I recently put together a seminar at my gym MountainStrong. My friend and top notch writer Flecther wrote a few words about it. check them out ( and more of fletches writing) here:
With a hangboard. By MATT LLOYD
Why prioritize dead hangs over other types of accessory climbing training? The evidence shows climbers who can dead hang longer climb proportionately harder grades. That may seem obvious, but another way to look at it says, you don’t need to train pull-ups as much, there has been no correlation found there.
“Hand's fingers flexor muscles grip endurance in continuous and intermittent exercises are the muscles that have more influence in sport climbing performance. In this regard, we have found significant differences between elite and recreational climbers. “
View the study here
Your hand position matters: Most people should use Semi crimp position while training (B) - the exception is if you’re climbing goal primarily contains slopey or heavily pocketed holds, then use an open handed grip position (A). Closed hand crimping (C) increases your odds of injury and should be avoided during training.
Keep sessions short and intense -long sessions cannot maintain required intensity for proper muscle stimulation. i.e Don’t worry if your whole dead hang workout lasts only 20 minutes.. that's plenty if you don’t rest too much!
Use the time parameter of a particular workout to properly select the proper hold size/difficulty-try this rule of thumb. If the workout requires a 10 sec hang (:10/:05), find the smallest hold you can hang onto for :15-:20 seconds before reaching failure (when you're fresh). This might be different from climber to climber so take care on your first couple workouts to figure out which size holds works best for you. Start big and get smaller, don’t start small and then not finish the workout.
Failure should be reached or nearly reached on the last rep of a given set, not before. Adjust the size of the hold accordingly during the workout to make sure you only fail on the last rep. If you need to skip a round during a dead hang workout, do so. Its not the end of the world!
Evidence supports that added weight training should be done before minimum edge training . So… remember, big holds with added weight then little holds without weight.
A lot of this information comes from the excellent research of Eva Lopez : check her work out here
How good are you?Here is how the number show it:
Find a 14mm edge and hang on it as long as possible.:30 sec = 25th percentile
:43 sec = 50th percentile
:51 sec = 75th percentile
:56 sec = 85th percentile
:75 sec. = 100th percentile
(25th percentile means you can hang on longer than 25% of climber and shorter than 75% of climbers)
Recovery is key: Here are some forearm recovery Favorites.
Forearm crush. Open and close hands while applying weight from your knees.
Use a commercial device like the "Arm Aid"
Use a lacrosse ball to roll-out the forearm. This is one of my favorites.
Our newest product. The mountain Thong.
A short video journal of my approach and proccess to free soloing and highball bouldering.
I’ll be posting more of these how-to sort of things.
Today's workout is from my other website Mountain Strong Training.
The "why" is the most critical part of a training regime, if you don’t know the purpose of your efforts you are lost and will lose motivation. That's a fact. Being lost is ok, no judgment, we all lose focus sometimes. Take a moment today to refocus your attention or dedicate to a new path. Remember you can always change direction down the road, but each training session needs its point of focus. This workout is written for Mountain Strongs elite rock climbers but can be useful for anyone who wants to up their grip game. In climbing, just like in life, sometimes to survive you just need to hang on.
When I train I think about scary moments in the mountains, its the “why” of my workouts. It needs to be more than just looking good, that stuff fades too quickly. Think about the real world implications of what your training for, with that added focus its becomes much more accessible to persevere during a demanding workout. Find your reason for training before beginning today's WOD; it may be to be able to take care of your family in a time of crisis or to improve your skills in another sport during competition.
Complete 1 round every 5 min for 25 min ( 5 rounds total )
Dead Hang on a hang board or something similar ( like the frame of a door ).
Hang for :07 sec / then let go and rest for :03 sec
Do this back to back for 10 rounds.
Immediately after the dead hang ( we call this a superset )
Deadlift a barbell pre-loaded with your 1.25 x your body weight to the top position, then hold it at the top position with good form for as long as possible ( for me it between 20-50 secs depending on how tired I am )
Don’t use a 50/50 grip.
When you let go of the bar, rest until the next 5 min period begins and repeat the whole thing. This may start out easy but will quickly get very difficult as the little muscles in your forearms give out.
You can scale the deadlift up or down based on ability, the focus here is not the deadlift but rather the hold at the end. Don’t underestimate how pumped your forearms will be by the 5th round.
here is a video better explaining the WOD
This is my life.
I am 34 years old and at this ripe old age, I possess the maturity and decision-making skills of a hyper active toddler, or at least so I have been told. So, when I tell you that I have been climbing in Clear Creek Canyon since I was 18 years old, you can only imagine what kind of early 20’s energy-fueled hellion I was. Let me help you picture it. I made knee-jerk decisions quickly and with impunity, often trumping my most recent terrible idea with a more dangerous and more reckless version of the original idea before I had the time to punctuate it. This story is about one such decision.
I decided it was high time to try this turd of climb in the lower part of Clear Creek Canyon just outside of Denver Colorado called “Ghost.” It was graded 5.14a despite its 20-foot stature. It had been recently be put up and then quickly down-graded to 13b by another climber and then in almost no time upgraded back to 14a by yet another. This kind of route drama is exactly what I looked for in a project; in the hopes of finding the softest and easiest “hard “ climb that I could do, hopefully avoiding and challenge or work that a real project might require. Allowing me to quickly inflate my ego and post about my triumph on the internet in as little time as possible. I know, I can be an asshole. But can’t we all? Anyway, as the ego driven-grade-chasing-dingbat that I was, and sometimes continue to be, I set forth to wrangle a buddy into checking out the climb with me. I used all kinds of exaggerations/ lies to get someone to come with, throwing around words like “classic” and “epic” and “no approach”. My friend Adam was easily convinced.
After parking just upstream from the climb we illegally crossed this little rickety foot bridge over the river and began taking turns climbing and figuring out the surprisingly fun and difficult moves on this bouldering-on-a-rope route dubbed “Ghost.” After a few burns and a lot of flailing around, we decided to call it a day. Too much effort was being expended. There was beer to drink and I don’t neglect my beer.
It’s at this point where things went South, as the saying goes. I decided that walking 100 feet back to the bridge to reverse our safe and easy approach was just too daunting. I mean, who could be bothered? So I decided to forge across the early season river, which was pumping at high water. I took one look and thought: I got this, its just water. I decided I should take my pants and shoes off since I didn’t want to get them wet as the water was by all accounts “kinda high.” I had the forethought to consider that driving home with wet clothes on would be “itchy”; after all, I’m not a barbarian. So after removing my pants and shoes I wadded them up into a ball and held them in one hand above my head to set forth like a character from the Oregon trail.
I had taken about 5 steps before the current of the water, which had enough brute force and speed behind it to drowned an elephant snatched my legs out from under me. In my panic, I let go of my pants to save my climbing gear. Obvious decision there. Trying desperately to keep my climbing bag above water I raised my hand higher like a good pupil in Sunday school. The goal was to keep my climbing gear dry, which I succeeded at the behest of the rest of my body going under the river . But the water consumed me, water boarding me like an ISIS fighter in GETMO. I drank enough river water to rehydrate a 50 year-old cowhide rug. In that moment my reason simultaneously kicked in; better late than never I suppose. I realized I might in fact drown. So I let go of everything and swam/flailed/crawled for the other side. When I made it to shore I felt quite proud of myself. I was a conquering hero, a soldier returning to home after the war. A wet, pant-less soldier. I raised my fists like a medaling Olympian. I am all that is man. Then I saw Adam.
Adam was always much smarter than me. He made, what people sometimes call “good” decisions. Adam avoided fights and rough housing, he didn’t drink too much and made it his life’s purpose abstain from unnecessary risk. Adam chose to walk around the raging river via the intact and easily accessible foot bridge while I did whatever it was I was going to do. He didn’t even bother trying to talk me out of it; there was no point. He got back to the car so fast he lapped me. He stood there on the bank of the river shaking his head.
This was not the first time I had received Adams disapproval. We hung out frequently and my late night ideas for entertainment often involved breaking the law and vandalism, which are the same thing, but only sometimes. This is about when we realized what had actually happened.
My pants were gone, eaten by the river and taken to wherever things that get lost go to. Not only that, but my car keys, which were inside the front right pocket, needless to say, were also gone. This didn’t seem like as big of a problem at first as it was. Let’s recap.
I had no pants.
I had not shoes.
I had no car keys.
My car was locked.
My wallet was inside the car.
My cell phone was inside my car, which was next to Adam’s cell phone.
What were we going to do? We couldn’t drive home without keys, we couldn’t call for a ride without a cell phone.. and oh, I’m still pant-less.
This is the part of the story where someone who wasn’t really listening to this mildly entertaining story blurts out “Why didn’t you just hitchhike?”
Did I mention I was pant-less? I’m tall, skinny and in tighty-whiteys. I looked like a wet, sad giraffe. We had no choice. We had to cowboy up and walk out of the canyon. Sorry, Adam.
If you spend any time in Clear Creek Canyon you know only two groups of people use that road. Climbers and Gamblers. The latter comes ripping down the canyon after guzzling a few free whisky-sodas and gambling away little Johnny’s inheritance. Let’s just say I got a few honks on the way out. After about an hour of walking barefoot in my underwear on the side of the road, dodging broken glass and nails, I quietly hoped that one of those drivers barreling down canyon would just nod off for a moment and run me over. A boy can dream, can’t he?
When we arrived at the mouth of the canyon I surveyed the scene, looking for the right person to approach and ask to borrow their cell phone. I was looking for someone who might not run as I approached. Someone who might not call the cops. Adam and I looked even worse at this point. Tired and dirty and, yes, still not fully clothed. A 6 foot 5 pant-less meth-head with his 5 foot 3 sidekick. We resembled master blaster from Mel Gibson’s Beyond the Thunder Dome.
Two men enter one man leaves. Thanks, Tina Turner.
After scanning the possible marks I zeroed in on a kayaker. I made this choice deliberately based on some commonly known facts that I had gathered over the years. Kayakers voluntarily get into cold dark rivers in high water, riding in a cramped plastic boat for recreation, indicating both a low IQ and propensity for danger. These are just the sorts of qualities of that indicate a person to whom a request from a pant-less man to hand over a fancy new iPhone could seem logical. Success. Kayakers are alright in my book.
After an awkward cab drive home all was well. Adam and I sat picking some glass out of my feet while I apologized profusely. It was at this moment that I reflected on the day. Where did I go wrong? What would Jesus have done? The moral of the story?
Don’t fall when you cross the river.