Please Chalk Responsibly: The Down Low on Chalk at the Box

  2018-08-21 10:00AM

Chalk is one of the most polarizing topics at the box. Gym owners everywhere hate it while their members would be lost without it. But why? Why has it become such a staple in our fitness niche? The use of chalk in CrossFit gyms came from the rock climbing world, where people often clip a small bag with chalk in it to their belts.  Since then, it’s been adopted by gymnasts, powerlifters, and CrossFitters. The main reason athletes in different arenas use chalk is to combat moisture. Sweaty hands make it harder to grip a barbell or kettlebell or to stay on a pull-up bar. Chalk helps absorb some of that moisture and give the hands a uniform gripping surface.

Chalk Dos and Don’ts:

  1. Use when grip is needed. Chalk is needed when you are gripping something - barbell and kettlebell work, any movement done hanging from a pullup bar, or anything where your hands are holding something.
  2. Keep it in the bucket. Be sure to keep the chalk blocks in the bucket as you chalk up. This will ensure chalk isn’t all over the gym and save a headache for whoever cleans the floor.
  3. Don’t use it when unnecessary. Box jumps? Burpees? Rowing and wallballs? Just a few of the things where chalk is definitely not needed. Don’t be the guy who stops to chalk up before hitting a set of burpees--it’s not a good look.
  4. Don’t use it as a mental crutch. Too many people rely on the chalk bucket when they’re tired or mentally drained during a workout. Use chalk when you feel like you really can’t hold on rather than when you just need to rest. Be honest with yourself.

Chalk is a very effective tool in the CrossFit world, but be mindful of why and when you’re using it.

Happy chalking!


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