Awww fuck. 12 rounds into Cindy and you feel your hands start to give. By round 15 you know you’re going to be a bloody mess. Fucking flappers. Blisters. Vesicles. Palmvaginas. Whatever you want to call ’em. When you get ’em you gotta take the obligatory post-WOD bloody hand picture and update your facebook. Actually, that’s dumb. Tearing your hands during a workout isn’t really all that badass. You can get the same effect from shoveling dirt. Shoveling dirt isn’t cool unless you were digging a grave to bury a dead hooker. That’s a pic I wouldn’t make fun of. It’s kind of fucking illegal though (except in Nevada).
In CrossFit rips are going to happen from time to time. In a competition, there is a certain acceptance for the inevitable because you are too busy destrominating fellow competitors with no time to worry about your budding career as a hand model. But during everyday training, avoid it (within reason). I’ve had times where I’ve ripped so bad it’s affected my performance in the following days. As time goes on, you’ll rip less. Until then, get smarter about how to perform preventative maintenance on your hands to mitigate tears.
1. Shave your calluses. Get a quality (sharp) knife or a callus shaver and filet the built-up gnarly shit off your palms. Calluses build up in response to the work you put in, but they will eventually pull away from the soft underskin (especially when you do shit like butterfly kipping pullups). Be careful not to cut too deep. Just work at it and take off layers till your skin feels level.
2. Get one of those sandpaper things broads use to do their nails. This is called an emery board. Buy one when your wife sends you out for tampons and you’ll really look like a whipped douche. Use the emery board to file down the areas you’ve just shaved with your knife. Now your hands are like someone who is sensitive and can talk about books. Pumice Stones work also.
3. Use less chalk. Seriously. What is it with our need to chalk up to our elbows all the goddamned time? During the final event at the 2011 CrossFit Games I fucking saw Annie Thorisdottir chalk her hands before box jumps (go to the 16:25 mark on the video). I know she’s the champ and all, but come on. Chalk certainly has value but remember: it causes more friction on the bar. Use it sparingly.
4. Wear gloves. HOLY FUCKING SHIT, WHAT DID THAT PUSSY JUST SAY? Yep. Inspire hate and mocking from your cult peers and laugh at them when they are bitching about ripped hands. “But Rip said, ‘If you’re gonna wear gloves make sure they match your purse,’ and I don’t wanna anger my fellow sheep.” Mark Rippetoe is a weightlifting coach and if you wear gloves during barbell work you ARE a pussy. However, I’m pretty fucking sure he wasn’t talking about doing a hundred pullups when he quipped that classic.
Are you like me? Did you watch people work out on the internet a couple of weeks ago (a.k.a. “the CrossFit Games”, a.k.a. “the World Series Of Exercise“)? Some of the athletes wore batting gloves. They did it last year, too. I’m sure it was in response to existing rips or maybe it was preventative. Who cares? Either way, I like it. CrossFit hypocrisy is fun.
In CrossFit we generally don’t wear gloves because there are grip issues and reduced proprioception. Don’t wear them during any barbell work. Wear them if you are already torn up in order to continue training. Wear them if you are about to do a high number of pullups and don’t want to tear. Wear them sparingly. You’ll get made fun of by the brainless. I’m not one of them.