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10 May 2022

Planet Fitness gives teens free access to its gyms and app
BY Frances Marcellin

Planet Fitness is offering high-school students free access to its clubs in the US and Canada from 16 May to 31 August

Planet Fitness is offering high-school students free access to its clubs in the US and Canada from 16 May to 31 August
photo: Planet Fitness

Planet Fitness is offering high-school students free access to any of its 2,200 locations in the US and Canada from 16 May to 31 August. Once enrolled, users can also get their Summer Pass digital key and access the accompanying app (PlanetFitness.com/SummerPass).

From virtual tours to equipment tutorials and sessions by Planet Fitness trainers, the app includes cardio, strength work, toning exercises and circuits, as well as 15 trainer-led videos and ten downloadable workouts.

After sign-up, all entrants will also be entered into a sweepstake with the chance of winning one US$500 scholarship in each state and the jackpot of US$5,000 at the end of the summer.

The initiative, called the High School Summer Pass, also ran before the pandemic in 2019 – when it was known as Teen Summer Challenge”– and saw more than 900,000 teenagers complete 5.5m workouts over the summer period, significantly ramping up awareness of the Planet Fitness brand with this cohort of potential future members.

“As the leader in fitness, we believe we have a responsibility to provide a welcoming, safe, and Judgement Free environment for high school students to improve their physical and mental wellness, particularly given the challenges they have and continue to face in the wake of the pandemic,” said Chris Rondeau, CEO at Planet Fitness.

Results from a national study that Planet Fitness carried out with consultants Kelton Global, revealed that three in five teens felt their fitness routines had been disrupted during the pandemic. Almost all teenagers (92 per cent) agreed that being physically active improves their mental health. The majority of parents (89 per cent) said exercise helped their children to cope with challenges over the last two years.

“Our study found that nearly all (92 per cent) high school students agreed that when they are regularly physically active, they feel much better mentally," said Rondeau. "Fitness is about feeling good, too, and our hope is that High School Summer Pass empowers teens to create life-long workout habits to help them succeed in every aspect of their lives.”

In terms of mental health issues, further findings from Planet Health’s study, revealed that 48 per cent of teens reported struggling with mental health for the first time during the pandemic with anxiety affecting more than 51 per cent.

On a positive note, 79 per cent admitted to being more open and communicative with parents than they were two years ago, and a higher number of teens admit they have too much screen time now (61 per cent) compared with the start of the pandemic (52 per cent in 2020).

Parents can be reassured that health and safety are high on the Planet Fitness agenda, especially since becoming the first fitness brand to receive a WELL Health-Safety Rating for Facility Operations and Management by the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI).

A third-party rating that certifies new and existing buildings, Planet Fitness had to demonstrate to the IWBI that its policies support the health and safety needs of employees, members and guests.

The app also supports health and safety best practice by providing a touchless check-in and a crowd assessment feature that allows teens to check how busy their designated club is before leaving the house.

Read HCM's exclusive interview with Chris Rondeau here.




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