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.) Any 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 gradRead 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, 15 Read More...
What is training?
by Rich Simpson
Training for climbing is any activity where you intend to specifically improve your climbing ability with a goal in mind, it can be anything from jogging 20 minutes 3 times per week to losing weight and increasing fitness for a summer trip to Pembroke or the Alps, to very intense campus board sessions.
Love it or loathe it, the term training is associated with losers who spend all there time in the gym, never climb on the real thing and don’t understand what climbing is all about. If this is you attitude, then you just keep plodding along but don’t be surprised when your mate who you taught to climb the previous year begins to burn you off out on the crag. The choice is yours, make excuses why you don’t climb a grade or two higher, or do something about it.
Obviously training is very varied, in terms of volume and intensity and can be anything from one day per week for a beginner to 5 days a week for a world-class cliRead More...
We've started getting some interesting feedback on the Moon board from differnt corners of the globe, so we thought we'd post it here. If you've set up a Moon board of your own and have some pics of the board in action and some thoughts you'd like to share then send them in to us.
"Hi Ben! It’s Jonas from Malmö, Sweden. The wall is a smash hit but we need to get used to the steep angle and the very small holds, where are the jugs?! Everybody in our gym finds the problems very hard and physical. The 6C and 7A with the undercut crux are thought to be sandbags, but then again they have a very specific move on them so who knows? The two 7C’s are fine creations and we are working on them at the moment. When is your forum coming up, it would be nice to chat with you and others alike about the problems".
Jonas in Sweden
"Hallo everybody, I have received yours sets of climbing holds. They look phenomenal and magically designed! Thank you very much for fast deliveRead More...
and set of School Holds which will hopefully make life a bit easier all round. Rather than setting one problem at a time, this method puts the full set of holds all on the board at the same time in a random position. Then we have set problems on this grid from 6c up to about 8a which can all be climbed without moving a hold. For these problems you only need the grid ref on the sheets below. Not rocket science but just a
Power or strength is one of the most talked about things in climbing. No climber can ever have enough strength and believe it or not its one of the most important things when attempting to push your grade. There are hundreds of ways to attempt to improve strength, some work well and some not so well, and others are pure myths. One thing is for certain, you will always get out what you put in, and so if you really want to get stronger then it’s for sure possible.
Throughout the Moon articles we aim to include several different methods for improving climbing specific strength, which will transfer onto the rocks or plastic. We intend to include detailed articles with advice on improving strength in all areas of the body, especially:
- Finger strength
- Arms and shoulders
- Body, body tension and core conditioning
To improve strength in these areas of the body we will include detailed explanations on using the following training equipment:
- Campus Boards
- FingerboaRead More...
The jargon-free realistic principles of organising your climbing year
Before you begin periodising, capillary training, campusing, deadhanging or thinking about how much your one rep max weight should be, there are some basic ways to think about how to plan your year without having to open text books and dictionaries to understand the nuts and bolts of training.
Have you ever planned your climbing year before? Do you often find yourself 2 weeks before a dream climbing trip to the Gorge de Tarn snowed under with work and completely unfit? Did you actually know in advance that work would be so busy then? Did you have a goal of climbing E2 but realised that you were only ever going trad climbing for one weekend out of 4 so it never happened and you’re worse than the year before?
Now is a good time, before you become clouded by mince pies and never ending supplies of Roses chocolates in the office, to have a think about 2007, to try and plan ahead to make the best use of your tiRead More...