Workout Tips

Chalk Your Hands to Maximize Your Weightlifting Gains

Is chalk a banned substance at your gym? What they don't know won't hurt them.

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.


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.

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