If you’re considering going to the gym, or a regular member, gym shower and locker room etiquette play a pivotal role in maintaining a positive and comfortable atmosphere. These shared spaces require individuals to observe a set of considerate practices to ensure everyone’s experience is enjoyable.
In this guide, we will explore the fundamental principles of gym locker room and shower etiquette from my own experience, promoting respect and a sense of community among gym-goers. Adhering to these guidelines will help you navigate these communal areas with confidence and consideration for others.
What can I do and not do in the gym shower and locker room?
In the gym shower and locker room, it’s essential to be considerate of others and follow common etiquette to create a comfortable and respectful environment for everyone. I’ve had a few issues with some shower users who stare at others when dressing up. That isn’t good gym shower etiquette. Knowing what to do, and some shower facts and figures, will help you avoid being the weir done at your local gym.
Here are some do’s and don’ts:
|Use a towel or robe||Stare or make inappropriate comments|
|Keep conversations private||Take up too much space|
|Respect personal space||Leave wet towels or clothes on benches|
|Use hygiene products||Use others’ belongings|
|Use footwear||Engage in explicit behavior|
|Dispose of trash||Talk loudly on the phone|
|Lock your locker||Bring pets|
|Respect the gym rules||Linger unnecessarily|
|Clean up after yourself|
1. Use a towel or robe
Maintain modesty and comfort for others by using towels and robes to cover up in between undressing for the shower and dressing up for home. We know you look good after the workout, but save the rest of us from the nudity.
2. Keep conversations private
While it’s tempting to continue that conversation you had while lifting weights, keep that for a date night or some other place away from the gym shower. You’ll simply be forcing people to listen to your stories.
This also goes for cell phone use. Most gyms, including the one I go to, have a ‘no cell phone use’ policy in the showers for this particular reason.
Instead, take a shower, dress up, and leave the shower for all your communication needs.
3. Respect personal space
The gym shower isn’t our cozy home shower. With shared amenities like lockers, mirrors, changing space, blow dryers, and others, you should be considerate of others and respect them when using the amenities.
This also applies to the shower area. If it’s a shared shower, don’t go to a shower close to another user. Instead, take the farthest shower from them to respect their privacy.
4. Use hygiene products
When using a gym shower (or any other public shower), always use hygiene products like soap, shampoo, and disinfectants and rinse them off thoroughly. You don’t want to pick up skin diseases from sharing gym and gym shower equipment.
5. Use footwear
Floors are particularly notorious for harboring germs and pathogens. As such, always put on footwear such as flip flops, sandals, or shoes when using the gym and gym shower.
6. Dispose of trash
Always put trash in trash bags or bins. That includes any wraps from snacks, new shoes, gym accessories, and others. Try keeping the gym cleaner and safer for everyone.
7. Lock your locker
While most gyms provide lockers, it’s your responsibility to come with a lock to keep your belongings safe. It also prevents the awkwardness of finding someone else’s stuff in your locker. As we often say in our gym, it’s only your locker if you lock it.
8. Respect the rules
Most gyms have a set of rules written and posted in most common areas. Mine has 21 easy-to-recall rules with the most memorable ones being locking the lockers and not taking pictures of other gym users without their consent.
It’s your responsibility to adhere to them for the safety and comfort of all gym users, including you. Just imagine someone whipping out their phone and taking a picture of you as you take a shower!!! I’d be mad too, I know.
9. Clean up after yourself
Each time you use a surface, wipe it down. This includes sinks, benches, countertops, and floors. This keeps them clean for the next person and prevents accidents.
Refrain from doing the following at the gym shower:
1. Stare or make inappropriate comments
As tempting as it may be, avoid staring at others and making comments (positive or negative) about their bodies in the gym shower. Respect their privacy and boundaries.
2. Take up too much space
Do not spread out your belongings or occupy more than one bench or locker when others are waiting to use them. Depending on the mirror placement in the gym bathroom, try to occupy as little space as possible.
3. Leave wet towels or clothing on benches
If you leave wet towels and clothing on benches, they create a mess which makes it hard for others to use the same facilities.
4. Use someone else’s belongings
Always refrain from using other people’s belongings. That is not only disrespectful to their privacy but might lead to fights and other conflicts.
5. Engage in explicit behavior
You don’t need a rule on the gym’s list of rules to know that explicit behavior, such as sexual activity, can get you expelled from the gym.
6. Talk loudly on the phone
Out of respect for others using the gym showers, always keep your conversations (on the phone and in person) to a minimum. If someone calls you while you’re in the gym, ask them to call you later instead of disrupting others with your call.
At my local gym, this rule is so respected that you naturally don’t talk loudly to another member of the gym or on the phone.
7. Bring pets
Pets are typically not allowed in gym locker rooms or shower areas due to hygiene and safety concerns. If your gym allows it, ensure you follow the right protocol to ensure the safety of other gym members and your pet.
8. Linger unnecessarily
After you’ve finished changing or showering, try to leave promptly to make space for others who may be waiting. Occupying space in the gym shower unnecessarily reduces the available space and makes it hard for others to use the facilities.
How to shower at the gym
Taking a shower at the gym isn’t supposed to be a total cleanup. Instead, it’s meant to simply wash off sweat from the body before you head home. Even when you can use bath bombs without a bathtub, the gym locker isn’t a place for it.
To save time when showering at the gym, follow this procedure:
1. Pack your gym bag
Before leaving for the gym, make sure you pack everything you need, including a clean towel, toiletries (shampoo, soap, body wash, etc.), a change of clothes, and any other personal items you might need.
2. Check the gym’s shower facilities
Familiarize yourself with the gym’s layout and the location of the showers and locker rooms. Ask gym staff if you’re unsure. This saves you time at the gym.
3. Secure your belongings
Use a gym locker to store your belongings while you shower. Bring a lock to secure your locker, or check if the gym provides locks for rent or sale.
At our local gym, we come with our locks which are far more secure than renting one from the gym.
4. Undress in the locker room
Find an empty locker or changing area, and undress from here. Place your dirty clothes in your gym bag or a designated laundry bag.
5. Take a shower
Grab your towel and shower caddy with your toiletries and head to the showers. Most gyms provide hooks or shelves to keep your items dry while you shower.
Use soap, shampoo, and any other toiletries you prefer to clean yourself thoroughly. Be mindful of the time, as others may be waiting to use the showers.
6. Rinse off completely
Ensure you rinse off all soap and shampoo from your body and hair to avoid irritation or skin issues.
7. Dry off
Use your clean towel to dry yourself thoroughly. Pay special attention to your feet, as damp feet can lead to foot fungus and other issues.
8. Dress in the locker room
Return to the locker room, and dress in your clean clothes. Be considerate of others and avoid blocking walkways or benches while you get dressed. Most importantly, wear a towel or robe from the shower to the dressing room, and dress under your robe or towel.
9. Return borrowed items
If you borrowed a lock or any other items from the gym, be sure to return them as instructed by the gym staff.
10. Clean up after yourself
Wipe down any surfaces you use, such as the bench or counter, to maintain cleanliness in the locker room.
11. Exit the locker room
Once you’re dressed and your belongings are secured, exit the locker room promptly to make space for others.
Remember to follow gym etiquette and be respectful of others while using the shower facilities. Avoid lingering unnecessarily, and always keep your hygiene items organized and clean.
Additionally, it’s a good practice to bring a plastic bag or a separate pouch for your wet items to keep them from soaking your clean clothes in your gym bag.