Saturday, August 4, 2007

Skin Care

The skin tear I had on Friday while doing snatches left me pretty disappointed.  I couldn't finish my reps on what was shaping up to be an excellent snatch workout, and then I backed out of the rest of the workout due to frustration.  By the end of the day, I was annoyed with myself.  I spent a lot of time reviewing why we lose skin to kettlebells and decided to make some changes.  In order to fix my problem, I am doing the following:

1. I purchased an array of files and sand paper to clean up my kettlebell handles and remove skin tearing imperfections.  Today I worked my 24k over, and it is much better.

2. I purchased an array of gloves to wear to protect my hands while my skin is healing.  Three different pairs of 99 cent gloves and an old sock.  Ironically, the old sock seems to work the best.

3. I took a hard look at my hands and decided the calluses I'd labeled as badges from my hard work were really skin rips waiting to happen.  I've been filing my calluses down, but not aggressively.  I think given what I am doing, I need to be aggressive about it.  Today I took a bath and really ripped into my calluses with a wash cloth.  Tomorrow peapod will be delivering a pumice stone, and I will start using that on a regular basis after I shower.

4. I moisturized my hands tonight and will make a point to do it more frequently.

5. I will replace my snatches with one armed swings all next week, giving my skin a chance to adjust to the new care program and heal the torn callus on my right hand.

6. I am going to focus on learning not to grip the kettlebell as I transition from the overhead position to the hang.  There is no reason I need to hold it tight while it is descending.  Ultimately, that is what puts stress on my skin.  It is a form problem with how I drop the kettlebell.

At this point, I should know enough from the grip work to be able to avoid skin tears from the kettlebells.  I incorrectly assumed all my grip work had turned my skin into leather that would never be challenged by a paltry snatch workout.  Boy was I full of myself.  I now know better and will do what I can to avoid having any more skin tears to deal with after this week.  I like the high rep snatching and want to be able to do it consistently.