Determined to lose weight and get fit, I combined Crossfit exercises with weights and cardio - 6 days a week. I did lots of pull ups - jumping and reverse ones at first - until I worked up to strict and kipping pull ups. It took me a long time!
Months of this pull up progression (and rope climbs, toe to bar and everything else I used my hands for) resulted in me getting into the best shape of my life, but my hands were a wreck!
It was really frustrating to me that nothing helped to protect my hands or give me the grip I needed to do the pull ups. Everything I tried caused blisters or rips.
Evolution of a pull up! It took me 10 months!
For close to 3 years, I invested in every wrap, tape, pad, glove and grip known to man, and they all actually just made the problem worse. Gloves were bulky, trapped sweat and created blisters.
Athletic tape bunched up and ripped and sometimes stuck to the bar when I released my grip. I tried wrapping athletic tape onto the bars, but that got filthy and bunched up and the bar got sticky and gross.
I tried leather grips, but they were very slick, and the stiff leather between my fingers was awful. I tried grip pads that I got for free when I ordered supplements online. Have you tried those things??
Here I am slipping off the bar using those back in 2013:
I've wrapped foam to the bar and secured it with athletic tape. The grip was good, but the whole thing would rotate on the bar. No good.
The Trouble with Tape!
I created my own grips out of athletic tape by watching a tutorial on YouTube. Such a hassle. So I thought I'd buy some pre-made ones. Ugh. So tight and restricting, so I tried making it with a softer material.
Here's a picture of the grips I made out of kinesiology tape. I liked color! They didn't work well. They were pretty comfy, but they lasted only one workout each, and by the end, half of it was usually left on the bar. That was expensive.
I used chalk, and it absorbed the sweat, but it didn't reduce the friction and I'd still rip. Then I'd just have chalk-impacted blisters.
Here are just some of the things I had tried or made myself over time (I threw away so much more than this, but when I started creating HBP, my husband was like, "You should take a picture of your glove museum":
My quest for the perfect grips for pull ups brought me to the fact that they just didn’t exist. Nothing worked. In the back of my mind, I knew there had to be a better way. The day I slipped off the bar and busted my elbow prompted me to seriously think about a solution.
After years of thinking about it, I finally asked God for help to create something that would work for me. In a really amazing way, He inspired me to design and create HandBand Pro®.
I worked at lightning speed to source fabrics and grip material and come up with a prototype. I never sewed before, but I fashioned my first prototype with thread and lots of tape. Here is the first one! (Again. I like color):
It was difficult to tell if they would really work because they kept falling apart (you know - tape), but I had no doubt in my mind because of where the inspiration came from. So I set out to find someone who could do a better job of sewing than me.
Within 2 months, I had an official prototype! My friend and workout partner, Shawn, and I used them for two months and we didn't blister or rip once!
In fact, we did Murph during this time and AMAZINGLY here's what my hands looked like right after!
I'm so happy to be able to share HandBand Pro® with you and to save your hands from the pain of blisters and rips that slow down your training.
Thank you for your interest and for reading my story! Feel free to get in touch with me if you have any questions. I'm here to help.
PS - Want to know a bit more? Here are some interviews HandBand Pro® is featured in: