November 2, 2006

"It's an attack on my character, and it's very embarrassing, and an insult."

Said Al Argibay, a corrections officer, who got escorted out of his gym for grunting. He joined a no-grunting gym. End of story! The fact that you're a corrections officer -- "after serving your community as a corrections officer, the last thing I want is to be escorted out of the gym by the local authorities" -- doesn't matter. The fact that a no-grunting policy seems absurd... doesn't matter. You joined the no-grunting group. You have to play by the rules you agreed to and that the other members paid to benefit from. I'll bet in your corrections officer role you enforce some rules against people who find those rules absurd and whose objections you find laughably irrelevant.

44 comments:

David said...

According to Said Argibay the rules don't apply to him? Take your grunts somewhere else Said and learn to get along with others in the 'sandbox' of life.

Am I the only one who suspects that there is more to this story than what has been presented? Said has a problem with rules and women!

Internet Ronin said...

You have to play by the rules you agreed to and that the other members paid to benefit from.

Rules are for other people, not for me.

-Epitaph for my generation

yetanotherjohn said...

It sounds like his 'sins' go beyond grunting. The club is voluntary and has rules. He violated a rule and it was pointed out to him. Rather than apologizing for the violation and either quitting the club or comporting himself to the rules has "became irate and nasty".

At that point the club has the choices of taking the law into their own hands (club members throw him out), having their rules be ignored or call the cops.

Absent other information, I think this does show he should 1) be embarrassed about his behavior, 2) recognize his behavior was an insult to himself showing he has trouble dealing with issues in a civilized way and 3) his character is lacking in civilized deportment.

If the grunting is a silly rule to him, apologize and go elsewhere.

Joseph Hovsep said...

Reminds me of one of my favorite Seinfeld episodes, where George gets booted from his gym for peeing in the shower. George later complains to Jerry that everybody does it and, besides, its unhealthy to hold it when you have to pee. Jerry says, "Oh, and standing in a pool of your own urine, that's healthy!"

Zach said...

It's not that silly a rule. Lots of people are intimidated by gyms. Being less intimidated is a pretty tangible benefit. Responding to the initial request by getting angry just makes the problem worse.

Meade said...

Alright so some people like to grunt while squatting.

Also known as Valsalva maneuver, it's generally a bad habit that can lead to dizziness, fainting, and even stroke. But, hey, to each his own.

Looks to me like a golden opportunity for some smart entrepreneur to open a new specialty gym down the street from Planet Fitness.

Make it affordable and convenient (with an emergency room attached).

Call it Planet Grunt & Pee In the Shower.

SteveR said...

Reminds me of those women's tennis matches. Who was it? Monica Seles? It was very loud and distracting, every stroke was accompanied by a yelp.

Guys who grunt in the gym, almost as bad as not wiping your sweat, another Seinfeld topic.

Dad said...

Valsalva would require not grunting. Grunting, expelling air, thus relieving pressure, lessens the valsalva effect.

Anonymous said...

"Call it Planet Grunt & Pee In the Shower."

Heck, why not just call it Planet of the Apes?

CB said...

The fact that a no-grunting policy seems absurd... doesn't matter. You joined the no-grunting group. You have to play by the rules you agreed to and that the other members paid to benefit from.

This is similar to a more serious problem: people who buy houses or condos with covenants and restrictions, then sue for the right to violate them. I read something over at Volokh about a city or state banning covenants against flying flags.

milwaukee39 said...

David, why do you assume he has a "problem" with women? Just because he's a male bodybuilder? He likely would've had the same reaction if he was confronted by a man. I guess male bodybuilders are one of the few groups its still fine to stereotype, you know, the "stupid musclehead". Ha ha.

Argibay is wrong. He should have refrained from grunting, although that's pretty hard to do when one is squatting 500 pounds.

I think another issue here is the people who have a problem with the grunting. You're in a gym; some people lift heavy weights; some people sweat; some people grunt. I happen to like that atmosphere.

Argibay's solution might not be as simple as just joining another gym. Given that most people don't want to work very hard in the gym and view it mostly as a social expeience, more and more gyms have rules prohibiting "musclehead behavior". There are few "hardcore" gyms left, at least in my neck of the woods. All the more reason to train at home

tjl said...

Argibay's fate sounds excessive and silly if you aren't a regular gym-goer. If you are a gym rat, you'll understand why the rule was in place and why it had to be enforced. There are in fact some people who can't get through a workout without lots of loud, distracting grunting. Not only is it annoying to other members, but it's potentially dangerous. Free-weight workouts demand concentration and due attention to proper form; if something makes you lose your focus, you have a greater chance of injuring yourself. What happened to Argibay is not just overzealous enforcement of decorum, it's necessary for the safety of the other members.

reader_iam said...

Rules are rules. You signed up for 'em, you live by 'em.

That said, man, do we like to set rules for everything. Such irony, really--and it cracks me up, even as I run in the other direction (good exercise!).

Now, if only I could find a gym with "rules" against gossiping, sniping, giving variations of "the look" and stuff like that.

LOL.

vh: biorcwm

LarryK said...

Outlawing grunting in gyms reminds me of outlawing smoking in bars. Some things will naturally go together whether we like it or not - like lifting heavy weights and emitting loud grunting noises, or feeling the need to light up a smoke as the bartender hands you your seventh Spaten. If you find cigarette smoke distasteful, you probably shouldn't be hanging out in bars. And if you're intimidated by an occassional grunt, then gyms probably aren't your bag.

Yes, I know he agreed to the rules, that does count for something...but this is such a dumb rule he is doing a public service by violating it.

Zach said...

On the subject of restrictive rules that enhance the experience: how about a strict no-talking movie theater?

Anonymous said...

If you'd like me to lift something heavy, I'm going to need to get paid.

I'd like to see the money up front. Nothing personal. I accept paypal and all major credit cards.

Anonymous said...

I went to the gym once in Boston. John Kerry was grunting in there. They asked him to stop. He said George Bush was making him grunt. That didn't wash, so he claimed it wasn't grunting, and the grunting that wasn't grunting wasn't his fault, that he was just singing a Russell Crowe song and was misunderstood by those who aren't real men and never grunted before in their lives.

Anthony said...

Some of these gym rules can be sorta idiotic. Back in the late '80s I tried a Bally's for a bit (free week's pass) and discovered that shorts were not allowed. I guess all the wimminfolk got all squicked out because flesh might occasionally come in contact with the equipment.

Personally, I'm more irritated by the bozos who yak on their cell phones the entire time they're "working out".

AllenS said...

Not only is he a grunter, but he has facial hair!

[See previous topic]

Pogo said...

Ah, the femininization of society has even reached the gymnasium workout. I was not aware of this variant. Notice that rules against 'muscleheads' are primarily rules against male conduct. Rather than say "boys not allowed", they proscribe average boy behavior.

Well, big deal, it's their turf; he can work out alone or start his own club I suppose. But criminey, what a PC joke Planet Fitness is. Why not just open a Curves and be done with it?

Well, at least he didn't smoke there. Man, the cops probably would've shot him.

Goesh said...

Sounds like a typical John Kerry supporter if you ask me. Lurch alert! Man punished for grunting when the sign clearly meant no groaning allowed. What macho man who can hadle 500 lbs wants to be around wimps anyway? Let those with limp wrists and light on their feet fluff around and press those 2 lb. weights to their hearts content. Go where the men have hair on their chests and freely fart.

Zach said...

Speaking of grunters with facial hair, I was reminded of the most surreal blog post I ever read:

http://dbsoxblog.blogspot.com/2005_01_01_dbsoxblog_archive.html

Shortly after 9/11 I was reading the coverage of that horrible day. I was focusing on a profile of Mohammed Atta. In this story I read that he and I had worked out at the same World Gym in south Florida. After reading this, I knew exactly who he was – Mohammed Atta was that skinny little asshole who worked out like a nut on the machines (never wiping them) and when he was done he went into the self defense class held primarily for the benefit of blue-hairs who were unduly concerned about muggers. You read that right – the killer of thousands was learning the tricks of the trade in a class intended for snow-birding grandmothers.

Al Maviva said...

Ugh.

R.S.Buck said...

I hope that gym goes bankrupt.

johnstodderinexile said...

At my gym, you can't grunt, so instead all the competitive weightlifters say things like "land o'mercy!" and "fiddle-dee-dee!"

A committee has been formed to determine if this violates the policy.

Christy said...

I always considered grunting loudly to be passive-agressive competition. Look at me! I'm strong! I'm pushing my limits! I'm trying harder than you are! Perhaps it is a behavior that women just don't get?

Dad said...

Zach-Which of the many posts at that URL is the most surreal you have ever read?


I loved listening to Monica Seles grunt.

Zach said...

Zach-Which of the many posts at that URL is the most surreal you have ever read?

The one I excerpted. Sorry about not putting it in block quotes. It's a paragraph in the Tuesday, January 25, 2005 entry. The surrealism was Barnett realizing that Atta wasn't just a fanatic killer of thousands, he was also the everyday jerk who had pissed him off at the gym.

TMink said...

Good laughs from the posts! I always heard more of a shriek from Monica Seles. A really butch shriek mind you, but a little too much treble for a true grunt.

Trey

Argan Argar said...

There's grunting, and there's grunting.

I've heard some gym "grunting" that's more like screaming. It's very show-offy, "Look how much weight I'm moving, I am He-Man and I have the power".

I'd bet that this "no-grunting" gym is fine with regular, normal grunting--a small involuntary noise when you exhale. But they can't put up a sign that says "no bogus pretend show-off grunting". So they just say "no grunting", but only hassle people who are clearly making a big deal of it.

HaloJonesFan said...

Andrew S. and tjl point out what was probably going on here. This wasn't an "ungh ungh", this was likely more of a "GYAAAAAAAAHHHHRRRRRRNNNNNN! GRROOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHAAAAANNNNNNN!" As though lifting weights was like making vigorous use of a woman, with her enthusiastic participation.

Harkonnendog said...

"After serving your community as a corrections officer?"

The guy's a prison guard and he wants extra credit? What kind of crap is that?

Seven Machos said...

Love Monica Seles. Nothing like a little afternoon tennis porn.

Hate the grunters at the gym. Man, they are annoying. And rules are rules. There are plenty of places to grunt away.

Joe Baby said...

The guy should have gotten a better education, instead of getting stuck in a prison job. Like George Bush. [insert laughtrack]

Freeman Hunt said...

Why would a man who is serious about bodybuilding join a "no grunting" gym? A man lifting to failure is usually going to grunt. Then again, perhaps the gym could have handled that, but he was one of those screaming grunt types...

Cedarford said...

What frosts me is the nauseating sense of entitlement some government employees claim as their due.

We had an incident 2 years ago with some drunken firefighters at a restaurant asking for free drinks "as heroes". They were turned down, acted boorishly, and were tossed cussing. And suspended because most other firefighters and especially their supervision despised those still trying to get "we're the heroes of 9/11, you owe us!!" freebies.

Another incident was the State Education Deputy Commissioner trying to cut in a line at DMV, and pulling a "Don't You Know WHO I Am??? How important I am!!!" hissy fit.

And some self-important dipshit who ran afoul of the local beach's having cops clamping down on gay cruisers using the restrooms as sex stops telling the cops they better not dare arrest him because he was on The State Attorney General HIMSELF's legal staff and the State would investigate the whole police force if they "fucked with him". He still got the handcuffs, and I don't mean the mink fur ones...and his name in the police blotter the next day..and a story mysteriously "leaked" to local radio about his threats and juicy details of the nature of his arrest.

And of course there are always the cops themselves that play "laws and rules mere civilians have to abide by that Brothers in Blue do not" games.

TMink said...

What Cedarford said. Great post.

Trey

Daryl Herbert said...

Sure, banning grunting in gyms is like banning smoking in bars.

But if I want to run a smoke-free bar, that's my business, and if you want to smoke, I'll throw you out.

Anonymous said...

You need to be especially vigilant about people grunting in the shower rooms in gyms. Always immediately respond to any grunting noises you hear when you are in these areas:

"How about a courtesy flush, huh?"

TMink said...

Hmmm. I wonder how a big strong power lifter and prison guard can be so, well, sensitive. I want macho dudes and dudettes as prison guards, not whining cry babies who talk about their hurt when someone says something that makes them feel uncomfortable! Save that for Oprah.

Trey

Daryl Herbert said...

I wonder how many prisoners he's mistreated during his career?

I wonder, if a prisoner filed an abuse lawsuit, if they could use this news story as evidence as to Mr. Argibay's character?

satyashaman said...

what crap! just ask the man to quiet down. grunting annoying, but it happens. (especially w/powerlifters) and as for no bandanas...no wonder they don't have an outlet in new york city.

milwaukee39 said...

TMink/Trey:

I dare you to tell that to his face! The dude's huge!

TMink said...

NO WAY am I telling this guy to his face! I am a chicken shit 46 year old who sits on his ass and listens to people's problems!

I am laughing so hard I can barely type this!

Funny.

Trey