So as much as I disliked having to return to Planet Fitness after Retro Fitness closed their doors for a second time, for the most part it has been serving it’s purpose. The gym underwent a light renovation in the last year, it’s kept relatively clean, and it has enough equipment that I can at least maintain my fitness level for the most part. On the downside it has a greater than normal percentage of really annoying gym patrons, the staff turns over on what seems to be a weekly basis, and the fact they don’t have any barbell equipment is ridiculous. I also found it puzzling why the vast majority of the staff this gym hires are severely obese. Maybe that is so they appear to be “judgement free”.
You may notice I did not mention one of the most idiotic things that Planet Fitness is associated with, the Lunk Alarm. The Lunk Alarm is designed to deter “lunk behavior” such as grunting, dropping weights or “judging” (whatever that means) Basically if an employee sees an abuse taking place they can hit a button which triggers the blue light in conjunction with an ear blasting siren. It is utterly ridiculous and dangerous, as I will expand on further below.
So anyway, one of the few positives since I returned to Planet Fitness was the Lunk Alarm has remained silent. I figured at the very least, they realized how terrible of a device this thing is and it was either disconnected or turned off. Well that all ended today.
As I was in the back corner the alarm fired off for a second or two. I hadn’t heard it in so long that I at first thought it was a fire alarm. When I realized it was the lunk alarm I was puzzled because I did not hear any grunting or weight dropping preceding it. Well a few moments later it went off again, again very briefly and again with no obvious reason. Ok now I was officially annoyed. If it went off again I quickly constructed my speech I was going to present at the front counter.
I would first find out which employee hit the alarm button. I would then ask why. Regardless of the reason given, provided it was intentional, I would ask this person if management instructs them to not address any forbidden behavior directly with the offending gym patron. If they say yes, I would ask the logic of impacting every other member in the gym because staff was too afraid or too lazy to address the issue personally.
I would finish my speech by asking the staff member if they would ever consider standing next to a person doing a heavy bench press with an air horn and then fire it off in the middle of the max effort portion of the lift? Of course you wouldn’t, but that is basically what they are doing anytime that alarm is triggered. If someone is doing an overhead or over chest lift that requires them to utilize almost all of their strength, a blast from that horn could break that concentration and easily cause injury to someone. It is absolutely moronic behavior. I was going to finish the speech with “If I ever hear the Lunk Alarm set off again I will be cancelling my membership immediately and contacting the owner of the gym (whom I kind of know) and let him know why”
Luckily for the front desk, the alarm did not go off a third time. I noticed that today there was yet another new (50 pound overweight) face behind the desk when I checked in. If I were to guess she was testing out her “power” to influence others, negatively. If it happens again I have the speech in my back pocket, ready to go.
I do hopefully have some light at the end of the tunnel. Supposedly they are turning a building on the government campus into a gym for county employees. I am crossing my fingers it isn’t a shitty hotel style gym but rather having the basics I need for my fitness regimen. I don’t need a lot,a pull up bar, free weights, and a few cardio machines would do just fine. The day I get to leave Planet Fitness for good will be a glorious one indeed.