Blog Posts

PF Midwest Partners With Ability to Thrive in Ohio

PF Midwest’s Planet Fitness® club in Fairfield, Ohio, has created a special partnership with Ability to Thrive, a nonprofit organization creating opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities to learn new skills. Ability to Thrive’s programs also promote self-empowerment, self-reliance, fitness and fun, which aligns perfectly with Planet Fitness’ Judgement Free Zone®.  

The partnership began in January 2018 when Ability to Thrive’s founder approached Brandon Cliffe, regional sales manager for PF Midwest, and explained what the program provides for adults with special needs and how the group was seeking a location for guests to exercise several times a week. “We, as a group, felt compelled to not only open our doors, but provide them all with heavily discounted rates to make it as affordable as possible,” said Mike Hamilton and John Clancy, PF Midwest franchisees.  

Ability to Thrive’s fitness and wellness program helps participants stay in physical shape, increase self-esteem and improve social skills. Longtime members regularly comment on friendships they have formed with Ability to Thrive’s members and how gratifying it is to see those members not only dramatically improve the physical shape they are in, but also communicate much more freely and confidently with staff and members. 

“I can’t say enough about how mutually beneficial this partnership has been for our Planet Fitness family and the Ability to Thrive members,” Hamilton said. “Our trainer, Natalie, has gotten to know each by name and is aware of each member’s goals they are working toward.”   

PF Midwest hopes to expand the program over the next few years to include several additional locations. The partnership has allowed the organization to truly live out what the Planet Fitness brand stands for. “We are the judgement-free family,” said Hamilton. “This embodies what our brand stands for as a whole.” 

Baseline Fitness Member Inspires Others With His Weight Loss Journey

In 2014, 32-year-old Heath Thompson had a realization about his health. Weighing in at more than 470 pounds, Thompson was at risk of health complications despite his young age. He decided to start a health and fitness journey that would turn his life around. 

Thompson joined the Planet Fitness ® in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, when it opened in January 2017. He goes five to seven days a week to lift weights and do cardio. Since beginning his fitness journey, Thompson has lost more than 200 pounds. He has served as a motivator for many other PF® members who have asked him to share tips. 

“He’s also inspired a group of women who are at a similar start weight to what he was when he originally started,” said Baseline Fitness franchisee Alex Majkrzak. “He also has a large number of people following his progress on Facebook and Instagram.” 

Thompson uses his own progress as motivation on days when he doesn’t feel like working out. “I’ll pull those photos up, and they definitely help keep me going,” he said in an ABC interview. 

Thompson encourages other club members and the club’s employees too. PF team members have described him as consistent, dedicated and motivated, and say how they admire his consistency and dedication to workouts. “So often it’s easy to get caught up prioritizing something else, but to come day in and day out without making excuses has been an amazing motivator for us,” Majkrzak said. 

Everyone wants a place that feels like a home away from home, and Thompson has found one at Planet Fitness. By starting conversations, building friendships and sharing his story, he has created a community at the gym. “My only goal in life has been to help others. My story gives me the education and platform to do that,” he said. 

United PF Partners Celebrates Grand Opening with Donation to Educated Athletes First

On July 10, United PF Partners celebrated the grand opening of their new Mount Pleasant location. Around 100 guests came out to show their support and excitement for the new club. Many special guests attended the event including the Scottdale Chamber of Commerce, Pittsburgh PF club managers, and representatives from Big Brothers Big Sisters and Educated Athletes First.

The grand opening celebration consisted of a ribbon cutting, food and drinks from Panera Bread, and a cake cutting. In addition to a donation to Big Brothers Big Sisters, United PF also gave back to another nonprofit called Educated Athletes First (EAF). EAF was cofounded by Cincinatti Bengals player Demetrious Cox and helps prepare young athletes for the future on and off the playing field. The organization prepares students for academic success, offers free workouts, and provides many other opportunities for success. “We felt EAF’s values and mission align with our guiding principles at Planet Fitness and support our local youth in vital ways,” said Andrew Tatich, District Manager.

Demetrious Cox attended the event to accept a $2,500 check from United PF. Members of the Mount Pleasant community were thrilled about his attendance, which brought many people out to the new club. “He is an influential role model in our town, and we were really proud to have him present for the official opening” said Tatich. “I think this started a meaningful relationship with the community and the mission of EAF in Mount Pleasant.”

United PF is looking forward to working with EAF more closely in the future and is excited to give the Mount Pleasant community a new place to work out. “We focus on creating a space where everyone in the community can be the best version of themselves while feeling accepted and respected,” said Gary Williams, Regional Director. “We were happy to partner and take part in promoting the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Laurel County and Educated Athletes First, whose values truly align with our initiatives here at Planet Fitness Mount Pleasant.”

Impact Fitness Supports Michigan Hand Cyclist’s Goal of Making Boston Marathon

Born with spina bifida, which left him paralyzed from the waist down, Nick Nieboer kept his competitive spirit and love of sports alive, focusing on building his upper body strength. This spring he set out to participate in the Boston Marathon.  

Since winters make outdoor training impossible for the 20-year-old hand cyclist, Nieboer began working out at Impact Fitness’ Kalamazoo Planet Fitness® location. He also found support in fitness trainer Devon Lesnek, a marketing graduate from Western Michigan University who has been with PF® for two years. 

Nieboer approached PF® regarding potential sponsorship for the Boston event whether through gear or assistance with the qualifying fee for the marathon. “Devon and I immediately started brainstorming different ways we could get involved and how we could help,” said Regional Manager Shawn Hoover. Together, Lesnek and Hoover worked with Impact Fitness’ head of marketing to devise the plan to host a fundraiser for Nieboer.  

Free and open to the public, the fundraiser included free food from QDOBA and Erbellis, PF swag giveaways, live remote from 103.3 KFR and the chance to win a 12-month Black Card® membership. However, the big reveal was for Nieboer himself. “The big surprise we had planned for Nick was the new hand bike we revealed at the party that he would be able to use while at PF,” Hoover said. 

“The staff has been so helpful and encouraging, and their support of my handcycling racing endeavors means a great deal to me. I am so grateful for their financial support as I face the expenses associated with going to the Boston Marathon in April and the upkeep of my racing bike, Nieboer told Fox 17. 

Assisting Nieboer in his journey was a reward for those at Impact Fitness as well. 

“Being able to help Nick, both physically and financially, in his journey is a real joy,” said Chris Klebba, CEO of Impact Fitness, in the FOX 17 report. “Bringing the Kalamazoo community together at our local Planet Fitness in support of this young man as he works to achieve his goals is at the heart of our organization’s focus to connect, encourage and support members in an impactful way.” 

Nick’s personality and perseverance has inspired numerous members to overcome obstacles that they themselves have experienced throughout their fitness journeys,” Hoover added. “Any time we can make a special impact on a member it helps remind us what our goal and mission is really all about. Nick’s story and the way we were able to help him is a perfect example of why we, at Impact Fitness, exist to serve, to inspire, to support and to change lives.

PF Michigan Group Builds Mini Judgement Free Zone at Detroit Police Department

In June, PF Michigan Group opened their newest Mini Judgement Free Zone® to the officers of the Detroit Police Department training center. The 4,248squarefoot facility will serve several hundred recruits as they train for their upcoming positions with the department. Detroit Police Chief James Craig, along with several hundred officers and recruits, attended a ribboncutting ceremony with PF Michigan Group corporate staff.  

PF Michigan Group has a growing relationship with the Detroit Police Department. They have assisted with providing facilities for the 11th and 12th precincts and are currently planning to collaborate on more events in the future. “We are so appreciative of their service and know that a modern fitness center would be very beneficial to them as they train for their jobs in law enforcement,” said Mary Scott, director of marketing for PF Michigan Group.     

The space for the Mini JFZ required an extensive overhaul, and with PF Michigan Group’s assistance, all materials and equipment for the space were donatedAfter a four-week renovation, the fully equipped center is complete with new floors, walls, PF®’s signature colors and inspirational messages replicating the Planet Fitness ® environment. The facility has plenty of cardio and strength equipment that will come in handy for the new police recruits.  

“As a company, one of our main goals is to continually give back to the communities that are so supportive of us,” said Bryan Rief, co-owner of PF Michigan Group. “The men and women of the Detroit Police Department work hard to keep our community safe, and this is a small way we can thank them for their service.”