chalk your hands to maximize your weightlifting gains
Want a massive lat spread and traps that start up by your ears? Stack plates on a barbell and pull from all angles. In most commercial gyms, however, you won’t find barbells designed with this purpose in mind. They’re worn, they’re slick, and they’re not manufactured with raised knurling—the diamond-shaped cross-cut pattern that helps you hang onto the bar.
THE SOLUTION – CHALK YOUR HANDS
Proceed with caution, though, because even though chalk can eliminate the need for lifting straps—accelerating your grip and forearm development—most commercial gyms have banned the practice to keep dust levels in check. the staff at your typical commercial gym doesn’t want to break out the vacuum every time you deadlift, and the membership—the same folks who can train only to Lady gaga—don’t want to see anything even remotely “hard- core,” either. The way we see things, however, chalking up is essential for real progress in both strength and size. Here’s how to get a grip without set- ting off any messy alarms.
Hand Chalking Tips
You can use chalk effectively and stay tidy with the following four steps:
1. USE A PLASTIC CONTAINER
This is your first line of defense. Secure the lid with a rubber band and keep it in your gym bag.
2. KEEP YOUR BAG NEARBY
If your gym allows it, carry a gym bag from station to station so you confine the resultant chalk dust to the inside of your bag.
3. USE THE BLOCK
Chalk is sold in wrapped blocks. Rub chalk on your hands with the main block instead of reaching for a handful of powder.
4. ERASE THE EVIDENCE
Wipe down the bar. If the chalk isn’t there when you’re done, your gym’s staff can’t complain.