Planet Fitpocrisy

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TORONTO, ON - JANUARY 7: Planet Fitness, a low cost gym chain, opened its first Canadian branch in Toronto. The franchise is growing quickly thanks to low prices and its "judgement free-zone" mantra. (Bernard Weil/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

Fitness in 2017 is a beautiful thing. With the internet being available everywhere from your phone to your television, there are thousands of different ways to learn about how to get the body you want. If you want to bulk up or just “get toned” in 2017, there are more ways than ever to find your fit. However, I don’t know if you’ll find a cheaper workout anywhere than at good ol’ Planet Fitness.

Planet Fitpocrisy

The best thing about Planet Fitness, other than the super affordable price, is that it’s a self-proclaimed “Judgement Free” zone. If you don’t love the way you look, you can go work out at Planet Fitness and you won’t be judged. The most important lesson I’ve learned on my journey to fitness has nothing to do with sets, steps, or reps. Without a doubt, the most important lesson I’ve learned in fitness is that it’s not about where you start, it’s about where you finish.

Sounds great, right? After all, even the bulkiest of bros or tonest of… Todds can feel a little insecure sometimes. A gym without judgement where I can be myself as I become my best self feels like the homiest of homes. Except… it isn’t.

“Lunk”

Have you ever heard the term “lunk” before? Neither had I, until I strolled through Planet Fitness the other day. According to Merriam-Webster, lunk is short for lunkhead, meaning a slow-witted or stupid person. And according to Planet Fitness, a lunk is someone who grunts, drops weights, or judges. The definition is followed by an example, stating that “Ricky is slamming weights, wearing a body building tank top, and drinking out of a water jug… what a lunk!”

Excuse me? Sure, dropping weights is a gym sin, but the rest of that? Seriously? For a zone free of judgement, they sure have some judgy standards. Someone is stupid because they grunt? Maybe I’m wrong about this, but isn’t a grunt just a noise that you make while exerting force? Ignoring the study that actually found that grunting improves your workout, what if you can’t help it? If you’re not challenging yourself at the gym, you’re not changing yourself, and that’s just the truth.

And seriously? A tank top? That makes someone stupid? Because if you’re calling someone stupid for wearing a tank top and breathing? You just might be judging. Judging? Planet Fitness should be careful, they’re wading into Lunky waters.

The Weird Truth

In all fairness, there’s some truth to the lunk theory. Sometimes you’ll find that there are bigger, stronger people at the gym that will be rude to you about your fitness. But the funny thing is, there are smaller, wearer people at the gym that will be rude to you about your fitness too. In fact, and this might come as a surprise, but there are a bunch of really rude people outside of the gym as well. It turns out that some people just suck.

It’s funny, it’s two “lunks” that got me into fitness in the first place. I had just turned 21 and the increased consumption of alcohol had added a few pounds to what used to be a very scrawny frame. It was these two jug-drinking, tank top wearing, grunting monsters that taught me how to exercise, how to put a workout together, and which workouts would create the results I desired. I love the way I look now, and it’s all thanks to two guys that would literally set off an alarm if they set foot in the purple gym.

As rude, uneducated, and silly as this lunk fiasco is, this is harmless compared to some of the other things Planet Fitness has done over the years. It’ll put a bit of a fun in your step, you judgy lunks. Just ask Tiffany Austin, who was kicked out for being in good shape. Reminder, Planet Fitness is supposed to be a gym. Or ask Albert Argibay, who not only set off the Lunk Alarm, but had his membership revoked… for breathing. As egregious as these offenses were, at least they haven’t violated the constitution or anything, right?

The Headscarf Incident

In the fall of 2011, Tarainia McDaniel, a proud Muslim woman, went to a Planet Fitness in Albuquerque, New Mexico, expecting a judgement free workout. What she received instead was religious prejudice, as the people working at the gym asked her to remove her headscarf. When McDaniel refused, claiming it was a vital part of her faith. They forced her to leave.

So, for those keeping count… At Planet Fitness, there’s no judging, unless you drink water out of a jug, get fit, or aim to “exercise” your constitutional right of religious freedom. But hey, $10 for a 24 hour gym, can’t beat that.

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