Sunday, April 28, 2013

Planet Fitness: Please Improve your Facilities!

Recently, whilst walking past a gym near my abode, I noticed the following sign:

This struck me as being a terrible deal. The gym, Planet Fitness, is also known for its unique exercise theories such as providing free pizza and bagels, and fostering a "judgement free zone", which my roommate aptly noted is actually spelled wrong (or at least unconventionally). Thusly, I composed the following:

Months elapsed with no reply. Finally, I received the following by email; pasted below as it was too large to fit into a single screen capture. Those PF staffers do love to write!

Planet Fitness Exercise Emporium
Planet Fitness Cambridge
Apr 11

Mr. Fred Decatt,

Thank you for visiting our exercise emporium. First off as an employee of planet fitness I apologize to hear about your "average experience!" I am pleased to hear about the friendliness of our staff.

In response to your several questions:
1) Q:Your establishment is full of sweaty people: I noticed on my visit that there are a lot of people who are sweating a lot. Is this typical? It wasn't a particularly hot day out (in fact, it was literally freezing outside) - any idea why people were so sweaty?

A: First off, sweating is the body's way of cooling itself off and maintaining a healthy temperature. You're born with between two and four million sweat glands. Women have more sweat glands than men, but men's glands are more active. How much you sweat depends on your gender, the number of sweat glands you have (more glands equal more sweat), how hot it is, how intensely you're exercising, or how anxious you feel.

The amount a person sweats also depends on how many sweat glands are activated and how much sweat is excreted from each gland. It turns out that fit men sweat significantly more than fit women. The same amount of sweat glands might be activated, but women produce less sweat from each gland. Fit people sweat more efficiently by sweating sooner during workouts, when their body temperature is lower. However, a sedentary person working at the same intensity will heat up a lot faster and possibly sweat more. Also, overweight people sweat more profusely than normal-weight individuals because fat acts as an insulator that raises core temperature.

Unfortunately, some people suffer from excessive sweating, a common condition called Hyperhidrosis. Their bodies' faucets turn on and their palms, feet, back, and face become covered in sweat, even if it's cold out or they're not moving.

2) Q: The drinking fountain did not work very well: It also changed pressure when someone flushed the toilet.

A: Due to the crowding population in Porter Sq, and the time of day. Water is at a premium, following basic Supply and Demand is why this problem occurs.
3) Q: You had a sign offering the following deal: $10/month, or $199 for 18 months. You might want to double-check the math on that one.

A: At that time there was at $10 start up fee + $10 a month + October $29 Annual Fee = $159. $199 for 18months = $11 a month, by getting the money up front is always a benefit for businesses. While the standard membership continues monthly billing until it is cancelled by the user.

4) Q: Your machines are not at right angles to the pipes on the ceiling: Thusly, when doing a chest exercises that involve looking up, everything looks just a little off. I suggest rotating all your equipment by ~9 degrees.

A:While designing the gym the flow from machine to machine was considered instead of the angles from machines to ceilings.

5) Q: You spelled "judgment" wrong in "judgement free zone." Or is that supposed to be ironic?
A: judg·ment [juhj-muhnt]

1. an act or instance of judging.
2. the ability to judge, make a decision, or form an opinion objectively, authoritatively, and wisely, especially in matters affecting action; good sense; discretion: a man of sound judgment.
3. the demonstration or exercise of such ability or capacity: The major was decorated for the judgment he showed under fire.
4. the forming of an opinion, estimate, notion, or conclusion, as from circumstances presented to the mind: Our judgment as to the cause of his failure must rest on the evidence.
5. the opinion formed: He regretted his hasty judgment.

Thank you for taking your time to write and tell the Planet Fitness staff about your experience and constructing criticisms.

-PF Front Desk

So, Irony then I guess... although it turns out there is an on-going debate about the proper spelling of judgment/judgement. Apparently OED recognizes "judgement", but no one else does. We'll leave it to the logophiles to resolve that one.

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