A healthy and tough hand is one of the important factors to bend big stuff!
So what is healthy and how to get a tough skin?
As you can see in the picture there is a normal looking hand. No big calluses, blisters, cuts or shredded skin. In some conversations with people who never get in touch with steel bending, they often ask why my hand looks normal and not shredded like they expected. The answer is very simple: with a damaged hand you can´t get a good bend in your books and you won´t get better at it.
It´s very important to take care on your hand and its skin, because the force they are exposed to is very high and you can´t compare it with any other force. And this is the case in every single bending session.
Try to take care of your skin with a simple advice:
Keep you and your hand hydrated. Drink enough and a lot of water during the day, every day. This is an underestimated factor when everybody is talking about healthy skin. Your skin loves it if it is supplied with enough water to get the cells repaired. Also it´s a good thing for general health, so drink water for a good skin!
Nevertheless your hand will dry out when you are bending often with the typical bending force and the use with lots of chalk. And the dryness is the biggest factor for cracks and blisters on your hand.
Do not get me wrong, it´s part of the game when the veins flow open and you will get lots of cracks and wounds on your hand for sure. You can´t avoid it when you are a steel bender and thus one of a very few out there. But! You can try and help to minimize the small injuries and so you can bend more often and get better at it.
To help especially the hand with hydration you can try to maintain it with good creams. You don´t have to cream it a lot, just apply it before you are going to bed and it won´t disturb you in your everyday life. This will also help your skin to regenerate and to become smooth. Very important is the selection of the right cream. As always every person and every skin is different and there will be some products who will work great for you and others not, so it´s hard to say that there is the one great product for everyone. But, you can look for the simple fact that the ingredients should be natural and that there are some creams on the market who don´t will help because of their shitty ingredients.
I am and was always a big fan of the "climbOn lotion bar", because of the 100% natural factor and very good ingredients in it. I can highly recommend it. Tried a lots of creams in the past years and this one was the best in my opinion. I think you can buy it nearly everywhere in the world with just google it. There are lots of other great products out there for sure, so just take a look at the ingredients and compare it among each other.
Please don´t use things like "Working Hands" or others in this area, because it´s out of acid, glycerin and refined oil and this stuff will dry out your hand. Exactly this what you don´t want. Paradox I know.
Let´s go for hand toughness!
Again very simple: to get a tough hand for steel bending you have to do just one thing! Bend a lots of steel. That´s all.
It´s like the strength for this wonderfull thing, this is so special that you nearly can improve it by doing it the direct way. Don´t go to hard every time, go slow and intelligent, find a good way for you and just bend.
Your hand have to acclimate to this special force and that will happen the best way by doing it over and over. And everybody can do that. It has nothing to do that you can start better if you are a worker or lesser if you have a desk job. Of course it can help you if you have tough hands from your work, but it´s not sure that you will crush the steel on your first try. I know lots of guys through work who have really tough working hands and also the typical working strength, but can´t do anything on the bar. On the other side I met guys who could bent a red nail on their first try. And I forced a lots of guys to try it. As always every person is different and a better technique understanding is a big factor, but you need a tough hand to bend a big piece of steel.