Opening of Planet Fitness Calls EHS Students to the Gym

Allison Stopka, Staff Writer

There’s a new gym in town, and it is attracting students from all walks of fitness to its machines. Planet Fitness opened in Edwardsville on Jan. 16 and it has been extremely busy since.

While gyms like the YMCA, Anytime Fitness and Our Health Club and Spa have been open in Edwardsville for years, Planet Fitness is known and successful for creating a “judgment free zone” with no “gymtimidation” allowed.

“As soon as you walk into the gym, you can tell that it’s different from the other places,” junior Emily Troske said. “It is a lot more relaxed and easygoing.”

There is even a “lunk alarm” that is set off by employees whenever somebody is grunting too loudly, slamming their weights down or wearing a muscle tank top.

Senior Jake Wolff can testify to the level of seriousness that the “gymtimidation” free atmosphere is taken.

“I was doing curls, minding my own business when I was approached by a friend that works there,” Wolff said. “He was very nice about it and explained why I needed to put a shirt over my cut off [tank top].”

Planet Fitness offers two membership levels, white and black. The white membership is $10 a month, and offers access to all machines, rooms, classes and free time with a trainer to set up a personal workout.

The black membership is $20 a month, and it has more to offer such as access to the hydro massage chairs and beds, a free tanning salon to those over 18, access to any Planet Fitness nationwide and unlimited guest privileges.

Senior Trey Riley is a white member and likes going to Planet Fitness versus other gyms because of all it has to offer.

“The atmosphere is a lot better than other places and the equipment is really nice,” Riley said. “There are tons of machines.”

Other students, such as senior Carmen VanDyke are interested in Planet Fitness for other reasons.

“I want to get a black membership at Planet Fitness because it is open 24 hours and that there’s free tanning,” VanDyke said. “Its super cheap for everything that it has to offer.”

Inside Planet Fitness are seven main rooms, the main room with machines and cardio equipment, the 30-minute circuit room inspired by “The Biggest Loser,” two stretching rooms, a 12-minute ab circuit, an ab and leg room and the “PF 360” room.

According to employees at Planet Fitness, the PF 360 room is like a playground for adults. There are monkey bars (which are suddenly a lot harder than I remember them being), two rope sets, resistance bands, medicine balls and plenty of other interesting ways to work out your body.

Planet Fitness has been a partner and strong supporter of “The Biggest Loser” since 2010. The company supplies the show with all gym machines and equipment, and one of the winners of the show designed the 30-minute circuit room based on what the training on the show is like.

Senior Sophie Beard is a white member of Planet Fitness and uses the 30-minute circuit room regularly.

“I was kind of surprised when the circuit room was as hard as it was,” Beard said. “It’s a whole mixture of cardio, arms, legs and abs. I love it.”

Junior Lindsey James also wants to become a member at Planet Fitness.

“I like that they offer the free training and circuit rooms,” James said. “It makes it a lot easier to recognize what muscles I’m working and how.”