File under WTF!

Thanks to Newsvine, I just found this article on a gym member losing his membership over grunting (there is a link to the actual story on my page below…keep scrolling):

Grunting Carries No Weight in This Gym

ALBANY, N.Y. — Some gyms forbid hogging machines and or wearing flip flops. At one gym, grunting is grounds for expulsion. Albert Argibay of Beacon, N.Y. was escorted by police officers from a gym this week for grunting — which is against Planet Fitness’ rules for maintaining a non-intimidating atmosphere.
“Perhaps I grunted, perhaps I didn’t. It’s open to interpretation,” said Argibay, a 40-year-old corrections officer. He said he had his headset on when he was lifting 500 pounds on a squat machine at the gym in Wappingers Falls, about 80 miles north of New York City.

Planet Fitness, which has 120 locations across the country, markets itself as a place where anyone can feel comfortable in its “Judgment Free Zone.”
Its rules, posted around the gym, state members cannot wear bandanas, grunt or bang weights on the ground. When an offender is spotted, a “lunk alarm” sounds to warn the member.

Across its locations nationwide, there is at least one expulsion every two weeks, said Mike Grondahl, CEO of Planet Fitness. He said grunting and dropping weights are the most common offenses.

“When somebody’s in there and they grunt and they grunt loud, it’s trying to bring attention to themselves to show everyone how strong they are,” Grondahl said.

Planet Fitness seems strikingly a lot like this other gym I am pretty familiar with, Crunch fitness, right down to the logo and tagline. How many things are wrong with this situation (like how similarly Planet markets itself to Crunch)? A number, but one of the weird things is the CEO claiming that grunting is attention seeking behavior. That sounds a bit judgmental to me. As far as it being a gym for novices because the heaviest dumbbell is 80lbs, I have to call bullshit. I know plenty of people who are not novices who cannot lift with 80lb. dumbbells. Yours truly included.

I would just like to say that I am happy to be a member of Crunch Fitness, which does stick to it’s “No Judgments” policy, and grunting is actually encouraged!

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3 Responses to File under WTF!

  1. Heather in FL says:

    We have a new Planet Fitness – that morphed from a World Gym. The employees have taken the “lunk alarm” too far as it was sounded at two members the other day for laughing in the gym. One of the gentlemen who was laughing had a snide comment made to him by the front desk gal – the one who sounded the alarm – and consequently he cancelled his membership that day. Also, in the past week they have removed the squat rack, other pieces of leg equipment and bars, which allowed members to do pullups and hanging leg raises…..They say this equipment is “too intimidating to their target member”. Looking for a new gym now in Florida. This is reverse judgement at the very least.

  2. fitfiend says:

    Wow that is pretty ridiculous. What happens when “beginner” members are no longer beginners?

  3. […] etiquette.  It also mentions “Slamming weights down and making excessive noise.”  This is a bit of a grey area.  Sometimes, people lifting really do need to grunt to get up heavy weights, and not focus on […]

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