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brooklynclimber


Oct 6, 2012, 3:36 PM
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Newbie question about hand training
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Hey everyone -

Been climbing about two months now, and can send most V1s and V2s in the gym. Looking at the harder V2s and V3s, it looks like I need more hand strength to grab onto the slopers and pinches. I'm not going to try to do any campus board or crimp training for a while. So my questions are what are the best way to build this strength and when to do it?

I've been using squeeze balls, the pro hands (individual springs for each finger) and I recently built a hangboard from a 2x4 turned short side to the wall, and a PVC sloper from 4" PVC. Someone told me that open-handed strength is important, and I should train with my hands open by holding large weights (like a large rock or cannonball).

Next question is when. At the begining, I overdid it a bit, training my hands every day, and developed mild tennis elbow and tendonitis in my forearms. Lots of ice, heat and ibuprofin cleared that up, but I don't want to re-injure myself. If I climb three times a week, should I train my hands on the off days, after I climb, or not at all for a while?


rhythm164


Oct 7, 2012, 3:22 PM
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Re: [brooklynclimber] Newbie question about hand training [In reply to]
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At this stage in your game ("about 2 months") you shouldn't be doing ANY specific training, and certainly not every day. That's a great way to ensure injury, as you've apparently found out. The main thing you need to focus on is technique, which means just go bouldering. It's not your contact strength that's limiting you, it's the fact that you've been climbing sub 2 months and you suck. No offense, everyone climbing sub 2 months sucks, and a sure fire way to improve your suckyness is to work technique drills. Maybe look into picking up a copy of The Self Coached Climber. A wealth of information for the newly initiated that wont lead to overuse injuries.

Basically, before you can train, you need to A) know how to train, which you clearly do not and B) have the tendon strength to endure the strains that any meaningful training will put on your body, which, again, you don't have, and won't have for quite some time.

Any schmuck can get a the V4 level or beyond without any target specific training, and if I were you, I wouldn't engage in any until you've been bouldering for at least a year, minimum. And then only isolation-focus training e.g. deadhangs on, say, the largest non-jug holds on a hangboard.


brooklynclimber


Oct 7, 2012, 4:17 PM
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Re: [rhythm164] Newbie question about hand training [In reply to]
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Thanks, no offense taken. I realize my technique sucks - I'm using way too much strength and not nearly enough finesse to get through the routes.

I've got a copy of SCC and am working my way through it, along with Training for Climbing. There's also a foundations class at the gym which I'm going to take.

What I've noticed is that the harder it looks, the worse the climber. Great climbers make it look easy. I saw Sasha DiGuilian at the gym last week, and the moved over the walls effortlessly.

Went bouldering this morning, strained my fingers a bit, am icing them now...


(This post was edited by brooklynclimber on Oct 7, 2012, 4:22 PM)


cleavoncox


Oct 7, 2012, 4:33 PM
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Re: [brooklynclimber] Newbie question about hand training [In reply to]
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I agree with everything that rhythm said. Just take it easy and just climb. And based on your screen name, I'm guessing you climb at BKB? The foundations class is a good move.


nick97


Oct 7, 2012, 5:48 PM
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Re: [brooklynclimber] Newbie question about hand training [In reply to]
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I was you dude! Ive been climbing for 5 months now and Im climbing the v4-v5 range now. I think i posted something really similar to this when I was in the v3 range. Honestly forget the self coached climber. I got it, read it, and found it no help at all. I hated it when people used to respond to my posts about how to get better on here by saying "climb more" but its true. I got myself a hangboard when I was around your skill level and thankfully I didnt injure myself. Honestly by using proper technique on a hangboard you can improve, no matter what skill level your at. Dont get me wrong, there are infinite ways of hurting yourself on a hang board and I foolishly almost did. Your a beginner climber and therefore you need to stick to a beginner training routine. If you find yourself in any tweaky positions on the hangboard abort mission. Stick to pull-ups, DEEP full handed pockets, big spaced slopers, maybe pinches, and jugs. You dont have to dead hang from all of these positions, just stand and take some weight to your hands. If you do get a hangboard message me and ill send you my old routine. Hope this helps man!


rhythm164


Oct 8, 2012, 7:16 AM
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Better listen to Nick, he's been climbing a whole 90 days longer than you have.Unimpressed


brooklynclimber


Oct 8, 2012, 12:02 PM
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Re: [rhythm164] Newbie question about hand training [In reply to]
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OK, so if I accept everyone's advice to simply keep climbing for a few more months without strength training, what's the best way to improve my technique? If I simply continue climbing with the same poor technique, I'll only repeat the same mistakes.

The foundations class (yes, at BKB) is a first step. Other advice? I'm reading SCC, but I find the advice to be abstract and sometimes hard to apply to real life climbing.


cleavoncox


Oct 8, 2012, 12:13 PM
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Improve the technique by doing some of the activities in SCC, and by watching other climbers. The items in SCC seem abstract because you don't really need them to muscle up a V3 at the gym (IMO). However if you want to send those 3s effortlessly, the items in SCC will help you (as well as the foundations class in BKB) once you get into the higher grades you will use some of the technique that you read in SCC.

Additionally, SCC is NOT a one time read. You should do the activities in them when you can keep practicing them when you at the gym (even when you're doing a V1-V2. When you get to a route that you cant finish, pick up SCC again. It usually has something in it that will help you send the problem.


JAB


Oct 9, 2012, 10:06 AM
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Re: [brooklynclimber] Newbie question about hand training [In reply to]
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A couple of additional points.

Lose the pro hands and squeeze balls. They do nothing for your climbing.

Don't overtrain, ie. do not train on the hangboard after a long boldering session. Stop if your fingers are sore. It will take at least a year ( more probably 2 or 3) for your tendons to adapt. It sucks but that's how it is.

Finally, don't project. If you can't climb a route after 3 tries, move to the next.


cleavoncox


Oct 9, 2012, 10:28 AM
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Re: [JAB] Newbie question about hand training [In reply to]
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JAB wrote:
Finally, don't project. If you can't climb a route after 3 tries, move to the next.

I second this. I sometimes have a bad habit of projecting a problem for 10 tries, but JAB is right.

Sometimes, I may climb 3 days, but 2 of those days are climbing within my limit with a strong focus on technique, and the 3rd day is projecting a few problems.

Another suggestion I've heard is that you should always be working on 3 types of problems:

1. Ones that you can flash usually
2. Ones that take you a 3-5 tries to send
3. Ones that may take you all day to send (if you even send it)

The main goal is to diversify your climbing in general, also make sure you hit all types of walls too.


brooklynclimber


Oct 9, 2012, 7:00 PM
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Re: [cleavoncox] Newbie question about hand training [In reply to]
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Thanks, everyone. I went to the gym today to try an exercise from SCC - traversing with hip into the wall - which I had dismissed as too easy for me. It was much harder than I thought and I couldn't get very far. WHen I then went to a couple of routes, I did find them a bit easier.


coolhand1


Oct 11, 2012, 9:26 PM
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brooklynclimber wrote:
Thanks, everyone. I went to the gym today to try an exercise from SCC - traversing with hip into the wall - which I had dismissed as too easy for me. It was much harder than I thought and I couldn't get very far. WHen I then went to a couple of routes, I did find them a bit easier.
That is a good place to start. Probably the best skill to learn as a new climber. It may not feel efficient now but if you keep practicing, and I would practice it on problems as well, soon it will feel like second nature.

I would also pay attention to your feet. On 1's and 2's your feet should almost never have to cut off the wall. If they do, even if you send the problem, consider it a fail and try to figure out a more efficient way to do it.

I frequently will a flash a problem but know I could have done it more efficiently. I figure out what my mistakes were and climb it again until I have convinced myself that I have the sequence mastered. This problem-solving approach will help you learn technique.


naitch


Oct 12, 2012, 4:29 AM
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Re: [coolhand1] Newbie question about hand training [In reply to]
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SCC is the best single source outside of getting a competent climbing coach. These guys know what they're doing - they've coached hundreds of climbers and have distilled that knowledge about as well as anybody can in a book/DVD.

And, when you can't be in the gym...get your Gstring on!

http://sicgrips.com


(This post was edited by naitch on Oct 12, 2012, 5:26 AM)


rhythm164


Oct 12, 2012, 7:36 AM
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those look interesting, seems like they'de be sort of limiting in terms of smaller edges though. Sort of hard to tell. I assume you've had first hand experience with the product, how easy/difficult is it to change the position of the grip, it seems like it would be a pain to do that during, say, a brief rest phase between sets of repeaters when you what to actually rest instead of fiddle with the rings. outside of providing a few more options for open hand/pinch positions, why am I paying 70 dollars for these when I could get a hangboard with more options for smaller holds for he same, if not less money?


EdBustamante


Oct 12, 2012, 7:55 AM
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this worked for me in the begining on non climbing days roller blad run or bike thru central park and there are nermorous bolders you can train on start with the slabby rock by wollman rink on the right end practice climbimg the slab with no hand holds this will work on your foot work an balance . climbing on you feet not your arms once your foot work is in place you will find that you dont need to pump your arms to get up a climb


naitch


Oct 12, 2012, 3:29 PM
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Re: [rhythm164] Newbie question about hand training [In reply to]
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rhythm164 wrote:
those look interesting, seems like they'de be sort of limiting in terms of smaller edges though. Sort of hard to tell. I assume you've had first hand experience with the product, how easy/difficult is it to change the position of the grip, it seems like it would be a pain to do that during, say, a brief rest phase between sets of repeaters when you what to actually rest instead of fiddle with the rings. outside of providing a few more options for open hand/pinch positions, why am I paying 70 dollars for these when I could get a hangboard with more options for smaller holds for he same, if not less money?

The crimper is an ellipse, that depending orientation, can be very small - smaller than I can hang on to but no matter how small the surface gets, it isn't painfully sharp. For me changing the sling for different grip positions coincides perfectly with my rests between different exercises. Hang board doesn't offer adjustable angles and doesn't offer the ability to do dips/press-ups. Also, I can hang these from my pull-up bar - no holes in the wall. :-)


(This post was edited by naitch on Oct 12, 2012, 6:21 PM)


FullertonImages


Oct 21, 2012, 9:07 AM
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Re: [naitch] Newbie question about hand training [In reply to]
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naitch wrote:
SCC is the best single source outside of getting a competent climbing coach. These guys know what they're doing - they've coached hundreds of climbers and have distilled that knowledge about as well as anybody can in a book/DVD.

And, when you can't be in the gym...get your Gstring on!
[image]http://sicgrips.com/Media/composite4-1.gif[/image]
http://sicgrips.com

Those look awesome! How can I buy them? The "Store" link on the page appears to be dead. Or not iPad friendly.

I used to have rock rings, but these look way better.

*edit - Not iPad friendly...


(This post was edited by FullertonImages on Oct 21, 2012, 9:51 AM)


naitch


Oct 21, 2012, 7:24 PM
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Hmmm dunno...worked fine for me on the Mac. Maybe you could use someone's computer to get to the store page.


juststrange


Nov 8, 2012, 10:47 AM
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Re: [brooklynclimber] Newbie question about hand training [In reply to]
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Slopers are more about angle of pull than anything else. Imagine leaning back with you palms pressing down on a table - you'd likely slip off in a hurry. Get under the table with your palms up top and you can actually pull. Try to orient yourself to pull down on the sloper - I see waaay too many people who latch a sloper and then try to pull until its at shoulder level or lower. That works fine for a jug that you can pull away from the wall on, with a sloper you need to focus on staying way under it - keep your arm straight above you and sag under it, shifting your weight into a better position to make the next move.


climber511


Nov 17, 2012, 1:17 PM
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I've been climbing for 29 years now. I've also been lifting weights for 53 years and doing something called "Gripsport" for about 9 years now. Now climbing and climbing specific training is certainly the training method of choice for climbers but many people do train their grip in the weight room during the off season (those of us living up north actually have an off season) :). It's healthy to do some opposition training to counter balance all the climbing one does. And there can be a lot more to strong and healthy hand training than just climbing if you want to be doing this as a senior citizen.


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