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CHALK IS THE NEW CRACK

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Written by Rosario Rios Aguilar on 09 April 2015.

It is here!! the Chalk blog!!! haha
Ok before I start writing about this most precious powder for some of you, I have to say how proud we are of all of you being open to trying new things like the liquid chalk, or no chalk at all to really test if grip does get stronger. Thank you for adjusting to this new way of training thus far, we appreaciate all the feedback that has been given and also the willing to just show up train and get better. CrossFit and our unique programming comes with being able to adjust to what is given and do it the best you can. It is about being fit and taking on life with its challenges. This is true for what we do at DRS, some days your workouts are going to feel great and some days are going to be challenging, how you react and respond about it is how much strength and growth you will have ( and im not just talking about them GAINZ haha).
We help BUILD BETTER PEOPLE and we do the best we can to DEVELOP REAL STRENGTH. What does this have to do with Chalk? believe it or not a lot. It has to do with the principles of training behind it all, which I will convey in this blog =)
If you have experienced the crack (CHALK) , there is something about chalking up that gives you for some reason a confidence booster, a sense of empowerment, a break to gather your thoughts and slow your heart rate, a moment of being present to takle whats ahead. It is a feeling that cant be explained unless you have felt it. I know exactly how it feels and I know a lot of you do as well. Sometimes makes you feel like Lebron James haha

or an olympic gymnast haha

As much as I was a chalk lover, I also believe that it is an external enhancement that can be used as a crutch in certain movements and occasions.
The background information given to you comes from testing subjects in my biomechanics lab during my masters about grip strength and midline stabilization on weightlifting belts ( which by the way is a whole different topic haha) and also just trial and error.
I dont think everything I write is the right way whatsoever but I wanted to take some time and write about it to give you some background information =)
Like everything else, there is a time and place for everything and everything should have a reason behind it. Some days the purpose of the programming is for you to grind through the entire workout regardless of how hard is it to grip ( as long as its safe). Some other days the focus is technique or a max lift where we might want the “slipping” not to be the focus but rather making the lift. At one point, regardless of what you use, the grip will start going as you fatigue or if the weight is excessive.

There are few Pros and Cons:
PROS:
-chalk helps with drying moisture, acts as a drying agent
-chalk helps holding the bar longer
-you only need small amounts when applying chalk
-might have the ability to boost false reinforcement 😉

CONS:
-chalk does not strengthen your grip
-the drying agent and thickener component ingredient in chalk that helps make you hold on to the bar longer also allows for more hand rips because the time contact with any surface increases
-chalk can also allow for bad technique reps and can increase risk of injury
-when performing high reps using hook grip, chalk can induce high torque and the thumb
HOW?? I can go into detail no biomechanical analysis on why but here is the simple answer, lets say on high reps of snatches or pullups when the athlete is not longer moving with good technique but it is able to hold on to the bar longer with chalk than he normally would, it allows more reps yes but those reps I called FORCED reps. Forced reps are the ones that you no longer have the efficiency nor technique to be able to perform but because a booster like chalk or lets say a belt or lifting straps you are able to do so. Those reps are done but when no longer your body is able to take the load and the movement has been broken. I take huge pride in this because I want all of you to have longevity in this sport and in life. Forced reps are not necessarily a bad thing but we are not any other CrossFit and Sports Performance Center that allows bad technique and forced reps all the time for the sake of a top score or hitting an RX time daily. There is a time for competition and performance yes but there is always a bigger picture in what we do here. We coach, we teach, we provide longevity and structure for performance.

Okay, now what? Do we never use chalk ever again??? YES NEVER!!!

haha just kidding these are the faces when we say no chalk anymore =)..totally not necessary haha

Like I mentioned earlier, there is a purpose in everything we do here and thanks to all of you that come in and work hard day in and day out, we are able to build an environment where there is no EGOS, no SHORTCUTS, no CHEATING but instead a POSITIVE atmosphere where we build one another to be better every single day. Everytime you walk pass that rolling door I want everyone to enter with a positive attitude, an open mind to learning and a resilient heart to work hard and to work smart. Just like all of you are very coachable and trusting of our methods about training and getting you fitter and ready for anything. We will tell you and write on the WOD board when the chalk can we used in different occasions, if its not written on the board dont think we forgot, there is just no need for chalk that day.
I have made this video with the help of my crew aka Coach Beckman haha in how to make gymnastics straps for those days we do high reps on pulling. Hand maintance is very important. Gloves are probably not the best choice for grip, give these a try for higher reps and also if your thumb feels like is going to fall off when doing hook grip, suck it up hahah just kidding no but you can tape it or perhaps actually use the hook grip more often so you get used to it.

Think of this for the bar on the pullups because we all know we hookgrip on the barbell =)

We want you to use your body and build it as a machine. You, your mind and heart are the engine. Keep training hard and keep putting the effort daily, one day at a time will accomplish more than 100% every other week. Be consistent and again thank you for being DRS Strong in every aspect of the word.

Stay Strong,
DRS Strong
Coach Rosario

“nerd alert haha”