Fitness is an excellent choice. The ultra-low membership fee around $10/month provides great value. Beginners also appreciate the friendly, low-pressure workout environment. Just be aware that more serious lifters may be left wanting more equipment and amenities compared to a full-scale gym. Within its niche, Planet Fitness is a great choice.

Also Read: Comparison Between Crunch And Retro Fitness.

The Bottom Line

Weighing your workout preferences and budget, either Planet Fitness or Fitness 19 can provide an affordable, judgement-free gym environment. For a purely casual budget gym experience, Planet Fitness can’t be beat.

If you want more amenities, classes, and versatility, choose Fitness 19. Try out both to see which gym culture you prefer!

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