Local gyms not too worried about Planet Fitness

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 10, 2016

By Amanda Raymond

SALISBURY — Planet Fitness will be opening its doors on Aug. 15. Even with the fitness center’s lower membership prices, other local fitness centers and groups are not too worried about it moving to town.

Planet Fitness, which will open at 710 Jake Alexander Blvd. W., offers no-commitment memberships starting at $10 a month. Fitness training is free and there is also tanning, massage chairs and hydro massage lounges available to black card members.

Janess Reyna, marketing director of GNT Holdings, the franchise group that is opening the Salisbury Planet Fitness, said the biggest difference between Planet Fitness and other fitness centers is the environment.

“At Planet Fitness, we have the Judgement Free Zone, which means we don’t cater to bodybuilders but instead to general fitness,” she said in an email.

She said many Planet Fitness members are first-time gym users, so the environment is comfortable and “non-intimidating” so that all feel welcome, regardless of where they are in their fitness journey.

Rayna Gardner, general manager of The Forum of Salisbury at 2318 S. Main St., said The Forum does consider Planet Fitness competition “on some levels,” but the two places approach fitness differently.

Gardner said The Forum is a place for anyone trying to live a fit and healthy lifestyle.

“We just encourage everyone to get healthy no matter where they start,” she said.

The Forum offers individualized workouts with certified trainers. Gardner said every member has the opportunity to discuss their goals, what has worked and not worked for them in the past and other aspects of their fitness history. They can then match the person with the best trainer for them based on that information.

The Forum also has group classes that are included in the membership, something Planet Fitness has steered away from. Gardner said certified instructors teach many of the classes. Instructors at The Forum even recommend classes based on the member’s goals.

Some of those classes include Zumba, yoga and cycling.

The Forum also does not limit its members’ workouts.

Gardner said The Forum stays involved and gives back to the community. She said the relationships built with members are sure to mean something going forward.

“We’re just going to keep on doing what we do best,” she said.

CrossFit is a higher-level workout, described as “constantly varied, high intensity, functional movement” on CrossFit Rowan’s website.

Jimmy Barnett, owner of CrossFit Rowan at 105 W. Corriher St., said his gym features free weights and individualized instruction.

He said he does not think Planet Fitness is competition because those who seek CrossFit groups want a higher level of workout than fitness centers like Planet Fitness provide.

As said before, the biggest difference between CrossFit Rowan and other area fitness centers is the atmosphere.

While people who work out at Planet Fitness or even The Forum might put in their headphones and work out on their own, Barnett said members of CrossFit Rowan work in a group setting.

“I think it’s more motivating that way,” he said.

No matter what fitness center atmosphere and experience a person is looking for, Salisbury will soon have something for everyone.

Contact reporter Amanda Raymond at 704-797-4222.