This blog post is a request from one of my clients.  She asked me about “pool/locker room/shower/towel” etiquette after she started a swim class at the local YMCA.  My instant thought is to this cartoon:


I pray to God that I never see that in real life!


I have been in a lot of locker rooms…I mean a lot.  I was even a poor college student who cleaned the locker rooms of a gym in Amherst, MA in exchange for a free membership! Whether you are in Belchertown, MA or Great Falls, MT, the rules of locker room etiquette are the same.


Anne’s Top 8 Rules for Navigating the Gym Locker Room


1. Nudity

The thought of having to be naked in front of others might be a large reason people don’t even join a gym! In my experience, most gyms have changing stalls to use for those people who are shy.  Otherwise, please be discrete about changing your clothes.  NO ONE wants to see your flabby, saggy, perfect, firm, wrinkly (insert body part).  Trust me.  You might be proud of your firm glutes or not care what people think about your stretched out stomach but the rest of us don’t want to see it.  I’m not saying that you can’t get changed in the locker room but please refrain from parading around, admiring yourself in the mirror or putting on your makeup while unclothed.


2.  Bench sitting

Use a  towel between your deriere and the bench.  Impetigo and  tinea cruris  (genital fungus) have been found on gym locker room benches.  Need I say more?


3. Use of flip flops

Plantar warts and athlete’s feet are common ailments trasmited through the moist tile of gym showers.  Protect yourself and other by wearing flip flops in the shower.


4.  Space hording

Everyone has heard of the show “Hoarders”.  You know the one where the people have collected decades worth of trash and belongings which has caused health hazards in  their homes?  Well don’t be a hoarder in the locker room.  There is a limited number of space for everyone’s “stuff”.  Invest in a good gym bag with plenty of pockets for all of your necessities.  This way you can have access to everything you need while using as little space as possible.


5.  Shower hogging

This isn’t your home.  Showers are used for one purpose and that’s to clean the sweat/dirt off of your body and hair.    Who even wants to be in those showers for more than 5 minutes?? Save your relaxing 20 minute shower for home.


6.  Conversations

Keep your conversations to a minimum.  It is extremely awkward to be in the middle of changing when someone decided to strike up a conversation about the weather, your underwear color or what you are having for dinner!


7. Changing in the toilet stalls

This is one that I find a lot of people do.  It’s pretty much common sense to know that you shouldn’t be taking up space in the 2 stalls and there are plenty of water drinking women who need to use them.


8.  Pick up after yourself

Didn’t we learn this in Kindergarten? Your mother doesn’t work there and even if she did you still need to clean up your belongings and throw your trash away.


Anyone have anything to add to these rules? I’m sure there is a whole host of issues that happen in the men’s locker room…although I’m pretty sure I don’t want to know about them. 🙂