The health and fitness industry has jumped the shark. Planet Fitness is the final nail in the coffin. Believe it or not, this is a good thing. Understanding exactly how we got to the era of Planet Fitness is the key to liberating millions of depressed, struggling, unhealthy men and women.
Following the advice of the mainstream health and fitness industry has left us more diseased, broken, and fatter than ever before.
Planet Fitness isn’t the cause of this, of course, but they’re a perfect symptom of a major problem.
And I want to be clear – it’s not the existence of Planet Fitness that points to a problem. It’s the popularity of Planet Fitness.
To understand how we arrived here, you have to understand the core problem with the health, wellness, fitness, and dieting industries….
Planet Fitness is Just One Booth in a Carnival of Revolving Doors
The unfortunate truth you face, as someone who wants to have a body and life you love, is that the industry who offers to help you has a 95% long-term failure rate.
Because of this, I look at the health and fitness industry as a carnival of revolving doors.
There’s a Weight Watchers revolving door, a BeachBody revolving door, a CrossFit revolving door, a Dr. Oz revolving door, and – of course – a Planet Fitness revolving door.
Here’s what happens…
Everyone who wants help lines up outside one of these revolving doors and reads the brochure that fills them with hope.
Then, you sign up. You enter the front, you do the work of going round and round inside the system, and you hope to be spit out the back as a lifelong success.
Statistically, this will not happen for you – you will be spit right back out the front only to return to the exact same state you started in. If you’re really unlucky, you’ll end up even worse off.
Months or years will go by before you muster up enough motivation to give it another go. At that point, you’ll choose a different brand of revolving door and do it all over again.
Most men and women repeat this process, entering dozens of revolving doors throughout their lifetime, with nothing to show for it.
Now, you might wonder why people keep falling into this repetitive trap, right? It’s like, how naive can we be?
Well, there’s a simple explanation. First, people get results while they’re inside the revolving door. The health and fitness industry – and that includes gyms like Planet Fitness – are amazing at creating short-term winners.
The problem is that hope quickly evaporates for 95% of men and women and they quickly move from the short-term winners group to the long-term losers group.
Second, people are attracted to things that are new and fresh and that sound appealing. The industry is great at marketing, making promises it can’t keep, and coming up with iterations that lure people who have failed inside one revolving door, to enter another.
So it’s no surprise to hear Planet Fitness’ CEO explicitly say this…
“If you think about our business model and our marketing, it’s a marketing machine…so every incremental member that joins, 9 percent of that dues goes to marketing, fueling the next join.”
Here’s the video…
There’s nothing inherently wrong with a revolving door, by the way. If 100 people entered the door and 100 people got to the other side in the way they’d hoped, that would be fantastic.
It’s only a problem when a hundred people enter and only five make it to the other side. Unfortunately, that’s what we’re currently experiencing.
Planet Fitness Personifies All the Core Problems.
We’re experiencing two major outcome failures…
- There’s an obesity and preventable disease epidemic.
- The health and fitness industry has a 95% long-term failure rate.
Seriously, the harder people try to “get fit and healthy” inside the traditional model, the more failure they experience and the more health issues they aquire.
What should be the natural response to that?
One would think…
- Take the obesity and preventable disease epidemic seriously.
- Ditch the health and fitness industry.
But very few people are doing that. Instead, the masses are flocking to the likes of Planet Fitness, a globo gym that’s literally *founded* on all the wrong things…
- Fast & convenient
- Cardio workouts
- Exercise as the be-all-end-all
- Judgement-free zones (fine in many circumstances – not fine as an excuse and a place to hide)
- The avoidance of hard work (if you work too hard, they literally sound a “lunk alarm” and kick you out)
- They literally feed you donuts and pizza
- No relevant focus or education around nutrition and lifestyle
I’m on to Planet Fitness’ game (and I’m not the only one).
Planet Fitness banks on you staying unfit and not attending their gym while continuing to pay their ultra low membership rate.
Why do you continue to pay? Because you have hope that one day you’ll figure this stuff out and go back and actually get results. That day will never happen, of course, but the dream is worth $9.99/mo.
Screw the Planet Fitness Mindset. It’s Time for a Revolution.
It’s time for a revolution in health and fitness. It’s time to move forward. The days of “eat less and exercise more” must be put behind us, along with the diets, fitness DVD programs, gimmicks, shakes, pills, and weight loss game shows.
The old model treated the symptoms with logical — yet blatantly false — theories: calories, macronutrient ratios, an emphasis on cardiovascular exercise, fat avoidance, meat avoidance, whole grains, the demonization of saturated fat and “heart healthy” vegetable oils, to name a few.
The industry took a hardline stance that “sexy sells.” They used expert marketing to package everything up in sexy stories, sexy packaging, and sexy new fads. They make bank on shiny object syndrome.
Planet Fitness is just the latest iteration of that. Being unsexy and “judgment-free” is the new sexy. The purple building is where the woke people go.
It’s all superficial. All of it. And it’s all based on empty promises, bad science, and brilliant marketing.
And the failure you experience because of it? Yeah – the failure is always your fault. It’s never the industry’s fault.
The industry has always claimed that your failures are due to your lack of will and your lack of discipline. Your weakness. Your unwillingness to suffer pain for gain.
Planet Fitness plays you by telling you to just let it all go – embrace a culture where people who think like that aren’t allowed.
You’re getting fucked from both sides instead of being told the truth and helped in an authentic, legitimate way.
There’s Too Much Insanity – Let’s Get Back to Basics
This isn’t just about shitting on Planet Fitness and the wellness industry, it’s about introducing real solutions.
The first solution is to get back to basics.
You’re likely overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information and the fact that a lot of that information is contradictory (because most research, especially in the health industry, is wrong and terrible).
You’re also overwhelmed by the fact that over 80% of our food supply is processed, hyper-palatable garbage.
Because of this, you’re on a constant mission for more information, more education, and more “tactics.” You think you need to learn how to micromanage your eating, so you hop from diet to diet in an attempt to learn how to do that.
Do you want the truth?
- You don’t need more information. You simply need to execute on the basics.
- You don’t need a new food supply. You simply need to eat the foods your body was designed to eat.
- You don’t need new diets. You simply need to implement truly healthy habits.
Here’s the kicker: “knowing” isn’t enough.
People know the truth about smoking. The information and horror stories are fed to children in school, smoking is banned in many public places, marketing cigarettes is banned in many areas, and the product is heavily taxed.
Every single one of us still knows people that smoke and who, deep down, want to quit but can’t. And we know even more people who continue to smoke as if it’s not bad for them or who operate in the failed mindset, “We’re all going to die some day.”
Knowing the truth isn’t enough. Spreading new information isn’t enough. So, the revolution isn’t about any of that…
The New Revolution is About the Psychology of Human Behavior.
We don’t really have a food and fitness problem. We have a heart, soul, and psychology problem. And that’s causing an inconsistency epidemic.
There’s nothing wrong with people’s intentions – your intentions are good. The problem is that you can’t align your behavior with those good intentions.
If our job as mentors, coaches, program-designers, gym owners, fitness instructors, yoginis, and nutritonists was to program robots to live, eat, sleep, and exercise according to a blueprint we’d all have a 100% success rate.
If all people had to do to be successful was show up at a gym and give it the ol’ college try, Planet Fitness and the rest of the globo gyms would be wildly successful at fixing bodies.
We’re dealing with human beings, though. People with an inner child. People with adverse experiences and and the fear, insecurity, self-doubt, self-sabotage, anger, sadness, and shame that are attached to those adverse experiences.
What better way to cope with all that baggage than food, the easiest drug to access?
We know that hard drugs and alcohol are a coping mechanism. We need to understand that food is not just a similar coping mechanism, it’s the most popular and most easily accessible one.
Do you really think that the Planet Fitness mindset/model can adequately address the issues of body image, disordered eating, addiction, and all of our metabolic concerns?
Do you really think that Planet Fitness mindset/model can show people how to succeed in a life that’s full of stress, anxiety, and overscheduling?
Do you really think the health and fitness industry can completely shift people’s mindset and habits through crash diets and fancy workout equipment?
These constructs stand no chance when confronting the real problems that men and women are facing day in and day out.
I’ve worked with thousands of men and women in over 35 countries around the world and I can confidently say that real, lifelong change boils down to one thing: the psychology of the individual – something that the mainstream health and fitness industry has no idea how to adequately address.
Cancel Planet Fitness, Rip off the Band-Aids, and Join the Revolution
The funny thing about psychological roadblocks is that they never go away — no matter how many Band-Aids you slap on — until they teach you what you need to know.
The health and fitness industry made billions of dollars trying to make better Band-Aids for these issues and proved, in the process, that band-aids can’t fix bullet wounds.
The new revolution is concerned with ripping those Band-Aids off and achieving true healing and real change.
For the “clients” out there, do you want the key to success from someone who has been in your shoes? The key to success is finding someone you trust who has the wisdom — not just the knowledge — to help you travel the difficult journey to true healing and then packing your fucking bags.
No more reading, no more researching, no more distractions. Roll up your sleeves and get to work. And do the work with someone who knows how to treat whole people, who fully understands the psychology of human behavior, and who is committed to your transformation.
For the “leaders” out there, I invite you to join the new revolution. I have no doubt that you’ve done amazing work up to this point, which is why I’m talking specifically to you, right now. You’re here, you’re committed, you’re smart, and you’re motivated. Focus those amazing qualities on the genuine healing of whole people.
In other words, do less informing and more transforming.
The old goal was to transition from working with clients to writing books and spreading information. That was how “success” was defined. But, speaking with people is always better than speaking to people. The new goal is to go back to working with clients — and working at a deeper and more meaningful level than ever before.
If you’re new to the concepts healing mindset and psychology, explore and learn those concepts. You don’t have to throw your hands up and pretend this is not for you. We need you and your clients need you.
Whether you’re a client or trainer, please share your thoughts on this new revolution. And most importantly, let’s take these ideas and do something with them.
Kevin Geary is the founder of RebootedBody.com and a respected expert on cravings, eating psychology, and long-term habit change. He’s helped tens of thousands of men and women in over 35 countries around the world through his online academy and now offers all of his signature programs through a “pay what you want” model.