Sammi Reeves

Sammi Reeves

Sammi Reeves

Let’s have a brief discussion about Planet Fitness.

The gym franchise is notable for its unique approach to fitness and gym culture. Planet Fitness’ main goal is to create a more inclusive space for all people who want to work out. This goes for seasoned gym-goers and first-timers alike. They do this by removing the intimidating environment that is present in many gyms. They’ve created the “Judgement Free Zone” to promote the image of a gym space that is all inclusive. This means actions like grunting and slamming weights after sets are strictly prohibited.

There are many differences between Planet Fitness and other mainstream gyms. The biggest difference is the lack of squat racks or barbells in general. These are used to perform popular exercises such as squats or deadlifts. For some, this is a deal breaker. If you are just getting started or don’t have dreams of going to the Olympics for powerlifting, don’t let this deter you from deciding to join Planet Fitness. Their prices are fabulous. The basic membership an incredible $10 a month. Upgrading to their premium “Black Card” includes access to tanning beds, massage beds and chairs, red light therapy, and discounts to many stores online.

While lifters with specific goals might need a barbell, individuals who just want to generally be stronger and healthier will find that the options at Planet Fitness are more than enough. Many exercises that use a barbell can even be altered and performed with the dumbbells at PF!

If you’re wanting to try out Planet Fitness but you aren’t sure where to start, I’ve got you covered. Here are seven of my go-to exercises. Pick and choose the ones you want to try, or perform each three times at a weight and number that is difficult for you. No doubt this will provide you with a killer full body workout!

Disclaimer: I am NOT a professional. This advice is simply my own opinion/what has worked for me.

  • 7) Dumbbell Romanian Deadlifts

    Primarily targets: glutes and hamstrings
    Stand up straight with a dumbbell in each hand, resting each against the front of your legs. Slowly bend at the waist, allowing your knees to bend very slightly. Once you cannot bend any further, return to starting position and repeat.

  • 6) Bulgarian Split Squats

    Primarily Targets: quads, glutes, and hamstrings
    Stand in front of a bench or smith machine bar that is at the level of or slightly lower than your knee. Step forward with one foot, then extend you other leg backwards to place your foot on the bench. Bend your front leg to lower yourself toward the ground, trying to form a 90 degree angle with your leg. Return to starting position. Keep your torso upright throughout the movement. To increase difficulty, hold a dumbbell in each hand at your sides.

  • 5) Incline curls

    Primarily targets: biceps
    Adjust your bench so that you are leaning back slightly. Hold a dumbbell in each hand. Lift each dumbbell toward your shoulder, keeping your palms toward the ceiling. Return to starting position and repeat.

  • 4) Dumbbell bench press

    Primarily targets: pectoral muscles
    Lay flat on a bench with a dumbbell in each hand. Extend your arms straight upwards from your body toward the ceiling. Bending your elbows so that your arms form a 45 degree angle with your body, slowly lower the weight to your chest, then push upward to return to the starting position

  • 3) Pull ups

    Primarily targets: lats and biceps
    Start in a dead hang on a bar with your hands a bit more than shoulder width apart and in an over hand grip (or “on top” of the bar). Pull yourself upwards by bending your elbows and bringing your chest to the bar. Slowly return to starting position. Try to avoid moving your lower body. For assistance, loop a band around the bar between your hands, then place your foot through the bottom of the loop so that it helps you move upward.

  • 2) Smith machine hip thrust

    Primarily targets: glutes
    Place a bench parallel to the Smith machine bar in a position where you can place the bottoms of your shoulder blades on the edge of the bench and the Smith machine bar at the very top of your thighs. Move between the bench in the bar and position yourself under the bar. Place your hips on the bottom of the bar by extending your torso upward, and rest the upper part of your back against the edge of the bench. Your niece should be add about a 90° angle now. When ready, release the smith machine so that the weight is resting on your hips, then bend at the waist so that the bar moves downward. Then, thrust your hips upward so that you return to the starting position, squeezing your glutes to force the bar up.

  • 1) Cable tricep extensions

    Primarily targets: triceps
    Head to the cable machine with a tricep rope (which looks like a rope with a knob on each end). Position the pulley at the highest setting and attach the rope to the clip. Crap each side of the rope and stand a step away from the cable machine. Position your elbows at your sides and do not move them through light the movement. Pull the rope downward toward each side of your body, straightening your arms at the bottom then slowly returning to the starting position.

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