Does Planet Fitness Have Squat Racks? (No, But You Can Do This)

Squat racks are one of the most popular and versatile pieces of gym equipment that most people try to use at least once per gym session if they can find an open squat rack. The biggest issue is that they are popular, and are often hard to get your hands on them when you need one.

Planet Fitness is an extremely cheap gym, so it can be used by more people and even as a secondary gym that may be less busy. Knowing whether Planet Fitness has squat racks can help determine if it’s the right gym for your fitness needs.

Are There Squat Racks At Planet Fitness?

Planet Fitness does not have squat racks as a standard piece of equipment, there may be a few Planet Fitness locations that still have them, but as seen in numerous reports, they are quick to remove the squat racks if anybody complains about them being there.

McCall Gosselin, a Senior VP in charge of Planet Fitness communications, says, “Our clubs don’t have equipment like squat racks and Olympic benches. Our dumbbells only go up to 80 pounds.”

The primary issue is that Planet Fitness is geared towards people that just want to get a little exercise in but don’t want to be intimated by big bodybuilders or people lifting heavy weights and shouting in the gym.

If your goal is to squat heavy or want a multiple-purpose rack for rack pulls, bench press, and other heavy-weighted exercises, then Planet Fitness will not be the right place for you.

How Can You Squat At Planet Fitness?

If Planet Fitness is your only option due to location or cost, then you’ll need to look at alternative squatting options, such as a smith machine that most Planet Fitness locations have, and you’ll be able to squat up to the maximum that the smith machine can handle.

Smith Machine Squatting At Planet Fitness

Typically, smith machines are easier to squat in than using a squat rack, and the weight that you can add is often less due to the size of the bar. You also lose some of the benefits, such as working your stabilizing muscles as the smith machine does some of the work for you.

Don’t expect that a 225 lb smith machine squat will translate to a 225 lb barbell squat at a regular gym. Being held in place by a smith machine provides a significant advantage when squatting.

Dumbbell Squatting At Planet Fitness

Planet Fitness provides dumbbells up to 80 lbs which is enough weight for beginner squatters to get a good workout in and work their ability up to that full 160 lbs maximum squat. Take your dumbbells and hoist them up into a shoulder press position, and then squat.

Another alternative is goblet squats with 2 80 lb dumbbells on top of each other and held in front of you as you squat. This gives you a 160 lb squat option, and it’s a valid alternative to traditional squats but takes much of the stress away from your back and focuses on your leg strength.

Fixed Barbell Squatting At Planet Fitness

Planet Fitness does provide fixed-weight barbells that can be used for a variety of exercises, including squats. The barbells typically max out at 60 lbs though, so it’s a much lighter weight than the dumbbells, so it isn’t an ideal option for most people looking to squat.

Leg Press Machines At Planet Fitness

Planet Fitness does have leg press machines that can have a significant amount of weight loaded and may be a helpful option as part of your leg workout when squat racks are not available.

While a leg press won’t mimic the same type of movement as a barbell squat, it’s still an effective exercise to use to build strength and size in your legs. It’s also a much safer option for your back if you’re moving heavy weights.

Are Squats Allowed At Planet Fitness?

Planet Fitness doesn’t have a list of exercises that you can’t do, they just remove equipment that they don’t want to be used and limit the maximum weights that are possible on the equipment that is there, so you can squat at planet fitness, but not in a squat rack.

The primary issue that you may face is the “lunk alarm” that sounds if a Planet Fitness staff member feels you’re being too intimidating or making too much noise. Other members may also approach staff to complain about your noise or if they feel intimidated by you.

If you continue to be a problem in their eyes, such as dropping weights and making a lot of noise, you may be asked to leave and not come back. This is a common occurrence for regular gymgoers as that is not the type of member that Planet Fitness wants.

Alternatives To Planet Fitness For Squat Racks

Ultimately, if you want a squat rack, then Planet Fitness just won’t work for you as a gym, and you’ll need to find alternative options, which could include creating your own home gym for a few hundred dollars or finding another gym that does have squat racks.

Almost any other gym will have squat racks, and there are a range of large commercial gyms that you’ll find around most major cities, including:

Build Your Own Squat Rack

Your other alternative is to buy a cheap squat rack from Amazon, get a barbell and some free weights, all of which can be delivered to you and the costs can be reasonably low, especially if you shop around or wait for deals.

Squat Rack$89.99
2x 35 lb Weights$92.19
2x 25 lb Weights$78.12
2x 10 lb Weights$36.99
2x 5 lb Weights$19.99

Two things to note about your barbell and weights is that 1-inch barbells and weights are much cheaper than 2-inch options. However, most 1-inch barbells are lighter, so don’t assume they weigh 45 lbs like traditional gym barbells.

If the $89.99 squat rack is too much, you can build your own from cheap supplies from Home Depot or other home hardware stores.