Originally posted to CrossFit T-Town website 12/9/14
Ghostly white palm prints covered the floor, chunks of chalk someone left on the floor to be stepped on and crushed into the mats, bars with a goopy combination of chalk and sweat that requires sandblasting to remove. A nice radius of ultra-fine chalk granules on the floor completed the effect. You get the idea. Maybe what we don’t have is a decent understanding of how to use it. Unlike sex, money, and good friends, it is possible to overdo chalk. The need to dip both hands in the bucket, coat them like soon-to-be-fried chicken, and throw them at some bar seems like a club sport here at CrossFit T-Town.
1) Reduce chalk use! All that chalk is not helping your pull-ups and is not going to make your grip stronger. Chalk serves a purpose, to dry the hands so you can get better grip. I occasionally put a little chalk on my hands, then I make sure to rub my hands together until I no longer see any chalk. My hands are then dry, and I can grip the bar. When you heavily chalk your hands, your hands stick to the bar. You start kipping and all that violent movement transfers to your hands. If your hands don’t slide a little you tear. People with a very pronounced kip tear even more when they use excessive amounts of chalk. I often hear people say that they have to chalk heavily because they sweat profusely through their hands. Try drying them with a towel and then lightly chalking them as I described. The only part of your hand that requires chalk is the part that contacts the bar. This area starts just below the base of the fingers and continues up to the third knuckle. Take a block of chalk, put it on your calluses, swipe upward until you hit your fingertips, and stop. Put the block of chalk down. Now, take your non-chalked hand, rub it against the chalked one, and go about your workout. You will now be able to grip the ungrippable, and my homicidal tendencies will remain in check for the duration of your training session. Maybe.
2) Clean it up and do not leave on the floor to be crushed or spilled. Clean the oly bars, med balls, kettlebells, floor and pull-up rig after your WOD.
3) Take care of your callouses! Did you read the article we posted last year about hand care? I can’t stress this enough. No amount of chalk will stop tearing if you don’t take the appropriate steps. If you are building up huge callouses on your hands, at some point they are going to tear. Knock those callouses down! You can use a nail file, cuticle cutters, or buy a good pumice stone and use it on your callouses in the shower when your callouses are warm and soft.
Thank you for keeping our gym so clean.