Planet Fitness says they're a “Judgment free zone”. Yet it appears they are ruthless in their judgments of bodybuilders.
I understand that Planet Fitness is trying to appeal to a mainstream audience. They believe that a gym is intimidating and want to show people that scary Bodybuilders won't be there. The way they are going about it is demeaning. They depict bodybuilders as dumb individuals that are not employed and cannot speak.
The latest in a series of anti-bodybuilder commercials is the worst one yet. The orientation guy (who looks like he's never touched a weight in his life) shows a big Bodybuilder to the workout floor. He is complete with spandex shorts, cut off flannel shirt, gallon water jug, leather pouch, all tanned and oiled up. The employee asks the bodybuilder what he does for a living (a question I don't think I have ever asked when signing a member up). He repeats in an accent similar to Arnold Schwarzenegger "I lift things up and put them down", the employee then proceeds to throw him out.
I brought up the Planet Fitness discriminatory practices to Attorney and Industry insider Rick Collins and I received this response:
"Unless and until bodybuilders are considered a protected class (like women, minorities, homosexuals or the disabled), state and federal anti-discrimination laws generally won’t shield them. Besides, if a health club wants to chase bodybuilders away, they can do it more indirectly but just as effectively by creating a facility that makes hardcore lifting impossible. That’s exactly what Planet Fitness has done"
I have met many people in the Bodybuilding industry in the past 20 years. I've met doctors, lawyers, teachers, scientists, engineers etc. They have come from diverse ethnic backgrounds, different religions and various countries. The one thing shared is a passion for training and knowledge of what its like to suffer in favor of the ultimate goal to step on stage in peak condition.
What Planet Fitness has done in their tirade has altogether tried to make a mockery of the sport I love, promote, compete in, and have been involved in for 20 years.
I implore bodybuilders to tell their friends and family that support them in their choice to live the Bodybuilding lifestyle, to boycott Planet Fitness.