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Chalk Use vs. Chalk Abuse

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Chalk Use vs. Chalk Abuse

Remind you of anyone?

Warm-Up: 500m Row, 20 KB Swings (50/35lbs), 20 Air Squats, 10/6 Strict Chin-Ups, 20 Sit Ups

Bench Press: 3×5

MetCon – For Time: Power Tower

25-20-15-10 Reps of

Power Cleans (95/65lbs)

Box Jumps (24/18”)

Finisher: Foam Roll & LaX Ball Posterior

Paleo Lectures: This Thursday (April 28th) @ 7:30PM and Friday (29th) @ 6:30PM There will be NO 6:30 PM Class!

Let us know if you want another lecture on an afternoon. If we have enough that speak up, who knows what will happen…

Don’t even begin to think that I don’t know the feeling. The bloodshot eyes, the nervous tics that prohibit sleep, the cotton mouth, the constant need for that white and powdery substance that haunts your dreams. Ohh, I know all about this obsession. It’s part of your everyday pre-MetCon warm-up routine. You, my friend, have a problem….a problem that I once had as well. Chalk abuse is running rampant at Ktown; and this is your intervention.

Although it can be abused, using chalk provides many benefits:

Yeah, that's awesome...couldn't be done without chalk

It helps my grip strength in gymnastics and lifting exercises


It mentally prepares me to slay the workout

The block chalk we use is a naturally occurring mineral known as Magnesium carbonate. This acts as a drying agent for hands by absorbing the sweat we produce. Ensuring a reliably strong grip that prevents slipping of the equipment from your hands throughout the lift or exercise is the primary function of chalk. Gymnastics, Weightlifting, Powerlifting, Rock Climbing, and even Track and Field regularly use chalk (Shot-Put, Javelin, Hammer & Discus Throw).

Although chalk helps my performance, confidence, and appearance there is a caveat when using this white gold. Applying chalk pre-MetCon ensures it’s done properly 9 times out of 10 to make sure it’s not wasted or caked on too thick. I’m sure we’ve all gone for the chalk bucket mid-MetCon to reapply (or maybe just to waste our time before we get back to task) and we clap the chalk everywhere. This is problemo uno. We don’t mind buying more chalk for Ktown to use, as long as it’s used on our hands and not on the floor. It’s EXTREMELY hard to keep our gym clean, and any effort to keep it less dirty would be greatly appreciated.

Here’s a quick checklist of movements that it would be beneficial to use chalk on:

1. Any heavy pull: DL’s, Cleans, Snatches, and any variation of these things

2. Gymnastic movements on Bars or Rings: Pull-Ups, Knees to Elbows, Toes to Bar, Muscle Ups, False Grip Pull-Ups, etc…

3. Heavy Back Squats: It helps keep the bar in place on the back of my cotton shirt.

4. Bench Press: If I’m very strong and training for a Powerlifting Meet, then I can use chalk on my shoulders and butt to prohibit sliding on the bench.

5. Blanket Statement: Any grip-intensive movement.

Keep these things in mind when using chalk…because chalk is a GREAT THING. As Mark Rippetoe says, “A gym without chalk is a spa.” And we couldn’t agree more, that’s why we use it. Although chalk does help many things in the gym, it doesn’t help with running or push-ups. I know, I wish it did too…

Coach CBo

By | 2017-04-25T14:39:10+00:00 April 25th, 2011|CrossFit Ktown Knoxville, Uncategorized|2 Comments


  1. Brandon April 26, 2011 at 8:43 am

    Chalk adds 10% to all your lifts.


  2. Ben April 26, 2011 at 10:02 am

    The second picture reminds me, Chalk Walk Event this Saturday in Market Square as part of the Dogwood Arts Festival. Avanti Savoia is a sponsor too! Get down there and enjoy.

    ps, chalk would be helpful for the rower for us guys too. But nobody would want to use the chalk after that application….

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