A dear friend of ours recently spent several days in the hospital fighting a serious infection after tearing his shins on high-rep deadlifts.
DON'T LET THIS BE YOU.
Wear high socks. And TAPE YOUR FREAKING HANDS.
We don't even care if you use our tape -- though you'll get better protection if you do -- just please, wear something.
Let's be honest, tearing your hands isn't a badge of honor. It doesn't make you a badass. It's a sign of extremely poor hand care, and like our friend, it could land you in the hospital ... or worse.
Rips -- whether on your hands, wrists, shins, or anywhere -- leave you susceptible to bacteria on bars and other surfaces in the gym, including staph and even strep (yeah, the stuff that makes your throat sore).
You don't know where everyone in your gym has been, and we're all required to share equipment (unless you're that really weird pale guy who brings his own foam roller and probably collects children's toys).
LET US BE CLEAR: STAPH INFECTIONS ARE EXTREMELY SERIOUS. WE WON'T POST PICS BECAUSE IT'S REALLY GROSS, BUT YOU CAN GET REALLY SICK.
So please, be safe. And practice preventative hand care.
1) Wear tape.
2) Keep your calluses in check (file them down when they get too thick)
3) MOISTURIZE (chalk and hand-washing leads to dry skin, which leads to cracking)
4) Recognize the signs of imminent tears before they happen (feel for hot spots on your palms, and tape them ahead of time)
Granted, no one's perfect. So if you still end up with a tear, grab yourself a topical antibiotic like Neosporin and take some time off.
Of course, saying "take some time off" to a CrossFitter is like asking a CrossFitter to jump off a cliff (or worse, drink soda) -- so we'll say this, if you choose to work out with an open tear, carefully apply tape over your wounds to prevent infection. If not for your sake, do it for your fellow gymgoers.
Please take care of yourselves. We love you.
(Thanks to FITBOMB for the gross hand pic)