V10+ Crimp Traverse
The training insight of the week had been brewing for the past week or two, but was finally realized at White Buddha on boxing day. The capacity to pull up on awful holds is good, but isn’t worth much if you can’t move off of them. Caught with two fingers in a pocket, and three pads on a higher edge I found myself unable to move up to the next hold. Fatigue not withstanding, I actually found myself doing a pull-up at one point on the two holds, yet unable to make the movement to catch the higher hold [For those who care, I went back and sent the problem in the snow two days later]. The training solution was either to train lock-offs on compromised positions on bad holds, or to train movement to and from bad holds.
Now the first option is phenomenal if someone has the strength to hold lock offs on three pads, however most people aren’t in a position to start their training there. Training a basic lock off on a bar or jug is an essential part of training, but really doesn’t have the best cross over to completing the same feat on tiny crimpy holds. This is quickly evident in simply watching someone fail at pulling themselves up on the campus board while they are able to easily do twenty pull-ups on a bar.
So we have the second solution. Training a movement on and off of a bad hold, or from a bad hold to another bad hold and just going back and forth. The key thing here is movement. A straight pull is not good enough, you have to be able to bump a hand to and from a horrible hold. Given my dislike of trying to use the bouldering wall for specific movement training [there are people who insist in getting in the way ‘to climb’ when you are training; you need to be able to set up holds that are miserable enough; easier to gauge strength progression when you take climbing technique out of the picture], I bolted a couple bad foot holds to the pinch board at the gym [and because I needed an option at home, there are now three crimpy foot holds bolted onto the trim around my bedroom door].
The training becomes rather intuitive once a location exists to train the movement. Using my door frame as an example, one hand goes on the trim, the other on a crimp. Bump to the door frame and then back to the crimp. Bump back up and do the same with the other hand. This can be done with the combination of a pull, added weight, and of course with both hands starting on garbage, thus ensuring that you really have to fight for the movement.
The test will of course come later this week when I put the actual climbers through their paces on the new crimp traverse on the pinch board. If they find it too easy I can always add a bunch of weight and really force their bodies to adapt.