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how long for base level pully strength
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By dannl
Nov 12, 2011
I'm getting back into climbing after 10 months away from it and I am trying to take a more deliberate approach. My prior stretch was about 3 years, couple times a week pretty much all in the gym. I hurt my ankle playing soccer and couldn't stand and smear that well without pain / re-injure.

So I was thinking I would give myself a month of route climbing 5.7s before starting to boulder and attempt harder grades to get my pulleys and tendons back into shape. I never ripped any but I definitely tweaked a pulley a while back and am trying not to do it again.

Two questions:

Is a month too short / too long for establishing a base level for injury-proofing?

If you get busy with a job/etc. and can't do your frequent regular climbing, how little climbing can you do to maintain the ability to climb at a particular grade outside?

For example: Bob is regularly climbing weekends and two weekdays at 5.10 levels, drops down to twice a month outside with two gyms days per month, can Bob still rock a 5.9?

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By dannl
Nov 14, 2011
plz

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By Morgan Patterson
Administrator
Nov 14, 2011
Stoked...
Everyone is different... take ur time moving back up the grades and if something doesn't feel right back off and don't go all out on anything until you're back where you want to be or progressing how you would like to up the grades.

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By koreo
From Denver, CO
Nov 14, 2011
sloping <br />
I think 5.7s might be just a little too soft. A part of P/T is challenging said injury to stimulate blood flow and force it to get stronger. And if you can't get to a gym often or get out often, a fingerboard is best way to maintain and get stronger IMO.

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By mongoose
Nov 14, 2011
koreo wrote:
I think 5.7s might be just a little too soft. A part of P/T is challenging said injury to stimulate blood flow and force it to get stronger. And if you can't get to a gym often or get out often, a fingerboard is best way to maintain and get stronger IMO.


DO NOT USE A FINGERBOARD if you are worried about your tendons. If you do not know how to use it you will get hurt.

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By dannl
Nov 15, 2011
Thanks for the the replies so far!

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By Colin Parker
Administrator
From Idyllwild, CA
Nov 15, 2011
Bouldering in Joshua Tree
+1 for listening to your body. Nobody's recommendations are guaranteed to work for you. We're all different, and your situation is probably not identical to anyone who's replied to this thread. Take it slow and regularly check yourself for signs of repetitive stress injuries. When you find them, slow down or stop so your body has time to recover. Fingerboards are typically for more advanced training. Wait until you're comfortable on 10's before even approaching them.

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By Brent Apgar
From Out of the Loop
Nov 16, 2011
Me and Spearhead
Super interesting question. I've been in the health sciences for awhile now and am particularly interested in how fascia responds and adapts to training or injuries.
The truth is there are no real good studies showing how long fascia (ligaments and tendons are all fascia) takes to adapt to a training stimulus, suffice to say that it's much slower than skeletal muscle adaptation.
I would say that it really depends on how much force your asking your fingers to deal with. Obviously you're going to need more time for adaptation of the pulleys and flexor tendons the smaller the holds you're pulling on. So a month may be plenty of time to get into climbing 2 days a week indoors and on the weekends at the 5.10 level but if you're planning on bouldering over the winter and looking to project V5's you may need 2 or 3 times as much time to build a good base level.

Ultimately the problem w/ fascia always comes down to how much and how often. The fascia just simply doesn't adapt to climbing/training stresses as quickly as the muscles. Most often it's not that people climb on too small a hold too soon, it's that they try and climb on hard problems every time they go out (or in) and then decide to throw some other kind of climbing specific training in on top of it.
This is where you'll get the time honored advice that you've got to listen to your body and respect what it's telling you.

But by definition if you're pushing your training you're riding that line between getting stronger as quickly as possible and getting injured. Here's an interesting thought to ponder: Fascia has a lot more in common with bone, physiologically speaking, than it does w/ skeletal muscle. Which is why it's better to think in terms of how long would it take bone to heal or adapt to a training stress when you're deciding how fast to progress your climbing/conditioning when it comes to pulleys and tendons.
Hope that helped
Good luck w/ the climbing.

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