Does Planet Fitness Have Squat Racks?

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Want to make your legs more powerful by squatting and lifting heavier? Then a squat rack is a great piece of gym equipment. A squat rack allows you to hold a barbell while doing squats.

Although most gyms have a squat rack, the question is: does Planet Fitness have squat racks?

The answer to that question is… sort-of. Planet Fitness doesn’t have dedicated squat racks, but they do have Smith Machines that can be used for similar exercises.

In this article, we’ll go over why Planet Fitness removed dedicated squat racks, and why they don’t have them in the newer gym branches anymore. We’ll also tell you about the Smith Machines that can be used to do squat-rack-like exercises.


The World of Planet Fitness

Planet Fitness Source: Wikipedia

Planet Fitness has been around since 1992. With thousands of franchise Fitness Clubs around the world, they have a variety of gym equipment like treadmills, ellipticals, etc., and amenities offered such as the Total Body Enhancement machines and the Hydromassage machines included in the Black Card membership, depending on the club you go to.

Does Planet Fitness Have Squat Racks?

One piece of gym equipment that isn’t common in Planet Fitness clubs is the squat rack.

A few years ago, there were still some Planet Fitness locations that had a squat rack. However, nowadays, it is doubtful that you’ll ever find a squat rack at Planet Fitness.

A squat rack can be used without a human spotter when you properly set the safety pins or bars. That could be a good reason why Planet Fitness had them previously. Plus, working out the legs, which have the largest muscle in the body, is a great way to get fit.

Overall, the squat rack is an excellent piece of gym equipment to have in any gym. 

Why Were Squat Racks Removed From Planet Fitness?

Although squat racks are great, they have been removed from most Planet Fitness clubs because they are considered intimidating. Remember, Planet Fitness isn’t your usual gym (heck, it’s a “fitness club”, not a “gym”).

It isn’t really for bodybuilders but is rather targeted at average gym users. They are more for those who don’t want to be judged or intimidated when using various gym equipment. 

Additionally, with squat racks, free weights are used. And heavy free weights could be dangerous.

Of course, many people can properly use them. However, the majority of those who go to Planet fitness are beginners. That means there is a greater risk of injury and Planet Fitness doesn’t want that for liability and higher insurance costs.

Planet Fitness doesn’t really target bodybuilders who are already knowledgeable in various gym equipment. PF is more for beginners, so the owners choose more beginner-friendly, less intimidating, and safer gym equipment like rowing machines.

PF is looking for people who are unlikely to trigger the lunk alarm.

It’s understandable that Planet Fitness’ choice of gym equipment changes through the years. 

Squat Rack Alternative At Planet Fitness

Smith Machine Example

Even with squat racks out of the picture, you’d still be able to work on more challenging squats at Planet Fitness. There are alternative machines that you can still use. One of them is the Smith machine. The Smith machine is a multi-use machine that can work as a bench press, squat rack, etc.

These machines have the weight attached to the machine and are safer to use than other machines, especially without a trainer or spotter there.

Some people don’t like the Smith machine due to its limited range of motion. However, it is still useful and can be used to build muscles in your legs. Further, the Smith machine is safer and easier to figure out, even as a beginner.  

Another option is to use the free weights while doing your squats and lunges. The free weights aren’t only useful for your biceps and triceps. They can also make other exercises, like squats and lunges, more challenging.

You can also use the leg press machine. Although it may not be an exact substitute for squats, it can still help you work out your legs. The only difference is that leg presses are more focused on just moving the legs. On the other hand, with squats, other muscle groups like the abs and hips are also used. 

Final Thoughts

Planet Fitness used to have squat racks. However, they chose to remove them from their list of equipment because it was considered intimidating. PF replaced squat racks with more beginner-friendly Smith machines for the safety of their members. 

Targeting the muscles of the lower extremities is still possible with the various gym equipment machines available at Planet Fitness. Also, there are free weights that you can carry while doing squats or lunges to make them more challenging.

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).