LA Fitness vs. Planet Fitness: What’s The Difference?

Choosing the right gym chain to join is not always easy for a beginner. Many of those fitness facilities are filled with veteran gym bros with buffed arms and gym mamas with fully-developed abs. Luckily, we still have beginner-friendly gym chains like LA Fitness and Planet Fitness.

These two are mainly renowned for their forgiving environment and fun workout atmosphere. The question now is, which one is actually better between these two? If you want to know the answer, read on because we will compare LA Fitness and Planet Fitness in detail, helping you to make a better-informed decision.

What is LA Fitness? and What is Planet Fitness?

LA Fitness vs Planet Fitness: What is LA Fitness, and What is Planet Fitness

Founded in 1984 in California, LA Fitness now has over 800 locations. They are spread across the US and Canada and have facilities like pools, saunas, and hot tubs. LA Fitness also offers personal training and group fitness classes with memberships starting from $30 per month, based on the location.

Planet Fitness is another low-cost gym chain that has been around since 1992. It now has over 1,000 US locations, and all are easily noticeable for its vivid purple and yellow colors. This company offers more affordable rates than other gym chains. And, it is designed to be a “Judgement-Free Zone”, meaning both newbies and veteran gym-goers can have fun and pursue their fitness goals here.

Similarities between LA Fitness and Planet Fitness

Similarities between LA Fitness and Planet Fitness

Despite their differences, LA Fitness and Planet Fitness also have some similarities that might appeal to some gym-goers. Both gyms have a large assortment of cardio machines, including ellipticals and rowers. They also have a variety of strength training machines.

Moreover, with over 800 locations for LA Fitness and over 1,000 locations for Planet Fitness, both gym chains have a nationwide presence. This means that you can simply find one of their gym facilities wherever you travel.

Main Differences between LA Fitness and Planet Fitness

Main Differences between LA Fitness and Planet Fitness

The main difference between LA Fitness and Planet Fitness lies in their target audience, amenities, and pricing.

LA Fitness caters to a broader demographic, from beginners to fitness enthusiasts, and offers a wider range of amenities, including swimming pools, saunas, and sports courts. It also provides a variety of group fitness classes. However, these additional offerings come with a higher price tag.

Planet Fitness, on the other hand, targets beginners and those who prefer a more casual workout environment. It offers fewer amenities but compensates with lower membership fees and a more relaxed, judgement-free atmosphere. Many Planet Fitness locations are open 24/7, providing flexibility for those with non-traditional schedules.

LA Fitness vs. Planet Fitness – Understanding the Differences

LA Fitness vs. Planet Fitness - Understanding the Differences:

While both LA Fitness and Planet Fitness are popular for fitness enthusiasts, one might be more suitable for you than the other. Below we will talk deeper about what makes the two different.

1) Atmosphere and Clientele

LA Fitness has a more traditional gym atmosphere, with a professional and spacious layout that makes it suitable for gym-goers of all levels. Planet Fitness, on the other hand, offers a more casual gym atmosphere with mostly basic equipment, making it suitable for beginners.

2) Equipment and Facilities

In addition to standard gym equipment, you can find basketball courts and racquetball courts at LA Fitness locations. You can also find standard gym equipment at Planet Fitness locations, but you may not be able to find equipment for intense workouts since the locations cater mainly to beginners.

3) Classes

The classes at LA Fitness locations are suitable for all levels and interests. They also offer personal training for people who want more guidance and customization for their fitness goals. On the other hand, Planet Fitness only has one program called PE@PF, which is suitable for beginners who are not familiar with advanced workout exercises.

4) Membership and Pricing

LA Fitness memberships start from around $30 per month, which means it has a higher membership and pricing than Planet Fitness. But, it also offers a multi-club membership that allows its members to use any of its locations. If you are fine with having less equipment and amenities, you can get a Planet Fitness membership, which starts from around $10 per month.

5) Guest Policy

The guest policies of LA Fitness and Planet Fitness are also very different. LA Fitness limits the number of guests you can bring per visit, while Planet Fitness allows one to bring guests if they have a Black Card membership. Even so, your guests are not allowed to use facilities like tanning beds and massage chairs.

6) Hours

LA Fitness has more variable opening hours than Planet Fitness, but its locations are usually open between 5 am and 11 pm on most days. Meanwhile, Planet Fitness is open all day and night, allowing members to work out at any time they want.

7) Staff Friendliness and Professionalism

Luckily, both gym chains have friendly and knowledgeable staff members in their locations. That being said, it is important that you compare both of them based on factors like workout preferences. If possible, it is great to do a gym tour before you pay for any kind of membership.

LA Fitness vs. Planet Fitness: Quick Comparison Table

LA Fitness vs Planet Fitness: Quick Comparison Table:


LA Fitness:

Planet Fitness:

Target Audience

Beginners and Advanced



Standard gym equipment, pool, basketball courts, etc.

Standard gym equipment



Limited (PE@PF Class)


Starting from $30

Starting from $10

Guest Policy

Limited with additional costs

Unlimited with Black Card membership

Opening Hours

Varies by location


Staff Friendliness



Best For

A wide range of gym-goers


LA Fitness vs. Planet Fitness: Which is Better & How to Choose?

LA Fitness vs. Planet Fitness: Which is Better

To make up your mind on which gym chain to choose, you should carefully consider your workout style and the amenities you need. LA Fitness is great if you don’t mind a higher price tag and like to use more advanced gym and wellness equipment like a swimming pool and a basketball court.

But, if you don’t mind standard gym equipment and want to use facilities like tanning beds and red light therapy, then choosing Planet Fitness is a better choice. Choosing this one also makes more sense if you are budget-conscious and enjoy a casual and “Judgement-Free” workout environment.

Other factors you might want to consider are the facility’s proximity to your home, how well-maintained it is, and how professional the employees are. While these are not the main things to consider, they can greatly improve your fitness routine.

Final Verdict

LA Fitness vs. Planet Fitness: How to Choose

In conclusion, LA Fitness offers a wider range of facilities and classes, while Planet Fitness offers great value for casual gym-goers. If you are still undecided, why not try out both gyms for yourself? See if you can find a free trial offer and see if one of them fits your workout plans!

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Fortunately, there are still gym chains that are welcoming to beginners, such as 24 Hour Fitness and Anytime Fitness.

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In order to make a well-informed decision, please continue reading as we conduct an in-depth comparison, highlighting the differences between Anytime Fitness and Planet Fitness.

LA Fitness vs. 24 Hour Fitness: What's the Difference

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