I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.
I’m not a fan of gymnastics grips.
I can’t ever get a good feel for them and the only times I’ll wear them is if I have to do high rep bar work or if I’ve already ripped my hands. Personally, the feel of a bare steel bar is my favorite since it provides the best grip, although it’s hard on your hands. Powder coated is the standard and I can deal with that too even though its a bit more slippery, it’s easier on the hands for bar muscle-ups.
I ran into a little dilemma while setting up the rig at my affiliate: I didn’t have enough 4 foot cross members. My budget was already stretched, so ordering one was out of the question, so I did the next best thing – I took the one from my Rogue Fitness S-2 and use that at my gym. I had received some pull-up bar wrap from Revletics a while back and put it on the bar, but quite honestly never really used it. Personally, I still can’t get a good feel for it…but everyone at my gym now fights for this 4 foot section of pull-up bar.
Textually, it kind of feels just like baseball or tennis grip tape. It comes rolled up like so, and to apply it, you just peel the adhesive backing of as you wrap it around the bar. It doesn’t take an engineer to wrap the bar; installation is quick and painless. When you use it, you actually don’t need much chalk to get a good grip on the bar and it sucks the moisture out of even the sweatiest of hands. The best part about it is that you never feel like you’re going to rip when you’re using it; it’s somewhat padded and it comfortable to hold on to. I haven’t done bar muscle-ups on the bar since it’s a two sided bar, but kipping, butterfly and toes to bar feel okay with the wrap. Once again, personally it’s not my thing, but the gals at my gym love it, so I’m kind of speaking for them.
I’ve never seen anyone put athletic tape on the pull-up bar so they can get grip, but that sounds pretty ghetto in my opinion. I wouldn’t allow that either in my gym because I wouldn’t want tape residue all over my bars. The Revletics wrap states that it’s easily replaceable, so I believe them when they say that; all of my dealings with them have been great so they seem like a stand up company. After about a couple months of use, you can see that the wrap is wearing a bit so it’s definitely not a permanent solution, but it is cheap enough so that you can afford to replace it every so often. You’re probably better off buying a bulk roll for $45 and just having it handy. if you’ve only got a few bars you want to test it on, you could probably wrap 3 with the 12′ roll. Sizes go all the way down to 1 foot, but I have no clue what you’d do about that.
Once again, it comes down to preference, people love this stuff at my gym. For me, it’s not my bag, but I’ll use it if I want to protect my hands. Majority rules, if you care for your athletes, try some of the Revletics pull-up wrap out. I’m sure your people will thank you…I’m about to put in an order for a roll myself!