The Campus board was first designed and built by the legendary Wolfgang Gullich in the late 80’s. He desired a training apparatus that would help him gain the required strength to make the first ascent of Action Directe 9a in Germany’s Frankenjura.
When designing the campus board, Wolfgang was looking for an apparatus that could be used to improve explosive power and contact strength in the fingers and arms. It was also important that it incorporated simple yet specific movements which were found on many of the harder climbs in the Frankenjura.
It wasn’t long before the idea of the campus board caught on amongst the world’s elite, including the likes of Ben Moon and Jerry Moffat. These climbers added campus sessions into their strict training regimes back on English soil in the early 90’s. Nowadays, the campus board is a common piece of equipment seen in climbing gyms all around the world. They are used by a vast amount of climbers of all abilities to help improve climbing [...] Read More...
Core body - the missing link
Your core body, not just your tummy muscles, the whole area from below your shoulders to your hips, is vital in climbing. The ability to activate these muscles not just on steep climbing but on off vertical too can make all the difference.
Your legs need to be able to operate as a separate system to your upper body. Some women who have had children and come back to climbing often exclaim at the feeling of having no middle! We are not talking about flexibility here. Flexibility will enable you to get your body into useful climbing positions, but it’s often your core which will maintain the position. When you get tired and you want to get your leg up high, if your core isn’t good, a natural reaction is to pull even more on your arms, just what you don’t want to do. It needn’t only be on steep ground when these types of problems kick in.
Having a good core will mean you will cut loose less and if you do you will be able to get [...] Read More...
Endurance: Put simply having endurance means you can climb forever without getting too pumped so that you fall off. It also means that you can do a hard section of climbing, get pumped but have the ability to recover on a big hold on steepish ground for the next section. Generally an endurance route will have many, many moves but none are particularly hard. In order to climb in this manner oxygen feeds the muscles in the forearms to produce energy. It can also be referred to as aerobic capacity.
Examples: In the UK we have few pure endurance routes. Classic endurance fests abroad are Lourdes 8a (Spain – 40m sport route) the Enduro corner on Astroman 5.11 (Yosemite 40 metres of the same lay back move), generally a lot of overhanging tufa Spanish routes. In the UK think ‘The Strand E2 (Gogarth – continuous climbing, with no definite crux), Supercool 8a+ (Gordale – 35 metres of climbing with the crux at the top, but a few good rests on the way). Note: [...] Read More...
We all know simply going climbing is the best way to improve and also probably the most fun. But being British it isn’t always possible to climb outside and sometimes, due to hectic lifestyles, it’s not even possible to have a few hours down the local wall on an evening.
If I have just described your lifestyle or you are incredibly motivated then thank your lucky stars that God (or more likely some once ripped old man wearing Lycra) found the time to create what is known as a fingerboard. A fingerboard allows those with little time, or a lot of motivation, to improve their finger and arm strength without the need to take over half of their house building a decent sized woody. A fingerboard fits nicely above a doorframe, or on to a beam in the garage or loft, therefore not looking an eyesore, which could quite possibly cause severe hassle with the partner who doesn’t climb, subsequently leading to several nights spent alone on the sofa.
Even better, a beneficial fingerboard [...] Read More...
I recommend that each dead hang lasts between 5 and 8 seconds. You certainly wouldn’t want to hang on for any longer than 8 seconds. If you can, then the hold is too big. Sometimes, however, you will have a hold that you can only hang for 2-3 seconds. This is not a problem since you can measure your progress against this. For example if you can only hang a hold for 3 seconds, keep training on this hold, after a few sessions you should be able to hang for 4 seconds and after a few weeks possibly hang for up to 5 or 6 seconds. Seeing this kind of progress in your training will keep you motivated which is the key to success.
I have given a rough idea of resting times, sets and reps. I recommend that you alter rest times etc to suit your own personal needs. The idea is that you rest just enough to recover for the next rep/set, but not too long so as to waste the efficiency of the workout. If you need to vary the resting times it’s no problem. [...] Read More...
Flexibility and Stretching
by Rich Simpson
Lack of flexibility is one of the most frequent causes of poor performance and inefficient technique, and is also one of the most used excuses for climbers to blame their poor performance and lack of success even though it one of the easiest things to improve.
By increasing flexibility in the upper and lower body, the climber will reduce the risk of injury, increase recovery, he/she will also be able to save energy on climbs, find better resting points and have a wider choice of footholds whilst still being able to keep the body closer into the wall.
Although each individual’s flexibility is somewhat genetic, it is possible for everyone to make significant gains in their flexibility so long as a regular routine is maintained
However stretching is not only good for improving flexibility, it can also help to relax and speed recovery of the muscle groups after a hard days climbing (see warming down article.) [...] Read More...
Getting Your Head Into Gear
All too often (in fact 99% of the time) climbers spend all of their energy training their bodies. Countless days per week are spent at the wall or down the gym pulling on slopers, pushing weights, dangling off finger boards or sweating it out running round the park.
But how often does it all go to pot when you are 3ft above a wire or 2 metres above a bolt. You down climb, you climb back up, repeat this a few times and ‘rest’ because you’re too pumped. How often do you lower to the ground having plummeted all of 4 metres because you just couldn’t commit? It’s happened to all of us, including me. When you see climbers at the crag it’s so common to see their heads getting in the way of reaching the top rather than their biceps. That might even include actually reaching the top successfully, but inefficiently placing 6 pieces of gear when 2 were adequate. If you could just get by with the necessary minimum, you might possibly be climbing a grade [...] Read More...
The School Room which is inside an old school building based in Heeley in Britain’s climbing capital Sheffield, was talked about by the majority of the Peak Mafia prior to being built, as they where becoming fed up of travelling out to the peak districts limestone to train at the once popular and always famous hardcore training grounds Stoney Middleton, Raven Tor, Cressbrook and Rubicon, where good conditions could not be always be found, and for a select few the problems were all too easy.
There had been attempts made of training facilities in damp attics and even campus boards built in the garden in and around Sheffield, none of which where as extensive and impressive as what was to become the School Room.
The dream for all the motivated climbers was to have several wooden boards all set at different angles, covered in holds, some big but most small, and always dry, was to become a reality in 1993 when the school room which consisted of a 50 degree board, 30 degree board, [...] Read More...