Falling short of a new personal record (PR) is a pretty frustrating feeling, especially when you're a hair away from success. Enter, weightlifting chalk: an instant performance enhancer.
Take it from a huge lifting chalk fan, this stuff is a gym game-changer. When your grip falls short, chalk can be the one thing to help you complete those last few, seemingly impossible reps. Browse the best lifting chalks on the market and get ready to finally reach that long-awaited PR.
Video of the Day
Best Lifting Chalks
- Best Overall: Rogue Gym Chalk ($17, Rogue Fitness)
- Best Liquid Chalk: SPORTMEDIQ Pro Grade Liquid Chalk ($17.97, Amazon)
- Best for Gym Owners: Primo Chalk 5-lb Bucket ($104.68, Amazon)
- Best for On-the-Go: Fire Team Fit Liquid Chalk for Weight Lifting ($11.99, Amazon)
- Best Chalk Ball: Primo Chalk Refillable Chalk Ball ($13.20, Amazon)
How We Chose
We spoke with two personal trainers about what makes the best lifting chalk. With their guidance and our own personal product testing, we made these picks based on criteria, including:
- Lasting grip
1. Best Overall: Rogue Gym Chalk
A good chalk for any kind of lifting workout? That would be Rogue's solid gym chalk. This chalk comes in the shape of a bar (kind of like a bar of soap) that you rub on your palms.
While the form is convenient, it's the ingredients that put Rogue's chalk above competitors. This chalk is made with magnesium carbonate, which absorbs sweat without turning into a cake-y mess in your hands, according to Mathew Forzaglia, CFSC, a New York–based functional strength coach and creator of Forzag Fitness.
One box includes eight chalk bars, which is enough to last for months of daily use. But you can also buy in bulk.
Buy it: Rogue.com; Price: $17.00 for 1 box, $68 for 5 boxes
2. Best Liquid Chalk: Sportmediq Pro Grade Liquid Chalk
Liquid chalk may sound counterintuitive but it's a great choice for someone who wants minimal mess, according to Noam Tamir, CSCS, CEO and founder of TS Fitness in New York City. And as a gym-goer who frequently uses liquid chalk, I'd have to agree.
How does it work exactly? All you have to do is squeeze a dime-sized drop of liquid onto your palms, spread it across your hands and wait a few seconds. As soon as the liquid spreads, it dries much like standard chalk.
Another reason liquid chalk is a great choice: a tiny amount goes a very long way, meaning you get more bang for your buck.
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $17.97
3. Best for Gym Owners: Primo Chalk 5-lb Bucket
While small blocks or bottles are great for individual use, you definitely need to buy in bulk for a whole gym. A 5-pound bucket of chalk should do the trick.
Primo's chalk also has anti-bacterial properties, which is a bonus for multi-person use. And it's made with magnesium carbonate, which helps reduce moisture, according to Forzaglia. But the essential oils in the formula help protect against dryness and skin tears.
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $104.68
4. Best for On-the-Go: Fire Team Fit Liquid Chalk for Weight Lifting
For those looking to take their workout to a park, carrying around a big bottle or block of chalk isn't exactly convenient. But this liquid chalk comes in a travel-sized container with an attached carabiner, so you can easily clip it onto your backpack or keys.
For on-the-go, liquid chalk is a must. It's less messy to apply, according to Tamir, and you don't have to worry about white dust spilling all over the inside of your gym bag.
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $11.99
5. Best Chalk Ball: Primo Chalk Refillable Chalk Ball
You're probably familiar with chalk blocks and liquid chalks, but there's a third option: chalk balls. These are squishy, chalk-filled mesh balls (kind of like a Hacky Sack) that you squeeze and roll around in your palms.
Forzaglia loves Primo's Chalk ball and it's no wonder why: This one is re-fillable and has organic essential oils, so you won't have to worry about your callouses cracking and breaking.
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $13.20
3 Factors to Consider Before You Buy Weightlifting Chalk
1. Mess Factor
Gym chalk has plenty of pros — after all, it may just be the little boost you need for a new PR. But the mess factor can be a challenge.
Although dry chalk or chalk balls can be cheaper, liquid chalk is a great option for those worried about spills in their bag or car. With liquid chalk, you also don't have to worry about the product getting on your clothes or body, which is a plus for those with sensitive skin, Tamir says.
Liquid chalk is a great, mess-free option for individual use but isn't the best choice for those looking to stock a whole gym. Dry chalk is more readily available in bulk, not to mention it's much cheaper.
Dry chalk also comes in antibacterial formulas, so you don't have to worry too much about germs spreading in the bucket or container.
Generally, chalk balls or liquid chalk are the most convenient, as they come in smaller containers and sizes. Although you can pour dry chalk into a plastic baggie or container, you do run the risk of spilling and making a mess.
On the other hand, you can buy liquid chalk in a small, plastic container that can permanently stay in your gym bag.