T Nation

Cutting Hands on DL - Staph Infections

i have been deadlifting for several years now and have built up pretty good calluses on my hands from doing so. i never have worn gloves or used straps on deads, but instead use a hook grip with lifting chalk. recently, i have been cutting my hands open while deadlifting, causing my hands to bleed. i train at a public gym and i am very concerned about contracting serious diseases such as staph infections.

any recommendations on what i should do? should i wear gloves or use straps? it's not my calluses that are bleeding, it's my fingertips(thumbs) from the hook grip. i think i might use straps only for deads now. my grip is pretty strong and want to use straps to protect my health(prevent cuts.)

reading all this info on people contracting staph at the gym has made me paranoid. i got so freaked out today that i left the gym before finishing my workout.

i am considering using straps or batting/wide receiver gloves(i need the finger tips.)maybe i should try taping my thumbs up.


I have alot of calluses from work/gym and have always found that sanding them down with a nail file and moisturizing works wonders especially when workoing outside all winter.


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Using a pumice stone or something similar will help to an extent, but straps would eliminate the problem completely. JMO


Yeah mate, change your grip or use straps. Staff is very common and can be found on peoples skin but only causes infection when it gets in cuts/eyes/nose.
I'm not the kind of person to fret about this stuff, but I guess it is better safe then sorrry.
I once got a staff infection in my nose from playing rugby, nasty, and it made me feel like shit for a week or two. I'm not a fan of antibiotics unless they are necissary though so I let it run its course and it was gone in two weeks.


You would rather use straps than a mixed grip?


i keep hearing that mixed grip can lead to biceps tear in the supinated arm, amongst other problems.


Lynx grip, Eric Cressey swears by it. Search it up.


You obviously don't know what a hook grip is. Get an olympic lifter to show you how to do it and try it yourself. Bye, bye mixed grip.

I would only use straps until they heal then your going to have to file them. I just pick mine.


I think some people need to read the OPs original post, it his thumbs that are bleeding NOT his callouses; so all the sugestions to file them down are rediculous.

OP haven't you answered yourself? tape them up!


Let me get this straight, you had a staph infection in your nose and you didn't use meds to get over it? A) Your full of shit B) It wasn't actually a staph infection C) You're an idiot for not taking meds to get over the staph infection in your nose, because it would probably kill you. Staph doesn't just go away, it keeps spreading until it kills you. Trust me on this, I have had it before, and I almost lost my arm after 4 days. The doc told me that most people that have the strain i had (MRSA) die or lose multiple body parts in that time.

To the original poster, I don't care whether you get gloves or straps, but cutting yourself in a gym is never good. Staph sucks, it is extremely painful, and it can kill you.


If you are lifting for bodybuilding purposes, just use straps


Clean the fucking bar with a disinfectant spray or disposable wipe?

It's a very legitimate concern though, one I've taken very seriously. I've been around my gym both early enough and late enough to observe what gets cleaned and what doesn't.

Bench seats and pads do, bars, DB's as well as the various handles for cable machines do not.

For everything I do with cables I use a towel. I haven't found a good solution for bars and DB's yet, so I wash my hands at least two or three times a workout.


Close the cuts with antibiotic liquid bandage super glue stuff, then tape over the wounds when lifting?


LOL... you dont think you can get Callouses on your finger tips?


We have always used tape for this problem...easy fix!


Tape is good - stay vigilant when choosing your bar, clean & wipe it down when possible..

My question is how are you cutting your thumbs while in the hook grip? Granted I don't use it much since I pronate or mix grip when I DL but bleeding from your thumbs? Is it the nailbed? Or actual skin ripping/reopening up? If it is the knurling on the bar (sharp when they are new)it may help to sand them down lightly when the gym owners aren't looking.

Keep washing your hands between sets or bring some Purell/hand sanitizer handy if this concerns you.

I use liquid chalk for rock climbing and it has anti-bacterial alcohol on it but I still wash up when I can.

Got a nasty arm infection from a loose cable wire while doing cable flyes years ago - contracted a massive fever & they had to cut me open to drain the pus in my tricep... That & the horse pill antibiotics they put me on - good times.


That right there... I have no interest in getting a fucking infection that bad ever. Helluva thing basically living in a gym up to 10 hours/week and being cautious about touching everything in it.

I can see how the thumb would get cut, medial aspect along the nail line especially. That kind of torque on one joint, especially with heavy weight seems totally probable to me.


No shit eh? even if he did get a minor staff variant that slipped through his lymphatic cycle from scar tissue or some such he still should have taken the anti-bio's. All you're doing by toughing out a minor staff virus that your body can get a hold of over time is helping the virus evolve to become more bad ass. Next time he cops that infection or spreads it through blood on a bar it could be unaffected by common restorative means.

There are so many variations of staff. all day everyday your system finds and destroys staff and other little nasties that live inside you or get inside you. It's the ones that find breeding places safely away from the lymphatic system that get noticeable and need to be treated. scar tissue such as broken noses and such are great places for them to hide.

My old MMA thai boxing coach got one on his shin because his scar tissue build up had separated his lymphatic system from some of his epidermal layer and the virus bred there. He was walking around with his hospital IV stand for a week or more. He hung the IV bag from his car mirror when driving. Funny for us, highly annoying for him.



It goes both ways. Not only do you not want to catch staph, but the guy lifting after you doesn't want your blood all over the bar.

Use tape, straps, or gloves. I've used gloves for the past 6 years, and have never had a problem with my workouts being any less intense because of it.