No Judgement Zone. Planet Fitness is on to something.

Planet Fitness comes to Downingtown

Planet Fitness comes to Downingtown (Photo credit: Kim.Wood)

So now that my blood pressure is back to normal I can get back on the weight-loss horse again.  Running outside isn’t the best way to get into it, especially in Ohio in the winter.  Even in good weather I’m consistently inconsistent.  I figure that the best way for me to hand in there is to spend some dough.  That works because I don’t like to waste money.  If I pay for it, I will do it.

Problem is, I don’t want to spend much money.  I’d heard about this place called Planet Fitness that opened up in my town.  Ten bucks a month.  Can’t be that good if it costs so little, I reasoned.  But it would be better than spending no money and not losing weight, so I gave it a try.

I’ve been every weekday for almost two weeks.  The money thing is a motivation, but there’s something else that keeps me going back.  There are signs all over the place broadcasting the atmosphere of a safe place to get yourself in shape.  And, it really is.  Think about it, people who want to get in shape generally avoid such places because they (we) know how bad off they are. We don’t want people to judge us.  So, the folks at Planet Fitness have established every location as a “No Judgement Zone.”

And ya know, it really feels that way.  There are people in there every day who look worse off than me (Yes, that’s possible.  And no, I’m not judging), but there are also people who are in awesome shape.  We may be at very different stages, be we are all on the same quest for physical fitness.

Maybe the concept works because there are constant reminders all over the place.  There’s even a huge sign defining a “Lunk Alarm.”  It’s when people grunt loudly or slam weights down to impress everyone with their efforts.  I’ve never seen anybody do that, so it must work.

There’s even more.  I like the signs that tell me that I belong.  I belong because I am there, pursuing what is right alongside others. Awesome.

The people at Planet Fitness have identified a major obstacle for people getting in shape, and they’ve pursued a brilliant solution.  Here’s a thought: maybe if our churches were judgement free zones, people who need to get into spiritual shape would show up more.  And, maybe if people knew that they belonged even before they were spiritually fit they would hang around.  We may be at very different stages, but we are all on the same quest for spiritual fitness

Okay, maybe your church is “Lunk Alarm” free.  But if people don’t know that, they won’t show up.  Or, if they do show up they may not join in on the quest.

There are some things about Planet Fitness I don’t get.  I don’t know what the Tootsie Rolls, free pizza, or free bagels have to do with the overall fitness scheme.  However, I know that I won’t be judged for my workout ignorance, and that’s what will bring me back (yes, even more than the pizza).


12 thoughts on “No Judgement Zone. Planet Fitness is on to something.

  1. So true, Dave. We are all called to make judgements about life and godliness regarding the spiritual health of ourselves and others, but that is altogether different than passing judgement upon others.

    • Making judgements about where others are followed by attempts to help, build up, and encourage those who are struggling. Passing judgement writes others off due to faults the judge, ironically, often shares, and condescends and excludes them for the said faults.
      Big difference.

      • Good distinction. The point is whether or not we’re condemning other people. And, as Alan Hirsch has written, Christians need to realize that it’s not our right to force others to move along in the spiritual journeys. It’s up to us to encourage them on their way. Thanks Lori.

  2. The No Judgement Zone is fantastic. I just can’t get past the FREE PIZZA. We need to invite them to sunday school. Fit right in. Hehe.

    • Yep. Although, it could also be a way to show that they don’t judge us for eating pizza and tootsie rolls. After all, almost everything is okay in moderation. I just know that moderation in the area of eating isn’t a strong point of mine – especially with pizza – so I’ll stay away on those days. You’re certainly right though. It’s a great business model no matter how you look at it.

      Having read your blog earlier today, the who “No Judgement Zone” thought really fits the post I commented on. Thanks for reading mine.

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