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Thread: Hangboard training

  1. #11
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    Feb 2014
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    • wichita falls texas march seminar date
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    John Long asserted back in the 80s that the fear of muscle mass was unfounded - he estimated that most climbers could increase their strength by 20% for a 5 pound increase in bodyweight. Few people listened.

    I'm 6'1" and a much better climber at 190-200 lbs than at 160 lbs. Get your deadlift up and then (only afterward!) think of the hangboard as a conditioning tool for your grip, rather than a strength tool.

  2. #12
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    Oct 2019
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    Idaho
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    QUOTE=Feng_Li;1750709]John Long asserted back in the 80s that the fear of muscle mass was unfounded - he estimated that most climbers could increase their strength by 20% for a 5 pound increase in bodyweight. Few people listened.

    I'm 6'1" and a much better climber at 190-200 lbs than at 160 lbs. Get your deadlift up and then (only afterward!) think of the hangboard as a conditioning tool for your grip, rather than a strength tool.[/QUOTE]

    My hypothesis is he's right.

    Here's a question that's still nagging me: What about your finger pulleys?

    If anyone is unfamiliar with hand anatomy, the pulleys are basically ligaments that wrap the finger tendons to the bones, like the guides on a fishing rod bind the line to the rod.

    In a half crimp position, these get a ton of stress. The one paper I can find estimates a force on some pulleys that's 32x the force on the finger tip.

    Gripping a heavy barbell will certainly cause my finger flexors and tendons to adapt, but the normal force of the bar on the fingers will tend to deload the pulleys. So what will cause them to adapt along with my tendons and muscles?

    I'm not trying to be argumentative. It's just a question that's nagging me. Pulley strains and ruptures are common climbing injuries that can put you out of action for quite a while.

  3. #13
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    Feb 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by Climber84
    Gripping a heavy barbell will certainly cause my finger flexors and tendons to adapt, but the normal force of the bar on the fingers will tend to deload the pulleys. So what will cause them to adapt along with my tendons and muscles?
    If you grip the barbell low in the fingers (i.e., correctly), your A2 pulley should remain loaded (I understand the A2 is most commonly injured). Beyond that, I would expect that ordinary climbing practice as your grip strength increases provides a sufficient progressive increase in stress on the pulleys. I'm sure you are familiar with the standard advice to favor an open grip in training over a crimp whenever possible, and the reasons behind it.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feng_Li View Post
    If you grip the barbell low in the fingers (i.e., correctly), your A2 pulley should remain loaded (I understand the A2 is most commonly injured). Beyond that, I would expect that ordinary climbing practice as your grip strength increases provides a sufficient progressive increase in stress on the pulleys. I'm sure you are familiar with the standard advice to favor an open grip in training over a crimp whenever possible, and the reasons behind it.
    That makes sense. Thanks.

  5. #15
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    Oct 2019
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    Calgary, Canada
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    starting strength coach development program
    Being a year into climbing doesn't really give much information about how adapted your body is to climbing. What could you do when you started climbing? Is it mostly top rope/lead or bouldering? How long do you climb/number of routes? Do you climb mostly at your flash level, or do you project a lot? What grade can you consistently flash?

    Grip strength in climbing is mostly isometric at very specific hand positions. Narrow pinch strength does not translate very well to wide pinch strength, closed crimp translates a little to half crimp but does not translate to open hand strength used in 'slopers' or open handed crimps.

    I have been bouldering for close to 6 years now. I am 6'1" and 27 years old. I started doing starting strength back in March. I started the year at 190Ibs. I was 215 by May and my dead lift went from 225 to 385. I have had several minor injuries this year almost all of them due to climbing and not lifting.

    When I started doing starting strength I could perform a 1/2 inch dead hang for 10 seconds with a half crimp with 55ibs added at 190ibs. By May I was 215 and doing the 1/2 dead hang with 75ibs. I was continuously training my half crimp the same day I climbed. I did starting strength MWF and climbed Tu,Th,Su. One thing I would suggest is not doing pull-ups or chins the days that you do starting strength. I would do them after climbing.

    I should add that I reduced my climbing from 3 hours to 1.5 hours then trained for the last bit. I have only discussed my dead lift as this thread seems focused on finger strength.

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