Planet Fitness opens locally


Danni Allen from the Biggest Loser and Planet Fitness giving a tour

A photo of some of the equipment with people working out on them

Lexi Warren,(in yellow) local trainer, Danni Allen, Jr. Williams-Mayor of New Boston, Tim Hutchinson-General Manager of this Planet Fitness, Mike Payton on the end and Mike McKenna Regional Manager of PF in the right rear, plus other interested parties and local employees.

Another gym in our local area, say it’s not so. However, this new gym is geared to make even the most fearful person interested and want to check it out. Planet Fitness is geared to that first time gym person and even have a section which they call, a guilt free zone and a welcoming sign that reads: “You Belong!” a most comforting invitation.

Danni Allen from the Biggest Loser came here to New Boston for Planet Fitness, to share her fitness journey, and lead two group workouts , one she was holding at 5:00 and one at 6:00. She had just flown in Columbus and drove down here to New Boston for the ribbon cutting ceremony. During her stint on the Biggest Loser, the show had three kids on it and Jillian Michaels had came back pretty hard and strong. Allen was asked how much of her weight she had maintained since the show, and with this, she told the group that on the show, they worked out about 10 hours a day during that time, and that it would be pretty difficult to keep up with that, but she has kept off about 100 pounds consistently. Allen is an national ambassador for Planet Fitness and she travels to the Planet Fitnesses across the country, to promote health and wellness. “The whole point of Planet Fitness is to give people that non intimidating environment. 60% of our membership consist of first time gym people. You’ve gotta start, that’s sometimes the hardest part, walking through the front door.”

Allen told a story about when Planet Fitness started in New Hampshire, 25 years ago, one of the gyms ran out of electricity. The manager asked the people to stay and he would order pizza for them and so most did and he found that they interacted more and got connected, which is not why most people come to a gym. From that, once a month, Planet Fitness invites you to share a piece of pizza and enjoy the community.

Tim Hutchinson, General Manager of this Planet Fitness said as he began a tour of the facility, “our gyms are known for our judgement free zone. They focus on general fitness and want to create a comfortable environment.”

There are several different areas within Planet Fitness. There are stair masters, treadmills, ellipiticals, in their cardio area and Hutchinson says, “these machines have headphone jacks to plug in and you can listen to any of our 20TV’s.” We have a fitness trainer and her name is Lexi Warren, she offers classes, which are all free to members, no matter what membership one uses. At the equipment you can scan a QR reader and you can see a short video on how to use certain machines and what they are used for.”

They have a 360 room, where Warren will or can set up stations within that room and one would work through these stations. Allen called it, an ‘Adult Jungle Gym,’ because you can do so many things. It is a lot of repetition in a quick amount of time, and the QR readers are in here as well. She added that it can be built around what you are capable of doing and they don’t want you to feel intimidated and that safety is always number one with them.

As for Planet Fitness being open 24/7, Hutchinson said, “there will always be someone at the desk, whenever you need it.” They want you to have someone to speak to about whatever you need to know, even if it happens to be 2:00 am. “We want to make sure you have all the tools you need to feel comfortable, said Allen.

They have a 30 minute circuit, it’s meant to give you a 30 minute workout, whether the trainer is there or not. On a part of the wall is a board that demostrates to you what to do and how to do it. It consists of 10 things to do in those 30 minutes. The facility also has a spa area and in the spa, they have tanning beds, massage chairs, and other relaxation things to do.

They have little tootsie rolls and Allen, from Biggest Loser reminded the group, that since Planet Fitness is geared toward the first time gym goers, they may try to do too much too soon and their sugar could bottom out, and that these can help with that if one would overdo. This could help, and that they are only about 20 calories, so one or two would not be bad. She did reminded the group, that if it was a big problem, that one should call or go to a doctor.

Hutchinson said that except for himself, the employess are all from our local area and went further to say that they try to hire within also. This is a great thing for our area people as jobs are not that easy to find.

The one thing that makes this facility appealing to someone who wants to go to a gym, but has that fear of either not wanting so many people looking at them, or just the fear of getting started, Planet Fitnesses all across the country, try to reach out and make even the most uncomfortable person, comfortable. Bringing Danni Allen in as a guest, shows they really want people to come, and while there, she made the entire group feel that this is a place that has something for everyone, who is interested in any kind of fitness.

Reach Kimberly Jenkins 740-353-3101 ext. 1928

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