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Anytime Fitness vs Planet Fitness – One Sucks, One Is Not Bad

So you’re ready to get in shape. This is the year, and it’s great.

Goals are great, and we all want gains and positives that come along with them.

However, ensuring that the gym you frequent is up to par is just as important as choosing your plan. See, it doesn't take much to make a bad gym, or a good one to morph into a pathetic one. To achieve your results, you'll need to choose the right gym.

There’s only one problem-you have different gym chains within your radius. So how do you choose one?

If you've been looking for an ideal gym, you've probably come across Anytime Fitness and Planet Fitness.

Battle of the Brands

Since time immemorial, these two brands have been ferociously battling for supremacy.

 Though both are a very similar fitness center, they differ in some pretty distinct ways. Beyond the disparity in their initial investment amounts, there are fundamental differences in how the two brands operate and market themselves.

So, which between these two seems like a more sound investment for a gym franchisee?

In the section below, we shall pit these two brands against each other, compare their features, pros, and cons. Hopefully, the article might help you pick the right gym for your fitness goals.

Anytime Fitness

Anytime Fitness was founded in 2002 by Chuck Runyon, Dave Mortensen and Jeff Klinger.

Currently headquartered in Hastings, Minneapolis, Anytime Fitness runs 24-hour facilities that members can access 365 days with a keycard.

Anytime Fitness business model is a streamlined version of the big-box gyms that offer the basics in an intimate environment for those interested in getting fit.

Anytime Fitness has experienced explosive growth in the last decade and is currently one of the largest franchise gyms in the country with over 3,000 locations.

Besides convenience, a key perk of Anytime Fitness lies on its no-contract membership. While some of the outlets may require contracts based on the operator’s discretion, a majority of them do not. In any case, an average monthly financial commitment is anywhere from $30-$50 per month depending on your location an operates on a pay-as-you-go basis.

Planet Fitness

Planet Fitness was co-founded by brothers Michael and Marc Grondahl in 1992.

However, it was not until 2003 that is began franchising.

After the acquisition of a struggling, conventional big-box gym, Michael developed a new business model that was tailored to provide casual and beginner fitness access at an affordable basic membership of $10 per month.

Beyond the low-cost business model approach, Planet Fitness has trademarked the "No judgment Zone" or an "Intimidation free" zone, which caters to those who are embarking on the fitness journey and the serious bodybuilders need not apply. They do still have standards on clothing (short shorts, muscle tanks etc)

Although popular, it does not match the popularity Anytime Planet. Evidence to this is the 830 locations of Planet Fitness, as opposed to the over 3,000 locations for Anytime Fitness.

Again, unlike Anytime Fitness, Planet Fitness requires a contract from its members, consequently, charging a start-up fee ranging from $15-30.

Planet Fitness has a policy on not allowing, grunting or slamming down weights to promote the "no judgment zone." However, this has seen the brand get criticized for not catering to athletes and creating fake-fitness environment thriving on the failure of its members.

In my opinion at the least, the negative media backlash and seemingly strange and strict regulations of Planet Fitness, it cannot in any way compete with the overall low-cost, hassle-free model of Anytime Fitness.

Differences | Side - By - Side

Now that we have a rudimentary idea of each franchisee let's have a look at the differences between them.

Anytime Fitness

Planet Fitness

Membership Options

different membership options

different membership options





No contract

Needs a contract

Hours Open

Open at all times




No weightlifting machines


Choose from yoga, spin Zumba, p90x, cardio and more

No classes








Cost is a crucial consideration to make when choosing any gym membership.

Now, both of these gyms will provide you with different membership options.

Anytime Fitness, for instance, offers a membership for both single and two-person monthly/annual membership.

For a single person, you can expect to pay a signup fee of $85 and a monthly fee of $40.

On the other hand, Planet Fitness offers different membership levels. You'll need to pay $10 per month for unlimited access in your local club or add $5 for a no-obligation membership. To access any Planet Fitness location, you’ll need to pay $20.

The startup fee at Planet Fitness varies depending on location, and you can get from $1 to $39/.

In terms of dollars and cent, Planet Fitness is the winner here. However, remember that you get what you pay for.


Aptly named anytime, Anytime does not close its doors.

On the other hand, though most of the Planet Fitness locations are open 24 hours, the service hours vary on weekends or by the franchise.


Anytime is the go-to location for all your fitness needs. This gym has everything under the roof including a full suite of cardio machines, free weights, dumbbells, and power racks

Planet Fitness, on the other hand, is somewhat infamous for not catering t the heavy weightlifters.

For the weightlifters, you'll only get disappointed as you'll only find a Smith machine, a few weight machines, and some light dumbbells.


Anytime Fitness is versatility at its best. At its core, Anytime fitness offers a plethora of classes to choose from including cardio, yoga, and more.

Though free to members, they do vary by locations.

Anytime Fitness is Ideal if:

  • You are looking to lift heavy weight
  • Looking for a variety of classes
  • Need to hit the gym anytime

Planet Fitness is Ideal if:

  • You don’t like being around weight lifters
  • Love cardio
  • Are on a budget

The Verdict

Both these gyms pride themselves on convenience. However, they're different at the end of the spectrum

Planet Fitness or Anytime Fitness
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Planet Fitness or Anytime Fitness
I've been to both gyms and to be honest I was pleasantly surprised and THEN immediately disappointed. Let me explain further.
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Brice Mansa - ISSA Certified Personal Trainer & Nutrition Coach

Brice Mansa is a certified personal trainer from the ISSA. He took his knowledge from college to provide a more broad education method (blogging) to enhance the lives of thousands of people. Tired of being limited as a personal trainer in a gym with a single client, he stepped up his game. ASCVS.org is proud to host him and the team of 4 other certified personal trainers and kinesiologists. When Brice isn't training or writing he likes long walks on the beach, puppos & motorcycles. We hope you enjoy his content, tips & stories!