Lunk Alarm: In Weird Defense Of Planet Fitness

What is the Lunk Alarm?

At Planet Fitness- a micro-budget big-box gym- the Lunk Alarm is notorious. A flashing light and a siren will go off if someone is being a douche bag in public. A Planet Fitness douche bag is not the most specific of designations, but it is likely related to behaving  like a "meat-head" or "intimidating" other members through exercise. The douche bag meat-head lunk will then be asked to leave.

The Planet Fitness website says this:
The Lunk Alarm is our way of keeping the right atmosphere in the gym, by preventing things like dropping weights, and loud grunting. We want our members to feel comfortable in our non-intimidating judgement free zone. 
I 100% agree with this. It is a perfect policy. For Planet Fitness.

Planet Fitness is all about the newbie. The mom who just had her first physical in five years and was loaded up with a couple new metabolic diseases. The retirees who need to get out of the house but are scared by the "urbans" who have moved into the neighborhood. The new dad who sees a photo of himself holding his baby and for the first time wonders "how did I get so fat? I need to make a change."

The ideal Planet Fitness client associates shame with his or her body. They are embarrassed by their inability to achieve a vague goal of "health." They are barely in the building.

None of those people belong at Gold's Gym. All of them, and maybe you, can legitimately say, fuck Gold's Gym. Fuck 'em twice!

When I was sedentary and obese I walked into my local fuck Gold's Gym in Frederick, MD and looked around. It was filled with fit looking people. People who had already gotten their shit together (or so it appeared to me at the time). No one in there looked like me. No one looked uncomfortable throwing barbells around. And none of the assholes behind the desk would look at me or ask if they could answer questions. Fuck Gold's Gym in Frederick, MD was populated by lunks.

So I went over to Planet Fitness even though I had a negative impression because of shit I read online. I got a cheap membership and went two or three times a week for 60-120 minutes legit. And I had no idea what the hell I was doing. I would spend 45 minutes on the elliptical because, I don't know, isn't that good? I would wander around the machines and, if I could figure out how to use them, I'd move the thing ten times because, I don't know, isn't ten a good number?

And after something like nine months I hadn't burned much fat, I hadn't gained much muscle, so I quit. I didn't make any progress because I didn't know what the fuck I was doing. I didn't look stuff up on the internet. I didn't ask the resident trainers (yes, they have them). I was a living plateau.

But! I had gotten comfortable in a gym. I felt like I belonged there and couldn't be shamed out the door because I was fat. It was the kick in the ass I needed to do my homework, to learn how the human body works, to take my health seriously. Because of Planet Fitness I was able to make the changes I needed to make and become a fitness professional. Because of Planet Fitness I felt like I belonged in a gym.

If you are a member of Planet Fitness

Do not be like me. Do not think that you are alone. Everyone in that building is trying to get their shit together.

Go up to the desk and make an appointment to talk to a trainer. They don't work 1-on-1, but they can help you learn how to use the equipment and answer and question you have.

If you like, I can design a training program specifically for you to take into your local Planet Fitness.

If you have your fitness shit together

Dude, Planet Fitness isn't for you! Why the fuck are you there? If you want a cheap monthly gym bill, so be it. This is the environment so suck it up. If you are serious about Olympic lifts, hypertrophy, or are an athlete, I repeat, Planet Fitness isn't for you! Why the fuck are you there?

That said, Planet Fitness provides free pizza, bagels, and tootsie rolls. What the fuck? I can't defend that.