What Is The Planet Fitness Lunk Alarm? How Can You Avoid Triggering It?

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Planet Fitness is one of the most popular fitness centers in the world, with thousands of brands across the US and around the world. Planet Fitness has a unique take on fitness (it’s a “fitness club”, not a “gym”) and aims for a friendly, welcoming, inclusive vibe.

Planet Fitness targets “the rest” of the population, those who aren’t bodybuilders, Cross-fitters, and gym rats. They want mild-mannered SilverSneakers, not intimidating gym entheusiasts.

The aim is to provide a place for people to get fit without feeling judged by other members or staff. In this light, they created the lunk alarm. So, what is the Planet Fitness lunk alarm? Is the lunk alarm a real thing?

In this article, we take a detailed look at what the lunk alarm is, why Planet Fitness has it, and some other important details about it. We’ll also tell you about what people’s opinions are about the lunk alarm.

Read on and get to know the facts.

What Is the Planet Fitness Lunk Alarm?

While lifting free weights, bench pressing, rocking the squat rack, etc., some people make noises like grunting, or even banging the weights. For some, this helps motivate them to finish their rep.

However, such noises aren’t allowed at Planet Fitness.

When a person does this, the lunk alarm will go off. An employee will press the alarm and a loud siren will go off. 

The loud sound can be startling. It signals the manager of the gym to find the lunk. The definition of “lunk” is printed on one of their walls for all to see. It also serves as a reminder to those who go there to refrain from doing what a lunk does. 

By their definition, a lunk is “one who grunts, drops weights, or judges”.

Basically, a lunk is someone who makes noises during their workout to draw attention to themselves. Sometimes, they may not be doing it on purpose. But as a Planet Fitness member, you should be aware of this policy and abide by its rules

The lunk alarm serves as a warning.

It aims to draw attention to the lunk so they can stop what they are doing. Managers may still allow them to continue their workout as long as they don’t repeat their mistakes.

Repetitive lunk alarms or excessive behavior of the lunk could lead to being kicked out of the gym. The gym membership could also be canceled

Some exercises are banned at PF due to this issue, and it is a big point of separation between PF and for example, Crossfit gyms.

Why Does Planet Fitness Have A Lunk Alarm?

Bodybuilders tend to push themselves into heavier weights or doing more reps. Many use grunting sounds to help them exert more effort and push themselves further.

However helpful that is to the one working out, it is often distracting or intimidating for other people who are also using the fitness facility. Other members may not have the courage to confront the “lunk” on their own. 

In order to make Planet Fitness’s target demographic feel more comfortable and welcome in the gym, they opted to have the lunk alarm.

The purpose of this alarm is to call the attention of the lunk and to discourage such behaviors, especially if they’d still want to workout in that fitness center. 

Grunting, dropping weights, breathing heavily and loudly, or simply being noisy could be considered normal in many gyms.

However, this kind of behavior can get you banned at Planet Fitness. It is their way of helping beginners and new gym-goers feel a lot less intimidated. 

Does Planet Fitness Actually Use The Lunk Alarm?

You might be wondering whether or not the lunk alarm is really used. Once you enter Planet Fitness, you’ll see an alarm light over the area where the free weights are. That is the lunk alarm. And yes, it actually goes off when an employee activates it.

The siren plus lights will be heard and seen.

A loud siren can be distracting to the lunk, but it can also be distracting to the other members who are in the gym. So you may be wondering if they really use it.

Well, the answer is yes, the lunk alarm occasionally goes off. Some employees even enjoy using it to call the attention of the lunk. 

But there’s an element of shame there that can be an issue.

In many cases, the manager prefers to avoid using the alarm. The lunk alarm is more for show, and serves as a visual reminder to not be rude.

Often, PF employees will approach the lunk and give a warning to take note of their behavior prior to triggering the alarm. This hopefully does the job and reminds the member to be less noisy and to avoid grunting or doing other things that make them a lunk. 

If the behavior doesn’t change, more members could feel the negative or intimidating environment. In that case, the manager can sound the alarm and kick the lunk out. It could cause a scene but the managers have the right to do that. 

There are also some cases when the alarm doesn’t immediately go off. Some bodybuilders have turned this into a challenge. They are trying to see whether they’d be kicked out of Planet Fitness or not and they have them on video.

Some were kicked out without sounding the alarm but the manager approached them. On the other hand, some took time before they were kicked out. 

The alarm sounding off could be affected by a lot of factors. Sometimes, managers won’t immediately notice them or could just let them do a bit of grunting or dropping weights as long as no one complains.

Sometimes, the other people who are in the fitness center could report them to the manager and request for their removal because of their lunking behavior. 

What Is Considered Lunking?

If you want to maximize your membership at Planet Fitness, you also have to abide by their rules, including dress code and etiquette. One of the big rules is to avoid being a lunk.

But what exactly are the things that you do to make you a lunk? Here are a few examples:

  • Grunting loudly as you try to lift the weights or do your workout.
  • Banging the weights loudly or dropping them on the floor, resulting in a loud sound.
  • Trying to get people’s attention simply by being loud.
  • Being intimidating, whether it is your behavior or what you wear. 

Is the Lunk Alarm Automatic?

No, the lunk alarm is manually triggered by an employee when they observe the above conditions. It’s not an automatic trigger, it’s not an alarm that goes off if a sound over a certain level is made.

It’s just a button.

The Planet Fitness employees may give a warning before triggering the alarm, but not always.

What Are People’s Opinions About The Lunk Alarm?

People have different opinions about the lunk alarm. One thing is for sure, the alarm is irritating whether you are the lunk or not. It is just a loud siren that is hard to ignore. Apart from that, here are a few general opinions about the lunk alarm.

Some Say The Lunk Alarm Is Unfair And Ridiculous

As we’ve mentioned, the lunk alarm at Planet Fitness isn’t automatic. It is activated by an employee. What pushes the employee to sound the alarm also varies. It may be due to other members who are complaining about the lunk or it can also be due to the strictness of the employee themselves. 

Some people have even claimed that they were kicked out of Planet Fitness for lunking even if they didn’t even know they are lunking. Some feel that the alarm can be used in an unfair manner.

Those who have been kicked out would also feel judged in the judgement-free zone that Planet Fitness claims to provide. It sorta defeats the purpose.

Some Think It Is Funny

Some consider the lunk alarm at Planet Fitness a joke. They think it is funny that the fitness center has a silly rule. There are some who purposely mock it just for the fun of it.

There are even memes created about it. 

Here are a few:

Here’s another good point:

For some, getting the lunk alarm to go off has also turned into a game. They aim to purposely be a lunk and get kicked out just for the fun of it.

Some also do it just to add content to their blogs or youtube channels. 

Some Think It’s Purposeful

Silly as some may think it is, some members of Planet Fitness are still glad that it exists. It a way of making them feel that their fitness center cares about how they feel too. The lunk alarm is a way for them to make sure they work out in peace without feeling intimidated or distracted by other members who just won’t control themselves. 

Sometimes, a bit of grunting or noise is tolerable while working out. However, if it is purposely done repeatedly, then the lunk alarm gives a way for new gym-goers to feel more comfortable. That being said, it should also not be used excessively as well.

The lunk alarm should be used in the right way. 

Some Don’t Care About It

There are also some people who don’t really care about it being there. They know that the alarm is there but they don’t have any negative or positive feelings about it. Their main purpose is to go to Planet Fitness to work out and be more fit. 

Final Thoughts

What is the lunk alarm?

The lunk alarm at planet fitness is a loud siren with flashing lights. The purpose of this alarm is to call out the attention of someone who is being a “lunk” in the hopes of stopping them.

The lunk alarm is a useful tool but it should also be used fairly. And in most Planet Fitness centers, it is used reasonably.

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).