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A whole world of time for fitness

Young, old, intense or leisurely: Planet Fitness promotes a health environment for all types

Candi Crow (right) has been working out at Planet Fitness since the opening. Here, she runs with co-worker Kandice Denning.
Candi Crow (right) has been working out at Planet Fitness since the opening. Here, she runs with co-worker Kandice Denning.

Working out at 3 in the morning? What world are you living in?

It’s the Planet Fitness, and a couple thousand people have already settled there.

The national chain brought its brand of “Judgment-Free” workouts to Sterling in December, moving in to Northland Mall in the former home of Pet Supplies Plus.

One of the fitness club’s selling points is that instead of having customers’ schedules revolve around the business’s, Planet Fitness revolves around customers’ schedules, keeping it doors open 24 hours a day on weekdays, and 12 hours a day on weekends.

So far, the business has been a good fit for fitness buffs. More than 2,000 members have already signed up, manager Priscilla Russell said.

For Candie Crow, a Dixon Correctional Center registered nurse, the hours are part of what drew her to Planet Fitness – but more importantly, she said.
“I want to be healthy. There’s a lot of disease in the family.”

Crow, 43, started working out there in January, and sometimes exercises with her daughter. The nurse uses a mix of calisthenics for cardiovascular work and lifts weights.

“I’ll do three or four repetitions on the weights,” she said. “Some days I’ll go heavy, and some days I’ll go light. I warm up, stretch, and work out.”

Crow knows other nurses from the prison who value the flexibility Planet Fitness provides.

“Nurses who get off work at 9 [p.m.] can come here and work out,” she said.

Russell said the business brings in customers from all over the Sauk Valley – Tampico, Milledgeville, Sterling, Rock Falls, Morrison, and Dixon to name a few – and all ages, too.

“I see … people in their 80s and 90s,” Crow said. “They’re working at their own pace, but at least they’re working out.”

People as young as 13 can work out there, too, but 13- to 15-year-olds must be accompanied by an adult, Russell said.

The business has tanning beds, massage chairs and hydromassage machines. The cardio machines have USB ports where customers can connect electronics to record workout data, and audio theater boxes let them listen to one of 16 TVs that line the walls.

The strengthening machines have diagrams showing people how to use them, Russell said, and customers can move at their own pace on the treadmills and weights, or use equipment in the 30-minute workout circuit when they’re pressed for time.

Brian Diaz, the facility’s fitness instructor, will work with customers individually or in groups of up to five people.

And when you’re done working up a sweat, you can hop in to one of the private showers.

Members also can grab a snack while they’re there, thanks to food promotions. The first Monday of every month is pizza, and the second Tuesday is a bagel breakfast.

It’s all part of the company’s mission to provide a place where people can work out at their own pace and feel accepted and respected – even if it is at 3 o’clock in the morning.


Address: 2900 E. Lincolnway, Sterling

Phone: 815-625-4253

Online: or

Hours: Open 24 hours a day Monday through Friday (opens at 5 a.m. Monday, closes at 9 p.m. Friday; 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Cost: Memberships start at $10 per month.

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