Planet Fitness and Anytime Fitness are actually gyms that are very different than each other.
I know the pain of signing up for gyms. They often have useless sign up fees, weird contracts, weird rules, etcetera. The last thing you want to do is pick a gym that you don’t like, because then you have to repeat the annoying process all over again.
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(Can’t someone just make a gym without all the fluff when you sign up?)
So, you have Planet Fitness or Anytime Fitness on your mind. Be careful with these gyms, as even though they seem similar they are almost as different as night and day!
So, Planet Fitness vs Anytime Fitness- which is better?
Anytime Fitness is more suited for the ‘serious bodybuilder’ that wants a focus on growing a lot of muscle or growing an incredible physique. You’ll find much heavier weights, barbells, free weights, racks, and tons of machines at Anytime Fitness. Planet Fitness is more oriented towards people just trying to ‘stay toned’ or keep off some fat. It has great cardio machines and lackluster weight training options. But, it’s also much cheaper.
Now, that’s a very basic overview- but that should give you a rough idea of what you should know.
Let’s cover this more in-depth and cover everything like pricing, equipment, amenities, etcetera.
What is Planet Fitness? (Overview)
Planet Fitness is a large chain gym with over 2,000 clubs. It has probably some of the most advertising of any gym company, and you’ve likely seen the ads yourself.
- Read: Is Planet Fitness Bad?
Their advertising motto is all about avoiding ‘gymtimidation’. Basically, they say it’s a safe space for new people to work out. It’s a cool idea, but sometimes they overdo it with their infamous lunk alarm. (A tornado siren that goes off when someone seems too ‘intimidating’)
The commercials are usually about big guys screaming and being banned from the gym.
Because of this, Planet Fitness isn’t really a gym that’s about “heavy lifters”. And you might have difficulties finding heavier weights because of it. This can be a big problem if you’re super serious about bodybuilding! (You may consider yourself serious if you’re on the best bodybuilding program in the world, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Blueprint to Mass!)
But, they also have a very cheap rate at around $10-20/month.
Now that we have a brief overview of Planet Fitness, let’s discuss Anytime Fitness.
What is Anytime Fitness? (Overview)
Anytime Fitness isn’t a chain that’s advertised as much. Their gym is basically the jack of all trades, master of none.
- Read: Anytime Fitness Review
You have good power racks, good and heavy free weights, tons of machines, tons of cardio machines, tons of events like yoga/zumba, and some basic amenities.
This isn’t Westside Barbell where you will find strictly only heavy free weights and machines. And this isn’t your local yoga fitness center where you just run in place and exercise.
Anytime Fitness is very diverse and kind of has room for everybody. And I think that’s a good thing, no matter what your goals are- Anytime Fitness can usually fill them.
You aren’t going to have a ton of barbells, and you aren’t going to have the most yoga space- but it’s almost like you get a little bit of everything when you’re going to Anytime Fitness.
Let’s Start Comparing them, Planet Fitness vs Anytime Fitness
So, I’m going to try and break it down into a ton of categories to help you make an educated decision.
Picking a gym can be tough. So I recommend you write down your body goals and some other rules like: how far are you willing to drive for it, how much are you willing to pay, etcetera.
Here we go!
One of the biggest factors in any gym choice is the cost of the gym.
- Planet Fitness: $10-20/month
- Anytime Fitness: $40-50/month
By far, Planet Fitness wins this round. Although, their ads featuring a $10/month price is greatly exaggerated. If you want to access their amenities and other features, you’ll have to pay $20/month or so.
Each gym does have like a $40 annual fee or something that they barely mention.
Regardless, Planet Fitness beats out Anytime Fitness in the pricing category. But, just because it is cheaper doesn’t always mean it’s better.
- Planet Fitness: Planet Fitness has a no-commitment contract for $15/month, or you can sign up for their $23/month Black Card membership for no commitment. The $10/month one does require a 12-month commitment.
- Anytime Fitness: Anytime Fitness commitments vary from location to location. Generally, they will ask you to sign a 6, 12, or 18-month commitment contract. I’d recommend asking for the student or beginner plan if you’re trying to avoid a commitment contract.
Who has more locations, and where are they located?
- Planet Fitness: 2,000 locations, nearer to big cities.
- Anytime Fitness: 4,000 locations, close to cities and further out.
If you pay for the $20/month membership, you’ll be able to access any Planet Fitness in the country. The Anytime Fitness membership allows you to access any other Anytime Fitness regardless of membership.
If you travel a lot (is Planet Fitness good for truckers?), the amount of locations may be really important to you!
I travel to a lot of bigger cities, and I’ve always been able to find an Anytime Fitness or Planet Fitness near me. So, if you’re traveling to ‘bigger cities’- I wouldn’t worry about finding a location.
But, in my experience, I’ve found many Anytime Fitness gyms in the middle of nowhere, but it is much rarer I find a Planet Fitness out there.
If you travel to more rural areas, I think your better bet would be sticking with the Anytime Fitness as you’ll find much more of them.
Can You Travel to Any Club in The Country or just your Home Club?
- Planet Fitness: You can travel to any location IF you have the $20/month Black Card Membership.
- Anytime Fitness: You can travel to any location (officially after 30 days of having your key, but in my experience it just works right away).
A huge factor in picking gyms is finding out what times they are open. That’s one of the main reasons I choose these gyms in the first place, I was too busy during the day and needed flexible hours!
- Planet Fitness: 24 hours (some slight variations)
- Anytime Fitness: 24 hours (99% of the time)
Thankfully, both gyms are 24/7. Planet Fitness has some slight variation, but for the most part, it is 24/7. Please call your local gym ahead of time to see.
The reason it is a little sketchy is because Planet Fitness generally requires the gyms to be staffed 24/7. It can be hard to find someone to work nights, so sometimes the planet fitness may be closed.
Anytime Fitness does not require this rule- so most gyms will be open 24/7.
Who is the Gym Made For?
This is an important part of the process. You wouldn’t want to go to a zumba gym if you want to put on muscle.
- Planet Fitness: Planet Fitness is made for people trying to stay toned, or stay in shape.
- Anytime Fitness: Anytime Fitness is made for people trying to put on muscle, stay in shape, and do things like group activities.
Because Planet Fitness has a much narrower target audience, it has way more cardio machines and amenities than Anytime Fitness. So, if your only goal is to stay in shape and not put on muscle, it may just be better you go to Planet Fitness.
But, Anytime Fitness has a much broader variety and accepts all people- no matter their goals essentially. If you’re looking for free weights, and a good variety of things to do, Anytime Fitness can be worth it.
I briefly touched on this above, but let’s talk about the equipment each gym has.
- Planet Fitness: Lots of cardio machines, some resistance machines, lighter free weights.
- Anytime Fitness: Cardio machines, lots of resistance machines, heavier free weights.
So, the main idea is that Planet Fitness strays away from the idea of heavier lifting, and focuses on people that want to ‘stay in shape’. So, you’re going to find much more cardio machines that are newer and more specialized (think of: stairstepper, elliptical, etc).
Anytime Fitness has more of a variety but that also comes at a drawback. You’ll find a few power racks, an average amount of machines, and an average-below average amount of cardio machines. It won’t be as new or as specialized equipment, but it gets the job done.
Amenities (Pool, Spa, Etc)
- Planet Fitness: Hydromassage, Total Body Enhancement, Massage Chairs, Tanning, some discounts
- Anytime Fitness: Hydromassage (some locations), Tanning
Planet Fitness takes the crown here for sure. There just isn’t beating that hydromassage that’s at all Planet Fitness gyms. That water massage at the end of every workout or after a long day at work is just priceless.
It’s rare you’ll find a hydromassage at Anytime Fitness.
Unfortunately, both places do NOT have a pool, spa, nor sauna. I would’ve liked to see that at one of these gyms, but- it didn’t happen.
But, when it comes down to who has the better amenities after a workout, Planet Fitness does, especially at their price of $20/month for it.
- Planet Fitness: Showers, Bathrooms, some places have lockers.
- Anytime Fitness: Showers, Bathrooms, some places have free lockers, some have paid lockers.
Overall, if you need a gym that has a shower and/or bathroom, you’re set. If you’re looking for lockers, that will usually vary on your local club location. (But, you could also just bring it into the shower room with you, most of these clubs have private showers so)
- Planet Fitness: No classes are advertised, but they do have a staffed gym usually 24/7. These staff can often offer some workout advice.
- Anytime Fitness: Anytime Fitnesses are known for having such a wide variety of events going on. Most anytime fitnesses will have yoga, cardio classes, weight training groups, and things like Zumba. Usually, the community at these gyms are closer-knit, and most of these events are free for members already.
- Planet Fitness: Most Planet Fitness locations will have WiFi
- Anytime Fitness: Most Anytime Fitness locations will have Wifi
On the websites, it says it’s up to the club owner- but I’d say it’d be harder to find a gym WITHOUT WiFi for its’ members.
Usually they will have a password that is posted inside the gym, so people can’t stand outside and use it.
Atmosphere of the Gym
- Planet Fitness: Planet Fitness is generally bigger and more modern. You get the vibe that the place is well maintained. There usually aren’t ‘big scary’ people there due to their lunk alarm. But, you also get a lot of people that aren’t that serious about exercise and can lack gym etiquette or be rude. The space is nice, however.
- Anytime Fitness: Anytime Fitness gives off more of a ‘garage gym’ kind of vibe, but the community is generally really close. Most Anytime Fitness locations have tight-knit groups and are always welcoming others in the gym. While there may be ‘bigger scarier’ guys, I find that in most cases the people here are respectful and have gym etiquette. While the place feels more run down, the people there are usually better because it weeds out a lot of people that aren’t actually at the gym to exercise.
I think Planet Fitness being $10/month or so is a double-edged sword. It draws in a lot of customers, but it also draws in people that are just at the gym to show off or flex on their snapchat stories.
Anytime Fitness, even with it having a higher monthly rate, inadvertently weeds out those kinds of people, because they won’t waste that money to just show off in a gym.
The Verdict of Planet Fitness vs Anytime Fitness
Wow, so you might’ve learned that these gyms actually are pretty different from each other.
So, here’s the verdict:
You’ll probably like Planet Fitness more if:
- You’re mainly going to just ‘stay in shape’
- You don’t really have goals to put on muscle
- You want something cheap
- You like cardio
- You don’t want to be intimidated by bigger bodybuilders
- You like the hydromassage
You’ll probably like Anytime Fitness more if:
- You have goals to put on more muscle
- You want free weights, barbells, dumbbells, machines
- You like a more closer gym community