The Best Chalk for CrossFit

A frequent question asked in the athletic world, CrossFit especially, is what is the best chalk to use for my workout?

The simple and short answer to this question is that it all boils down to preference. The best type of chalk is unique to each individual and what experience they are looking to get out of each specific chalk, workout, and brand. It’s also important to keep in mind what type and intensity of a workout, so that the type or feel of the chalk aligns with the movements used and grips the chalk will be needed for.

What is ‘Chalk’? and why do I need it?

Many weightlifters, gymnasts, and CrossFitters alike frequently use a substance referred to as “chalk” (magnesium carbonate) when they are working out. Chalk helps athletes with their grip, especially when it comes to handling bars and equipment. There is a special need for chalk in an activity like CrossFit because it can be very demanding on the hands, as there are frequent reps that are performed in quick succession. Additionally, there isn’t a lot of time to reapply chalk between reps, so the element of chalk longevity is prevalent in the CrossFit community. Another unique challenge chalk presents CrossFitters is the sheer amount of sweat that tends to be produced because of these high-intensity workouts. Sweat causes rapid deterioration of most chalk, thus making it exponentially difficult for the athlete to grip equipment like barbells or kettlebells or to stay hanging onto a pull-up bar. Therefore, it’s important for the athlete’s chalk to absorb moisture, giving the hands a uniform gripping feeling and the ability to maintain control throughout their movements.

While chalk itself comes in many different forms, colors, shapes, and sizes, athletic chalk generally comes in 3 forms: Block, Powder, and Liquid.

What’s the best block chalk?

Block chalk is an ultra-compressed, solid chunk of the magnesium carbonate substance that is used by breaking it apart to the desired amount. One of the most common methods used to get the best results out of block chalk is to put the block in a chalk bag and then proceed to step on the chunk until it begins to break apart to the desired, usable, size. Loose chalk is another term for what is recognized as block chalk that has been previously broken up. The best block chalks are ranked below.

1. Rage Fitness Gibson Athletic Premium Block Gym Chalk

Rage Fitness Gibson Athletic block chalk is designed to push athletic limits while reaching goals and improving life. They advertise their block chalk as being the preferred chalk for gymnasts and athletes throughout the world and praise the chalk’s superior hold while also adding comfort and efficiency to all grip-centric workouts. This lab-tested chalk is specifically designed to reduce hand moisture from sweat and increase overall traction, which will ultimately help prevent slippage due to sweat. Very high-quality product and the best overall block chalk for CrossFit especially. The product is made in Taiwan.

Amount                                                                                                         Price                     Available                             

2 Ounce Block                                                                                              $7.99          

1 Pound Box (Contains (8) 2oz. individually wrapped blocks)         $17.99                                                              

2. SPRI Chalk Block

SPRI chalk blocks are some of the best blocks on the market today because of their ability to absorb and eliminate moisture, keep sweaty hands dry, and do not rub off easily, which all work together to allow the user more confidence when working out. It’s one of those products that is super easy to use. The blocks break apart easily to refill a chalk bag or store in a small container. SPRI designs and produces innovative rubber-resistant products that have since popularized rubberized resistance workouts.  

Amount                                                                                                         Price                     Available

2 Ounce Block                                                                                              $3.98          

3. Spider Chalk Mega Block and Super Mega Block

Spider Chalk block chalk is another great option for block chalk. Spider Chalk advertises the use of pure magnesium carbonate, which is rare in most chalk makers and distributors, but they swear by it for its superior drying ability and tendency to stick better to the hand. Another major benefit of Spider Chalk is that it is the only manufacturer of block chalk in the USA, is denser (150 grams), and is made without a binder or drying agent because they use advanced manufacturing processes combined with an overall higher-grade of chalk. One of perhaps the coolest things about Spider Chalk, is that it’s the official chalk of the Granite Games, Alpha Showdown, Tribal Games, Fittest Farmhand Challenge, Faction Games and Desert Games, and has sponsored close to 200 athletic events in both 2016 & 2017, which includes multiple regional and national powerlifting events, fitness competitions, and charity events.

Amount                                                                                                         Price                     Available

2lb 8 Ounce Block                                                                                       $35.95        

4lb 8 Ounce Block                                                                                       $60.95

2lb 5.3 Ounce Block                                                                                   $35.95

4lb 5.3 Ounce Block                                                                                   $60.95

3 Pack 8 Ounce Super-Mega Blocks                                                       $36.95

6 Pack 8 Ounce Super-Mega Blocks                                                       $65.95

What is the best powder chalk for CrossFit and weightlifting?

Powder chalk, or loose chalk, is generally mined as an anhydrous carbonate mineral composed of calcium magnesium carbonate, or dolomite, and consists mostly of the mineral compound magnesium carbonate, calcium carbonate, and several other compounds. While other elements are present, magnesium carbonate is the main component of powder or loose chalk and is useful for this purpose because of its molecular structure that pulls moisture away from hands and instead traps this moisture inside of its crystalline structure. Powder chalk is perhaps the most popular and well known because of its dissolvability factor and almost untraceable ability. The best powder chalks are detailed below.

1. Gladiator Gym Gear Battle Armor Loose Chalk Powder

Gladiator Gym Gear Battle Armor Loose chalk powder is powder chalk for unmatched performance because its dry grip keeps hands dry to maintain focus and correct form during sports & actives. It’s a revolutionary product and a free chalk ball gives you the power to fill it up, throw it in the workout bag and go, making it quick, easy, and convenient. Its versatility allows usage for rock climbing, maxing out personal lifting records at the gym, playing sports, or for any kind of use in CrossFit activities. Its nontoxic, 100% pure magnesium carbonate recipe contains no fillers, scents, oils, or additional colors to the product. It is proudly a filler-free chalk that doesn’t contain any extra additives and fillers that have proven to cause hands to become moist, or reversely, cause excessive drying and damage skin.

Amount                                                                                                         Price                     Available

400 Gram/14.11 Ounce Bag                                                                    $19.99        

2. Primo Chalk

Primo Chalk began out of an idea and need for an antibacterial chalk that would work and serve the same purpose as other athletic chalks but could also kill staph infections and battle against other nasty warm, damp, gym bacteria, in a space meant for sharing equipment. The added Epsom salt keeps Primo Chalk dry even when sweaty, and it is recommended that to get the full skin conditioning effect, the user should wash their hands after every work out. This washes the chalk away but leaves some of the added organic essential oils. The difference is quite staggering, and Primo Chalk arguably offers, if not the best product, certainly the most unique. Not a lot of chalk brands are both hand moisturizers and protect the skin after a workout quite like this chalk does. Primo Chalk is made by athletes and is headquartered in Austin, TX. The unique blend of essential oils protects the skin while simultaneously inhibiting the growth of bacteria, fungi, and common gym viruses.

Amount                                                                                                         Price                     Available

1.2 Ounce Primo Chalk Shaker                                                                $7.49          

6 Ounce Primo Chalk Loose Chalk Bag                                                  $12.00

1 LB Primo Chalk Bag                                                                                 $23.00

1 LB Primo Chalk Bucket                                                                           $25.00

5 LB Primo Chalk Bucket                                                                           $97.99

*They also offer a small bundle ($25.00), a large bundle ($35.00), and a chalk bucket topper ($17.99).

3. FrictionLabs  

FrictionLabs chalk is a little-known secret gym tool that drastically improves performance, more safely. They advertise to anyone between pro lifters or those just starting out, because of how it allows for a better hold on bars while saving from losing grip during lifting activities associated with Cross Fit like pull-ups, deadlifts, inverted rows, farmer’s carrier, and powerlifting. This chalk has been proven to help athletes secure a proper grip, protect their hands against skin tears, dry up their hands to both grip the barbell and lift safely, and allow a longer grip to lift heavier. FrictionLabs promises a steady grip every time, prevents life-changing injuries, and is super-easy to use. They advertise their products as made in the USA, with no drying agents, no additives, dairy free, gluten free, and 100% vegan, and come in three different gradients; fine, chunky, and super chunky.

Amount                                                                                                         Price                     Available

Fine (Unicorn Dust) 283 Grams                                                               $25.00        

                                      1 Kilogram                                                              $80.00

Chunky (Gorilla Grip) 283 Grams                                                            $25.00  

                                      1 Kilogram                                                              $80.00

Super Chunky (Bam Bam) 283 Grams                                                    $25.00

                                       1 Kilogram                                                             $80.00

What’s the best liquid chalk for CrossFit and weightlifting

Liquid chalk is a mixture made with magnesium carbonate, colophony, or any other form of alcohol that dissolves the colophony while evaporating from the solution and works a lot like a hand sanitizer. It dries your hands in a matter of seconds, while performing the same function as chalk in terms of both the ability to grip and functionality. It’s made of magnesium carbonate, rosin, and ethyl alcohol solvent. It keeps your hands dry, prevents blisters as well as slipping, or any other form of alcohol that dissolves the colophony while quickly evaporating from the solution like isopropyl alcohol or ethanol. Sometimes, an aroma is included because of the bad smell emitted by the spirit. It is used primarily to prevent hands from sweating and can be used in situations where powdered chalk is restricted. It is most preferred by athletes because it remains effective for longer than its counterparts, while also leaving less residue on shared equipment. Also, liquid chalk does not leave a white residue like powder or block chalk sometimes does. It is widely considered as an environmentally friendly alternative. In many tested forms of exercise, liquid chalk has been proven to be more useful than both powdered and block chalk. Three of the best liquid chalks have been detailed below.

1. SPRI Liquid Chalk

This is the second time a SPRI product has landed itself on this list, and for good reason. This liquid chalk comes with a carabiner attached so that you can clip it on for easy application and reapplication (although this product only needs one application, it’s that good) before or during a workout. It improves grip on gym holds, is a non-airborne liquid chalk, and dries the hands within a few seconds of application.  

Amount                                                                                                         Price                     Available

50 Milliliters                                                                                                  $7.99          

2. Togear Liquid Chalk Variety Pack

Togear Liquid Chalk made the list because of its long-lasting formula and its ability to stay in for the duration of a workout. It’s tackier and stronger than most and contains two non-toxic bonding agents, so it doesn’t come off during your workouts. The formula used has been extensively lab tested to increase friction and contains pure and safe ingredients. It is perhaps the only liquid chalk product on the market made with pure, lab-tested magnesium carbonate that also doesn’t contain impurities, drying agents, nor heavy metals that are sometimes found in other products.

Amount                                                                                                         Price                     Available

50 Milliliter/1.76 Ounces                                                                          $7.88          

100 Milliliter + 50 Milliliter                                                                      $17.98

250 Milliliter/8.82 Ounces                                                                        $16.97

250 Milliliter + 50 Milliliter                                                                      $22.95

3. Spider Chalk Liquid Chalk

Another company has made this list twice, and again, for great reason. Spider Chalk liquid chalk is made from laboratory grade magnesium carbonate with the addition of two bonding agents and offers athletes a dependable grip solution that lasts an entire workout without a need for re-application. For best results, wash, and dry your hands first, then shake the bottle before squirting a small amount of the liquid solution. Rub your hands together briefly and feel the difference. It does not clump and leaves no mess or residue on clothes or equipment.

Amount                                                                                                         Price                     Available

2 Ounce Bottle                                                                                            $12.95        

8 Ounce Bottle                                                                                            $22.95


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