When you head to the gym, you have certain expectations.  And – not surprisingly – they aren’t always met.  Sometimes your favorite machine is broken.  Sometimes your class gets canceled.  Sometimes you run into jerks while working out.  And sometimes… sometimes, it’s the locker room that drives you batty.  Or maybe it’s just me?

gym locker room pet peeves


Top 10 Gym Locker Room Pet Peeves

10. The space hog – You know the one.  There are benches in the U amidst lockers that are there to make life easier, but the ratio isn’t so hot.  50 lockers to one bench?  You’re going to have to share.  Fortunately – at least in all the gyms I’ve ever been to – there aren’t usually more than three or four women in a particular locker room bay at a time, so it isn’t too bad.  Until the one woman decides to use the entire bench for her gym bag, her makeup, her clothes, her towel, her shoes, and the kitchen sink, leaving no room for anyone else to set anything down or to sit.

9. The loud talker – And you know she’s on her cell phone.  Cell phone use is generally prohibited in locker rooms for a number of reasons, privacy being a key one (the thought of locker room photos just skeeves me out), but consideration and common courtesy rank right up there.  I have no desire to hear about your breastfeeding woes or why you fired your last nanny or what your husband didn’t pick up at the grocery store or what your plans are for dinner on Tuesday.  I especially don’t need to hear the second and the third phone call you choose to make while pacing around the locker room to ensure we can all hear everything.  Go away.

8. The scent hog – Wearing perfume to the gym is generally considered verboten because working out really magnifies the scent, and it’s not pretty, especially for those of us who are sensitive to smells.  In the locker room, I get that you may need to spray some hair product as you style your hair or spritz on a little something.  The folks who try to ensure the whole locker room gets helmet hair from the spray though?  You make it hard to breathe.  Moderation is the key.

7. Lack of personal space – Remember those 50 locker bays?  I was probably underestimating.  It’s probably closer to 60 or 80 in each bay.  And except during January, there just aren’t that many taken at any given time.  So when you see someone is at a locker right then putting their stuff in or finishing up, don’t choose the locker right next to her.  Choose one that is two or three away so that you both have the space you need to operate.

6. Garbage can? What garbage can? – These ladies drive me nuts.  And I’m folding two into one here.  In the shower, you don’t have a personal maid to clean up after you.  If you have a hairball, pick it up and toss it.  If you remove a Band Aid, don’t leave it sitting there.  Or other garbage that I’ve come across.  Just… ewww.  At the sink getting ready?  Same thing.  I don’t want to use a gross counter or sink.

5. Airing it out – I get that you want to be dry before you put your clothes on.  So do I.  But to stand with one (bare) foot on the counter and the other on the floor while you use the hair dryer to dry your privates?  Save that one for home please.

4. Ms. Oblivious – Shes’ the one who is at her locker with it wide open (and she probably also chose the locker next to you after you got there, but not always) so that you can’t get into your locker once you’ve exited the shower and are standing wrapped in a towel trying to get your gear.  She doesn’t realize that she’s blocking you, and when you say, “excuse me,” she simply moves to the side and doesn’t get that there is a larger issue.

3. Ms. In Charge – These are the people who really get my goat.  When I go to take a shower and get ready, I put pretty much everything in my locker except my water bottle because there just isn’t room and it tips over constantly.  I put it on the very corner of the bench so there is plenty of room for other people and their stuff.  Just because you have a locker on the corner doesn’t mean that you have to use the edge of the bench.  There is no reason for you to pick up my water bottle and move it so that you can have your stuff where my water bottle was sitting.

2. Flat out rude – The locker room is shared space, just like the bathroom you had growing up and in the dorm at college.  The folks who work there?  They deserve your respect, too.  I am constantly shocked by how rude some people are to those who work there, either utterly ignoring them or saying disparaging things within their hearing.  And the bumping into others without saying a word or pushing past them and the like.  It isn’t that hard to just be civil, is it?

1. I didn’t see you there – When you’re taking your shower, it’s generally pretty clear which showers are open and which aren’t.  The ones with the curtains closed are being used.  Especially when you see a towel hanging outside them.  There is truly no need for you to open the curtain to personally verify.  And yes, I’ve had this happen more than once.

And yet I still go to the gym and use the locker room.  In fact, I’m about to head out there now.  It’s a good thing I don’t hold a grudge, isn’t it?  So what are your pet peeves that I missed?

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  • April Decheine

    This is great, I just joined the Lifetime Fitness and have already seen my fare share of this!

  • Peter @Feed Your Soul Too

    You caught my eye on twitter and I had to see what you said. Thx for the laugh.

  • Sarah

    Naked people. That’s what gets me. You might not be ashamed or embarrassed, but, I am super embarrassed when there are naked women strolling around. Eww. That’s why they make little changing rooms, or toilets. I have my own floppy bits, I don’t need to see yours. Have a little decorum, if only for someone else’s sake.
    (and when I say ‘you’, I don’t mean you, you know!) 🙂

    • Michelle

      Oh yes, Sarah! Yes yes yes yes! We don’t have many flaunters in my current gym, but the ones who do…. And no, I’m not one of them!

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