Over 23 years ago, in 1994, I started Planet Fitness Health Clubs in Australia. I have been around a while and have seen many changes and growth in the fitness industry. I have learned to understand why and how often people come to gyms.
Planet Fitness as it is today was formulated by listening to my members over the years; I wanted to design a fitness brand that catered to people’s needs. The two consistent lines of feedback that I have heard from people are that they did not want to feel intimidated and that the expense of membership was highly important.
There are many gyms to pick from. However, most sell memberships at very high prices. This sets to exclude a large portion of our population who simply cannot afford to access fitness. In Australia, around 12% of our population attend gyms or group fitness-related activities. Yet, our obesity and overweight problems in society (including our children) is growing. I recognised this problem many years ago and set about developing a brand of fitness centre that caters to everyone regardless of age, fitness level or socioeconomic status.
Another obstacle people face is the confidence to actually set foot in a gym. Many people find gyms overwhelming, which can be exacerbated by attendees that are intimidating. A small portion of people seems to think they have a right to intimidate and create a nuisance of themselves in a gym environment. Those who create a scene when they work out by dropping heavy weights, grunting excessively, using loud and antisocial behaviour, bad language etc. as far as I’m concerned, this is not acceptable conduct. This spurred me to introduce Planet Fitness’ Judgement Free philosophy into my clubs, so everyone can feel comfortable when they work out. If you have an ego, please leave it at the front door; we have no room for it in our fitness community.
There is no great secret to fitness, just keep moving forward with some form of exercise and do it regularly. But, you know what? People cannot always make it to the gym, and that’s ok. Some weeks they can come three or four times, but others not at all. In today’s world, we go on holidays; we work extra hours, we look after sick kids. Plus, on a nice day, why not go for that walk outside? Or go to the beach and mix it up a little? Maybe to coincide with your gym training you also play sports. So, who can afford to pay high gym prices when you don’t always attend?
Planet Fitness delivers what most people desire in a health and fitness club; our price is incredibly affordable, and we strongly uphold our Judgement Free philosophy. By importing most of our gym equipment ourselves, and streamlining our business operations, we can pass these savings on to members. Of course, our facilities are of equal importance. We endeavour to maintain world-class equipment, modern amenities and a clean, healthy environment where you will be welcomed and feel at home. This is coupled with qualified staff offering sound, professional advice and great, friendly service.
We accept every single person who walks through our doors. We pride ourselves on providing a non-intimidating space, beyond image and stigma to welcome everyone – no matter who you are. We understand that everyone is different; we all have different needs, goals and aspirations. We understand that for too many people the biggest challenge is to actually walk through the doors of a health club for the first time. We realise that a health club with no intimidation, no egos, and no hard-core weightlifters is desirable to many.
I believe that everyone should be able to afford fitness while feeling comfortable in a Judgement Free environment. At Planet Fitness, we will deliver that to you! If I can help the 88% of the population who do not attend gyms, by making them feel welcomed at Planet Fitness, I am hopeful that we can turn around our health problems in Australia and all live longer, more active lives.
Yours in health and wellbeing,
Dallas Rosekelly, Director & Founder of Planet Fitness Australia