Chalk and Water (Tue 11/9/10)

By November 9, 2010CFMC Blog Archives

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They’re necessary for a good WOD, yes? I’d agree with that – if you have sweaty hands then chalk is absolutely necessary for pullups, some barbell work and kettlebells. Proper hydration is necessary to keep on living, not to mention essential during intense exercise. But make sure you’re using them both correctly so that they can help you and not as an excuse to take a break.


As I’ve mentioned before, chalk should be used sparingly (in quantity and frequency). This is not only to reduce the ridiculous mess that careless chalk application can create, but it’s so that you can get the maximum benefit from it as well. For more information on how to properly use chalk, read How To Use Chalk, by Jon Gilson from Again Faster. Also, don’t chalk up between every pullup – chalk goes a long way and doing this is just an excuse to take a break. If you’re going to take a break then take a break, but don’t try to mask it with a completely made-up excuse like “I need chalk,” especially when you can’t tell what color your hands are and you’re standing in the middle of a 14′ ring of white powder that I have to clean up later.


Yes, you need water to avoid dehydration. And yes, your performance is severely affected if you are dehydrated. But no, you will not be able to rehydrate yourself during a 15 minute workout. If you ever get thirsty while you’re working out, it’s too late – you’re dehydrated. The best you can do is deal with it and be better prepared for the next workout (by drinking a lot of water in the several hours each day you’re NOT at the gym). If you find yourself with cotton mouth during a workout, an entire bottle of water will most certainly treat the symptom, but it will also leave you bloated and sloshing during your burpees. If you take a SMALL (and quick) sip of water it will also solve the cotton mouth without hindering the rest of your workout. You only need one or two sips during the entire workout – not 3 large gulps after every 5 pushups. Finish the bottle after the WOD, not during.

One of the easiest ways to improve your times in the workouts is to eliminate the excess stuff that’s slowing you down. I see people using chalk and/or water as a convenient excuse to avoid pushing themselves to the point of discomfort (and consequently improvement) on a very regular basis. Learn to use both to your ADVANTAGE and stop using them as excuses, and watch your benchmark times “magically” drop and your ability to kick a** dramatically improve.


Frankenstein Squat 5×10 (45 lb. max)



21-15-9 Reps for time of:

Handstand Pushups
Ring Dips


2000m Row

Groupon WOD:

30-20-10 reps for time of:

Kettlebell Swings