Chalk and Water (Tue 3/30/10)

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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 CrossFit Boston. 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.

Today’s WOD:

With a 20 minute clock, do as many rounds as possible in the first 5 minutes of:

5 Squat Clean Thrusters (95/63)
5 Handstand Pushups

Then for the next 10 minutes do as many rounds as possible of:

5 Burpees
5 Pullups

And in the remaining 5 minutes do as many rounds as possible of:

5 Squat Clean Thrusters (95/63)
5 Handstand Pushups

  • Brett “Water”worth

    Let me speak on the water portion today. Proper hydration is essential to your performance and overall wellness in the gym. Its been proven that your performance can suffer as much as 50 percent if you are only 2 percent dehydrated. That’s massive! So how much water do you need to avoid this water based apocalypse? Well I’m glad you asked an expert (after all, its in my name). As a general prescription everyone needs to drink half of their body weight in ounces everyday. For example a 200lb male would need to consume 100 ounces of water daily. On top of his 100 ounces he may need an extra 16 to 32 ounces on days he is crossfitting depending on the duration of exercise and temperature and so forth. Hop to it ladies and fellas.

  • justin

    good advise. Thanks

  • Jeff

    Brutal today, but lots of fun as always!