Tag Archives: Weightlifting

Questions about callouses and hand rips?

Healthy weightlifting hands have some callous, but not so much they get caught on the bar, bunch up, and then rip.

Healthy weightlifting hands have some callous, but not so much they get caught on the bar, bunch up, and then rip.

Inevitably, when you start out lifting your hands are nice and soft.  Through the session they start to hurt, but you don’t notice until the end that they are pretty beaten up.  Within a few weightlifting sessions, your hands become blistered, rough and begin to peel. You start get worried, what if they rip?  Well, you should be nervous and you should do something about that now. Don’t wait until you get a rip.  Take care of your hands now now.  It’s actually pretty simple.

This is a question from a friend new to weightlifting:

My hand callouses are getting kind of gnarly. They’re not ripping off (a la CrossFit), but they’re kind of peeling. Like dry skin. There’s still a decent amount of callous underneath, but I don’t know if I should try to sand that shit down or just not worry about it. Basically I just want to *avoid* having them rip off, and this whole “man hands” thing is a new phenomenon for me. Stop laughing, I’m (mostly) serious.

This is totally legit, no laughing. The solution is super easy, but not obvious.

  1. Two words – PUMICE STONES.  Get yourself some.  They are super cheap on amazon.
  2. Put one next to each sink and one in your shower.
  3. Grind down those callouses for ~30 seconds every time you wash your hands.

Done!  Your hands should be healthy.  However, if your callouses are too thick to pumice them (which can sometimes happen if you leave them too long), then you need to either shave them down with a razor or smother them in bag balm, put a plastic bag around you hand, cinch down the bag (so you don’t get it all over the place), and sleep with that on.  It is an emergency measure that is very effective.  Gymnasts do this all the time.

Hand rips can seriously damage your training if you don't take care of them. However, with the right care you can train through the healing process.

Hand rips can seriously damage your training if you don’t take care of them. However, with the right care you can train through the healing process.

However, perhaps something terrible happens and you accidentally get a rip (bad lift, new movement, poor hand care, etc.)

  1. Clean it, trim the hanging skin, and smother it in neosporin.
  2. Bandage it up with tape, band-aids, new skin, whatever you like.
  3. You can also bag it like above, if you are a crazy sleeper and you think the bandage might leak.
  4. Change your bandage after your lifting and/or at least once a day.  IMPORTANT: Keep it moist and covered (with neosporin or other ointment), it is scientifically proven that moist wounds heal faster.
  5. If you want to lift with the rip, use sports tape, an ace bandage or a strap over the bandage and you can (probably) still work through the healing process and lot lose too much ground.

Hope this helps!  Have any other tips for good hand care?

What is a good online source for weightlifting?

Coach Burgener of Mike's Gym

Coach Burgener of Mike’s Gym

I received this text this morning.  Wow, where to start?  Of course with ‘needs analysis’.  What do you mean by weightlifting?  What exactly are you looking for? Turns out my friend Erin joined a straight-up crossfit gym (woohoo, you go girl) and is curious.  She has only done a few lifts and wants to know more.  You can tell she is getting the bug.  I asked who her coach was (they all have different styles) and what her experience was so far.

I pointed her to YouTube, the best thing for weightlifting since the barbell and two very trusted resources.  Given her affiliation with CrossFit (and not some independent barbell club), I pointed her to Coach B (Mike Bergener) and Chad Vaughn.  These are both good places to start and will stay in the style that her current coach is teaching.  I had the pleasure of training with both of these wonderful people and they are a very good place to start.

Chad Vaughn's Big Snatch Pull

Chad Vaughn’s Big Snatch Pull

As Erin progresses my suggestions will change.  If she had different goals, affiliations, or coaches, my recommendation would change as well.  I look forward to going on this journey with her!

 

Start Your Strength Building Program

contest time!  each of you buys in for an amount that is painful.  lasts 6-8 weeks.  we start this sunday.  we will do %age improvement total for bench, press, backsquat, deadlift.  winner takes all?
alternate these two programs and lift 3 days a week:
  1. pavel:
max rack deadlift x 5 reps x 2 sets
max bench or overhead presssx 5 reps x 2 sets
  2. delorme:
50% of 10 rep max x 10 reps x 1 set
75% of 10 rep max x 5 reps x 1 set
100% of 10 rep max x 10 reps x 1 set
of each press/deadlift/squat
eat: protein, veggies, clear water
are you in?
Strong Girl