I can't speak towards a gym or workout center, but with participating in sports back in high school, it was expected that you would shower after practice and games before getting dressed. If you didn't, you were looked at as being physically dirty and gross. Very rarely did anyone get dressed without showering.
Now, when my son was in high school and playing sports, the norm was to get dressed in your clothes without showering and waiting until you got home to shower. I'm not sure when the changeover happened.
It struck me odd because if you needed to go somewhere, a date, out with friends, whatever, you either had to delay the plans until everyone showered or choose to go smelling like the inside of an old tennis shoe!
I still don't understand the logic (if there is any) behind it.
Now, with a wet or steam sauna, I have come out of those feeling cleaner than I have after any shower, but I often stayed in there longer than the recommended time and also ran them at a higher temperature. I do miss a good, hot, and steamy sauna to relax in!
I don't use a gym but I do swim in the local municipal pool and therefore shower naked both before and after swimming in both cases walking naked between the showers and the changing area.
Most older guys do the same - it's only juveniles who seem to have a hang-up about showering.
It was the same for me in Jr High, shower after every gym class. It seems to days youth are too modest to remove their clothes or do the towel dance trying to get dressed. Guys it is a gym locker room, nudity is to be expected. Not hidden behind towels, underwear or gym clothes. We are all men so start acting like one. Your mother is not there to protect you or tell you what to do.
When I was in school (age 11-16) while I didn't participate in physical activity due to health reasons, I DID join them in the changing rooms (I had to go in a few minutes earlier to turn them on so they were warm) and they ALL showered naked.in a communal shower - about 5 o4 6 shower heads; - It was EXPECTED of them. When I started swimming I too fully undressed and showered fully naked and also sauntered to & from the showers ready to step in, towel over my shoulder. It's called SELF CONFIDENCE. If you have none, try building it up and don't be intimidated by those without any.
At the swimming pool change room the showers are in individual cubicles. I often see guys take all their gear into the cubicle with them and emerge fully dressed. I wonder how they manage to keep everything dry. I use a shower, but don't close the door. When I've done I walk naked to the lockers to fetch my clothes before toweling down and dressing in the main change area. Like others who have commented, I have noticed it tends to be the more mature men that walk around and change without hiding themselves, whilst it is the younger and middle aged men that change in private or cover up with their towel. I too wonder when and why male changing became a private matter.
I wasn't always comfortable being nude in locker rooms (ie in high school), but once I got to college I got used to it. Now I have no trouble stripping down in the locker room. At my old gym in Denver i would be naked while i shaved and brushed my teeth after working out. Since moving I haven't joined a gym but i do use the one at my work which has a locker room. Seems like most the guys that use it always try to cover up when changing. I'm not certain if it's because they don't want coworkers to see them nude, if it's due to the Mormon influence, or just how the trend is changing. Possibly it's a combination of them or other things I haven't thought of. I did notice that one of the guys that is sometimes in the locker room when i am has gotten more comfortable with not having a towel around him as he changes. We've chatted some while changing but not yet when either of us has been nude, at least not yet. I'm hoping that it just takes others to see that being nude in a locker room isn't a big deal, although I also don't know if it would be different if there were more guys in the locker room that weren't fully naked when changing.
When I used to go to the swimming baths, after I got out I would go into the showers which were open, no cubicles or curtains, just a line of shower heads along the wall. I used to take my shampoo and soap and have a proper shower totally naked to get all the chlorine our of my hair. It always struck me that is was usually the older guys that also got naked in the showers and the younger guys kept their trunks on or the dads that had their kids with them also got naked, but generally I don't think anyone complained about it. Although sometimes I think I spent more time in the showers than swimming.