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granite_grrl


Feb 10, 2012, 10:06 AM
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weight training for advanced climbing
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So it's winter and I have no climbing gym nearby. I am still getting out on the weekends ice climbing and drytooling, but haven't been climbing through the week.

One of my weakest link in my climbing has always been brute strength. Generally I've done pretty good despite this but especially now as I'm getting into 5.12 I'm finding more routes that just have stopper moves for me and these stopper moves are almost always because I'm not strong enough to pull them. So I decided to use my time after work going to the meathead gym and lifting weights in an attempt to get stronger.

I am doing a mix of power and endurnace (5-6 reps, long rest and 10+ reps, shorter rest) on things like one-arm lat pulldowns and rows, and then strictly higher reps (10+) on things like tricept and rotater cuff exercises. I would like to do some pullups as well, but I tend to max out at one or two and don't like such low reps when I'm already fatiguing my back muscles in the same workout. I'm looking to see where to buy some assistance bands to make this more reasonable, but until then I'm not doing these in my workouts.

So I was just hoping to get some feedback from anyone else that has done weight lifting to try to improve strength so they can climb harder. Suggestions on exercises, etc.

I'm not interested in the 5.10 climber telling me how awesome pullups have been for them and their climbing, or people telling me how amazing Crossfit is for this kind of thing. I'm hoping to hear from people who climb 5.12 and above on how they used specific weight training to help them climb harder, what they did and how it helped. Thanks.


jolery


Feb 10, 2012, 10:56 AM
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granite_grrl wrote:
So it's winter and I have no climbing gym nearby. I am still getting out on the weekends ice climbing and drytooling, but haven't been climbing through the week.

One of my weakest link in my climbing has always been brute strength. Generally I've done pretty good despite this but especially now as I'm getting into 5.12 I'm finding more routes that just have stopper moves for me and these stopper moves are almost always because I'm not strong enough to pull them. So I decided to use my time after work going to the meathead gym and lifting weights in an attempt to get stronger.

I am doing a mix of power and endurnace (5-6 reps, long rest and 10+ reps, shorter rest) on things like one-arm lat pulldowns and rows, and then strictly higher reps (10+) on things like tricept and rotater cuff exercises. I would like to do some pullups as well, but I tend to max out at one or two and don't like such low reps when I'm already fatiguing my back muscles in the same workout. I'm looking to see where to buy some assistance bands to make this more reasonable, but until then I'm not doing these in my workouts.

So I was just hoping to get some feedback from anyone else that has done weight lifting to try to improve strength so they can climb harder. Suggestions on exercises, etc.

I'm not interested in the 5.10 climber telling me how awesome pullups have been for them and their climbing, or people telling me how amazing Crossfit is for this kind of thing. I'm hoping to hear from people who climb 5.12 and above on how they used specific weight training to help them climb harder, what they did and how it helped. Thanks.

Well I've only redpointed one 12 and hungdog a couple of others, so I don't know if my opinion is elitist enough - but I've consistently done some sort of weight training for a couple of decades and the benefit I've found is keeping other muscle groups strong that are sometimes used in climbing - specifically I can mantle my way up a lot of shit that better climbers can't get through due to keeping my chest muscles in shape through bench pressing, dips, etc.


camhead


Feb 10, 2012, 11:28 AM
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Re: [jolery] weight training for advanced climbing [In reply to]
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Beccs, I've seen you climb, and rarely have you (or most other people) failed because of weak triceps or lats (though, I dunno, all that mixed tooling you guys do might be another story).

Work forearms and lockoff strength for maximum performance on the rock. For forearms and finger strength, try fnger rolls. Get a standard bench press bar, add enough weights so that it weighs the same as you. Hold it at about waist level, palms outward, then do reps of letting the bar roll down to your finger tips, and curl it back up again to a closed fist. It's the best forearm workout you can do, apart from hangboarding.


Partner cracklover


Feb 10, 2012, 12:04 PM
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Good question!

I'm very far from being an expert, but I can tell you what I've seen/experienced.

Two things:

1 - Work your chest. Most climbing uses very little, so your pecs are probably underdeveloped. But for a variety of moves (mantles, hard flag moves, and some rest positions come to mind) having power in the chest means you can do the move far more efficiently. And for some mantles, it makes the difference between whether you can do the move at all or not. Also, I don't know you personally, but many girls naturally don't have very strong pecs, so you should see good gains if you work on it.

2 - I know this sounds really cliche, but IME more core strength is always helpful.

Cheers,

GO


shockabuku


Feb 10, 2012, 12:12 PM
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granite_grrl wrote:
I'm hoping to hear from people who climb 5.12 and above on how they used specific weight training to help them climb harder, what they did and how it helped. Thanks.

Well that really narrowed the field of desired input, at least from this audience.


Partner cracklover


Feb 10, 2012, 12:14 PM
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In addition to my recommendation above, I think this...

granite_grrl wrote:
I would like to do some pullups as well, but I tend to max out at one or two and don't like such low reps when I'm already fatiguing my back muscles in the same workout. I'm looking to see where to buy some assistance bands to make this more reasonable, but until then I'm not doing these in my workouts.

... means you definitely have a strength deficit that is worth focusing on. Camhead's suggestion to work on lock-offs sounds like one excellent point.

And for those climbs where you really need some power initiation in the upper body, I don't think lock-off strength is enough. For that, yeah, working towards being able to do around a half a dozen pullups seems a really good goal.

GO


Partner cracklover


Feb 10, 2012, 12:20 PM
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Re: [shockabuku] weight training for advanced climbing [In reply to]
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shockabuku wrote:
granite_grrl wrote:
I'm hoping to hear from people who climb 5.12 and above on how they used specific weight training to help them climb harder, what they did and how it helped. Thanks.

Well that really narrowed the field of desired input, at least from this audience.

I guess I should clarify that:

- I have never used specific weight training to help me climb harder, but I *have* seen how certain strengths and deficits have impacted both my climbing and other people's climbing, and seen them change over time.

- I do climb 5.12

- I have done extensive weight training for other purposes, and have seen impact on my climbing.

GO


jt512


Feb 10, 2012, 12:32 PM
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granite_grrl wrote:
So I was just hoping to get some feedback from anyone else that has done weight lifting to try to improve strength so they can climb harder. Suggestions on exercises, etc.

I'm not interested in the 5.10 climber telling me how awesome pullups have been for them and their climbing, or people telling me how amazing Crossfit is for this kind of thing. I'm hoping to hear from people who climb 5.12 and above on how they used specific weight training to help them climb harder, what they did and how it helped. Thanks.

The answer isn't "brute strength." When I'm in top shape I can probably do about 10 pull-ups, so I'm not strong by any means. Nonetheless, having climbed up to low 5.13, I cannot recall ever having encountered a move that I wasn't "strong" enough to do. I've been stopped by lack of forearm endurance, lack of power-endurance, poor body tension, poor timing, misuse of balance, poor movement initiation, poor pacing, etc. The solution to such problems is not weightlifting; it's sport-specific training. And guess which book you should be turning to for that? No climbing gym in the off-season? Then training on a wall at home will be infinitely more beneficial to your climbing than anything you can do in a weight gym.

That doesn't answer the question you asked, but I strongly suspect that you're asking the wrong question.

Jay


olderic


Feb 10, 2012, 12:48 PM
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I climbed my first climb rated 5.12 in 1991 (I climbed things that hard 10-12 years before that but that was before grade inflation and they weren't rated 5.12), I climbed my last (well hopefully not my last but I'm having major rotator cuff surgery next week - so who knows) one last year. In all that time span I never followed any formalized weight training program for very long. I did knock out a lot of oullups - variety of grips and dabbled with Long's "workout from hell" occasionally but I never noticed any particular correlation. I have a extremely high slow twitch/fast twitch ratio so I am never going to be able to get very strong - but could easily hurt myself trying. I'm sure you can point to many routes with a well defined power crux, even more common in bouldering, but I think at the 5.12 level you are still going to find the majority of routes will succumb to technique and endurance.

If your genetic makeup allows you to gain strength easily (fast twitch) then go for it - follow any of the pyramid/periodization schemes. Focus on the muscles that are not your primamry climbing ones as they need it more.


lena_chita
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Feb 10, 2012, 1:05 PM
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olderic wrote:
I climbed my first climb rated 5.12 in 1991 (I climbed things that hard 10-12 years before that but that was before grade inflation and they weren't rated 5.12), I climbed my last (well hopefully not my last but I'm having major rotator cuff surgery next week - so who knows) one last year. In all that time span I never followed any formalized weight training program for very long. I did knock out a lot of oullups - variety of grips and dabbled with Long's "workout from hell" occasionally but I never noticed any particular correlation. I have a extremely high slow twitch/fast twitch ratio so I am never going to be able to get very strong - but could easily hurt myself trying. I'm sure you can point to many routes with a well defined power crux, even more common in bouldering, but I think at the 5.12 level you are still going to find the majority of routes will succumb to technique and endurance.

If your genetic makeup allows you to gain strength easily (fast twitch) then go for it - follow any of the pyramid/periodization schemes. Focus on the muscles that are not your primamry climbing ones as they need it more.

I am curious-- how do you know this (the bolded part)? Is this an inference from the kind of response you see to training, or did you actually have some kind of testing done?


olderic


Feb 10, 2012, 1:39 PM
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lena_chita wrote:

I am curious-- how do you know this (the bolded part)? Is this an inference from the kind of response you see to training, or did you actually have some kind of testing done?

Fair question but my answer may be flawed. I have not been tested. So I am inferring it based on my performance doing a number of things.

Running - my times for shorter distances are way worse proportionally then longer ones. According to my 1/2 or full marathon PR's my PR for a mile should have been 45 seconds faster (that was long ago). Still long ago - but more recently in my bicycle racing days - if I could get out on a small break I could usually hold it, hills were easy, but I would get dusted badly if it came to a pack sprint (which it usually did). Weight lifting - if I took just a little off my 1 rep max I could do a lot more reps then the charts would indicate. Pullups - in my prime I could just about always squeeze out one more - just hang dead arm for a minute and I'd recover enough to do one. But weigh me down or make me do 1 arms (I did one once after I had been sick and lost weight) and I was hopeless. And finally take boudering - I know old people usually suck at it so there is that factor but I am even worse - just can not go big. Or medium. Or teeny weenie. But if you are having troubles with a 200' V2 traverse I'll think it's dead easy.

So I don't actually know about slow v. fast twitch but I am definitely not at the power end of the spectrum and I have typically developed tendon problems when I have tried to change that.


granite_grrl


Feb 10, 2012, 5:17 PM
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Re: [camhead] weight training for advanced climbing [In reply to]
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camhead wrote:
Beccs, I've seen you climb, and rarely have you (or most other people) failed because of weak triceps or lats (though, I dunno, all that mixed tooling you guys do might be another story).

Work forearms and lockoff strength for maximum performance on the rock. For forearms and finger strength, try fnger rolls. Get a standard bench press bar, add enough weights so that it weighs the same as you. Hold it at about waist level, palms outward, then do reps of letting the bar roll down to your finger tips, and curl it back up again to a closed fist. It's the best forearm workout you can do, apart from hangboarding.

You're right, I'm not failing because of lats or traps, but the one-arm lat pull downs are the best exercise I can find that mimics lock off. I also seems the my lats are better developed than my biceps and my arms get worked more than my lats do with this exercise (I also feel the rows maybe more in my arms than a regular weight lifter would too).

The finger strength component it a huge part of what I'm missing through the winter. I need to figure out how to convince Nathan I should have the hang board in my possession instead of him, but until then I'll see about starting the finger rolls in the gym too.


granite_grrl


Feb 10, 2012, 5:23 PM
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Re: [jt512] weight training for advanced climbing [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
granite_grrl wrote:
So I was just hoping to get some feedback from anyone else that has done weight lifting to try to improve strength so they can climb harder. Suggestions on exercises, etc.

I'm not interested in the 5.10 climber telling me how awesome pullups have been for them and their climbing, or people telling me how amazing Crossfit is for this kind of thing. I'm hoping to hear from people who climb 5.12 and above on how they used specific weight training to help them climb harder, what they did and how it helped. Thanks.

The answer isn't "brute strength." When I'm in top shape I can probably do about 10 pull-ups, so I'm not strong by any means. Nonetheless, having climbed up to low 5.13, I cannot recall ever having encountered a move that I wasn't "strong" enough to do. I've been stopped by lack of forearm endurance, lack of power-endurance, poor body tension, poor timing, misuse of balance, poor movement initiation, poor pacing, etc. The solution to such problems is not weightlifting; it's sport-specific training. And guess which book you should be turning to for that? No climbing gym in the off-season? Then training on a wall at home will be infinitely more beneficial to your climbing than anything you can do in a weight gym.

That doesn't answer the question you asked, but I strongly suspect that you're asking the wrong question.

Jay

Do you even bother to read a person's entire post before giving your generic replies?

Obviously, if I had a choice I would be bouldering on a home wall instead of going to the meathead gym if it were possible to have one in my current situation, but sometimes you just have to work with what you've got.


jt512


Feb 10, 2012, 5:26 PM
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granite_grrl wrote:
jt512 wrote:
granite_grrl wrote:
So I was just hoping to get some feedback from anyone else that has done weight lifting to try to improve strength so they can climb harder. Suggestions on exercises, etc.

I'm not interested in the 5.10 climber telling me how awesome pullups have been for them and their climbing, or people telling me how amazing Crossfit is for this kind of thing. I'm hoping to hear from people who climb 5.12 and above on how they used specific weight training to help them climb harder, what they did and how it helped. Thanks.

The answer isn't "brute strength." When I'm in top shape I can probably do about 10 pull-ups, so I'm not strong by any means. Nonetheless, having climbed up to low 5.13, I cannot recall ever having encountered a move that I wasn't "strong" enough to do. I've been stopped by lack of forearm endurance, lack of power-endurance, poor body tension, poor timing, misuse of balance, poor movement initiation, poor pacing, etc. The solution to such problems is not weightlifting; it's sport-specific training. And guess which book you should be turning to for that? No climbing gym in the off-season? Then training on a wall at home will be infinitely more beneficial to your climbing than anything you can do in a weight gym.

That doesn't answer the question you asked, but I strongly suspect that you're asking the wrong question.

Jay

Do you even bother to read a person's entire post before giving your generic replies?

Obviously, if I had a choice I would be bouldering on a home wall instead of going to the meathead gym if it were possible to have one in my current situation, but sometimes you just have to work with what you've got.

You're welcome.

Jay


granite_grrl


Feb 10, 2012, 5:31 PM
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Re: [olderic] weight training for advanced climbing [In reply to]
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olderic wrote:
I climbed my first climb rated 5.12 in 1991 (I climbed things that hard 10-12 years before that but that was before grade inflation and they weren't rated 5.12), I climbed my last (well hopefully not my last but I'm having major rotator cuff surgery next week - so who knows) one last year. In all that time span I never followed any formalized weight training program for very long. I did knock out a lot of oullups - variety of grips and dabbled with Long's "workout from hell" occasionally but I never noticed any particular correlation. I have a extremely high slow twitch/fast twitch ratio so I am never going to be able to get very strong - but could easily hurt myself trying. I'm sure you can point to many routes with a well defined power crux, even more common in bouldering, but I think at the 5.12 level you are still going to find the majority of routes will succumb to technique and endurance.

If your genetic makeup allows you to gain strength easily (fast twitch) then go for it - follow any of the pyramid/periodization schemes. Focus on the muscles that are not your primamry climbing ones as they need it more.

I have fully considered that weight training might not make a difference in my climbing. I figure worse case is that I might be able to meet some people by going to workout on a regular basis when I'm new in town.

I am struggling with a workout what I feel might give me the best chance of seeing some gains though. I really haven't done much weight training in the past and figure I should myself the best shot I can at getting some benefits from this (hopefully the triceps and rotator cuff stuff will prevent some injury in the future).


JoeNYC


Feb 11, 2012, 12:05 AM
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I kinda know the feeling. I was a gym regular for a few months once, though I cant say i got better at climbing, I definitely felt stronger. Personally, putting time in on the fingerboard is what really helped me get over some plateaus. That said, There are a bunch of exercises that I did, and though you've probably heard of these already, here they are:

Frenchies: a few cycles of these in a row is tough, and a fun marker of progress.

Staggered Pull-ups: the things where you sling a towel or a bungee or whatever over the bar and focus on the higher hand to get you up, and remember to stay square to the bar, a lot of (weak) people curl up on these. You can build up all the way to one-armers doing these!

Also, folks I know have done "reverse bicep curls," saying that it targets some muscles used in locking off, I'm not super experienced with these, but I believe having a good lock-off makes life easier on lots of routes. (However, putting time in on the fingerboard is what really helped me in the strength department.)

Rowing seems like a good way to get the back strong for overhanging stuff, just speculating though. I agree with doing some shoulder and chest stuff too, there is little worse than feeling strong after doing all your training and hurting a rotator cuff or whatever. Also don't neglect the sit-ups, leg-lifts and all that jazz.


Diddii


Feb 11, 2012, 6:45 AM
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master your core muscles. For advanced core work look up front lever and back lever. If you can't do them you can always get a stronger core. This will help you use your legs better and transfer energy through the body while moving


Partner rgold


Feb 11, 2012, 10:15 AM
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I got up to 5.12 trad and v7 or so BITD with a combination of weekend climbing and gym work before there were climbing gyms and hangboards. No doubt what we were doing was inefficient and in some cases irrelevant, and perhaps, had we had the benefit of modern knowledge and technique, we could have done much better, but I find it pretty hard to believe the training we did was useless. If you don't have access to the modern training aids, I think what we did suggests you can make a hell of a lot of progress.

We did, however, do what I'd call playground gymnastics exercises rather than pumping iron. And those exercises had, as their basic ingredients (which we often combined when we got stronger) pullups (ultimately on just a single arm), front levers, and muscle-ups.

The only thing needed for these exercises is a pullup bar (with enough clearance above if you want to do muscle-ups).

The secret to doing and progressing at all these things is to have a good system for taking off body weight. Probably the most adjustable system for this is to use counterweights, something many hangboarders do nowadays as well. You will have to set things up so that the counterweight is not immediately in front of you when you are doing the exercise; the simplest way to do this is to have two pulleys on either side outside your hand grips and a counterweight on each pulley. (But if you want to train muscle-ups, you might need to find a way to mount the pulleys heigher than the bar.) The rope from the pulleys is clipped to a harness belay loop.

A much less involved and still very effective approach is to use latex surgical tubing as a giant adjustable rubber band. This is what we did BITD. You clove-hitch the tubing to the bar with the knots outside your hand positions, pull it down and stand on it with the aid of a short webbing foot sling. (Don't just stand on the tubing. Sooner or later, it will snap off your feet and deliver a nasty welt when it hits you.)

You can get latex surgical tubing from diving supply places as well as medical and chemical supply houses. Make sure you are getting latex and not some other rubber; nothing else stretches like the latex tubing. Do not try to use any of the bungie-style cords sold for outdoor and automotive purposes; they do not have remotely enough stretch range.

Try to get tubing with the most rubber, i.e. the biggest outside diameter and smallest inside diameter. You may have to experiment with, say, two strands of thinner tubing.

The tubing is used for progression by tying it up longer so that it gives less help. My experience and that of my friends is that is is just guaranteed to work. I'm always surprised that people can't get past the really minor hassles of obtaining the stuff and working out how to set it up, considering how effective it is.

Counterweighted exercises (I'm now using the term to either actual counterweights or latex surgical tubing) are far more effective than, say lat pulldowns. I had friends doing those when we started with the counterweight stuff, and we pulled far ahead of them in strength, even though they seemed to be pulling big weights on the machines. When they saw what was happening, they gave up on the machines and went to the tubing methods. The counterweighted exercises seem to allow you to engage your body muscles in a way that is far more realistic for climbing, at least that is the only reason I can think of for why they were so much more successful than weight machines.

Some comments on specific exercises.

Pullups. I see high-end sport-climbers making catches that cause their feet to blow. You need solid pull-up strength to control you body in those positions. What you don't need is to be able to do 20 pullups, but you do need, and they certainly have, the ability to do a few pullups with more, probably considerably more, than body weight. Pullup training, if you are going to do it, should aim for high strength, not high reps.

After years of experimentation, here is what I think works best: 4--5 sets, cycling through the following rep patterns: 10 reps, 5 reps, and 3 reps. So you start out adjusting your tubing so you can do 4 sets of ten reps (I take a three-minute rest). When you can do 5 sets of ten reps, you lengthen the tubing and shoot for 4 sets of 5 reps. When you can do 5 sets of 5 reps, you lengthen the tubing again and shoot for 4 sets of 3 reps. When you can do 5 sets of 3 reps, go back to the ten-rep stage, but with the tubing longer so you are using more of your body weight.

Lockoffs. Dynamic sport-climbing technique has diminished the importance of lock-off strength, perhaps to the point of irrelevancy if your timing is good enough. But you still need it in a serious way for trad climbing, since gear at full extension cannot be placed dynamically.

The low-rep high-intensity phases of the pullups will increase lock-off ability considerably. You can also throw in a "frenchies" phase in the pullup sequence described above. Most people I've seen do an "easy" version of frenchies that is not the most effective. The several-second holds should be performed on the way up, not on the way down, forcing you to pull out of the hold for the two lower positions. So: you pull up to elbows at 120 degrees, hold for several seconds, then pull to elbows at 90 degrees, hold for several seconds, then pull to elbows at 0 degrees, hold for several seconds, lower, and repeat.

Front levers. I think these are a very useful climbing exercise, and here is my indirect reasoning for it: after years spent in gyms with all kinds of different athletes, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that climbers, as a group, can come closer to performing a front lever than any other type of athlete besides, of course, gymnasts. Whatever it is that climbers do, it is training front-lever strength. It follows that training front-lever strength should be useful for climbing.

How front-levers actually apply to climbing is probably far more subtle than people realize. In particular, I doubt that they provide any advantages for severely overhanging climbing. It is in the near-vertical to just slightly beyond vertical realm, when confronted with moves that demand that your hands get low but you body still needs to be close to the wall, that front levers probably really come into play.

Front levers with tubing are trained the same way as pullups. Adjust the tubing until you can pull into and hold a lever for three seconds. Do single sets of these, adding to the time you hold the lever. When you are holding them for ten seconds, it is time to lengthen the tubing.

Many people never get the lever position right because they are always piked. In order to avoid this, lie down on the ground on you back so that your body is straight, bend your head up, and see what your body should look like when it is straight. (You probably won't see your thighs at all, just your toes). Remember this when you are trying to achieve the lever position. it helps a lot to have a spotter put you in the right position so you get a kinesthetic sense of what to shoot for.

There is a whole progression of pseudo front-lever positions one can work through without the tubing, but I think the tubing is as effective or more so.

Muscle-ups. These are arguably the least important of the three exercises. BITD when hard mantles were a bouldering subspecialty, muscle-ups has more of a place. Whether there is any real use in today's climbing world, other than finishing certain boulder problems with style rather than flopping over the top like a beached whale, is seriously open to question. I used to be fond of the muscle up-front lever combination---perform a front-lever, go from there to a muscle-up, lower back to a front lever, etc. As wth all the other exercises, it is easy to set up the tubing to assist these.

The only thing I'll add here about muscle-ups is that you will find them totally impossible if you do not start with what is called a ``false grip.'' After grasping the bar normally, a false grip is achieved by rotating the hand over the bar until you weight is essentially on the heel of your hand. This puts your hand in the position it has to be into support you when you are straight-armed above the bsr.

Well, this has been a long account of techniques now pretty well discredited, and I am sure that there is little point in trying all this stuff if you have access to anything of a modern nature. I am equally sure that these exercises are going to be far more effective for climbing than traditional weight-room work, even when such work is done with pulleys to mimic body-weight exercises. If anyone wants to PM me for even more esoteric and out-of-date information about the fine points of latex tube-ology, keeping in mind its questionable utility for the modern climber, feel free...

Having heaped scorn on the weight room---and after this I promise to shut up---I think it is important to do some basic dumbell shoulder work, as well as some resistance-band rotator-cuff exercises (your latex tubing can be substituted for the resistance bands), in order to keep your shoulders healthy.


johnwesely


Feb 11, 2012, 10:27 AM
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rgold wrote:
Well, this has been a long account of techniques now pretty well discredited, and I am sure that there is little point in trying all this stuff if you have access to anything of a modern nature. I am equally sure that these exercises are going to be far more effective for climbing than traditional weight-room work, even when such work is done with pulleys to mimic body-weight exercises. If anyone wants to PM me for even more esoteric and out-of-date information about the fine points of latex tube-ology, keeping in mind its questionable utility for the modern climber, feel free...

That was an interesting read. Climbers really had to be strong back in the day.


ceebo


Feb 11, 2012, 2:16 PM
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Just focus on dead hangs, lock offs and core. You need nothing more than at your level rung screwed above a door frame.

Or splash out.. get a hang board or even a small home wall.


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Feb 11, 2012, 2:52 PM
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johnwesely wrote:
Climbers really had to be strong back in the day.

Elite climbers today are far stonger. Have a look at http://vimeo.com/36429174 and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54VtaVbJdLo for example.


johnwesely


Feb 11, 2012, 8:09 PM
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rgold wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
Climbers really had to be strong back in the day.

Elite climbers today are far stonger. Have a look at http://vimeo.com/36429174 and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54VtaVbJdLo for example.

That may be true, but how on earth did you guys manage to pull off those Gunks routes without sticky rubber or cams. It blows my mind.


flesh


Feb 11, 2012, 10:27 PM
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Personally, after trying many things, nothing helps with climbing except strengthening the opposing muscle groups. i have tried dozens of things.

Considering you said you can only do 1-2 pull ups, I would suggest pull ups and opposing muscle workouts. Shoulder presses with low weigth, push ups, reverse wrist curls, negatives with the finger muscles.

If you really want to improve and you can't climb or get to the climbing gym, get a hangboard and workout every other day on it. There's abolutely no workout that will come close to the improvements you'll see from a hangboard. You can do pull ups on it of course.


granite_grrl


Feb 13, 2012, 4:34 AM
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Great post, thanks for spending the time on that, rgold.

I think one of the things I need to make a priority to get is some sort of tubbing for pullup and other exercise assistance. I have gone through cycles of trying to increase the number of pullups I can do, but the rep of 1 or 2 has always put too much stress on my body and I usually stop before I realy make any progress because me elbos start feeling tweaky.

These are the sorts of bands that I'm thinking of, but I'm having problems finding places that carry them or online places based in Canada. I've used them in the past and they're pretty handy:

http://rubberbanditz.com/pull-up-bands/

I have never thought of using them to help toward levers though, which is a great idea.


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Feb 13, 2012, 8:51 AM
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G-Girl, the rubber bands are an interesting but seriously flawed idea. (And it is amusing to see Crossfit bursting through assisted pullup doors that have been open for fifty years or more.) The problem with the rubber bands is that they aren't adjustable. In order to get a range of resistances, you have to buy a range of bands, and there will inevitably be jumps in the amount of effort you have to supply when you go from one level of band to the next.

Of course, this makes good commercial sense---the consumer will need lot's of products, but even so it will be significantly less effective than tubing.

By contrast, latex surgical tubing (same material as the bands) clove-hitched to the bar is continually adjustable, and so allows you to make arbitrarily small fine-tuned adjustments to the amount of help you are getting. You can do the entire 10-rep, 5-rep, 3-rep cycle I described with the same piece of tubing tied up differently, whereas you'd need at least three different rubber bands to do the same thing and the gaps in resistance might never be right.

Edit: The bands are girth-hitched to the bar. You could get some adjustment by wrapping them around more than once, i.e. tying Prusik knots with more and more turns. I still think the tubing will work better, but maybe I'm just biased towards what I know.

A trick for keeping track of tubing lengths: install some pony-tail rubber bands on the tubing at the place where you are tying the clove-hitches. This gives you a consistent resistance level each time and helps you to fine-tune how much extra length to provide as you get stronger.

There is also a very minor body position trick to learn. You may find the tubing wants to pull your leg out in front of you, and if this happens you lose a lot of lifting effect. As you weight the sling you have to bring your leg back slightly behind the plane of your body to keep the tubing pulling up vertically.

I think the reason you are struggling with pullups is that, at your current level of strength, they are too hard. One to two reps is at or near your maximum strength, and trying to train at that level is going to injure you and probably won't get you very far.

You need a level of resistance that will enable you to do far more reps. My suggestion in the previous post is you want a base of five sets of ten reps (3 minute rest between sets) before moving on to higher intensities. Also, remember to train at a resistance level that doesn't hurt anything. If your elbows start to ache, rest, rehab, and then reset the tubing to give more help.

In order to start off at or near the ten-rep level, you may want to tie the tubing up so that it barely hangs any distance below the bar. The tubing can handle this; it will stretch way more than the two and a half times the Crossfit site claims. But it can be hard to get your foot in the sling when you are pulling against a lot of resistance. The solution is to stand on something, a chair, a box, a stool, step into the sling from a high position, and then lower down to a full hang.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say anyone who thinks that adding some strength in your case will be irrelevant to your climbing is oversold on the movement approach. Of course technique is far more important than strength, and of course people continually mistake the effects of bad technique for a lack of strength, but strength plays a role in difficult climbing and you are at a level where more strength is going to make a difference.

That said, if your hand endurance and finger strength decline as you build pullup strength, you will not notice climbing gains, and may very well feel you have lost something. Upper-body strength is useless if you can't hang on to apply it.

I used the same piece of tubing for more than 30 years. Over time, it got pretty chewed up. It abrades at the knots and where the sling is installed. I started to worry it might break, so finally bought another piece from http://www.reefscuba.com/surgical_tubing.htm
You might have to experiment with different sizes. I'd go with the biggest thing you can get in a 10 foot continuous length, which appears to be 1/2" OD 1/4" ID, catalog reference RS500-RA10, for $16 US.


(This post was edited by rgold on Feb 13, 2012, 8:56 AM)


boadman


Feb 13, 2012, 1:35 PM
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I think you'll see a larger improvement from one or two hangboard sessions a week than from any amount of weight lifting. Super low rep weighted pull ups might help lock-off strength, whether or not it will help your climbing is up for debate.


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Feb 13, 2012, 7:18 PM
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boadman wrote:
I think you'll see a larger improvement from one or two hangboard sessions a week than from any amount of weight lifting. Super low rep weighted pull ups might help lock-off strength, whether or not it will help your climbing is up for debate.

It's pretty clear boadman hasn't read the whole thread. I never promoted weight lifting, for example, and suggesting weighted pullups to someone who is struggling to do two without weight makes absolutely no sense.

More importantly, it makes absolutely no sense to get caught up in false dichotomies. G-girl said she doesn't have a hangboard, but if she could get one, then doing both types of exercises would be better for her than doing only finger training or only upper-body training.

And there is another consideration: the hangboard by itself is probably not a good idea, because doing a lot of hanging when your pulling strength is relatively low is going to be more than usually dangerous for your shoulders.


iknowfear


Feb 14, 2012, 1:00 AM
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granite_grrl wrote:
Great post, thanks for spending the time on that, rgold.

I think one of the things I need to make a priority to get is some sort of tubbing for pullup and other exercise assistance. I have gone through cycles of trying to increase the number of pullups I can do, but the rep of 1 or 2 has always put too much stress on my body and I usually stop before I realy make any progress because me elbos start feeling tweaky.

These are the sorts of bands that I'm thinking of, but I'm having problems finding places that carry them or online places based in Canada. I've used them in the past and they're pretty handy:

http://rubberbanditz.com/pull-up-bands/

I have never thought of using them to help toward levers though, which is a great idea.

regarding pullup and forearm strenght: Think about a pullup bar with ball-bearing ...
like the (aptly named) turn till burn. It is also easy to improvise a turning bar by hanging the bar of two cordelettes on a pulley.

a turning bar allows you to work your forearms as well as making muscle-ups easier.

cheers,


boadman


Feb 14, 2012, 9:15 AM
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rgold wrote:
boadman wrote:
I think you'll see a larger improvement from one or two hangboard sessions a week than from any amount of weight lifting. Super low rep weighted pull ups might help lock-off strength, whether or not it will help your climbing is up for debate.

It's pretty clear boadman hasn't read the whole thread. I never promoted weight lifting, for example, and suggesting weighted pullups to someone who is struggling to do two without weight makes absolutely no sense.

More importantly, it makes absolutely no sense to get caught up in false dichotomies. G-girl said she doesn't have a hangboard, but if she could get one, then doing both types of exercises would be better for her than doing only finger training or only upper-body training.

And there is another consideration: the hangboard by itself is probably not a good idea, because doing a lot of hanging when your pulling strength is relatively low is going to be more than usually dangerous for your shoulders.

It's pretty easy to avoid shoulder injuries by starting hanging by stepping off of a step ladder or a chair into a locked off position. From my experience, the big muscle strength comes super quick in the spring, and doesn't require any specific training to maintain. If she's like me and has a limited amount of time to train, hangboarding will be much more effective than any big muscle pulling work. Weightlifting might actually hurt her climbing if she puts on weight as a result of that type of training. I have several female friends that climb 13- that can't do more than 2 or 3 pull-ups.


granite_grrl


Feb 14, 2012, 10:11 AM
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boadman wrote:
rgold wrote:
boadman wrote:
I think you'll see a larger improvement from one or two hangboard sessions a week than from any amount of weight lifting. Super low rep weighted pull ups might help lock-off strength, whether or not it will help your climbing is up for debate.

It's pretty clear boadman hasn't read the whole thread. I never promoted weight lifting, for example, and suggesting weighted pullups to someone who is struggling to do two without weight makes absolutely no sense.

More importantly, it makes absolutely no sense to get caught up in false dichotomies. G-girl said she doesn't have a hangboard, but if she could get one, then doing both types of exercises would be better for her than doing only finger training or only upper-body training.

And there is another consideration: the hangboard by itself is probably not a good idea, because doing a lot of hanging when your pulling strength is relatively low is going to be more than usually dangerous for your shoulders.

It's pretty easy to avoid shoulder injuries by starting hanging by stepping off of a step ladder or a chair into a locked off position. From my experience, the big muscle strength comes super quick in the spring, and doesn't require any specific training to maintain. If she's like me and has a limited amount of time to train, hangboarding will be much more effective than any big muscle pulling work. Weightlifting might actually hurt her climbing if she puts on weight as a result of that type of training. I have several female friends that climb 13- that can't do more than 2 or 3 pull-ups.

I find it really hard in this male dominated sport to get good training advice for strength gains. Most guys take what apply to themselves and then give it back to me.

Girls don't just gain muscle mass the way guys do. I'm never going to gain so much weight from muscle gain in the period of three months that it will effect my climbing when I head outside again, nor would most girls. This isn't even on the radar.

At the level I climb I don't think most guys have to worry about their strength holding them back. Technique, endurance, finger strength, yes, but not lock-off and core. I then get dismissive replies about things I percive as a weakness for myself because they never found it to be a weakness for themselves. What's up with that?


boadman


Feb 14, 2012, 10:17 AM
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granite_grrl wrote:
boadman wrote:
rgold wrote:
boadman wrote:
I think you'll see a larger improvement from one or two hangboard sessions a week than from any amount of weight lifting. Super low rep weighted pull ups might help lock-off strength, whether or not it will help your climbing is up for debate.

It's pretty clear boadman hasn't read the whole thread. I never promoted weight lifting, for example, and suggesting weighted pullups to someone who is struggling to do two without weight makes absolutely no sense.

More importantly, it makes absolutely no sense to get caught up in false dichotomies. G-girl said she doesn't have a hangboard, but if she could get one, then doing both types of exercises would be better for her than doing only finger training or only upper-body training.

And there is another consideration: the hangboard by itself is probably not a good idea, because doing a lot of hanging when your pulling strength is relatively low is going to be more than usually dangerous for your shoulders.

It's pretty easy to avoid shoulder injuries by starting hanging by stepping off of a step ladder or a chair into a locked off position. From my experience, the big muscle strength comes super quick in the spring, and doesn't require any specific training to maintain. If she's like me and has a limited amount of time to train, hangboarding will be much more effective than any big muscle pulling work. Weightlifting might actually hurt her climbing if she puts on weight as a result of that type of training. I have several female friends that climb 13- that can't do more than 2 or 3 pull-ups.

I find it really hard in this male dominated sport to get good training advice for strength gains. Most guys take what apply to themselves and then give it back to me.

Girls don't just gain muscle mass the way guys do. I'm never going to gain so much weight from muscle gain in the period of three months that it will effect my climbing when I head outside again, nor would most girls. This isn't even on the radar.

At the level I climb I don't think most guys have to worry about their strength holding them back. Technique, endurance, finger strength, yes, but not lock-off and core. I then get dismissive replies about things I percive as a weakness for myself because they never found it to be a weakness for themselves. What's up with that?

I'm not trying to be dismissive. I do have an (unwarranted, I admit) feeling that your arms and shoulders aren't really holding you back as much as you think they are. I have several friends, both male and female, who are very strong climbers that aren't very burly in terms of pulling, but manage to finagle there way through pulling moves with technique.


Partner cracklover


Feb 14, 2012, 10:26 AM
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granite_grrl wrote:
boadman wrote:
rgold wrote:
boadman wrote:
I think you'll see a larger improvement from one or two hangboard sessions a week than from any amount of weight lifting. Super low rep weighted pull ups might help lock-off strength, whether or not it will help your climbing is up for debate.

It's pretty clear boadman hasn't read the whole thread. I never promoted weight lifting, for example, and suggesting weighted pullups to someone who is struggling to do two without weight makes absolutely no sense.

More importantly, it makes absolutely no sense to get caught up in false dichotomies. G-girl said she doesn't have a hangboard, but if she could get one, then doing both types of exercises would be better for her than doing only finger training or only upper-body training.

And there is another consideration: the hangboard by itself is probably not a good idea, because doing a lot of hanging when your pulling strength is relatively low is going to be more than usually dangerous for your shoulders.

It's pretty easy to avoid shoulder injuries by starting hanging by stepping off of a step ladder or a chair into a locked off position. From my experience, the big muscle strength comes super quick in the spring, and doesn't require any specific training to maintain. If she's like me and has a limited amount of time to train, hangboarding will be much more effective than any big muscle pulling work. Weightlifting might actually hurt her climbing if she puts on weight as a result of that type of training. I have several female friends that climb 13- that can't do more than 2 or 3 pull-ups.

I find it really hard in this male dominated sport to get good training advice for strength gains. Most guys take what apply to themselves and then give it back to me.

Girls don't just gain muscle mass the way guys do. I'm never going to gain so much weight from muscle gain in the period of three months that it will effect my climbing when I head outside again, nor would most girls. This isn't even on the radar.

At the level I climb I don't think most guys have to worry about their strength holding them back. Technique, endurance, finger strength, yes, but not lock-off and core. I then get dismissive replies about things I percive as a weakness for myself because they never found it to be a weakness for themselves. What's up with that?

The advice I gave was neither based only on myself, nor based on only men. Nor was it dismissive. And as far as I can tell I answered the actual questions you raised (to the best of my ability.) But apparently you're more interested in the "dismissive replies" to your post.

What's up with that?

GCrazy


granite_grrl


Feb 14, 2012, 10:57 AM
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boadman wrote:
granite_grrl wrote:
boadman wrote:
rgold wrote:
boadman wrote:
I think you'll see a larger improvement from one or two hangboard sessions a week than from any amount of weight lifting. Super low rep weighted pull ups might help lock-off strength, whether or not it will help your climbing is up for debate.

It's pretty clear boadman hasn't read the whole thread. I never promoted weight lifting, for example, and suggesting weighted pullups to someone who is struggling to do two without weight makes absolutely no sense.

More importantly, it makes absolutely no sense to get caught up in false dichotomies. G-girl said she doesn't have a hangboard, but if she could get one, then doing both types of exercises would be better for her than doing only finger training or only upper-body training.

And there is another consideration: the hangboard by itself is probably not a good idea, because doing a lot of hanging when your pulling strength is relatively low is going to be more than usually dangerous for your shoulders.

It's pretty easy to avoid shoulder injuries by starting hanging by stepping off of a step ladder or a chair into a locked off position. From my experience, the big muscle strength comes super quick in the spring, and doesn't require any specific training to maintain. If she's like me and has a limited amount of time to train, hangboarding will be much more effective than any big muscle pulling work. Weightlifting might actually hurt her climbing if she puts on weight as a result of that type of training. I have several female friends that climb 13- that can't do more than 2 or 3 pull-ups.

I find it really hard in this male dominated sport to get good training advice for strength gains. Most guys take what apply to themselves and then give it back to me.

Girls don't just gain muscle mass the way guys do. I'm never going to gain so much weight from muscle gain in the period of three months that it will effect my climbing when I head outside again, nor would most girls. This isn't even on the radar.

At the level I climb I don't think most guys have to worry about their strength holding them back. Technique, endurance, finger strength, yes, but not lock-off and core. I then get dismissive replies about things I percive as a weakness for myself because they never found it to be a weakness for themselves. What's up with that?

I'm not trying to be dismissive. I do have an (unwarranted, I admit) feeling that your arms and shoulders aren't really holding you back as much as you think they are. I have several friends, both male and female, who are very strong climbers that aren't very burly in terms of pulling, but manage to finagle there way through pulling moves with technique.
I do very well with finagling too, but you don't think it would help your friends if they could do a route with less moves in terms of less foot switches, less intermediates...basically less fucking around on holds and in positions that you can skip through?

I understand that you're not trying to be dismissive, but I'm 5'8" tall and I don't think I make full use of my height on many routes because of things like lock-off and core strength. I know that self analyisis can be faulty, but I do try to look at my climbing with a critical and anylitical eye as best I can.


jt512


Feb 14, 2012, 11:36 AM
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granite_grrl wrote:
boadman wrote:
granite_grrl wrote:
boadman wrote:
rgold wrote:
boadman wrote:
I think you'll see a larger improvement from one or two hangboard sessions a week than from any amount of weight lifting. Super low rep weighted pull ups might help lock-off strength, whether or not it will help your climbing is up for debate.

It's pretty clear boadman hasn't read the whole thread. I never promoted weight lifting, for example, and suggesting weighted pullups to someone who is struggling to do two without weight makes absolutely no sense.

More importantly, it makes absolutely no sense to get caught up in false dichotomies. G-girl said she doesn't have a hangboard, but if she could get one, then doing both types of exercises would be better for her than doing only finger training or only upper-body training.

And there is another consideration: the hangboard by itself is probably not a good idea, because doing a lot of hanging when your pulling strength is relatively low is going to be more than usually dangerous for your shoulders.

It's pretty easy to avoid shoulder injuries by starting hanging by stepping off of a step ladder or a chair into a locked off position. From my experience, the big muscle strength comes super quick in the spring, and doesn't require any specific training to maintain. If she's like me and has a limited amount of time to train, hangboarding will be much more effective than any big muscle pulling work. Weightlifting might actually hurt her climbing if she puts on weight as a result of that type of training. I have several female friends that climb 13- that can't do more than 2 or 3 pull-ups.

I find it really hard in this male dominated sport to get good training advice for strength gains. Most guys take what apply to themselves and then give it back to me.

Girls don't just gain muscle mass the way guys do. I'm never going to gain so much weight from muscle gain in the period of three months that it will effect my climbing when I head outside again, nor would most girls. This isn't even on the radar.

At the level I climb I don't think most guys have to worry about their strength holding them back. Technique, endurance, finger strength, yes, but not lock-off and core. I then get dismissive replies about things I percive as a weakness for myself because they never found it to be a weakness for themselves. What's up with that?

I'm not trying to be dismissive. I do have an (unwarranted, I admit) feeling that your arms and shoulders aren't really holding you back as much as you think they are. I have several friends, both male and female, who are very strong climbers that aren't very burly in terms of pulling, but manage to finagle there way through pulling moves with technique.
I do very well with finagling too, but you don't think it would help your friends if they could do a route with less moves in terms of less foot switches, less intermediates...basically less fucking around on holds and in positions that you can skip through?

I understand that you're not trying to be dismissive, but I'm 5'8" tall and I don't think I make full use of my height on many routes because of things like lock-off and core strength. I know that self analyisis can be faulty, but I do try to look at my climbing with a critical and anylitical eye as best I can.

The only dismissive attitude in this thread is yours.

Jay


boadman


Feb 14, 2012, 3:02 PM
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There is definitely a subset (I think it's kind of small) of routes out there where big muscle strength helps. In the low 12s, the subset is even smaller. Increased hand strength and endurance will help you on nearly every route you climb.

I don't know about you, but between kids, work, home repairs, etc, I have about 3-5 hours of time in my average week that I can devote to climbing. I think that for maximal efficiency (climbing benefit/time), without access to a good gym or woody, a hangboard is going to get you the biggest bang for the buck.

If you've got a more free time, the weightlifting stuff probably wouldn't hurt.


ceebo


Feb 14, 2012, 3:04 PM
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granite_grrl wrote:
boadman wrote:
granite_grrl wrote:
boadman wrote:
rgold wrote:
boadman wrote:
I think you'll see a larger improvement from one or two hangboard sessions a week than from any amount of weight lifting. Super low rep weighted pull ups might help lock-off strength, whether or not it will help your climbing is up for debate.

It's pretty clear boadman hasn't read the whole thread. I never promoted weight lifting, for example, and suggesting weighted pullups to someone who is struggling to do two without weight makes absolutely no sense.

More importantly, it makes absolutely no sense to get caught up in false dichotomies. G-girl said she doesn't have a hangboard, but if she could get one, then doing both types of exercises would be better for her than doing only finger training or only upper-body training.

And there is another consideration: the hangboard by itself is probably not a good idea, because doing a lot of hanging when your pulling strength is relatively low is going to be more than usually dangerous for your shoulders.

It's pretty easy to avoid shoulder injuries by starting hanging by stepping off of a step ladder or a chair into a locked off position. From my experience, the big muscle strength comes super quick in the spring, and doesn't require any specific training to maintain. If she's like me and has a limited amount of time to train, hangboarding will be much more effective than any big muscle pulling work. Weightlifting might actually hurt her climbing if she puts on weight as a result of that type of training. I have several female friends that climb 13- that can't do more than 2 or 3 pull-ups.

I find it really hard in this male dominated sport to get good training advice for strength gains. Most guys take what apply to themselves and then give it back to me.

Girls don't just gain muscle mass the way guys do. I'm never going to gain so much weight from muscle gain in the period of three months that it will effect my climbing when I head outside again, nor would most girls. This isn't even on the radar.

At the level I climb I don't think most guys have to worry about their strength holding them back. Technique, endurance, finger strength, yes, but not lock-off and core. I then get dismissive replies about things I percive as a weakness for myself because they never found it to be a weakness for themselves. What's up with that?

I'm not trying to be dismissive. I do have an (unwarranted, I admit) feeling that your arms and shoulders aren't really holding you back as much as you think they are. I have several friends, both male and female, who are very strong climbers that aren't very burly in terms of pulling, but manage to finagle there way through pulling moves with technique.
I do very well with finagling too, but you don't think it would help your friends if they could do a route with less moves in terms of less foot switches, less intermediates...basically less fucking around on holds and in positions that you can skip through?

I understand that you're not trying to be dismissive, but I'm 5'8" tall and I don't think I make full use of my height on many routes because of things like lock-off and core strength. I know that self analyisis can be faulty, but I do try to look at my climbing with a critical and anylitical eye as best I can.

People don't put in moves just for the sake of it.

I may shift my hands and feet a few times just to make one upward move. It can be required to make sure very little weight is on hands as you ajust feet into the best position to support the next big move. Allot of those ''pointless'' moves will be keeping the fore arms and fingers under a sustaineble load through means of good base support/cog. Missing out all those little moves will add extra load onto the fingers that requires extra energy. Those little mistakes or short cuts as you call them will haunt you at the crux.


Traches


Feb 14, 2012, 3:50 PM
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granite_grrl wrote:
I do very well with finagling too, but you don't think it would help your friends if they could do a route with less moves in terms of less foot switches, less intermediates...basically less fucking around on holds and in positions that you can skip through?

I understand that you're not trying to be dismissive, but I'm 5'8" tall and I don't think I make full use of my height on many routes because of things like lock-off and core strength. I know that self analyisis can be faulty, but I do try to look at my climbing with a critical and anylitical eye as best I can.

I guess it's cold math-- the most efficient move (or series of moves) in terms of energy used is the best, period. Sometimes making 3 easy moves is much better than a single hard move, sometimes you burn more energy hanging and the best option is to power through quickly. Climb lazy!


noahfor


Feb 14, 2012, 5:30 PM
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granite_grrl wrote:
So it's winter and I have no climbing gym nearby. I am still getting out on the weekends ice climbing and drytooling, but haven't been climbing through the week.

One of my weakest link in my climbing has always been brute strength. Generally I've done pretty good despite this but especially now as I'm getting into 5.12 I'm finding more routes that just have stopper moves for me and these stopper moves are almost always because I'm not strong enough to pull them. So I decided to use my time after work going to the meathead gym and lifting weights in an attempt to get stronger.

I am doing a mix of power and endurnace (5-6 reps, long rest and 10+ reps, shorter rest) on things like one-arm lat pulldowns and rows, and then strictly higher reps (10+) on things like tricept and rotater cuff exercises. I would like to do some pullups as well, but I tend to max out at one or two and don't like such low reps when I'm already fatiguing my back muscles in the same workout. I'm looking to see where to buy some assistance bands to make this more reasonable, but until then I'm not doing these in my workouts.

So I was just hoping to get some feedback from anyone else that has done weight lifting to try to improve strength so they can climb harder. Suggestions on exercises, etc.

I'm not interested in the 5.10 climber telling me how awesome pullups have been for them and their climbing, or people telling me how amazing Crossfit is for this kind of thing. I'm hoping to hear from people who climb 5.12 and above on how they used specific weight training to help them climb harder, what they did and how it helped. Thanks.


If you're struggling to do 1-2 pull-ups, ditch the one-armed stuff, and just work on building general back strength, or strength in general.

Look into Pavel's "Grease the Groove" routine for pull-ups, and Pavel's "Power to the People" routine for general strength, or Rippetoe's "Starting Strength" routine.

For core strength, use low reps and high intensity. Work towards a standing ab-wheel rollout. Do weighted hanging leg raises.

Whether or not it will have any benefit on your climbing I have no idea, but those are my recommendations for building strength.


(This post was edited by noahfor on Feb 14, 2012, 5:32 PM)


granite_grrl


Feb 14, 2012, 6:24 PM
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Traches wrote:
granite_grrl wrote:
I do very well with finagling too, but you don't think it would help your friends if they could do a route with less moves in terms of less foot switches, less intermediates...basically less fucking around on holds and in positions that you can skip through?

I understand that you're not trying to be dismissive, but I'm 5'8" tall and I don't think I make full use of my height on many routes because of things like lock-off and core strength. I know that self analyisis can be faulty, but I do try to look at my climbing with a critical and anylitical eye as best I can.

I guess it's cold math-- the most efficient move (or series of moves) in terms of energy used is the best, period. Sometimes making 3 easy moves is much better than a single hard move, sometimes you burn more energy hanging and the best option is to power through quickly. Climb lazy!
Good term.


Partner rgold


Feb 14, 2012, 8:13 PM
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G-Girl, there are perhaps a few training experts here who fully understand gender differences. Most of us have just done some (or a lot of) training and are saying what worked for us, just as you say. I don't think it is a matter of anyone being dismissive, although a few are not paying attention.

Here's what I think. Read the advice. Think about it. Look for ideas that makes sense to you and seem like they might work. Then modify them to apply to your situation. Because that's all you can expect, and indeed, it is all you need.


noahfor


Feb 14, 2012, 10:34 PM
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Women can train using the same methods as men. The only difference is that you will add less weight to the "bar" each workout or training period, and you won't be able to sustain progress for as long until a deload period is required or a change in training methods are in order.

Again, I'm just speaking from a general strength training stand-point.


granite_grrl


Feb 15, 2012, 4:32 AM
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rgold wrote:
G-Girl, there are perhaps a few training experts here who fully understand gender differences. Most of us have just done some (or a lot of) training and are saying what worked for us, just as you say. I don't think it is a matter of anyone being dismissive, although a few are not paying attention.

Here's what I think. Read the advice. Think about it. Look for ideas that makes sense to you and seem like they might work. Then modify them to apply to your situation. Because that's all you can expect, and indeed, it is all you need.
Yeah, it's just frustration and the term "dismissive" was too harsh.

While I still think weight training can help if done right, it seems that very few people here have experimented with it enough to tell me if it has helped their climbing or not. I shouldn't have expected anything more than what I've been getting....goodness knows I've spent enough time on this site to know better.


danabart


Feb 15, 2012, 7:14 AM
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You wanted to know if climbers who were doing hard routes used weight training and if so, how they used it.

Dave MacLeod has climbed 5.14d; he discusses weight training - pros and cons - in his book. It seemed to me to an intelligent and well thought analysis. The book is, 9 out of 10 Climbers Make the Same Mistakes.


Partner rgold


Feb 15, 2012, 7:15 AM
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granite_grrl wrote:
I shouldn't have expected anything more than what I've been getting....goodness knows I've spent enough time on this site to know better.

I think Jay got it right---you've become the center of dismissiveness here. Are you interested in finding a route to improvement, or is your goal to confirm a preconception that no one will attend to your needs? Perhaps it is the rest of the posters who should have known better?

I'm going to put in a final plug for the counterweighted routines I described. Perhaps I should mention that they aren't some wacky thing I thought up, they are adapted from standard gymnastic training for iron crosses that has worked for generations gymnasts.

I have never seen anyone try the method seriously and not make a lot of progress, and that includes a number of women (girlfriends, friends, acquaintences in the gym) who were initially in the same pullup category that G-girl describes. The fact that Crossfit makes a big deal about their rubber bands, picturing women using them, ought to make it clear that the technique works for both genders.

As for time, the entire pullup routine I described, with 3-minute rests, takes 15 minutes, leaving plenty of time for even a very busy person to add a substantial hangboarding component. In my experience with women who tried it (my personal experience is with one-arm pullups), it is reasonable for someone (i'm speaking about women now, ok?) who can't do a single pullup to be doing ten or more within a year.


shotwell


Feb 15, 2012, 7:29 AM
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granite_grrl wrote:
rgold wrote:
G-Girl, there are perhaps a few training experts here who fully understand gender differences. Most of us have just done some (or a lot of) training and are saying what worked for us, just as you say. I don't think it is a matter of anyone being dismissive, although a few are not paying attention.

Here's what I think. Read the advice. Think about it. Look for ideas that makes sense to you and seem like they might work. Then modify them to apply to your situation. Because that's all you can expect, and indeed, it is all you need.
Yeah, it's just frustration and the term "dismissive" was too harsh.

While I still think weight training can help if done right, it seems that very few people here have experimented with it enough to tell me if it has helped their climbing or not. I shouldn't have expected anything more than what I've been getting....goodness knows I've spent enough time on this site to know better.

Hopefully this will be helpful to you. I am a dude, so take it with a grain of salt.

I take 4 months off every year to work at a Scout camp. Really enjoy the opportunity to do something great for the community. When I'm there, I have two options. I can train, or I can get worse. My training facility is a hangboard and a place to do some core work.

So I work up a hangboard routine every summer. Hangboards are not expensive, and often times you can find one used for even cheaper. I do some core work on the board, but mainly focus on raw finger strength.

When I get to the core part of my workout, I focus on my obliques and back. Why? When you're making hard snatches, cross throughs, or lock offs your obliques and back tend to be the most engaged.

Building lock off strength is kind of old school. Learning to deadpoint effectively can supersede all but the weirdest lock off moves. Not to say it isn't an effective strategy, but deadpointing lets you use your legs and core really efficiently. My wife (5'6") can nail hard deadpoints even better than I. She is little, but has really strong fingers. I can wrap my thumb and first finger around her entire bicep, so it isn't pure, raw strength at play either. (SPRAY WARNING: she also sent her first v9 yesterday, a powerful, dynamic problem)

rgold talked about the hard 'snatches' in modern sport climbing and bouldering. Honestly, a strong back and obliques are necessary, but you also need the strength in your hand not to get ripped off the holds when your feet swing out. A little bit of bicep strength can help you initiate some of the harder moves, but I don't tend to find that in most 5.12's or v4-5 climbs.

Finally, the hardest part about taking time off is that you don't trust your feet when you get back. It takes me a bit of time to tune up, but the finger strength gains mean I start at about the same level as I left. I quickly surpass my old high point, then keep on motoring.


granite_grrl


Feb 15, 2012, 7:50 AM
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shotwell wrote:
granite_grrl wrote:
rgold wrote:
G-Girl, there are perhaps a few training experts here who fully understand gender differences. Most of us have just done some (or a lot of) training and are saying what worked for us, just as you say. I don't think it is a matter of anyone being dismissive, although a few are not paying attention.

Here's what I think. Read the advice. Think about it. Look for ideas that makes sense to you and seem like they might work. Then modify them to apply to your situation. Because that's all you can expect, and indeed, it is all you need.
Yeah, it's just frustration and the term "dismissive" was too harsh.

While I still think weight training can help if done right, it seems that very few people here have experimented with it enough to tell me if it has helped their climbing or not. I shouldn't have expected anything more than what I've been getting....goodness knows I've spent enough time on this site to know better.

Hopefully this will be helpful to you. I am a dude, so take it with a grain of salt.

I take 4 months off every year to work at a Scout camp. Really enjoy the opportunity to do something great for the community. When I'm there, I have two options. I can train, or I can get worse. My training facility is a hangboard and a place to do some core work.

So I work up a hangboard routine every summer. Hangboards are not expensive, and often times you can find one used for even cheaper. I do some core work on the board, but mainly focus on raw finger strength.

When I get to the core part of my workout, I focus on my obliques and back. Why? When you're making hard snatches, cross throughs, or lock offs your obliques and back tend to be the most engaged.

Building lock off strength is kind of old school. Learning to deadpoint effectively can supersede all but the weirdest lock off moves. Not to say it isn't an effective strategy, but deadpointing lets you use your legs and core really efficiently. My wife (5'6") can nail hard deadpoints even better than I. She is little, but has really strong fingers. I can wrap my thumb and first finger around her entire bicep, so it isn't pure, raw strength at play either. (SPRAY WARNING: she also sent her first v9 yesterday, a powerful, dynamic problem)

rgold talked about the hard 'snatches' in modern sport climbing and bouldering. Honestly, a strong back and obliques are necessary, but you also need the strength in your hand not to get ripped off the holds when your feet swing out. A little bit of bicep strength can help you initiate some of the harder moves, but I don't tend to find that in most 5.12's or v4-5 climbs.

Finally, the hardest part about taking time off is that you don't trust your feet when you get back. It takes me a bit of time to tune up, but the finger strength gains mean I start at about the same level as I left. I quickly surpass my old high point, then keep on motoring.
So you feel you were able to get some strength gains from your time off that helped your climbing? What kind of exercises were you doing for your back? A lot of lower back stuff or more shoulders/lats?

And I will pry the hang board away from the husband when I go back home this weekend, it will be an epic battle not to be missed!


Partner rgold


Feb 15, 2012, 7:58 AM
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"shotwell' wrote:
Building lock off strength is kind of old school. Learning to deadpoint effectively can supersede all but the weirdest lock off moves.

True enough in the sport and bouldering context. Locking off, to the extent that it requires more from your upper body and fingers, is nowadays be relegated to the category of inefficient technique.

On the other hand, the idea behind maximal technique and minimal strength means that the climber is more marginal. If a foot skids, the body is imperfectly oriented, or the timing is just a tad off, then the technique fails and the climber falls. A little bit of that good old ``old school'' brute strength provides a margin of error for those moments when you ain't perfect. What's so terrible about that?

When it comes to the marginality of perfectly timed technique vs. a bit more upper-body strength, trad climbing is a totally different situation. You can't deadpoint gear in. And on a run-out lead, deadpointing to an unknown hold might be pretty risky. Anyone who aspires to this type of climbing will be a lot better off if deadpointing is not their only option.


shotwell


Feb 15, 2012, 8:06 AM
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rgold wrote:
"shotwell' wrote:
Building lock off strength is kind of old school. Learning to deadpoint effectively can supersede all but the weirdest lock off moves.

True enough in the sport and bouldering context. Locking off, to the extent that it requires more from your upper body and fingers, is nowadays be relegated to the category of inefficient technique.

On the other hand, the idea behind maximal technique and minimal strength means that the climber is more marginal. If a foot skids, the body is imperfectly oriented, or the timing is just a tad off, then the technique fails and the climber falls. A little bit of that good old ``old school'' brute strength provides a margin of error for those moments when you ain't perfect. What's so terrible about that?

When it comes to the marginality of perfectly timed technique vs. a bit more upper-body strength, trad climbing is a totally different situation. You can't deadpoint gear in. And on a run-out lead, deadpointing to an unknown hold might be pretty risky. Anyone who aspires to this type of climbing will be a lot better off if deadpointing is not their only option.

We're in total agreement there. Highball bouldering is also a time when being able to lock off is critical. I guess, for me, the brute strength is there already. My wife had to work hard for her lock off strength.

g-girl. Get the hang board. I focus almost exclusively on my lower back. It is what always feels wrecked after hard bouldering days.


camhead


Feb 15, 2012, 8:09 AM
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granite_grrl wrote:
shotwell wrote:
granite_grrl wrote:
rgold wrote:
G-Girl, there are perhaps a few training experts here who fully understand gender differences. Most of us have just done some (or a lot of) training and are saying what worked for us, just as you say. I don't think it is a matter of anyone being dismissive, although a few are not paying attention.

Here's what I think. Read the advice. Think about it. Look for ideas that makes sense to you and seem like they might work. Then modify them to apply to your situation. Because that's all you can expect, and indeed, it is all you need.
Yeah, it's just frustration and the term "dismissive" was too harsh.

While I still think weight training can help if done right, it seems that very few people here have experimented with it enough to tell me if it has helped their climbing or not. I shouldn't have expected anything more than what I've been getting....goodness knows I've spent enough time on this site to know better.

Hopefully this will be helpful to you. I am a dude, so take it with a grain of salt.

I take 4 months off every year to work at a Scout camp. Really enjoy the opportunity to do something great for the community. When I'm there, I have two options. I can train, or I can get worse. My training facility is a hangboard and a place to do some core work.

So I work up a hangboard routine every summer. Hangboards are not expensive, and often times you can find one used for even cheaper. I do some core work on the board, but mainly focus on raw finger strength.

When I get to the core part of my workout, I focus on my obliques and back. Why? When you're making hard snatches, cross throughs, or lock offs your obliques and back tend to be the most engaged.

Building lock off strength is kind of old school. Learning to deadpoint effectively can supersede all but the weirdest lock off moves. Not to say it isn't an effective strategy, but deadpointing lets you use your legs and core really efficiently. My wife (5'6") can nail hard deadpoints even better than I. She is little, but has really strong fingers. I can wrap my thumb and first finger around her entire bicep, so it isn't pure, raw strength at play either. (SPRAY WARNING: she also sent her first v9 yesterday, a powerful, dynamic problem)

rgold talked about the hard 'snatches' in modern sport climbing and bouldering. Honestly, a strong back and obliques are necessary, but you also need the strength in your hand not to get ripped off the holds when your feet swing out. A little bit of bicep strength can help you initiate some of the harder moves, but I don't tend to find that in most 5.12's or v4-5 climbs.

Finally, the hardest part about taking time off is that you don't trust your feet when you get back. It takes me a bit of time to tune up, but the finger strength gains mean I start at about the same level as I left. I quickly surpass my old high point, then keep on motoring.
So you feel you were able to get some strength gains from your time off that helped your climbing? What kind of exercises were you doing for your back? A lot of lower back stuff or more shoulders/lats?

And I will pry the hang board away from the husband when I go back home this weekend, it will be an epic battle not to be missed!

What does Chossy need a hangbored for? He could just as easily hang from door jams with his drytools.


shotwell


Feb 15, 2012, 8:11 AM
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granite_grrl wrote:
shotwell wrote:
granite_grrl wrote:
rgold wrote:
G-Girl, there are perhaps a few training experts here who fully understand gender differences. Most of us have just done some (or a lot of) training and are saying what worked for us, just as you say. I don't think it is a matter of anyone being dismissive, although a few are not paying attention.

Here's what I think. Read the advice. Think about it. Look for ideas that makes sense to you and seem like they might work. Then modify them to apply to your situation. Because that's all you can expect, and indeed, it is all you need.
Yeah, it's just frustration and the term "dismissive" was too harsh.

While I still think weight training can help if done right, it seems that very few people here have experimented with it enough to tell me if it has helped their climbing or not. I shouldn't have expected anything more than what I've been getting....goodness knows I've spent enough time on this site to know better.

Hopefully this will be helpful to you. I am a dude, so take it with a grain of salt.

I take 4 months off every year to work at a Scout camp. Really enjoy the opportunity to do something great for the community. When I'm there, I have two options. I can train, or I can get worse. My training facility is a hangboard and a place to do some core work.

So I work up a hangboard routine every summer. Hangboards are not expensive, and often times you can find one used for even cheaper. I do some core work on the board, but mainly focus on raw finger strength.

When I get to the core part of my workout, I focus on my obliques and back. Why? When you're making hard snatches, cross throughs, or lock offs your obliques and back tend to be the most engaged.

Building lock off strength is kind of old school. Learning to deadpoint effectively can supersede all but the weirdest lock off moves. Not to say it isn't an effective strategy, but deadpointing lets you use your legs and core really efficiently. My wife (5'6") can nail hard deadpoints even better than I. She is little, but has really strong fingers. I can wrap my thumb and first finger around her entire bicep, so it isn't pure, raw strength at play either. (SPRAY WARNING: she also sent her first v9 yesterday, a powerful, dynamic problem)

rgold talked about the hard 'snatches' in modern sport climbing and bouldering. Honestly, a strong back and obliques are necessary, but you also need the strength in your hand not to get ripped off the holds when your feet swing out. A little bit of bicep strength can help you initiate some of the harder moves, but I don't tend to find that in most 5.12's or v4-5 climbs.

Finally, the hardest part about taking time off is that you don't trust your feet when you get back. It takes me a bit of time to tune up, but the finger strength gains mean I start at about the same level as I left. I quickly surpass my old high point, then keep on motoring.
So you feel you were able to get some strength gains from your time off that helped your climbing? What kind of exercises were you doing for your back? A lot of lower back stuff or more shoulders/lats?

And I will pry the hang board away from the husband when I go back home this weekend, it will be an epic battle not to be missed!
Should this be moved to the competition forum? Will there be video posted? If you win, do you automatically get any sponsorship offers he gets from Ouray?


tH1e-swiN1e


Feb 15, 2012, 8:37 AM
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Re: [camhead] weight training for advanced climbing [In reply to]
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Unlike most climbers, I weight train for strength/mass 3-4 times a week. I think weight training is highly beneficial to climbing. It keeps your body balanced which helps prevent injuries. It also teaches you how to properly control and flex all the muscles in your body. And regardless of activity EVERYONE should do squats. Best exercise in history.

Everyone says weight training is counter-productive to climbing but I climbed harder at 185 (13b) than I do now at 170 (12d). Lifting doesnt make you big, eating does.


jt512


Feb 15, 2012, 1:25 PM
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Re: [tH1e-swiN1e] weight training for advanced climbing [In reply to]
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tH1e-swiN1e wrote:
Everyone says weight training is counter-productive to climbing but I climbed harder at 185 (13b) than I do now at 170 (12d).

The post hoc, ergo propter hoc fallacy applied to an anecdote.

In reply to:
Lifting doesnt make you big, eating does.

Lifting weights increases muscle mass, provided your nutrition is sufficient. If it isn't, you shouldn't be lifting weights, as you'll at best be wasting your time.

Jay


camhead


Feb 15, 2012, 1:48 PM
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jt512 wrote:

Lifting weights increases muscle mass, provided your nutrition is sufficient. If it isn't, you shouldn't be lifting weights, as you'll at best be wasting your time.

Jay

Ok, this might be enough of a thread drift to prompt another thread, but I'm just going to ask.

What you're saying, Jay, is essentially a variation of the old wisdom that high reps & low weight are better for "toning" your muscles, whereas high weights and low reps are better for building bulk, right? That's the way I've understood it since high school PE.

Going of of this, I've long stayed away from doing weighted exercises. Go for more pullup reps, more pushups, more leg lifts, etc., in order to not add too much bulk.

However, once I started hangboarding, I realized the essentiality of adding weight for most efficient hypertrophy; up to 35 lbs or so. Now, I know that forearm training is kind of its own thing; I'm not really at risk of building too much bulk in my forearms. But, I'm still wondering, should I apply more weight to other exercises that, while not climbing specific, are intended to help my climbing?

To build better core for climbing, should I start doing lower reps of leg lifts, but with weight added? For antagonist muscles, should I move from trying to do 100 pushups, and towards fewer reps of bench presses? On the occasion that I do lockoffs or offset pullups, should I add weight?

I've been weighing the pros and cons of this for the last few months, and am wondering what others' experience/thoughts would be.


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Feb 15, 2012, 2:16 PM
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Here's how Mark Hudon trained for the Nose in a day at age 53: See the full TR at http://www.supertopo.com/...-A-Day-by-Mark-Hudon

Cardio.
In February I started doing a bike training workout on my fluid trainer in the garage. This gives me a solid 45 minute cardiovascular workout. I'm usually sweating like a pig when I'm done, even in the cold garage. I do this three days a week if I don't go skiing on Friday. I did this till it got warm enough to actually go outside and ride my bike. There are great mt bike trails five minutes from my house and I would do a 10 mile ride two or three times a week after work.

Weights.
Also in February I started lifting weights. At the start it was three sets of 10-12 but every six weeks I'd take a week off and change the weight/set combo. For the last two months I was doing one set of 11 different exercises, 50 reps.
My exercises come from a book "The Secrets of Advanced Bodybuilders" by Health for Life. I find their regime very good for me since for every pushing exercise you do you then do a pulling exercise. I find the regime very efficient since I can usually barely do the last sets/reps when I get to them. I also do their "Legendary Abs" routine.

I also did a lot of heavy finger rolls and a simulated rope climbing thing.

Climbing.
On Fridays I would get out to real rock but two mornings a week I went over to the local sports club which has a boring 30 foot tall vertical wall. I'd string a rope up each of the four routes and climb up and down each route four times or for 45 minutes which ever came first. I self belayed using a Petzl ASAP.
I must have looked like quite the geek as I climbed with all the gear mentioned above but including a 70 oz Camelbak. I was trying to simulate the weight of the actual gear I'd use on the route.

Recovery.
Protein Power, Glucosamine and Chondroitin pills. Two beers a day, without fail.

I took about two weeks off just before the beginning of the trip to ensure I was plenty rested.


noahfor


Feb 15, 2012, 2:29 PM
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Re: [jt512] weight training for advanced climbing [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:

Lifting weights increases muscle mass, provided your nutrition is sufficient. If it isn't, you shouldn't be lifting weights, as you'll at best be wasting your time.

Jay

Are you talking about lifting for climbing specifically, or are you saying that anyone who isn't eating a sufficient amount of calories to gain muscle mass shouldn't be lifting weights?


noahfor


Feb 15, 2012, 2:49 PM
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Re: [camhead] weight training for advanced climbing [In reply to]
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camhead wrote:

To build better core for climbing, should I start doing lower reps of leg lifts, but with weight added?

If leg lift strength transfers to climbing, then, yes, you should be adding weight. Otherwise, you're not actually strength training.


camhead wrote:
For antagonist muscles, should I move from trying to do 100 pushups, and towards fewer reps of bench presses?

If you are trying to strengthen the antagonist muscles, then, yes, you should be adding weight to your pushups, or doing weighted dips, or bench press. 100 pushups is not strength training. You are not getting any stronger by doing 100 pushups. You are just gaining endurance.


camhead wrote:
On the occasion that I do lockoffs or offset pullups, should I add weight?

Of course you should. One of the principles of strength training is progressive overload. If you aren't employing progressive overload, then you aren't actually strength training.


jt512


Feb 15, 2012, 3:39 PM
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camhead wrote:
jt512 wrote:

Lifting weights increases muscle mass, provided your nutrition is sufficient. If it isn't, you shouldn't be lifting weights, as you'll at best be wasting your time.

Jay

Ok, this might be enough of a thread drift to prompt another thread, but I'm just going to ask.

What you're saying, Jay, is essentially a variation of the old wisdom that high reps & low weight are better for "toning" your muscles, whereas high weights and low reps are better for building bulk, right? That's the way I've understood it since high school PE.

No, I didn't mean to contradict that. Heavy weights create hypertrophy more than lower weights. However, if lower weights do anything, then I think they would have to do it by increasing muscle mass. Since they don't create much hypertrophy, then to increase muscle mass they must increase muscle density. My point was that, for either effect, your diet has to be sufficient.

In reply to:
Going of of this, I've long stayed away from doing weighted exercises. Go for more pullup reps, more pushups, more leg lifts, etc., in order to not add too much bulk.

However, once I started hangboarding, I realized the essentiality of adding weight for most efficient hypertrophy; up to 35 lbs or so. Now, I know that forearm training is kind of its own thing; I'm not really at risk of building too much bulk in my forearms. But, I'm still wondering, should I apply more weight to other exercises that, while not climbing specific, are intended to help my climbing?

To build better core for climbing, should I start doing lower reps of leg lifts, but with weight added? For antagonist muscles, should I move from trying to do 100 pushups, and towards fewer reps of bench presses? On the occasion that I do lockoffs or offset pullups, should I add weight?

I don't know what happened to aerilli, but I think she would be more qualified to answer questions about the relative benefits of high-rep–low-weight weight training vs low-rep–high-weight weight training. I don't think either one of them will help your climbing very much. For instance, what do you expect to get out of doing lots of leg lifts? You're training the muscles you use to get your feet up on high holds, but not the primary muscles you use to keep them on the holds (ie, "body tension"); while it's the latter, I think, that tends to be limiting for climbers. So I have difficulty believing that doing a lot of leg lifts, with or without added weight, will have much effect on your climbing.

Likewise, what do you expect to get out of doing massive numbers of push-ups, other than overuse injuries of the shoulder?

So, to my way of thinking, if you're going to do exercises that aren't likely to help your climbing very much, you should emphasize the ones that produce the least gain in body weight.

Jay


(This post was edited by jt512 on Feb 15, 2012, 3:42 PM)


granite_grrl


Feb 15, 2012, 6:47 PM
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camhead wrote:
jt512 wrote:

Lifting weights increases muscle mass, provided your nutrition is sufficient. If it isn't, you shouldn't be lifting weights, as you'll at best be wasting your time.

Jay

Ok, this might be enough of a thread drift to prompt another thread, but I'm just going to ask.

What you're saying, Jay, is essentially a variation of the old wisdom that high reps & low weight are better for "toning" your muscles, whereas high weights and low reps are better for building bulk, right? That's the way I've understood it since high school PE.

Going of of this, I've long stayed away from doing weighted exercises. Go for more pullup reps, more pushups, more leg lifts, etc., in order to not add too much bulk.

However, once I started hangboarding, I realized the essentiality of adding weight for most efficient hypertrophy; up to 35 lbs or so. Now, I know that forearm training is kind of its own thing; I'm not really at risk of building too much bulk in my forearms. But, I'm still wondering, should I apply more weight to other exercises that, while not climbing specific, are intended to help my climbing?

To build better core for climbing, should I start doing lower reps of leg lifts, but with weight added? For antagonist muscles, should I move from trying to do 100 pushups, and towards fewer reps of bench presses? On the occasion that I do lockoffs or offset pullups, should I add weight?

I've been weighing the pros and cons of this for the last few months, and am wondering what others' experience/thoughts would be.

From my research on the interwebs and asking trainer who owns the gym I've been going to, this is the general breakdown of max reps with rest time:

3-6 reps w/ 2min+ rest = strength training
~8 reps w/ 1min rest = hypertrophy
10+ reps w/ 30-45 sec rest = endurance

I've seen slightly different numbers from different sources, but they're all in the same ball park. So from all this I gather we as climbers should keep the reps either low with long rests or high with short rests, but you want to stay out of that middle range.


granite_grrl


Feb 15, 2012, 7:10 PM
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granite_grrl wrote:
camhead wrote:
jt512 wrote:

Lifting weights increases muscle mass, provided your nutrition is sufficient. If it isn't, you shouldn't be lifting weights, as you'll at best be wasting your time.

Jay

Ok, this might be enough of a thread drift to prompt another thread, but I'm just going to ask.

What you're saying, Jay, is essentially a variation of the old wisdom that high reps & low weight are better for "toning" your muscles, whereas high weights and low reps are better for building bulk, right? That's the way I've understood it since high school PE.

Going of of this, I've long stayed away from doing weighted exercises. Go for more pullup reps, more pushups, more leg lifts, etc., in order to not add too much bulk.

However, once I started hangboarding, I realized the essentiality of adding weight for most efficient hypertrophy; up to 35 lbs or so. Now, I know that forearm training is kind of its own thing; I'm not really at risk of building too much bulk in my forearms. But, I'm still wondering, should I apply more weight to other exercises that, while not climbing specific, are intended to help my climbing?

To build better core for climbing, should I start doing lower reps of leg lifts, but with weight added? For antagonist muscles, should I move from trying to do 100 pushups, and towards fewer reps of bench presses? On the occasion that I do lockoffs or offset pullups, should I add weight?

I've been weighing the pros and cons of this for the last few months, and am wondering what others' experience/thoughts would be.

From my research on the interwebs and asking trainer who owns the gym I've been going to, this is the general breakdown of max reps with rest time:

3-6 reps w/ 2min+ rest = strength training
~8 reps w/ 1min rest = hypertrophy
10+ reps w/ 30-45 sec rest = endurance

I've seen slightly different numbers from different sources, but they're all in the same ball park. So from all this I gather we as climbers should keep the reps either low with long rests or high with short rests, but you want to stay out of that middle range.
I just looked this up online again. Most sites are saying hypertrophy to 10 and some even 12, and endurance 12+....but I think the rule of thumb of either low or high reps and avoiding that middle range still applies.


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Feb 15, 2012, 9:02 PM
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The routine that I described, that cycles between 10, 5, and 3 reps, is heavily oriented towards strength (which is appropriate for climbers). Here's what I found personally:

It is really important to build up a base before you start doing those heavy reps. Even if you decide not to cycle back to the ten rep sets, please start off your resistance training at the ten-rep level. Starting heavy is much more likely to end you up injured. I am not speaking hypothetically here.

I got the 10-5-3 cycle from an academic study on strength gains (sorry, this was quite a while ago and I don't have a reference). The study took four groups of college students and tested the mixed rep sets against constant ones. The group doing the mixed reps outgained all the groups at constant reps, both low, medium and high.

As for hypertrophy, I don't know. When I first started training, I could do 8 two-arm pullups. In the first year I think I gained about five pounds (of muscle). I'm not sure I remember correctly, but I think I was close to a one-arm pullup but not there. Over the following three years, I built up to seven one-arm pullups on each arm, with no weight gain and no significant change in muscle size. The same muscles just got way stronger, and this seems typical for people doing body-weight training.

Mechanisms I've heard about that explain strength gains without changes in muscle size are recruitment and the resetting of golgoi tendon organs. Someone who actually knows about this will have to explain, if indeed there is anything to these items. But my personal experience is that you can make vast strength gains with relatively little change in muscle size or density.

As for whether to do heavy reps or not, I think a common sense appraisal of what the training is for is appropriate. You wouldn't use heavy reps for antagonistic muscle training meant to decrease injury potential. You wouldn't use heavy reps for core training, because you typically don't need a burst of extremely high core strength. On the other hand, high repetitions of, say, pullups are pointless, because you don't need to do anything remotely like twenty pullups on any route, but it is conceivable that you might want a lot of power for a single move or two.

Training for extended periods of strenuous activity, like El Cap in a day, is another matter. Mark's use of very high-rep exercises is probably the way to go.


drivel


Feb 16, 2012, 7:53 AM
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hey Rich... can women do front levers? not trying to be a dick, just wondering 'cause I googled it on a lark and couldn't find any pictures of women doing them. tried Lynn Hill specifically and got nothing.


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Feb 16, 2012, 8:01 AM
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drivel wrote:
hey Rich... can women do front levers? not trying to be a dick, just wondering 'cause I googled it on a lark and couldn't find any pictures of women doing them. tried Lynn Hill specifically and got nothing.


I don't see why not, though google image search definitely doesn't show any women actually doing one (I saw a bunch of pictures of women "working towards" one.)

I've gotten pretty close when I tried to work on it half-ass-regularly for about a month.


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lena_chita wrote:
drivel wrote:
hey Rich... can women do front levers? not trying to be a dick, just wondering 'cause I googled it on a lark and couldn't find any pictures of women doing them. tried Lynn Hill specifically and got nothing.


I don't see why not, though google image search definitely doesn't show any women actually doing one (I saw a bunch of pictures of women "working towards" one.)

I've gotten pretty close when I tried to work on it half-ass-regularly for about a month.

In theory, I don't see why not. But remember, most women have 1 - a center of gravity lower on their bodies, and 2 - less upper body strength, and less ability to gain it quickly.

I think these two factors might add up to make it much more difficult for most women to get there, and near impossible for some.

GO


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lena_chita wrote:
drivel wrote:
hey Rich... can women do front levers? not trying to be a dick, just wondering 'cause I googled it on a lark and couldn't find any pictures of women doing them. tried Lynn Hill specifically and got nothing.


I don't see why not, though google image search definitely doesn't show any women actually doing one (I saw a bunch of pictures of women "working towards" one.)

I've gotten pretty close when I tried to work on it half-ass-regularly for about a month.

some of the guys at my gym have been working towards it recently, doing this ridik leg-lift/curlupintoaballandsuckyourowndick things, where they're hanging from the hangboard, and bring the knees up in the chest and then start curling like you're going to flip through, but just go as high as you can instead. the strong kids are doing sets of them. I tried it, and it does kick your ass. Mostly I've just been doing hanging leg lifts and pullups and some hangboard. I can do 3 sets of (8 hanging leg lifts+ 5 pullups) now, with the leg lifts getting past horizontal each time. I do think it helps/ correlates to being about to keep my feet up and on on the steeps.


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Feb 16, 2012, 8:43 AM
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cracklover wrote:
lena_chita wrote:
drivel wrote:
hey Rich... can women do front levers? not trying to be a dick, just wondering 'cause I googled it on a lark and couldn't find any pictures of women doing them. tried Lynn Hill specifically and got nothing.


I don't see why not, though google image search definitely doesn't show any women actually doing one (I saw a bunch of pictures of women "working towards" one.)

I've gotten pretty close when I tried to work on it half-ass-regularly for about a month.

In theory, I don't see why not. But remember, most women have 1 - a center of gravity lower on their bodies, and 2 - less upper body strength, and less ability to gain it quickly.

I think these two factors might add up to make it much more difficult for most women to get there, and near impossible for some.

GO

Yes, I thought about lower center of gravity. But if a 6ft+ guy can do it, surely even with lower center of gravity a 5ft tall woman has less force being leveraged on her upper body in the lever position than a 6ft+ tall guy does?


drivel


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lena_chita wrote:
cracklover wrote:
lena_chita wrote:
drivel wrote:
hey Rich... can women do front levers? not trying to be a dick, just wondering 'cause I googled it on a lark and couldn't find any pictures of women doing them. tried Lynn Hill specifically and got nothing.


I don't see why not, though google image search definitely doesn't show any women actually doing one (I saw a bunch of pictures of women "working towards" one.)

I've gotten pretty close when I tried to work on it half-ass-regularly for about a month.

In theory, I don't see why not. But remember, most women have 1 - a center of gravity lower on their bodies, and 2 - less upper body strength, and less ability to gain it quickly.

I think these two factors might add up to make it much more difficult for most women to get there, and near impossible for some.

GO

Yes, I thought about lower center of gravity. But if a 6ft+ guy can do it, surely even with lower center of gravity a 5ft tall woman has less force being leveraged on her upper body in the lever position than a 6ft+ tall guy does?

durpity


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drivel wrote:
lena_chita wrote:
drivel wrote:
hey Rich... can women do front levers? not trying to be a dick, just wondering 'cause I googled it on a lark and couldn't find any pictures of women doing them. tried Lynn Hill specifically and got nothing.


I don't see why not, though google image search definitely doesn't show any women actually doing one (I saw a bunch of pictures of women "working towards" one.)

I've gotten pretty close when I tried to work on it half-ass-regularly for about a month.

some of the guys at my gym have been working towards it recently, doing this ridik leg-lift/curlupintoaballandsuckyourowndick things, where they're hanging from the hangboard, and bring the knees up in the chest and then start curling like you're going to flip through, but just go as high as you can instead. the strong kids are doing sets of them. I tried it, and it does kick your ass. Mostly I've just been doing hanging leg lifts and pullups and some hangboard. I can do 3 sets of (8 hanging leg lifts+ 5 pullups) now, with the leg lifts getting past horizontal each time. I do think it helps/ correlates to being about to keep my feet up and on on the steeps.


I think I know what you are talking about, and if I understand it correctly, then yes, I can do a couple of them in a set. But in general that is something I am fairly good at (e.i. stuff like leg lifts with touching toes to hands). I don't find it to be very helpful for climbing in my case (maybe because I have other relative weaknesses, and this one is my relative strength, so I never fail because if this).

I feel like there is a key difference between anything involving leg lifts (where the abs muscles are contracting and shortening), vs. keeping your feet on while climbing the roof, where the abs muscles need to contract while at the same time not shortening much, and you need to be exerting an outward force through the legs/toes. To me, that feeling is replicated much more by a lever than by anything that involves lifting legs up, but without outward push.

LOL, regardless of whether any of this stuff is useful for climbing, you guys are inspiring me to actually start training again. Thanks!


Partner rgold


Feb 16, 2012, 2:29 PM
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Re: [drivel] weight training for advanced climbing [In reply to]
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drivel wrote:
hey Rich... can women do front levers? not trying to be a dick, just wondering 'cause I googled it on a lark and couldn't find any pictures of women doing them. tried Lynn Hill specifically and got nothing.

I've seen Lynne do multiple repetitions of pulling into front-lever position and dropping back to a vertical hang. I had the impression she couldn't (and wasn't interested in) holding the level position.

Although there are mass distribution differences between genders that might give some men an advantage in front levers over some women, I seriously doubt this is of any consequence. My take is that women are, in principle, stronger at strength-to-weight tasks then men (don't forget Lillian Leitzel's 26 one-arm pullups) and there is no reason other than, perhaps, a substantial lack of interest that would stop women from performing levers.

The same goes for other gymnastic feats of strength. Why do you suppose the women have different events than men in gymnastics? At least one reason is so that the genders won't be directly comparable, which might be distressing for male egos. Make the rings a women's event, give 'em a few years to get up to speed, and see what happens then.

drivel wrote:
some of the guys at my gym have been working towards it recently, doing this ridik leg-lift/curlupintoaballandsuckyourowndick things, where they're hanging from the hangboard, and bring the knees up in the chest and then start curling like you're going to flip through, but just go as high as you can instead.

This is the first step of a standard progression used for learning levers without tubing. You go from that to the same thing but with one leg up and with one leg fully extended to performing lever with legs in a straddle position



to, finally, a full lever




(This post was edited by rgold on Feb 16, 2012, 2:41 PM)


drivel


Feb 16, 2012, 2:39 PM
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Re: [rgold] weight training for advanced climbing [In reply to]
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rgold wrote:
drivel wrote:
hey Rich... can women do front levers? not trying to be a dick, just wondering 'cause I googled it on a lark and couldn't find any pictures of women doing them. tried Lynn Hill specifically and got nothing.

I've seen Lynne do multiple repetitions of pulling into front-lever position and dropping back to a vertical hang. I had the impression she couldn't (and wasn't interested in) holding the level position.

Although there are mass distribution differences between genders that might give some men an advantage in front levers over some women, I seriously doubt this is of any consequence. My take is that women are, in principle, stronger at strength-to-weight tasks then men (don't forget Lillian Leitzel's 26 one-arm pullups) and there is no reason other than, perhaps, a substantial lack of interest that would stop women from performing levers.

The same goes for other gymnastic feats of strength. Why do you suppose the women have different events than men in gymnastics? At least one reason is so that the genders won't be directly comparable, which might be distressing for male egos. Make the rings a women's event, give 'em a few years to get up to speed, and see what happens then.
\

cool. and I have wondered that, actually. both why men and women don't do any of the same gymnastics events in general and why women don't do rings, specifically.


noahfor


Feb 16, 2012, 8:37 PM
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Re: [rgold] weight training for advanced climbing [In reply to]
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Women are not stronger than men on a pound for pound basis, and especially not when it comes to upper body strength. Women would not be able to compete with men at the gymnastic rings. Male gymnasts have some of the most impressive upper bodies out of all athletes, and it's not for show. It takes a phenomenal amount of absolute strength to do those moves.

A true front lever, with the arms perfectly straight, takes a lot of shoulder, chest, and back strength. I could see this being a problem for women with certain body types.


Durin


Feb 16, 2012, 10:39 PM
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Re: [granite_grrl] weight training for advanced climbing [In reply to]
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granite_grrl wrote:
I'm not interested in the 5.10 climber telling me how awesome pullups have been for them and their climbing, or people telling me how amazing Crossfit is for this kind of thing. I'm hoping to hear from people who climb 5.12 and above on how they used specific weight training to help them climb harder, what they did and how it helped. Thanks.

I tried http://thealpinetrainingcenter.com/ weight training to break through into 5.12. Got pretty damn "fit." Didn't help as much as hoped.

Going ice climbing every weekend and sport climbing every wednesday last winter helped me really break through though.

A friend tried crossfit, didn't do crap for him. He's been following Ramon Julian's rhythm for over a year, now he's sending about 13b consistently.


shotwell


Feb 18, 2012, 5:27 PM
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Re: [rgold] weight training for advanced climbing [In reply to]
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Upon reflection, I've realized I probably just have way more lock off strength than originally suspected.

A partial list of times that I lock off includes: getting into drop knees, big moves with my feet under me, moving up off of high heel hooks, moving up off of high flag moves, most climbing in no fall zones, topping out, getting out of drop knees, and moving in a variety of undercling arrangements.

I really didn't put a lot of thought into how I was using this strength before, but it is pervasive across just about all of my climbing. Even when I initiate dynamically into these moves, I'm still using lock off strength during part of the move. This took a bit of reflection and video review to pick up on as I don't do a lot of the traditional 'high feet and crank up' locking off.

G-girl, especially if you have trouble locking off, developing that strength can't hurt. Having that strength to use creatively can be immensely helpful, especially if you take the time to learn to initiate movements after you've locked off. It is way more than just reaching high.


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