Liquid Chalk vs Block Chalk for Workouts?

Back Story

Hello, today we will look at the messy world of chalk; weightlifting chalk that is. When you go to the gym, from time to time you notice people using chalk when they are weightlifting. People use chalk to help with grip when lifting heavy weights. One has the option of using lifting straps, or you can use chalk. You can use the weightlifting chalk when benching or deadlifting heavy weights to help improve your grip.

When I started deadlifting heavyweights, I always had a problem with my grip. At the time I did not know about chalk & I did not know about forearm exercises that would help me improve my grip. It was frustrating trying to deadlift a heavy set but, my grip always let me down. Then I found out about Farmer’s walk & Reverse curl.

I usually use 100 lb to 110 lb barbells when performing the farmer walk & I walk around 1/2 the gym carrying these dumbbells. Some days I feel like superman & I use the heaviest dumbbells they have, it’s always interesting how I feel afterwards; like my forearms are burning up. ABs, Forearms, & quads are muscles that get a good work out when performing the farmer walk.

Reverse curls are one of my favourite forearm exercises. You can use an EZ curl bar/ straight barbell or dumbbells for this exercise. Hold the barbell with palms facing down. Bring the barbell up to your shoulders then down to starting position. More elaboration will be provided in a future article.

Farmer’s Walk & Reverse curls are good forearm exercises, but it takes time to build up your muscles. In the meantime, when you want to lift heavy you will need to rely on weightlifting chalk. Weightlifting chalk comes in 2 forms. Liquid chalk & regular chalk in block form. I have had the privilege of using both & I have no preference. Regular chalk is more messy than liquid chalk, but they all perform the same function.

Liquid Chalk

Liquid chalk contains magnesium carbonate, Rosin and ethanol. Ethanol keeps the magnesium carbonate in liquid form when exposed to air & dissolves the rosin. When liquid chalk is applied to your hands the ethanol evaporates leaving dried chalk on your hands. When weightlifting heavy sets, the rosin improves your grip by reducing moisture on your hands. Usually, you apply liquid chalk to the whole palm of your hand.

Liquid Chalk I Use

Pros & Cons of Using Liquid Chalk

Pros

1. Liquid chalk comes in a small bottle that’s easy to carry around & easily resalable.

2. Easy to apply; put a little on your hand & rub them together.

3. More durable; meaning you don’t have to reapply chalk after every lift set making it last longer getting more value for your money.

4. Easily removable by washing your hands.

5. Since there is no chalk powder, your eyes & nose are safe from irritation from the chalk dust.

Cons

1. Some people might be allergic to rosin that’s contained in liquid chalk.

2. Ethanol might make dry skin condition worse.

3. Spoils when exposed to air.

Block Of Chalk

Regular chalk is made of calcium carbonate. It comes in block form or it comes in a pouch/bag where you can use it in powder form. The chalk is usually applied to the whole hand while focusing on the main points of contact.

Powder Chalk I have used.

Pros & Cons of Using regular chalk

Pros

1. Light to carry around.

2. Easy to apply; rub block or powder on your hands.

3. Easy to remove by washing your hands.

4. Doesn’t contain rosin which some people are allergic to.

5. Does not spoil when exposed to air. If you leave the lid off, ethanol evaporates & the chalk solidifies.

6. Cheaper than liquid chalk if you use a lot of chalk during your workouts.

Cons

1. Powder gets everywhere making it very messy.

2. Need to reapply the chalk after every lift to get the same grip.

3. Needs to be carried in a zip lock bag or container to prevent the powder from going everywhere in your gym bag; this takes us back to point one.

4. You don’t get your money’s worth since some of the chalk will be lost in powder form.

Muscular man clapping hands and preparing for workout at a gym. As mentioned previously, chalk can be very messy.

Conclusion

In conclusion, weightlifting chalk is a good way to increase your grip when performing heavy weightlifting. Personally, I prefer liquid chalk for the value of money it offers even though am not a heavy chalk user. If you use any of them economically you can make liquid chalk or block chalk last longer. Also, liquid chalk is less messy & a lot of gyms allow liquid chalk compared to block chalk. Gyms typically ban block chalk for the sole reason its messy. What has your experience been with weightlifting chalk? Leave a comment below & let me know.

20 thoughts on “Liquid Chalk vs Block Chalk for Workouts?”

  1. Nadia says:

    Hi, this is an interesting topic. I have been doing some weightlifting (nothing too heavy since I have injured my hip before) and I’ve noticed that the grip does get uncomfortable after some repetitions. I’ve actually developed sores once because I lifted for a long period of time and it can worse afterwards. I didn’t think about using chalk to be honest but this makes sense now. I could’ve avoided all that pain lol 🙂

    Thank you for the information and I am going to look into the liquid form of the chalk since I don’t have allergies.

    Cheers, 

    1. Ray Rooney says:

      Hey Nadia, glad you found the article informative. Thanks for the comment & good luck trying liquid chalk.

  2. Scott Hinkle says:

    Thank you for this informative post.

    I had no idea the science/thought behind weightlifting chalk.  I’ve seen it used but just assumed it was for maintaining a dry grip and that was that.

    Liquid chalk is odd to me but it looks like it might be easier to apply and get better overall coverage.

    I think I might look a bit more into this to see if using chalk will benefit me.

    Thanks again,

    Scott

    1. Ray Rooney says:

      Hey Scott, thanks for the comment.

  3. Joy gateru says:

    Wow, what a great day starting with an informative post like this, I really like the flow of your content, easy and simple to read I believe anyone would understand everything stated in this context, personally I do some weight lifting but am yet to be at the pro level, with my experience on the grip I totally agree that it’s a key factor when you are trying to lift heavy weight, I never had of liquid chalk before, but I think its the best idea I even find it environmental friendly, I will have to check out on the liquid chalk and give it a trial soon. I am sure to subscribe to your newsfeed to learn more about this and other related articles,.

    Thank you.

    1. Ray Rooney says:

      Hey Joy, glad you found the article informative & thanks for the comment.

  4. KingAndrea says:

    One thing that is always to be considered as priority in the gym is safety because as interesting as workout and weightlifting can be, it can be very very deadly and dangerous too if not handles properly. This is why it’s made known that a better grip makes you get a tight hold of your weight. I prefer the block chalk to the liquid chalk. Thanks.

    1. Ray Rooney says:

      Hey KingAndrea, you are right, safety is very important & chalk helps. Thanks for the comment.

  5. Henderson says:

    Ah, very nice post you have written here. Personally, I didn’t know about the liquid chalks s I was a bit sceptical when it was introduced to the gym. I just wanted to understand what it really meant. Seeing your post, I like the fact that you can come up with some pros and cons of the two. I will like to try that less messy chalk as well. I hope that I wouldn’t be allergic.

    1. Ray Rooney says:

      Hey Henderson, good luck with the chalk, let me know how it workout for you.

  6. Paul says:

    I’ve worked out for many years now and have never really understood the use of chalk. However coming back to the gym after a long lay off and trying to get back to my previous weight max I have struggled at times with both grip and wrist strength. I now understand that I need a combination of forearm exercises and need to get hold of some chalk. Your post has been very helpful, thankyou

    1. Ray Rooney says:

      Hey Paul, glad to know my article was of help.

  7. Wildecoll says:

    We all have own dos and don’ts, this is what makes allergies common to some and even to some, none. Our body system reacts on a kind of unique way, that is why it’s always good to read compositions on a product before use so as to avoid health risks. Liquid chalk may be dangerous to some people, so it’ll be advisable to stick to the block, but if you know it isn’t an issue for you, the liquid is really good.

    1. Ray Rooney says:

      hey wildecoll, thanks for the comment.

  8. Roslinecar says:

    I’m not into deadlifts and generally weightlifting, but I knock off some steam in my house and I keep fit at all times. I think the idea of which one is better is determined by one major concern and it is the health condition of the user, I mean if the person is one with allergies and can get a kind of bad reaction to the chemicals in the liquid chalk, he or she definitely needs to resolve to the block chalk. This is the only issue I’m able to note. It’s a lovely post you have here.

    1. Ray Rooney says:

      Hey roslinecar, nice catch & I agree, thanks for the reply..

  9. Shifts says:

    Hello Ray, when I saw the headlines of this post, I was wondering what the chalk would be used for. Good to know that it is good for perfect grip while lifting weights. I haven’t been privilege to use the liquid chalk before, as a matter of fact, I had no idea that it even exists. Good to know that there is liquid chalk.

    Best regards!

    1. Ray Rooney says:

      Hey shifts, glad to know I educated you on something.

  10. Techie says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this post about Liquid Chalk vs Block Chalk for Workouts. Well, I guess none of them is a winner since you have stated that both of them are effective in the same way.

    Since liquid chalk is less messy, I think I will go for it order than block chalk that is more messy. Perfect to increase grip.

    Good vibes!

    1. Ray Rooney says:

      Hey Techie, thanks for the reply

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