- Is Grunting At The Gym Really Necessary?
- Why Grunting While Exercising Can Actually Be Helpful
- Why DON’T Some People Grunt?
- Why DO Some People Grunt?
- When to Grunt
- Are There Other Options?
- Want to Learn More?
- The science of grunting while weightlifting – WHYY
- Those gym grunts have a purpose
- Why Do We Make Grunting Noises While Lifting Heavy Things?
- What’s ‘Grunting’?
- Why do people grunt while exerting themselves physically?
- Can grunting help to improve performance?
- That feeling when some guy is moaning and grunting in the gym
- Grunting In The Gym
- 1. Buy headphones
- 2.Home gym
- 3. Chose your gym carefully
- How much grunting is too much in the gym?
Is Grunting At The Gym Really Necessary?
Grunting — that loud, sometimes obnoxious noise produced when we exercise — has been an ongoing source of debate among psychologists.
From a scientific standpoint, the grunting noise is made as we “exhale against a closed, or partially closed, vocal fold,” said Dennis O'Connell, a professor of physical therapy at the Holland School of Sciences & Mathematics in Texas.
The vocal folds, or vocal cords, refer to the two bands of muscle tissue that open into the windpipe. The vocal folds are open and relaxed when we breathe in, sometimes producing a rushing noise. But when the vocal folds close as we exhale “you are going to hear some turbulence,” said O'Connell.
The reason we grunt is slightly more complicated. Some experts say it improves performance; others say it's just blowing smoke.
Belisa Vranich, a psychologist at willspace, a boutique training studio in New York City, believes grunting is a natural and necessary physical response to exerting effort.
“Think about tennis,” she said. “When you hit the ball, it's hard to be explosive and not grunt.”
And if you're not grunting, you should be, because it gives you more power. “It helps you push more weight, hit harder, and throw farther,” said Vranich.
When we do something squats or power lifting, we take air in and hold our breath for a moment. By doing that, the middle of our body gets squished together, creating a pressure ball in our belly that makes the body rigid in order to stabilize and protect our spine from injury, said Vranich.
All that pressure built up inside our gut means that when we finally do exhale “it's almost impossible to let that energy out without making a grunt,” said Vranich.
Scientists don't know exactly why a sharp yell or grunt gives people that extra oomph when they do things lift weights or swat at a tennis ball, but it's probably related to a communication signal from the part of the brain that controls breathing to the part that controls muscle function, said O'Connell.
When we forcefully push air out, the brain sends information down to the muscles, which either excites muscle groups or decreases inhibition — or both. The result is enhanced performance.
This beneficial effect of grunting was demonstrated in a study of college tennis players. O'Connell's students found that grunting increased serve and forehand velocity by an average 4.5 mph. It didn't matter if the players were regular grunters, if they were male or female, or how they felt about grunting.
Professional tennis player Serena Williams is known for her aggressive grunt, “equivalent in decibels to the noise made by a jackhammer when heard from across a single-lane road,” The Telegraph reported. Julian Finney/Getty Images
Although grunting seems a natural reaction, Vranich said unnecessary or excessive grunting is annoying. That kind of testosterone-pumped animalistic sound designed to psych the person up and get adrenaline going — or even intimidate a competitor — is rooted more in psychology than in physiology.
The controversy over whether grunting should be allowed or discouraged is growing, particularly at the gym and on the tennis court, where it can be distracting.
In 2006, a bodybuilder was kicked a Planet Fitness for grunting, which violated the club's strict “no-grunting policy.” Shortly after that incident, a man was attacked at an Equinox gym in New York City for being too noisy in spin class.
O'Connell recognizes that grunting maximizes force production. He also believes that all the hooting and hollering can be controlled, and that there are quieter breathing techniques for achieving comparable muscle activity and peak force.
A recent study from O'Connell's department found that in a simulated forehand stroke, athletes got the same power boost from grunting as they did by forcefully expelling air.
“Forced exhalation without the annoying sound is just as good at increasing force production as exhaling with the annoying sound,” said O'Connell.
O'Connell offered an anecdote from his daughter's softball games, where he would overhear dads telling their kids to grunt. If you can be coached to grunt, he said, then you could certainly be coached to exhale without grunting.
This post is part of a continuing series that answers all of your “why” questions related to science. Have your own question? Email dspector@buisnessinsider with the subject line “Q&A”; tweet your question to @BI_Science; or post to our page.
Why Grunting While Exercising Can Actually Be Helpful
We’ve all heard (or heard of) The Grunter. The Grunter is usually stereotyped as “that guy” who distracts others with his weight lifting noises that can only be equated to a peacock spreading his feathers to say, “Look at me!” But is there more to it? Yes, there definitely can be.
Why DON’T Some People Grunt?
Let’s start with the obvious:
- Many of us find it annoying, and we’re unly to mimic a behavior we don’t appreciate.
- If we’re not exerting ourselves 100%, there’s no physical need to make noise, because we can breathe normally. And many of us don’t train THAT hard without a good push from a trainer, coach, or workout partner.
Why DO Some People Grunt?
It can help! Seriously, both physiologically and psychologically.
Physiologically, performing max-effort, explosive movements is usually prepped for by holding one’s breath for a moment or two (which is good because it fills the belly and protects the spine). This creates an air ball. When we forcefully exhale that ball through partially closed vocal cords— when power lifting, or whacking a tennis ball, for example—a noise escapes with the air.
Psychologically, hearing yourself make noise on those max efforts may trigger some primal instinct to keep pushing, thereby helping you crank out that extra 1 or 2 reps. Reminding ourselves how hard we’re working can further motivate us to keep pushing the same way flattering selfies can motivate us.
When to Grunt
If you can move the same weight, hit the same ball, or sprint the same speed quietly, then there’s no need to grunt (except to risk irritating your neighbors!).
If you can’t help but make noise on those heavy sets, then don’t worry; there’s no shame letting others hear how hard you’re working.
Maybe you’ll even inspire them to push a little more! I don’t mind admitting I sometimes grunt when working hard:
Are There Other Options?
When I train clients (from powerlifters to weekend warriors), I don’t give the “2 more!” countdown until their effort is intense enough to produce audible exhalation! When training for my own body building competitions, I’ve been known to squeak on those extra tough reps, though I can’t tell when a squeak versus a grunt will emerge. Sometimes an open-mouth forceful exhalation will do the trick, and this sounds more a strong gust of wind than a grunt.
Many Zumba classes encourage short, loud “Woos!” and “Ohs!” at particularly taxing parts of the dance. If you’ve never taken an intense Zumba class, try it! When you’re working so hard you want to stop and catch your breath but let out a forceful “Ooh!” instead, you’ll get an energy boost and keep going! This can also work on 400 meter dashes and spin class sprints.
Want to Learn More?
- Business Insider: “Why do we grunt?”
- LA Times: “Those grunts have a purpose.”
- Drexel University and MSN: “Grunt when you work out – It really does make you stronger.”
- Iron Man Magazine and Drexel University: “Should you grunt while lifting?”
The science of grunting while weightlifting – WHYY
Is there any benefit to making noises when you lift weights or hit a tennis ball? Or are you just being annoying?
My gym is the Planet Fitness in Fishtown, and if you’re a member you’ve probably heard the lunk alarm. It’s an alarm that goes off if you make too much noise lifting weights. It kind of sounds a World War II-era air-raid siren.
The other day, I was working out with my bro, Julian Miller of West Philadelphia. Julian’s a personal trainer, and we go to the gym together pretty often. He taught me everything I know about lifting weights, but when I asked him why we grunt at the gym, his answer was less than satisfying.
“I think it’s because it’s a way to push yourself to go hard,” he said with a shrug, unsure of his reply.
“I actually don’t people that grunt at the gym,” a female gym-goer told me. “It’s annoying. You can’t handle that much weight, put it down. Get weight that you can handle, Honey.”
I talked to several people about why we grunt, but nobody seemed to really know, so I went to my trusty resource for all questions: , where a video called “There Will Be Grunts” espoused a theory contrary to my gym’s. “Grunting equals force,” the guy in the video yelled in between reps of heavy weight.
But does grunting really equal force? Well, it turns out Chris Rodolico and Sinclair Smith, researchers at Drexel University Health Sciences Program, recently did an experiment to try and answer that very question. Their study actually won the Biomedical Sciences Award for undergraduates at Drexel Research Day.
“ a lot of people involved in exercise physiology research, we were both athletes growing up,” says Rodolico.
“We both played a lot of sports where, consciously or subconsciously, you yelled whenever you performed a particularly hard activity. So, for example, I was a martial artist growing up.
Whenever I punched or kicked, I was always instructed to yell, and it kind of became second nature. Bbasically, we wanted to know if there’s any point to doing that.”
So Rodolico and Sinclair came up with a simple experiment to find out. They took 30 people and had them squeeze a handgrip as hard as they could, and the handgrip would record the force.
There were three different ways subjects could squeeze the handgrip. First, they just squeezed. Second, they squeezed and exhaled at the same time. Lastly, and most importantly, they squeezed and made some type of vocalization.
The noise that the subjects made was up to them.
“They basically grunted,” chuckles Rodolico, “although some grunted and some scared some people down the hall with how loud they were screaming.”
The researchers had the 30 participants do this over and over. They randomized the order each time and allowed for recovery breaks. Finally, they sat down with the data to figure out which method of squeezing created the most force on average.
They found that more force was created when exhaling than just squeezing alone. But the discovery came when comparing the amount of force generated when the subjects yelled (or grunted) and squeezed simultaneously.
“[What] we found was that there was actually an additional 10 percent increase in force when yelling, which was really cool for us,” says Rodolico. “So, comparatively speaking, the exhalation was more than the passive, and the screaming was more than both.
And I’m speaking significantly more.
Sinclairs takes a stab at an explanation: “We’ve actually thought a lot about that, and one of our hypotheses is that yelling may activate the autonomic nervous system, which is the nervous system that controls the fight or flight response — that feeling you get when you become startled or scared, that adrenaline rush that a lot of people speak of. And that may help the muscle contractions be more complete and more forceful.”
Back at Planet Fitness in Fishtown, the findings of Rolodico and Sinclair didn’t stir management to rethink their use of the lunk alarm.
“The lunk alarm is for people that are bodybuilders that want to intimidate the other members by dropping the weight, grunting, making a whole bunch of noise,” a manager on the night shift told me. “So we shine a light on them by lunking the lunk alarm … They have other gyms for people that want to grunt and make noises that.”
Those gym grunts have a purpose
It was the grunt heard around the world.
When Albert Argibay, a 40-year-old corrections officer, emitted a loud Uuuunh! while lifting weights at Planet Fitness, the gym’s manager asked him to quiet down. He didn’t take kindly to the request, and eventually was booted from the Wappingers Falls, N.Y., fitness center.
He then upped the ante, appearing on a local radio station defending his God-given right to grunt.
Bloggers went crazy. Some suggested that gyms have gone too far, adopting overly stringent anti-grunting policies. Although most gyms don’t go as far as Planet Fitness — which has its official no-grunt policy posted in giant signs on the wall — many gently discourage it. They say that loud grunting is unnecessary, turns off other members and, in some cases, is just hot-dogging.
Even Gold’s Gym in Venice, a weight-lifter haven and presumably ground zero for heavy grunting, frowns on the practice.
But many fitness experts, some of them grunters themselves, believe the well-placed grunt has a legitimate purpose.
Grunting can provide an emotional boost to the athlete in many ways, exercise physiologists say. A properly timed grunt can help a person stay focused and prepare for an explosive effort. It can also help counter the performance-flubbing effects of nervousness.
Although not exactly a raging debate, it’s certainly on the minds of both gym owners and their patrons.
In one corner sit the confirmed grunters who believe that anti-grunt police are cheating them of an inalienable right to vocalize.
In the other are managers trying to maintain a pleasant environment for members — many of whom would rather not listen to loud grunting nor contemplate its attendant associations.
“When you think about grunting, you tend to think about King Kong, moving furniture and sex,” says Belisa Vranich, sports psychologist for Gold’s Gym. Women in particular aren’t big fans, she adds. “Most will say that grunting is disgusting.”
To properly examine the topic, some basic grunt science is in order. Even though grunting during effort is perceived by many as a primitive — even monkey- — behavior, it is also a distinctly human phenomenon, says Michael J. Owren, an acoustic primatologist (some might call him a gruntologist) at Georgia State University.
But there are differences. Even though monkeys and apes grunt plenty, researchers believe they do it as an involuntary response to an emotion, Owren says. In short, you will never see a monkey fake a grunt.
Humans, however, have a unique ability to simulate or exaggerate this sound strictly for effect. In fact, Owren surmises that humans who produce exaggerated effort grunts do so to signal great exertion and, hence, great power. “One can readily imagine that in a fitness and weight-lifting circumstance that it’s being used as a kind of dominance signal,” he says.
A good grunt begins with what’s known as the Valsalva maneuver — taking a deep breath and holding it, thus closing the glottis, the space between the vocal chords. This causes an increase in pressure within the chest cavity which, in turn, stabilizes the abdominal and chest cavities during heavy lifting. This part of the sequence is quiet.
A grunt occurs when the lifter exerts pressure, and air bursts through the glottis. It might occur before the most extreme exertion or alternatively at the end of exertion, when the lifter exhales the air he or she has just held against the closed glottis.
Most researchers think that grunting on exertion — the so-called “effort grunt” — doesn’t confer much of a physiological advantage. Some have scientifically examined the issue.
A 1999 study by researchers at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas, found that among 31 men ages 17 to 35, grunting while performing a dead lift did not increase maximal force production, a.k.a.
But exercise physiologists do think that grunting prior to an explosive act can help an athlete mentally prepare for the exertion of force. For some athletes, in fact, the grunt is part of a ritual, says Charlie Brown, a sports psychologist in Charlotte, N.C., who is sympathetic to grunters and is an occasional grunter himself.
“It is part of total concentration,” he says. When the athlete is completely focused on the exertion, there is a loss of self-consciousness, and total immersion in the moment. “It really is a matter of giving oneself over to the process,” he says.
Brown makes the grunt sound almost Zen-.
Any sport that requires explosive bursts of near 100% exertion will have its share of grunters: Weight lifters don’t have the corner on this noise. Football linemen are big grunters. And as elite players Monica Seles and Maria Sharapova showed the world, tennis pros can let rip with an enormous variety of grunts (and yips and yelps) on the court.
There’s no consensus on whether it helps or not, but Brown suspects that grunting may prime the player for the stroke.
In contrast, sports that require more fine motor skills than sheer, physical effort don’t have a lot of grunters because these fine, coordinated movements require more control than force. Nothing will mess up a golf swing or bowling delivery raw explosive force. (When’s the last time you heard a grunt at your local lanes?)
Some athletic coaches encourage grunting to counter the effects of nervousness. This, says Brown, makes psychological sense. Nervousness can bring on a surge in adrenaline, causing an athlete to take short shallow breaths. Taking a deep breath, then exhaling deeply — with a grunt if necessary — can calm down the athlete.
Finally, some athletes believe that uttering certain power words, such as “strong, strong, strong,” can help them focus, and these words can morph into grunts and groans and screams, says Fabio Comana, an exercise physiologist for the American Council on Exercise and former strength coach for San Diego State University. “These athletes feel they can give their maximum force by giving a good ‘Uhhhmp,’ ” he says.
The grunt, undoubtedly, can be irritating to those who must hear it, but grunting has a less-known consequence to the grunters as well.
Loud, unremitting grunting can wreak havoc on delicate vocal chords, says Dr. Clark Rosen, director of the University of Pittsburgh Voice Center.
He’s treated his share of recreational weight lifters dogged by hoarseness and other throat problems brought on by years of grunting.
Weight lifters are particularly vulnerable to voice problems because of the way they prepare for the lift, he says. Prior to lifting, they’re squeezing the vocal chords together very tightly, so that no air can escape. That’s bad enough. But finishing off this particularly tight squeezing with the flourish of a grunt can irritate — and eventually even damage — the vocal chords.
Over time, Rosen says, lifters run the risk of developing calluses or lesions on the vocal chords, “similar to the person who screams or sings.”
“We advise them not to grunt while weight lifting or allow a little air while doing it,” he says — so that the vocal chords are not squeezing together as tightly and are less apt to be injured. “The breathier the grunt, the better.”
A bonus: This also makes for a quieter grunt.
Yet the urge to grunt runs deep, Owren says: Effort grunts, he notes, are one of the first vocalizations made by infants. Hard-core weight lifters may be as apt to take this advice as the average American is to heed the call to eat right and exercise.
In other words, as hard as gyms try to discourage grunting, they are fighting an uphill battle. As long as people are inclined to lift weights, move furniture and have sex, the well-timed grunt will never die.
It’s only human.
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Why Do We Make Grunting Noises While Lifting Heavy Things?
Have you ever been embarrassed by those involuntary grunting noises that your mouth and nose produce of their own accord when you lift heavy weights in a gym or hit a ball with all your might during a tennis match? In those and similar situations, you couldn’t even control those grunts, no matter how hard you tried, right?
So, why does this happen? Why do humans grunt while exerting themselves physically? Is there a definitive scientific reason behind it or is it just another way of ‘blowing smoke’?
Credit: Alen Ajan/ fotolia
‘Grunting’ is something that we do on a regular basis; to quote the dictionary definition though, a grunt is “a low, short guttural sound made by an animal or a person.” In more scientific terms, grunting is a type of exhalation, i.e.
, a process through which air is released from the body through the nose or mouth. However, grunting is different from normal exhalation in the sense that when you grunt, you exhale against a partially or entirely closed vocal cord.
The vocal cords are relaxed and open when you breathe in, but when you exhale, your vocal chords close, leading to ‘turbulence’ of sorts.
People tend to grunt while lifting something heavy, or while doing any kind of activity where they are required to exert themselves physically, such as working out, playing sports tennis, boxing and so on.
Why do people grunt while exerting themselves physically?
We do know that for some people, according to their own admission, grunting makes the activity in question somewhat easier, or less difficult to perform than doing it without making this noise. However, is there any scientific reason behind that?
It is widely believed that grunting is a natural and somewhat necessary physical response to exerting large amounts of force. For many people, it is difficult to exert an intense force without letting out a grunt.
Take tennis, for example. If you’ve ever watched a tennis match, the only sounds you hear apart from the ball hitting the players’ racket in an otherwise silent stadium are the loud grunts of the players when they hit the ball. In fact, some players are quite famous for their particularly loud grunts on the court.
Maria Sharapova is well-known for her loud grunts during tennis matches (Image Source: www.telegraph.co.uk)
Although scientists don’t know the exact reason behind this (somewhat) involuntary verbal response, a number of hypotheses have been proposed as to why people grunt while applying significant force.
One such hypothesis is that grunting during an intense physical activity is probably related to communication signals from a particular part of the brain that controls breathing to the particular muscle group that is applying the large physical force.
When we push air out forcefully, the brain transmits a signal to the muscle group in question that either decreases inhibition or excites it. The end result is the ‘oomph’ factor that makes us exert ourselves more forcefully.
Can grunting help to improve performance?
According to a study conducted by a team led by Dennis O’Connell, it was found that “grunting” college tennis players were able to hit forehand shots almost 4.
5 miles per hour (on average) faster than when they were not allowed to grunt or make any other verbal gesture.
Factors the gender of the subject, or how they felt about the act of grunting, had no effect whatsoever on the increased speed of their forehand shots.
So now we know why there is so much power in Rafael Nadal’s shots (Image Source: www.smh.com.au)
While performing an intense lifting activity (such as lifting weights in gym), we usually take a breath and hold it in. As a result, the middle section of our body is pressed together to make a small ‘pressure ball’ in the belly, which helps to stabilize the body and guards it against spinal injuries. In other words, as it turns out, grunting protects your spine too!
With all this in mind, next time you find yourself in the middle of an important tennis match, don’t be shy; let that grunt out and watch the tremendous power of the human grunt play out before you!
- Business Insider
- Drexel Now
The short URL of the present article is: http://sciabc.us/DLfsZ
That feeling when some guy is moaning and grunting in the gym
I skipped ahead a bit so I thought when one of the assistants told him what he was doing was illegal she was referring to the noises.
Gym grunts are actually an extremely important part of any workout, how will anyone know what a badass you are without them?
The part where they look at the speed of the treadmill, and are impressed.
Then, they notice the incline.
Lastly, they notice the time/distance you have left.
Oh look an obnoxious bruh got some hot baes to pay attention to him!!
This video is about as intriguing as a typical college Yik Yak feed.
I’m doing group fitness classes at the moment, and while I highly recommend them in general, there is one woman in one of the classes who has a habit of punctuating her workout with loud howls.
Unfortunately, I very much doubt I can get away with approaching her and politely asking her to tone it down, particularly as the instructor also does it on occasion, even though she’s wearing a mike.
Anyway, this sort of thing is old news. The Daily Show had a nice bit four years ago:
Trevor Noah and The World's Fakest News Team tackle the biggest stories in news, politics and pop culture.
At my gym last week, there was a guy doing deadlifts with the requisite loud grunts and then loudly dropping the bar from waist high onto the mat. He was making a giant douche of himself since he was only lifting maybe 100 lbs or so.
Heh, I remember back in high school weight training class, our instructor specifically forbade grunting. Anyone who grunted had to run a mile on the track.
The rule was suspended for the ab-workout section of the classes.
I think he just d having a quiet gym. Or making fun of people. He walked up to me once when I grunted doing the leg press, and said “Naruto, buddy, you’re using too much weight. BELIEVE IT!”
I’ll freely admit to growling or roaring on the last couple of reps from time to time. What I don’t do, and never will do, is sound I’m closing on the vinegar strokes.
I make some noise when I work out. Sometimes I just need to in order to finish a set. It might bother some people but blow me, that’s why god invented headphones.
I concur. I thought it was amusing how the old guy was complaining that he couldn’t carry on a conversation in the gym because of the grunting. You want to chat there are plenty of coffee shops to go hang out in. How about you stop sitting on a bench in other people’s way “carrying on a conversation”
Having now actually watched the video, I question: there aren’t really people who sound this, are there? People who aren’t purposefully going their way to make spectacles of themselves?
I can comprehend grunting, but the pitch and duration here is just all wrong.
I would guess that the goal of the prank is to point out that grunting can be really obnoxious, even if it’s not sex-noises levels of obnoxious.
I mean, it gets annoying when some meathead decides he’s gonna benchpress 80 extra pounds more than normal and spends 20 minutes bellowing as he struggles with the weights. Seriously, if you’re roaring while lifting weights, you’ve either probably put too much weight on the bar, or you’re doing it intentionally for attention.
I should see shrink ,
apologies to those offended? I was not trying to be malicious, sorry.
Sorry. Never quite got the “humor” of people being stupid on purpose just to see how people react. Also, purposefully making more noise than necessary makes you the jerk, and other people shouldn’t have to take additional measures to not be bothered. Headphones cut down on awareness of your surroundings, and that’s a safety issue.
I’m not sure too many people were offended. It just seems very strange that you made an account to post a long story about how you were sexually abused as a child in a thread that’s not really about that kind of thing.
Don’t run off. I’m sure you’ve got something worth while to say, so, welcome to the BBS, and I hope you don’t feel too badly.
I’ve posted personal stuff you did, when I was getting started here too. Maybe not the best thing to do, but it’s unly that your personal experiences are going to offend people.
I would guess that the goal of the prank is to point out that grunting can be really obnoxious, even if it’s not sex-noises levels of obnoxious.
Maybe, but I thought the goal, given that the sounds are closer to sexual than something a lifter would actually make, was just to stir up some shit and get people to look at him. Especially hot babes. It strikes me as a mere, obnoxious, adolescent-boy prank.
Not getting the point here. These guys just seem to be jerks. They are just making fun of people who grunt at the gym. People are trying to better themselves. If they make a lot of noise who cares. Mind your own damn business and don’t be a jerk. I find these little pranker types much more annoying than someone trying to exercise. Dillweeds.
I’ve never heard a guy making noises this; I agree with you there. But I did once encounter a lady at the gym who sounded she was making a porn film on the rowing machine. It definitely made me uncomfortable, and if I owned a gym, I might encourage my buddy to go film his prank at the rival gym instead!
I go to the gym to work out. Sometimes the type of workouts I do push me to limits and in those limits, I may make some noise.
It’s not to attract attention to myself, it’s to grab that last bit of energy and adrenaline I have left and focus on the lift or the actions.
Sometimes I am hitting muscle fatigue or the metabolic edge of one of the engines our body uses and that can feel hitting an actual wall. That hurts and can require some frustration and anger to push through.
It’s not personal.
But then again, I go to the gym to work out, for myself. I don’t go there to have mochas or converse with other people or show off. I go to work.
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Grunting In The Gym
A recent Men’s Health article took a very one-sided dive into the world of grunting during working out. The topic is something “serious” gym goers have been battling with “casual” gym goers since the dawn of mankind.
It all started when Caveman #1 picked up a dinosaur carcass that was a bit too heavy to casually drag so he had to exert extra force to carry it.
Whilst in the process of carrying the giant carcass to provide food for the female members of his tribe and bragging rights to his cave bros he was creating an angry vocal sound that represented his struggle and determination to carry the dead animal.
The other, more sensitive and a bit more jealous, cavemen got insulted by this strange noise and complained about it to Caveman #1. Thusly, starting a secret war that will raged on for many millennia to come.
Today, as the fitness industry continues its exponential growth, the casual gym has never been so ly to ever have a close encounter with a hardcore gym rat.
A “toxic-masculinity” labeled tattoo riddled, wife beater wearing, gym rat. It’s a clash of cultures…it’s Christopher Columbus meeting the native Americans.
And as history has shown us two cultures collide, it doesn’t tend end well for one of the two.
The modern stigmatization of the hardcore gym goer has all the signs of an, as above mentioned, horrible cultural clash. The casual gym goers have never been so vocal about none casual gym goers grunting too loudly.
The DVD rewinders of the fitness industry, Planet Fitness gyms, have actual “lunk alarms” that go off if you grunt or drop weights too loudly and other commercial gyms are leaning towards following this vile trend.
But it doesn’t have to be this, we can all get along. After all, both casual gym goer and hardcore lifters have one thing in common; they both wanna have huge biceps. Now let’s all take a moment and try to demystify and decriminalize grunting.
First off, grunting is a naturally occurring process when you are exerting your self 100%. Whether it be having an epic toilet battle with the contenet of your bowels after being clogged up all day or trying to break your bench press record by 20 lbs.
It’s a perfectly normal bodily function. In fact, a study has suggested that grunting may in fact actually make you stronger.
The theory goes that when you lift weights with 100% effort and you start grunting, a “flight or fight” mechanism is activated in your brain and forces you to use extra muscle fibers.
On the other hand, there are gym douchebags who grunt, yell and scream Tarzan himself has possessed them throughout their entire workout.
These guys are hated by casuals and none casuals a and they deserve to die. However, even these human wastelands, shouldn’t be judged by the sounds they make.
So, in order to promote worldwide peace and sick gainz here are some tips for both the casual and hardcore gym goers.
1. Buy headphones
It’s that simple, buy a good set of headphones, pop some quality muscle building tunes on the musical device of your choice and you will forget about the angry guy yelling at himself two feet away from you.
It will also solve you of another first world problem, the gym playlist. Some gyms will play good, motivational music that motivates you to workout. While others will drown you in Taylor Swift and Nicki Minaj marathons.
Buy some headphones, play your own music and drown away the douchebags.
If you can’t stand people, grunting or grunting people, a home gym might be your best solution. Your best bet is buying a decent squat rack/power cage and some weights. It could get pricey, but take this into consideration. Once you buy it, it’s your and yours alone.
You can do workout any time of day or night wearing whatever the hell you want and listening to whatever the hell you want. Also, a year’s worth of gym membership tends to cost more than buying a squat rack and a stack of weights. Even if you are not into heavy lifting and you are working with a budget this THE solution for you.
A roll-in-the-door-frame pullup bar is super cheap and combined with some creativity you will be looking those ripped guys doing two-finger push-ups on in no time.
3. Chose your gym carefully
If you are a fairly buff dude and sign in to a planet fitness gym you can expect judgment, lunk alarms and mean stares.
wise, if you are a casual gym goer or an absolute beginner and sign in to a gym that has metal music blasting and you hear deafening roars of “yeaaah budddy” and similar catchphrases from dudes so huge they take up two public transportation seats, then maybe…just maybe, that gym isn’t for you.
Most gyms have a free trial day, so take that offer…scout the gym, see where all the Instagram models are hiding, what type of people are there, what equipment they offer…etc. Just try to soak up the general vibe of the place and see if it fits you.
For further information on gym grunting, refer to the video below
How much grunting is too much in the gym?
When it comes to making noise in the gym, people tend to fall into two camps: those who carry out brutal workouts with whisper-quiet focus, and those who roar a lion for extra #gainz.
But how do you know if your extra-curricular noise work is making you look a beast, or simply displaying your beastly manners?
Steve Weatherford, former NFL punter and proud owner of the tag “meathead”, is one man who knows the cost of exhaling a champ. He was recently tossed a Planet Fitness gym for grunting too loudly and scaring the other users, losing $20 and sparking a huge debate in the process.
“So I have trained at well over 1000 gyms all over the world. Not one time have I ever been approached and asked to 'tone it down',” wrote Weatherford on an irate Instagram post.
“A gym should be a place that encourages, motivates, and inspires you to build the best version of yourself possible. Not a place that has a built-in siren the manager activates when someone is working hard and breathes heavily.”
So was Weatherford being too douchey for the gym or was he simply training hard?
One man who believes that grunting is generally off-limits is personal trainer Marcus Bondi, who's spent years training everybody from elite athletes to ordinary mums and dads.
“Exercise is all about body control and striving for correct form and function. Grunting demonstrates a lack of strength and self-awareness,” Bondi tells Coach.
“It's also a question of social respect – the gym is public place and it's incumbent upon all of us to make it as pleasant as possible experience for all other users.”
RELATED: Grunt when you work out – it really does make you stronger
As Bondi explains, full-on guttural barking should be left to those who are performing maximum-effort feats, Olympic weightlifters or martial arts experts. For your average gymgoer, it's essentially a form of showing off.
“If you are an Olympic champion breaking a World Record, feel free to grunt, but until then, no one is impressed by your lack of self-control; grunting makes you appear weak!”
But as it turns out, grunting can actually improve your athletic performance, but you don’t need to cry out a mountain goat to make this happen.
A 2013 study carried out by researchers at Drexel University Health Sciences Program (which we covered here on Coach) found that by grunting, athletes could produce an additional 10 percent increase in force. This is the reason why tennis players (we're looking at you, Sharapova) exhale with each shot.
It’s an idea that strength and conditioning coach Jason Simoes agrees with, as making noise when you're working out is a sign that you're really trying to make the most of your workout.
“I think that sometimes grunting can really help in the gym, by boosting your mentality and generally amping you up. After all, grunting is a sign of exertion,” Simoes tells Coach.
But as Simoes points out, there's a difference between controlled grunting when you're maxing out on deadlifts, and simply being rude.
“But there is a limit to doing it in the gym. For instance, you should never be grunting so loud that people on the other side of the gym can hear it. There should also never be spit or spray and certainly no swearing – just basic manners really,” explains Simoes.
“Grunting is fine when you're working hard, but keep it controlled. There's no need for the whole gym to hear it.”
RELATED: How to survive your first day in the gym