Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Finger strength training plan

My finger strength training is about to begin.  This means that I have light ARC warm ups and hangboard workouts on the horizon to the next few weeks.  [I actually changed my mind about several aspects of my strength plan, here is the updated version]  

My endurance and skill training is almost completed.  I have enjoyed the whole ARC process, and I feel that I am still gaining new technical insights.   Sadly, I did not get any outdoor mileage on any of these weekends.   A broken water line prevented that, and I lost 2 training days to ditch digging, and my elbow tendonitis was not helped by having to suddenly shovel several tons of gravel and dirt.  

However, the 50ft by 1ft by 30 inch deep trench is dug and filled in again (with help from several wonderful friends).  

On tuesday, August 19th I completed my 8th training day in my ARC session, and I have one session left for Thursday.  I only climbed 1 set of 32 minutes tonight, partly because it was very hot, even after 9 pm. 

Midwest summer climbing:   
sweat runs down your arm and washes off the chalk.

In addition to ARC I also did some preliminary hangboard hangs tonight to calibrate my starting weights and identify the grips that I want to use.    I did this to allow me to rest fully on Wednesday to give my elbows more recovery time.  

Saturday will be my first hangboard workout and I am excited to start a new training chapter.  Here is my set up, and it is imperfect but workable.  Some key details:
  • The hangboard is slightly less than 6 feet off the ground.  
    • This means that if I hang straight arm I need to lift my knees to keep them off the floor. 
  • The board is mounted on a slightly overhanging section of wall, with a slight undercut and several foothold options.
    • This setup allows me to hang freely, put my feet on the wall, or even, rest my feet on the ground.
  • There are no pulleys for taking weight off.  This is a bummer, but the space is limited so I am unlikely to add pulleys here. (Although I could mount the hangboard on the side of the campus board downstairs). 
    • My current solution is to identify which grips I can free hang and add weight, which I will use footholds and add weight, and which I need to rest my feet on the ground and then add weight.
  • It seems counter intuitive to both put your feet on holds and add weight.  However, my plan is to use the same footholds in the same way each  time, and rest the same amount of weight through my feet each set, but to add weight to my harness between set 1 and 2 for each grip.
    • Downside:  this is less precise than simply hanging all holds and using a pulley and weight to change intensity. 
    • Upside:   this is more specific training for climbing, because when you are on a route you will normally be keeping your feet on and maintaining tension through your feet and upper body.    

Based on my goals and some previous training I am trying a couple slight modifications of the RCTM hangboard recommendations.  My plan is partly a compromise between the beginner and intermediate workouts with some modifications due to the limits of my wall, and making my training more specific to my sending goals in October at the Red River Gorge.  Here is my plan in order of grips to be used, beginning with two warm up holds:
  1. In my warm up I want to simulate rest stances on two different warm up grips by putting feet on holds but adding weight on harness and alternating 10 second one arm hangs, 5 reps each arm.   Weight amounts are for set 1 and set 2.  Warm ups / rest stances
    1. Jugs, +15, +23 pounds, one arm hangs.
    2. Open hand grip on pinch holds, +8, +13 lbs, one arm hangs
This open-hand grip seems specific to RRG. 
Open hand with thumb helping but 
pinky is limited at the lip of the hold, not beyond.
  1. Six different grips for beginner duty cycle, but with two sets, and added weight from set 1 to set 2.  I prefer 2 sets to 3 because the hot humid weather makes skin pain the limiting factor.  I am not sure of an exact added weight for each of the following grips..  For these grip 1 will be a dead hang, 2,3,4 will be feet on wall, and 5,6 will be feet on floor.  
    1. Middle of large edge, 10 sec on, 5 off, 6 reps
    2. MRF 3 finger, same cycle for all remaining.
    3. Small edge, on the larger, or outer end. 
    4. IMR 3 finger.
    5. Wide pinch
    6. Small square cut "crisp" crimp.

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