Crunch Fitness vs Planet Fitness: An In-Depth Comparison 2024

The gym and fitness industry has exploded in recent years, with new gyms popping up on every corner. With so many options to choose from, it can be tough to decide which gym is right for you.

Two of the most popular gym chains in the United States are Crunch Fitness and Planet Fitness. But what exactly sets them apart?

Crunch Fitness vs Planet Fitness

Crunch Fitness vs Planet Fitness

This article will compare and contrast Crunch Fitness and Planet Fitness, looking at key factors like cost, equipment, classes, atmosphere, and more.

We’ll help you understand the key differences between these two gyms so you can determine which is a better fit for your needs and fitness goals.

What is Crunch Fitness?

Crunch Fitness first opened its doors in 1989. Their goal was to create a gym focused more on fun and making working out enjoyable rather than an intimidating experience.

Over the years, Crunch has grown into a large chain with over 300 locations across the United States and Canada. They market themselves as a “gym for every type of fitness need.”

Some key things to know about Crunch Fitness:

  • Variety of equipment: From basic cardio and strength equipment to more specialized gear for classes like TRX suspension training. They have a little bit of everything.
  • Unique classes: Along with standbys like Zumba and yoga, Crunch offers specialty classes like AntiGravity Yoga and BodyWeb with TRX. Great for trying new workouts.
  • Relaxed vibe: Lively music and an energetic environment. The polar opposite of an intimidating “hardcore” gym.
  • Membership tiers: Rates start as low as $9.95 per month. Higher tiers add perks like guest passes, access to all locations, and more.

Crunch welcomes all skill levels but is a great fit if you want to try out new equipment and workouts beyond just basic strength training and cardio machines.

What is Planet Fitness?

Founded in 1992 in New Hampshire, Planet Fitness has always branded itself as a “Judgement Free Zone” – a gym free of criticism or showing off. This beginner-friendly environment was a big contrast from bodybuilding-focused gyms popular at the time.

Since then, Planet Fitness has experienced massive growth, with over 2,000 locations throughout the United States and parts of Canada.

Here’s an overview of Planet Fitness’ offerings:

  • Basic equipment: You’ll find cardio machines and strength equipment like treadmills, ellipticals, cable machines, dumbbells, and more. Free weights only go up to 75lbs.
  • PF Black Card Spas: Select locations offer massage beds, tanning booths, and hydromassage beds for Black Card members (more on memberships next).
  • Group classes: Planet Fitness offers 30-minute small group classes focusing on strength, abs, and stretching. Taught by certified trainers.
  • Beginner-friendly environment: With a relaxed “no judgment” atmosphere, Planet Fitness caters best to casual gym-goers or those new to working out.
  • Membership costs: Start at $10 per month. Upgraded Black Card memberships add perks for $22.99/month with no commitment.

In summary, Planet Fitness offers an affordable, unintimidating environment for casual gym-goers, beginners, or those not needing advanced equipment.

Similarities Between Crunch and Planet Fitness

Despite their differences, Crunch and Planet Fitness do share some key similarities that are worth pointing out:

  • Cost: Both offer extremely affordable gym access, with monthly rates starting around $10. Great for budget-focused gym-goers.
  • Amenities: Equipment for cardio training and strength training. Tanning, massage beds, and hydromassage are available at select locations with higher-tier memberships.
  • Bring-a-friend perk: Guest passes, trial passes, or the ability to bring friends free with certain memberships.
  • Personal/group training: Options for both solo training or group fitness classes led by certified staff.
  • Open 24/7: Great accessibility no matter your schedule. Work out whenever is most convenient for you.

So in terms of cost, amenities, flexibility, and training options, Crunch and Planet Fitness check many of the same boxes.

Where you see them differentiate is in equipment, workout variety, gym environment, and vibe. Let’s explore some of the main differences.

Main Differences Between Crunch and Planet Fitness

Crunch and Planet Fitness take very different approaches when it comes to equipment selection, workout offerings, gym atmosphere, and overall fitness philosophy.

Here are the most notable differences between the two:

Equipment Selection

  • Crunch: Lots of variety in strength equipment. You’ll find platforms for squats, deadlifts, and Olympic lifts plus functional training tools like tractor tires, battle ropes, sleds, and more.
  • Planet Fitness: Focuses more on basics – machines, fixed barbells, dumbbells up to 75lbs. Lacks a variety of free weights/benches for heavy lifting. More cardio equipment.

Crunch Fitness offers far more strength training options for weightlifters or serious gym-goers. Casual lifters may find all they need at Planet Fitness though.

Classes Offered

Crunch Fitness has much more variety and innovation when it comes to group fitness classes:

  • Specialty classes like AntiGravity Yoga, TRX, martial arts
  • Zumba, cycling, Pilates, yoga
  • Aqua aerobics
  • 30+ classes per location

Planet Fitness has smaller class offerings but they cover the basics:

  • Abs, stretching, bodyweight workouts
  • Taught in smaller groups
  • Only a few class options per location

Crunch is the obvious winner if you enjoy trying new, intense workouts in a group dynamic.

Gym Environment

Crunch Fitness centers have a lively, high-energy environment. The climate is all about fun, pushing your limits, and trying new things.

Planet Fitness locations provide a relaxed, low-key atmosphere. The “Judgement Free Zone” means a comfortable, unintimidating place for beginners.

Depending on what you want out of a gym, one may suit you better than the other.

Crunch vs. Planet Fitness: Detailed Comparison

Below we dive deeper into areas like pricing, personal training, gym locations, and additional amenities. This info should clarify even more differences between Crunch and Planet Fitness.

Crunch Fitness Membership Cost Vs Planet Fitness Membership Cost

  • Crunch Fitness offers memberships starting from $9.95 up to $29.95/month depending on location and perks included.
  • Planet Fitness also has affordable pricing, with rates from $10 up to $22.99 per month depending on membership level.

Both keep costs low. Higher-tier memberships add more perks at Crunch and Planet Fitness locations.

Personal Training

  • Crunch Fitness offers personal training packages, with rates starting from $59 per session based on your location and the trainer’s experience.
  • Planet Fitness includes Certified Personal Training as part of the standard $10 membership. Sessions start at 30 minutes.

So personal training comes included with all memberships at Planet Fitness. But Crunch offers training a la carte.

Locations

  • Crunch Fitness has over 300 locations throughout the United States and Canada. Primarily located along the coasts and cities like LA, New York City, Miami, San Francisco, and more.
  • Planet Fitness dominates when it comes to location count with over 2,000 gyms scattered throughout the United States and Canada. Chances are high there’s one in your area already.

Planet Fitness offers brand recognition plus convenience if you travel and want to use their different locations.

Additional Amenities

What other perks do Crunch and Planet Fitness offer? Well, amenities can vary quite a bit depending on location, so these may not be available at all gyms. Some options include:

  • Crunch Fitness: Tanning, HydroMassage beds, child care, saunas, basketball courts, indoor pools
  • Planet Fitness: Massage chairs, tanning (varies by location), lounge area with free WiFi

Again, extras will depend on the individual franchise. But these help give an idea of some of the perks available at Crunch and Planet Fitness gyms.

Crunch Fitness vs Planet Fitness – Comparison Table

Here is a quick at-a-glance summary comparing key attributes between Crunch Fitness and Planet Fitness:

Crunch Fitness Planet Fitness
Membership Cost $9.95-$29.95 per month $10-$22.99 per month
Equipment Huge variety of free weights, benches, and specialty equipment (TRX, battle ropes, etc.) Basic strength machines, and cardio equipment. Dumbbells capped at 75lbs
Gym Classes 30+ classes offered. Innovative workouts like AntiGravity Yoga Abs, stretching and beginner classes are taught in small groups
Personal Training Available for added cost (starts at $59/session) Included for free with all memberships
Atmosphere Lively, high-energy environment Low-key, beginner-friendly “Judgement Free Zone”
# of Locations Over 300 gyms Over 2,000 gyms
Additional Amenities HydroMassage, tanning, pools, saunas (varies) Limited – massage chairs, tanning, lounge area

Which Gym Is Better for Me: Crunch or Planet Fitness?

So when it comes down to choosing Crunch Fitness vs Planet Fitness, which is better suited for your individual fitness needs?

Here are some key questions to ask yourself when deciding between Crunch and Planet Fitness:

  • What are my goals?

If you want to gain strength, bulk up, or have an interest in bodybuilding, then Crunch Fitness offers far more free weights and strength equipment. For casual fitness or basic cardio, Planet Fitness should suffice.

  • What’s my experience level?

The “Judgement Free Zone” at Planet Fitness offers a much more beginner-friendly, unintimidating environment if you’re new to working out. But for seasoned lifters or ex-athletes, the vibe may seem a little too laid back.

  • Do I prefer flexibility or consistency?

With 2,000+ locations nationwide, Planet Fitness makes it super easy to access their equipment if you travel often. But more locations ≠ more variety between locations. Classes and offerings are mostly consistent nationwide. At specialized Crunch locations, offerings can vary widely depending on where you are and the latest fitness crazes there.

  • What’s in my budget?

If low cost is your main priority, both Crunch and Planet Fitness offer extremely affordable gym access (with Planet Fitness maybe ~$1-2 dollars cheaper per month depending). But expect Crunch may hit you harder for extras like personal training, specialty classes, etc down the road. Still very reasonably priced programs though.

The Verdict: Is Crunch or Planet Fitness Better For You?

Here are some simple rules of thumb when picking between Crunch and Planet Fitness:

Choose Crunch Fitness If You Want:
  • Huge variety of strength equipment – free weights, racks, platforms, functional tools
  • Fun, high-energy environment. Loud music, social atmosphere.
  • Specialized group fitness classes. Yoga, Zumba, martial arts, cycling and more.
  • Pool, saunas, basketball courts, and amenities that vary by location.
  • A focused workout catered to more experienced lifters or ex-athletes.
Choose Planet Fitness If You Want:
  • An ultra-affordable but no-frills workout at $10/month.
  • Beginner-friendly environment. Low judgment from fellow members.
  • Consistent offering nationwide. Similar strength and cardio equipment everywhere.
  • Basic circuit training and starter classes if any group fitness.
  • Casual spot for treadmill or lifting. Nothing extreme or specialized.

Hopefully, this clear breakdown makes it easier to pick the right gym between Planet Fitness and Crunch Fitness to match your individual fitness style, interests, skill level, and budget!

Frequently Asked Questions About Crunch Fitness and Planet Fitness

Still, have some lingering questions about the differences between Crunch and Planet Fitness?

Check out answers to these 10 commonly asked questions for more gym comparison info:

  • Q1: Which gym is cheaper overall, Crunch or Planet Fitness?

When it comes to average monthly rates, Planet Fitness edges out Crunch by a couple of dollars per month ($10 vs $12-$15 for example). But take the cost of extras into account too – additional classes, personal training sessions, upgrades like tanning or massage beds. These “a la carte” costs may run you more at Crunch over time.

  • Q2: Which gym has more workout equipment variety?

Without question, Crunch Fitness offers far more variety when it comes to strength training equipment and specialized tools for unique workouts. This includes options like Olympic weightlifting platforms, tractor tires, battle ropes, indoor turf space, and more. Planet Fitness focuses more on tried-and-true basics.

  • Q3: Which gym includes more amenities with membership?

This can really depend on which location you go to. But Crunch Fitness tends to offer more bonuses like indoor basketball courts, lap pools, saunas, and steam rooms that are free to use for members. Massage beds, tanning, and lounges are sometimes free with certain Crunch deals too. Planet Fitness throws in some nice perks but bonuses will vary a lot by location.

  • Q4: Which gym offers nicer locker room facilities?

Also quite dependent on which location you frequent. However, Crunch Fitness does feature premium locker rooms with saunas, whirlpool hot tubs, and high-end features at certain gyms (mainly newer, renovated, or higher-volume locations). Planet Fitness locker rooms serve the purpose but are basic with limited frills.

  • Q5: Which gym includes group fitness classes with membership?

Both Crunch Fitness and Planet Fitness offer fitness classes to members. However, the number and variety differ a lot. Crunch provides 20, 30, and sometimes 40+ weekly classes spanning hot yoga, martial arts, indoor cycling, boot camps, Zumba and more. Planet Fitness has starter classes (basic abs, stretching) but very limited class choices.

  • Q6: Which gym has Personal Training included with membership?

Planet Fitness includes 30 minute Personal Training sessions with all membership levels – a very nice perk. No training is included automatically with Crunch so you have to purchase sessions a la carte. Hourly rates typically start around $59 per hour at Crunch.

  • Q7: Can members bring guests to either Crunch or Planet Fitness?

Yes, guest privileges are included at both gyms but specific policies differ. For example, at Crunch Fitness, select tiers like Classic or Premier let you bring 1 guest a day. Planet Fitness requires the Black Card tier for guest access – you get to bring one guest per day at no charge with this level.

  • Q8: What age is each gym best suited for?

Crunch Fitness allows kids ages 13-17 to work out during teen-only hours. They attract an evenly mixed crowd – from high school and college-age to young professionals to retirees. Planet Fitness has an edgier, youthful vibe catering best to teens, college-aged students, and young adults on starter budgets.

  • Q9: Which gym has better tanning beds and massage chairs?

Quality of amenities can vary by franchise location for both brands. But Crunch Fitness tends to invest in higher-end HydroMassage beds and lie-down tanning beds that are a step above Planet Fitness’ equipment. But PF likely offers tanning, massage, and spa perks at more gym locations than Crunch.

  • Q10: Can I work out at any gym nationwide with my membership?

One major perk of Planet Fitness is the ability to access any of their 2,000+ PF gyms with your standard nationwide membership. Your home “originating” gym might be in California but you can work out as a guest with no problem at a PF gym in Florida. Crunch Fitness does not have this universal membership model or nationwide reciprocity. You can only access your Crunch “home gym.” Upgraded tiers allow nationwide access.

Recommended Articles:

Conclusion: Finding the Right Gym For You

We hope this complete head-to-head comparison of Crunch Fitness versus Planet Fitness has helped provide more clarity about their key similarities and differences.

Both gym chains aim to provide an affordable, welcoming workout environment for all fitness levels. But their specific approach when it comes to equipment, classes, amenities, and vibe differs.

Crunch Fitness offers more innovation – think far more free weights, intense targeted classes, and specialty equipment for a wide range of workouts.

Planet Fitness provides outstanding convenience, consistency, and value with a judgment-free zone perfect for casual lifting, basic classes, and starter training.

Choosing what matches your workout style ultimately comes down to priorities. Do you want variety or consistency? An intense push or relaxed environment? Specialized training or just the basics?

Once you narrow down the factors above that matter most, picking Crunch or Planet Fitness suddenly becomes an easy decision!

Whichever gym you pick, just get excited to have affordable access to equipment and resources that will help you start crushing those 2023 fitness goals. Now go get after it!

About Gym Bills Team

We are a team of fitness enthusiasts who have made it our mission to scout out the best gym deals globally and provide transparent pricing information to help you find affordable access to top-quality fitness facilities.

View all posts by Gym Bills Team →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *