KEEP OUT THE LUNKS!

by Al Myers

Big John Conner, of the Dino Gym, competed this past weekend at the Olympia Strongman Challenge. John is a professional strongman and would be considered a "lunk" in most all commercial gyms.

Recently on the USAWA Discussion Forum I posted a news story video about a hardcore lifter who got “thrown out” of a Planet Fitness Health Club for being a “lunk”.  It would be easy to think this was all a joke – but the disturbing part is that most of  it is not!  Planet Fitness has been very open and firm in their policies regarding lifters who are hardcore lifters, and that is they are not wanted.  Just go to Planet Fitness’s website to see a list of these policies.  But first, watch the video, which I’m going to call – KEEP OUT THE LUNKS

The parts of this video which I found the most humorous were: 

1.  Planet Fitness is discriminating against “muscled americans”.
2.  A “no grunting policy” that includes even heavy breathing!
3.  The comment “all the animals can be in one cage” when referring to the heavy lifters.
4.  And of course the Planet Fitness LUNK ALARM!

I was also humored when the cute little blond representing Planet Fitness called these heavy lifters lunks, meatheads, lunk heads, and even jerks!  Those are harsh words!  All this got me thinking about the guys in my Dino Gym, and I have come to the conclusion that the Dino Gym ONLY contains lunks, and we are that place referred to as where “all the animals can be in one cage”!  I don’t care to question Planet Fitness business tactics on this, because in all truth, heavy lifters in a gym are intimidating to most other club members (I’m not going to even call them lifters)  who are as weak as a newborn kitty.  Plus, add in the fact that heavy lifters NEVER miss a workout and are the ones hardest on fancy gym equipment, it makes sense to keep out this element.  The BEST CLIENTS of fitness clubs are people who have lots of money to always keep their gym membership paid up, but never show up to actually work out.  That’s who fitness clubs like to cater to, not guys who are gym rats.

Now back to the lunks in the Dino Gym. It does bother me when people classify heavy lifters as lunks or meatheads, in which implying these guys are of lesser intelligence or “dummies”.   Most of my training partners are very successful in life and with their jobs.   Sure, when you first meet Scott “THE ENFORCER” Tully you would think the only job he could get would be a bouncer, but Scott is an educated man and has worked as a financial broker.  That’s right – people PAY Scott to handle their money.  That’s not a job for a lunk!   Now take Chad “THE CHAMP” Ullom.   At first glance you would think the only job he could get would be a stunt double for Stone Cold Steve Austin.  And let me tell you this – you would have to be a real dummy to take THAT JOB because I’m sure Stone Cold wouldn’t leave the easy stuff for ya!  But “in real life” Chad is a Pharmacist and has a very demanding job as a regional manager for Walgreens.  That’s not a job for a lunk!  How about John “THE GIANT” Conner? At 6 foot 9 and close to 400 pounds, John is one of the most intimidating individuals you would ever meet. He has got thrown out of most all the gyms in Wichita for being a lunk.  Now the only place he can train is the Dino Gym.  The problem is that he is so dang strong he bends all the bars and breaks all the equipment in commercials gyms!  (but he hasn’t bent a bar in the Dino Gym yet, because we cater to lunks).  But when you meet John he is one of the nicest guys you would ever meet, and he is the best artist I know. Most don’t know this, but John is the guy who did the art work for our USAWA logo.  That’s not a job for a lunk!  Next take Mark “BIG POPPA” Mitchell.  Mark’s got shoulders wider than a doorframe, and legs as thick as tree trunks.  At first glance you might mistakenly think Mark was in the personal security business, and worked as a body guard.  Possibly even a night security guard somewhere.  But Mark is also an educated man, and serves as a senior probational officer.  That’s not a job for a lunk!  I could go “on and on” with these examples of guys in the gym.   Look outside the Dino Gym and you see this as well.  Take Eric  ”THE ICEMAN”  Todd  for example.  He clearly looks like a lunk on the outside, and at competitions when he gets intense he gives you that look that Chuck Liddell gives guys before he busts their heads.  I’m sure the LUNK ALARM would go off the minute ET opens the front door of a Planet Fitness.  But in real life, Eric is a schoolteacher who spends his days “shaping the minds” of our youth.  That’s not a job for a lunk!  What about Thom “BIG T” Van Vleck – is he a lunk?   Thom exhibits every physical trait of a lunk – shaved head, big gray goatee, and he likes to “eye ball” people he first meets.  But believe it or not, Thom is a counselor at a Medical School and is responsible for helping struggling medical students deal with their problems.  That’s not a job for a lunk!

I think I have made my point.  Lunks are good people, and I’m glad to be part of this brotherhood!  Who wants to train at a Planet Fitness anyhow?  Just come to the Dino Gym and you will fit right in!

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