To wear gloves or not wear gloves when lifting is one of those little topics people will always debate about and here are my two cents.

I used to be a big glove wearer when I first got into lifting weights, it helped me grip things, absorbed the sweat, stopped calluses and made me feel like a bad ass bodybuilder. For the longest time I used gloves, in my gym bag would be my training log, gloves & a bottle of water. I used to hate working out without my gloves. However, no matter how many weights I lifted, my hands were still soft and weak, I’d even resort to using some gloves when lifting things in everyday situations, such as moving furniture around, boxes etc.

I also noticed that when I really needed to lift a heavy weight, the gloves would come off so I could get a better grip. It felt like the gloves were, ironically, not letting me get a secure grip on the bar. The gloves themselves increase the size of the bar, kind of like wrapping a towel around the bar, which is a great way to increase grip strength, but for gripping purposes, its not efficient.

Being able to grip something tight has a direct effect on how much strength and power you’re able to exert. Take for example doing a chin up, grab the bar by the fingertips and I bet you’ll find it a lot harder to activate your lats completely compared with if you had a full grasp around the bar. This is true for any pulling exercise, be it a deadlift, bent over row, lat pulldown; whenever you don’t have a strong grip, I guarantee you won’t be able to lift that weight as effectively, as if you had a tight grip.

Soon I saw that wearing gloves wasn’t helping me lift the amounts of weights I wanted to lift and were in fact starting to become a hindrance. So I stopped wearing the gloves and embraced the calluses that followed. Now I train gloveless and have seen my grip improve and thick padded calluses. Another benefit is now I can climb and carry things in the every day and not have to worry about hurting my hands as much as I once did.

My two cents are to ditch the gloves and feel the cold iron between your palms as you lift that weight. It will help improve that mind-muscle connection and also help improve your performance in the weight room.

Konstantin Konstantinovos has some heavy duty calluses

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