Knowing the bar weight at planet fitness is important because it allows you to design and follow a precise workout plan. On the other hand, being unsure if the bar weight is accurate or not can lead to incorrect data.
(Yes, I’m addicted to smith machines because that’s the only way I can do deadlifts, bench press, and other compound movements).
As a whole, the planet fitness bar weighs 20lbs, according to the user guide label attached to the machines. However, the starting resistance of the smith machine varies depending on the location. Newer gyms use Hammer Strength smith machines with a starting resistance of 20lbs, whereas older gyms use Precor machines with 25lbs bar weight.
Here is my overall answer but if you wanna know more details, below I will explain how much the bar weighs at planet fitness, and most importantly, how you can check it on your own.
Do All Planet Fitness Bars Weigh The Same?
I’ve been a PF Black Card member for many years and thanks to my work, I was able to visit multiple locations (over 100 to be more precise). One thing I will tell you is that the weight of the planet fitness bars is not universal for all of their gyms.
Planet Fitness gyms have been around for over two decades and they’ve been updating their equipment regularly.
They have several different types of treadmills, bikes, smith machines, and even free weights. They may look different and have different technical specifications.
Unlike the standard 7-foot Olympic-size barbell that weighs 45 lbs (20 kg), there is no standardized weight that a smith machine barbell weighs. The weight of the unloaded smith machine bar will depend on the manufacturer.
The PF uses equipment from Life Fitness, Precor, Cybex, and Hammer Strength. They all manufacture different machines with different starting resistance.
How much does the planet fitness bar weight?
In some of the newly opened Planet Fitness gyms, I’ve seen Hammer Strength machines. These are the typical purple smith stations with 11 bar racking positions and the bar path that follows a seven-degree angle.
They have standard eight-weight plate storage horns on each side and adjustable safety stops that help to block the weight and prevent it from dropping on the floor. I always use these stops for my deadlifts.
Learn more: Click here to learn more about how to do deadlift at planet fitness.
Those Hammer Strength bars have starting resistance of 20 lbs (9 kg), which means the weight of the bar is 20 lbs when is unloaded. According to the label attached to the machine, the maximum weight on the bar is 660lbs (299 kg).
In older gyms, I’ve seen a mix of Precor and Life Fitness equipment (which also have different bar weights).
For example, the Precor Smith machine bar is counter-balanced and has a starting resistance of 15 lbs (6.8 kg).
Planet Fitness Bar Weight And Counterbalance System
In general, the Planet Fitness smith machine bars use a counterbalance system with a counterweight attached to the barbell carriage (the pulley at the end of each side of the barbell).
This means that the 20 lbs bar does not feel like regular 20 lbs on the barbell.
Counterbalance helps to reduce the net weight of the bar, which makes it easier to lift. This creates a discrepancy between the ability to lift and the actual value of the external load.
Normally, I don’t mind that difference because I cannot use other barbells at Planet Fitness anyway.
However, if you train at different gyms and you follow a weight training program, you should be aware that planet fitness bar weight and standard barbell weight are not the same.
Dr. Jakob Vingren, a professor at the University of North Texas said that a counterbalance weight system should not be used when measuring performance in explosive resistance exercises with an accelerometer.
Should you count the weight of the Planet Fitness bar?
Overall, you should count the weight of the Planet Fitness bar because this adds additional 20 lbs to your weight.
Plus, some muscle groups are much stronger than others. This means that 20 lbs discrepancy can be not much for some lifts, whereas for others it may be too much jump in the resistance.
For example, if you are doing 80lbs barbell squat, adding additional 20 lbs is not that big of a deal.
However, if you’re doing an overhead press or bench press, you should definitively take the bar weight into the account (especially for females).
Most of my female clients are relatively weak in their upper bodies.
Knowing how much is the bar is really important if I want to design any workout plan with the use of the PF smith machine.
Is It Really Important To Know The Bar Weight?
If you’re following some type of s structured workout program, I recommend learning exactly how much exactly the bar weighs at your Planet Fitness.
Most effective workout plans require you to know your 1RM (the maximum weight you can lift for 1 rep for a given exercise) and dictate your workout protocol based on the percentage of that weight.
For example, if you’re doing a progressive overload, chances are you are required to increase the load by 1.25 to 2.5% with each subsequent workout.
If you’re doing a hypertrophy program to gain muscle, you may have to alternate between the weight of 60 to 85% of 1RM.
In a normal gym (a gym that allows using Olympic-size barbells) you do not have to worry about the weight of the bars.
They all weigh the same.
However, if you’re a member of planet fitness, you should know that the bar weigh lays between 20 to 30lbs, depending on the machine.
(You can check the label on the smith machine that says exactly how much the empty bar weights).
On the other hand, for people who don’t follow any type of structured workout program (aka newbies), knowing how much the bar weighs at planet fitness won’t make big difference.
How Heavy Are The Bench Bars At Planet Fitness?
Most of the bench bars at planet fitness have a light starting weight between 20 to 25 lbs and a maximum weight capacity of 660 lbs.
This combination provides an exceptionally smooth and natural feel that optimizes the body’s natural movement path for proper bench press form.
Knowing the actual weight of the bench bar is important for determining what your starting point is and how much progress you’re making.
For example, if you can normally bench press 225 for reps, then knowing the weight of the Plant Fitness smith machine will help you to adjust any additional weight you need to add to the bar.
How much do the squat bars weigh at planet fitness?
In general, squat bars at planet fitness weigh between 20 to 30 lbs, depending on the location.
Some of the gyms that use Precor smith machines have starting weights of 15 lbs, whereas other gyms that use Hammer Strength have 20 lbs bars.
Planet Fitness is one of the largest and fastest-growing franchisors of fitness centers with over 2000 locations in the United States alone. As much as most of the gyms use Hammer Strength smith machines, some locations have different equipment.
The Hammer Strength smith machines at planet fitness have 20 lbs bars (when unloaded). However, the exact number of the starting resistance of the smith machines will depend on the equipment that is used at your gym.