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Thread: Should I use chalk for Deadlifts?

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  1. #1
    eek... it's lil' Fixation! fixationdarknes's Avatar
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    Should I use chalk for Deadlifts?

    Does using chalk mean you are in turn giving your forearms/grip less of a workout? I enjoy the fact that my grip gets a beating doing Deadlifts, but am sort of intrigued by using chalk (possibly for when I get stronger and can Deadlift more weight, and also as a remedy for bleeding calluses and stuff).

    What are the advantages/disadvantages?
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatrb38
    I try to visualize that my girlfriend is under the weight and I have to push the weight up to save her. Of course it doesn't work and I just laugh as I think about the weight slowly crushing her bones. Then I remember it's me under the weight and give 200% effort to push it back up.

  2. #2
    student of the game Runty's Avatar
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    Its all advantages. You'll actually be working your forearms harder by being able to increase the weight on the bar. Go for it.
    "Fine, if I'm not allowed to light it on fire, can my imaginary friend?"

  3. #3
    Senior Member jtteg_x's Avatar
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    Always. If you want a forearm workout with your pulls, go double over hand.

  4. #4
    Soon to be lean... Joe Black's Avatar
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    I use chalk a lot. At the end, yes it does give you an advantage on the grip front but I guess you have to consider what is more important - a better grip or cranking out a few extra reps or upping the weight?

    Also, I don't feel chalk is the same as wraps, you're still having to work hard to grip the bar.
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  5. #5
    A gallon a day, everyday! ThomasG's Avatar
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    Only disadvantage is it can get messy.
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  6. #6
    Become Unbreakable Mark!'s Avatar
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    Is there a happy medium between messy and an advantage? Could you use less chalk therefore not making MUCH of a mess? Or would it even be worth it? Where I work there's a no chalk policy, however I'm sure I could get away with it since I'm there when all the training sgts have gone home.
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  7. #7
    A gallon a day, everyday! ThomasG's Avatar
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    Put you chalk in a big freezer bag. Chalk and dust your hands off in the bag. You can also do this over the trash can. You don't wanna be the guy at the gym who makes a mess with chalk. And I completely ignore the no chalk rule at one of the gyms I train at. I'm very careful about not making a mess though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Athos View Post
    you're an intelligent guy... but you're also half #$%&ing crazy... and that my friend is the formula for a great powerlifter.
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  8. #8
    big on TONING dynamo's Avatar
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    I have a 5 lb box of chalk in my room. Thats a bunch of chalk, hopefully it'll last 20-30 years, what I do is I take a ziploc sandwich bag, and I put maybe 1 handful in there, I know it doesn't seem like a lot but you don't need much, and I take that bag and I put it in one of those ziploc cheapo plastic containers. When I chalk up I grab a little out of the bag while holding it over the container, and rub it all around, the excess falls to the container and when I am finished i just dump the container contents back into the bag. For an extra layer of security I put a hand towel under the container so all the super light chalk just lands on that and I don't have to clean up anything ever.

    As for the calluses I would rip them off every time I deadlifted before chalk, now they only rip off on my max effort days. Its way better. Definitely get chalk, but buy it online in bulk from a taxidermy place. My 5 lbs box was $30 shipped. Thats 37.5 cents per ounce.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Raleighwood's Avatar
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    I just started using chalk about 2 weeks ago and my dead lift work set weight has easily increased by about 40lbs.

    If you are worried about not working your grip as hard, you can warm up chalkless. However, I think the chalk allows you to lift heavier weight that is still gripped by your hands/forearm, allowing you to develop grip strength at heavier weights.
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  10. #10
    Softball Wh0re VDubb's Avatar
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    I'm surprised this hasn't been mentioned yet - if you're concerned about making a mess - use an Eco Ball.......dust-less chalk alternative for rock climbers - perfect for gyms that are "chalk sensitive"....

    $4-5 bucks are your local climbing/camping store......

    Last edited by VDubb; 02-15-2010 at 09:17 AM.

  11. #11
    student of the game Runty's Avatar
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    Go to your local camping store and get a chalk sock. Looks like the eco ball above but it actually uses powdered chalk and only lets a bit through the cloth when you grab it. Get yourself a small pull string nylon bag you can comfortably fit your hand/fist into around the chalk sock. Make sure it isn't see through, don't want people to know what's in it. Then just carry that around, reach in grab/smoosh the chalk sock around a sec and you're good to go.
    "Fine, if I'm not allowed to light it on fire, can my imaginary friend?"

  12. #12
    eek... it's lil' Fixation! fixationdarknes's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice everyone! Definitely helpful as I'm guessing my gym wouldn't be too happy about chalk going everywhere.
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    Age: 20, Height: 5'7", Weight: 165, Deadlift: 405, 9.5" Squat: 230 x 10, Bench: 195 (3x5)

    Quote Originally Posted by fatrb38
    I try to visualize that my girlfriend is under the weight and I have to push the weight up to save her. Of course it doesn't work and I just laugh as I think about the weight slowly crushing her bones. Then I remember it's me under the weight and give 200% effort to push it back up.

  13. #13
    Wrecker of Homes d'Anconia's Avatar
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    If you go for chalk I recommend Black Diamond chalk. I've tried 3 different chalks and it has been the best brand by far. Love it!
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    Loves to squat hellagrant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by d'Anconia View Post
    If you go for chalk I recommend Black Diamond chalk. I've tried 3 different chalks and it has been the best brand by far. Love it!
    What makes is so great? I figured chalk is chalk.

  15. #15
    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    I agree, chalk is indeed chalk


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  16. #16
    The Bulkness Cometh! BULK_BOY's Avatar
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    How about Rosin? It's not as messy as chalk........and it makes your hands STICK to the bar. hahaha
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  17. #17
    eek... it's lil' Fixation! fixationdarknes's Avatar
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    I deadlifted today in the gym, and I sort of asked this question already in a different thread, but would chalk help prevent my hands/calluses from bleeding and ripping off? I could've probably busted out another rep in each of my Deadlift work sets if it weren't for my bloody hands (not trying to sound English here, my hands were actually bloody lol) making my grip slip.
    Last edited by fixationdarknes; 02-19-2010 at 03:37 PM.
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    Age: 20, Height: 5'7", Weight: 165, Deadlift: 405, 9.5" Squat: 230 x 10, Bench: 195 (3x5)

    Quote Originally Posted by fatrb38
    I try to visualize that my girlfriend is under the weight and I have to push the weight up to save her. Of course it doesn't work and I just laugh as I think about the weight slowly crushing her bones. Then I remember it's me under the weight and give 200% effort to push it back up.

  18. #18
    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    No, chalk does not prevent tearing of callouses.


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  19. #19
    eek... it's lil' Fixation! fixationdarknes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bell View Post
    No, chalk does not prevent tearing of callouses.
    What would you recommend I do about the bleeding/tearing calluses then? I really don't know why they're bleeding either actually. I used to deadlift more than I am right now, and I've been back in the gym for about 4 weeks now, seems ample time to toughen up the hands.
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    Age: 20, Height: 5'7", Weight: 165, Deadlift: 405, 9.5" Squat: 230 x 10, Bench: 195 (3x5)

    Quote Originally Posted by fatrb38
    I try to visualize that my girlfriend is under the weight and I have to push the weight up to save her. Of course it doesn't work and I just laugh as I think about the weight slowly crushing her bones. Then I remember it's me under the weight and give 200% effort to push it back up.

  20. #20
    Hungry like the wolf. Dgro's Avatar
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    i have a question that is somewhat related and i feel does not deserve it's own thread. what is proper hand position for sumo deads? does it really matter at all? i like to go right inside of shoulder width, where there is no knurling. and since i am going to want to grip somewhere that has knurling in the future, i think, should i move inside or out?
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  21. #21
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    Chalk is awesome man! I don't use chalk myself (don't really need it right now), but sometimes when I'm deadlifting, there's a bit of chalk still on the bar from someone else, and my hands are just glued to the bar! And there's not even that much chalk either. It's great!

  22. #22
    A gallon a day, everyday! ThomasG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Athos View Post
    you're an intelligent guy... but you're also half #$%&ing crazy... and that my friend is the formula for a great powerlifter.
    23 Years old
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  23. #23
    Hungry like the wolf. Dgro's Avatar
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    you could also use some hand lotion, if you could live with yourself
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    CG Bench 1x7 @ 225 Power Clean Max @ 235
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  24. #24
    student of the game Runty's Avatar
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    Make sure you're gripping the bar properly too. If you grip with the bar too far into the palm of your hand when you go to pull, the bar will cram all that skin together and make a tear more likely. I believe there is a section in Starting Strength about this.
    "Fine, if I'm not allowed to light it on fire, can my imaginary friend?"

  25. #25
    eek... it's lil' Fixation! fixationdarknes's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies. I sorta tried holding the bar a bit less crammed into my hand the other week and it seemed like it was slipping from my fingers. I guess I am not sure the exact proper method of gripping the barbell. What is Starting Strength and how can I find that section?
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatrb38
    I try to visualize that my girlfriend is under the weight and I have to push the weight up to save her. Of course it doesn't work and I just laugh as I think about the weight slowly crushing her bones. Then I remember it's me under the weight and give 200% effort to push it back up.

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