The phrase “Lunk alarm” comes from the fitness establishment/gym, called Planet Fitness, referring to a literal alarm, triggered by producing a lot of noise while working out.
It is used to identify a certain type of people who attend gyms quite frequently and love to show off, do loud grunts and drop weights, identifying them with the term “Lunk”, from which the name of the alarm itself comes.
The phrase also enforces “judgment-free” gyms as they don’t want a certain type of people who they deem as “Lunks” in the facility, because “the people don’t want to be intimidated” by the fit and bodybuilder gym goers.
This, however, is self-contradictory, since people producing sounds while excercising are indeed judged, leading to the controversy, associated with the entire brand of Planet Fitness.
The “Lunk alarm” itself is a deafening 110db tornado siren in the gym to punish the people who act like “Lunks”, thus creating the phrase “Lunk alarm”.
“Lunk” in “Lunk alarm” was formed as a shortened version of “Lunkhead”, used to refer to primitive, unintelligent people, behaving agressively.
Planet Fitness launched in 1992, in Dover, New Hampshire and spread across the United States, opening countless new gyms for the masses.
The first known mention of such a situation, but not using a “Lunk alarm” was in 2006, when a man was told by the local manager of Planet Fitness, that he would have to leave the premises now and that his membership is going to be cancelled at the front desk.
It was also used as a marketing tactic, creating different mock advertisements, where in under give circumstances, the “Lunk alarm” would go off, reminding a person that he is not welcome in their establishment.
These advertisements made their way to YouTube, thus the internet jumped on the bandwagon to mock them for such extreme and ridiculous actions.
The first Urban Dictionary entry on “Lunk alarm” was uploaded on June 18th, 2009, with several other definitions to follow in the subsequent years.
Since then, the “Lunk alarm” as well as Planet Fitness itself have become a veritable meme among gym enthusiasts, due to the ridiculous nature of a tornado alarm going off in a fitness establishment.
Planet Fitness is also despised due to the fact that the entire model of the brand is that of a soulless corporation, leading to many parallells being drawn to various fast food chains, notably Pizza Planet.