Forums: Climbing Information: Technique & Training:
training on a crack machine
RSS FeedRSS Feeds for Technique & Training

Premier Sponsor:

 


seatbeltpants


Feb 22, 2010, 12:41 PM
Post #1 of 18 (6463 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Mar 9, 2008
Posts: 581

training on a crack machine
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

hi,

i've built myself a small crack machine in the garage, similar to shimanilami's one pictured here:



all good - but what on earth do i do with it now?

i'm currently too soft to hang off any of the sizes, even double handed Blush, so at present i've been treating it a bit like a hangboard by doing 10 second (assisted) hangs on each size, alternating left hand above and right below, right hand above and left below.

this means that i do a lap through the five sizes in a three minutes, say, then repeat for five laps total.

does that sound a sensible way to do this? any better ideas out there? going out and actually climbing cracks isn't an option because the nearest suitable crag is a good five hour drive away, which would make for a long evening.

thanks for any help ya'll can offer!

steve


lemon_boy


Feb 22, 2010, 1:08 PM
Post #2 of 18 (6441 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Mar 12, 2002
Posts: 287

Re: [seatbeltpants] training on a crack machine [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

on the other side of your crack machine, screw an eye-bolt style screw into one of the overhead joists. then you can attach a pulley to the eyebolt. run a piece of cord or rope over the pulley, and tie the far end to some weights. tie the near end to your harness. then, you can use the weights on the other side to take some of the weight off of you. this gives you a systematic method of keeping track of your performance as you eliminate some of the weight on the other side.

hopefully this makes sense...


chrisJoosse


Feb 22, 2010, 1:29 PM
Post #3 of 18 (6420 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 16, 2009
Posts: 150

Re: [seatbeltpants] training on a crack machine [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

seatbeltpants wrote:
hi,

i've built myself a small crack machine in the garage, similar to shimanilami's one pictured here:

[image]http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b8ce08b3127ccec52f8d86e5ad00000040O00AcNmbVs4cMmIPbz4a/cC/f%3D0/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D720/ry%3D480/[/image]

all good - but what on earth do i do with it now?

i'm currently too soft to hang off any of the sizes, even double handed Blush, so at present i've been treating it a bit like a hangboard by doing 10 second (assisted) hangs on each size, alternating left hand above and right below, right hand above and left below.

this means that i do a lap through the five sizes in a three minutes, say, then repeat for five laps total.

does that sound a sensible way to do this? any better ideas out there? going out and actually climbing cracks isn't an option because the nearest suitable crag is a good five hour drive away, which would make for a long evening.

thanks for any help ya'll can offer!

steve
line the insides/front edge of the 'cracks' with fine-grit sandpaper to better simulate rock (or at least, to better prevent splinters). And build cracks for your feet- climbing crack isn't just a hands game. Smile


bill413


Feb 22, 2010, 3:48 PM
Post #4 of 18 (6384 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 19, 2004
Posts: 5674

Re: [chrisJoosse] training on a crack machine [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I agree with giving your feet something to do. Either more crack, or at least something to push against (even if it's just a chair). I don't like the idea of assisting from the harness because it doesn't give you a realistic weight distribution.


onrockandice


Mar 5, 2010, 9:06 AM
Post #5 of 18 (6191 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 16, 2009
Posts: 355

Re: [seatbeltpants] training on a crack machine [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Dingus wrote a guide to climbing cracks and I don't know the link off the top of my head but if you search here you will find it.

I would imagine that once you read it (and you need to) that it will give you the right mental imagery to improve your crack station to simulate real crack difficulties.

Someone said feet are part of the game and if you read Dingus highly agreed article he states that feet are almost all of the game and hands and fingers are largely for balance except where feet are really thin but you won't start on cracks of that nature anyway.

I would use some skateboard grip tape to line the cracks. To give your hands a break you might use some tape to provide a break although purists will beat me down for even suggesting that. So that is up to you really.

I would ditch the pulley idea except for helping with pull-ups. You really need your feet in the game and once you have that the need of a pulley goes away.


johnwesely


Mar 5, 2010, 9:20 AM
Post #6 of 18 (6178 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 12, 2006
Posts: 5343

Re: [onrockandice] training on a crack machine [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

What would I search for to find it.


edge


Mar 5, 2010, 9:45 AM
Post #7 of 18 (6152 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Apr 14, 2003
Posts: 9105

Re: [seatbeltpants] training on a crack machine [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (1 rating)  
Can't Post

I built a crack machine in my dad's garage some 30 years ago. I found it to be a waste of time, waste of materials, waste of beer money, waste of space, and totally devoid of motivational inspiration.

Add to that the fact that the mofo's are painful, and really are nothing more than an exercise in pain endurance. If you can make a jam that works, then that jam is going to be the same everywhere you encounter that size. Having said that, every real rock jam has it's nuances, and you would be much better served trying them in the real world. At home, work on general conditioning and pull-ups, etc to build the muscles.

My $.02


camhead


Mar 5, 2010, 10:14 AM
Post #8 of 18 (6131 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Sep 9, 2001
Posts: 20748

Re: [edge] training on a crack machine [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (1 rating)  
Can't Post

I agree with edge in most respects. Crack technique is not something you need to train the same way as strength, power, or endurance.

But, I have batted around the idea of a crack machine, or a crack hangboard, and if you do this, make it OVERHANGING. I'm not sure what good hanging on a vertical crack is going to do you.

If you are going to have a vertical crack, make it extend to the ground so you can get feet in. This will probably help you the most.


petsfed


Mar 5, 2010, 11:09 AM
Post #9 of 18 (6097 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Sep 24, 2002
Posts: 8589

Re: [chrisJoosse] training on a crack machine [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (2 ratings)  
Can't Post

chrisJoosse wrote:
line the insides/front edge of the 'cracks' with fine-grit sandpaper to better simulate rock (or at least, to better prevent splinters).

This is terrible advice. Sandpaper in a crack machine essentially requires taping up for the workout, even if you wouldn't normally tape. If my hands are in no shape to climb because of my workout, my workout is fundamentally ineffective.

Finishing the wood, sanding it well, and not skimping on the quality of the wood will do a lot more to prevent splinters without requiring that you tape up as well.


bill413


Mar 5, 2010, 11:24 AM
Post #10 of 18 (6077 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 19, 2004
Posts: 5674

Re: [onrockandice] training on a crack machine [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

onrockandice wrote:
Dingus wrote a guide to climbing cracks and I don't know the link off the top of my head but if you search here you will find it.

I would imagine that once you read it (and you need to) that it will give you the right mental imagery to improve your crack station to simulate real crack difficulties.

Someone said feet are part of the game and if you read Dingus highly agreed article he states that feet are almost all of the game and hands and fingers are largely for balance except where feet are really thin but you won't start on cracks of that nature anyway.

I would use some skateboard grip tape to line the cracks. To give your hands a break you might use some tape to provide a break although purists will beat me down for even suggesting that. So that is up to you really.

I would ditch the pulley idea except for helping with pull-ups. You really need your feet in the game and once you have that the need of a pulley goes away.

I think this might be the one you mean: Crack Climbing Question
This also has some nice advice (again, dingus) Palms In or Out

DMT wrote:
You climb with your feet, not your hands. Your feet give you
balance and security. Say it over and over and just like
with Dorothy going back to Kansas, it will come true.


gmggg


Mar 5, 2010, 11:32 AM
Post #11 of 18 (6067 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 25, 2009
Posts: 2099

Re: [edge] training on a crack machine [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

edge wrote:
I built a crack machine in my dad's garage some 30 years ago. I found it to be a waste of time, waste of materials, waste of beer money, waste of space, and totally devoid of motivational inspiration.

Add to that the fact that the mofo's are painful, and really are nothing more than an exercise in pain endurance. If you can make a jam that works, then that jam is going to be the same everywhere you encounter that size. Having said that, every real rock jam has it's nuances, and you would be much better served trying them in the real world. At home, work on general conditioning and pull-ups, etc to build the muscles.

My $.02

+1

Nuance is king. Strong core is Queen. And pain tolerance is the 4th, 5th, and 6th Dukes of London. Crack machine might help with number 2 a very small bit, but not number 1 or 3 at all.


chrisJoosse


Mar 5, 2010, 11:44 AM
Post #12 of 18 (6056 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 16, 2009
Posts: 150

Re: [petsfed] training on a crack machine [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (1 rating)  
Can't Post

petsfed wrote:
chrisJoosse wrote:
line the insides/front edge of the 'cracks' with fine-grit sandpaper to better simulate rock (or at least, to better prevent splinters).

This is terrible advice. Sandpaper in a crack machine essentially requires taping up for the workout, even if you wouldn't normally tape. If my hands are in no shape to climb because of my workout, my workout is fundamentally ineffective.

Finishing the wood, sanding it well, and not skimping on the quality of the wood will do a lot more to prevent splinters without requiring that you tape up as well.

There's certainly room for different opinions and preferences here. I expect that whether or not you shred your hands would depend on how fine you go on the grit, your jam technique, and probably some other factors as well.
You're right that the choice of good wood + finishing is a good idea. That said, if you're down to 200 grit or so, it shouldn't tear up your hands any more than rock would.
I've trained in cracks that had a very rock-like finish (essentially, a fine-grit surface not unlike sandstone) that turned out to work better for me than anything else I've used. I've found that training and practicing this way without tape doesn't shred my hands, but of course your mileage and preferences may vary. Smile


shimanilami


Mar 5, 2010, 12:58 PM
Post #13 of 18 (6028 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jul 24, 2006
Posts: 2043

Re: [seatbeltpants] training on a crack machine [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Yo -

I'm flattered that you liked my design enough to make one yourself. Cool!

Having used mine quite a bit, and being that I'm entering a "prepare for the Valley" training cycle, I think I should be able to give you some useful input. (I, unlike most of the posters, actually have experience with the thing.)

First, don't put sandpaper or grit or anything else in there. As long as you've sanded it down enough to prevent splinters, you'll be fine.

It would be nice to have something for your feet. However, if you are like me, you just don't have the space for a ceiling-to-floor crack machine. You'll just have to accept that this contraption is primarily for your fingers, forearms, and back muscles (especially those needed for locking off). Does a crackboard build balance, core strength, etc.? No more than a hangboard, obviously.

I can reach into mine standing flat footed. I am able to weight my jams simply by bending my legs - no harness or pulleys required. This way, I can apply as much weight as I want, for as longs as I want. You'll have to figure out how much weight to apply for a given workout, but given the fact that you've got the gumption to build such a tool and put it to use, I think you'll be OK.

My workouts are actually pretty similar to yours. I cycle between "power" type workouts (e.g. jam/pull as hard as I can for 3-5 seconds, then shake out for 10 seconds, then repeat 4 more times) and endurance workouts (e.g. jam at a reduced level, but hold for 30 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds, repeat 4x. Weight it so that the lactic acid buildup in 30 seconds is about all you can take.) I follow the basic hangboard workout approach. (RC.com has a lot of threads on hangboard workouts that you can reference.)

You'll notice that the thumbs-up position burns your forearms more. I think it's is better from a conditioning standpoint. In contrast, the thumbs-down position hurts your hands more. I think this is better from a pain tolerance and calous building standpoint.

It's nice to be able to practice awkward sizes (e.g. ring locks, stacked fingers) and to figure out your "sweet spots" in a setting where you can make adjustments and test them out without being worried about falling. There is more variability in real world, of course, but when your body has learned what a solid jam feels like, then you'll have something to build off when you get on real rock. In my experience, it really does help.

Good luck, Mr. Pants. Don't worry about the naysayers. It will either work out for you or it won't. (I'd place my money on the former.)


onrockandice


Mar 5, 2010, 8:48 PM
Post #14 of 18 (5981 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 16, 2009
Posts: 355

Re: [johnwesely] training on a crack machine [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I searched for "Dingus Crack Guide" and the first result was "BINGO".

http://groups.google.com/...f2c5de026ec093?pli=1


johnwesely


Mar 6, 2010, 6:01 AM
Post #15 of 18 (5944 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 12, 2006
Posts: 5343

Re: [onrockandice] training on a crack machine [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

onrockandice wrote:
I searched for "Dingus Crack Guide" and the first result was "BINGO".

http://groups.google.com/...f2c5de026ec093?pli=1

Thanks.


onrockandice


Mar 6, 2010, 10:16 PM
Post #16 of 18 (5904 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 16, 2009
Posts: 355

Re: [johnwesely] training on a crack machine [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

If I can actually help you with something then it's gladly done. Seems like 10/9 times you are the one telling me I'm off my rocker and going to get killed. So you are very welcome.Smile


lewismonkey


Mar 16, 2010, 2:46 AM
Post #17 of 18 (5700 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 12, 2008
Posts: 23

Re: [seatbeltpants] training on a crack machine [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Maybe you should just lump it and head up to the Bay for the weekend.

Failing that I'm sure that if you look hard enough around Wellington you will find some nice splitter cracks in the numerous towers of sedimentary rock laid down in the last fifty years.Smile


seatbeltpants


Mar 16, 2010, 10:35 AM
Post #18 of 18 (5607 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Mar 9, 2008
Posts: 581

Re: [lewismonkey] training on a crack machine [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

lewismonkey wrote:
Maybe you should just lump it and head up to the Bay for the weekend.

Failing that I'm sure that if you look hard enough around Wellington you will find some nice splitter cracks in the numerous towers of sedimentary rock laid down in the last fifty years.Smile

yeah, true enough - i was up at the bay last weekend and jammed every crevice i could find. good times.

thanks for everyone's comments!

steve


Forums : Climbing Information : Technique & Training

 


Search for (options)

Log In:

Username:
Password: Remember me:

Go Register
Go Lost Password?



Follow us on Twiter Become a Fan on Facebook