CHUBBUCK — The staff at Planet Fitness advises its new members from day one that grunting while working out or dropping weights after they complete a set are strictly prohibited.
Ubiquitous as such behaviors may be at most gyms, Cameron Groom, who will be club manager of a Planet Fitness planned for Pine Ridge Mall, said they tend to intimidate first-time gym members. Average people who are new to working out are Planet Fitness’s target audience.
Planet Fitness, which is one of the fastest-growing fitness clubs in the nation with more than 1,600 locations, plans to open a club with 2,400 square feet of space in the former Herberger’s store by late December or early January. Groom said it will be the largest Planet Fitness site in Idaho and Utah.
“As they continue to open up new Planet Fitnesses, they try to make them bigger and better,” Groom said.
With construction workers still in the midst of an overhaul of the former department store, Planet Fitness opened a small office in the mall, adjacent to Pretzel Makers, to register new customers and show them renderings of the future facility and examples of equipment that will be used. The gym will be open 24 hours per day, every day of the week.
Through Dec. 14, Planet Fitness will offer an enrollment special, charging $10 per month for Home Club memberships, which grants full access to local fitness and training facilities and a fitness instructor, and $19.99 per month for Black Card memberships, which provide members access to other Planet Fitness locations, allow them to bring a guest at no extra cost and provide access to massage chairs, HydroMassage lounge chairs, tanning beds and other benefits. During the special enrollment period, the registration fee will be reduced to $1. Customers make no commitment beyond a month.
The phrase “Judgment-Free Zone” is painted on the facade of the gym’s future location.
“That’s the one big thing that separates Planet Fitness from most gyms,” Groom said. “We created the Judgment-Free Zone so basically everyone feels like they can come in and work out in a comfortable environment for everyone around them.”
Groom explained Planet Fitness is designed to be accommodating to fitness newcomers. They keep dumbbells ranging from 5 to 75 pounds — ideal for the average person, if not a hulking body builder.
The gym offers free pizza to members on the first Monday of each month.
“We don’t want to enforce the idea that you have to be skinny to be in a gym,” Groom said.
He said Planet Fitness creates an atmosphere in which members support one another. Groom said the gym will have modern cardio and strength equipment, offering machines for every muscle group. The gym will offer a “30-minute express circuit,” challenging members to progress through 20 machines focusing on different muscle groups — spending a minute exercising on each one and taking a 30-second break while switching machines — for a full-body workout.
Members can also meet with a fitness instructor to develop a fitness plan, based on their goals and limitations.
“Our goal isn’t to make 1 percent of body builders feel comfortable. It’s to make 99 percent of people feel comfortable,” Groom said.