Hi all, I'm from Singapore and I'm following this Planet Fitness Fiasco here with great interest. There are Planet Fitness gyms in Singapore but I'm not a member, neither do I know if there are ridiculous lunk alarms here or not but here's a great link that I found on the net. Its a great read. Enjoy!
November 20, 2006, 5:00 pm
Grunting Bodybuilder Might Flex His Legal Muscles
Posted by Peter Lattman
A health club in upstate New York kicked out one of its members because he violated one of its rules: He was grunting.
Saturday?s New York Times ran a front-page story on the kerfuffle. Albert Argibay, a state correction?s officer, apparently exacerbated the situation by continuing to pump iron after gym worker told him to stop lifting; police officers were called and he was escorted from the gym. The Planet Fitness gym in Wappingers Falls cancelled his membership.
No grunting? Planet Fitness is a national chain with a bunch of rules ? no bandannas, no jeans, no weight-banging ? intended to make ?novice exercisers? feel comfortable. It also apparently has some fun with the restrictions: When rule-breakers are spotted, a siren sounds with flashing blue lights. It?s called the ?lunk alarm?; the club defines a lunk as ?one who grunts, drops weights, or judges.?
What?s the legal angle? Argibay says he might sue the gym, alleging defamation (he told the Times his colleagues call him and make grunting noises and he fears prison inmates will lose respect for him). His lawyer, Jason Stern, a serious bodybuilder himself, has created boycottplanetfitness.com, a Web site that includes a list titled ?Top Ten Reasons to Join Planet Witless.? Among the entries: ?No. 10. Free Twinkie Tuesdays!?
I work out in a health club that has some very serious lifters who grunt.
Generally speaking, they flock together and don?t pay much attention to non-serious lifters, not to mention the Stairmaster crowd (which simply doesn?t exist to them). If you?re lifting 500 lbs, you?re not going to be around anyone struggling with 75 lbs.
And we non-serious health club patrons pretty much ignore the serious lifters.
Which is to say, in my gym everybody seems to get along just fine. Every gym I?ve been over the last few decades operates pretty much the same way.
So I don?t get what this club in upstate NY is doing trying to make ?novice exercisers? more comfortable by banning grunters. Or harrassing the serious lifters with a ?lunk alarm.?
There?s something creepy about a health club that treats its customers as though everyone?s still in junior high.
No way would I join a club like that.
Comment by Auto - November 20, 2006
Women don?t join gyms where they are not comfortable. That?s why there are gyms that cater to women specifically (Lucille Roberts, Curves, etc).
And grunters make women uncomfortable.
Comment by Mr. LL - November 20, 2006
When I first read about this incident, I immediately assumed the lunk was someone like a guy at my former club (actually a Y). His grunting, albeit while handling very heavy weights, could be heard over the music and over the hum of the aerobic equipment. He appeared to want everyone?s attention, and distracted all. I now understand that that was probably not the situation now at issue. The NY club should just own up to its marketing decision and help the serious lifters to find another club. Maybe a name change to Planet Wimp is in order, too.
Comment by Grunt Man - November 20,
If a gym has free weights or machines that induce the same type of workout as using free weights and the user -doesn?t-grunt even a little while using this equipment they are NOT working out in my experience. Any gym owner or trainer in a gym knows that grunting is almost always required when doing some weight lifting exercise routines to perform the routine correctly and avoid injury. Maybe the Planet Fitness gym is enforcing upon its patrons incorrect execution of some weight lifting exercise routines thereby resulting in possible injury to them. The license or certification of the Planet Fitness gym should be reviewed.
Comment by gymdog - November
To Auto, Grunt Man and gymdog:
Do your gyms yhave a sections where only woman can work out? many gyms do? Its because women don?t like to listen to men grunt?and for the most part, women don?t grunt (loudly) when they work out.
Comment by Anonymous - November 20, 2006 at 2:29 pm
?The NY club should just own up to its marketing decision and help the serious lifters to find another club.?
Huh? How could they do any more to make their marketing decisions perfectly clear. And, where does a club get a duty to help those who aren?t in its marketing targets to find an alternative?
It would be one thing if there were only one or two places to work out in the world, but the only thing keeping me from walking into the side of a health club in this town is the fact that there?s a Starbucks in the way. If you don?t like the policies of Club A, go to Club B!
Equally, whether any of us agree that the choices made by this club are physiologically sound are not is irrelevant?The club has a right to sell its services to whom it wants so long as its discrimination does not touch on the legally protected classes. Last I looked, people who grunt are not in a protected class.
Comment by Michael - November 20, 2006 at 2:52 pm
My current gym (6,000 members overall) welcomes women and they consitute approximately 40% of those on the free weight and resistance machine level, including quite a few in the 40-60 age range (including my size 4 wife). Modest grunting exists, but is minimally audible and in no event a nuisance. As for my earlier suggestion that Planet Wimp assist real iron pumpers in getting into a new club, Michael, I was thinking of initiation fees and longer term memberships. People who grunt may well have been induced to join on assurances of minimal enforcement of rules and a written warning before being kicked out for an infraction. A civil rights analysis of this situation is, of course, shallow and silly.
Comment by Grunt Man Redux - November 20, 2006 at 3:45 pm
I have worked at planet fitness before. The environment is non indimidating and someone grunting throwing up intense amount of weight is the complete opposite of what is supposed to happen. There is a contract he signed that included the no grunting clause. I do not what, if anything he is going to get from this lawsuit.
Comment by mike - November 20, 2006 at 5:37 pm
For the relevant legal principles, please see my planned flatulence class action against all Americans in the Global Warming section of this blog.
I think we can just cross out ?flatulence? and put in ?grunting?, and of course, it is a smaller base of defendants. But otherwise, I think it?s plain to see that the same logic applies!
Don?t grunt or emit gasses in this man?s country!