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Planet Fitness Calls "Bullfit" on the Fitness Industry

December 19, 2019
New National Study Finds "FITSPO" Culture, Competitive Nature of Fitness Fads Demotivating; The Average American Falsely Assumes a Daily Workout Must be 95 Minutes or More to be Impactful

HAMPTON, N.H., Dec. 19, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Planet Fitness, Inc., one of the largest and fastest-growing franchisors and operators of fitness centers in the U.S., is calling "bullfit" on the current state of the fitness industry with bold new research that uncovers Americans' true feelings and misperceptions about health and wellness. In the aptly titled "Bullfit Report," independent studies from Planet Fitness, Innovate MR* and Kelton Global^ expose a growing frustration with fad fitness, social media "fitspiration" and the many myths Americans believe to be true about health and wellness and uncover just how much of a toll it may be taking on getting America moving.

Research notably found that:

  • Most believe that you have to put in time (and a lot of it) to get results – On average, Americans believe they need to work out for 95 minutes for it to even be beneficial. Moreover, those who don't currently belong to a gym think a single, solid workout requires two full hours of exercise to be effective.
  • Bullfit Detector  – Recent guidelines from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services notes that just I0 minutes of exercise will help raise your heart rate and maintain fitness levels**.
  • … and that working out is just that – basically a five-day work week – Nearly half (45 percent) of Americans believe you need to work out more than five times a week in order for it to be effective. 
  • Bullfit Detector  – Every single episode of physical activity can provide temporary improvements in cognitive function and levels of anxiety**.
  • Making fitness a "competition" isn't a win – Head-to-head challenges are, in fact, demotivating to the majority (55 percent) of Americans who don't currently belong to a gym; in fact, 68 percent find leaderboards specifically demotivating.
  • Bullfit Detector  – When it comes to individual health, all activity counts**, not a position on a scoreboard.
  • The internet is doing it all wrong and demotivating everyone – Common "fitspo" phrases like "No Pain, No Gain" or "Nothing Tastes as Good as Skinny Feels" are ineffective, says 53 percent and 67 percent of Americans, respectively.
  • Bullfit Detector  – On the flip side, 65 percent say that the inspirational messaging like "Investing in Yourself" is, in fact, motivating; 67 percent believe that "Be Glad You Started Today. A Year from Now You Will" motivates them even further to get healthier.

"The fitness industry has focused on the fit getting fitter for far too long, ignoring and even demotivating the roughly 80 percent of Americans who don't yet belong to a gym," said Chris Rondeau, Chief Executive Officer of Planet Fitness. "At Planet Fitness, we believe people can work out on their own terms and live healthy, happy lives, versus perpetuating certain myths that you should be 'living to work out'. It's this mentality that has kept the majority of Americans from believing that they, too, can take that first step toward better health. You don't have to work out seven days a week, two hours a day, to get healthy – the truth is that fitness can be fun, affordable, non-intimidating and not all consuming. The key is to just get started and know that every minute truly matters, and over time, can have a significant positive impact."

Moreover, as Americans look ahead to January and rewriting their own rules by setting realistic and attainable goals for the New Year, Planet Fitness also found that:

  • Beyond the physical benefits of exercise, Americans are setting fitness goals with the overall aim of improving their self-esteem. Almost three-quarters (72 percent) agree that they're making a fitness resolution for the New Year because they want to be healthier. In turn, they'll feel better about themselves (62 percent) and look better (56 percent).
  • These exercise goals can have other psychological benefits, too. Nearly half (47 percent) are ready to put fitness first in 2020 because they want to reduce the stress in their daily lives.
  • Each step in the right direction motivates them to keep going. Among those who have achieved their past fitness goals, nearly half (49 percent) reveal that the secret to their success was seeing their steady progress over the year. Having a positive attitude along the way, such as being forgiving of themselves (31 percent) and knowing that they'll be less stressed in the long run (27 percent) helped many attain their health-related resolution.
  • Despite their best intentions, the majority of Americans realize that sticking to their fitness goals won't be easy. In fact, 77 percent of those who intend to get healthy in 2020 worry they'll encounter difficulty before achieving their fitness goals, saying it's easier overall to cut monthly expenses in half (23 percent), reduce use of their smartphones to just one hour per day throughout 2020 (20 percent), get a new job (20 percent) or even learn a new language (15 percent).

Planet Fitness offers extremely low membership fees starting at just $10 a month and a variety of benefits, including a hassle-free, non-intimidating environment, free fitness training included with every membership, brand name cardio and strength equipment, fully-equipped locker rooms, flat screen televisions and much more. The PF Black Card® membership includes additional perks such as the ability to bring a guest every day at no additional charge, access to 1,899 Planet Fitness locations, as well as access to massage beds and chairs, and more. To find a Planet Fitness club near you, visit

About Planet Fitness
Founded in 1992 in Dover, NH, Planet Fitness is one of the largest and fastest-growing franchisors and operators of fitness centers in the United States by number of members and locations. As of September 30, 2019, Planet Fitness had more than 14.1 million members and 1,899 stores in 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Canada, the Dominican Republic, Panama and Mexico. The Company's mission is to enhance people's lives by providing a high-quality fitness experience in a welcoming, non-intimidating environment, which we call the Judgement Free Zone®. More than 95% of Planet Fitness stores are owned and operated by independent business men and women.

* Online survey conducted by Innovate MR to 2,207 nationally representative Americans ages 18 and over, with a margin of error of +/- 2 percent.
^ Online survey conducted by Kelton Global to 1,004 nationally representative Americans ages 18 and over, with a margin of error of +/- 2.1 percent.
** U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (2018, November 18). HHS Releases Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd edition. Retrieved from
*^ International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) (March 28, 2019). Latest IHRSA Data: Over 6B Visits to 39,570 Gyms in 2018. Retrieved from


Planet Fitness logo. (PRNewsFoto/Planet Fitness)

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SOURCE Planet Fitness, Inc.