When I began CrossFit almost three years ago my hands were soft petals, they would tear after just a few pull ups! The first time I ripped them I was strangely proud and oh so very excited, and yup, I facebooked an image of that rip like all good novice CrossFitters do!
Needless to say, a little further down the track it became apparent that this ripping-like-a-petal situation was a big problem. If I rip, I can’t get back up on the rig again for at least a week without doing further damage, delaying training and undermining my performance and progress!
I was becoming really frustrated and increasingly desperate. None of the guys I trained with had the same problem with their hands, so I got little support or advice from them. It seemed that I was just soft! There had to be something I could do…I googled…nothing!
So what to do, what to do?
I tried gloves, gymnastics grips, taping… I’d heard somewhere that methilated spirits can toughen up skin, but that would dry them out too, which didn’t seem ideal to me!
I had a client at that time who was a ‘brickie’. He shared with me the secret to tough hands! He advises all his apprentices to urininate on their hands daily… okaaaay!?
I was willing to try just about anything, so the protocol is – in the shower, pee on my hands, rub them together, leave for 30 secs, wash off, shower and then go about my day – keeping quiet about my secret hand-care practice! Bottom line – it works!
The extreme hand care story doesn’t end there however, urine is simply one aspect of variously important practices I employ to manage and preserve my hands!
What are the others practices?
1. Pull Up Grips
I’ve tried everything – taping, gloves, gymnastics grips; then I discovered JAW PullUps Grips! BINGO! Someone cared enough to develop the perfect product for CrossFitters – I can do everything with them – barbell lifts, bar muscle ups, ring muscle ups, pullups – the works! They’re not too thick like gymnastics grips, they don’t bunch up like tape, don’t get sweaty like gloves – they are perfect! I use them every time I use the rig or rings to protect my hands!
I still rip, it’s unavoidable with the volume of work I do. But this product rapidly accelerates healing – I was dubious at first! How could a moistening product assist in healing tears and not softening my skin? I don’t really know how it works, but wow does it work! The ingredients are all quality, natural and well researched – you could probably eat the stuff it’s that clean! I apply CrossFIXE to my battle wounds a few times a day and the results are pretty impressive, I’m back on the rig in a couple of days!
3. Callous Care
I have used a gnarly blue pumice stone for some time now. I file down my calluses on an almost daily basis. If they thicken up too much they will tear big holes in my hands! But also if they thicken up they make gripping anything very uncomfortable! I keep a pumice stone in my gym bag, in my car and by my bed. The bulk of my pumicing takes place in my car whilst sitting at the traffic lights listening to Robb Wolf’s Paleo Solution podcasts – nothing like a bit of multi tasking to get life done!
4. No Moisturising
I’ve never been particularly precious about my skin care, so my no-moisturising rule wasn’t too hard to enforce! Soft hands have no place in the life of any serious CrossFitter. No more moisturising!
Hands. Can’t CrossFit without them! It’s been a journey determining the best strategies and products to allow me to protect and preserve my hands so that I can train like a crazy woman.
But the best of the best information is contained here!
I have found that the urine topic is not overly socially acceptable, so I have learned to refrain from sharing this information with the common person (ie non-CrossFitter). If you adopt this practice I recommend you do the same! Even as I write this I wonder if it’s socially acceptable to share here?! Oh well, we must do what must be done; if this information helps you improve your performance, then my work here is done!
Go forth and do high rep pull-ups without fear!