Thursday, January 26, 2017

Drop sets?

Fred Nicole demonstrates the dangers of forearm hypertrophy. . . 

Last week it occurred to me that you could use the variable depth edge rail on the RPTC to perform a version of a drop set workout.  Drop sets or stripping sets involve immediately repeating an exercise with slightly lower resistance several times, culminating with failure at a much lower resistance but a feeling of great intensity / difficulty.

I experimented with this type of workout for hangboarding at the end of my workout by hanging from the smallest part of the small VDER that I could manage till near failure (~6 seconds) then I moved inward one finger width and immediately hung till near failure again.  I repeated all the way in to the center, resumed on the large SVDR until, at the end, I was failing from the largest part of the large VDER.  That effort combined a feeling of max effort with confronting the my limits of suffering.

I found a decent description of drop sets related to bodybuilding:

I knew them as "stripping sets" since reading Arnold's Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding as a kid. [lol--  thankfully I did not quite end up as a musclebound monster]  Anyways, I did remember that when doing dropsets I would experience a sensation of a good but intense deep down muscle soreness afterwards.   Also, when doing these I tend to get a combination of pumped and max effort muscle failure.

I put this together with the insights that (A) finger/forearm strength is a personal climbing weakness (B) certain prominent high finger-strength climbers have large forearms and (C) it might be safer for tendons to push limits of muscular failure on loads that are far from ones actual limit.

All that being said I have no idea if these are actually a sufficiently beneficial use of training time.  The claims in the linked article are anecdotal assertions from a body building perspective. However, a lot of time all we have is a collection of anecdotes and a willingness to try.

The premise that they are high intensity workouts seems undeniable.  If a set goes well I finish with an amazingly intense feeling of forearm/finger failure under a load that feels like it ought to be easy.   Afterwards I get what might be described as a deep muscular burn (in a good way).

Obviously you could also do drop sets from a single grip if you could rapidly lower your added weight in increments.   The article mentions several flavors of drop set patterns some of which could be used with a hang board and weights.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Great new additions at Betafish!

Current moon / kilter hybrid set up:
Betafish and Climb Athens 

Big thanks from Syd and all of us at Betafish/Climb Athens to 
Tony Reynaldo at Kinetic Climbing and Fitness for hooking us up with a great deal 
on a ton of "pre-experienced" holds.