Archive for the ‘Training’ Category

Crushing Tip #28

Friday, July 17th, 2015

crushing tip 28

Traversing: 3 Reasons to Add Laterally Inclined Routes to Your Routine

by: Dan Morrow

In climbing, to “traverse” is to climb sideways across the rock face. This is opposed to the normal upwards movement normally associated with rock climbing. I’m here to tell you that horizontal climbing is not just allowed, but awesome.

Now some of you may be saying, “but I want to go up.” Well, up is great! I too wish to climb to great heights and conquer the gnarly routes of the world. But, there are a lot of great reasons to periodically turn your back to the ascent and learn the joys of the more laterally inclined routes.

Reason number one; it’s great as a warm up!
Put on your comfy rock shoes, the ones where your toes aren’t forced to bend like an old mans’ rheumatic knuckles. Get in the zone, play some phil collins or whatever gets you in the mood to crush. Forget about the world outside with all it’s boring, non climbing related issues.  Try out different walls and sections of the gym and see which one tends to be the best warm up for you, mentally and physically. Just remember you are warming up, don’t go too fast and remember to stick on something that’s pretty easy for you. Explore the range of motion of your arms and legs and take lots of rest steps, when you get too pumped, just hop off!

Reason number two; it’s great training for specific techniques.
I used to have this bad habit. Whenever I matched feet on a small foothold, I had a tendency to bend my arms excessively at the elbows and over exert myself by squeezing way too hard on the rock with my hands. Now, I’m still no master matcher, but I have improved greatly by practicing that same move over and over again. Where did I do this? On a traverse! Do you grip holds harder then you need to? Do you forget to watch where you place your feet? Maybe you simply forget to breath? Those are habits that need repetition and intention to break, and an extended traverse is a great opportunity to reforge!

Reason number three; it’s a great way to meet people.
In a gym, climbing up is generally a two person activity. But exploring the alternative plane of the traverse is a shared experience. There can be tons of people on the same traverse at any given time.(especially during warm up for our kid classes) Maybe you and I will bump into each other on your next sideways climb!  You could even follow behind me for my sweet warm up beta.

There are a lot more great reasons to love traversing, and maybe you can come up with some other good reasons to add traversing to your repertoire. Then, once you get your x axis climbing skills dialed in, treat yourself and find a sweet traverse outside somewhere. I hear this one is pretty rad:  http://www.mountainproject.com/v/evolution-traverse/107070687

Crushing Tip #27

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

crushing tip 27

Trix Aren’t Just for Kids

by Jimmy Grant

Climbing games at Edgeworks are not just for our young up and coming Sharma’s, Caldwell’s, and Puccio’s. They are also fun for our fully grown “kids” as well. Games and climbing drills are a great way to build strength, technique, and visualization. Not to mention a great way to kill the monotony of endless hours in the gym.

So grab a few friends and try out these games and drills to spice up your next session:

The Classic – “Add-on”

How to play: The first player begins by choosing and establishing themselves on 2 start handholds preferably on the boulder or in our lead cave, but can be played on any terrain. The second player then uses the same 2 start handholds and adds-on 2 of their own handholds. Then the next player adds 2 more handholds, or the first player returns to the start to try the new sequence and adds 2 more at the end. The feet are open to step on any hold they would like. You can play this classic with 2-4 players of similar ability. The game keeps going until someone makes a mistake, making them out. Add-on is great for training endurance. It is also great for making you aware of where you may excel and others struggle or vice versa. This can make you more aware of what you can work on to become an even better climber.

Variation: Try to add-on 5-8 moves at a time per player. Attempting to do more moves all at once will help climbers work on their on-sighting skills.

The Challenge – Edward Hover-Hands

How to play Edward Hover-Hands: Step One: Start by choosing a route which is easier for you. Right before you touch the next handhold force yourself to “hover” your hand over it and count out loud to five! If you are able to do this without struggling, pulling really hard, or becoming out of balance, move to a more difficult problem. Focus on finding the easiest and most efficient position for your body. Hover Hands helps you slow down and further understand your enemy, gravity. Practice once a week for 20-30 minutes towards the end of each climbing workout. Come back later to crush the enemy.

The Basic – Straight Arm Climbing

This drill may not be the most fun you have ever had, but it is a necessary exercise to add to any climbers arsenal, experienced or not. It is exactly what it sounds like.  Straighten your arms and lock those elbows as you climb a slightly easier route. Climbing with straight arms forces all of your upward movement to be derived from your lower body. Even as strong as some upper bodies may be, even the strongest person in the world can’t do pull-ups all day. Because we cannot engage our arm muscles, the pull becomes a push and we are forced to rotate from the hips for reach, causing more efficient technique.

 

Crushing Tip #26

Sunday, May 31st, 2015

crushing tip 26

Footwork: Edging and Smearing

by: Matt Coleman

Crushing begins with footwork and it’s important to consider how you use all that wonderful rubber on your climbing shoes.

There are two fundamental techniques: edging and smearing.

Most climbers really only edge in some form or another and this is useful on footholds that have some sort of positive edge for the shoe to grip. When edging, it’s important to think about really flexing your toes and pressing them into the hold while making sure your heel stays level with, or higher than your ankle. This will allow you to fully use the shoes performance.

Smearing on the other hand is a different and often neglected technique. When footholds get tinier and more rounded, it’s generally more useful to focus on keeping your heel down below your ankle and get as much rubber on the hold as you can. Flex your toes into the hold and step onto the foothold with confidence and a little force. Be aware that if you lose focus and let the heel lift, or you don’t commit to stepping into the hold, you will usually skate off the foothold. But soon, with a little practice, you’ll find that even the smallest features of the wall will be usable!

Once you master these two basic foot techniques, progress into playing with edging using the inside and outside edges of the shoe. Many times climbers use only the tip of the shoe and this limits your ability to twist your hips in to the wall at times.

Try it and crush on!

Crushing Tip #25

Friday, May 1st, 2015

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Watch more TV

by Jon Manz

If you want to be a better climber, you should probably be watching more television.  Specifically, you should be watching more videos of awesome climbers climbing awesome things.Finding the motivation to get to the gym after a long hard day can be tough, but the right climbing movie can remind anyone of what they love about the greatest sport ever invented, and I promise the right video is out there for you.

Love sport climbing?  Boom!  Watch Adam Ondra and Chris Sharma redefine hard climbing as they duke it out to establish 5.15c.
You’re more of a boulderer?  Kapow! Watch Alex Megos crush V15 in Bishop, CA.
You prefer to watch hard men and women climb scary trad?  Slam!  Watch a bunch of bizarrely cheerful Brits explore the grit stone classics in The Gritual.You try hard to keep things local?  Ziff!  Watch Jonathan Seigrist establish 5.14c at World Wall in North Bend.

The point is, if there’s an aspect of climbing that gets you excited, chances are good there’s someone out there who’s produced 234,093,820,498,234 hours of amazing video dedicated to that one thing.So go out there and find the videos that get you excited to climb, then come into the gym and have some fun!

Crushing Tip #24

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

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Climb Better with Metabolic Training

by: Marissa Lyons

The term “metabolic training” is thrown around quite a bit in the fitness industry but what does it mean, how does it work, and what does it have to do with climbing?  In simplest terms, metabolic training or conditioning refers to exercise methods that will improve or enhance the body’s two main energy systems: aerobic and anaerobic. Use of different work-to-rest ratios during training can call upon these energy systems and cause specific adaptations to improve performance; climbing is a sport that requires use of all three metabolic systems.

Most often when a trainer refers to metabolic training they are referring to high-intensity intervals which target the anaerobic system. While climbing in itself is an effective anaerobic workout it is sometimes difficult to climb routes hard enough, due to technique barriers, to fully challenge your metabolic system and improve your strength and power. Further, the harder and more powerful the route the more often your anaerobic system is needed. Therefore, it is necessary to train your anaerobic system in order to improve your climbing.

Not only is metabolic training important for performance goals, but high-intensity interval training is also the most effective way to burn calories and stay slim. Exercise physiologists have discovered that the traditional long sustained cardio workout only improves the aerobic system while a medium to high-intensity anaerobic workout improves overall metabolism and continues to work long after you leave the gym; often burning extra calories up to two days post workout. By adding full-body interval training to your schedule you will slim down, increase power and endurance. So next time you are thinking of going for a jog, tryout one of our strength classes or ClimbFit workouts instead.

Crushing Tip #23

Friday, February 7th, 2014

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Wear better shoes

by: Marissa Lyons

There are a lot of ways to climb better, faster and stronger, but one thing that improves climbing without any training is a good pair of shoes!

Beginners typically choose loose-fitting comfortable shoes. But no matter what grade you climb, I recommend you get a high-end pair of shoes that are snug , but not miserably tight. Higher end shoes give you much more precision, and do a better job of allowing you to use all parts of your foot. This is the one and only piece of gear that can actually make a difference in your climbing! Get the best fitting pair of high-end shoes you can find!

Here is a detailed article on how to pick out your first pair of climbing shoes.

Also, for more information on shoes and gear, check out our Tuesday Night Clinic on February 18th with our in-house staff gear guru, Mike Dove, and our friends from Petzl.

Crushing Tip #22

Saturday, December 7th, 2013


Eat Yummy Food

by: Jessica Berg

One of the easiest and arguably the most enjoyable ways to improve your crushing capabilities is to eat yummy food! Nutrition can be a confusing topic, but one thing that is clear is that eating a recovery meal after exercise is an important part of  training  and necessary for achieving optimal performance.

Nutritionists, say that eating a recovery meal no longer than 30 to 45 minutes after exercising will boost metabolism, replenish nutrients and build muscle. Ideally, the body needs about a 3:1 ratio of carbohydrates to proteins after exercise to effectively replenish glycogen stores and to stop the body from producing cortisol, the bodies stress hormone, which can actually cause muscle atrophy.

So every time you climb or work out, try rewarding the body with some tasty food to help rebuild your muscles. While we recommend that you eat something wholesome and delicious after crushing, a recovery meal can be as simple as a protein bar, chocolate milk or a classic PB&J or deli sandwich.

 Treat yourself! Your muscles are tired and ready to replenish so you can get crushing.

Crushing Tip #21

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

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Stand Up

You’ve undoubtedly heard the advice: keep your arms straight! But, of course, you can’t keep your arms straight the whole time or you wouldn’t be able to flex them to pull yourself upward.

When you’re hanging on holds, indeed, it’s a good idea to keep your arms straight. But the second part of this advice that’s left out is how to begin initiating your upward movement. Typically, beginners will initiate the move with their arms, pulling themselves up. Instead, try to always initiate your upward movement with your legs. Keep your arms straight and move yourself upward by pressing with your feet. Eventually, you’ll have to flex your arms, but try to do so only after you’ve initiated the upward movement with the legs–even if it’s just a little bit.

Teach yourself what this feels like by climbing easy routes in the gym. Hang from straight arms and try to drive yourself upward as far as you can by high-stepping your feet and using only your leg muscles to stand up on every hold.