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Chuck Runyon, Dave Mortensen, and Jeff Klinger first met in the early 1990s while working for a fitness club in St. Paul, Minnesota. In 1995, they jointly purchased and ran Southview Athletic Club for seven years. During their ownership of the club, its membership rose from 500 to 4000. They sold the gym in 2001. During their ownership of Southview Athletic Club, they worked for a consulting firm focused on improving under-performing athletic clubs across the United States. They developed the idea for Anytime Fitness after surveying the expectations that long-term members of large gyms had for their fitness clubs.
In 1993, the Grondahl brothers hired Chris Rondeau, Planet Fitness’ current CEO, to work the front desk. Rondeau and the Grondahls recognized that there was a greater opportunity to serve a much larger segment of the population if they changed the gym environment, both in attitude and format, by creating a non-intimidating, low-cost model. Planet Fitness then became known as the "Judgement Free Zone," aimed more at the average user than the bodybuilder type of fitness enthusiast. As early as March 2015, the "Judgement Free Zone" policy has been expanded to allow trans women to use the women's locker room. The policy states that "members and guests may use all gym facilities based on their sincere self-reported gender identity."
Starting May 15th and running through Sept. 1st, teens ages 15-18 can work out TOTALLY FREE. No catches, no commitments. Come in and use tons of cardio and strength equipment on your own, or sign up for our free fitness training classes. Plus, enter for the chance to win a $5,000 scholarship and other prizes! Visit any Planet Fitness on or after May 15th to sign up for your free summer membership. Under 18 must have a parent or guardian present at sign up. More information available here.
In February 2005, Anytime Fitness opened its 77th club, the first location outside of the United States, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. By 2008, the company was approaching 700 franchisees in 45 U.S. states and Canada. At that time, the company also operated 12 corporately owned locations. In January 2009, the company opened its 1000th club in Wake Village, Texas.
At my home Planet Fitness, I have had no issues. However coming here, I experienced feeling uncomfortable. I just started to use a machine and someone asks me if I am using it...of course I am?! He then proceeds to stand within 2 feet of the machine with his arms crossed, legs apart, staring. Unwilling to be "gymtimidated" (though maybe in the past I would have been intimidated to stop), I finished my 3 sets. The issue with this is that I brought this up to the staff and the staff looked at me with annoyance, denied that was "gymtimidation," and turned away to ignore me. The phone then rang and he looked away toward the ceiling averting my gaze.
I was diagnosed with autism when I was 7 years old and I have been bullied badly, even out in public. So when I got my membership in March of 2013 I was scared of getting bullied. Been going since then and NOT ONCE have I gotten picked on. The staff doesn’t care. They watch out for me. They greet me with my first name. ‘Hi Jacob, how are you?’ I feel safe and I feel independent. I put on muscle. I LOVE Planet Fitness.