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man kicked out of gym for grunting

this happened! apparently, the gym has established certain rules that they feel will limit the intimidation gym members may feel while working out. one of the banned behaviors is grunting. i was astonished when i read this! what are your opinions about this?


Tue. Nov 21, 9:53am

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Political correctness is killing this country. People need to stop being so chicken and stand up and take what they need to hear. Yes, sometimes the truth hurts. Personally, I'd rather have someone tell me to my face "Hey you're overweight, you should do something about it." Not degrading, but honest and truthful. How is grunting intimidation? Isn't having a big muscle-bound man standing in front lifting 150lb dumbells while you are struggling with your 10 lb dumbbells just as intimidating? Society is filled with wimps and sissies.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006, 10:17 AM

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I think it is a silly policy, but I also have a hard time believing Mr. Argibay's version of events. It seems he was rather confrontational. I don't have a problem with grunting. For christ's sake; it's a gym! I usually have my head earphones in anyway.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006, 10:23 AM

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Boy I'm glad I have my own equipment and workout at home, even more reason not to deal with the hassle of a gym. Sounds like this gym is for people who like to pretend they are working out and don't want to feel embarrassed by someone exherting themselves.

Although I do agree the guy was told to leave. He argued, then he was told to go up front his membership was being canceled but was suprised when police officers showed up to escort him out while he was still lifting. Obviously he was not cooperating and with him being such a big guy and the manager being a woman I can see why that would be unnerving. Also if he had cooperated and hadn't made such a stink he wouldn't be getting all this attention because it sounds from the article like this is a pretty common occurance and it's only the fact that he is making such a stink about that it is giving him such notoriety.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006, 10:46 AM

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i don't belong to planet fitness but we have them where i live and i know many people who join it specificially so they don't have to listen to guys grunting and dropping weights. it's obnoxious. there are gyms where that is completely fine and accepted and there are some where it isn't appropriate. it sounds like he was working out at the wrong gym, not that people there are sissies or wimps.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006, 12:05 PM

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Well, I have mixed feelings. If I were in charge, I wouldn't have that policy. I think they have the right to have that policy if they want, and they are certainly doing it because they think it will enhance their revenue. I also think it's really hard to accurately judge how much someone is or isn't annoying others if you aren't there at the time.

I think Mr. Argibay's threatened suit is probably propelled by resentment and a desire for something like revenge, not by notoriety or defamation. But then I don't think it's unreasonable to resent being excluded. I imagine nothing will come of the defamation suit in the end. But he probably feels wronged. Laws on commercial discrimination aren't limited to "civil rights" law - there are antidiscrimination laws having nothing to do with the usual "race, color, creed, national origin..." criteria - but they are mostly very specific and rather obscure, for example, the Robinson-Patman act and its ten-part test. The point of this long paragraph is that the average person who feels wronged in a commercial situation has next to no clue of whether there's some law he can use to make them do what he wants, or at least make them really sorry they didn't, so I don't think we should be too critical when they want to believe there is one. Our history on this, like our history on gambling law, is that it's okay when we say it's okay and it's not when we say it's not.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006, 12:56 PM

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That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard! I would be more intimidated to join that gym for fear of doing something wrong, or breaking a rule and being humiliated! I agree with the first poster, the political correctness of our society is way, way out of line. If you don't like grunting, get over it.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006, 1:02 PM

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I belong to a gym that doesn't allow grunting or dropping weights or wearing bandanas (that's a funny one!) and I never really thought about it. I mean, there's a sign stating what isn't allowed, but it never occurred to me that there would be an issue with any of it. I'm glad about the no grunting rule, though. Not because it is intimidating, but just so unnecesary. Sure, if you're having trouble lifting something, you might grunt accidentally. But I picture those annoying guys who grunt and yell, like they just want you to notice them.

OT, sort of... is it possible to hit a tennis ball without grunting? That's annoying, too.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006, 3:16 PM

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i'd join a gym that banned make-up and perfume / cologne in the workout areas. and g-string-style workoutwear.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006, 3:21 PM

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OH - I definitely agree with the perfume/cologne! That is the worst, and is not good for asthmatic people!

In my opinion, if you know what the rules are (no grunting, or whatever), and you don't like them, DON'T JOIN THAT GYM! Duh! The guy said he joined that gym because he it s open 24 hours. Well, that is understandable, but if you want that feature in a gym, and you can't get it anywhere else, you have to follow those rules. Not a hard concept.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006, 6:38 PM

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How does a ban on grunting and dropping weights have anything to do with political correctness?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006, 11:45 PM

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Stupidest rule I ever heard of. And what is the deal with the bandanas? I roll one up and wear it as a headband to keep sweat out of my eyes. How is that intimidating people?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006, 11:55 PM

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I hate grunting in the gym...I can lift something heavy and not grunt, why can't they? They should be concentrating on their breathing to lift more, not grunting. As someone else mentioned, he must have been excessive in order to get kicked out. I have seen people ask others to just keep it down a little and that seemed to solve it. Also, the gyms I have gone to have a separate room for the heavier weight training and the grunting usually stays in there. It is distracting to be focusing on your workout and all of a sudden someone grunts or yells like they are ripping off their own arm! It has nothing to do with political correctness, it has to do with courtesy and realizing that you are not the only person in the gym....just like not leaving the machine all sweaty or your weights lying around everywhere.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006, 8:39 AM

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Yeah, I don't like hearing people grunting at the gym - it can be distracting and just plain yuck - I don't see the need for it, certainly the people grunting aren't necessarily the ones putting in the most effort etc - so it's more their personal style which I don't think is necessary. If we were all grunting like that while doing our workouts it'd be a gross environment.

And what does 'sissy' mean - it'd be nice to avoid name calling, especially names that are derogatory to women and imply that anything 'feminine' is a weakness or 'lesser' than its masculine equivalent.

Good though that we're all able to express our different viewpoints - wouldn't the world be a boring place if we all thought the same things, in the same way.

Thursday, November 23, 2006, 9:18 PM

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I've never run into this problem at the gym (what with the headphones and all), but I used to be part of a taekwondo club. And, of course, the "ki-yap" part of punching/kicking is pretty much essential to your focus, power, and stability. I could see how that could apply to weightlifting and I would think it should be acceptable in a work-out environment.

Of course, there were always these girls whose "ki-yap" sounded more like a cat being skinned alive. Unpleasant would be an understatement. But I got used to it and eventually learned that it has nothing to do with intimidation or lack of respect. Its more of a complete lack of self-conciousness that I can admire. These people are so focused on accomplishing the task they've set out to do, they'll do it even if it means screaming like a banshee.

I think its unfair to judge people for grunting as the poster at 8:39 says, "I can lift something heavy and not grunt, why can't they?" Its like saying, if I can jog to keep in shape, why do people have to use ellipticals? Anyway this is all assuming the so-called "grunt" isn't the product of overblown machismo. In that case, I think its in bad taste, but not something I'd make a rule for.

Friday, November 24, 2006, 4:08 AM

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is it ok i scratch my head?

Friday, November 24, 2006, 8:46 AM

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Yes, I totally do not understand the bandana thing! Is there anyone here who can explain? Are there Crips and Bloods at this gym??

I don't think "political correctness" is the right term, although I understand what people mean by it -- they mean, why are all of us walking on tiptoe because of the oversensitivity of a few? Grunting is indeed a focusing mechanism, and the conscious expelling of air makes sure the person is not performing a Valsalva (breathing in instead of out when exerting, and increasing internal pressure) which can cause anything from a hernia to a heart attack.

Honestly, if it bothers you nestle your earbuds in better! Or ask the person who is doing it to be a little quieter because they are breaking your focus.

Friday, November 24, 2006, 10:12 AM

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Thanks for the laugh!

Friday, November 24, 2006, 8:04 PM

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Just playing devil's advocate..

I came across this comment thread on a google search and just felt the need to address a few things.

"i know many people who join it specificially so they don't have to listen to guys grunting... it sounds like he was working out at the wrong gym"
--Unfortunately many don't have the luxury of gym shopping. Where this happened, Wappington Falls, NY, I would feel pretty confident in saying there aren't too many gyms. What if this is the only gym for 50 miles? Or the money he makes as a prison guard can't afford the lavish charges that the Bally and Gold's gyms require monthly? However I understand that it's still the gym's prerogative. Do I agree with it? No-- but it's the gym's choice so we agree to disagree.

"I hate grunting in the gym...I can lift something heavy and not grunt, why can't they? ... he must have been excessive in order to get kicked out... it has to do with courtesy and realizing that you are not the only person in the gym"
First, realize that not everyone who works out is the same. What may be easy for you may be hard for him. But can you also squat 500+ lbs? If yes, well, I'm impressed, but if not then cut the guy some slack. His job and life depend on being able to lift this kind of weight. His LIFE. It's a little disappointing to see this comment, as it really solidifies the ignorance of a lot of America's workout crowd. Maybe, hypothetically, the selectorized equipment and ellipticals that you use annoy him? Is it right to punish someone who simply wants to work out with intensity because that happens not to be the current trend in America?
Second, if you read the article, other patrons described the alarm as being "set... off on people just for breathing too loud.” Breathing is, I'm assuming, allowed at the gym?
Finally, there is something to be said about courtesy. What about the courtesy toward the offending party? As stated, life, limb, and prosperity depend on his strength. I understand that this gym is a private establishment and there are going to be rules. What I would like to see in this situation is a compromise: during peak hours for lighter lifters and cardio-enthused, the rule stands. During low volume hours, maybe a lift on the ban on grunting for 2-4 hours a day? Surely those with a big enough problem could avoid those hours or wear headphones?

"I don't like hearing people grunting at the gym... I don't see the need for it... personal style which I don't think is necessary."
As stated in the article, studies have shown an improvement in force created when grunting, as well as stabilization of the spine. Similarly, as someone else pointed out, the primal scream used in martial arts is centuries old, and is also proven scientifically. So that's the need for it. I'm no experienced powerlifter, but I played football and wrestled for 6 years and have done my share of maxes. In my OPINION, anyone who doesnt grunt or strain on a max isn't putting out their maximum effort.
Also, true as it may be that grunting is his personal style, isn't not wanting to hear that yours? Why should yours win over his?

This is just my two cents, take it or leave it. And not all of the things in this post I necessarily agree with, but they're all valid discussion points.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009, 8:10 PM

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My gym has asign no grunting ...Planet Fitness it is funny b/c who cares just put on your Ipod, or use it as motivation to step up your own workout so your heart pounds and breathing increases to a point where you can not hear it anymore..ahh too funny

Wednesday, July 22, 2009, 9:04 PM

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I let out a little grunt if I am increasing my weights, usually on the last rep or two. I doubt anyone hears it. It does help me though.

I have worked out at a gym where these two big trainers and their muscle friends would lift all day long with these LOUD grunts (more like deep screams) and then slam the weights down. It was super annoying. I wish they got kicked out!

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Thursday, February 02, 2012, 7:03 AM

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