Can You Deadlift At Planet Fitness? (The Truth)

No, you can’t perform traditional deadlifts at Planet Fitness as they don’t provide standard barbells or barbell platforms, which are essential for this exercise. However, you can perform a modified version of the deadlift using the Smith machine available at Planet Fitness. The Smith machine has a fixed barbell that allows for controlled movement, enabling a variation of the deadlift that aligns with the gym’s equipment offerings.

So, can you deadlift at Planet Fitness? No, but there are alternative exercises such as dumbbell Romanian deadlifts, kettlebell swings, and leg presses. These alternatives can help target similar muscle groups without the need for a traditional barbell deadlift setup.

Planet Fitness, with its commitment to a non-intimidating, welcoming environment, steers clear of free barbell weights and squat racks. Yet, in a quirky twist, they host pizza days and bagel mornings (wink, wink). Despite some naysayers, it’s still possible to get a solid workout there, and yes, you can even find ways to do exercises like deadlifts using their available equipment.

deadlifting at planet fitness
Can you deadlift at Planet Fitness?

What is the policy on deadlifting at Planet Fitness?

The policy on deadlifting at Planet Fitness is often misunderstood. Contrary to popular belief, they haven’t banned deadlifts or other compound movements like overhead presses and bench presses. Instead, their focus is on creating a non-intimidating environment, which includes rules against behaviors like loud grunting or dropping weights.

You can perform deadlifts and other exercises using their Smith machines and free barbells, as long as you do so in a manner that’s considerate of other members and aligns with the gym’s ethos of comfort and inclusivity. According to the Planet Fitness Twitter feed, the company allows deadlifts and overhead presses on their smith machines and free barbells.

Planet Fitness about deadlifting:

Feel free to lift any of the weights you see at our gym.

We don’t allow unnecessary grunting or dropping weights because this behavior may feel threatening or intimidating to some who doesn’t like going to gyms.

We always want our members to feel as comfortable as possible.

In other words, you can do anything you want, including deadlifts. Further in the tweet, you can read that “there aren’t any exercises that “are not allowed” at Planet Fitness (as long as you’re not grunting and dropping weights”.

I’ve been using Planet Fitness for many years because they offer great value for money. Although they don’t have a deadlift machine at Planet Fitness, they have tons of cardio equipment, which means I never have to wait for free weights since everyone else is using the elliptical. I’ve been doing deadlifts and bench presses in Planet Fitness ever since they added Smith machines. It works, and it works great.

What are the rules regarding deadlifts at Planet Fitness?

At Planet Fitness, deadlifts are allowed, but they must be performed in a way that adheres to the gym’s guidelines for a comfortable and inclusive environment.

  1. Use Smith machines or free barbells provided by the gym.
  2. Avoid loud grunting or noise during the lift.
  3. Do not drop weights aggressively on the floor.
  4. Maintain a considerate demeanor to ensure others don’t feel intimidated.
  5. Follow proper form and safety measures to prevent injuries.
  6. Respect the gym’s equipment and other members’ space while exercising.
  7. Seek assistance or guidance from staff if unsure about the proper technique or equipment usage.

why can’t you deadlift at Planet Fitness?

You can’t perform traditional deadlifts at Planet Fitness primarily because they lack the necessary equipment like heavy barbells and deadlift platforms.

Can you do barbell deadlifts at Planet Fitness?

No, you can’t do traditional barbell deadlifts at Planet Fitness as they don’t have a deadlift platform and only offer small barbells up to 50-75 pounds. Dumbbell deadlifts, however, are possible at Planet Fitness, although the available dumbbells are limited in weight.

can you deadlift on a Smith machine at Planet Fitness?

Yes, deadlifting on a Smith machine is allowed at Planet Fitness, offering a viable alternative for incorporating deadlifts into your workout routine.

How much does a Smith machine bar weigh at Planet Fitness?

At Planet Fitness, the bar on a Smith machine typically weighs about 15 to 20 pounds, which is lighter than a standard Olympic barbell due to its counterbalance system. However, when asking how much does a Smith machine bar weighs, it’s important to note that the bar weight may vary between locations due to different manufacturers.

Can you deadlift In Socks at Planet Fitness?

No, you cannot deadlift in socks at Planet Fitness, as their policies emphasize safety and proper gym attire, which includes wearing appropriate footwear. This rule is part of their broader approach to maintaining a non-intimidating, respectful gym environment, where behaviors like dropping weights or loud yelling during workouts are discouraged. Adhering to these guidelines, including the footwear policy, ensures a comfortable experience for all members.

Does Planet Fitness Have Deadlift Bars?

No, Planet Fitness does not offer traditional deadlift bars, squat racks, barbells, or bumper plates in their facilities. Instead, they provide numerous Smith machines, which are a safer and more effective alternative for recreational gym users looking to perform exercises like deadlifts.

Does Planet Fitness Have Deadlift Platforms?

No, Planet Fitness does not have deadlift platforms, aligning with their policy against dropping weights to maintain a non-intimidating gym environment. While it’s true that Planet Fitness lags behind gyms like Gold’s Gym in offering specialized powerlifting equipment like hex bars, racks, or sled hammers, their focus is more on general fitness rather than specialized strength training.

The equipment at Planet Fitness is primarily geared towards general fitness enthusiasts, with options like kettlebells, dumbbells, fixed-weight barbells, Smith machines, medicine balls, resistance bands, and a vast array of cardio machines. Despite any critiques, Planet Fitness’s success, evident in its significant net worth, reflects a business model catering to a broad audience seeking affordable and accessible fitness options.

How to do deadlifts at Planet Fitness?

To do deadlifts at Planet Fitness, your best bet is to use the Smith machine. This machine is safer, puts less stress on joints, and allows for heavier lifting compared to dumbbells, despite its fixed range of motion and lesser engagement of stabilizer muscles.

  1. Check Availability: Before loading the bar, ensure the Smith machine isn’t already in use. Respect other members’ space and time. If all of the Smith machines are currently in use, you can either wait or perform some glute activation exercises like back extensions that will help you to recruit glutes better during the deadlifts.
  2. Minimize Noise: Avoid making loud noises while lifting. It’s a gym, not a drama theater. Keep your grunts to a minimum and take breaks if needed. Unless you’re training for some powerlifting competition, chances are you don’t need to make noise while lifting weights.
  3. Controlled Weight Handling: Don’t drop the weights. Instead of maxing out with one-rep maxes, focus on five-rep maxes for better muscle stimulation and hormone response. One of the worst things you can do at Planet Fitness while doing deadlifts is to drop the bar on the floor. Sure, going for PRs or lifting 1RM is impressive, but chances are that you will likely drop your weights down.
  4. Re-Rack Weights: Always put your weights back after use. Leaving weights scattered is disrespectful to others and the gym.
  5. Be Courteous: Being friendly and respectful can create a positive gym environment. Smile, greet others, and maintain a pleasant demeanor.
  6. Observe Form: Pay attention to your form to ensure effective and safe deadlifts. Proper technique is key, even on a Smith machine.
  7. Adjust Weight Gradually: Start with lighter weights to warm up, gradually increasing your working set. This prevents injury and prepares your muscles.
  8. Monitor Rest Periods: Take appropriate rest between sets. Don’t hog the machine, especially during busy hours.
  9. Clean Up: Wipe down the equipment after use, especially in the current health-conscious climate. It’s courteous and hygienic.

How to do deadlifts at Planet Fitness without a smith machine?

To perform deadlifts at Planet Fitness without a Smith machine, you can use dumbbells or pre-loaded barbells, focusing on maintaining proper form and technique. These alternatives, while limited in weight, can still effectively target the same muscle groups as traditional deadlifts.

What alternatives to deadlifts are available at Planet Fitness?

Kettlebell swings, squats, split squats, and hip thrusts are gym exercises at Planet Fitness that mimic deadlifts.

  • Kettlebell swings: A study by William H Otto 3rd and colleagues from the Department of Kinesiology at California State University, Fullerton (2012), found that kettlebell training, including exercises like kettlebell swings, is effective in increasing strength and power, similar to traditional weightlifting exercises like deadlifts​​. Although weightlifting showed greater strength gains, the research indicates that kettlebell exercises can be a viable alternative for those seeking similar benefits to deadlifts, especially in environments like Planet Fitness where traditional weightlifting equipment may not be available.
  • Squats: A 2020 study by Federico Nigro and Sandro Bartolomei, which was conducted at the University of Bologna and titled “A Comparison Between the Squat and the Deadlift for Lower Body Strength and Power Training,” demonstrated that squats could lead to similar enhancements in lower body strength and power as deadlifts. This suggests that Smith machine squats could be considered a viable alternative.
  • Split Squats: A study by Florian Schellenberg and colleagues from ETH Zurich (2017) compared muscle forces during deadlifts, good mornings, and split squats​​. Their findings indicate that split squats, particularly in the rear limb, significantly load the rectus femoris muscle, a part of the quadriceps, making them a beneficial alternative to deadlifts for targeting lower body muscles.
  • Hip Thrusts: The 2019 study by Jose Delgado and colleagues at Edith Cowan University, Western Australia, compared muscle activities during back squats, Romanian deadlifts, and barbell hip thrusts​​. Their findings suggest that barbell hip thrusts are as effective as Romanian deadlifts in activating the hip extensors, particularly the gluteus maximus, offering a good alternative for those exercises, especially in gyms where equipment for deadlifts might be limited.

Which machines are not available at Planet Fitness?

Planet Fitness does not offer certain machines commonly found in other gyms, focusing on a more accessible and non-intimidating environment. Notably absent are heavy-duty powerlifting equipment like squat racks, Olympic barbells, deadlift platforms, kettlebells over 75 pounds, and hip thrusters.

Does Planet Fitness have free weights?

Yes, Planet Fitness offers free weights, including dumbbells and fixed-weight barbells, catering to a range of strength training exercises. However, they do not provide trap bars, aligning with their approach of offering more basic equipment and avoiding heavy lifting gear.

Does Planet Fitness have barbells?

Planet Fitness does have barbells, but these are typically fixed-weight barbells and not the Olympic-style barbells used for heavy weightlifting or powerlifting exercises.

Does Planet Fitness have barbell Pads?

No, not all locations have the same equipment, so the availability of specific items like certain machines or amenities can vary between different Planet Fitness gyms. When asked “does Planet Fitness have barbell pads,” it will depend on the location as some gyms may offer them while others might not, reflecting the variability in equipment and facilities across different branches.

Michal Sieroslawski

Michal is a personal trainer and writer at Millennial Hawk. He holds a MSc in Sports and Exercise Science from the University of Central Lancashire. He is an exercise physiologist who enjoys learning about the latest trends in exercise and sports nutrition. Besides his passion for health and fitness, he loves cycling, exploring new hiking trails, and coaching youth soccer teams on weekends.

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