For some gym newcomers, it isn’t the workout they are afraid of – it’s the locker room! Perhaps you grew up in a conservative family where the thought of brushing your teeth while your sister was on the toilet was not cool. It’s possible that your culture promotes modesty and public change rooms are a real obstacle. Maybe, you’re not quite comfortable with your body or better yet you’re not comfortable seeing someone else’s bare butt propped against the mirror vigorously shaving their armpits. Whatever anxieties you might have, you shouldn’t feel bad about them. Let us give you some approaches to handling those locker room blues.
Get Naked…. or not!
Too shy to be naked? It’s a very common aversion. Locker rooms may seem scary because nakedness is involved. If you’re modest, don’t worry about it. Plan ahead and bring a robe, a cover-up or a big beach towel whatever it takes for you to feel comfortable getting from the locker to the shower even if others seem quite comfortable parading around in the buff.
Some of our clubs have double deep private showers that have space for you to step into a small change stall before stepping through into your private shower so if you’re fearful, try one of these. Other locations have private changing stalls in the locker area itself where you can change in private from your street clothes to your workout gear.
You may find, as you get more used to the club atmosphere, that you actually don’t give a hoot if a bunch of other naked people see you naked. Or not. Either way, don’t let it scare you away from achieving your health and fitness goals.
Locker room etiquette… or not – prepare yourself!
Personal space and hygiene rules aren’t universal! There are people at any fitness club who want to have an entire changing room conversation stark naked! So, while you may habitually wrap a towel around your bits and pieces out of social awareness, don’t assume that everyone else does. This also applies to the amount of space you consider your own when changing. Some people take up half the changing room all to themselves while others seem keen to get changed right on top of your toes. Lastly, you may encounter members who are so comfortable at the club that they come to do their everyday shaving and toe nail clipping too! (As long as they clean up after their primping it can be tolerable.)
Lock up your belongings – even when you are just going to shower. It is better to be safe than sorry. While as a private club, we are obsessive about who we let in our front doors, thieves can be cunning. We recommend all members take special care and keep their belongings locked in a locker.
The Steam Room
Enjoy a few minutes in the steam room after your workout! We have many members who often come to the club specifically for a relaxing steam! Again – go with what makes you most comfortable – you can wear your workout gear, a bathing suit or under garments into the steam room; wrap yourself in a towel or cover up; or, place a towel on the bench and just sit down and enjoy the benefits of a few minutes in the heat.
The Locker Room Conversation
No we’re not talking about Donald Trump. We’re talking about the guy who’s scanning the room looking for eye contact and ready to start that half hour conversation while you’ve just dropped your towel and are about to pull your shorts up. It’s everyone, but his worst nightmare. Our advice: if this causes you huge anxiety use a private stall or purchase a set of these. No seriously, the best way to prevent this is to keep your eyes down yourself and don’t make eye contact until you know your shorts are firmly around your waist!
Interesting Noises and Sights
Okay. You’re standing at the sink washing your hands and the guy in the toilet stall just experienced a small nuclear explosion accompanied by a loud sigh and a whooo ya. You do NOT HAVE TO RESPOND! He knows, you know, the front desk probably knows. Let’s just not talk about it until you get home. Seriously though, it’s inevitable in any bathroom or locker room setting that something like this will happen. Having a great sense of humour (without laughing out loud) is the best approach. Don’t take yourself and other peoples’ bodily functions too seriously.
Just Like Home
Save your strength for your workout and lighten up the load in your gym bag by leaving your amenities at home. We have everything you need at the club. Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, deodorant and hair products.
There is no doubt that the gym locker room can be an interesting experience. But, don’t let it be the reason that you don’t make it to the club. There are too many good experiences and outcomes you could miss out on.