Chalk - is it cheating?

StanStan

Triple-Digit Post Count
Just wondering if those who use chalk really need it. If the bell slip because of excessive sweating, is it not enough to dry handle & hand between sets (for s&s)?

If it is not due to sweating, it would indicate that your grip is not yet strong enough.
 

Kettlebelephant

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Just wondering if those who use chalk really need it. If the bell slip because of excessive sweating, is it not enough to dry handle & hand between sets (for s&s)?
Usually I don't use chalk, only for the hot days when I sweat a lot. The towel doesn't really work. You have a dry handle, but your hands continue to sweat after you toweled them down. Your initial first reps of a set are ok, but at rep 3 or 4 your hands and the handle are wet again and grip is compromised. At the later stages of your session your towel will have a lot of wet spots aswell which will make it impossible to completely dry the handle and your hands. You'll need a second towel.
Chalk keeps them dry for the entire set.

Because of this thread I played around with chalk and even gloves the last couple of days. What Pavel says about improving grip and core strength to make you stronger is absolutely true.
I already mentioned that I can swing the same KB with shorter rest periods using chalk.
When I used gloves (gardening gloves with a rubbery palm) I could swing a bigger KB with as little rest as when using the lighter KB with chalk.
This showed me just how much my lacking grip strength is holding me back :(
 

taikei

Triple-Digit Post Count
Certified Instructor
70 percent humidity and a 36kg kettlebell, yes.
It gives better concentration towards packing shoulders and breathing over concerns for gripping.

Given I damaged my old apartment floor and paid for it, then it becomes a tool.
 

offwidth

More than 5000 posts
In the S&S book Pavel comments about training in a spot where you are not afraid to drop your kettlebell. That's gotta be easier said than done however... Dropping a 32 or 40 from almost any height is going to damage most surfaces. (Probably even your lawn)

That being said, I'm in the group that doesn't use chalk for KB work.
 

StanStan

Triple-Digit Post Count
In the S&S book Pavel comments about training in a spot where you are not afraid to drop your kettlebell. That's gotta be easier said than done however... Dropping a 32 or 40 from almost any height is going to damage most surfaces. (Probably even your lawn).
You can get 2cm thick rubber mats that will protect your floor. I've dropped the 32kg a couple of times on them!
 

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Staff member
Senior Certified Instructor
Those of us who deadlift them regularly drop a bar with 100 kg or more on them.

-S-
 

fnds

Double-Digit Post Count
This is what the S&S 2.0 book mentions about chalk:

"Use chalk." p.63
"I will say again:Use chalk." p.63
"Why People Fail on S&S
...
- Do not use chalk.
..." p.88

Doesn't get any clearer than this.

To respond to a few points that have been brought up...

@Kettlebelephant yes I can do 10x10 in cooler conditions with the 32kg. It's only become a bigger issue now that summer is arriving.

To everyone else, all I'll say is that I've tried the chalk and it works a dream. It still works my grip plenty but it stops me worrying about my bell slipping due to humidity.

In addition, the only mention I can find of chalk in the Simple and Sinister book is something along the lines of "a little is good, but abusing it will tear the skin". On my first session with it I used a bit too much and could feel how it puts the skin in a risky position. Nevertheless, a little bit certainly did the trick and made the practice more enjoyable and will no doubt improve my consistency. Plus it gets the Pavel stamp of approval. That's all I really needed, as I'm not breaking any of the 'S&S rules'.

Also, as has been mentioned already, if 'Chalk-Free Simple/Sinister' was a goal of mine for whatever reason (FWIW I really hope that doesn't become a thing... this thread is only really a product of me overthinking things), achieving 'Simple/Sinister Plus' with chalk would probably be a quicker way to do it.

Finally, I definitely agree with the stance @Anna C has on the comparison between chalk and lifting belts - I really don't think they're on the same level as one another. I mean, don't some people/lifters also use chalk as well as belts when deadlifting? If doing hairstyle swings with a belt was a thing, then I think that'd be more comparible.

Bottom line that I'm going by now though is that the rules on achieving Simple/Sinister do not say anywhere in the book that chalk isn't allowed, but does say that a little is "good". Having tried it myself now, I'll definitely be making use of it as needed.

I apologise for overthinking things...
 

Nacho

Triple-Digit Post Count
I bought chalk yesterday after reading S&S 2.0. :) Excited to see how it feels. Never tried it before.
 

ShawnM

More than 2500 posts
I use chalk every session. Keeps my hands dry and reduces tears. I’d rather not lose training time and keep moving forward than care whether someone believes chalk use equals cheating. I’m only competing with myself, and myself is just fine with it.
 

BrianCF

More than 300 posts
Always use chalk. For safety issues. I was at a hotel traveling on business and they had kettlebells. Good ones too, TRX, nice grips. Didn't matter. No chalk, I was constantly trying to dry my hands and handles. All I kept thinking was I wish I had chalk.
 

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Staff member
Senior Certified Instructor
This is what the S&S 2.0 book mentions about chalk:

"Use chalk." p.63
"I will say again:Use chalk." p.63
"Why People Fail on S&S
...
- Do not use chalk.
..." p.88
These page numbers don't agree with my printed copy. Could you check them, or tell me if they're from Kindle or another source?

Thanks.

-S-
 

Oscar

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
I use chalk as a "same but different" variation. Most days I use it, but some days I dont to train the grip a bit more.

In any case, I never use much. Fortunately I never had any blisters or skin issues.
 
Top Bottom