Planet Fitness is the gym for the common man – the average Joe.
It might have some odd rules, like no grunting and no judgment, but at its heart, it’s a gym for everyone.
You can work out as hard, or as easy as you want. It’s completely your call.
And you can dress any way you want; most people are wearing just a basic t-shirt and a pair of low-cost gym shorts (well, at least that’s what I wear, and I don’t seem to stick out with such an outfit, so it must blend in).
I would never fit in at some of the gyms, or its members, mentioned in a recent Wall Street Journal story, by Katharine Zarrella.
Here are some examples of the outfits and the people who wear such outfits, at boutique gyms:
- crystal-embellished ensembles, including a white-mesh sports bra that won’t stay put and leggings with painfully placed metal logos
- chest rigs for men from ASRV Sportswear—strap-on pec packs to hold phones, keys, and other survival gear.
- a jockstrap embroidered with baroque pearls, crystals and seashells. Designed by Russell Linnetz, an artist and the designer of fashion line ERL, the glam jock goes for $35,000. Eli “I have personally worn one to work out,” he said, adding that “it felt great.” He has sold one so far. (that’s it in the photo above)
I should just end the story with the $35,000 jockstrap – I think that makes my point, which is WHY? But let’s continue:
- fishnet tights, corseted unitards, and chain-embellished leggings
- workout gear from such fashion houses as Fendi and Versace (who?)
And here are some of the people mentioned in the WSJ story:
- Patrick Riser’s gym clothes take up more space than his girlfriend’s entire wardrobe. The 28-year-old trainer in Charlotte, N.C., spends between $5,000 and $10,000 a year on workout wear.
I’m 62 years old; I don’t think I’ve spent $5,000 on my entire wardrobe for all 62 years combined.
- Miry Levi, an ultra-toned grandmother in Miami, outpaces Mr. Riser. She has an entire room of her apartment set aside for gym clothes. After investing in more than 200 pieces from Lululemon, she moved on to flashier wear from such brands as Carbon38 and Ultracor. For each of her two to three daily workouts, she sports a different look. She complements her ensembles with a Rolex and a stack of Cartier bracelets that she had the jeweler secure so they don’t come loose during training sessions. One black Brazilian-label mesh top is itchy, she said, and “not comfortable at all.” But she won’t give it up. “For me, it’s all about the look,” she said.
- Amy Friedman, the owner of Clementine, an athletic-wear store in Long Island, N.Y., sells faux-leather and velvet leggings. Crystal-embellished leggings don’t look like something you should work out in, she said, “but you actually can.”
- After joining an upscale gym in Manhattan, Henry Stimler, a 40-year-old managing partner at a commercial real estate advisory firm, now suits up in matching sets of leggings, shorts, and tops from athletic-wear brand Layer8.
- Stefanie Pohl, a freelance writer, goes to a 6 a.m. barre class. At first, she wore humdrum leggings and layered tank tops. To fit in, she bought sparkly, high-waisted leggings and strappy sports bras. Her studio, she said, is “definitely not where you wear sweats and a ratty T-shirt.”
In other words, it’s not the kind of gym I would ever join, and to be fair, if the gym manager at this place saw me walking through the front door, he or she would know pretty quickly that I’m not the type of client they want either.
I’m sorry if it sounds like I’m violating one of the core ideas behind Planet Fitness – no judgment.
It’s not necessarily the clothes that bother me, even though I see no point in wearing such clothes if you are just going to work out. If such clothes motivate you to get a better workout in, then two-thumbs-up; that’s what it is all about.
But if the purpose of such outfits is simply to enhance the person’s Instagram feed, then yea, I’m in the judgment zone.
It’s especially annoying when such behavior impacts my own workout. If you are using your phone for texting and tweeting and photo-snapping during your workout then I don’t think you should be at the gym. Get all that stuff out of the way before you start your workout, and then go do your workout.
And about that $35,000 jockstrap; I wonder what the markup on such an item is.
Maybe it’s a business opportunity.
If I can’t wear it, maybe at least I can sell it. But probably not at Planet Fitness…
*image from Madeleine Holth