Where’s your GRRR-ly face?

One of the perks of belonging to a gym vs. working out at home is the opportunity to watch the people around you. Even if you are a confirmed health nut who doesn’t need a workout buddy to keep you on track, it’s still nice to have visual proof that you aren’t the only one who has to devote a portion of your day to exercise in order to keep things running and looking right.

I’m pretty sure that I entertain lots of people at Planet Fitness between my manic pedaling and sprinting alternated with bouts of more reasonable speeds on HIIT cardio days and the hilarious collection of squinched up GRRR-ly faces I make when I am trying to squeeze/push out the final reps of a set of lifting exercises.

I’ve seen myself in a mirror before, so I know I look like a kook. Or, as my ex has claimed, a really mean wench with PMS.

I’ve tried to maintain a calm, Zen-like demeanor before on those last reps, but I don’t think it’s possible if you are actually working hard. Sure, reps #1-15 of 30 leg presses at 335 lbs might be Zen-compatible, but #’s 20-30 are usually accompanied by a lot of mental cussing, much gritting of teeth, loud huffs of air, and a certain “OMG, she’s turning into She-Hulk!” expression.

I realize that my facial contortions and angry grimaces aren’t exactly ladylike, but geez, neither is leg pressing nearly three times my body weight, so :bite: me. Gasping, heaving, and sweating buckets after HIIT cardio probably isn’t very classy either, come to think of it.

But isn’t it interesting that the people who do all of those wacky, unattractive things are usually the ones with the best results?

Long live the bitchy GRRR-ly face!

(Loud, annoying, totally unnecessary grunting, on the other hand, is never acceptable. :yuck:)

9 thoughts on “Where’s your GRRR-ly face?

  1. I stumbled along your blog through finance stuff – but find the mix of fitness/finance interesting.

    Upon reading this last post – I’m humbled that a petite (yet buff) female 1/2 my size can out leg presses me (and pretty significantly too – though i’ve just made my illustrious return to the gym!) I don’t even want to hear what you bench!

  2. This may sound inappropriate, but I get aroused to such female GRRR-liness.


  3. Great points about the GRRRly face. Whenever I try to keep my face neutral or less GRRRly I find I can’t lift as heavy or squeeze out all of my toughest reps. So on top of sweating like a burly man and turning red in the face (don’t worry I’m breathing it just turns red whenever I exercise), I’d like to really work on cultivating the meanest, scariest GRRRly face ever so I can have phenominal workouts every single time. 🙂

    Actually, whenever my DH goes to the gym with me and spots me he encourages the GRRRly face because he knows that if I’m not making that face then I’m not fully concentrating on the weights and working at my full capacity. It’s so nice to have a DH who understands these things, lol. :biggrin:

  4. Be careful with this, Maggie.

    Your gym can boot you from the building.


    Man Escorted From Planet Fitness Gym For Grunting

    (CBS) WAPPINGERS FALLS, N.Y. You can lift, strain, crunch and sweat all you want at the Planet Fitness in the Dutchess County village. But whatever you do, do not grunt.

    Yep, “no grunting.” It says so, in black and white, on a sign posted at the gym. One former member learned the new rule the hard way.

    “This is really absurd, especially the part about the grunting,” Laughing said Al Argibay, a corrections officer who learned first-hand “no grunting” means exactly that.

    Argibay, a former competitive bodybuilder, joined the gym in September because it was affordable and convenient.

    Planet Fitness is also somewhat picky, with a long list of dos-and-don’ts posted right inside the door.

    “No grunting or screaming” is listed, along with “no bandanas or do-rags.”

    “We’re creating an atmosphere that’s not intimidating,” said Carol Palazzolo, the gym manager, who yanked Argibay’s membership on Monday.

    Argibay said he was at a multi-press station, getting ready to squat about 500 pounds when the forbidden sin happened. “I let out a grunt, squatted down, back up, grunt again. That’s it,” explained Argibay. “Basically, grunt, grunt, basic breathing in heavy, and breathing out.”

    Grunting is commonplace at most gyms, but not Planet Fitness, which discourages so-called “musclehead behavior.”

    There’s even a flashing light and siren on the wall, labeled a “lunk alarm,” which sounds if someone grunts or drops weights on the floor.

    Is it ok to grunt while working out?

    Palazzolo admits she called the cops on Argibay. The Wappingers Falls police report said officers were asked to “escort a member out of the club for grunting while working out…which is not conforming with the rules of the establishment.”

    But Palazzolo said that’s only part of the story.

    “He did grunt, and when I told him he wasn’t allowed to grunt, he got irate at me, he swore, and he yelled at me,” Palazzolo said. “I asked him not to [grunt), he got irate and nasty, and I can’t have him in my facility if he’s gonna do those kind of things.”

    Argibay denied he yelled, cursed, or acted inappropriately. He demanded an apology from the gym and its manager.

    “It’s an attack on my character, and it’s very embarrasing, and an insult,” Argibay said. “At the end of the day, 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.”

    Palazzolo is standing her ground.

    “I’m not out to hurt anybody,” she said. “If he feels I hurt his feelings, I apologize for that, but I do not apologize for the way I handled the situation and I am not apologizing for our etiquette at Planet Fitness.”

    It’s not personal, she said, it’s policy. Grunters should go elsewhere.

  5. Hah! I was going to post about that article after I found it via DrudgeReport.com.

    No worries. I make funny faces, but I have yet to let out any sort of audible grunt. The loudest I get is the wheezing sound I make after a HIIT run. Monica Seles I am not.

    Besides, my PF location doesn’t have a Lunk Alarm installed, and members and employees alike are all very laid-back.

    I do feel that any group of more than 3 people just standing around and taking up space should be broken up, however, especially if they block my view of the mirror.

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