Before I begin what will be one of my shortest posts, I'd like to address what I consider to be a hilarious sentiment propagated around the likes of Bodyspace and other internet message boards- the idea that I promote products because I get paid to do so. Never in the history of the human word has a theory been so easily debunked, for two reasons:
- I am shit poor. Had I sponsors, you'd have Chaos and Pain t-shirts for $10 bucks apiece on sale nonstop. I have no cash, and thus have been scrambling around trying to find a way to make the new shirts affordable. I've got bad news- right now they're looking like $35 shirts. I'm going to put them up on Zazzle, but I'm not happy about it. I could give a shit about the $3 I'll make off them and tried to drop it to something like a quarter, but no dice- they have a minimum revenues of 10% of their hideous prices.
- No one on Earth is going to sponsor a guy who competes simply to fuck with the other lifters in a sport with which he doesn't even identify himself, nor will they sponsor someone who peppers every over-cited post with scat porn, gangbangs, tits, and more instances of "Fuck" than any 20 minute clip in Goodfellas. It's not good game, and it's damn sure not good business.
Clearly, I'm not in it for the money. Whatever dreams I had about making loot died with the economy in 2008, and I don't like being in anyone's pocket. I tell people about the things I like simply because I have a forum to do so. The only revenue stream this site generates is a very tiny one from Amazon, and that's from people checking out my recommendations (which I greatly appreciate).
In any event, in this ATA post I mentioned that I love Spud Inc. Straps. I discovered these while training at Marc "Spud" Bartley's gym in Columbia, SC, and fell directly in love with them. They're eminently durable, comfortable once broken in, and I believe confer grip strength due to the fact that they make every move done with their aid a fatbar lift. When I say durable, I mean that they're the only strap that's lasted me more than 4 months- with every other brand I've tried, they snap mid lift and I end up flat on my back with a bloodied lip right around the beginning of month three.
Spud hitting a 1024 squat.
The key to getting the most out of Spud Straps, however, is to break them in. This is my highly unofficial and unsanctioned opinion, by the way, so if you ask Spud or Dale at SC they might tell you otherwise. They answer the phone when you call and represent the pinnacle of avid conversationalists, so they'll doubtless regale you with tales of glory about squatting over 1000 lbs and keep you on the line for hours. That, or they'll reply to everything in a monotone and somewhat disinterested tone. Likely the latter, but they know their shit and are definitely good guys.
Initially, Spud Inc.Straps will appear as they do above. Slightly shiny, very slick, possessing notable and visible ridging, and with a melted end that will tear the skin off your hands like they're Russian mobsters looking for information from some less-than-talkative Yakuza member. You will bleed profusely from this melty bit. As such, that's the first thing that needs to go.
- Take your straps outside to the parking lot. Rub the melted end vigorously on the roughest curb you can find until you've ground the hard edge completely off.
- Then, begin systematically rubbing the surface of the straps along the curb as well, scuffing them until they're no longer shiny. This will give them more purchase when you wrap them around the bar.
- (Optional) while they're looped, run your car over them a couple of times. This will make them far less stiff, much as it would make even the hardest cock.
- Throw them in the washing machine with some dark clothes (what with the dirt that's now on them) or by themselves.
- Chalk the everloving shit out of them. If you think they've got enough chalk on them, they don't. Run that shit into the fibers so that they become a non-Crossfit version of a chalk bag. The more chalk, the better your grip. I rechalk them every three or so uses just to make sure they're good and saturated.
What well-loved straps look like. The stain on the one on the right is blood.
As you can see, it'll take a bit of work, but it'll be a labor of love. I could not love a human baby as much as I love those straps. If you want some, you can get them from Spud's website.