The Carny: I am building a bachar ladder
The British Spy: That’s old school training.
The Carny: Exactly
So I built a Bachar ladder this weekend. It is one of the old school training items, which much like campusing has often timed been left at the wayside as plastic bouldering gyms become more common and whiny complaints about tendonitis are more the norm. It was named for the soloist John Bachar and like the campus board is a phenomenal training tool. They stand in many ways as the unholy union of brutal training tools for all those people who wish to become exceptionally strong. Where the campus board is great for developing dead pointing ability, explosive pulling strength off of tiny holds, and due to ballistic loading some exceptional gains in tendon strength the ladder is targeted towards the world of power endurance.
This particular ladder is about 18ft long, has a rung about 16 inches, and was made from $30 of 1.5inch dowel and 12m of retired climbing rope (I knew there was a reason I never throw those out). It took about two hours to make, and having now been up for a couple days has proven that it can hold up to a beating… but just make sure to center your holes in the rungs. One of my rungs is now snapped due to a 260lb male taking the rig for a test drive. Now it just means that you have to huck a three foot pull into the middle of the climb. I might see what else to experiment with in the future, perhaps some flat slats as opposed to dowels that are slightly wider.
Construction aside. Build one. Then get on it. The aim is to pull hand over hand with no feet from bottom to top in as explosive and smooth a manner as one can make possible. Then once you hit the top lower down through lock offs. Hover above the ground once you are a the bottom and head up for another lap. If you can make a couple laps you get to watch your pulling power vanish in a rather amusing way. Plus, here finally is a great way to start developing that explosive power endurance that is so hard to get without just climbing lots. Easily hung from a tree and anchored to the ground (or a household pet
Workouts to try:
1: Power Endurance Training
A tabata protocol modified slightly.
Do 20s of climbing then rest for 10s with both hands on a rung and a foot on the ladder.
Try to get through the full 4min (8 sets).
2: Training for explosive pulling: Speed Climbing
As aforementioned, speed climb up… however rather than lowering slow, speed climb down. Then repeat for as many rounds as possible. When your speed dies hop off, take a rest and do it again.
3: Lock off strength
Get to the top in whatever manner you can. However on the way down skip rungs and hold your lock offs as tight and long as possible. If your rungs are as far apart as mine this is going to force you to train a far higher one arm lock-off than you would otherwise train.
Ah well. I am off to campus… and maybe attempt a few more climbs with the broken rung.