The Real Reason Planet Fitness Doesn't Have A Squat Rack

In 2021, half of those who made New Year's Resolutions committed to more exercise, according to Discover Happy Habits, and this is seen with the annual spike of people signing up to gyms in the month of January, per Bloomberg. For most gyms, you can expect to find a section for cardio — usually consisting of equipment such as treadmills and ellipticals, as well as a section for weights. Within that weights section, there's likely any number of different machines and free weights to choose from to target just about any part of the body.

One popular weight machine is the squat rack, where you can target the big muscles of your legs and glutes with heavy weights on a barbell. Using the squat rack means that you can squat with more weight than you could if not assisted by the rack (via Lipstick Lifters). While using equipment at the gym, you have to make sure that you're using it correctly to avoid any serious injuries and to get the most out of your workout.

However, not all gyms are created equally, and one gym where you're unlikely to find the popular squat rack is Planet Fitness. 

Planet Fitness isn't a gym for body builders

At Planet Fitness, the company's tagline is that they're a "judgment free zone" and their goal is to be usable and accessible to everyone, no matter their level of fitness, per Planet Fitness. They don't market themselves as a place for bodybuilders to do serious weightlifting, so they don't need to have a squat rack, according to Men's Health

When first joining a gym, stepping into the weights section where regulars appear to be lifting impossible amounts can be very intimidating, and can even deter some from continuing with their fitness goals. That was part of the reason why the Planet Fitness chain was created in the first place. The owners wanted to target "first-time and casual gym users [who] didn't like the 'look at me' attitudes and behaviors found in typical gyms, and they didn't want to have to pay a lot of money to give fitness a try."

Planet Fitness does still have weight training equipment, including a section to do squats, but it's designed to be more beginner-friendly, per Luxe Luminous. So, if you're looking to focus on your body building, another gym might be a better fit. If you want to get in shape and aren't sure where to start, Planet Fitness may be less intimidating.