Planet Fitness Issues Official Response to Inaccuracies in New York Gym Grunter's Claims

Profanity, Intimidating Behavior Are the Reasons for Expulsion, Not

Grunting - 'Free Tampon Tuesday' and Other Misogynistic Comments on the Bob

Rivers Radio Show by Al Argibay and His Attorney Are the Stimulus for an

Official Rebuttal

Nov 22, 2006, 00:00 ET from Planet Fitness

    DOVER, N.H., Nov. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Planet Fitness today issued an
 official statement in response to "The Gym Grunter" Albert Argibay: "Mr.
 Argibay's description of what occurred is inaccurate. Continued allegations
 about the actions of the Planet Fitness manager are fabrications of the
 event as it occurred and as it was witnessed by other gym patrons," said
 Dave Lakhani, spokesman for Planet Fitness. Further, "Mr. Argibay and his
 attorney's sophomoric and insulting treatment of people who are trying to
 get in shape in an environment that is supportive and judgment free is
 demonstrative of his true personality and behavior, but unacceptable in
 this day and age."
     Lakhani continued: "Mr. Agribay was asked to stop his excessively loud
 'grunting and screaming' as he squatted weight, by the female fitness
 center manager who was giving a family a tour of the fitness center. Mr.
 Argibay's response was 'I'm a bodybuilder and I'll grunt if I want to.'
 When asked again to stop the loud noise, Mr. Argibay responded to the gym
 manager, 'You are a f****** B***h, I'm not going to stop' (shouting in a
 loud aggressive manner, causing other gym members to approach, fearing that
 the fitness center manager might be hurt.) Mr. Argibay was asked to move to
 the front counter. Mr. Argibay continued to shout and use profanity and
 identified himself as a corrections officer. When told that if his
 inappropriate behavior continued that the police would be called, he said,
 'My f****** boss is the Captain of the police force.' At that time the
 fitness center manager contacted local authorities. When police arrived,
 Mr. Argibay had retired to the men's locker room at which point and after
 walking through the fitness facility, the police encountered him near the
 front desk, where he was asked to give his full name by the manager, so
 that his membership could be terminated and all billing stopped. Mr.
 Argibay refused to give his name saying, 'I'm not going to make it easy for
 you.' The police gave him direction to give his name at which time he
 complied. At that point his membership was cancelled."
     Mr. Argibay was not arrested, no charges were filed or pursued by the
 fitness center manager. Lakhani said, "Mr. Argibay has continually
 suggested that the noise he made was no louder than heavy breathing, which
 is inaccurate. He acknowledges knowing that grunting is not allowed as it
 is posted clearly throughout the fitness facility and on the agreement he
 signed when joining the facility. Mr. Argibay's self-identification as a
 law enforcement official while attempting to leverage the authority
 entrusted to him only made the event more threatening and intimidating to
 the facility staff. We find it somewhat concerning that a member of law
 enforcement would conduct themselves in this way. We certainly realize that
 Mr. Argibay's actions are the exception to the rule and training of
 professional law enforcement everywhere but find his attempt to link his
 position with law enforcement intimidating and coercive none the less." Mr.
 Argibay was previously a member of the facility and terminated his
 membership saying, "This isn't the right kind of place for me." He later
 reinstated his membership.
     Planet Fitness maintains a strict policy about loud grunting, dropping
 weights, chest slamming and other attention seeking behavior. Over 80% of
 the Planet Fitness membership is derived from people who are coming back to
 the gym for the first time in their adult lives to get in shape. Planet
 Fitness strives to make the environment pleasant, non-threatening and
 supportive of those people who often feel out of place in more aggressive
 workout facilities. And in all cases of violations of the rule, people are
 light heartedly notified of the rule and asked to stop. The "Lunk Alarm" is
 sounded as a way of reinforcing the no grunt and judgment free zone.
     "Mr. Argibay and his attorney continue to make inflammatory and
 misogynistic statements to the media such as, 'They didn't tell him it was
 Free Tampon Tuesday and Curves (a well known women only gym) would not
 accept your membership even with proof of zero testosterone levels.' The
 comment referencing Free Tampon Tuesdays can be heard approximately 3
 minutes 56 seconds into the interview on the Bob Rivers Show. The comment
 can be found here:
 tic le (arrow down to the bottom of the article and click on the Related
 Bob Rivers Show Audio). Throughout the show Mr. Argibay and his attorney
 insult and belittle men and women, demonstrating the kind of behavior that
 was experienced with Mr. Argibay at Planet Fitness. Lakhani says, "We feel
 that these kind of sophomoric comments and insults are inappropriate and
 indicative of the unacceptable behavior which lead to the termination of
 his membership." Planet Fitness has received a tremendous outpouring of
 support from members and non-members alike who applaud the no judgment no
 grunting atmosphere.
     Lakhani says, "In our continued commitment to fitness and healthy
 living, we'll continue to stand by our policy of creating a judgment free
 zone for all in all of our Planet Fitness facilities."
     Contact Dave Lakhani at 866-366-0308 or email

SOURCE Planet Fitness