A Plea to Reason and Responsibility

Recently, we’ve explored specialty bars housed at the gym and how best to utilize them as tools to drive adaptation. Today, we’re going to talk about an overutilized tool at DEUCE Gym: chalk. 

Chalk is not just a luxury; it is a necessity. It dries our hands to improve the durability and comfort of our grip. In many cases, it can also serve as a powerful psychological tool to create a ritual around training or a massive effort in the gym. 

If some chalk is good, more must be better. Right? 

Absolutely not.

While this may come as a surprise, I’ll do my best to argue for reason and the judicious application of calcium carbonate. 

Much like with alcohol, all of us understand the benefits of application. Only some of us, however, understand the detriments of excessive use. 

The key to understanding the downside of overly liberal usage of chalk lies in understanding both what happens when moisture is mixed with large amounts of it and how the knurling of a barbell is designed to function. 

When copious amounts of chalk are mixed with moisture, such as sweat from your hands or body, the resulting combination is a white, sweaty paste that helps your grip just about as much as a banana peel would help your footing on slick ground. With chalk, less is generally more. Less will allow you to hold onto whatever object you are trying to move with a more robust grip. 

If too much chalk is applied to a barbell, it can be problematic in the way described above and impede the effectiveness of the barbell’s knurling. Knurling Is the rough part of the bar, the part you want to grab or affix to your body. The knurling Is made by machining grooves in the shaft of the bar. These grooves are designed to increase friction between the bar and your person. If these ridges overflow with chalk, they can not serve their intended purpose. 

The key here is to chalk your hands, not the bar. 

You might wonder what keeps the ridges functional on barbells like ours, which see a lot of use. 

The answer is responsible lifters. Students of exemplary character seek out brushes stored strategically around the gym after their training sessions and clean off the bar so that the next person to use them can have a safe and enjoyable experience with that bar. 

If you did not know these brushes exist, there’s no harm. Now you do, and you can ask a Coach where to find them.

If you’ve read this far into my diatribe, hopefully, I’ve shed some new light and understanding on one of the lesser-understood pieces of etiquette at DEUCE Gym.

6/13/24 WOD

DEUCE Athletics GPP

Complete 4 rounds of the following:
10 DB Bulgarian Split Squats (ea)

Complete 3 rounds for quality of:
15 KB Toe Elevated RDLs
10 Copenhagen Planks

Complete 4 Rounds for time:
8 DB Devils Press (40/20)
7th St Corner Run



Supinated Grip Barbell Row

Complete 3 rounds for quality of:
8 Tempo DB Pec Flys
15 Zottman Curls
10 Paused DB Pullovers

Then, AMRAP 15
60 KB Swings (70/53)
10 Pull Ups
20 Push Ups
200m Run