I need to buy some chalk, but the only kind I can find is powdered chalk. Is there any problem with this type? I know rock climbers fill balls with this stuff and it comes out cleanly. Would an old sock work?
If not I could just buy it in block form online, but I'd rather not if I could avoid it.
Honestly man... just buy a box of blocked chalk and keep it in a bag. Unless you are actually rock climbing or whatever just keep it in a ziplock. You can buy it from houseofpain.com, elitefts.com, um... and a hell of a bunch more other places.
Not to burst your bubble or anything but chalk ain't chalk. Whether you buy it for billiards, weightlifting, rock climbing or gymnastics its pretty much all Magnesium Carbonate. And it all works the same way. Its a drying agent.
Now I wouldn't advise using sidewalk/blackboard chalk since its pretty much nothing but gypsum. And chalk used for marking football, soccer, baseball, etc... well that could be anything, titanium dioxide maybe.
Not all "chalk" that you mentioned is the same - anything w. rosin is going to make your hands stick more. Maybe that's what you want if you are loading stones, but it's definately not what you want if you are doing a high-rep set of kettlebell snatches.
I know this from experience, so if you have the option, IMHO, get basic-plain-old blocks of magnesium carbonate for most things.
Good point. Didn't think about things like added rosins. I've been using a block from the pool hall for about the last 3 months. It looks and feels just like my chalk I bought for rock climbing and like the brick I bought from Academy. Just smack it with a hammer and it makes nice usable chunks. Plus,I got the added bonus of downing a few beers while ogling a beautiful rack.
If you can, get hold of some grippy chalk - proper gymnast stuff but excellent and lasts a long time. I can testify this stuff is great!. Good alternatives include Ivank chalk - although most chalk made in china is poor in comparison. Pool chalk is not good.
Talc is not good unless your putting it on your thighs for a deadlift.