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Shortkaik

Blisters and calluses! :(

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Hate to sound like a wimp, but since I've started lifting real weights recently (goodbye, useless 5lb dumbbells!), I've begun developing rather painful blisters on my hands. Today they hurt enough that I had to lower my reps not because I couldn't lift the weight, but because my skin was getting pinched so hard I couldn't continue.

Any advice on how to avoid these sores or should I just suck it up and let them develop into less-than-sexy calluses?

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When deadlifting without a hook grip, don't grip the bar in the palm of your hand. Grip it more in your fingers and position so the skin isn't folded anywhere in contact with the bar.

I even use a thumbless grip for my deadlifts. It puts the bar in the strongest part of my grip, and I suck at hook grip at the moment.

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(goodbye, useless 5lb dumbbells!)

They aren't useless. I like to juggle them to impress the ladies....

I even use a thumbless grip for my deadlifts. It puts the bar in the strongest part of my grip, and I suck at hook grip at the moment.

I've been trying a thumbless grip for about a week now. It feels weird at first but it seems to help get the bar in the right place in my hand.

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same here, shortkaik; glad you posted this thread. I'm excited that i have battle scars (as i call them), but pretty soon they're going to be more of a source of pain rather than pride. gonna give the thumbless grip a try tomorrow...

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I used to row back in high school, and the blisters used to rip up the whole team. The article above definitely provides some useful info, and I found from extensive personal experience that taping blisters as they form and until they callous tends to take care of the majority of the issue. They won't callous big if you catch them early. If they're bubbling but not broken, drying the fluid and applying a little Neosporin before you sleep will callous them up significantly faster than leaving them on their own. There are a few ways I've known people to do this, each dependent on how comfortable you are with the grossness:

1.) Use a pair of nail clippers to make a tiny hole and gently squeeze out the fluid.

2.) Use a (sterile!) needle and thread. Push the needle all the way through and then unthread it so the string goes in and out of the blister. This leaves less of it exposed then cutting a tiny hole, and the fluid will get soaked into the thread and dry out overnight. When you wake up, you can painlessly pull the thread out and be well on your way to a solid (and useful) callous.

3.) Stick wet tea bags on 'em. The tannins in the tea will dry out your skin and the blister underneath after a good soak. (I had friends swear by this. I thought it sounded kind of messy and dumb so I can't personally vouch for it.)

Personally I always took the tape plus option 1 approach, and it hardened up my hands good.

Broken blisters suck. Try to catch them before they get to that point. And never rip them. So much bad news.

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The right grip is good, chalk during lifting is good, a bit of lotion to keep your calluses supple is good. Well-kept calluses aren't unsexy hard lumps, they're supple and firm like well-kept feet.

Gloves are meh. A sweaty glove is the anticallus, a damp little space where skin de-toughens.

Like the article says,

When working with a barbell, some folks are inclined to grip the bar across the middle of their palms. This, unfortunately, squishes the fleshy pad below the base of your fingers against the bar, causing discomfort, added friction, blisters, and worse. A better way to go is to grip the barbell across the base of your fingers -- where the metacarpals meet the proximal phalanges

...the only time you'd want to grip in your palm is when the weight is pressing down into your wrists: bench press, overhead press, movements like those. The rest of the time, gravity is trying to pull the bar down your hand, so it'll drag and smoosh those palm-pads unless they're out of the way.

Callusy abrasion down the fingers is a high-rep, weight-tryin-to-escape kind of thing. Strengthen your grip (bear with it, it comes) and use chalk on heavy stuff.

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Bump!

I don't have anything to add, but wanted to say thanks to everyone for all the info and links. This is starting to become an issue for me.

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Just wear gloves.

Wearing gloves alters your grip and that can negatively impact your lifting. There is no need to wear them. Sure, there is some discomfort while you build up calluses, but then once you do, then take care of your hands afterward and there shouldn't be any issue with them.

To quote Mark Rippetoe:

Gloves have no place in a serious training program. A glove is merely a piece of loose stuff between the hand and the bar, reducing grip security and increasing the effective diameter of the bar. Gloves make bars harder to hold on to. The only legitimate use for a glove is to cover an injury, like a torn callus or a cut, where the workout is important enough to do with the injury. The desire is to prevent callus formation (possibly so as to not snag one's pantyhose) does not constitute a legitimate use.

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Bump indeed. Saw Carjack as the 2nd response and was like WTF?!!? :)

Good thread though!

It always bothers me when people start new threads that have been done time and time again. The search function here isn't the best, but it works. Just trying to set a good example. :)

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It always bothers me when people start new threads that have been done time and time again. The search function here isn't the best, but it works. Just trying to set a good example. :)

I agree 100%. Curious how many music/playlist/songs-to-pump-you-up threads there are :)

Actually, I had asked a similar question awhile back when I first started lifting in the chat. Since then, I have come to just accept my callouses as a sign of lifting heavy! :)

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I agree 100%. Curious how many music/playlist/songs-to-pump-you-up threads there are :)

Actually, I had asked a similar question awhile back when I first started lifting in the chat. Since then, I have come to just accept my callouses as a sign of lifting heavy! :)

I don't mind having callouses, but they are starting to turn painful. I was doing a farmer's walk today, and gave up and dropped the weights early not because my grip strength gave out, but because my callouses hurt too badly. There's a ton of good info in this thread about callous maintenance and such, so I figured it was worth bumping :).

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I don't mind having callouses, but they are starting to turn painful. I was doing a farmer's walk today, and gave up and dropped the weights early not because my grip strength gave out, but because my callouses hurt too badly. There's a ton of good info in this thread about callous maintenance and such, so I figured it was worth bumping :).

AH! I see. I initially was the type that didn't want them, but now that I have them, I'm OK with it, but I've never really had them become painful. Slightly uncomfortable with a heavy lift, yeah, but luckily nothing painful yet and I am even somewhat overly cautious since I don't want to rip any of them...that looks painful!

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