No Manspreading! An Etiquette Guide to the Gym Locker Room


It’s the Monday after New Years, which means it’s time to get crackin’ on that resolution of yours—if you haven’t thrown in the towel yet, that is. If you’re one of 2016’s many new gym membership holders, we’ve got some words of warning for you: The posing room isn’t the scariest thing at your local health club. That distinction belongs to the locker room.

The sweat. The smell. The guy that’s way too comfortable being naked around a group a strangers. Nonetheless, you have to get that post-workout shower in before heading to work. And to help you avoid any unnecessary locker room gruff, we spoke with a man who knows his way around the towel bin: 10-year YMCA veteran Sam Crowley. Here are his tips on how to be a considerate locker room guest:

Easy on the Towels: “It’s nice to be able to use as many towels as you want, but it’s also nice to be considerate of the people who clean up after you.” Stick with two towels: One for drying off and one for covering your junk. “And please don’t take the towels home.”

Don’t be a Locker Hog: Everyone knows the big locker is the best locker, but Crowley suggest using only what you need. “It’s not worth being known as that guy who always takes the big locker. Some people actually need the big lockers to holds suits and such. If you only have a gym bag and sandals, use what you need.”

Benches Are For Sitting: They may seem like a good place for your sweaty clothes, but “the lockers are for your stuff, not the benches. You don’t want to take up an entire bench while the guy next to you is trying to sit down. Oh, and don’t sit and spread ’em on the bench.”

Phone Away, Creep: If you must check your phone, do so inside your locker box. Otherwise, people may think you’re snapping photos of them. “Even if you’re only using your phone to respond to a text, people don’t know that. Just be conscious of everyone around you.”

Bag Up Your Undies: If you don’t want anything to do with your underwear after a workout, no one else does either. “Bring a plastic bag to carry your dirty clothes out of the gym. That way, they’ll be out of the way while you’re showering, and you won’t have to deal with any smelly funk in your locker or gym bag.”