Tuesday, February 5, 2008

A Simple Goal

I've been reading some other climbing blogs for a while now and have come across a few recently in which the author has posted very specific climbing goals for 2008. I'm kind of keen on the idea because it seems like one is more likely to pursue (and achieve) goals that are well defined and known to one's peers than goals that are vague and kept secret.

For a long time now I've kept a private climbing journal, which serves as a training log, tick list, and a way for me to track my goals. It seems like this blog could serve a similar purpose. I'd like to be really specific and say, 'In 2008 I will climb boulder problems X, Y, and Z'. Unfortunately, I have this nagging injury that could stay with me for some time and, more importantly, seems to limit the types of climbs I can really throw myself at. To solve this problem I've devised a simple non-climbing solution.

Last night I went to the gym to test my finger strength. Finger strength, as everyone knows, is the single most important physical factor for boulderers. In the past I've often done an exercise called finger tip curls to improve my finger strength, and it has worked. This exercise is performed using all four fingers so it is not prohibited by my injury. I'll be able to track improvements in strength as well as improvements in the condition of my tendon. Last night I was able to curl 185lbs. 3 times using both hands. This is less than my old best of 195x3, but better than I expected. I did feel like I could have lifted more if my left hand had felt as strong as my right but the strain on the tendons was too much for me to want to push it any further. In three months I'll try to max out again and hopefully we'll see some improvement.


Alan Moore said...

i'm with you, we need to have a conference call and discuss climbing training.

Johnclimbrok said...

Does typing enhance finger strength?

Adam said...

Just curious since I've never tried this exercise...what size edge are you using (large metolius campus rung, etc?), what actually constitutes a full repitition (e.g. when my fingers are fully 'open' my pinkie comes off the rung) and finally, how much do you weigh?

Justin said...

Adam, sorry for the delay in response to your question. I only just noticed the comment. The exercise in question is done with and olympic style weightlifting bar. I hold it with a closed grip behind me with the bar slightly resting slightly against the frame of the rack. A full rep is opening the fingers to the point just before my pinkies come off then closing them. Occasionally I will do this without the pinkies and open the hands a bit more. Oh, and I weigh around 150.