Store opening slated for January 2nd
The denizens of Tigard may just become more fit next year, thanks to Planet Fitness opening a new club Jan. 2.
Curious about what makes the workout clubs different from their competitors? Meg Myers, the perky assistant manager of the Sherwood Planet Fitness, is happy to give tours of the facility that opened Nov. 1, 2018.
Rows of shiny purple exercise equipment greet people who walk in the door, with Myers noting, “The way the gym is set up is really nice. I like that everything is so open. It is not intimidating.”
Inside the front door is the day’s schedule that includes (free) classes for legs and shoulders, back and triceps, or stretch, for example. One option is Design Your Own Program, where the club trainer designs a personalized workout based on the client’s goals. “There are three to five people in a typical group class,” Myers said.
Walking between the rows of equipment, Myers explained that they are all user-friendly and pointed out a free-weight area plus mats for stretching.
One popular workout is the 30-Minute Circuit featuring 10 stations clients rotate through to provide them with a complete workout, including cardio and strength-training, in half an hour.
The clubs are not only open 24/7, but they are also staffed 24/7. In addition, there are day lockers and cubbies with USB chargers, and the bathrooms, complete with private showers, are as elegant as those in fine hotels.
Club members pay $10 per month, and those who pay $22.99 per month also have access to the Black Card Spa. It includes tanning beds, heated water-jet massage beds, deep-tissue massage chairs, and a Beam Me Up, Scotty-contraption that utilizes vibra-shape and light-toning to provide a 12-minute full-body workout.
“More than half our members use the Black Card Spa,” Myers said. “Hands down, it is the option more members choose.”
And Black Card Spa members can bring along a guest for free as often as they want and use any Planet Fitness in the world.
One of the top priorities for Planet Fitness is that “anyone who walks in should feel like they should be paying five times as much because we offer high value at a low price,” said Dan Afrasiabi, who is one of the owners of the Oregon Planet Fitness franchise that covers six counties, including Washington County.
Not surprisingly, he said, “We have been expanding rapidly in the last couple years and plan to grow along 99W toward Portland. One of our core values is continuously improving and refurbishing our clubs. Many other clubs are run-down with old equipment, but our company mandates that a huge amount of money gets invested in the clubs.
“The carpets are replaced every five years and the equipment every seven years. A corporate mandate is that we will not allow the competition to be fresher or newer than Planet Fitness.”
Afrasiabi believes that what makes Planet Fitness so different from the competition is that it has created a welcoming environment for the average person.
“It is for people who used to belong to a club or have never belonged and want to walk in and feel comfortable,” he said. “It is truly in the company’s DNA that we offer a judgment-free zone. We don’t have certain weights because we don’t want body-builders intimidating our members. Planet Fitness wants to attract the average person who wants to get fit.
“In Beaverton a huge portion of our membership is seniors, and we don’t want body-builders lifting heavy weights and grunting next to them. We also don’t allow people to drop weights, and there are not a lot of mirrors. The clubs are very carefully designed to make people feel comfortable.”
Planet Fitness is starting a Tigard club membership pre-sale Oct. 1, so locals can feel comfortable making a New Year’s resolution to exercise more because it will be easier to keep in 2020. The club is located in the former Albertson’s store at the intersection of 99W and Durham Road.
Planet Fitness was founded in 1992 in Dover, N.H., by brothers Michael and Marc Grondahl and featured heavy free-weights, juice bars, group exercise classes and more, but it only attracted 15 to 20 percent of the population. In 1993, the Grondahl brothers hired Chris Rondeau, who is now the Planet Fitness CEO, to work the front desk, and together the three of them decided to change the gym environment to one that attracted the other 80 to 85 percent of the population and create a “Judgment Free Zone®.”