Losing your grip in the middle of a heavy lift is not only frustrating, but potentially dangerous. Gym chalk improves the lifter’s grip and helps protect their hands from skin tears. Chalk is essential when doing heavy lifts such as deadlifts as well as chin ups.
When to Chalk Those Hands
Gym chalk consists of magnesium carbonate and aids secure grip by soaking up the moisture from the fingers and palms. Whilst some lifters like to use gloves, the optimal way to ensure a safe grip is through the use of chalk. Gloves can have a negative effect on the sensory feedback you receive from the nerves during heavy lifts.
Dries Up Excess Sweat
It’s a lifter’s worst nightmare to be powering through a heavy set only to fear they might slip and lose out on reaching a personal best. Spreading a thin coat of chalk on the fingers and palms will give you a drier grip on the barbell and aid safe lifting.
Lift Bigger, Longer
We all want to be able to last longer. Chalk can definitely help you take your performance in the gym to new heights. When getting through a heavy lift, your hands and fingers are usually the first place you begin to lose grip. This might mean you need to improve the strength of your grip, and some people warn against chalk as they believe it inhibits grip improvement. If you worry about this, maybe leave the chalk for your end set. Using chalk for your last set will help you make those heavy repetitions and, hopefully reach that all-important PB.
Chalk can help a lifter protect the skin on the hands by drying it out and forming a protective layer between the hands and barbell. This layer will help save the skin on the hands from tearing, especially the tops of the calluses as they are susceptible to tearing when sweaty. Using chalk also helps to protect against compensation injuries. These are injuries incurred when you begin to lose grip and attempt to bounce the bar back into your hands to gain a proper grip. Doing this can be incredibly dangerous for the back and put unnecessary strain on your joints and muscles. Utilising gym chalk, especially in the harder sets, will help you perform throughout the lift without such a fear of injury.
People believe that using chalk can help strengthen your grip because of the that you can take on heavier weights. As aforementioned, others believe it does the opposite, but due to the increased weight limit taken on with chalk it certainly can’t hurt. Using chalk in lifts will help maximum the weight lifted, and give you a greater lifting strength for longer. Fighting against slippy palms and a smooth bar may increase grip strength, but there are better options for improving it, so stick to those specific workouts and use the chalk to maximise lift potential.