Bad Ideas, Exercise, Free Speech, Police

To Grunt or Not To Grunt?

dumbells dumbbells weight lifting weightlifting.jpgThis hasn’t turned into a lawsuit — yet. But we can see one coming from a mile away. And local law enforcement did get involved.
So it’s appropriate fodder for Above the Law. Here’s the story:

You can lift, strain, crunch and sweat all you want at the Planet Fitness in the Dutchess County village. But whatever you do, do not grunt.

Yep, “NO GRUNTING.” It says so, in black and white, on a sign posted at the gym. One former member learned the new rule the hard way.

“This is really absurd, especially the part about the grunting,” said Al Argibay, a corrections officer who learned first-hand “no grunting” means exactly that.

A corrections officer who likes to grunt? Color us surprised.

Argibay said he was at a multi-press station, getting ready to squat about 500 pounds, when the forbidden sin happened. “I let out a grunt, squatted down, back up, grunt again. That’s it,” explained Argibay. “Basically, grunt, grunt, basic breathing in heavy, and breathing out.”

Grunting is commonplace at most gyms, but not Planet Fitness, which discourages so-called “musclehead behavior.”

There’s even a flashing light and siren on the wall, labeled a “lunk alarm,” which sounds if someone grunts or drops weights on the floor.

[Gym manager Carol] Palazzolo admits she called the cops on Argibay. The Wappingers Falls police report said officers were asked to “escort a member out of the club for grunting while working out… which is not conforming with the rules of the establishment.”

Calling the cops may have been an overreaction. But even though the story is written in a “Can you believe this?” tone, we’re sympathetic to the gym manager’s side of the argument. Exertion at the gym is all well and good. But loud, showy grunting goes too far, and interferes with the workouts of other patrons.
Update: Ann Althouse has a similar reaction.
(Other pet peeves at the gym: super-sweaty people who don’t wipe down the equipment after they’re done; people who use the weight machines in spastic fashion, generating loud, clanging noises with each rep; and people who hog certain machines, sitting there for minutes on end, and shooting dirty looks at anyone who approaches to ask if they might work in.)
Man Escorted From Planet Fitness Gym For Grunting [WCBS – New York via Drudge Report]

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