Red light therapy is quickly finding its way into the spotlight in the health and fitness world. This is no fluke, as the body of research demonstrating its effectiveness in enhancing athletic performance and weight loss continues to grow. However, until recently, the only places to get treatment were high end spas and specialty clinics. Thankfully, as they say, the times, they’re a-changin’. As red light therapy becomes more accessible, many gyms across the country have begun offering the service to their members. Planet Fitness, Crunch Fitness, and Club Fitness have all stepped up their game with in-house red light therapy machines to help their members enhance their gym experience - and their results. The big question is: how do they compare to at-home red light therapy devices?
Should You Choose a Gym With a Red Light Therapy Machine?
Choosing a gym can be daunting, especially if you’re new to working out. And with so many gyms offering a near-endless list of classes, programs, and extras, just choosing a membership is enough to make you break out in a sweat. Saunas, for instance, are great for relaxing your muscles after a tough workout. And tanning beds can help define your muscles. But are they worth the extra money?
Red light therapy, on the other hand, is a no-brainer. It offers countless benefits for health and fitness, including improved performance and endurance, increased muscle mass, and quicker recovery. It has also been shown to be effective for weight loss, body contouring, and cellulite. Check out our articles on red light therapy for fitness and weight loss for a more in-depth look at how it works.
And the benefits don’t stop there. Red light therapy is well-documented for being an effective treatment for skin issues and wrinkles, pain and inflammation, hair loss, cognitive health, and a host of other issues and conditions. It’s like a full-body tune-up in a few short minutes.
For a detailed rundown on the full list of benefits, as well as just how red light therapy works, check out this article.
Now that we’ve established that red light therapy is worth joining a gym for, let’s take a look at 3 popular fitness chains that offer it.
Red Light Therapy At Planet Fitness
Planet Fitness is one of the largest fitness club franchises on, well, the planet. It has over 2,000 clubs across the US, as well as in Canada, Mexico, Panama, the Dominican Republic, and Australia.
A great gym for beginners, Planet Fitness touts itself as a “judgment free zone” that is welcoming to average users. It also offers low-cost memberships, starting at just $10/month. This classic membership gives you access to all workout equipment at your home club. For $22.99/month, you can get a black card membership, which gives you unlimited access to all amenities at any Planet Fitness worldwide. Perks include guest privileges, discounts on drinks and apparel, travel deals, and free gear. It also gives you access to massage chairs, tanning beds, and of course, red light therapy.
Called Total Body Enhancement, the machine resembles an upright tanning bed, but with a red glow instead of UV. (And unlike UV light, red light is not harmful in any way. In fact, there are no significant risks or side effects to red light exposure.) It also features a vibrating footplate which is said to stimulate muscles and increase circulation.
Planet Fitness recommends 12-minute sessions after your workout, as often as you’d like (except leaving 24 hours between sessions). Our opinion is that while it is a relaxing experience after a workout, and can promote quicker muscle repair and reduced inflammation, using it before a workout is beneficial as well for muscle growth and improved athletic performance and endurance.
Red Light Therapy At Crunch Fitness
Crunch Fitness started out as a tiny gym in a basement studio in New York City where a small but diverse group of people could safely workout without fear of judgment or discrimination. It has now grown into a large chain with over 300 locations across the US, Canada, and Australia.
Throughout its expansion, it has maintained its dedication to welcoming people from all walks of life, with a focus on positivity, inclusivity, and fun. To quote from their website, “Differences are encouraged. Quirks are welcomed”. Busy parents are welcome, too: they also offer babysitting services as an add-on to your membership.
On top of regular cardio and weight equipment, they also offer a variety of creative group classes, as well as personal training and nutrition coaching. Their membership prices range from $9.95/month for their base plan, to $29.95/month for the Peak Results plan. You get by far the most bang for your buck with this plan. It includes guest privileges, group, spin, and HIIT classes, live online workouts, and access to hydromassage, tanning facilities, and Infrared saunas.
An infrared sauna is a sort of combination of a traditional dry sauna and a red light therapy machine. It has the soothing Nordic look of a sauna, but it uses red light to generate heat, rather than rocks warmed by a heater. While traditional saunas are used to draw toxins from the body through sweating, infrared saunas are designed to irradiate your skin with light at a certain wavelength. This wavelength stimulates energy production within your cells, leading to a wide range of benefits.
Red Light Therapy At Club Fitness
Club Fitness started out as a local gym in St. Louis, Missouri in 1983. It has since grown to include more than 20 locations across Missouri and Illinois. Priding itself on #liftinglocal, Club Fitness is also a strong advocate for inclusivity and accessibility.
Their base membership is a bit pricier at $22.99/month, but it includes access to all Club Fitness locations, as well as group classes and tanning. Their platinum membership costs $49.99/month and offers all the perks. This includes discounts on retail items, access to the women’s training, pulse, and cycle studios, guest passes, hydromassage, and red light therapy.
They offer a great middle-of-the-road option as well, with their premium plan. For $29.99/month, you have access to many of the benefits of the platinum membership, including red light therapy.
Similar to the body enhancement machine at Planet Fitness, but without the vibrating plate, Club Fitness’ red light therapy machine is a walk-in capsule with red light emanating from 360 degrees. 10-minute sessions are all you need to enjoy the innumerable benefits of red light therapy treatments.
What if you love your gym but it doesn’t offer red light therapy? What if there are no fitness centers near you that offer it? Or what if you’re one of millions of people who choose to work out at home?
The good news is that red light therapy is even more accessible than ever, with a slew of personal devices hitting the market. But just how beneficial is it to invest in an at-home device?
Is a Personal Red Light Therapy Device Right For You?
While red light therapy machines are a fantastic addition to any fitness center, it does come with some inconveniences.
First, as evidenced above, you usually have to purchase a premium membership to have access. This extra expenditure adds up at the end of the year, especially if you don’t want all the other perks. Some gyms may offer on-demand sessions. However, given that it’s recommended to use red light therapy almost daily to fully experience the benefits, this would quickly become prohibitively expensive.
Second, each gym is usually equipped with a single machine, which could result in wait lists. Most people have busy lives and don’t have time to wait an extra 20 minutes after their workout for a turn in the infrared sauna.
Third, the Internet and social media have changed the landscape of health and fitness. It is easier than ever to get an effective workout at home, even with no equipment. So while red light therapy machines are great for gyms, a major portion of the fitness enthusiast population is still without access.
Another factor throwing a wrench into people’s fitness regimens is COVID-19. Many fitness facilities are reopening after a few months of lockdown. However, while some people can’t wait to hit the treadmill or the squat rack once again, others are reluctant to return to the gym. It is, after all, a place where people are touching everything, and breathing heavily to boot. Not only is using the gym a potential health risk, the necessity to wipe down all equipment between uses may result in longer wait times for all machines, including red light therapy.
Rouge red light therapy devices offer a simple and affordable solution to all these issues. Our panels come in a variety of sizes and price points, so you can find the perfect device to suit your needs.
If you’re looking for brute strength to match your own, the Rouge Ultimate panel ticks all the boxes. The largest and most powerful of the pack, it’s large enough to cover every inch of your body in one session.
The Rouge Pro, at half-body size, packs a punch, but in slightly a smaller package, so you can move it around to where you need it with ease.
The Rouge Essential is like the mama bear of the family, meaning it’s juuuuuuust right for many people. Great for larger targeted areas, it combines power and affordability perfectly.
If you’re dealing with a localized pain issue, or if you want to improve the appearance of wrinkles and blemishes on your face, the Rouge Tabletop is ideal. You can simply have it on while you’re working, reading, having dinner, or any other activity where you’re sitting relatively still.
Finally, for those who are always on the move, whether travelling for business or pleasure, there’s the Rouge Mini. No bigger than a paperback book, this wireless device allows you to keep your busy lifestyle without ever having to skip a day.
The biggest benefit to a personal red light therapy device - besides enhancing your fitness results - is that your entire household can use it. And for years, too: all of Rouge’s devices come with a 3-year warranty.
With your at-home device, you can go ahead and get the bare-bones gym membership. Or you can stick to a yoga mat and Youtube. In other words, Rouge red light therapy allows you to choose your own path to fitness.
Disclaimer: The information published by Rouge Red Light Therapy is intended to be educational, and is not to be taken as medical advice. We take great care in ensuring the information provided is accurate and sourced from trusted scientific journals and peer-reviewed clinical studies.
Our red light therapy devices are registered with the FDA as class-II medical devices indicated for the relief of muscle spasms, minor muscle and joint aches, as well as pain and stiffness associated with arthritis. However, the use of our devices or the application of any information obtained on this site is at your own risk, and we encourage you to consult your physician or medical professional before beginning red light therapy treatment.