Last Updated on November 14, 2011 by Jimson Lee
Two years ago, I talked about using wrist straps and weight belts.
I have since ditched the weight belt, and I still own a pair of gloves, but I use those mostly for chin ups or pull ups.
However, if there is one piece of equipment I can’t live without, it’s my chalk for my cleans and deadlifts.
Yes, the same stuff you write on blackboards while in school.
And I’m not a shot putter. Or gymnast.
I simply buy a block of chalk from any Rock Climbing store like Mountain Equipment Coop in Canada, Northface, REI, etc. and store it a plastic container with a lid. You can even buy a cute matching rock climbing bag.
Some people prefer a chalk sock like the refillable Metolius Super Chalk Sock.
Just apply it to the areas of your hands where you feel “hot spots” when lifting.
Unless I am at a University weight room with proper lifting platforms, I try not to be too messy, but I can see the gym staff give me an evil eye sometimes. Especially in posh Hotel gyms where I am forced to workout while travelling. I have considered brining my own mini vacuum cleaner or “dust buster” just to shut them up.
The rule is, if you have free weights, expect a few sprinkles of chalk dust here and there. It’s part of the game, unless you have an allergy to chalk. And that would be bad.
I’ve seen people use sponges instead of weight gloves. These are super cheap, and you can add a touch of water when they harden and dry up.
Just choose one that’s not so thick, unless you have very large hands.
But whether you use chalk, straps, gloves or sponges, if you weight train regularly, you will build up resistance over time and get some callouses along the way. It’s part of the sport.
Plus, you will develop nice strong forearms and a firm handshake. If there is something I HATE when meeting new people, it’s those who have limp “dead fish” handshakes. WTF?