Planet Fitness pumping up for Marietta’s Lafayette Center

Photo by Chad Plauche-Adkins Jaime Woomer shows off what Planet Fitness has done for her in Marietta.

MARIETTA — It seems like everywhere a person turns this time of year there is an abundance of food to help celebrate the season. All those delicious treats often help people decide to make their New Year’s resolution about getting back into shape. With a new Planet Fitness scheduled to open in early spring at the Lafayette Center, shedding those holiday pounds might be a little easier for residents of the Pioneer City.

Planet Fitness announced its new facility will have more than 15,000 square feet of space that will house state-of-the-art cardio and strength equipment, fully equipped locker rooms, massage chairs and tanning beds. It will also have personal trainers available for those who need that extra push to get into shape.

According to Time magazine, roughly 70 percent, or 267 million Americans are overweight or obese. Obesity is the root cause of many preventable diseases like high blood pressure, stroke, sleep apnea and type two diabetes to name just a few.

A study by Fitness magazine said 65 percent of women and 35 percent of men avoid going to the gym out of fear of being judged by their appearance, their inadequacies in using the equipment or just fear of the unknown. Planet Fitness’ “No Judgment Zone” policy is meant to address that issue with first-time gym goers.

According to its website, the company tries to provide a comfortable, safe and energetic environment where everyone feels accepted and respected. With more than 33 percent of Ohio residents falling into the obese category, eliminating fear of the gym environment can be a bonus.

Ana Lannigan, 19, of Marietta said those fears of judgment are exactly the reason she doesn’t exercise more.

“I know I should,” she said. “I don’t know how to work all the machines and I don’t like the idea of people watching me when I work out, though.”

Jaime Woomer, 37, of Marietta, said she pushed through those fears and has been going to the Planet Fitness in Parkersburg for a year, and is looking forward to the new location opening in Marietta

“At this same time last year I was 216 pounds, now I’m down to 127,” she said. “I went from a size 12 to a size eight. I owe it all to Planet Fitness.”

Woomer also said Planet Fitness really does have an environment that promotes health and not judgment.

“Nobody is prejudiced there. They will teach you how to use the machines, give you advice, anything that helps you,” she said.

People helping people get back into shape is another aspect of Planet Fitness Woomer said she enjoyed.

“I even help new women to learn how to use the gym,” she said. “Women need to help each other, not put each other down.”