In this post we’re going to review all the different types of gloves you can use to protect your delicate little princess hands while getting all big and buff lifting iron in the gym with all the other big boys…
..when hell freezes over! Sorry if you got duped into reading this thinking you’d find legitimate reviews of weightlifting gloves. Before you close this page though, please just read a little further and hear us out. We want to share with you a world without gloves, a secret members-only paradise that will help you become bigger and stronger than you ever dreamed possible.
The 5 Major Benefits of Going Gloveless
1. More versatile..Less “Front-Door-To-Gym Obstacles”
One key aspect in achieving your desired physique is actually getting into the gym and putting in the work required to grow in addition to a balanced diet. While everyone frets over complicated workout plans most people fail not because of inadequate workout planning but because of poor planning to go workout.
From the distance from your home to the gym to scheduling to party-life/video game addiction, simply not turning up at the gym dooms more people than probably routine and diet combined.
We refer to the obstacles that prevent you from making gains as FDGO, or “front-door-to-gym-obstacles”. These can be your work, your girlfriend, your commute, your meal prep, or, for the sake of this article, all your required workout gear and prep.
Think of all the stuff you “need” to get in the zone at the gym. Your pre-workout, your water bottle, your post workout shake, your iPhone and headphones, a towel, maybe shower gear and a change of clothes, perhaps a separate pair of shoes; these are all obstacles you must overcome every time you go to the gym, and having, no, “needing” workout gloves are just one more potential obstacle between you and your gains.
In not having a glove addiction you can go workout whenever, whether your bro calls you up or you’re leaving straight from the office. Without gloves, you don’t have to worry about buying them, letting them dry out from all the sweat, or cleaning them if you just don’t use them.
Think about working out gloveless as swimming naked or reading without glasses, or some other (more obvious) analogy.. Sure there’s nothing “wrong” with swim trunks, glasses or gloves at that, but going without is almost always better.
2. They Don’t Last Long and Usually Smell Like Sh*t Anyways
Seriously, even the thickest leather and nylon combinations will wear out over time if you are truly dedicated to your craft of bodybuilding. The beauty of going gloveless is your body is regenerative, meaning you actively fight against the breakdown and wear caused by griping weights over extended periods of time. For every punch knurled iron throws at you, your body throws one back.
Gloves on the other hand just take each punch and eventually fall apart because A.) they’re built poorly because they know it’s usually inexperienced lifters that spring for them and B.) they can’t actively fight the wear and tear, the damage inflicted by regular constant friction of steal.
Even if they don’t fall apart right away, if you are putting even 80% into your workouts then they’re going to get soaked with sweat, thrown in a gym bag or the backseat of your car and just ferment.
After a few wears it’ll be like trying to re-use a condom.. just nastiness that you don’t want to be sliding your clean hands into anytime soon.
Lifting barehanded however allows for immediate and consistent washing in addition to regenerating, so your hands are a double whammy win. If you’re always buying new gloves because they’re falling apart or they smell horrible then be prepared to spend a lot of money.
Just looking at the top results for weightlifting gloves on Amazon shows they are unfortunately quite popular and also, pretty f*cking expensive too! Just take a look at these review volumes and prices:
3. You look like Ash from Pokemon
This may be a positive for some, but for most you probably don’t care to look like a Japanese anime character (unless that character is pulling loads of *ass but Ash most definitely wasn’t). Yes, nobody should judge a book by it’s cover, and there are probably some enormously powerful bodybuilders out there that like gloves however for most of us, we’d prefer to not look like this guy:
Are those Kai Greene’s Red Ryderwears?
4. More Direct Contact With the Steal
There’s something to be said for purity. Whether it’s an non-chill filtered single malt whiskey free of coloring additives and bottles straight from the cask, to rock climbers that scale mountains with nothing but sheer determination and a bit of chalk.
Not using gloves allows you to build a relationship with the iron. You get to know the character of the object your holding, the bars and dumbbells and other various contact points of the gym.
Over time you build a relationship with the metal, each surface has a familiar texture that you remember and become fond of.
“Why hello there hack squat bar, oh long time no see lat pulldown bar, ah 75lb dumbbell old pal, you guys been!”
Once everything becomes tactile and memory based going to the gym then becomes a fully immersive experience. All senses are engaged. The sound of clanking 45lb plates, weights being racked, metal music and grunting, bass of heavy weight hitting the floor, the smell of old equipment, chalk, antiseptic cleaner and/or sweat, it’s all part of the experience.
Feeling the gym around you is important in establishing a more direct mind-muscle connection and with a piece of leather (or worse, leather plus some weird gel padding in between your palm and the object your holding) you’re putting up a barrier to this communication bodybuilders so depend upon.
5. The Beauty that are Well-formed Calluses
In the beginning, working out will hurt your hands, there’s no way around it, but then why would you expect anything else? If you’re in the gym to build muscle you’re going to have to become accustomed to pain, if not love the sensation as you’ll be tearing down your muscles consistently for years. If a little pain scares you then bodybuilding isn’t the right hobby for you.
After a month or so your body will form calluses amongst other adaptations (like new muscle itself) to help you better cope with the new stresses placed upon it.
Growing calluses are like a right of passage, the same silent respect that arrives with the development of new muscle itself. Muscle doesn’t command respect simply because it’s large, or at least not form other lifters, it commands respect because anyone that understands how it’s made also understands the time/effort put into achieving such a physique.
Discipline, attention to detail, will-power, consistency.. these are all traits absolutely necessary for getting big and they are some of the most admirable of human qualities.
Calluses formed in the pursuit of building muscle are members-only cards for an elite club of dedicated individuals. Like many memberships, you have to maintain standards placed upon yourself to keep your membership. Stop going to the gym, you lose your gains, you lose your calluses and you lose your “cred”.
6. Earn Respect in the Boardroom and at the Bar.
Having rough callused hands can have impacts in other areas of your life. From business meetings to interacting with women, both genders can have an appreciation for a mans tough hands.
Shaking hands with someone with baby-soft clammy hands vs someone with hard rough callused hands gives all sorts of subtle cues to the shaker about the makeup and history of the individual they’re doing business with.
Paper pushers have soft hands, hard-workers have hard/ugly hands.
Equally, many women find the rougher aspects of men attractive, from beards to big muscles to big tough hands. (We can’t really dive into this psychology as we lack a female contributor, however we always welcome reader input!)
Additionally, once you build up a little “palm-armor” you will reap benefits in other hobbies, from riding bikes to raking leaves to working with wood.. you’ll have fewer painful blisters and slivers with tough hands than you would hands that have been coddled by gloves their entire lives.
Ultimately, there’s really only one downside to not wearing gloves that we can see, but you’re probably better off reading more about that yourself.