With both chain fitness centers as well as independent gyms on the rise, it has become clear that people are becoming more interested in getting healthy. Even though the cost of fitness equipment for the home is dropping and sales are going up, many people are finding the accountability of having a fitness coach or a monthly gym membership helps to motivate. In fact, the number of gym memberships increased by 6.2% from 2019 over 2018. With more people looking to get healthy, fitness centers are becoming more and more important.
The average gym membership owner typically goes to the gym twice a week. For most Americans, they find it difficult to regularly go to the gym due to motivational issues, busy careers, and family life. Another aspect of working out that isn’t talked about as much is the fact that going to the gym is intimidating.
In order to combat the intimidating stigma associated with working out, Planet Fitness has marketed itself as a “Judgment Free Zone,” catering to both competitive and casual gym users. This approach has lead Planet Fitness to be the fastest growing fitness center franchise in the United States.
Planet Fitness was founded in 1992 in New Hampshire when Michael and Marc Grondahl acquired a financially struggling gym and significantly reduced membership prices to compete against better-known brands. Now, the company has more than 1,500 establishments in all 50 states.
According to WFSB, Planet Fitness has recently acquired another popular gym: Cardio Express.
“We’re excited about the opportunity to expand the Planet Fitness brand,” said David Humphrey, CEO, ECP-PF Holding Group, Inc. “This acquisition allows us to build upon Cardio Express’ already successful locations, while adding amenities such as our Planet Fitness Black Card Spa, free fitness training, and network of more than 1,600 locations in all 50 states.”
Though Planet Fitness members enjoy the experience of working out in a familiar and comfortable environment, there are some Cardio Express members who aren’t excited about the switch.
“It’s not the same gym to me,” said Marselito Cortez, who regularly attended the Cardio Express in East Hartford.
Planet Fitness’ two membership levels are $10 and $21.99 per month: the $10 package includes access to cardio and strength equipment, unlimited group fitness instruction, and pizza and bagels once a month; the $21.99 “Black Card” level allows members to bring one guest per day at no charge, access to all gym locations, and access to additional amenities like massage chairs and tanning booths. Considering that over 50% of Americans admit to having back problems, these amenities are second to none in terms of wellness.
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