Performance: Low Intensity, 65-70% x 7 x 4
Fitness: 3 x 5 Linear Progression
Add a few pounds to last week
Work up to one heavy set of 3 reps
Go heavier than last week’s set of 5.
Post loads to comments.
In 2 Minutes:
Row 250/200 Meters
Max Thrusters 95/65
Rest 2 Minutes between rounds.
The rows are meant to be fast and the thruster weight should be on the light to medium side.
Post total reps of thrusters and Rx to comments.
Compare to 2.23.2015.
60 minute CrossFit group class in 60 seconds!
Hand Care for CrossFitters, Part 2
In Part 1, Coach Noah explained the why behind tearing, and offered some great tips for how to prevent tears and deal with them when they do happen. This week, we’re back with Part 2 in our Hand Care for CrossFitters series. Coach Fox sat down with (i.e. emailed) CFSBK’s coaching staff recently about the topic. Here’s what the gals on staff had to say about how to keep your hands from opening up and what to do about it if they do.
Fox: How often do you tear your hands or blister while doing CrossFit, and when is the last time you tore?
Jess: Sadly, I’ve torn fairly recently. Normally, I tear during high volume pull-ups WODs. I’ve also historically used a lot of chalk so I’m trying to cut back on that.
Whit: I used to tear quite a lot, maybe once a month? Now, I rarely do. I was sure I would tear during “Murph” with high volume this year, but I have built up a bit of a tolerance by doing higher volume pull-ups more regularly and more Olympic lifting. Yay! Also… I got a weird blood blister thing recently, like a callous that wanted to tear/pop but didn’t quite, and luckily when that eventually came off there was a good layer of skin underneath.
K Harpz: If I were to put a number on it, I would say about once every two months or less. Generally mine heal up pretty quickly too, unless that sucker is in the palm/crease of my hand. Those are the worst.
JB: I tear about two to three times per year, typically during high volume pull-up WODs. The last time I tore was during “Cindy.”
MeLo: I honestly can’t recall the last time I tore. I think I’ve gotten good at 1) maintaining my leathery hands and taking care of them regularly and 2) recognizing when my calluses are on the verge of tearing during a workout and changing grip, slowing down, or stopping. The disruption a bad tear causes to training consistency isn’t worth it.
Fox: Have you stopped or modified a workout in order to not tear?
Jess: Yes, recently I had to modify a 30-minute AMRAP with toes-to-bar because I knew that my hands couldn’t handle it.
Whit: Yes, not recently, but after my first few tears, I realized it really wasn’t worth it to keep going if I knew I was about to tear. I would be in a lot of pain and end up having to modify my training for a week or so afterward, which is stupid and a potential loss of GAINZ!
K Harpz: Yes. In my opinion, a gnarly tear is not worth ruining your training week.
JB: Yes, but sometimes I get a little too gung-ho and ignore a tear (hence the two to three tears per year). Like Whit and HarpZ said, it’s never worth messing up a week of training.
MeLo: Yes, agree with the ladies above and refer to my answer to #1.
Fox: What is your routine to maintain your hands/calluses? Include stuff like home care as well as how you choose to grip a bar, chalk use, etc…
Jess: I use a pumice stone and foot file combo in the shower, but not as diligently as I should.
Whit: I use a pumice stone in the shower or right afterward, maybe two to three times a week. I know it’s not ideal, but on high volume pull-up or toes-to-bar work, I use a thumbs-on-top monkey grip most of the time, and then alternate using thumbs-around grip here and there. I don’t use nearly as much chalk for that stuff as I used to… but I still use a decent amount, esp. for Olympic lifting. When gripping a bar for pulling (deadlift, clean, snatch), I try to line up the bar in the crease of my first knuckles, not in the middle of the palm of my hand.
K Harpz: I like to grip the bar with my thumbs around, as close to the underbelly of my knuckles as possible. The less skin I bunch up in the palm of my hand, the less likely I am to tear. Once I start to notice callus buildup, I shave it down with a pumice stone after allowing my hand to soak in water/applying hand balm. I also have the tendency to chalk up as an excuse to rest, and am trying my best to kick that habit.
JB: I don’t do much hand care, unless picking at my calluses when I am bored or anxious counts. In workouts, I try to be diligent about grabbing the bar right under my knuckles and avoiding bunching up the skin in the middle of my hand (that’s where my worst tears always happen). For the most part, I wrap my thumbs underneath the bar.
MeLo: I use a pumice stone in the shower regularly plus a callus remover/razor to shave down my calluses two times a month, then smooth them out with a pumice stone. For pull-ups, I tend to use a thumb-over grip to get better purchase on the bar, but that comes at the cost of skin bunching up and making you more susceptible to tears. If I haven’t been diligent about hand care, or if my hands feel at risk, I’ll use a thumb around grip with conscious effort to flatten out the skin on the bar so it doesn’t bunch (that sounds really gross). For barbells, I’ve only had a problem with my thumb using a hook grip, so I tape around my proximal phalange (aka, thumb).
Fox: How do you care for a torn callus or blister when it does happen?
Jess: I immediately wash my hands and cut off any loose skin. I apply an ointment like Aquaphor on the tear to keep it from drying out and then cover with a Band-Aid. I tend to keep it moist so that it doesn’t dry out and crack. Antibiotic ointments tend to dry the wound out so I reserve them for when a tear actually becomes infected, which shouldn’t happen if you keep it clean with soap and water.
Whit: Wash hands immediately, cut away loose skin with clippers. I use a bit of bacitracin and cover with a Band-Aid for the first couple nights/days. Either keep using a little bacitracin or Aquaphor as it heals so it doesn’t keep splitting.
K Harpz: Immediately disinfect/wash the area, take sterile manicure scissors, and cut back all of the dead skin. Apply Neosporin and leave the wound open as often as possible, generally I’ve found healing is optimal if it is moist and uncontained. (Unless I’m going on the subway and need to grab onto them slimy poles, of course.) I have Burt’s Bees Hand Balm but also have this stuff for rock climbers that I occasionally use.
JB: I immediately wash my hands (so painful!) and cut away the loose skin. I’ll apply Neosporin and a Band-Aid. I generally keep a Band-Aid on until it heals.
MeLo: Same as the gals above.
Fox: Any other advice or thoughts you think would be helpful?
Jess: Don’t have sissy hands like mine! But really, apply less chalk during WODs and try to grip the bar a little higher in the hand (fingers) instead of the palm. Don’t let calluses get big and out of control.
Whit: Gymnastics grips!!! These have made a huge difference for me in high volume workouts and training. I have torn so much less since I started using them.
K Harpz: I know how to make a cheap/reusable hand-wrap made of elastic self-adhering first aid tape. I find it doesn’t really mess up my grip and it adds a nice protective layer for a higher volume pull-up WOD. If anyone would like me to show them how it’s done, I’m happy to help anytime!
MeLo: Consistent hand care. Don’t let your calluses get so big that they get in the way of your training, file them down regularly and keep them smooth. If you feel a tear coming on in a workout, modify your grip, take the time to tape, or sub a different movement.
Thanks, ladies! Next time we’ll hear from the guys and see what they have to say to help out with out mitts.
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What’s your experience with tearing? Share your tips in the comments!