Can you lose weight doing the Planet Fitness 30-minute circuit?

What is the Planet Fitness 30 minute circuit? The Planet Fitness circuit is an exercise program that involves both strength and cardiovascular training. The circuit consists of 10 strength machines and 10 cardio step stations. You exercise along with the green and red light traffic light that is situated above in the sectioned off circuit area. 

You can start anywhere on the circuit where you wish. For example, if you start on the strength equipment, you begin exercising when the traffic light turns green for about a minute and you stop when the light turns red. The rest or transition time is 30 seconds. Red means it is time to transition the cardio step station. When the light turns green again, then you step up and down on the step platform for one minute and so forth and so on. In 30 minutes, you would have a completed full-body workout.

According to the Planet Fitness guidelines, you are only supposed to do 12 repetitions on the strength equipment. Doing this will leave you enough time to wipe the equipment down before the minute is up. If you want to do more reps, it would be best to bring your own wipes so you don't have to run and get the spray bottle.

I wrote a post about variations you can do with the Planet Fitness circuit in case your body hits a weight loss or strength plateau. Check out my variations post here: Planet Fitness Circuit Variations

What machines are in the 30-minute circuit at Planet Fitness? The strength machines in the circuit have both lower body, upper body, and one abdominal machine. They have a chest press, back row, lat pulldown, shoulder press, biceps curl, tricep press, leg extension, leg curl, leg press, and abdominal crunch machine. 

How many calories can you burn doing the 30-minute Planet Fitness circuit? You can burn from 200 calories up to 700 calories per 30-minute session depending upon your weight and your speed on the stepping stations. A 120-pound person will burn fewer calories than a 190-pound person. Also, if your stepping speed on the step station is 70 steps for the minute, a person stepping 100 steps is going to burn more calories. The best way to track your caloric burn would be with a fitness tracker and even then it is an estimate.

Can you lose weight doing the planet fitness 30-minute circuit? Yes, you can lose weight from doing the circuit if you do the program at least three days a week. To accelerate your weight loss, it would be better to do the circuit three days a week and add a cardio workout two times a week. 

The pros and cons of doing the Planet Fitness 30-minute workout? The pros; it is simple to do and you can be in and out of the club in 45 minutes or less. Cons and this is my biggest gripe; people will wander over to the circuit and not follow the program and sit on a piece of equipment for a while. Sometimes you have to ask them if you can jump in for one minute to perform your reps. 

Are you a member of Planet Fitness? Have you ever done the 30-minute circuit?


  1. I have started doing the 30 minute circuit at planet fitness.

  2. I recently started PF and I like it so far. I have already exp the random person that comes in too.

  3. As first time gym goer, is there someone who shows you how to work on each machine/equipment or is it self guided?

  4. Yes, I've been using the circuit for a few nomths now. It's a great workout that I can fit into my schedule.

    And yes, the biggest gripe are the wanderers.

  5. I love the 30 minute workout! I have mentioned a couple times to management that they need to monitor it because people stay on machines too long. One time this lady sat on a machine talking on her phone for at least 20 minutes. I don't mind if people come in and use the machine but they shouldn't use it any longer than 1 minute. The sign in that section says they are supposed to yield to the people doing the circuit but most the time I find I have to yield to them! When I complained to management they always make me feel like the "bad" guy. It is frustrating :/

  6. I also love the 30 minute workout and have been doing it since August. The wanderers are annoying, and I used to get upset, so I started carrying a small pouch & always place it on the machine that is next in line for me...that way my next machine is always available. If it's being used, I just skip the machine and continue with my circuit. They aren't blind, so most times, the user will move on before I need to ask. If not, I just let them know that I'm doing the circuit and need the machine for 60, wrap it up and move along. It's a little annoying that I have to point out the obvious, but everyone is always kind, friendly, no need for angst on my end. Some people are annoyed when they see my pouch, but really...I'm the one actually doing the circuit, so if you can finish with that machine before I get to 1 minute & 30 seconds, be my guest...otherwise, wait til I'm done. Sorry, not sorry.
    I don't think that I've lost any weight, but have definitely gained muscle, agility, flexibility, etc so no complaints.

    1. I also love the circuit. Have you thought about going around twice a couple of days a week?

    2. I started PF mid Feb it’s now mid May. Religiously doing the 30 min circuit 3x per week. At week 4 I took the class and wow what a difference learning various step exercises that really upped my workout. Around week 11 I’ve started doing a second round of only the machines increasing my workout to 45 mins. I also warmup on the treadmill 5-7 mins in advance and target a 130 HR before I move into the circuit. Prior to PF I was doing NOOM to change eating habit and have significantly increased my protein. I target 450-500 calorie burn in my just shy of an hour and love when I can squeeze in a 4th day. Sadly body fat isn’t changing yet but physique getting better and muscles getting firmer and bigger so overall happy. In Los Angeles area the wanderers are generally understanding but some tell me to wait till they’re done. Frustrating! I upgraded to black card and do the beauty angel and 2x massage chair after my workout. Really enjoying the experience overall as a late 40’s male, 6’2” 250lb


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