Sunday, December 25, 2016

Winter Training: Intro

  Okay so it has been nearly a month since my last blog post.  This lapse in updates is a direct result of an early end to the outdoor climbing season for 2016 and does not in any way reflect how hard I have continued to train despite the early showing of a full on northeast winter this year.

  Over the next couple of weeks, my goal is to continually update the blog with various training exercises and activities that I have been utilizing lately in attempts to hopefully become much stronger over the winter season.  My main tactic in this training split is to "bulk" up with heavy weight training while increasing my caloric intake so as I continue to train my finger strength on indoor climbing walls, hangboards, HIT strips, and campus rungs; my body gradually adjusts to climbing at a heavy weight.  This way, when I cut back the calories and heavy weight lifting leading up to the spring season and cut some unnecessary weight...my fingers will be stronger from being "bulky" all winter.

  Aside from the routine weight training, one of the exercises that I have been utilizing to specifically help increase my finger strength is the HIT strip system workout which was developed by Eric Horst of Nicros Climbing.

 http://nicros.com/training/training-articles/overview-of-hit-system-workouts-for-building-maximum-grip-strength-2/

http://shop.nicros.com/index.php/classic-hit-strip-system.html

As outlined in the training manual for this system training product, I begin with a complete full body warm up followed by some stretching and then 30-45 minutes of bouldering which gets progressively more difficult and ends on a couple of problems that are right at my personal limit.  Upon completing the bouldering session, I rest a couple of minutes and then start the HIT strip workout.  The HIT strips consist of (5) identical rungs and (8) identical pinches.  The rungs are evenly spaced on a 45 degree overhanging wall and the pinches are placed evenly between the rungs.  The workout looks like this:

  • (3) sets on the open hand crimp hold
  • (2) sets on the pinches
  • (2) sets on the 2-finger pockets (3rd team...pinky and ring finger)
  • (2) sets on the 2-finger pockets (1st team...index and middle finger)
  • (2) sets on the 2-finger pockets (2nd team...ring and middle finger)
  • (2) sets on the jugs 
  The key to this workout is to add enough additional weight for resistance to each grip position so that you fail on each set around the 20-25th hand movement.  After each set, there needs to be a full 3 minute rest period for recovery.  This workout is extremely taxing and 2 days of rest is needed before another climbing session should occur.  Also I have been limiting myself to 2 HIT strip workouts a week, maximum!  It is important to note that for me, the 3rd team 2-finger pocket (pinky and ring finger) are extremely weak and underdeveloped for for the first month of so I would simply do static wall hangs on them.  I am not able to complete 10 hand movements on them but it still feel really awkward and a bit tweaky at times so proceed with caution.  All of my resistance weights have increased on the other hold positions as well with an increase in bodyweight...so my fingers are definitely getting stronger in the process.  Below are some pictures of Ken Murphy and I sneaking in a HIT Strip workout:

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