Planet Fitness is a gym chain that has become popular in recent years. They are known for their “no judgment” policy and lunk alarm. But what is the Planet Fitness Lunk Alarm, and why do they use it?
In this blog post, we will answer those questions and give you some background on the history of the fitness chain and its culture that created the lunk alarm Planet Fitness is so well known for.
First, before we talk too much about the Lunk Alarm, we need to talk about the Planet Fitness origins, which will help explain the creation of the alarm.
Planet Fitness: A Brief History Review
The Planet Fitness company was founded in 1992 by Michael Grondahl and Louis Cona, who have been friends since middle school. Initially, they opened a franchise focused on affordable monthly dues and no sign-up fees to attract people scared by the more “typical” chains.
Over time, this initial mission of affordability and accessibility for everyday people became the core of Planet Fitness’s brand. Today, the company has more than 1200 gyms in almost every state, focusing on being a place that is welcoming and unintimidating for all fitness levels and body types.
The Planet Fitness “No Judgement Zone”
One of the defining features of Planet Fitness is its “No Judgment Zone,” which means that it welcomes people at all fitness levels and body types. At most gyms, those who are just starting or have not achieved the same level of physical fitness as their more experienced counterparts can feel intimidated and uncomfortable.
This is why so many people decide not to get into fitness and go to the gym.
They feel insecure and embarrassed at the thought of being perceived negatively by other people. So Planet Fitness has strived to create an environment that is accommodating and accepting of anybody, regardless of their fitness expertise or perceived fitness levels.
Planet Fitness claims everyone is welcome and workouts are supported and respected according to the company mantra.
Planet Fitness is known for its affordable memberships, which can be purchased online or at a physical location. The company offers a variety of membership options, including a basic monthly plan, a black card membership with added perks, and a commitment-free option.
However, some criticize Planet Fitness for its cancellation policies and hidden fees.
In addition to its traditional equipment, Planet Fitness also has a selection of cardio machines, such as treadmills, elliptical machines, rowing machines, and stationary bikes.
But, it has faced criticism for not offering enough free weights and not being as well-equipped as other fitness centers.
That leads us to the infamously loud siren known as the Lunk Alarm.
What Is The Lunk Alarm At Planet Fitness?
When you walk into any Planet Fitness, you will notice that sporadically placed on the walls around the gym are what appear to be sirens. These are not just there for aesthetics.
That is the Lunk Alarm.
The Lunk Alarm is an alarm at Planet Fitness gyms to catch people acting too loudly, aggressively or disrupting other people’s exercise.
The Lunk Alarm is a reminder that the “No Judgment Zone” mantra isn’t used to excuse gym-goers behaving poorly, whether by grunting too loudly, dropping weights, or disturbing others.
The Lunk Alarm is a key feature of Planet Fitness’s fitness philosophy and culture. It is a way for the fitness center to hold its members accountable for their behavior to create a welcoming environment for everyone.
Many people (from beginners to weight lifters and body builders) support using the Lunk Alarm to preserve the welcoming, judgment-free culture that Planet Fitness is known for.
Overall, while controversial at first glance, the Lunk Alarm has become a key part of Planet Fitness’s identity and culture and serves as an important tool for creating an inclusive gym environment where all members feel supported and welcome.
What Is A Lunk?
When the Planet Fitness staff deems someone (in this case, a lunk) as being “too noisy” or seemingly disrespectful to others working out, they initiate the Lunk Alarm. This will sound like a loud siren within the gym, accompanied by the flashing lights on the wall for a couple of seconds.
So what exactly is a lunk? When you are at Planet Fitness, anyone who is making too much noise (this can be vocally, physically, or by dropping weights and slamming machines) would be considered a lunk.
It can also be a term used for those simply no respecting the space of others who are trying to get their sweat on. A lunk is a nuisance, in the eyes of Planet Fitness.
What Will Cause The Lunk Alarm To Go Off?
The good news is the Lunk Alarm does not go off very often, as most people in the Planet Fitness gym understand and respect the rules.
However, from time to time, a gym goer will either not understand or disregard the rules, either getting too wrapped up in their workouts or showboating for others.
The number one reason the Lunk Alarm will go off is slamming or dropping weights during weight lifting.
If you drop weights with any noise, you will hear the alarm. Also, breathing heavily can get you “lunked.”
Often, the staff will give the gym goer a couple of chances to resolve the noisy and unwanted behavior, as sometimes the sound of weights being dropped or Smith Machines getting slammed can be an accident.
But if the behavior continues, the staff assumes that the gym goer is behaving outside the bounds of the “No Judgement Zone” or “Judgement Free Zone” philosophy and sounds the alarm, letting the user know (and everyone else) that the behavior should cease.
Here are some other reasons the Lunk Alarm might get sounded:
- Loud, Interruptive Behavior, such as yelling or grunting
- Bullying or Fighting
- Not Respecting Others Space
The slamming and/or dropping of weights will always be the main thing that will trigger the Lunk Alarm.
While those other things could get it triggered, it’s incredibly rare, and one interested in going to Planet Fitness should not need to worry about triggering the loud siren as long as you control your weights and workouts.
Some People Hate The Lunk Alarm
For the most part, the people who go to Planet Fitness do not worry about the Lunk Alarm. And in fact, they appreciate its role in keeping the gym a respectful place they can go to and not feel intimidated during their lifting session.
However, some in the fitness world do not like the Lunk Alarm and find it to be stupid.
These are typically people we prefer to work out in an environment where noise is not a negative factor. They want to be able to yell during heavy lifting and drop weights to the floor during their lifting without being scolded or having a loud alarm siren go off.
Those people will often talk negatively about Planet Fitness, even looking down on the gym chain as “not a real gym.”
For other members who like going to Planet Fitness, not all of them like the Lunk Alarm.
While the Lunk Alarm is a key feature of Planet Fitness’s culture and identity, not everyone loves it. Some people find it annoying or disruptive, especially those simply trying to focus on their exercise, and may be inadvertently triggered by the loud siren.
For these people, the Lunk Alarm can seem unnecessary to their workout. Additionally, some may feel that using the Lunk Alarm is too punitive and not in line with Planet Fitness’s “no judgment” culture.
It can also make the members overly cautious and nervous not to accidentally drop weights or make any noises.
Despite these criticisms, the Lunk Alarm remains a key part of Planet Fitness’s identity. While it might not be for everyone, it is an important tool for creating a safe, welcoming environment for all gym-goers.
Is Planet Fitness A Good Gym For Exercise?
Planet Fitness is a great place for new gym goers looking to work hard, get in shape, or maintain their fitness level.
One of its main draws is the “No Judgment Zone” and “Judgement Free Zone” culture, which makes it a welcoming environment for people who might feel intimidated about working out elsewhere and will encourage them.
This means that you are welcome whenever you walk through the doors, whatever body shape you have or the level of fitness you bring with you.
While it may not have some of the fitness equipment you would find at many gyms (like free weights other than dumbbells), there are still plenty of workout machines to help you reach your goal. They also offer access to personal training if you need it.
I have personally been part of several fitness centers, but Planet Fitness is my fitness center stop of choice, with or without that loud alarm.
How To Cancel Planet Fitness Membership
Canceling a Planet Fitness membership can be a hassle-free process, but you should expect to have to do it in person. They typically require an in-person visit to the store, similar to when you went through the original sign up process.
They don’t make a big deal of it when you want out. This is because Planet Fitness is a judgment-free zone, and they want to allow you to speak with other members and possibly draw attention to any issues you may have had with your membership.
You can also expect that they won’t pressure you to stay, but they may try to offer you a last-minute deal.
However, if you cannot visit the gym, rest assured that they may make exceptions to cancel over the phone in certain circumstances.
Final Thoughts on the Lunk Alarm Planet Fitness Has
When it comes to weight lifting and body building at Planet Fitness, it’s important to remember that the gym is a judgment-free zone. Everyone has their own pace and goals, and it’s important not to judge others for the weights they lift or the equipment they use.
It’s also super important to keep the Lunk Alarm top of mind. If you tend to throw your heavy weights around, Planet Fitness might not be a fit for you.
Additionally, it’s important to be aware of your own safety and the safety of those around you by not dropping weights or being too loud. It’s not just about the Lunk Alarm; it’s also about respect of others.
The location and details of the gym, such as the availability of other gym equipment and the measurement of progress, can also play a role in the overall experience.
Ultimately, the most important thing is to work hard and do your own thing without worrying about what others may think. Whether you’re a seasoned body builder or just starting, the gym is a place where you can push yourself and see progress in a completely subjective and non-judgmental environment.
So, always remember to be alert, respect others and enjoy your exercise.
And beware of the Lunk Alarm. It is a very real thing.
Rob is a Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Nutrition Coach through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. For the past 10 years, Rob has been navigating the health and fitness landscape in a quest to better himself and those around him focusing on tools such as calorie and macro counting, intermittent fasting, and HIIT training techniques.