28 February, 2011
What's On HK

Locker Room Etiquette: Do you have bad habits in the gym?

28 February, 2011

Guest blogger Amber tells us about her rules for playing nice after working out…
Hong Kong is a place where looks matter. Thus there seems to be a fitness center located on each corner. Along with ridiculously priced memberships come great facilities. I wish I could say the same about the staff and clientele. Apparently, there is no correlation between classiness of clientele and classiness of the facilities. I plan to lay out my case along with some simple tips for what I like to call, Locker Room Etiquette.

The locker room of your local fitness club is not your home, no matter how often you are there.  I will preface the tips with a personal horror story of a local HK fitness center which helped inspire me.

I had just finished showering and decided to get half dressed to blow dry my hair. It gets hot and thought well I might as well just do it in my pants. Fine. The entire row of about eight dryers was free. It was only the machine, my brush and I. Two women, naked, decided to take the dryers on either side of me. During this time that I am sandwiched, they shout loudly at each other while we all three have the dryers going full speed. This is annoying but nothing to complain about majorly. Then, as if she could see my rage mounting, she picks up her leg, places her foot on the counter and grabs another blow dryer. So she is at that moment blow drying two different hair parts of her body at the exact same time. For the record, the second hair part is something best left to your worst nightmare (imagination sounded too kind). It was completely revolting. Where on earth was this acceptable to do in public?

This episode has scarred me as well as made me happy to relay the message of manners in the locker room.

Tip #1 – Noises

The human body is capable of making a wealth of noises. All of them are not acceptable for public hearing. (Yes, you heard me correctly, PUBLIC hearing.) One noise being gargling phlegm from your throat, especially when people are hanging around naked. Any snotting, spitting, saliva based noise is not meant for public ears and is absolutely disgusting to watch. Other noises also include the idea of slapping lotion onto one’s body. Lotion can be slathered with no sound, slapping it onto body parts will not increase its effectiveness. For the sake of sane people in the locker room, please keep the noises to a minimum unless you stub your toe.

Tip #2-Nudity

Locker rooms are prime time spots to be nude. We are all surrounded by the same sex and filthy from working out. There is no shame in the human figure, or so some say. I believe that we all have the right and option to be nude in the locker room, to an extent. Go to the shower, sit in the sauna and I’ll even let the slapping of lotion slide if we can agree to this; No awkward poses, please. Any pose that you take on, think about it. If in the nude you slip into a full squat or decide to clip your toenails, be aware, you’re not at home.

The sauna is one gray area where nudity is definitely okay but to what point? I believe you are allowed to be nude and lay down or sit up depending on space. One should be wary of playboy like poses (Most sauna’s are same sex and if not, you look like a hooker!) and keeping the legs closed at all times would be preferable.

Tip #3- Manners

No matter how much you may pay for your club membership, obviously one can’t buy class. Ladies, we all want to dry our hair and to be reminded it’s a locker room, things *may* get wet. A friend of mine, who has long beautiful hair was blow drying it. There was a lady next to her, who she had recognized from previous visits. The woman started to scream, “OH MY GOD. I hate you. Everyone here hates you because you do this every time. You get everyone all wet with your hair.” First and foremost, if you are over eleven years old and use the term, “Everyone hates you.” I think you should pack up your belongings, pour gasoline over them, light a match and then jump in, because you have failed at becoming a functioning adult. This lady should have just politely used her manners and either said something politely or moved. It’s easy to do folks.

Without being completely patronizing, I think it’s important we try to use these tips in our daily fitness regime. Kindness and consideration is something in Hong Kong that is highly undervalued.

At Sassy we’d love to know what you think of Amber’s rules: Do you think she’s right to be offended by the behaviour she describes? Do you have your own torrid tales of bad manners in the locker room?

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