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By camhead
From Vandalia, Appalachia
Jan 22, 2012
You stay away from mah pig!
for los hermanos Andersones, or whomever else...

So, like a thousand other climbers right now, in the middle of winter getting ready for the spring season, looking back on the awesome accomplishments that so many climbers did in 2011, I'm in the middle of a 5-week hypertrophy/hangboard period, which I started around the New Year.

I was just reading this pretty good blog post that Ryan Palo did on hangboarding; his workout is basically the rockprodigy workout. In this article, Ryan mentions that he wears the same amount of weights for every grip that he's working on in a particular workout, as he progressively adds weight in later workouts, he keeps that same weight for each specific grip.

powercompanyclimbing.com/2012/...

I've tried this, and found that, like most people, there are certain grips that I'm better at than others. For example, I can add 10 lbs., do a set of 7x7, then one of 6x7, then one of 5x7 on about any crimp or sloping edge, and I reach the point of failure right at the end of the third set. Great.

But, I can't even come close to the same performance on pockets. Shallow pockets have never been one of my strengths, so I've been working on a couple of shallow 2-fingers, and a deeper one-finger, but I can barely get through the above three sets without ay weight. It's going to be a couple weeks before I could even consider adding weight to these grips, by which time my hypertrophy stage will be about finished.

Right now, I start my workout on the aforementioned pockets, then when I'm done with the sets on them, I add weight and move onto the holds that I'm stronger at. But isn't this simply training my strengths? Am I going to fall into a vicious cycle in which I get stronger on holds that I'm already strong on? Would it be more effective if I kept the added weight consistent through my entire workout, but perhaps cut down on the reps and/or number of sets that I do on pockets?

Finally, and most specifically, one of my projects for this upcoming spring (Quinsana Plus at the NRG, if anyone cares) has a crux that consists of precise movement on shallow pockets, and I want to really maximize my training on these kinds of holds for this reason.

Anyway, I hope this question made sense; I'm still pretty new to specific training, and trying to figure out what works for me.

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By Mike Anderson
From Colorado Springs, CO
Jan 22, 2012
I'm familiar with Ryan's approach, and we've discussed it a few months back. We "agree to disagree" on the constant weight thing.

If you're going to spend the time, I think you might as well train all your grips, whether they are strengths or weaknesses.

Weaknesses may hold you back on a particular route, but you're rarely forced to use a given hold...there are often other options on a given route, or other routes to climb. Therefore, it can be helpful to have glaring strengths to go along with your weaknesses.

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By reboot
From Westminster, CO
Jan 22, 2012
Wow, everybody is training this winter!!! I'm gonna be disappointed if I don't see some wicked sends this year from the fellow weekend warriors. To hijack the thread, is there any benefit to some hanging in lock-off position vs. all dead hangs?

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By camhead
From Vandalia, Appalachia
Jan 22, 2012
You stay away from mah pig!
Hey Shumin, these guys recommend doing different "frenchie" lockoffs for each rep.

beastmaker.co.uk/pages/trainin...

I haven't tried it too much for a variety of reasons:

1) in adding weight and working different grips that are hard for me, I don't really want to be stressing any other part of my body, other than maybe holding a rigid leg position to work on some core

B) I am also so near failure by the last set, with weight added, that I don't really want to fall even that extra foot to the ground that a lockoff would put me at.

Third) I really haven't been having trouble with lockoffs in the last few years. If I was focusing on a bunch of tips splitters at the Creek with bad feet, I might be inclined to train lockoffs more, but the projects I have in mind for this spring at the RRG and the NRG really don't require any more lockoff strength than I already have. They do require more power, endurance, and forearm/grip strength than I have, however.

Finally) I will probably refine my lockoffs a bit when I move into campusing/max rec next month. And, one should always hangboard with slightly bent/semi locked off arms anyway, which prevents tendonitis and injuries.

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By Chris Clarke
From La Paz, BO
Jan 22, 2012
I'd add, or take off, weight as needed to complete your planned workout with the holds chosen according to your goals/preferences/abilities. So hitting your reps and times is more important than maintaining a constant weight throughout the workout.

As an analogy to bicycle racing training, it's like picking your interval durations to target the adaptations you want the workout to develop and then using whatever power you can bring and still complete the workout.

I also train the hardest grips after warming up and then move to holds that are easier for me. Don't know if it is the best way but it is the only way I am doing the shallow pockets without taking weight off.

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By slim
Administrator
Jan 22, 2012
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.
i'm really surprised at ryan's method. i change the weights for each set and each grip, with a really big variation in weight depending on the grip, hang and rest times, and number of reps.

i keep a spreadsheet and pre-design my workout, based on previous workouts. then, as i am doing my workout, just after i complete my set i write down how i did('e' for too easy, 'x' for about right, 'b' for barely, and f(#,#,#) for the reps that i failed). then, i write down what i think the ideal weight amount for that set will be for my next hangboard workout. i also use colors to fill in the cells (blue for 'e', green for 'x', yellow for 'b' and red for 'f'). this allows me to easily see visually if i am still on an upward trajectory, or if i might be starting to plateau.

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By camhead
From Vandalia, Appalachia
Jan 24, 2012
You stay away from mah pig!
Chris Clarke wrote:
I also train the hardest grips after warming up and then move to holds that are easier for me. Don't know if it is the best way but it is the only way I am doing the shallow pockets without taking weight off.


Yeah, in my limited experience, it is pretty key to start with the holds that you are weakest on, after an extensive warmup, of course. The last few sessions for me have basically been (really long, don't read, I'm just procrastinating real work):

Warmup:
-two ARC traverses, about 70 moves long around the gym, all jugs, on angles from about 10-70 degrees overhanging. No vertical angles, no stem rests.

-Five boulder problems in the v3-4+ range, all of them on the 70 degree wall, and each 8-12 moves long on mostly mini-jugs or big crimps.

Hangboard:
-1 set of two pad monos (which I can barely complete)
-3 sets of one pad, two finger pockets

Add 15 pounds
-3 sets of sloping pinch
-3 sets of half pad slimp
-3 sets of half pad crimp
-3 sets of full pad slimp
-3 sets of full pad crimp
-3 sets (or until I fall off) of the big metolius 45 degree flat sloping edge

3 sets of 20 pushups, alternating with 3 sets of 10 leg lifts

Then another ARC traverse cool-down.

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By Will S
From Joshua Tree
Jan 24, 2012
Another Question below at bottom, please weight in!

I'm always amazed at you guys (and gals?) that do 10, 15, or even 20+ sets on the board. Seems like more of a stamina or even PE protocol than a pure strength one.

I do typically 6 sets, and have never done more 8. If I did more sets, the weight used would have to be substantially lower, which seems counter to the goal of hypertrophy and max strength. I want to be able to get the absolute max weight I can manage and still get 10sec reps on the first two reps (my sets are intended to be 5x10sec but typically look like 2x10sec, 1x8sec, 1x5sec, 1x3sec.)

Here's a different question, would be nice to get you hangers' feedback. I've been doing dedicated hangboard cycles for 4 years or so, typically 3 phases per calendar year. And I continue to get stronger, typically passing my previous bests by about 5-10lb at the end of each phase. What I have noticed from the past few cycles is that around workout #8 or #9 on the hangboard, I hit a wall or plateau. I've tried to push through it before, keeping the weight the same for a bit and then upping it again, extending the phase to as long as 12 workouts before moving on to MaxR.

At what point in the hangboard phase do YOU typically plateau or have trouble making more gains? IIRC, Mike wrote his Rockprodigy article with as base of 10 workouts in that phase, which seems about right, but I am consistently running into issues at #8 or #9. Last night was #9 and it was pretty bad, added 5lb on everything from the prior workout and couldn't even complete ANY full 10sec reps on my harder grips. Backed off 5lb but by that point had wasted the workout (well, wasted is too strong, I still got in some max shorter duration hangs)

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By Monomaniac
Administrator
From Morrison, CO
Jan 24, 2012
Insurrection, 5.14c.  Photo Adam Sanders.
Will S wrote:
What I have noticed from the past few cycles is that around workout #8 or #9 on the hangboard, I hit a wall or plateau. I've tried to push through it before, keeping the weight the same for a bit and then upping it again, extending the phase to as long as 12 workouts before moving on to MaxR. At what point in the hangboard phase do YOU typically plateau or have trouble making more gains? ...I am consistently running into issues at #8 or #9. Last night was #9 and it was pretty bad, added 5lb on everything from the prior workout and couldn't even complete ANY full 10sec reps on my harder grips. Backed off 5lb but by that point had wasted the workout (well, wasted is too strong, I still got in some max shorter duration hangs)


This is pretty much exactly my experience as well. I've never done more than 10 HB w/o's in a phase. I can see minimal improvement from workout to workout after ~8 workouts or so. My question to you is, what happpened when you did 12 workouts? Did you break through the plateau, or were you just beating your head against a brick wall?

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By Monomaniac
Administrator
From Morrison, CO
Jan 24, 2012
Insurrection, 5.14c.  Photo Adam Sanders.
Lots of questions for camhead:

camhead wrote:
Hangboard: -1 set of two pad monos (which I can barely complete) ...


I wouldn't start your workout with monos! I start with a big edge, which is really just a warmup (2 sets), then 2 finger pocket (3 sets), then thin crimp (3 sets), then mono.

camhead wrote:
-3 sets of half pad slimp


What the hell is a slimp? Is this an Ohio humidity thing, like a slimy crimp?

camhead wrote:
3 sets of 20 pushups

Why do you do these? Is this an antagonist thing? I don't really see the point in doing ~ <30% of your one set max of what is basically an endurance exercise.

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By camhead
From Vandalia, Appalachia
Jan 24, 2012
You stay away from mah pig!
Monomaniac wrote:
Lots of questions for camhead: I wouldn't start your workout with monos! I start with a big edge, which is really just a warmup (2 sets), then 2 finger pocket (3 sets), then mono.


What types of warmups are your sets on the big edge? Have you already done traversing, easy bouldering, or something like that before you start on the hangboard workout? I'm not hangboarding at home; fortunately, I have access to a co-op bouldering gym that has some pretty good options for ARC-type warmups before I get on the boards.

I'm definitely not starting my workout with monos. As I posted above, I'm still doing a pretty extensive warmup session in my gym before I even start on hangboarding. Basically, by the time I start on the hangboard, I feel like I would be ready to start bouldering at max. I tried the monos after the one-pad two-finger pocket, but felt much weaker from the strain that the two-finger pocket had already put on me, even with a 3 minute rest between. I have not tried doing something like a deep two finger pocket before the mono, though.


Monomaniac wrote:
What the hell is a slimp? Is this an Ohio humidity thing, like a slimy crimp?


Sloping crimps = slimps. I don't even know the brand of hangboard at my gym that has these, but it's got both flat-edge crimps, and small, sloping edges for both half and full pads. Since I am in the east, maybe I should start training more slime-holds though.


Monomaniac wrote:
Why do you do these (pushups)? Is this an antagonist thing? I don't really see the point in doing ~ <30% of your one set max of what is basically an endurance exercise.


Yeah, just an antagonist/oppositional thing. I've pretty much always done this at the end of bouldering sessions for years, mostly because it is a part of my body that is not exhausted at the end of the workout. I would be interested to know what more effective antagonist workouts would be, though. I'm still very much trying to figure out what works and what doesn't in more structured training routines.

Also, how many sets per grip do you do, Mark? 3-sets, as per the rockprodigy article, or do you more do what Will described above?

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By Monomaniac
Administrator
From Morrison, CO
Jan 24, 2012
Insurrection, 5.14c.  Photo Adam Sanders.
camhead wrote:
What types of warmups are your sets on the big edge? Have you already done traversing, easy bouldering, or something like that before you start on the hangboard workout?


I do dead hangs on the big edge, one set of 7 reps with 0-10lbs added, 3 min rest, then one set of 5 reps w/ 20-30lb. added. I could probably do well over 70lb. on this edge if it weren't a warmup, (just to give you an idea of the relative intensity). Prior to this set I ARC in my gym for ~15 minutes, which includes going through all of the grip types that I will be training. I used to do some easy bouldering but now I find that excessive.

camhead wrote:
Also, how many sets per grip do you do, Mark? 3-sets, as per the rockprodigy article, or do you more do what Will described above?


3 sets per grip except for the warmup described above. I used to do 3 sets for that as well, but I've decided its unnecessary.

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By Will S
From Joshua Tree
Jan 24, 2012
Monomaniac wrote:
My question to you is, what happpened when you did 12 workouts? Did you break through the plateau, or were you just beating your head against a brick wall?


Total brick wall. I kept the same weight for #9 and #10, and marginally improved judging by rep times, so upped it by 5lb for #11, and stayed at that weight for #12. Both 11 and 12 felt like a waste of time. Just "flat" or "off" workouts that seemed hard to maintain psyche and didn't seem to generate any result, couldn't even hit a full 10sec rep on any of the sets, etc.

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By reboot
From Westminster, CO
Jan 24, 2012
Will S wrote:
I'm always amazed at you guys (and gals?) that do 10, 15, or even 20+ sets on the board. Seems like more of a stamina or even PE protocol than a pure strength one.

No kidding, after 5 sets or so, I don't think 5 mins would be enough for me to recover between sets. On the other hand, doing <10 sets, I feel pretty good after a day of rest. I asked about hanging in lockoff not because of lockoff training per se, the grip feels different in that position, that's all.

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By Monomaniac
Administrator
From Morrison, CO
Jan 24, 2012
Insurrection, 5.14c.  Photo Adam Sanders.
Will S wrote:
Total brick wall. I kept the same weight for #9 and #10, and marginally improved judging by rep times, so upped it by 5lb for #11, and stayed at that weight for #12. Both 11 and 12 felt like a waste of time. Just "flat" or "off" workouts that seemed hard to maintain psyche and didn't seem to generate any result, couldn't even hit a full 10sec rep on any of the sets, etc.


Interesting. I know exactly what you mean by a "flat" workout. That is indeed the reason for a phased training cycle, but its always nice to see it validated with actual experience. When I end the phase on a high note it always leaves me wondering what might happen if I just stuck with the phase, but I suspect the brick wall would happen more often than not.

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By slim
Administrator
Jan 24, 2012
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.
definitely sounds like a plateau. i usually have an 'off' night towards the end, then i usually have one more 'on' night, and then it goes to hell in a handbag pretty quick. time to jump ship to MR in my opinion.

also willS, interesting point on number of sets. i worked w/ mono via email to have him look at my workout. first thing he said was holy shit that is too many sets (like 38). he narrowed it down to 26 or so, but i added a few back in so it is around 30. that being said, i also include a bunch of crack sizes jam/hang sets. a general overview of my workout:

first, i design a playlist (probably the most important aspect of hangboarding) so that my warmup music is fairly chill:

then, at least 30 minutes warmup hangs of various types starting jug, ending 4 finger open crimp.

then the music gets dramatic and i start arranging the weights, getting psyched, brushing the chalk off, chalking up etc.

then death metal starts shaking the basement and i do

5 grips (large edge 4 finger open crimp, small edge 3 finger open, pad and a half 2 finger pocket (index and middle), small edge 3 finger crimp, pad and a half 2 finger pocket (middle and ring)

each grip i do 3 sets w/ 5 sec hangs, 5 sec rests, (7,6,5 reps).

then i do big and small pinches, tight fingers, loose fingers, tight ringlocks, loose ringlocks, tight hands.



anyway, the thing that i have found utterly important (other than the death metal to keep you going) is the amount of time resting between your sets. if i have around 2 minutes between sets, it seems like i don't have a problem doing a bunch of sets (although when i look at it, the crack sets are so different that it might not add up the same). if i have more rest, i don't seem to have a big benefit (ie i can't do more weight). also, the 2 minumte rest seems perfect for writing down my performance, shuffling weights, and taking a quick swig of juice.

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By Luke W.
From Prescott
Jan 24, 2012
Avi
The training forum has been a gold mine of information lately. Thanks to all for contributing!

One question to add to the the discussion. From what I have read most people are not trying their hardest during the hyp phase. Perhaps moderately hard. I usually take two days off between workouts so I want to maximize my training and I give 100%. The problem is I am trying so hard sometimes I miss several seconds on the last rep and occasionally missing the last rep completely. Am I still training hyp at this point? Should I decrease the weight to lower the intensity to make sure I hit all my reps even though I will not be trying as hard?

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By slim
Administrator
Jan 24, 2012
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.
i pretty much give 100%. i try to guess the weight so that i barely get the last rep in on every single set. i have to take 2 days off after my HB workouts (unless i just climb really, really easy stuff at the gym and work on technique, etc).

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By camhead
From Vandalia, Appalachia
Jan 24, 2012
You stay away from mah pig!
I have also found that I definitely need a lot of rest as well. Usually 72 hours between workouts, though my most recent was more like a 50 hour rest with not too much trouble, so I may start trying something like a Friday-Sunday-Tuesday schedule.

Hey Slim, do you have any pics of your crack-size hangboards? I can't see any point in doing fingerlock hangs, since 90% of that is on your bone, rather than muscles, but I could see rattly fingers or tight ringlocks as being really beneficial. Do you use some combination of screw-on holds?


Oh, and Ministry is definitely the best hangboard music for me.

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By slim
Administrator
Jan 24, 2012
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.
camhead, what i have is basically a pair of 2"X6"s that are 24" long and i use 4 bolts/nuts to bolt them together with space between them. i bolt them together with probably 10 degrees of flare. it has a loop of cord through the top which goes up over a pulley and down to weights. i have 4 of these - .3 camalot, loose .4 camalot, tight . 5 camalot, and .75 camalot.

for the .3 and .4 i go one hand thumbs up, one hand thumbs down. then i alternate which hand is which every other rep.

for the .5 and .75 i just go both hands thumbs down. these 2 torture devices have been a big help for me on these sizes. a real big help.

then,

i have a couple pieces of plywood squares that are about 18" x 18" that are bolted apart in the same way for tight #2 friend size.

for my crack sets i usually go 10 seconds on, 10 seconds off to give me more time to set up my jams.

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By LeeAB
Administrator
From ABQ, NM
Jan 24, 2012
Once we landed we headed to Font to find a place t...
Mike Anderson wrote:
....Weaknesses may hold you back on a particular route, but you're rarely forced to use a given hold...there are often other options on a given route, or other routes to climb. Therefore, it can be helpful to have glaring strengths to go along with your weaknesses.


I don't know if you've climbed at the New, Mike and I'm not saying by any means that I've really climbed there, but I did get on Quinsana and F-me, you have to pull off some $h!tty holds and I could not really find a way around it.

As far as the hangboarding, This is my first time really doing this and I was very conservative since I've had numerous finger injuries. I know that Mike mentions failure on the final rep of each set in the rock prodigy article, I went more for making sure that the end of the second to last and all of the last reps had me starting to quake (you know when you're trying really hard and start to shake?). Then on the next work out I would repeat and it would be easier and then I would increase resistance after that, so I was increasing resistance every other workout. In addition I was only doing the one set on each grip.

If there are any questions about my training history, Mono has a pretty good idea about what it entailed...

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By Monomaniac
Administrator
From Morrison, CO
Jan 24, 2012
Insurrection, 5.14c.  Photo Adam Sanders.
LeeAB wrote:
I don't know if you've climbed at the New, Mike and I'm not saying by any means that I've really climbed there, but I did get on Quinsana and F-me, you have to pull off some $h!tty holds and I could not really find a way around it.


Ya, I agree with you on this. I would say Mike's theory applies more in the sense of 'other routes' more than 'other holds'. When you're near your limit on a given route, there is often only one set of hand holds to get you through the crux. Perhaps not the case for the the jug-haul type lines back east though. Its certainly true that you can work your way up the grade scale without every cranking on a 2 finger pocket, or doing any hard pinch moves, or whatever your particular weakness might be, as long as you're willing to do the leg work to find routes that perfectly suit your strengths.

LeeAB wrote:
I went more for making sure that the end of the second to last and all of the last reps had me starting to quake (you know when you're trying really hard and start to shake?). Then on the next work out I would repeat and it would be easier and then I would increase resistance after that, so I was increasing resistance every other workout.


That sounds pretty good. I get what you mean by 'quake'. I do 3 sets of each grip, and at this point in my cycle (8 workouts in the bag), I'm basically right at my limit on each grip. What that means in terms of quaking, is that I'm typically quaking on the last rep of the first set, the last two reps of the 2nd set, and the last 3 of the 3rd set. By the end of the last rep of the 3rd set I might be literally sliding of the hold (*this can be risky, especially to your skin, so be careful if you find yourself in a similar situation). So to answer Luke's question, you should be trying really freaking hard, IMO.

I think its wise to be conservative when it comes to increasing weight between workouts. If you're doing 8 or more workouts, you will get where you need to be eventually, so there's no need to rush it. Once you've been through several cycles you'll get a better idea of just how aggressive to be.

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By Mike Anderson
From Colorado Springs, CO
Jan 24, 2012
I knew that would be taken out of context and I wrote it anyway...I'm such an idiot!

Yes, only train your weaknesses, squander your strengths, they are obviously worthless.

Also, as Tommy C told me: "try really hard"

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By Monomaniac
Administrator
From Morrison, CO
Jan 24, 2012
Insurrection, 5.14c.  Photo Adam Sanders.
No, I agree with your underlying point: train all your grips, even the ones you are good at. The rest is just thread drift, which is equivalent to gravity in the IMB universe.

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By LeeAB
Administrator
From ABQ, NM
Jan 24, 2012
Once we landed we headed to Font to find a place t...
Mike, I was just pointing out that camhead had a specific goal that required that he improve on his weakness. I too am all for doing a little of every type of grip, changing weight a lot to achieve the correct intensity.

Along the lines of Tommy's advice. The best beta I've ever given is "Pull hard and don't let go", pretty much universally applicable.

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By TakeTakeTake
Jan 24, 2012
camhead wrote:
Hey Slim, do you have any pics of your crack-size hangboards?


+1 on crack machine hangboard pics! Show them off...

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