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  1. #11
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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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    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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    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.

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