Lunk Alarm: Don’t Set This Off At Your Gym

The Lunk Alarm is a loud siren that goes off when Planet Fitness employees deem a member is exhibiting Lunk behavior.

By Doug Norrie | Published

lunk alarm

The Lunk Alarm is pretty simple. It’s a loud siren that goes off when Planet Fitness employees deem a member is exhibiting Lunk behavior. Only employees of Planet Fitness can set it off, so it is subjective on that end, but it is in place at all locations.

Don’t be confused, this can be rather loud and obnoxious in its own right if someone is deemed to be overly aggressive with their workout. Check out a couple of examples below of folks trying to set off the Lunk Alarm for their own personal amusement.

It’s hard to see if this strategy is having all of the desired effects. Many trolls now go to Planet Fitness with the express intent to get a Lunk Alarm to go off. This, obviously, would defeat the purpose of the alarm altogether. 

From a branding perspective, the Lunk Alarm is there more as a reminder and really a branding component for the company to head off certain types of weightlifters at the pass, before they even sign up for a membership.


Planet Fitness started by defining a “Lunk” as the person the Lunk Alarm would target. In their words, a Lunk is a person who drops weights, grunts, or judges others.

Another form of this word could colloquially be a “meathead” but that wasn’t the direction Planet Fitness wanted to go with the branding. Instead, this type of person during a workout is someone who Planet Fitness decided would be detrimental to the overall experience at their locations. 

Planet Fitness even goes so far as to give a visual with a name and a face to describe a Lunk who might be subject to the Lunk Alarm. They say, “Rick is slamming his weights, wearing a bodybuilding tank top, and drinking out of a gallon water jug…what a lunk.”

Now, is it fair to stereotype all people who look like this as a certain someone you might not want frequenting your establishment? Probably not. But it’s clear Planet Fitness is trying to make a point here and obviously catering to a specific crowd.

They don’t want the 24/7 gym folk who are there as part of an overall gestalt. It’s a marketing choice more than anything else. One, that on some levels is clearly working for them. 

Planet Fitness Came Up With The Lunk Alarm To Emphasize Their Laid-Back Atmosphere

planet fitness logo

If you go to the gym, whether it be all the time or just every once in a while, you probably know the person I’m about to describe. They are the folks who are just a little too into their workouts and spreading that enthusiasm for all the gym to hear.

It might be a little too loud, a little too aggressive, or just a little too, well, too much. It’s almost a time-honored gym endeavor to witness this kind of behavior and secretly hate it.

Or, maybe you are the one doing it yourself and causing a bit of anguish from others around you.

Regardless of where you stand on the gym behavior bell curve Planet Fitness might have the solution to these issues. It’s called the Lunk Alarm and it might be solving unwanted behavior in their gyms. 

Planet Fitness wanted to develop an approach to exercise at their locations that emphasized more of a laid-back atmosphere for the whole venture. It’s made the brand and its business an inviting place for exercises of all shapes, sizes, and experiences to come and take part.

But as part of their brand, there was also an emphasis on making each location and facility an inviting place. Often, this is fine with gyms because those coming are respectful of others’ personal (and ear) space. But not everyone. And those that violate it can have a rippling effect throughout the whole place. 

With more than 2,000 locations spread throughout the United States, the company had to come up with a uniform and consistent method to deter unwanted behavior in the gym, namely the grunting and other histrionics that can sometimes come with intense workouts. There are places that encourage this of course, but Planet Fitness just doesn’t seem to be one of them. Enter the Lunk Alarm.

In all, the Lunk Alarm is there to remind folks of the behavior Planet Fitness wants at their locations and there are clearly those who aren’t that into it. 

While there are some who clearly don’t enjoy it or the message it sends, the case to be made is that the company has done very, very well with its overall message in its locations.


planet fitness lunks

One major reason for the Lunk Alarm, according to Planet Fitness, is to call attention to those who might be making it more intimidating for more casual exercisers or those new to the gym.

Anyone who’s joined a new facility has likely experienced walking into a new place and trying to get a lay of the land. This is usually all good but can have a different tone if there are some exhibiting what Planet Fitness would describe as Lunky behavior. 

Because of that, they have made the Lunk Alarm to have new and returning Planet Fitness members feel like they are not alone in discouraging this behavior. And the hope is that with the alarm they will curb some of the grunting and weight dropping before it starts.

Does it work? There are benefits and downsides for sure, but it doesn’t look like it is going anywhere.