T Nation

Gym Doesn't Allow Chalk - Options...


I'm a long time lurker (4+ yrs) and have used the search button and 5/3/1 so I have had no need to post. But I have finally run into an issue. I'm on the verge of actually pulling heavy, and my commercial gym which shall remain nameless does not allow chalk. My partner and I have been reprimanded for letting dumbbells hit the floor too hard and squatting in socks, so I really don't want to incur the wrath of the schmucks who work at the facility more than I already have.

That being said, what are my alternatives to chalk? I'm thinking of using tack made for strongman, I should probably post this in strongman but I think it overlaps here more because I PL and don't do strongman. I'm also thinking of using grip tack made for tennis, but it more keeps hands dry, and isn't too tacky. I'm thinking about pulling the trigger on some of this stuff:

Aside from that, what are my options here?


I have the same problem. Ive been using a product called Liquid Grip for about 6months. A bud told me about it and I got it off of bodybuilding.com. I bought the biggest size and Im still on it. Seems to last awhile and works real well. I would definitely look into it.


I've always chalked up in the bathroom in that situation. If anybody gives you shit for white hands, tell them it's baby powder or my favorite 'my hands are really ashy'.


Liquid chalk is worth a shot, and is better than nothing.


i find that my hands are sweaty, the paper towels they have in the bathroom roll dispensers work well for me. just rip off a small piece and crumble it up in a ball then open it up and put it on the bar or in ur hands and just grip as usual. i usually need a new piece after a set or two bc they rip on me though.


I use Metolius Eco Ball. It is a little, sewn up pouch with a chalk-like substance inside that seeps out when you rub or pat it. I suspect it's a combination of lifter's chalk and the the stuff in antiperspirant.

It works and feels pretty much like regular chalk. I can get a nice layer on my hands for heavy DLs or just a bit to take the slip off my hands for a tighter grip during squats and benches.

It doesn't make a mess like regular chalk but greatly improves my grip. The guy who owns my local gym is cool with me using it. I'm discreet and I don't use it in excess.

You can order it through Amazon.


This looks like my best bet, I can be very stealthy about it with something like this. boom ordered from amazon


if they give me shit about chalk i just say "i didnt know i wasnt allowed."

and just keep telling em that, who cares.


good call on not getting tacky, that would get you kicked out. It isn't used for grip. That stuff is used for stone loading and that's it, unless you want to. It doesn't come off easily and it gets on everything.


Bring a stick of chalk (the kind from when you were a kid) in your pocket and subtley rub it on your hands before slippin it back into your pocket


What I used to do at my campus rec was chalk the shit out of a spot on my shirt in the locker room, then when I needed chalk just grabbed the spot and chalk up.


I use a small rosin bag, the kind you see on a pitcher's mound in baseball, from any old sporting goods store. Same principle.

*Pre-submit "edit": I just noticed the Eco Ball only costs like a dollar more and sounds way better. I'll be switching soon. Thanks for the tip.


The liquid based chalk has worked wonders for me so far. Minimal to no mess, and the only flack I've caught is from the kind of members that stick their nose in everyone's business anyways, I highly recommend it.


Tacky is a no-go. You might as well take a chalk and just leave crumbly trails every where you go. It will have the same net-effect.

I always advocate taking a small tupperware with a chunk of gym chalk in it and rub it on your hands before attempts. This will make minimal mess and if done right, will leave little evidence.

Otherwise, I provided a link for the best product on the market. We have tried them all. Get the gel.



Rippetoes reply was my favorite


Not to sidetrack the thread, like the John Joseph avatar. Been lucky enough to see Cro Mags twice, in '87 and last summer.

BTW, if they don't allow chalk in your gym, well, find another gym? The commercial gym I go to just posted a 'no chalk' sign. The trainers said it doesn't apply to me though:)


I lift at my University's rec center, it's a multi-million dollar facility so I don't blame them for banning chalk. It sucks, but I deal with it. I'm doing 5/3/1 at the moment, and I only use my 'lifting straps' for my last set on deads, which is balls out as most of you know. A guy was kicked out the other day for sneaking chalk in, he's been warned a couple times before that I guess.

I don't feel that my grip has weakened at all by only using lifting straps for my last set of deads, I've been doing 5x10 of chins twice a week to try and get that 100+ recommendation Wendler has set. Don't use straps for that, or hanging leg raises.

All that stuff listed in your link seems pretty expensive when you can just buy straps for $10-15. Plus, if employees at your gym see you leaving traces of this shit behind I'm sure it's going to piss someone off. It worth it to get kicked out mid-workout just to smuggle this shit in? haha, I think not.


yeah but straps are for pussies IMO- you don't see the guys curling and doing bent over rows w/ straps in my gym... I refuse to use straps. Once i run out of that eco-ball I'm gonna try the "Grrrip" stuff. As for switching gyms, if I could I would but I can neither afford the dues or the drive for the closest PL gym. As for another commercial gym in the area, it's sort of like choosing the lesser of two evils- it still sucks. Thanks for the help all.


Chalk isnt really hard to clean in the gym. Ive worked in one. The new gym I go to I at least whipe the plates and bar when I am done with them. Takes 3 minutes of your time to do a quick whipe.


It cant even be called a gym if your not allowed chalk. Maybe it should change to Family Workout Center, or YMCA, or up here in MN sounds like Workout World. Guys running around in cut off shirts, taking pics of themselves in the mirror and hitting on girls.

If you cant find an alternative you like, keep it in your bag, light coat in your bag, take a towel and wipe it off.