Monday, September 28, 2015

The Planet Fitness Report v.001

August 6, 2015
5 things to know about Planet Fitness

Planet Fitness, Inc. priced its initial public offering at $16 a share late Wednesday, the high end of its guidance range. The company sold 13.5 million shares to raise $216 million. Shares will start trading later Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “PLNT.”

I used their local facilities in the past a few times as a guest (my girlfriend had a membership). As far as gyms go, I liked it.

I joined last week. Including taxes, the start up fee, the annual membership fee, and monthly fee, it will cost me roughly $200 for the first year. I think it is a pretty good value, especially if it keeps me motivated. I can't say if my particular membership will be a good value for them though.

I've used their exercise equipment for 10 hours in one week. Assuming I keep the pace (definitely not a given), that's 520 hours in a year. I have never resold a piece of exercise equipment. I use them until they die. I paid roughly $2000 for a high quality stair climber about 15 years ago. It was a good investment but it's dying. It developed a squeak and nothing I have tried has fixed it. I bring this up because 520 hours on exercise equipment is a lot of wear and tear.

One thing that always motivates me is getting my money's worth when I buy something.

I intend to do just that at Planet Fitness. It's four miles from where I live. It will cost me about $4 each visit (wear and tear, gasoline). That expense dwarfs the membership costs. I wonder how many factor that in? In order to justify the trip, I want to exercise a lot when I am there. That's why I intend to use their equipment for two full hours.

I also intend to visit often. I'm paying Planet Fitness whether I use their facilities or not. I'm therefore choosing, as a night owl, to visit at 3am in the morning each weekday. Or does that make me a morning person? Beats me, lol. But hey, it's working. I've been 5 times and enjoyed it. I do 30 minutes on a recumbent bike (moderate resistance), 30 minutes on the treadmill (2 mph, 11% incline), 30 minutes on the bike, and then 30 more minutes on the treadmill. The routine burns between 900 and 1000 calories in total. Should improve as I lose weight and get into better shape, not that it should matter. That's a lot of exercise and a lot of calories. I feel it.

The real savings will come in other ways though. It's been a rough two years. First, I had that horrible ankle sprain two summers ago. Last year I got Shingles. This year I was just plain lazy. So began the blood pressure medication. Enough is enough. I want off of it. I refuse to become obese. At my age (51), nothing good could come from that.

So anyway, that's my plan. One week down. I'm 6'3" and 230 pounds. Barring injury or illness, I'm not stopping until I see 200. No excuses. I figure if I put it in writing here, then I will feel obligated to do it. Thanks support team!

I don't know what my other long-term goals with Planet Fitness are. This may be just a one year and done situation. I may just be using them as a motivating kick start. Next summer I hope to be doing more hiking. The treadmill should prepare me well for that.

And lastly, I feel really good about this. Hello exercise endorphins. Seriously, I just got back from exercising this morning. Riding the wave, baby. That's what I'm talking about. Life is good. :)


Troy said...

too bad you're in WA, 4 miles is the perfect bike ride . . .

In Santa Cruz I had a membership to a gym that I could hit with a rock from my bedroom window.

I went maybe twice, and that was even when I was unemployed for a year.

I am not good at life.

Anonymous said...

217 here, btw. My pretty graph is gone!

Mr Slippery said...

What a coincidence. I joined Planet Fitness in February this year. It was simply the cheapest deal around. I got a special deal on 18 months for $200 and none of the other low cost gyms were even close.

I go twice a week during my lunch break doing weights only. I do cardio outside the gym. I'm happy with my progress and have broken my personal flat bench record. Not sure I will continue after my 18 months. I have no idea if their pricing makes for a good business model.

Glad to see you active again after a couple of bad breaks (no pun intended). Two hours at 3am is some serious cardio. If you are graphing your progress, don't forget an occasional post for motivation and kudos.

Stagflationary Mark said...


A bike would certainly come in handy. I rode all the time in Spokane. I sold it to a good friend when I moved to Seattle though. I didn't like the traffic. He didn't either. A car turned into him one day. Ouch.

Does that make me a good friend? Sigh.
That said, no traffic at 2am to 5am. I might think about that as an option. Maybe. A year's wear and tear on my car would buy a nice bike.

By the way, if you are still alive then you may be much better at life than you think. Hey, you timed your birth to avoid WW2 and Vietnam. That's gotta be worth something. ;)

Stagflationary Mark said...

Mr Slippery,

That's awesome!

Their business model might be okay. There are a lot of members but at 3am I sure don't see many using the equipment!

On the other hand, they sure must spend a lot on electricity while I'm there. If nothing else, the row of powered TVs outnumber the people! By a huge margin!

At around 3am, I'm definitely a loss leader. At least once, it was just the employee and me for 30 minutes of it, although a few other regulars show up before I leave.

If he's making $10 per hour and I'm paying $10 per month, that math is a bit funky, lol.

Further, after two hours of exercise I enjoy a *long* hot shower. Neither the water nor that heat is cheap for them. That alone could cost them most of my membership fee, assuming I go 5 times a week.

Of course, I'm being subsidized by those who only go occasionally. If everyone went as often as I plan to go, they'd definitely have to raise prices. People would quit too. It would be way too crowded.

Stagflationary Mark said...

Mr Slippery,

Oh, and congrats on beating your personal flat bench record!

For what it is worth, I have the upper body strength of a 50 pound lab mix, meaning I can lift my dog. Yeah, I better count on my legs if I need to defend myself! Run like the wind Mark! Run! Hahaha! ;)

Fight or flight. It's nice to have the option but if neither works then you're zombie food. The typical American is just that. I do not want to have a heart attack just trying to change TV channels on the remote! Seems like a horrible way to go.

Mr Slippery said...

Planet Fitness here has weird hours. The one I joined is 5x24 (M-F) and 7-10pm (weekends). I always wondered who went before 5am on weekdays. Now I know!

There are always people working out around lunch but I'd say it is never more than 1/4 full. I suspect a large percentage of people sign up for the gym after each new year, then stop going after a month. That is probably where their profit lives.

Looking forward to your downward sloping charts, which will be positive!

Stagflationary Mark said...

Mr Slippery,

My Planet Fitness was once only open to 7pm on weekends but is now open to 9pm. I guess I'll know we've hit the big leagues here when it's open to 10pm, lol.

They have the New Year's resolution thing down pat. I notice that the annual fee is charged on February 1st and in order to avoid it I would need to cancel by January 25th. I doubt most people give up on their resolutions that fast! Or at the very least, don't want to admit it that fast!

mab said...

When I joined my current gym, it was a 24/7 facility. Those hours didn't last long. The gym now closes from midnight to 5am. The change in hours didn't affect me. That said, the fees didn't decrease as one might have expected. And while the service is generally decent, it certainly didn't improve. Go figure.

Stagflationary Mark said...


They didn't give you a prorated discount based on a 21% reduction in hours? I'm shocked! Shocked I tell you! ;)

Then again, when my local grocery stores didn't raise prices when they started to stay open 24/7. Um, not that they told me anyway. I'm pretty sure they would have told me. Right? Now if I could just figure out why they sell a can of olives for $2.99 when I can get those same olives for about $1.10 at Costco or Sam's Club. Life's mysteries!

mab said...

They didn't give you a prorated discount based on a 21% reduction in hours?

I know, it's hard to believe!!! It feels like a bait and switch job. Teaser rate mortgage anyone?

Maybe there's a reason fine print is so effing small!

mab said...

I think all gyms have a lot of turn-over. And this one is no different. PFrom what I've witnessed the gym may have an unwritten policy of screwing customers out of an extra month or two of fees. I've witnessed many former gym members arguing loudly with the manager(s) about terminations costs.

So I (may) have that to look forward to some day, which is nice!

Stagflationary Mark said...


So I (may) have that to look forward to some day, which is nice!

Well, it's not all bad news assuming you can walk out of there with total consciousness. ;)