Be Strong. Be Fit.


My New Experience Training Without Lifting Gloves

October 22nd, 2007 · 19 Comments ·


I could not really remember when exactly I started wearing lifting gloves ever since I learned about weight training. Probably after the first few sessions, I always wear the gloves, as recommended by fitness instructor so that my hands wouldn’t feel the pain. In fact, I had sweaty palms, so the gloves did help in my gripping strength during my early days.

Three weeks ago, my gloves were worn out again. My sixth pair within five years. I am lazy to go to get the replacement. So, I have been training without gloves for the past three weeks.



To my surprise, somehow, I found that training without gloves gives me a totally new experience.

  • May be it is just me, but, without the gloves, my hand “feels” the bar or the dumbbell directly. The grip in fact is more secured without the thickness of the gloves.
  • Because of that, I realize that I am now holding the bars, be them straight bar or EZ bar, tighter. Contrary to my belief, lifting the same weight seems to be easier. So, I have tried added few more pounds, if not doing few more reps.

Having said that, I do not deny the fact that I could feel that my hands are hurt too at each training session, but the pain goes away within short time. Guess it is a matter of time to get used to that. I foresee calluses will grow pretty soon if I still lift the weights without gloves.

I will still get my seventh pair of lifting gloves. Why? So that I have a choice whenever I feel like training with gloves.

For those who want a good pair of lifting gloves, I highly recommend gloves from Harbinger.


How about you, have you trained without weight lifting gloves and how is your experience so far?



Category: Weight Training

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19 responses so far ↓
  • Angie Tan // Oct 22, 2007 at 7:15 AM

    I’m currently doing my weights without the gloves, and it hurts! Not only that, my palms are getting rough. Not good for us gals. :-(

    Anyway, am hunting for a good pair of gloves, any recommendations?

  • sylvesteR // Oct 23, 2007 at 12:17 AM

    Yup, lifting without gloves definitely feels better – a direct contact between the hands and the bar. Kinda pain at first but as the skin thickens due to the calluses, i felt nothing now. Bout the calluses, any way to remove them ;P ?? Tried to peel it off, but the skin thickens, just like the one on ur middle finger.

  • Mun // Oct 23, 2007 at 11:33 AM

    Hi Angie – That is one Fitness Concept store at Subang Parade selling some entry level gloves. They are between RM20 and RM40. Try one of those.

    Hi sylvesteR – I have calluses on my thumbs. Quite annoying. I have problem to walk through the passport gate nowadays because of them.

  • dailymuscle // Oct 23, 2007 at 2:22 PM

    Harbinger makes the best gloves for weight training – no doubt about that. Fully washable, anti-bacterial, etc. I just got myself a pair from EGONutritions after my online purchase from ebay never reached me.

  • Lisan // Oct 23, 2007 at 11:41 PM

    Yeah, I’m liftting weights without gloves too and I’m having calluses on the base of each fingers, on both my hands! Worst still, I found out the longer I do weight lifting the more veins popped out from my hands! Overall the shape of my hands are getting rough too. ;-( Too bad. The good thing I’m getting stronger, especially my bones. :-)

    I’d been thinking of getting gloves for sometime, but I haven’t find a nice looking one yet (you know la, ladies always wanna look nice *giggle*), There’s 1 I saw at Nike women but it’s damn expensive (over RM70) so forget it!

    Below are the steps of how to remove calluses from my one of my student, who also plays the harp. Since harpist like all string players do get lots of calluses from playing the instruments:

    To remove a callus, fill a bucket/tub with the hottest water you can stand and soak the affected limb in it; if the water is extremely hot, you should only have to soak for about 5 minutes. Once the calluses have turned completely white and soft, use a blunt object, such as the dull side of a dinner knife, to scrape at the white calluses. DO NOT use a sharp object, cut, or saw at the callus. You will destroy your skin, cause scarring, and likely cause the callus to return larger than it previously was. After you have scraped off the majority of the dead skin, use a pumice stone to gently sand the area.

    After you have scraped the callus until the white is gone, wash the area gently with soap and dry. After the area has thoroughly dried, you will know whether or not the entire callus has been removed. You may have to repeat the removal process two or more times before the calluses are gone.

    After you have removed the entire callus, the skin is still likely to feel rough, though not raised. There are several ways to soften the skin. One method is to regularly steam the area. Unless you have the proper equipment, this method will not be effective, and if you do have the right equipment, the process can still be a lengthy one.

    I have not try this though because I’m so lazy….sounds like a lot of work and it have to be done sevearal times.

  • Mun // Oct 24, 2007 at 12:30 AM

    Hi dailymuscle – Thanks for recommending the gloves.

    Hi Lisan – Thanks for sharing the way to remove calluses. Seems like not easy… I have too much on both of my hands. Sigh.

  • whozzainie // Oct 24, 2007 at 10:16 AM

    i still have a question wondering in my head……does weightlifting makes you short or stops growth?

  • Dan // Mar 6, 2008 at 6:47 AM

    i haven’t used gloves in like 2 years

    i only use heavy lifting grips

  • Brandon // May 9, 2008 at 10:01 AM

    If you are serious about weight training you would have invested in chalk by now.

  • Ronal Soo // May 11, 2008 at 9:47 AM

    I tried without gloves, but my palm sometimes sweat, so depends, if my palm not sweating i will go without gloves, if sweat i have to go with gloves.

    I am using kettler gloves thank-god it is washable. as leather gloves tends to have hygienic problem if you use and do not wash it often.

  • Brandon // May 13, 2008 at 11:58 AM

    Seriously guys, just buy chalk. That is what any (Olympic) weightlifter or powerlifter does. And for good reason. The article is right, cushy gloves gives anyone major grip problems with heavy weight. Try doing doing a heavy snatch with gloves on! Chalk works wonders. It strengthens your grip, prevents moisture from sweat, reduces callous formation. It is also dirt cheap.

  • Reptile // Aug 20, 2008 at 5:37 AM

    Personally i use some small and thin “multi-purpose” training gloves from JD. They dont provide major protection or support, but are good all rounder gloves and i find them perfect for me, as i dont like training with massively padded or restrictive gloves.

    It feels pretty much like doing it bare handed, but with the callous prevention and a touch of support. Also means i can go at the punch bags for short bouts, as i prefer to wear wraps to gloves. However, they wont do you much good if you go at it for a prolonged period of time.

    Hope that helps anyone who feels the same as me :)

  • Annie // Oct 20, 2008 at 12:39 AM

    Actually, I use a pair of very cheap (S$2.50) gloves for gym. It’s a motorcycle pair, I think; I got it from the Singapore army surplus hawker centre place in Golden Mile food centre. There is no padding, but there is a good grip. I find I like the gloves because most of the time, my hand ends up smelling very metallic when I don’t use the gloves…

  • Etienne Charbonneau // Nov 16, 2008 at 2:47 AM

    i used to do weightlifting and gloves arent accepted so you have to lift with bare hand but now i do bodybuilding and i dont use gloves i dont feel my hands anymore …

  • Chris // Jul 17, 2009 at 5:19 PM

    I lift weights without gloves. I’ve never used gloves in my training and I have a number of callouses. They always hurt after a heavy lifting session especially when I get in the shower. Your hands get tougher though, so I think it’s worth it to endure the pain.

  • Bob // Apr 8, 2010 at 2:30 AM

    Calluses are the body’s defense against the amount of pressure that is put on them. They help by reducing damage to the skin and gripping better.

  • Carlino // Dec 5, 2010 at 10:44 AM

    Off Topic: For the person who asked and those who may be wondering, lifting weights does not cause you to be short or stunt your growth. There are growth platelets on each end of your bones, the only way for them to get damaged, and your growth get stunted, is through impact. This means you would have to be jumping up and down with the weights. You are far more likely to have your growth negatively affected through contact sports like football, than you are in the gym.

  • matt // Mar 4, 2011 at 12:00 PM

    yes you are correct to not use gloves, numerous studies show that you are able to lift more without gloves, you lose about 25% of your grip strength while using gloves, if you are into deadlifting you will never be able to hit your one rep max with gloves, if you start to feel to much pain in your skin during a training session put the gloves on for the remainder of the session, then each session after that you will notice you need your gloves less and less because of your skin getting thicker. also if your skin hasnt healed completely from your last workout use your gloves for the whole workout until your skin has completely healed, just like your muscles need a few days to recover your skin will as well in the beginning.

  • David H // Sep 8, 2014 at 2:17 PM

    Gloves enhance any training program by protecting hands and increasing traction during lifting. They cushion against the knurling. They also provide protection from abrasion, calluses and bacteria left on training equipment. They may also give you added support (depending on the style of glove) for your wrists, fingers and palms. Gripped weight lifting gloves also have traction pads on the palms and fingers, improving grip also they are most advanced gloves.

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