What is the Lunk Alarm?
The lunk alarm, a loud siren, is used by a national fitness chain to discourage unwanted behavior. Do you grunt when you lift or drop the weights? You could set off the alarm. The chain says it wants to discourage behaviors that would make average gym-goers feel unwelcome. There are fans on both sides. Some people hate grunting and showing off by muscle guys who can bench hundreds of pounds. Others say grunting can improve performance and should be tolerated.
Can you handle someone screaming as they pursue a personal goal?
The bottom line is this, gym space is shared space. Presumably, everyone is pursuing a personal goal. As the saying goes, your rights end where my nose begins. If screaming distracts from overall focus, then it is inappropriate in that setting. What’s the best way to find a gym that works for you? Shop around and take advantage of trial memberships. See how you feel in each setting. Decide to join only when the conditions that are important to you are present.
That said, we must all be mindful that diversity creates interest. Seek out ways to step outside of your comfort zone. Be intentional about showing up as your authentic self and, rather than box people in, encourage others to also be authentic. That doesn’t mean we can’t agree on socially acceptable behavior that helps everyone feel safe, but we can also make room for differences that help everyone feel comfortable in their own skin.
Be a seeker
You might not think of the gym as a place to learn, but it is. Rather than make assumptions about a workout style that seems different or strange, get curious. Be willing to strike up a conversation and see what you learn.
No matter what it looks like, everyone wants to be successful, happy and free from suffering. We may all define those things differently, but we share the heart of the goal. Knowing we have this in common connects us. We can use this connection to have compassion and patience for one another – even when we approve or disapprove of grunting or weight dropping at the gym.