What Is Planet Fitness's Lunk Alarm?

What is Planet Fitness’s lunk alarm?

What is Planet Fitness’s “lunk alarm”?

It’s an alarm the staff will pull that alerts the entire gym that someone is acting like a ‘lunk’ (see pic above for details).

Although a real alarm, it’s mostly just a gimmick they have to solidify their stance on not letting anyone get intimidated by some guy (yes, this is clearly directed at men only) “slamming his weights” or god forbid drinking water out of a gallon jug.

Honestly, I find it to be stupid, and quite ironic to boot. What I mean by the latter point is that Planet Fitness is casting judgement on a guy wearing a tank top drinking water out of a gallon jug – yet designating their weight room as a ‘no judgement zone’…how does that make sense? If you pick and choose who is going to be kicked out, that’s almost literally the definition of judgement.

Back in the day, the Daily Show with Jon Stewart did a satire on Planet Fitness where they outline the lunk alarm specifically. Here you get to see it go off, and see their hypocrisy in a hilarious way:

Lunk Alarm

What Is a “LUNK ALARM”

It is normal to make some noise when you lift weights: the occasional weight dropping, the grunt during a lift, or even banging the weights together during a workout; but it is not an acceptable practice in this fitness centre.

The centre describes a Lunk as a person who “grunts, drops weights or judges”, and it has a Lunk Alarm to alert people of the presense of a lunk. Planet Fitness Lunk Alarm is a loud siren, that draws attention and pauses workouts. The alarm also alerts gym managers to the lunk.

When a person grunts or drops weights, it draws unwanted attention, the lunk alarm will sound and the club manager will intervene. It is not always that the alarm will sound, as it can be turned off at the manager’s discretion. More often, the alarm will sound when a person breathes too loudly, grunts when lifting heavy weights, or dropping the weights too hard on the floor.

If you drop weights they sound the alarm. It is prohibited. In meat head gyms there is a lot of dropping weights, grunting, yelling and over all dickery going on. This can be intimidating to some people and will down right run off members. Planet Fitness is much calmer, lots of cardio equipment and machines (in most locations).

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It took some getting used for me because I began training and kept training for years in gyms geared towards competitive bodybuilding, power lifting and Olympic lifting. After a long break my husband convinced me to get back in the gym and Planet Fitness is a closer drive.

What is Planet Fitness’s “lunk alarm”?

What is Planet Fitness's "lunk alarm"?
What is Planet Fitness’s “lunk alarm”?

The culture is different because a lot of the members are clueless as to how to train or like me, they are trying to get back into and stay in shape. I used to try and help them out but not anymore unless they ask. And I try not to watch some of the exercises they are doing.

Competition is not the goal now – just want to stay in shape. I can work out at my own pace. No matter how awesome you are or think you are, noone in Planet Fitness is going to know. Funny when a kid parks next to me and sees me hitting 45s and 50s for dumbbell bench presses – multiple reps.

Inevitably they grab the 50s off the rack and get buried. I am 63 and 115 pounds. Dang good for my old ass but a crack up when I see a trainwreck in the making. They get embarrassed – a granny shouldn’t be able to lift more than a young guy. But as I said I have learned not to give advice. Tee hee.

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It is an alarm that they use to discourage people from dropping and throwing down weights and banging the stops on the machines. If you make too much noise doing these things you can scare or discourage the more casual customers, damage the machines or possibly injure someone.

From what I see most of the people who throw down weights at the PF are actually not lifting seriously large weight. They throw down weights because they think it makes them look cool. If you are using one of the machines and it makes a loud bang with each rep you are using the machine incorrectly and should stop until you learn how to use it correctly.

People do occasional accidentally drop a weight or bang the stops on one of the machines. If you do this and they sound the lunk alarm it is no big deal. They are not going to throw you out for it and most of the other customers do not get excited about it.

I spend a lot of time at PF and I only very occasionally hear them sound the lunk alarm. It is no big deal. People who get all butthurt over this issue about Planet Fitness should probably train somewhere else.


The “Lunk alarm” is funny and irritating, but it is part of planet fitness marketing tactics, although it is silly and annoying to a weightlifter.

Unbeknownst to me, If there was a “Lunk Alarm” in my backyard weightlifting area, or one installed inside my garage gym, it would activate every minute or would continue “alarming.”

I engage in high impact, loud, noisy, weightlifting drills, which not only would trigger the lunk alarm but would bar me from public gyms. So, I routinely drop massive deadlifts, drop the loaded bar after some back squats, drop weights after a barbell snatch/clean/jerk (you are supposed to drop the weights).

Lunk Alarm

Friends, I also use plenty of chalk, I may even curse occasionally. I train alone at home.

For this reason and many other reasons, I don’t frequent a public gym. If you intend to grunt, make noises, drop weights, use plenty of weightlifting chalk, and make them fly in the air, or, pose a danger to the little old man doing cardio, then a weightlifting club is the only way to go for you. There are no silly Lunk Alarms there. Everyone grunts, drop weights.

What is Planet Fitness’s “lunk alarm”?

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