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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

Training variables: angle, hold size, weight
8:19:21 PM
I've got a long route in mind next year, a line I've been dreaming of it since I first
saw it: Wolfgang Gullich at Punta Giraldini, 13 pitches of 6b+ to 7a, supposed to be sustained and bold. I'm probably capable at the moment but I'd like it to go really well and that will demand route specific winter training.

Items at my disposal: boulder room in the roof, turn-till-burn in my hall, finger boards and bouldering hall 10 minutes away with all the angles in the world that I can do route setting on.

Route in mind, I want to concentrate on finger/hand power on low angle (1-5 degrees overhanging with "mantles" to back below verticle of 85/90 degrees). However, I've got a concern with finger damage to the first joint behind the finger tips (don't want that). Assuming I fix the angle, once hold size reduces to where I'm comfortable I'm not going to do damage can I then just play with the weight variable and still make finger power gains?

9:03:40 PM
Fingers are powered by tendons, tendons take years to get strong, don't damage them by finding a
comfort zone- then adding weight, if the fingers are ok then just climb at your comfort zone and a bit
harder more often! remember if you damage a tendon it will take many years to recover and will always
be a potential re-injury problem! tendons are trained by frequency not difficulty, just do more, more often.

9:22:19 PM
sack the boards off and go rock-climbing! on a bold route fingers get you no-where! on a board 45 degrees always rocks! if u can get hold of a finger board its great! find an edge that you fail on at about 5-8secs at max power. do this with slightly bent arms. leave about 2 mins between goes. about 6 reps will start to tire you! this is a good way to strengthen fingers but again be careful! like i said just go climb! 7c was climbed well before everyone had worked out angles etc etc etc!
8:42:21 AM
sliamise, that was just a pile of bullshit irrelevant to the question and situation presented. in my book bold does not mean sliding off into space, it means at least 7 metre falls on cheese grater slabs with ledge risk wherein 6b to 7a can mean lifetime injury. relatively, 45 degrees without ground fall risk is a cakewalk as, like almost anything overhanging, the majority of 7c's are soft with little risk to anyting but ego.

bomber, thanks for the advice but i'm well aware of injury risk.

does anyone have anything relevant to add on the angles I asked about, hold size and adding weight for training purposes?

1:28:07 PM
Apply Horsts HIT principles if not already doing so
Also spend time mentally focusing - hang on to exhaustion then pull just before the point of coming off,
build a engram of trying to the end, not of ending trying.
Cycle finger groups in traing and on the climb - strengthen up the often weaker back 2 fingers
Try to use hold that whilst small still allow open-hand rather than crimping
Campus/boulder appropriately for 'contact' strength - do some excentric exercises
Calf-raises to improve feet could help for long slabish stuff - feeling more solid on feet always helps
For the boldness just focus on one move at a time and keep it all solid
Good luck

5:32:56 PM
On 20/11/2007 rod wrote:
>sliamise, that was just a pile of bullshit irrelevant to the question and
>situation presented. in my book bold does not mean sliding off into space,
>it means at least 7 metre falls on cheese grater slabs with ledge risk
>wherein 6b to 7a can mean lifetime injury. relatively, 45 degrees without
>ground fall risk is a cakewalk as, like almost anything overhanging, the
>majority of 7c's are soft with little risk to anyting but ego.

Nonsense. It was perfectly relevant. What sliamise is saying is lose any ideas of training specific angles for what you want to climb, and just find the most appropriate way to train overall. Steep boards tend to be better in sliamise's (and my) experience. If its too vert then you just end up with crap tiny crimps and lots of weight on your feet. Make it steeper and you'll train finger strength and body tension more effectively. The only level you need to go to in terms of specifics is whether you go for more power (short/hard problems) or power-endurance (long problems/linking problems together).

You can't train the 'head' required for bold stuff on a board anyway - so forget about it and just train as effectively as possible.
6:29:36 PM
My response to both bomber and sliamese was unnecessarily provocative, I apologise to both of these climbers and hope they accept.

Thanks for the 4 contributions guys, I've a long winter ahead putting Macca's detailed advice to work and incorporating the other suggestions. I hope I can live up to the route name come Spring.

7:06:23 PM
No problem Rod, When I read the post there was nothing to indicate that you were aware of the risks, but
some mention of finger or tendon pain? so I just thought I'd throw that out there as I've seen some
exceptional climbers blow their climbing for good by shredding tendons and then not being able to pull
even easy climbs due the pain! Just trying to help, that's all, Good luck, Euro 7A is a cake walk so you
should be able to do it easy!
4:24:08 PM
I'm 6 months in and thought I'd give a little feedback on my experiences.

I did a fair amount of bouldering after work over winter concentrating on my weak angles and that was useful for simply training movement/the core. I've always found the fingery stuff my weakness so between December and April I've done 3 half hour sessions on the fingerboard per week: that has been the thing I've found the most beneficial. Since the summer season started I've maintained with 1 fingerboard session a week 1 or 2 sessions a week of bouldering. I've lost a little weight in the process dropping from 81kg to 76kg but I've been compensating for that by weighting my climbing and training with an extra 3 kg...I formerly didn't have much call for HIT training :)

As the fingerboarding has proven most beneficial for me here's some input on what I've been doing. I've installed a fingerboard here at home and use a fan to keep the fingers cool. Initially I cycled through 5 grips: open hand, half crimp, crimp, front 3 fingers open hand, back 3 fingers open hand. I found the crimping was straining the middle joint on my middle finger and dropped that so I now cycle through 4 grips. On those grips I do pull ups in sets of 6, 7 and 8 in each grip. I've recently added 2 finger hangs for index/middle, middle/ring as I'm finding those sort of one pad moves a strain on rock.

The overall result so far has been a tremendous improvement in my climbing both from a results and mental perspective: I've nailed a 40 move bouldering traverse that I'd been working for 12 months, clawed my way up to redpoint routes that I'd always felt close on and am easily onsighting my previous limit simply due to being more comfortable.
4:25:44 PM
Well if no one else will say it... thats' awesome. I like your determination.

6:28:43 PM
Good to hear that the work is paying off, I hope the climb you were dreaming of gets nailed this season.
if not don't sweat it, the rock never goes away, and you've got another season to get ready for it.
In the end, training won't give you the experience that climbing hard routes at your limit does!
10:28:06 PM
Do you do any core work on your hang board?? I like leg raises ie. knees raised up to chest and back down (whilst hanging off jugs). You can work up to bicycling your legs out in front ie. one leg horizontal and straight, the other one bent into chest, and then swap them. Even harder still are front levers. You can also do scissor kicks either across the body or out to the side.
Macciza's suggestion of calf raises is a good one. What style of climbing is it feet-wise. For example, if there's alot of bridging you can definately make good gains by working different bridging positions for longer and longer, either at the climbing gym, or be creative around the house using skirting boards, door cavities and such. Can be a bit boring, but will repay on the longer routes for sure. Good luck, sounds like alot of fun..)

9:34:20 AM

what has this training equated to in improvement in grades. What are you onsighting/redpointing? Also,
what, if anything were you doing for training before you started this new approach?
2:13:26 PM
Good to see - if only I could get even half that training :((

to avoid injury you should probably do less pullups (more static hangs), and cut out the crimping. see
6:24:21 AM
On 21/06/2008 pat wrote:

>what has this training equated to in improvement in grades. What are you

a little over a full french grade in onsights so far, same on redpoints (I don't credit myself on redpoints unless they go in 3 tries or under and I have to place all gear during the lead).

>what, if anything were you doing for training before you started this
>new approach?

indoors during the winter and regular bouldering, little planned thought went into it as I was still in the gain climbing experience stage and trying to minimise overuse problems. I've been climbing a tad over 4 years, I'm mid 40's and work shitloads of hours in a deskjob which chews a great deal of mental I don't have much of a job derived fitness base (quite the contrary but at least I get to recover physically at work).
6:35:45 AM
On 20/06/2008 hipster wrote:
> Do you do any core work on your hang board?

None, I'm a slack bastard who believes finger power overcomes but I guess as the obsession kicks in and when I can finally park work where it should be for a good while I might get around to focussing on it. For now its a case of making the most of the little time I can make available...I'm probably climbing less this year than last year which is a downer (keeps me injury free though).
6:40:54 AM
On 20/06/2008 bomber pro wrote:
>Good to hear that the work is paying off, I hope the climb you were dreaming
>of gets nailed this season.
>if not don't sweat it, the rock never goes away, and you've got another
>season to get ready for it.
>In the end, training won't give you the experience that climbing hard
>routes at your limit does!

With the advances I've made there's no doubt it'll go, the only question left is whether it goes onsight or not given the number of pitches. Multi-pitch projects abound in weekends over the remainder of summer so I'll have a pretty good idea in 2 months...hopefully a decent trip report in the making.
5:53:01 AM
Another 6 months down and 3 months from the rescheduled WG run (cancelled leave again in late September so I got the shits with work...enough to quit and make sure this happens), another update.

What a difference a year makes. No extra weight loss (I'm settled at 77kg for now), I can do on 3 fingers weighted with 5kg what I couldn't do with 4 and can do it for double the time. Getting more solid on 2 finger hangs as well.

Dropped to a maintenance program of 1 time per week October through mid-January coupled with 1.5 to 2 hour indoor bouldering session 1 evening per week (we have a sick hall here now). Recently added a fingerboard 4x4 cycle of pullups to the weekly regime to great effect: quick changes within a sequence of 10x3 finger open hand, 10xjugs, 10x4 finger open hand, 10x4 fringer open crimp; 3 minute recovery; repeat for a cycle of 4. I'm pumped stupid after it and exhaustion sets in until the next night with 2 full days recovery required...4 weeks of that minor addition blew down the doors on bouldering problems that had resisted since September.

Pat asked for progress measures and now I've reviewed the season's results: onsight level rose to solid 7a from 6b (6c her and there but generally 1 move wonders); I never really tested the redpoint level but having been plateaued at 6c/6c+ previously I jumped on several 30m to 40m overhanging and vertical 7a+/7b's on a couple of bonus between the snow days after the end of the regular climbing season, decoded them quickly and they would go easily right now. Climbing partners think I'm good for 7b+ right now but the biggest issue seems more for my head to learn what I can actually do; I have to earn the self belief through some dedicated redpointing. Bouldering wise I'm much stronger and fitter, less tweak prone and much better on decoding movement - the sends come much faster and are far more varied in style; things that were not my style previously have come to be.

Plan from here through April: lower the weight in the next two months below 75kg, weighted finger hangs and bouldering cycle for 8 weeks, anaerobic climbing cycle then 10 days rest before the WG trip.

There are 18 messages in this topic.


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