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lena_chita
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Dec 3, 2012, 8:30 AM
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Incorporating hangboard into training
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This came up in discussion at the gym the other day, and I realized that I do not know the answer to it, so here goes... The question is bolded, below, but first, background.

First of all, I am familiar with Mike Anderson's Rockprodigy training plan(http://www.rockclimbing.com/...ockprodigy__258.html) and various other periodisation schemes, such as the one followed by Ryan Palo. (http://ryanpalo.blogspot.com/p/training.html

The key feature of periodization plans is, well, PERIODIZATION. You commit to doing a cycle of several weeks of Endurance, several weeks of Hypertrophy (hangboard), several weeks of max recruitment (campus board), and several weeks of power endurance, followed by the peak/performance period. The length of each period is somewhat dependent on the goals and type of climbing you do.

If you follow the plan, such as outlined by rockprodigy, you commit to weeks of doing hangboard INSTEAD of climbing, because to do the hangboard workout in it's entirety takes 1.5-2 hrs, and if you do it at a proper intensity 2-3 times a week, you will be unable to climb anywhere near your max, anyway, so all the climbing you do during the weeks of hypertrophy or max recruitment is limited to traversing for warmups/cool downs, and other easy climbing as opportunity presents.



BUT, there are also various hangboard workout out there, everything from metolius's sample 10-20-30 min workouts to Moonboard workouts, that seem to exist on their own, not within any multi-week training plans.

These workouts also seem to be shorter/less intense, and thus theoretically possible to incorporate into climbing schedule without giving up "just climbing" for weeks and months.

So, the question that came up during discussion is this:

Rockprodigy plan works -- because I personally have seen evidence that people who follow this plan see improvement in the grade they are climbing during the peak period. Is there evidence that incorporating a hangboard workout into a regular climbing schedule, instead of following a periodization plan, ALSO works?

To me, it seems like it would work less well, if at all, but I had no evidence other than gut feeling to counteract the argument along the lines of "well, doing something is always better than NOT doing it, so it is better to do hangboard once a week than not do it at all".
I am skeptical because I have seen multiple examples of people who do 10-20 min of something on the hangboard after climbing in the gym, and I am yet to see any evidence that they derive any benefit from it.

Just to be clear, we are talking something like doing the regular gym climbing on Tue/Thur/Sat, and then ALSO doing a hangboard workout on Fri, or, doing regular climbing on Tue/Thur/Sat and finishing up the climbing session by 30 min of hangboarding.

I am interested in personal experience of people who have done something like this.

But I am NOT interested in hearing 'I do 40 pullups and 40 leg lifts on hangboard after every climbing session and it TOTALLY works'.

I am only interested in hearing your hangboard workout plan if you can back it up by a statement such as this: I was climbing at 5.12/V5 (or whatever) grade for several years, and when I started doing this workout I had gone to climbing 5.13/V8 (insert applicable grades).


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Do you have links to any such campus training regimes? Ones that are designed to supplement rather than replace climbing?

I would happily be a guinea pig for such a routine, because I'm very interested in gaining pure power - it feels like a weak point in my climbing - but am not interested in giving up all of my climbing time.

GO


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For agglomeration, and not thread theft purposes - article on finger training by Eva López, published in a peer reviewed journal


lena_chita
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Dec 3, 2012, 10:37 AM
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cracklover wrote:
Do you have links to any such campus training regimes? Ones that are designed to supplement rather than replace climbing?

I would happily be a guinea pig for such a routine, because I'm very interested in gaining pure power - it feels like a weak point in my climbing - but am not interested in giving up all of my climbing time.

GO

If you mean hangboard (not campus, as you wrote), then yes. But to be a stickler for terms, hangboard does not give you power.

For example, metolius 10-20-30min hangboard workouts:

http://www.metoliusclimbing.com/...ng_giude_10_min.html


Moom board workout:

http://www.moonclimbing.com/...board-training-plan/


And here is the one from Nicros:

http://www.nicros.com/...ard-training-part-1/


The larger (and VERY unclear to me) question is, how such workouts should be incorporated into climbing training.

Rockprodigy's plan tells you not only WHAT to do on a hangboard, but how frequently, in what time frame, and how to track progress.

The other "training" articles, tell you want to do on the hangboard, but not really how often, and over what time frame, or how to fit it into your climbing schedule, and what sort of gains to expect or how to track them.


What I typically see in the gym is people doing pullups and various hangs/leg lifts on a hangboard, about 15-20 minutes of it, total, at the end of their "just-climbing" day, when they feel like doing it. maybe once this week, and maybe twice next week, and then maybe not again until three weeks later.

It seems to give them satisfaction, and it is fun (I have joined in, on occasion, too), but people who do it are climbing at the same level now as they climbed two-three years ago, and often at a level below the not-particularly-remarkable level that I am climbing at, so I do not believe that this sort of 'training" is actually doing anything, other than making people feel good about themselves.


climb4free


Dec 3, 2012, 11:20 AM
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I too have done a close variation of RockProdigy's plan. My explanation of "close variation" is this. I did pretty close to verbatim for my winter training block. Then, due to many factors, family, MN weather, etc., I do not fully subscribe to the path of doing cycle after cycle throughout the year as I would rather be in performance mode at a moments notice during the rare cooperative weather and family schedules. I know that this is lowering my pure peak-performance but I do feel the gradual and consistent gains. So throughout the remainder of the year, I meld a watered down periodization with as much route milage as I can.

In that first year I went from onsight 5.10c to 5.11c and redpoint 5.11b to 5.12a.

I have asked myself similar questions about the role of hangboarding in my future training. And from my kinesiology background I have come up with this revelation: One threshold I have never even teased is the pure volume of training amount. So, I am looking at adding a couple quick (20-30 min) hangboard workouts in the mornings. Particularly on days where my evening workout is more stamina or endurance focused.

Strength athletes do this type of training split all the time, granted they are working different body parts AM vs PM. But in my case, I will be working different energy systems.

We'll see...


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lena_chita wrote:
cracklover wrote:
Do you have links to any such campus training regimes? Ones that are designed to supplement rather than replace climbing?

I would happily be a guinea pig for such a routine, because I'm very interested in gaining pure power - it feels like a weak point in my climbing - but am not interested in giving up all of my climbing time.

GO

If you mean hangboard (not campus, as you wrote), then yes. But to be a stickler for terms, hangboard does not give you power.

For example, metolius 10-20-30min hangboard workouts:

http://www.metoliusclimbing.com/...ng_giude_10_min.html


Moom board workout:

http://www.moonclimbing.com/...board-training-plan/


And here is the one from Nicros:

http://www.nicros.com/...ard-training-part-1/


The larger (and VERY unclear to me) question is, how such workouts should be incorporated into climbing training.

Rockprodigy's plan tells you not only WHAT to do on a hangboard, but how frequently, in what time frame, and how to track progress.

The other "training" articles, tell you want to do on the hangboard, but not really how often, and over what time frame, or how to fit it into your climbing schedule, and what sort of gains to expect or how to track them.


What I typically see in the gym is people doing pullups and various hangs/leg lifts on a hangboard, about 15-20 minutes of it, total, at the end of their "just-climbing" day, when they feel like doing it. maybe once this week, and maybe twice next week, and then maybe not again until three weeks later.

It seems to give them satisfaction, and it is fun (I have joined in, on occasion, too), but people who do it are climbing at the same level now as they climbed two-three years ago, and often at a level below the not-particularly-remarkable level that I am climbing at, so I do not believe that this sort of 'training" is actually doing anything, other than making people feel good about themselves.

Oh, okay. What are hangboards supposed to give you?

And yeah, I'm looking at gaining power, and wanting to find a decent campus-board workout.

Sorry - I've nothing to offer this thread.

Cheers,

GO


lena_chita
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Dec 3, 2012, 11:36 AM
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climb4free wrote:
I too have done a close variation of RockProdigy's plan. My explanation of "close variation" is this. I did pretty close to verbatim for my winter training block. Then, due to many factors, family, MN weather, etc., I do not fully subscribe to the path of doing cycle after cycle throughout the year as I would rather be in performance mode at a moments notice during the rare cooperative weather and family schedules. I know that this is lowering my pure peak-performance but I do feel the gradual and consistent gains. So throughout the remainder of the year, I meld a watered down periodization with as much route milage as I can.

In that first year I went from onsight 5.10c to 5.11c and redpoint 5.11b to 5.12a.

I have asked myself similar questions about the role of hangboarding in my future training. And from my kinesiology background I have come up with this revelation: One threshold I have never even teased is the pure volume of training amount. So, I am looking at adding a couple quick (20-30 min) hangboard workouts in the mornings. Particularly on days where my evening workout is more stamina or endurance focused.

Strength athletes do this type of training split all the time, granted they are working different body parts AM vs PM. But in my case, I will be working different energy systems.

We'll see...


How many cycles per year do you anticipate, if you were doing the cycle exactly? Sounds like you are doing short cycles?

I can only see doing two cycles in a year -- training in winter for spring climbing season, and training in summer for fall climbing season.

I agree with you, doing a full-on long cycle of periodisation does not fit well with the kind of climbing schedule that I can manage. I am not likely to go on a two-week-long trip during my "peak" phase, and cannot not even commit to climbing every single weekend for a month, so it doesn't necessarily make sense to sacrifice 3 months worth of climbing for 3 weekends of "peak performance".

This is the reason why I had refrained from following periodisation training plan before. But I have decided to do a winter training cycle following Mike Anderson's plan. I should be able to do a cycle without major disruption, and I guess I'll see in spring if it was worth it.

I am not sure what you mean by ' watered down perisodisation" melded with volume training. Do you mind providing details?

My original question is not so much about WHAT I SHOULD DO-- I know what I am planning on doing. It is more about whether there is evidence of something else working, namely, throwing a few hangboard sessions here and there in regular climbing.


lena_chita
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Dec 3, 2012, 11:50 AM
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cracklover wrote:
lena_chita wrote:
cracklover wrote:
Do you have links to any such campus training regimes? Ones that are designed to supplement rather than replace climbing?

I would happily be a guinea pig for such a routine, because I'm very interested in gaining pure power - it feels like a weak point in my climbing - but am not interested in giving up all of my climbing time.

GO

If you mean hangboard (not campus, as you wrote), then yes. But to be a stickler for terms, hangboard does not give you power.

For example, metolius 10-20-30min hangboard workouts:

http://www.metoliusclimbing.com/...ng_giude_10_min.html


Moom board workout:

http://www.moonclimbing.com/...board-training-plan/


And here is the one from Nicros:

http://www.nicros.com/...ard-training-part-1/


The larger (and VERY unclear to me) question is, how such workouts should be incorporated into climbing training.

Rockprodigy's plan tells you not only WHAT to do on a hangboard, but how frequently, in what time frame, and how to track progress.

The other "training" articles, tell you want to do on the hangboard, but not really how often, and over what time frame, or how to fit it into your climbing schedule, and what sort of gains to expect or how to track them.


What I typically see in the gym is people doing pullups and various hangs/leg lifts on a hangboard, about 15-20 minutes of it, total, at the end of their "just-climbing" day, when they feel like doing it. maybe once this week, and maybe twice next week, and then maybe not again until three weeks later.

It seems to give them satisfaction, and it is fun (I have joined in, on occasion, too), but people who do it are climbing at the same level now as they climbed two-three years ago, and often at a level below the not-particularly-remarkable level that I am climbing at, so I do not believe that this sort of 'training" is actually doing anything, other than making people feel good about themselves.

Oh, okay. What are hangboards supposed to give you?

And yeah, I'm looking at gaining power, and wanting to find a decent campus-board workout.

Sorry - I've nothing to offer this thread.

Cheers,

GO


Hangboard is supposed to increase contact strength and forearm hypertrophy.

As far as campus board training, I plan to do simple ladders myself during the campus training phase (max recruitment) because that is all I can do at the moment.

Ben Moon has campus board workouts that might be useful for you:

http://www.moonclimbing.com/...ool/campus-boarding/


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Thanks!

GO


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Hey Lena,

The most efficient, quickest way to improve is through periodization. And, it is unusually good for climbers who live in areas that have long periods of shitty climbing outside (like Cleveland). Given those premises, it is not surprising that you have not seen many climbers in your gym benefiting from incorporating hangboard routines into otherwise intense climbing sessions– if a climber has the discipline and foresight to properly hangboard train at all in your area, they will do so in a periodized routine.

That said, I have heard of other climbers either 1) doing a lighter workout as part of a greater bouldering/training session, or 2) doing a heavy-duty workout once a week, and climbing the rest of the week. The drawback is that you will not see the rapid gains in strength that you would from a routine devoted solely to hangboarding.

Also, keep in mind that you can (and should) still do tons of lower-intensity ARCing, traversing, and warming up, both before and after hangboarding. So you'll still be climbing a bit, just not bouldering at your max.


Lokie


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I began a regimented hangboard routine at the end of the summer. My training involved a series of 7 grips, doing 5x5second weighted hangs with 2 minutes of rest between, and adding weight weekly. I did this twice per week for 12 weeks. By the end of the schedule, I had increased the added weight from 10 --> 40 lbs, increased my hardest onsight (12a --> 12c) and matched my hardest redpoint of 13b, which took me a year of projecting to get the first time, in 5 tries.

I added my routine to my my normal climbing. I was only climbing Saturday and Sunday, with just generally fitness stuff during the week, to doing the hangboarding Tues/Thurs, with general fitness stuff getting shuffled to only M/W/F. Take it for what you will, but the training absolutely worked for me.


granite_grrl


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Lena, I tried hang boarding for the first time last year on a casual level and found I gained improvement. Winter is still an "ON" season for me so prioritization doesn't really work when I'm still trying to push my self physically on the weekend ice/mixed climbing.

I came out of winter with better grip strength than I had going in (which is pretty cool on account I spend most of my winter hanging onto icetool jugs). But I don't know if you'd be satisfied with the results (while I did experience gains the gains weren't huge).

FWIW I only did one hang board session a week, probably around the level of the Metolious session or a little harder and went ice/mixed climbing on the weekends.


melp2718


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I follow a somewhat strict training plan that involves fingerboarding, climbing, as well as general fitness stuff. The plan has two versions "in season" which for me is usually every weekend climbing at Rumney and "off season".

I realize I am going to get flamed for over training, but I have followed a very similar schedule for years. My finger-board numbers keep going up. This type of training took me from climbing 5.13b/v8 to a maximum of 5.14b/v11. I haven't seen a huge amount of progress in the last few years, however. I am a normal working guy(with an extremely supporting family). I had a sporting back-ground, but I didn't start climbing until my mid 20's.




In season:

Monday am: weightlifting. mostly power-oriented olympic style lifts(power snatches and power cleans). Some deadlifts, weighted pullups, back extensions, and front lever work. I am not convinced this is helpful, but after years of doing nothing that wasn't directly applicable to climbing I got a little bored.

Monday pm: 8-7-6 fingerboard workout. This is a little hard to describe but here it goes. Start with one grip. Perform 8 reps of hanging 7s and resting 3. Now rest for 90 seconds. Perform 7 reps. Rest 90 seconds. Perform 6 reps. Rest 3 minutes and switch grips. I do 5 total grips. If I am successful with all of the hangs for a certain grip, I add 2 pounds the next session.

Tuesday am: This fall I rested. Although I am thinking of doing some power endurance intervals on my home-wall this spring.

Tuesday pm: Climb at the local climbing gym(Maine rock gym). I don't really see this as super serious climbing. Mostly I try and flash as many problems as I can, and socialize. If the problems are getting stale I sometimes climb in a weight belt.

Wednesday am: fingerboard workout: Similar to Monday except with 5-4-3 reps. Since there are fewer reps there is obviously more weight.

Wednesday pm: Bouldering on my home wall. This wall is 50 degrees overhanging and 8ft x 12ft. I work both 1-3 and 3-5 move boulder problems during this session.

Thursday am: nothing

Thursday pm: Fingerboard. Similar to the others, except 2-1-1 reps. The weight here is a lot heavier than any other session. 1/3 of the time I skip this session. Even though I use the most weight in this session I find that it taxes me least of all.

Friday: Complete rest.

Sat-Sun: Climbing at Rumney. I have climbed there for years so all I have left to climb are long-ish and very long term projects.

The off-season schedule is similar, but I'll add a few sessions. An extra weightlifting day, an extra home-wall session of my choice, another day at the gym, and some cardio if I am feel like the only thing that kept me from sending my project last season was 8 pounds.

You can check out some of my workout logs here if you are interested:
http://robotclimbing.blogspot.com/p/training-charts-and-log.html
Don't mind the mediocre training blog that it is attached too however.

After climbing my max a few years ago I haven't really had the heart to stay really light. This is important for me to climb 5.14. I find that I can boulder pretty hard without watching what I eat, so thats why it seems like my boulder sends have been better in the last few years. You can look me up on 8a and see the progress if you like: my name is Michael Penn.


(This post was edited by melp2718 on Dec 3, 2012, 6:13 PM)


Syd


Dec 3, 2012, 7:01 PM
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Lena, I've been using a Metolius Simulator for the past couple of years. I do various bits whenever I pass by it plus their standard 10 min. session a couple of times a week. I only get to climb one day a week.
I'm 64 and have been climbing 15 years. Before using the hangboard, my grades had levelled out at around 21-22 (5.11a) for several years, now I've moved up about 2+ grades and still improving. When I started on the hangboard, I could only hang from the smallest edges for a couple of seconds, now my best is 40 seconds. It took me a long time to stick the 45's but now my best is 20 seconds. I'm very much a fan of the Metolius. I workout for 2 hours a day but never entirely on the hangboard.


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Thanks everyone! melp, that was very helpful, though not quite the level of training that my body can sustain at this point.

I see that there is a lot of variations, but the general theme is the same. I'm finalizing my plan for the next~3 months. Hopefully I'll have something worth reporting back after the cycle is over.


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Hello,

Go on the training forum on Mountian Project and email Will S; shouldn't be hard to find, he posts in thta forum frquently. He seems to have the best perspective on how to fit hangboarding into a training regimen.


elmayimbe


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It seems a lot of euros definitely advocate integrating short hangboard sessions with other climbing, pretty much throughout the year. Important keys for hangboard sessions are to be well-rested and keep volume low, so they focus on improving maximum strength/power and you still have reserves/skin to climb routes/boulder.

If you haven't already, you should check out Eva Lopez's blog: http://eva-lopez.blogspot.com/

Here is a part of a comment from her when someone posed a question similar to your topic:

No matter what phase of the season I'm on, I NEVER abandon finger strength training and boulder. As long as we place carefully the maximum strength sessions, at the beginning of the workout and preferably separated from intensive strength-endurance days or days of high volume; and as long as we observe the 48-hour rest between strength sessions, we will achieve a better finger strength. Consequently the first part of my planning is based on a lot of boulder, both short and long, with complete rest, and also endurance; in the second phase there's short and long boulder with incomplete rest and power endurance, but always keeping the maximum strength and hard boulder work; in the final part the contents are similar to those of the competition or project, alternating with short sessions of high-intensity and power exercises.


jbro_135


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A number of people on my team use hangboarding to supplement regular climbing and other exercises. The keys for them are to keep the volume very low and focus on increasing max strength by adding weight. They tend to cycle a few weeks of hangboarding with a few weeks off, so as not to overload themselves. Then we'll focus on other training objectives for a few weeks.

Don't try to do this before or after a 4 hour gym session. We only do 3 hour sessions once a week, and try to keep other sessions to two hours or less, with plenty of rest in between. Burning out or getting injured will set you back in a big way, and you won't see maximum gains if you're overtraining.

We do regular fitness testing on an apparatus that measures finger power, and the climbers following this program are definitely seeing gains, not just in climbing ability but in measurable finger strength. We also measure maximum campus throw distance, maximum two move campus ability, rockover testing for shoulder power, and maximum weighted pull-ups.


DouglasHunter


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jbro_135 wrote:
We do regular fitness testing on an apparatus that measures finger power, and the climbers following this program are definitely seeing gains, not just in climbing ability but in measurable finger strength. We also measure maximum campus throw distance, maximum two move campus ability, rockover testing for shoulder power, and maximum weighted pull-ups.

Have you published this field work anywhere? Or made it available for others to see?


jbro_135


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Re: [DouglasHunter] Incorporating hangboard into training [In reply to]
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I'm not involved, i'm just on a team that gets tested. It's done through Flashed in Calgary. It's still in very early stages, so the tests are sometimes changing. I'm sure you could get in touch with them if you want to find out more.


mr.tastycakes


Feb 1, 2013, 3:32 PM
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Re: [lena_chita] Incorporating hangboard into training [In reply to]
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I've had some success incorporating hangboard work into a periodization-for-dummies training program - 3 weeks of bouldering/finger strength training, followed by 3 weeks of routes/endurance training, then a week of rest (rinse and repeat).

Specifically, I've been doing max single hangs of 5-8 seconds as advocated by Dave Macleod (among others). That's 3 grips, 4 hangs per grip, with a minute between hangs, and 3 minutes rest between grips. That's less than 20 minutes for the workout. I do that 2 x per week during my bouldering phase, and once every 10 days or so for maintenance at other times. I don't do anything else except a thorough, movement-focused warmup on fingerboard days (45 min to 1 hour).

I spent my first 3-week cycle last fall dialing in my hangs, figuring out which hangboards at my gym I liked best, which grips to train, how much weight to add, etc. I sent my first plastic V7 (take it for what it's worth) near the end of that cycle. During the next fingerboard cycle I had my hangs dialed and was able to make an honest 15% increase in strength/weight ratio on both 4-finger and 3 finger open grips. I also "graduated" to the 45 degree sloper on the beastmaker 2000. During that cycle I sent 3 gym V6's over several sessions, none taking more than 5-10 tries. Last fall I was very inconsistent at that grade, now I expect a send.

So, yeah, I think fingerboarding has helped nudge me past a plateau I'd been on for the last 2 years (consistent bouldering grade from V5 to V6). I'm working endurance right now, but in a few weeks I'm back to the fingerboard and anxious to see if the gains continue and are sustainable in the long run. I'll report back.

The rockprodigy fingerboard routine ("repeaters") is a lot more time consuming than max hangs, and Dave Mac and Eva Lopez argue it works AE more than max strength.

Hope this helps.


strikehard


Feb 5, 2013, 8:38 AM
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Re: [lena_chita] Incorporating hangboard into training [In reply to]
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did you find a conclusion ? what are you going to do after this topic ?
1)incorporating a hangboard workout into a regular climbing schedule
or
2)following a periodization plan and do it (hangingboard) at a proper intensity 2-3 times a week


lena_chita
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Feb 5, 2013, 10:45 AM
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Re: [strikehard] Incorporating hangboard into training [In reply to]
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strikehard wrote:
did you find a conclusion ? what are you going to do after this topic ?
1)incorporating a hangboard workout into a regular climbing schedule
or
2)following a periodization plan and do it (hangingboard) at a proper intensity 2-3 times a week

I am going with choice (2). Finished hangboard phase (Went up 30 lb from where I started over the course of 7 weeks), and just started next phase.


wmfork


Feb 5, 2013, 1:19 PM
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Re: [lena_chita] Incorporating hangboard into training [In reply to]
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I think it's a bit unfair to compare your gain at the end of each dedicated training phase to a program that incorporates those elements in a regular climbing schedule. A better gauge would be to compare the gains between cycles.

Last year, I went through some periodized training as well as some specific phases (for what I thought I was lacking at the moment, be it PE, strength, power). While the gain for each phase was impressive, it came at the expense of others (I could never achieve my max finger strength, power and endurance all at once, as evident on the routes I was projecting). At the end of the year, while I did become a stronger climber overall, it was by nowhere the amount I thought I'd achieve based on gains in individual phases (1-2 letter grades, on par or slightly better than the year before when I mostly climbed).

For me, the jury is still out on which is more effective in the long term. Although I do agree the specific workouts shouldn't be done as an after thought to general climbing (i.e. do them while you are fresh).

(This post was edited by wmfork on Feb 5, 2013, 1:26 PM)


lena_chita
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Feb 6, 2013, 10:51 AM
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Re: [wmfork] Incorporating hangboard into training [In reply to]
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wmfork wrote:
I think it's a bit unfair to compare your gain at the end of each dedicated training phase to a program that incorporates those elements in a regular climbing schedule. A better gauge would be to compare the gains between cycles.

I agree.

wmfork wrote:
Last year, I went through some periodized training as well as some specific phases (for what I thought I was lacking at the moment, be it PE, strength, power). While the gain for each phase was impressive, it came at the expense of others (I could never achieve my max finger strength, power and endurance all at once, as evident on the routes I was projecting). At the end of the year, while I did become a stronger climber overall, it was by nowhere the amount I thought I'd achieve based on gains in individual phases (1-2 letter grades, on par or slightly better than the year before when I mostly climbed).

I think there is research out there (as well as personal experience) that would indicate that you can't be at your maximum power AND maximum endurance at the same time, so that doesn't surprise me.

But, if your max "peak" power gets better, and your max "best" endurance capacity gets better, then even when you are in the in-between phase, you still are climbing better than before.

I am not sure I understand your description of how much stronger you got. You got 1-2 letter grades stronger than the previous year, when you just climbed, or you EXPECTED to get 1-2 letter grades stronger, based on results you were seeing with each phase of training, and you didn't actually redpoint 1-2 grades stronger than before the training?

Care to elaborate? Also, not to sound grade-ist, but it does sort of matter whether you are talking about improving from 5.10a to 5.10c after your training, or you are talking about improving from 5.13d to 5.14b.

wmfork wrote:
For me, the jury is still out on which is more effective in the long term. Although I do agree the specific workouts shouldn't be done as an after thought to general climbing (i.e. do them while you are fresh).

I guess I'll see how my personal experience goes. Agreed about the second part, of course.


wmfork


Feb 6, 2013, 1:32 PM
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Re: [lena_chita] Incorporating hangboard into training [In reply to]
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lena_chita wrote:
But, if your max "peak" power gets better, and your max "best" endurance capacity gets better, then even when you are in the in-between phase, you still are climbing better than before.
While I agree with that in general, my experience last year felt like playing a game of wack-a-mole: I'd do a fingerboard or campus/bouldering or PE phase and absolutely crushes each phase individually, but I had a hard time making the gain in each phase "stick".

My year sort of went like this:
I had a sport project (hard and consistent 4-5 bolt section) that required a combination of PE, finger strength and bouldering power. I started the year with good finger strength & realized I needed more PE to send the route. I trained PE for a few weeks, came back feeling great, but couldn't do the fingery start. I worked the finger strength back in, but then wouldn't be able to finish off the last bouldery move at the end of the hard climbing. I go back to bouldering, got strong & finally sent the route, taking early summer to early fall (thank god that wasn't all I did climbing wise), much longer than I thought it'd take.

At the end of the year, my redpoint capability moved from 13- to 13c ish, compared to 12d to 13- the year before where I just climbed mostly. Of course, it's hard to say I should have expected the same gain one year after a good climbing year, but I also became more of a one trick pony: I couldn't onsight as close to my redpoint grade and I couldn't redpoint my physical limit as easily (I didn't have the ability to "fight" thru the redpoint: it either feels easy or I fall off).


lena_chita
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Feb 7, 2013, 6:46 AM
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Re: [wmfork] Incorporating hangboard into training [In reply to]
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wmfork wrote:
lena_chita wrote:
But, if your max "peak" power gets better, and your max "best" endurance capacity gets better, then even when you are in the in-between phase, you still are climbing better than before.
While I agree with that in general, my experience last year felt like playing a game of wack-a-mole: I'd do a fingerboard or campus/bouldering or PE phase and absolutely crushes each phase individually, but I had a hard time making the gain in each phase "stick".

My year sort of went like this:
I had a sport project (hard and consistent 4-5 bolt section) that required a combination of PE, finger strength and bouldering power. I started the year with good finger strength & realized I needed more PE to send the route. I trained PE for a few weeks, came back feeling great, but couldn't do the fingery start. I worked the finger strength back in, but then wouldn't be able to finish off the last bouldery move at the end of the hard climbing. I go back to bouldering, got strong & finally sent the route, taking early summer to early fall (thank god that wasn't all I did climbing wise), much longer than I thought it'd take.

Interesting. When it comes to sending a project, I have never found anything to be a better approach than simply getting on the project. The closest I've ever come to "training" for a specific project that i felt was helpful was to create couple boulder problems that kinda-sorta re-created the cruxy sections of the project and climb those problems in between my bi-weekly attempts at the project.

Devil's in the details on stuff like that, and personal interpretation of what various training terms mean, and how it applies in your specific situation. For example, when you were training PE, were you really training PE, or were you in reality doing more E than PE? And when you say that you got strong bouldering, is that really just P, or is it, in fact, closer to the PE training that you may have wanted to train earlier, but didn't?

None of it is standardized, and what I picture when you say PE may be very different than what you actually did for the PE phase, and maybe neither my interpretation of PE, nor yours, is strictly correct...


wmfork wrote:
At the end of the year, my redpoint capability moved from 13- to 13c ish, compared to 12d to 13- the year before where I just climbed mostly. Of course, it's hard to say I should have expected the same gain one year after a good climbing year, but I also became more of a one trick pony: I couldn't onsight as close to my redpoint grade and I couldn't redpoint my physical limit as easily (I didn't have the ability to "fight" thru the redpoint: it either feels easy or I fall off).

I would consider this a very decent improvement, but I can see what you mean about your improvement being comparable, at least grade-wise, with two different approaches.


Partner camhead


Feb 7, 2013, 7:02 AM
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Re: [lena_chita] Incorporating hangboard into training [In reply to]
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lena_chita wrote:

Devil's in the details on stuff like that, and personal interpretation of what various training terms mean, and how it applies in your specific situation. For example, when you were training PE, were you really training PE, or were you in reality doing more E than PE? And when you say that you got strong bouldering, is that really just P, or is it, in fact, closer to the PE training that you may have wanted to train earlier, but didn't?

None of it is standardized, and what I picture when you say PE may be very different than what you actually did for the PE phase, and maybe neither my interpretation of PE, nor yours, is strictly correct...

The more I mull over it and do specified training, the more I realize that nearly EVERYTHING is PE training.

Most boulder problems that are more than 3 moves (especially at my gym where the best problems are 8-10 moves long, on a 70 degree overhang) have some small component of endurance to them. Hangboard repeaters are more of an endurance exercise than a pure strength thing, too (though with next to no power component). And even when I do some sort of ARCing or >10 minute traverse, I still occasionally throw in a slightly difficult move.

On to wmfork's broader question of periodization versus just climbing, I have seen no definite evidence one way or another for me, or for people that I've anecdotaly observed.

One friend, who has little free time, a family, and a full time job, became a sold 5.14- climber through periodization. But I also know people who have made great gains by either climbing a lot, or simply by being unusually gifted, physically and mentally.

For me (sorry, gonna spray), I have not seen an magic bullet solutions through periodization. I was stuck in the 12+ zone for years, gradually consolidated my technique and familiarity with diverse climbing styles, and then, in 2011, devoted more time to climbing than I ever did before. I broke into 13s, and by the time the year was over, I had redpointed 13a enduro, technical face, bouldery power, and crack routes. This was all just by climbing a LOT, including a full-time summer roadtrip. No structured training.

The next year, 2012, I began my first periodized training routine, and managed to redpoint one 13b, so I suppose that, technically this was a gain. Instead of climbing for a whole summer, I took most of the summer off, and then managed to redpoint one more hard 13a (without doing anymore training), which was more of a subtle technical route than one of pure fitness.

Right now, I am able to do nothing BUT hangboard, due to a broken foot, and am feeling really strong in the fingers and forearms. But because of the injury, I have pretty low expectations for what this spring will bring.


lena_chita
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Feb 7, 2013, 7:45 AM
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Re: [camhead] Incorporating hangboard into training [In reply to]
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camhead wrote:
The more I mull over it and do specified training, the more I realize that nearly EVERYTHING is PE training.

Most boulder problems that are more than 3 moves (especially at my gym where the best problems are 8-10 moves long, on a 70 degree overhang) have some small component of endurance to them. Hangboard repeaters are more of an endurance exercise than a pure strength thing, too (though with next to no power component). And even when I do some sort of ARCing or >10 minute traverse, I still occasionally throw in a slightly difficult move.

I guess people who say that I set "endurance-y" boulder problems (10-12 moves) have a point. Tongue

More seriously though, yes, I agree, everything that is more than couple moves long has some endurance component to it, and PE is a spectrum.

The scientist in me would really like to quantitate it somehow. Sigh.


camhead wrote:
For me (sorry, gonna spray), I have not seen an magic bullet solutions through periodization. I was stuck in the 12+ zone for years, gradually consolidated my technique and familiarity with diverse climbing styles, and then, in 2011, devoted more time to climbing than I ever did before. I broke into 13s, and by the time the year was over, I had redpointed 13a enduro, technical face, bouldery power, and crack routes. This was all just by climbing a LOT, including a full-time summer roadtrip. No structured training.

The next year, 2012, I began my first periodized training routine, and managed to redpoint one 13b, so I suppose that, technically this was a gain. Instead of climbing for a whole summer, I took most of the summer off, and then managed to redpoint one more hard 13a (without doing anymore training), which was more of a subtle technical route than one of pure fitness.

Right now, I am able to do nothing BUT hangboard, due to a broken foot, and am feeling really strong in the fingers and forearms. But because of the injury, I have pretty low expectations for what this spring will bring.


You are getting to the other thing that is often overlooked in these sorts of discussions, and that is not everyone has the ability to get on the rock as frequently as is optimal. Periodization training, while it may not be better than climbing regularly and a LOT, for someone who lives in a place with no true "off" season, and/or is able to travel to climbing destinations during the local off season, may be an answer for someone who isn't able to do so.

I know that for me personally the decision to try periodisation this winter had a lot to do with my anticipation of no outdoor climbing from mid-December on, for couple months. And since it is the first time I am trying it, the results are yet unknown.

Oh, the suspense! Don't you hate it when you build up the expectations, and things just fizzle out into nothing?


Partner cracklover


Feb 7, 2013, 9:07 AM
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Re: [lena_chita] Incorporating hangboard into training [In reply to]
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lena_chita wrote:
More seriously though, yes, I agree, everything that is more than couple moves long has some endurance component to it, and PE is a spectrum.

I guess that's why JT is always ranting about how climbing is, at the heart of it, an anaerobic sport. Which is true, but begs the question.

The trouble is that the key to climbing harder is just as much, if not more, about raising your anaerobic threshold than it is about increasing your capacity to climb once you're past that threshold. I mean, I can climb some types of 5.10 literally all day without getting pumped, and I can boulder V5. Right there, that allows me to send some 5.12 routes, even with next to no PE.

Most of the stronger climbers I know who can send 5.13 and up can climb a lot of 5.11 all day without getting pumped. So the real difference between them and me is that they can climb harder without getting pumped. Of course I'm not saying that it's all physiological. I'm sure a lot of it is superior technique, better strength-to-weight, etc. But in the end that all boils down to how hard you can climb while still mostly on this side of the aerobic/anaerobic threshold.

In reply to:
You are getting to the other thing that is often overlooked in these sorts of discussions, and that is not everyone has the ability to get on the rock as frequently as is optimal. Periodization training, while it may not be better than climbing regularly and a LOT, for someone who lives in a place with no true "off" season, and/or is able to travel to climbing destinations during the local off season, may be an answer for someone who isn't able to do so.

For me, it's not so much that, it's something that RGold is always stressing - the fact that these training techniques allow you to focus on one area in a controlled setting. I happen to know by now that my stupid finger pulleys are likely to snap when they take too much abuse. This makes working on pure power (which has always been one of my weak points) troublesome. So I can do a little bit of hard bouldering, but more than a little, and *snap*. Solution? Turns out that, for me, at this point in my development, the campus board is a controlled, safe, environment, where I can push hard and not hurt myself.

In reply to:
I know that for me personally the decision to try periodisation this winter had a lot to do with my anticipation of no outdoor climbing from mid-December on, for couple months. And since it is the first time I am trying it, the results are yet unknown.

Oh, the suspense! Don't you hate it when you build up the expectations, and things just fizzle out into nothing?

Based on how you've been doing at comps recently, I think you know that you're already seeing payoffs. Of course it can take a bit of work to translate that back onto real rock, so don't expect to see great things (although you might surprise yourself) your first outing.

I remember once having a phenomenal winter in the gym, and coming out raring to go in the Spring, expecting to tear it up. My first trip to the Gunks, I hung all the fuck over a 5.9, eventually lowering to the belay so my partner could take the lead. Incredibly humiliating, and made me think at the time that all that gym work was worthless. Of course it wasn't worthless, it just never translates 100%. It takes some work to get used to standing on tiny crystals, trusting your gear, using body positions and holds you don't encounter much in the gym, etc.

I'm sure once you get past all that, you'll have a kick-ass season.

GO


lena_chita
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Feb 8, 2013, 12:53 PM
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Re: [cracklover] Incorporating hangboard into training [In reply to]
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cracklover wrote:
lena_chita wrote:
More seriously though, yes, I agree, everything that is more than couple moves long has some endurance component to it, and PE is a spectrum.

I guess that's why JT is always ranting about how climbing is, at the heart of it, an anaerobic sport. Which is true, but begs the question.

The trouble is that the key to climbing harder is just as much, if not more, about raising your anaerobic threshold than it is about increasing your capacity to climb once you're past that threshold. I mean, I can climb some types of 5.10 literally all day without getting pumped, and I can boulder V5. Right there, that allows me to send some 5.12 routes, even with next to no PE.

Most of the stronger climbers I know who can send 5.13 and up can climb a lot of 5.11 all day without getting pumped. So the real difference between them and me is that they can climb harder without getting pumped. Of course I'm not saying that it's all physiological. I'm sure a lot of it is superior technique, better strength-to-weight, etc. But in the end that all boils down to how hard you can climb while still mostly on this side of the aerobic/anaerobic threshold.

Yes. The SCC had a good discussion on the relationship between aerobic threshold and max power. Don't have the book with me at the moment... I let a friend borrow it a couple of months ago. Come to think of it, I better get it back!

Obviously, there are multiple components to how hard you climb. Lead-head and technique issues aside for the moment, I think of it this way (not necessarily standard definitions of the terms):

1)Strength (what can you hold onto/hang off of)

2)Endurance--how hard you can climb without getting pumped

3)Power-- the hardest moves you can do fresh

4)Power Endurance-- the hardest move you can do while pumped

5)Stamina-- how quickly you recover from being pumped, once you are done with the climb, and how many "real" attempts can you make at a hard climb in a day, before you get progressively worse.

In terms of training, I have never done anything specific for (1), and followed SCC for
(2) ARC
(3) Threshold bouldering
(4) 4x4s, bouldering pyramids
(5) VIR/CIR roped laps with timed rests.

(the above is over-simplification, obviously, but that is the gist of it)

This approach (along with various movement exercises, etc. from SCC) got me to where I currently am. And I do not think that it is not useful anymore.

But I did want to shake things up a bit/do something different, and also there is the practical reality of the gym not being set up in a way that makes some of these things easy to do...


crackmeup


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Re: [lena_chita] Incorporating hangboard into training [In reply to]
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Here's another data point for you. I started a three-month cycle in December, the first month included a hangboard routine three times a week. I did repeaters: three series of the same hold, progressively shorter hangs and more added weight for each series with a given grip.

Until last year I could do V7 in the gym but not outside. I had been stuck at V6 for a while everywhere I went (Bishop, Yosemite, Vegas). I noticed a significant improvement after the hangboard phase, and even more after the subsequent campus sessions. A couple of weeks ago finished my first V8 and I'm close to my second one. Last week I took it easy before going on a trip, and a couple of days ago did a benchmark V7 in 4-5 tries (with all the right beta from a local).

I must have had some obvious low-hanging fruit on the finger strength side, that's where I noticed the most difference.


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