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Eva Lopez finger training strategy + results
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By LeeAB
Administrator
From ABQ, NM
Feb 14, 2013
Once we landed we headed to Font to find a place to stay for the night before doing a day of wine tasting and heading to Buoux.

Will S wrote:
Keep in mind that wooden contraptions will swell/shrink with changes in temp/humidity. That will, in turn, change the size of your edge. So you might want some kind of calipers, or fixed width jigs made from another material like plastic to verify your depth before each workout. The swell/shrink won't be a lot, but I'd think that even 5%-10% in edge width will make a big difference when training at your limit.


frankstoneline wrote:
How much do you think a rung will swell/shrink? I mean, are we talking changes of grip width of 10% or more on the order of 1%? I hadnt thought of this and now I'm a little concerned about this issue, though I'm hesitant to purchase a set of calipers.


While it is true that wood will swell and shrink, I doubt it will be enough to have a very large effect. The humidity will have more effect on you and your ability to hold on than the rung will expand and if things dry out you will find it easier to hang the "slightly" smaller rung.

It is worth noting as well that when building a wooden table and attaching the top, you would use slotted clips, but those slots are only about a 1/4" to 1/2" long and made to take up the swelling and contracting of the entire table top width, so the expansion would be a pretty small percentage of the overall dimension. Also, wood swells and contracts perpendicular to the grain (I believe, or at least more so in that direction) so if the grain of your rungs is horizontal you should not have an issue.


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By LeeAB
Administrator
From ABQ, NM
Feb 14, 2013
Once we landed we headed to Font to find a place to stay for the night before doing a day of wine tasting and heading to Buoux.

Will S wrote:
I'm considering just getting a nice slab of wood and taking it to a local CNC shop with some specs and sketches have them machine me a board similar to the Lopez boards. Anyone got a good suggestion for wood species for something like that? Something that will mill precisely without splitting, cracking, etc.


Probably pretty easy to make yourself with a planner (this would be the only specific type of tool) saw and a router (or emphatic sanding by hand). Just get some 3/4" material and round the front top edge for comfort, then cut to whatever length you want (18"-24")set one aside, then plane the rest down 1/16", set one aside and repeat until you have one of each size you want. Finally screw them to a backer board and hang it, you could always make a stepped backer board by simply adding plies as you go up.


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By frankstoneline
Feb 14, 2013

Chris Plesko wrote:
I'm basically follwoing the rock prodigy format of 10sec/5sec repeaters. 6 grips plus a sub maximal warm up set on jugs, 3 sets each grip for the rest. I add 5-10lbs per session usually, occasionally 2 sessions in a row at the same weight. All grips are bodyweight or higher now, the most being +60lbs. It's made a HUGE improvement in my open hand strength which was my primary goal. I've been through two 8 session rounds and will be switching to 7/3 for round 3 plus replacing my sloper set with a pinch. The beastmaker is probably the easiest board for me to just order that's wood. Pockets and the deeper two edges on the metolius board tear up my skin unless it's really cold. I'll mount my pinches and juges for warmup separate.


Nice, I'm hoping to shift to a repeater plan for 5 weeks in 3 or 4 more weeks, I'll probably try to use the board i have up for most of it (either the rungs or the plastic board) and see how it goes, but the beastmakers definitely look nice.

60 lbs is a lot, what grips do you use that kind of weight for/what are your 6 grips? I was trying to get everything to body weight when I first experimented with the rock prodigy board workout and found the pinky ring finger combo to be pretty heinous.


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By frankstoneline
Feb 14, 2013

LeeAB wrote:
Probably pretty easy to make yourself with a planner (this would be the only specific type of tool) saw and a router (or emphatic sanding by hand). Just get some 3/4" material and round the front top edge for comfort, then cut to whatever length you want (18"-24")set one aside, then plane the rest down 1/16", set one aside and repeat until you have one of each size you want. Finally screw them to a backer board and hang it, you could always make a stepped backer board by simply adding plies as you go up.



I've linked it before, but I basically did this based on an idea i got from a blog. So far I really like it and I feel that I'm seeing really nice gains from hanging on a half inch rung, more so than I ever saw from the rock prodigy type workout (on a traditional board, i think the grips are too big) and its less time/skin intensive. when I first started I couldnt hang on a 1/4" rung at all, now I'm up to ~5 seconds (body weight only).


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By slim
Administrator
Feb 14, 2013
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.

Chris Plesko wrote:
if the lopez boards weren't such a PITA to get in the USA I'd consider one. The idea is interesting and would be worth experimenting with. As it was I'm just going to get a wooden board as the plastic metolius board I've used for the last two rounds has been eating my skin when hanging with a lot of weight. I'm hoping the wood helps plus mounting two fans ala mark anderson instead of the one big fan I am using now. After two complete sessions of hangboarding I'm seeing big gains and redoing my setup to be more skin friendly plus add pinches and a tiny edge to simulate route types I like.


Chris, I use a metolius board for my pocket grips, and I used to have a lot of problems with my fingers getting chewed up. Recently, I sanded down the front of pockets, and a little bit inside the pocket. Basically, I kept sanding around until the areas that aren't directly under my fingertips were smooth. I based this theory on my V5.12 hangboard (dual texture) which doesn't seem to cause flappers. It has really helped a lot. Maybe give that a try. I still usually sand my fingers a bit with sandpaper during my workout, just so i don't build up a roll of potential flapper skin, but for the most part, sanding the pockets has minimized this.

For my crimp grip, i use a piece of floor/wall molding from the hardware store. It is oak, 5/16 inch thick (i sanded/rounded the corner so it is actually about 1/4" thick). I think at some point i will actually build a wood hangboard that is similar to the progression board, as i have outgrown my V5.12. Never thought i would build one, but it is hard to find something that i am really psyched on.


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By Will S
From Joshua Tree
Feb 14, 2013

Good point that the humidity will likely affect skin to hold friction as much or more than the change in size from the wood swelling.

Cycling from 40%RH to 75%RH, you get between 0.5% and 1% size variation (depending on wood type, and whether measured tangentially or radially WRT the growth rings.)

Basically a non-issue. But I didn't know that until I actually looked into the coefficients. Obviously hardwoods and/or surface treated woods will be on the low end of change, with untreated softwoods on the high end.


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By slim
Administrator
Feb 14, 2013
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.

another way of dealing with swelling/shrinking would be to paint it, but that would detract from the grip quality. i will likely paint mine, and then just use a strip of grip tape on the top of the edge. curious to see if the grip tape glue will be strong enough though.


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By reboot
From Westminster, CO
Feb 14, 2013

Will S wrote:
Never seen any of the Beastmaker models in person, so I can't compare them with the Metolius.

Not gonna help you, but in the front range, the Metolius wooden hangboard can be seen @ Bentgate and the Beastmaker (both version) @ Movement gym. Also, BRC has a pair of G-String grips.

slim wrote:
as i have outgrown my V5.12.

Really? Although I'll admit the V5.12 isn't what I thought it was going to be, there are a lot of things I can think of that I can't really do on that board (training 1 or 2 finger hangs), it's just that the board isn't really designed well for progression to those grips, especially for hanging off of 1 arm.

JLP wrote:
That rail, it seems to me, could be a Metolius Campus rung

I'm actually seriously considering doing away w/ the hangboard & just buy a few campus rungs, especially now that they offer a combo pack (2 of each size). It'll also be a much more efficient utilization of doorway space.


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By Mark E Dixon
From Sprezzatura, Someday
Feb 14, 2013
At the BRC

reboot wrote:
I'm actually seriously considering doing away w/ the hangboard & just buy a few campus rungs, especially now that they offer a combo pack (2 of each size). It'll also be a much more efficient utilization of doorway space.


I mostly use the metolius rungs, along with a couple of thinner wooden strips. The smallest metolius rung is 19mm (according to their website) which might be a little wide for most folks. I get a sense I'm weaker than a lot of the posters on this thread though!

If you bought the six pack you could use one of each rung right side up and the other upside down. I don't really like the sharp edge in the upside down configuration, but YMMV.


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By Chris Plesko
From Westminster, CO
Feb 14, 2013
OMG, I winz!!!

frankstoneline wrote:
Nice, I'm hoping to shift to a repeater plan for 5 weeks in 3 or 4 more weeks, I'll probably try to use the board i have up for most of it (either the rungs or the plastic board) and see how it goes, but the beastmakers definitely look nice. 60 lbs is a lot, what grips do you use that kind of weight for/what are your 6 grips? I was trying to get everything to body weight when I first experimented with the rock prodigy board workout and found the pinky ring finger combo to be pretty heinous.


4 finger flat large edge and MR pocket both have a lot of weight added. MR is the mid depth. I don't train RP yet and probably won't for a while. At my level (V5+) I don't think RP is that important yet. 3 finger open, IM and MR have really helped improve my options since I started as a strong crimper. I've been campusing 3 finger as well as it seems to work better bio-mechanically for me with finger length.

My grips are jugs (sub max), 4 finger large half crimp, MR medium, 3 finger open medium, IM medium, 4 finger small crimp, sloper.

I'm ditching the sloper, downsizing the crimp and adding a pinch for my next round. I'll also downsizing holds when I'm adding enough weight that it's getting ridiculous.


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By Nate Reno
From Highlands Ranch, CO
Feb 14, 2013
Ellingwood Point Summit, Little Bear in the background.

Chris,

At the end of my last series, I was up to +60ish lbs range for the deep 2-finger pocket on my metolius simulator, with the stronger 2 teams. Like slim, I also ended up sanding the high friction areas around the sides/edges to a bit smoother texture, which helped tear up the skin a good bit less. I only do 1 set per grip, and actually find that the damage to the skin is healed by next session, and makes for some pretty tough skin on the fingers, so I haven't considered it a problem after I sanded it.

As for mounting pinches, I would suggest hanging them free-floating, rather than mounted immovable onto something. This will help isolate the pinch grip needed, and not allow you to cheat w/ compression via both arms when the reps get more difficult towards the end of the set (unless you think that's something worth training).

I used some concrete garden pavers, cut them to size w/ a skill saw/masonry blade, and can orient them in a few different positions for different pinch widths (but haven't gotten to the point of utilizing this). I currently have them mounted fixed to a 45deg angle board next to the hangboard, but plan on changing them to free floating sometime soon. I don't find myself falling off routes due to lack of pinch grip at all, so its last in my routine, and not much of a priority.

Nate


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By Chris Plesko
From Westminster, CO
Feb 14, 2013
OMG, I winz!!!

slim wrote:
Chris, I use a metolius board for my pocket grips, and I used to have a lot of problems with my fingers getting chewed up. Recently, I sanded down the front of pockets, and a little bit inside the pocket. Basically, I kept sanding around until the areas that aren't directly under my fingertips were smooth. I based this theory on my V5.12 hangboard (dual texture) which doesn't seem to cause flappers. It has really helped a lot. Maybe give that a try. I still usually sand my fingers a bit with sandpaper during my workout, just so i don't build up a roll of potential flapper skin, but for the most part, sanding the pockets has minimized this. For my crimp grip, i use a piece of floor/wall molding from the hardware store. It is oak, 5/16 inch thick (i sanded/rounded the corner so it is actually about 1/4" thick). I think at some point i will actually build a wood hangboard that is similar to the progression board, as i have outgrown my V5.12. Never thought i would build one, but it is hard to find something that i am really psyched on.


Interesting slim. I bet that would work well though I'm not sure I'm invested enough in the pockets to do it. Might be easier to just use an edge? I was nervous training on 2 fingers at first but with a reasonable progression it's gone really well with big gains in strength and confidence.


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By frankstoneline
Feb 14, 2013

Woof! I'm feeling like a slouch now! you guys are way more at it on the board than I am, gotta step it up!

Definitely going to try the sanding approach, I have an Entre Pris board, and it's nothing super awesome but it isnt quite as rough as some boards i've checked out (the soIll board with the big slopers for instance).


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By Will S
From Joshua Tree
Feb 14, 2013

Nate Reno wrote:
As for mounting pinches, I would suggest hanging them free-floating, rather than mounted immovable onto something. This will help isolate the pinch grip needed, and not allow you to cheat w/ compression



Just mounting your pinches closer together, basically at shoulder width , will eliminate most of the compression aspect.


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By Nate Reno
From Highlands Ranch, CO
Feb 14, 2013
Ellingwood Point Summit, Little Bear in the background.

Mine are mounted at shoulder width, granted I can't get a lot out of compressing, I can/do get a little, enough that I want to try them mouted floating at some point. I figure since I deal w/ increments as small as 2.5lbs /2 arms per workout, I should try to limit the factors I can't control as well. At least pinch isn't a priority.


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By kenr
Feb 16, 2013

Keeping it Simple: minimal construction labor and minimal expense ...

I bought some "vinyl gutter cover" (about 0.8mm or 1/32 inch thick) and "vinyl floor molding" (about 3mm or 1/8inch thick) at my local home improvement store. The vinyl materials are firm enough so they don't compress, yet soft enough so I can easily cut them to size and shape with just sharp scissors.

So I just cut out pieces into the shape (e.g. rectangle with circular sides) that fits into pockets on my wood fingerboard. Or for the narrow "ledge" hold on my resin board, I just cut rectangles wide enough for four fingers.

Then I just stand several of these vinyl shims together against the back of the pocket, and instantly I've got a smaller edge-hold than I ever had before on my fingerboard.

In my current workout strategy I'm not doing Repeaters, instead the "UK style" workout of single reps with a minute or two of rest between. Therefore the shims do not need to hold themselves in place -- because my fingertips hold them while I'm doing my single rep. The shims fall off immediately afterward, but I don't care because it's during the long rest interval.

(I'm pretty confident I could work out a way for them to hold themselves during a Repeater set of like say ten reps)

So far lots of fun playing with gripping smaller edges than I ever imagined. Then I come back three days later, just add another 0.8mm shim, and discover I can grip something even smaller.

Great to see all the creative construction plans here -- but I'm finding these vinyl things such an easy way to get started exploring a whole new aspect of training.

(Didn't even have to find new free space on one of my walls.)

Ken


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By kenr
Mar 8, 2013

Calipers do matter ...
I made some holds out of wood and screwed them onto a vertical board.
But when I measured them with calipers on the board, they miraculously had gotten wider (by about 0.8mm = 1/32 inch)
I meaasured it again, similar with all four holds. Seemed like I had screwed each one on tight -- yet somehow there was an extra gap.

I'm not even slightly like a 5.12 climber, and I found that I can do a dead hang on a 9mm = 11/32in edge for 3 seconds, and perhaps at most for less than half a second on a 7mm edge.

I tried thinner edges with my weight partly supported on my feet, and I can barely hold onto a 5mm edge for several seconds -- but 4mm is at most for a desperate instant.

So I'm thinking that less than 5mm, it's no longer a question of my finger strength or specific neural recruitment, but of the structure of skin and bone on my fingertips.

Somebody else have specific experience with what they've found possible on edges with different width measurements?

I'm guessing a reasonable goal for me would be to train to hang for several seconds on an 8mm edge. And a long-term "stretch" goal might be to hang from a 7mm edge.

(How that reported guy hangs off a 6mm edge, I don't know ... Maybe if I put some steel caps on my fingertips?).

Ken


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By Unassigned User
Mar 8, 2013

That's nice! I have been using a $75 Metolius Training Board and have been really happy with the vast VARIETY of sized holds for training! Jugs, sloping edges, pockets for 1-4 fingers! I love my board! I can do about anyhting on it!

Pull ups, hangs!


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By JohnWesely
From Red River Gorge
Mar 8, 2013
Gunking

Threads like these always make me realize how weak my fingers are.


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By Unassigned User
Mar 8, 2013

That's WHY I bought the Blank Slate and the Metolius Training Board!

And bow they work to strengthen grip, endurance, hang, pinch ability and technique - at least ahs improved my climbing quite a bit from what I have seen! Plus - I can do hanging let raises for my Abs w/o stressing the low back, and, do pullups as well!


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