Planet Fitness has a heavenly machine in the Black Card Spa Area. But it’s not a tanning booth, it’s a red light therapy booth. This machine is known as the Beauty Angel, or Planet Fitness Total Body Enhancement.
What does it do, and does it work? Is Total Body Enhancement worth the membership at Planet Fitness, specifically the Black Card that provides access to the machine? Or is this just another scheme to generate more member fees?
And what on earth is Red Light Therapy at Planet Fitness?
This article goes over all the details on Red Light Therapy, and the Planet Fitness Beauty Angel Total Body Enhancement system.
How Does Planet Fitness Total Body Enhancement Work?
Planet Fitness is one of the most popular gyms in the nation, with a great attitude and a friendly, non-judgmental ethos. It’s a perfect place for people who want to lose weight and tone their bodies.
Planet Fitness requires membership at different levels. There’s the basic level, which allows access to the standard set of equipment. Then there’s the Black Card membership, which gives you the right to invite guests, access to free fitness training, HydroMassage chairs and beds (which we reviewed here), tanning (reviewed here), and their red light therapy booth.
The red light therapy booth, known as the Beauty Angel, is a relatively new addition to PF’s line. It looks very similar to a tanning booth, but the similarities stop there. Instead of UV lights, it makes use of infra-red lights that target the whole body.
A study about low-level laser light therapy says that the mitochondria within skin cells produce more adenosine triphosphate (ATP) when exposed to red light. ATP is the energy source of the cells. With more of it, you get better cellular activity.
This function of red light therapy used for rejuvenation, especially for the skin cells. Red Light Therapy is commonly used for various cosmetic issues such as wrinkles and stretch marks.
The Beauty Angel booth also has a vibrating plate that tones the body. There are different programs available, suitable for beginners and pros. The vibrations provide physiological training for the muscles of the legs, back, and abdomen.
Optional music also plays in the booth to make it a more relaxing experience. The combined technologies help burn calories, prevent cellulite, and improve circulation.
That’s a great mix!
Daily use of this device, in combination with exercise and proper nutrition, eventually leads to weight loss and a more toned body.
Benefits of Light Therapy
Red light therapy is also known as photobiomodulation, laser light therapy, and low-level light therapy (LLLT). This technique is growing in popularity, and many researchers and aestheticians sing the praises of its effectiveness. The benefits of light therapy are quite compelling.
There are many light therapy devices targeting beauty on the market for home and salon use. These include the Tria Age-Defying Laser (Reviewed here), the DPL-II Light Therapy Panel (Reviewed here), and the LightStim for Acne (Reviewed here).
Red light therapy offers many benefits. Among them are:
Effective Pain Reduction
A clinical trial, which lasted for two years, of patients undergoing infrared light treatments for oral mucositis, was conducted. The trial found that 96% of patients found pain relief.
In a separate study, the effectiveness of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) with regards to adult pain due to musculoskeletal disorders was also tested. This study also found that it can effectively reduce pain in adult patients. Some home devices use light therapy to treat pain, such as the Laser Touch One.
Enhances Wound Healing
Many studies of red light therapy found that it can speed wound healing and tissue repair, specifically skin wounds. A study concluded that light therapy stimulates healing, reduces inflammation, and rejuvenates the skin.
Reverses Signs Of Aging
Red light therapy may be most known for reversing or slowing down signs of aging. Damaged skin due to UV light from tanning beds or the sun can increase the rate of skin aging and produce fine lines and wrinkles.
A study on the effects of red light therapy on photodamaged skin found that light therapy resulted in thicker collagen fibers and softer, smoother skin with fewer wrinkles.
Improved Joint Health
Due to red light therapy’s capability to stimulate collagen production, there are now studies testing its application on rheumatoid arthritis patients. In separate studies, it has been found that red light therapy can relieve pain for those with rheumatoid arthritis and Achilles tendinitis.
Reduces Body Fatigue And Depression
Another benefit of red light therapy is its effectiveness in combatting depression and fatigue. It is similar to acupuncture wherein the energy within the cells is stimulated. This helps improve mood, reduce anxiety, and induce a positive outlook. This is similar to what is found using Happy Lights (aka SAD lights) and Light Therapy Glasses.
What Is The Beauty Angel?
A brand known as the JK Group (now owned by Ergoline) decided to harness the benefits of red light therapy by building the Beauty Angel. This is the red light therapy booth found at Planet Fitness. The company has been in business for decades, and they work with the latest technologies to provide innovative products.
The most common Beauty Angel models at Planet Fitness are the RVT 30, which we discuss in-depth in our Beauty Angel RVT30 review. This model combines two technologies in one unit to help the body look and feel great. The two technologies are red light therapy and vibration technology.
To go for a therapy session, you go inside the booth for about 12 minutes before or after your workout.
So what are the benefits of using the Planet Fitness Total Body Enhancement machine? Why would you want to add red light therapy treatments to your gym session?
The red light therapy machine at Planet Fitness is a great tool that improves workout routines. The vibrating action of the plates, combined with the red light therapy, helps in the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) or energy for the cells.
With more cellular energy, you’ll be ready for even the toughest workout session.
Similarly, the red light therapy machine at Planet Fitness also aids in post-workout muscle recovery. It helps reduce joint pain and inflammation. Given that Planet Fitness doesn’t usually have a sauna, the Total Body Enhancement Machine is a great post-workout recovery option.
If you’re still not convinced about adding red light therapy treatments to your regimen, here are more reasons to help you change your mind:
Supports Burning of Fat
When the body has more energy due to the effects of the red light therapy machine, you’ll be able to endure more intense workouts. Instead of just sticking to low-intensity workouts, you will be able to handle higher intensity workouts that burn more calories and fat.
Helps In Muscle Growth
Aside from burning fat, the added energy can also help with muscle growth. As muscles are used, they become more prominent. Even if you don’t prefer high-intensity cardio exercises and prefer strengthening exercises, the added energy still helps. It helps you push to finish your entire workout.
Overall Good Feeling at the Gym
Even after completing an exhausting workout, it’s possible to feel energetic. Whether that’s the result of red light therapy before or after your workout, that energy boost can help you feel better.
It gives you a good feeling and additional energy that carries throughout the day. This extra energy can lead to further burning of calories and fat.
Total Body Enhancement Pros and Cons
Here are some pros and cons of the Total Body Enhancement system:
- Short therapy session (12 minutes)
- Works the muscles on the arms, legs, glutes, and abdomen
- Improves complexion
- Makes skin more elastic
- Smoothes skin
- Speeds up metabolism
- Improves blood circulation
- Helps relieve stress
- Only Available For Black Card Membership Holders
- Weight limit of 300 lbs
- Not for pregnant women, those under medication, or those with pacemakers
- Not for those who had a recent surgery
What are the Side Effects of Red Light Therapy?
The use of red light therapy is generally safe and side effects are minimal. That said, side effects can still happen. Knowing these will help you determine whether what your feeling after your session is just a side effect or is something that you should worry about.
Side effects due to red light therapy are usually short-term and minor. The most common side effects users may experience are:
These side effects are usually due to the glare of the red light. Some may not tolerate its intensity. If you’re concerned, it’s best to use protective goggles like the ones used in tanning beds to protect your eyes from the light.
The side effects due to infrared light may be due to overheating. Infrared light is thermal and can cause a burn. But it’s not the same burn that you get with UV lights in a tanning bed.
Overheating of the skin should also be avoided by sticking to the session time limit.
Should You Do Red Light Therapy Before or After Workout?
You can choose to use red light therapy before or after your workout. Some do it before their workout to get more energy for the workout.
Others do it after the workout routine for recovery before they hop in the shower.
You can try it both ways and see what works best for your circumstances, body type, and goals.
Do You Get a Tan with Red Light Therapy?
No. Red light therapy doesn’t make you tan. Red light tanning is simply a coined term to describe basking in red light to remedy some issues with the skin like wrinkles.
There is no UV light involved in red light therapy, so the melanin isn’t stimulated to increase. Infrared light is on the opposite side of the spectrum from UV light, and is not harmful.
Do You Need a Membership to Use Planet Fitness Light Therapy?
You need a Black Card Membership at Planet Fitness gym to use their Black Card Spa area. However, you can bring a guest with you each time if you have a Black Card Membership. So if you have a friend with a Black Card, they should be able to get you in to let you try the Beauty Angel, Hydrotherapy, the other Black Card Spa perks.
If you end up not loving Planet Fitness, you can see how to cancel your membership here.
The Planet Fitness Total Body Enhancement Beauty Angel is many people’s first introduction to the world of light therapy. But this field is growing pretty quickly, with many new devices designed to beautify, delay aging, and improve health.
Planet Fitness’ Red Light Therapy Device is a great entry into this world. If you’ve got a Black Card membership, it’s absolutely worth checking out. If you don’t have a Black Card Membership, it’s worth signing up for a month or so to see if you like it!