Gym Locker Room Etiquette to Exercise Before and After a Workout

locker room etiquette

 Gyms are great for health and mental well-being. But gyms, especially locker rooms, can be awkward.

When it comes to exercising proper gym locker room etiquette before and after your workout, consider these essential reminders.

1. Do Not Come to the Gym Locker Room Dirty

Gyms are teeming with germs and viruses.

In fact, one study published in 2014 focusing on gyms in Memphis, Tennessee found staph bacteria on every single piece of exercise equipment tested.

Lest you believe this is a problem for Memphis, a 2019 study focusing on 16 gyms in northeast Ohio focused on a single staph bacteria – S. aureus. 

The study found that of 288 samples of gym equipment, 38 percent contained S. aureus, a bacteria that is resistant to antibiotics, and results in an estimated 11,000 deaths annually in the United States. 

The researchers in their study noted that S. aureus is prevalent, and its presence in gyms is only marginally higher than other public surface contamination.

This being said, gyms are warm, moist, nutrient-plenty areas. Do not add to this environment by showing up after a day of sweaty home improvement work.

Shower before you enter the gym.

2. Have Modesty, Limit Nudity

Undoubtedly, a gym locker room is a setting where some nudity is expected. It is, after all, a changing room.

The fact is though, excessive nudity in the gym locker room is uncomfortable for others and generally inconsiderate.

You may be proud of your body, and that is great. But the locker room is not for displaying this.

Keep nudity short, quick, and to the point.

3. Respect the Space and Time of Others

You change clothes and shower in the gym locker room. It may seem like your personal space.

But remember, the gym locker room is not your home, and you do not have exclusive rights to this shower or that locker. It is a communal space.

Also, remember to clean up after yourself. If your gym provides towels, do not just leave your towel on the floor when you are done with it. Put it in the designated dirty towel bin.

Similarly, when space in the locker room is scarce, respect the time of others. You might have had a great workout and feel you are entitled to a nice long shower, but others might need to get to work.

The gym locker room might feel like a personal place, but it is not. Respect the space and time of others.

4. Bring a Lock and Use a Locker

If you have been a member of your gym for a while, the locker room might be a place you deem safe.

Still, it is considerate to place your belongings in a locker and use a lock

Using a lock on your locker is not a statement of mistrust in your fellow gym members. Aside from preventing theft, using a lock allows you to avoid mix-ups in whose sock is whose.

Also, it is uncomfortable for others to accidentally open your locker while looking for an empty one of their own.

If you can, suggest that your gym manager find out more about using electronic lockers and your problem is solved.

Be Mindful of Others in the Gym Locker Room

Gym locker room etiquette is mostly a matter of doing unto others as you hope they would do to you.

Still, we hope this article points out some of the small issues that are easy to overlook even when you mean well.

If you found it helpful, check out more articles on this site to answer those little but challenging questions of life.

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