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poomasta


Oct 16, 2008, 7:22 PM
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Questions on RockProdigy's Hangboard Training Approach
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This post is going to seem ridiculous to most, but i'm interested in the systematic approach to training and would like to better understand the reasoning behind certain training activities. So...I'm incorporating RockProdigy's hangboard hypertrophy training into my routine (see: http://www.rockclimbing.com/...ockprodigy__258.html), but I have a couple questions on his approach, quoted below:

In reply to:
The beginner workout is essentially 6-10 sets, with each set being one of your chosen grip positions. So if you picked 8 grips, you’re going to do 8 sets. Each set consists of five repetitions. Each repetition is a 10 second hang on that grip, no pull-ups or anything fancy, just try to hang on…that should be hard enough. If you have 8 grips, you will do 8 sets, with each set being 5 x 10 second reps. Just as important as the work duration is the rest duration. Rest 5 seconds between each rep in a set, and 2 minutes between each set. The timing is critical. I have a stopwatch that is taped to the wall in front of my face so I can precisely time each rep, each rest period, etc., and consequently, each workout takes almost exactly the same amount of time, every time.

1) Is there anything magic about the 5 second duration of the rest interval, or is it important just to keep it consistent for the point of tracking improvement? would increasing it to 10 seconds dilute the intent?

2) Similar to above, what drives the duration of the contraction? Instead of doing 5 x 10 second reps, what would be the effect of adding 20 lbs of weight and doing 5 x 4 second reps?

3) Most general strength training guidelines recommend 2-3 sets, with 8-12 reps per set. Is there something about forearms that would suggest a different approach?

4) Would it be wise to change up the number of sets, reps, contract/rest durations occasionally to continually force muscular adaptation?

5) How do you gauge the effectiveness of a hypertrophy workout? All other things equal, if Workout A makes me somewhat sore the next day, but Workout B leaves me REALLY sore, is it "better?"

Thanks...
Mike


(This post was edited by poomasta on Oct 16, 2008, 7:27 PM)


borntorocku


Oct 17, 2008, 6:24 PM
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Re: [poomasta] Questions on RockProdigy's Hangboard Training Approach [In reply to]
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I have done RockProdigy's hangboard workout. It is one of the best around.

1. No. There is nothing magical about 5s or 10s. Keep it consistent.

2. 4s or 10s doesn't matter. They are both still on the same energy pathway, i.e. phosphagen.

3. The forearms are special. They relatively small compared to other muscle groups. In addition, climbing relies on primarily isometric strength. Most typical strength programs are interested in concentric or eccentric strength.

4. It is important to have progressive overload. I would start simple and keep sets, reps, and rest the same. Just add weight linearly until progress stalls. Then get fancy.

I would like to know how this works out for you. Maybe do a pre/post test.


poomasta


Oct 17, 2008, 6:49 PM
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Thanks for the reply. Being that you've actually done this workout, what were your experiences? Also, did you find you were pretty sore the following day? My lack of soreness makes me think I'm not pushing it hard enough. I can tell i did something, but it's nowhere near like the day following a hard bouldering session.


borntorocku


Oct 17, 2008, 7:47 PM
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Re: [poomasta] Questions on RockProdigy's Hangboard Training Approach [In reply to]
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For a hangboard routine, it is great. I usually train by climbing (I have a small private gym. I set problems that work my weaknesses).

I was not sore the next day. Soreness is a poor indicator of increasing fitness. I can make someone do lots of heavy eccentrics, and they will be crippled for the next couple of days. That would not guarantee an increase in fitness. Keep a log. If you are adding weight, you are getting stronger.

Overall I think RockProdigy's hangboard training is great at increasing power endurance. He climbs and trains for climbing longer objectives. If you are interested in power, check out http://www.moonclimbing.com/SchoolRoom.aspx?ID=20.


rockprodigy


Oct 25, 2008, 2:52 AM
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1) The rep length recommendations and rest periods were all derived from "Performance Rockclimbing". In addition, it is intended to be as specific as possible to rock climbing. In climbing, you have very little rest between grips, if the route is hard, so I seek to have as little rest as possible, while still being able to chalk up in between reps. On the other hand, is that you need to remember that the goal is strength or power training, not endurance.

2) Similar to above...the difference in shortening the rep length would be the difference in training benefit. I think a 4 second rep would move you closer to "max recruitment" training, rather than hypertrophy. Over all, we should try to benefit from all of the types of training because of the tremendous synergy between all phases of training.

3) Again, my original routine w/ set recommendations came from PRC. I think for the "advanced" workout, I recommended 3 sets of 7 reps at each grip position. I disagree with your generality that "most guidelines recommend..." I have found that there is tremendous variety in recommendations out there, and that many recommend varying the routine. Also, yes the forearms are special. If you were going to train your biceps, there are maybe 2-3 different lifts you would do to completely work them out. 2-3 exercises would be completely inadequate to train the forearms. There are three separate muscles that control flexion of each finger, so that's 12 muscles just for four fingers in one hand, not counting extension, or the thumb. So it takes a lot more to train them.

4) Yes, see above. When you start out, you should probably keep it pretty consistent, but as you notice diminishing returns, you need to make changes to continue to "stress" the body. Stress triggers compensation, so if your body learns that your workouts are a routine, it won't compensate.

5) It's hard to say. It depends on what your training goal is. For me, I'm more likely to feel sore after an endurance workout, when high levels of lactic acid are present. If your goal is hypertrophy or recruitment, that feeling would indicate that I missed the mark, so that is not good. If you pinned me down, I guess I would say your goal should be to feel tired, but no pain.

Good luck!

Standard disclaimer: "Everybody is different, it depends on your age and experience, listen to your body, consult a physician, if your erection lasts more than 4 hours, seek medical attention."


aerili


Oct 26, 2008, 7:21 PM
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rockprodigy wrote:
2) Similar to above...the difference in shortening the rep length would be the difference in training benefit. I think a 4 second rep would move you closer to "max recruitment" training, rather than hypertrophy.


Actually, 4 vs 10 sec does matter: a 4 second rep with more weight should move you toward faster recruitment, but not maximal. A longer duration with less load (like 10 s) wherein you try to squeeze every last bit of juice outta your grip would be training more MAXIMAL recruitment. I find climbers as a group seem confused on this issue. Rockprodigy had it backwards.

Also, maximal recruitment doesn't mean no hypertrophy occurs.


rockprodigy wrote:
3) ... Also, yes the forearms are special. If you were going to train your biceps, there are maybe 2-3 different lifts you would do to completely work them out. 2-3 exercises would be completely inadequate to train the forearms. There are three separate muscles that control flexion of each finger, so that's 12 muscles just for four fingers in one hand, not counting extension, or the thumb. So it takes a lot more to train them.

Here you're muddling together apples and oranges a bit. You compare wrist and finger flexors and extensors as one trainable unit against elbow flexors as one trainable unit, even though the elbow has its own extensors as well and they are no more a part of their opposing flexors as the forearm/finger extensors are a "part" of their opposing flexors either.

Training volume for a given muscle group is mostly dependent on size of the muscle group and its action. Larger muscle groups (regardless of "number" involved) can actually be trained more b/c they can handle the stress. This would indicate hands and forearms should be trained with care when it comes to the volume; not every person will respond the same either, as r.p. disclaims. Smile

The more varied number of exercises a hand demands isn't due to more muscles being involved per se (as compared to your elbow) but the fact you have like 15 joints in motion vs 1. If your elbow had 15 distinct joints, it too would be capable of a greater variety of exercises, but the volume and load trained per segment would necessarily have to drop.



rockprodigy wrote:
For me, I'm more likely to feel sore after an endurance workout, when high levels of lactic acid are present.


Lactic acid doesn't cause soreness. True endurance training will consume any lactate produced as fuel anyway.



rockprodigy wrote:
If your goal is hypertrophy or recruitment, that feeling would indicate that I missed the mark, so that is not good. If you pinned me down, I guess I would say your goal should be to feel tired, but no pain.

I totally agree. I think things like hangboard training should be based on quality, not quantity. Do not look for soreness as an indicator of anything except perhaps impending injury. Completing this type of workout with relatively high quality movement still fairly intact should be considered successful.


(This post was edited by aerili on Oct 26, 2008, 9:24 PM)


jto


Oct 27, 2008, 1:39 PM
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Re: [aerili] Questions on RockProdigy's Hangboard Training Approach [In reply to]
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about recruitment: if more weight is used, more recruitment occurs. not only faster but also more thoroughly. the same with any weightlifting. the amount of weight matters the most on both speed and amount of recruitment. otherwise the weight wonīt be lifted. I think aerili has it right anyway but my bad english is making me understand things wrong. (meaning faster contra maximal recruitment). in finnish these terms are not used this way.

so 4 and 10 secs are a different ball game when hangboarding. the time under stress matters a lot. the way the sets are done matters too meaning if you hang until failure or not. both ways should be used. also one should vary the hanging regimen:
- do only one hang of given time like 5-15 secs max and rest longer between hangs
or
- do reps like 10 times 10 secs/ 5 sec pauses

both train recruitment a lot but the latter version is IMO way much better way to train as you get more volume. anyway as said, one should vary also the volume.


(This post was edited by jto on Oct 27, 2008, 1:55 PM)


rockprodigy


Oct 27, 2008, 4:57 PM
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Re: [aerili] Questions on RockProdigy's Hangboard Training Approach [In reply to]
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aerili wrote:

Actually, 4 vs 10 sec does matter: a 4 second rep with more weight should move you toward faster recruitment, but not maximal. A longer duration with less load (like 10 s) wherein you try to squeeze every last bit of juice outta your grip would be training more MAXIMAL recruitment. I find climbers as a group seem confused on this issue. Rockprodigy had it backwards.


I do not have it backwards, but perhaps you are "more" precise with your terminology than I am, which is why I use the "quotes" for "max recruitment" training to indicate what most climbers would simply call "power" training. Shorter rep + more weight = power while longer rep + lower weight = strength...now have a field day with those terms aerili.

In reply to:
Here you're muddling together apples and oranges a bit. You compare wrist and finger flexors and extensors as one trainable unit against elbow flexors as one trainable unit, even though the elbow has its own extensors as well and they are no more a part of their opposing flexors as the forearm/finger extensors are a "part" of their opposing flexors either.

That's exactly my point...the forearms are not "one trainable unit", in fact there are dozens of individual muscles w/in the forearm that all warrant their own training.



In reply to:

Lactic acid doesn't cause soreness. True endurance training will consume any lactate produced as fuel anyway.

Then why do I feel sore?


jto


Oct 27, 2008, 5:05 PM
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power = to create x amount of force as quickly as possible. like catching a small edge.
strength = to create x amount of force in any given time. like making a lock off from that edge.

lactate itself wonīt create soreness but a different or stronger stimulus than youīre used to. for example you get sore even running a few miles if youīre used to only riding a bike.

when training anaerobic endurance you get usually quite hard workouts both on load and volume and usually you donīt do them very often, maybe twice a week? the time gap is pretty long so itīs a new stimulus again and again.

same with bouldering. if you do it many times a week the body wonīt get so sore any more as the stimulus is not new enough. but if you have been doing longer routes or vertical bouldering for a long time and then hit a hard bouldering session on a huge overhang you will get sore again.

anyway the soreness (delayed onset muscle soreness) has nothing to do with a good workout or productivity.


(This post was edited by jto on Oct 27, 2008, 5:13 PM)


aerili


Oct 28, 2008, 2:34 AM
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rockprodigy wrote:
I do not have it backwards, but perhaps you are "more" precise with your terminology than I am, which is why I use the "quotes" for "max recruitment" training to indicate what most climbers would simply call "power" training. Shorter rep + more weight = power while longer rep + lower weight = strength...now have a field day with those terms aerili.

Actually, a hangboard routine of working shorter reps + more weight is still just working strength--the only difference is you changed the load, which decreased the time one can resist it. Power is completely dependent upon how fast something moves. Grip strength is isometric; nothing is moving, neither the rock nor the muscles. No real "power" there. Climbers are not really training power for their hands at all during hangboard training; isometric contractions have a velocity of zero. Climbers' use of the term "power training" is misused in this way. If they started training to crush biners with their hands under progressively faster and faster time periods, THEN they would be developing grip power.

Also, true, maximal recruitment will ALWAYS be achieved during maximal strength work, NOT during power training. That is a fact.

Believe it or not, isometric contractions like hangboard training improve forearm endurance, not power.

Anyway, I'm not ranting on you personally, r.p., I'm just expressing some problems with the way climbers as a group understand biomechanics.


Also, it is still unclear what the precise mechanisms behind DOMS is, but it is very clear that lactate accumulation is not it. There are various theories and observations, including microscopic muscle damage, chemical inflammatory responses that activate pain receptors, and so forth.


jto


Oct 28, 2008, 8:25 AM
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In Finland we use terms basic, maximal, speed and explosive strength to illustrate the muscle work. In hangboarding one uses the two first... as aerili stated.

When I talk about hangboard workouts they would go like this:
- Basic strength (or hypertrophy): 6-15 reps, 5-10 secs per rep, 5-10 sec pauses between the reps
- Maximal strength: 1-5 reps, 1-5 secs per rep, 5-10 sec pauses between the reps
- The set amount depends of the grips used, the other training done, how much, how often etc...

Ok, it might be fucking the commas like we say here but then again itīs good to have the concepts right.

It is possible to train "power" on hangboards by doing jumps to holds and that way train the speed of recruitment which really is power training. Thereīs no movement but the amount of speed needed to recruit as many cells and as quickly/same time as possible is a way to train static "power".

But itīs not so easy and itīs way better to do it in a bouldering wall by doing hard very dynamic one move throws and catches.

Still I like the Finnish describing better and more clear Smile

BUT... the most important thing behind the words is that one trains consistently and with a plan, general or strict. It is possible to vary the amount of reps, sets, grips, the length of reps, pauses etc to create different but still progressive hangboard workouts and phases.

Cheers


(This post was edited by jto on Oct 28, 2008, 8:34 AM)


rockprodigy


Oct 31, 2008, 12:41 AM
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aerili wrote:

Climbers' use of the term "power training" is misused in this way....

...Anyway, I'm not ranting on you personally, r.p., I'm just expressing some problems with the way climbers as a group understand biomechanics.

Aha! Now we're getting somewhere. Something we can definitely agree on is climbers misuse of the terminology. I suspect what I wrote is fairly clear to the typical climber, but anyone steeped in sports physiology, such as yourself, will probably object. Since I consider myself to be an amateur in that regard...I stick with the shoddy usage typical of climbers.

Your definition of power is correct physiologically as well as how I would use it as an engineer (Force*velocity or energy/time). However, as you pointed out, grip strength is isometric, so as it applies to forearms, climbers have no use for the word power in its traditional sense. As a result, its meaning has been co-opted to refer to a climbers ability to "stick" a very small hold...think campus board, or a dyno. In this context, the arms and back muscles (I'm generalizing) are moving, but the fingers are still mostly isometric. However, the load applied on the fingers is not constant, as it would be while merely hanging from a hold. The act of accelerating your body upwards (and later decelerating it) requires increased load on the fingers, which is probably why campusing has been considered analogous to "power" by us lay-person climbers.

Realistically, there is never a clear distinction between "strength" and "power" or even "recruitment" training. They all lie on a continuous spectrum. Any given workout will develop all of those elements to some degree, it's just a question of how much? As you increase load and decrease rep time, your sliding along the spectrum towards "power" and/or "recruitment", while if you decrease load and increase rep time, you're sliding toward "strength" and/or "endurance". I see from your latest post that you may disagree with this, but if I am increasing strength (the ability to generate force), how can I not also be increasing power if power = force*velocity? If force goes up, so does power.

As I climber, I am always interested in the "best" way to train, and I certainly haven't found that yet, and I'm not optimistic about converging on a solution any time soon. Therefore, I'm certainly grateful for your input.

You say that power can't be trained isometrically, and I agree with you in principle, but that does not mean it can't be trained on a hangboard. Imagine hanging on a hold that is near you limit to hang from, then I start pouring sand into your chalkbag until you fingers open up and you fall off. I'm not sure I would recommend this from an injury standpoint, but without a doubt, it would be an effective way to develop recruitment and power. Studies of muscle tissue have found that muscles generate their highest resistive force when they are being lengthened. Thus the popularity of "negatives" for people trying to learn to do silly things like one arm pullups. Thus far, I haven't seen this principle widely applied in climbing, except with the campus board.


aerili


Nov 4, 2008, 5:06 AM
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Hi rockprodigy,

A few points of clarification. Because my post is so long, I will split it into two to make it easier on the reading psyche. Smile

(Oh, but first, good post. Well thought out. I've been typing with one hand under the influence of prescription narcotics due to wrist surgery for over a week now, so forgive me if my previous posts weren't as well-stated as could have been.)


So, I perfectly understand how climbers have co-opted the word "power" to mean sticking a hold and so forth. Doesn't make it okay. Smile If climbers want to explore/develop training methodology with any seriousness as a group, their nomenclature must be correct and they must understand biomechanical principles correctly.


In reply to:
However, the load applied on the fingers is not constant, as it would be while merely hanging from a hold. The act of accelerating your body upwards (and later decelerating it) requires increased load on the fingers, which is probably why campusing has been considered analogous to "power" by us lay-person climbers.

I agree there is legitimate power required for campusing, but none of it occurs in the forearms. All the acceleration and deceleration [not provided by gravity] come from other muscle groups working isotonically. In cases such as dyno'ing and deadpoints, the lower body plays a large role in required power generation. Sticking the hold is a totally different matter.

Okay, it's true the forearm muscles cross the elbow, so if the elbow joint changes angle, the forearm muscles may undergo very, very slight length changes on that end during gripping, but I believe this would act so minimally on the moment arm as to be a nil contribution to power development (due to their attachment sites just proximal to the joint).



In reply to:
Realistically, there is never a clear distinction between "strength" and "power" or even "recruitment" training. They all lie on a continuous spectrum. Any given workout will develop all of those elements to some degree, it's just a question of how much?

Actually, there are fairly clear distinctions, although I understand what you're saying.

First of all, muscular strength and muscular endurance are really what lie on opposite ends of a continuous spectrum, i.e. the ability of a muscle to generate either high force a small number of times vs ability to generate low force a large number of times. Velocity is not a variable on this spectrum.

Power and strength, on the other hand, both reflect the ability to exert force at a given speed. Confusing much?

I will illustrate:

In reply to:
...but if I am increasing strength (the ability to generate force), how can I not also be increasing power if power = force*velocity? If force goes up, so does power.

Remember that strength (i.e. force) also = power/velocity. So strength is velocity-dependent as well. Therefore, the generation of more force does not mean your power output automatically goes up, especially if your speed consequently slows down--which it can and eventually WILL as the force gets higher and higher since there is an inverse relationship between them when it comes to human power output. Through training, one may be able to move that inverse curve a bit farther right on the x axis, thereby increasing power output for a given force-velocity at any point, but the nature of the curve itself doesn't change. One cannot keep increasing force output while maintaining the same velocity.


aerili


Nov 4, 2008, 5:16 AM
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Sorry for being so long-winded, but I wanted to reply to all of the points you carefully thought out. I don't care if other readers are too bored to read all of it.



REGARDING STRENGTH VS POWER VS ENDURANCE:


In reply to:
As you increase load and decrease rep time, your sliding along the spectrum towards "power" and/or "recruitment", while if you decrease load and increase rep time, you're sliding toward "strength" and/or "endurance." I see from your latest post that you may disagree with this...

Yes, I still disagree. But perhaps I fucked up my own descriptions of these two things earlier as well. My points in this thread were specifically related to hangboard isometric training only.

If you increase load and decrease rep time isometrically, power has no measurement and isn't a factor because your velocity is zero; however, strength IS a factor.

If you decrease load and increase rep time isometrically, again power has no bearing but strength remains a factor. It's an identical situation but the variables of force and time are different between the two.

So you see, the reality is that both of these are measures of strength-endurance. Holding isometric contractions as long as possible under submaximal loads is a commonly-used endurance test by biomechanists. Both loads are submaximal, one is just more submaximal than the other. In all cases, velocity is of no concern.

What does this mean for recruitment then? Well, recruitment will be faster in the case of the larger load, but recruitment will be ultimately be as large if not larger (keep in mind--different from faster!) in the case of the lighter load. I don't care how light something seems at first, try to hold it forever and eventually your muscle will stimulate every motor axon it has in order to sustain it.



In reply to:
Imagine hanging on a hold that is near you limit to hang from, then I start pouring sand into your chalkbag until you fingers open up and you fall off. I'm not sure I would recommend this from an injury standpoint, but without a doubt, it would be an effective way to develop recruitment and power.


It would be an effective way to develop maximal recruitment. It would not be an effective way to develop power in one's grip, but it would be effective in developing endurance.

Also, it would be effective in developing faster recruitment if you dumped a ton of sand on me all at once vs slowly. So the rate at which you add the load will make a difference in speed of recruitment.


In reply to:
Studies of muscle tissue have found that muscles generate their highest resistive force when they are being lengthened. Thus the popularity of "negatives" for people trying to learn to do silly things like one arm pullups. Thus far, I haven't seen this principle widely applied in climbing, except with the campus board.

True, but eccentric contractions are still rarely utilized in climbers' hands, so who cares? It might matter more in other muscle groups that undergo isotonic movements, but in most cases the only eccentric contractions climber utilize are during downclimbing (and still this doesn't apply to grip), with the exception of Chris Sharma when he latches one hand dynos--then his upper arms and back musculature are experiencing forced lengthening.



* All emphases are inserted for clarity and to enhance important points for the reader who likes to skim posts, NOT because I am being condescending or didactic. Angelic


climbaddic


Nov 4, 2008, 6:01 AM
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aerili wrote:
...Remember that strength (i.e. force) also = power/velocity...

Power and strength, on the other hand, both reflect the ability to exert force at a given speed. Confusing much?

Therefore, the generation of more force does not mean your power output automatically goes up, especially if your speed consequently slows down--which it can and eventually WILL as the force gets higher and higher since there is an inverse relationship between them when it comes to human power output.

I don't know much about training, but last time I have checked my physics book like 10+ years ago. It said, Force = Mass * Acceleration. Unless laws of physics has changed last 10+ years, then it would have stated that Force (Power) = Mass (Mass of climber's body) * Acceleration (Gravity 9.8m/s^2).

Acceleration and velocity isn't same thing. You guys really shouldn't mix and match these things. If I am hanging on a hang-board, you bet I am working on power. Since my power to hold on has to match my body's mass * gravity 9.8 m/s^2. Note that in case of hanging, velocity is clearly 0 since I am not moving, but I am certainly using Force (Power) to stay on the wall.


aerili


Nov 4, 2008, 6:37 AM
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In the case of biomechanics (and all physics, I thought), power isn't "the same" as force. And I'm definitely not saying velocity and acceleration are the same thing...or, I'm not trying to.

Power is precisely defined as "the time rate of doing work" where work is the product of the force exerted on an object and the distance the object moves in the direction in which the force is exerted (i.e. the distance your body or the rock moves, which doesn't in case of isometric contraction during hangboarding).

Here's where I'm coming from:
Power=Work/Time
so Power=(Force x Distance)/Time (since Work=Force x Distance)
and Power=Force x (Distance/Time)
So Power can be defined as Power=Force x Velocity (since Velocity=Distance/Time)

Just because your velocity is zero in this formula doesn't negate a positive, real value for force occuring (i.e. the force your isometric grip is applying), but it does make your power become zero.

In this case all my biomechanics texts use the same formulas. I am confused about why you are using force and power as interchangeable terms.


headchop


Nov 4, 2008, 3:30 PM
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Re: [aerili] Questions on RockProdigy's Hangboard Training Approach [In reply to]
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aerili wrote:
In this case all my biomechanics texts use the same formulas. I am confused about why you are using force and power as interchangeable terms.
Because he hasn't bothered to read his textbook in the last ten years?


fresh


Dec 12, 2008, 4:10 PM
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Re: [aerili] Questions on RockProdigy's Hangboard Training Approach [In reply to]
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this is an incredibly good thread, and it's too bad it sort of stopped.

I'm wondering if the campus board is a much better primary training tool than the hangboard.

I've been reading a little bit on crossfit about the distinction between power, strength, and endurance. they seem to know what they're talking about, and the cult factor notwithstanding they have some pretty impressive results.

one thing they emphasize is that training power is more valuable than training either strength or endurance, because you can easily train strength or endurance if you have trained power, but not vice versa for either. (or at least the vice-versa is harder.)

more germane to climbing, they also emphasize that endurance training is not valuable for either power or strength generation. but by focusing on power or strength, it is easy to later train endurance.

how true is this in general? I know that if you can do a ton of pullups, that doesn't have much bearing on your one-pull-up max.

if the above is true, then the campus board should be a way more effective means of training grip strength than the hangboard. it's dynamic, it involves the whole body, it trains peak force generation in the fingers. the hangboard trains endurance more than it trains strength. and while endurance is hugely important, it's easier to train endurance by actually climbing than it is to train peak strength by actually climbing.

not dissing the hangboard--the hangboard is definitely a valuable tool, but when considering what should be one's primary training device outside of climbing, and considering what will provide the greatest benefits per workout, I'm feeling that the campus board is the best primary training tool.

but this is all based on theories I've heard and almost no experimental evidence. so I could have it backwards.

thoughts?


hosebeats


Dec 13, 2008, 5:05 PM
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Re: [fresh] Questions on RockProdigy's Hangboard Training Approach [In reply to]
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fresh wrote:
more germane to climbing, they also emphasize that endurance training is not valuable for either power or strength generation. but by focusing on power or strength, it is easy to later train endurance.

I think it's important to distinguish from aerobic endurance and anaerobic endurance. When it's stated that a hangboard increases endurance it means anaerobic endurance. Blood is shut off from the muscle and with a small rest between hangs (3-5 seconds) you aren't getting a huge amount or any oxygen back to your muscles for the next hang.

So is that type of endurance important? I'd argue yes it is. Imagine a hard, sustained crimpy boulder problem or short, hard sport route. As soon as you pull on you are making moves at or close to your limit. You don't have a place to shake or rest so anaerobic endurance is extremely important for those types of climbs. So a hangboard increases your ability to hang onto small holds for longer.

The type of endurance the Crossfit people are talking about seems to be more of an ARCing/aerobic type endurance. Like climbing juggy, overhanging 5.10 for 20-30 minuets and getting pumped like crazy to build those capillaries through the forearm muscle.


A campus board increases your ability generate movement. From reading all the previous posts it seems that campusing is also the best way (while minimizing chances of injury) to recruit forearm muscle fibers to fire all at once, thus causing "power" to increase.

So is one better than the other? Not really, they do different things. In RP's article his cycle is set up to have the hangboard phase before the campusing phase. That way he builds muscle doing the hangboarding and then gets all those muscle fibers to fire at once for 100% power generation.

Now, I've probably got this all wrong and will get a smackdown from rockprodigy or aerili here pretty soon but that's what I've come to understand from sifting through the forums.


fresh


Dec 17, 2008, 5:17 PM
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Re: [hosebeats] Questions on RockProdigy's Hangboard Training Approach [In reply to]
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makes sense, thanks a lot. what type of endurance they're talking about hadn't occurred to me.Smile

I think campus boards are always gonna be my preferred method of training, cuz they're wicked fun and hangboard workouts suck the life out of me.

I'm still interested about whether it's best to train power over strength, and strength over endurance (the reason being that you can build endurance faster if you have power and strength, and strength faster if you have power). I don't even know if I agree. my former life was as a runner, and since training more as a climber I've found that I now have really fast recovery time from tough workouts. is that correlation or causation? I dunno, but it seems intuitive that aerobic health can lead to anaerobic gains just as efficiently. at least for me. but this sort of thing probably depends a lot on the individual.


elcapinyoazz


Dec 17, 2008, 7:15 PM
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fresh wrote:
I think campus boards are always gonna be my preferred method of training

I predict that you will suffer many and frequent injuries in both fingers and elbows. Campus boards are a tool best used sparingly.

fresh wrote:
hangboard workouts suck the life out of me.

Yeah, they're boring and hard to get psyched for, aren't "fun" etc. But they work, and are a relatively quick workout...mine only run about 40 minutes (including the warmup). iPod helps.

fresh wrote:
I'm still interested about whether it's best to train power over strength, and strength over endurance

Well, you need to cycle through training "power" vs. strength vs endurance for a lot of reasons. Your connective tissue probably isn't going to stand up to long term continuous power training. The muscles tend to adapt to the increased loads faster than the connective tissue can, so at some point you're looking at acute or chronic injury if you don't give the connective tissue time to "catch up".

It seems well accepted in sports physio circles that training strength or power also increases endurance, but training endurance has no effect on strength. So given a choice, train strength and/or power.

The one caveat to that is, we tend to speak speficially about training climbing muscles...forearms, shoulders, back etc. But one thing you will get from training endurance in larger muscles (running, cycling, rowing, etc) is the cardio benefits and the ability to move more blood and oxygen.

Really you should be training things besides grip strength, which we view as the prime limitation in our climbing ability. Having more general stamina through cardio work, having more core strength and thus being able to use less grip force on steep terrain, and training the antagonists to avoid joint problems or tendonitis are almost equally important.

And when you get right down to it, you can only really train grip strength (through hangboarding, bouldering, whatever) every few days, leaving you with plenty of time to train these other things.

I'd bet that your average climber who "trains" would likely see more climbing performance benefits in the short term by focusing on training core muscles. (long term, of course you need to train all of it).


(This post was edited by elcapinyoazz on Dec 17, 2008, 7:17 PM)


fresh


Dec 17, 2008, 8:34 PM
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Re: [elcapinyoazz] Questions on RockProdigy's Hangboard Training Approach [In reply to]
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elcapinyoazz wrote:
fresh wrote:
I think campus boards are always gonna be my preferred method of training

I predict that you will suffer many and frequent injuries in both fingers and elbows. Campus boards are a tool best used sparingly.
it's brazen and naive, but I'd rather push it, get injured, and find out what my limits are. so far it's worked. in 2 years I haven't had any injuries that I can remember.
In reply to:
fresh wrote:
hangboard workouts suck the life out of me.

Yeah, they're boring and hard to get psyched for, aren't "fun" etc. But they work, and are a relatively quick workout...mine only run about 40 minutes (including the warmup). iPod helps.
I know I'm missing out on physical gains, but I have a thing against training that doesn't fire me up. sometimes I do get psyched for hangboards but not often.
In reply to:
Really you should be training things besides grip strength, which we view as the prime limitation in our climbing ability. Having more general stamina through cardio work, having more core strength and thus being able to use less grip force on steep terrain, and training the antagonists to avoid joint problems or tendonitis are almost equally important.
don't get me wrong, I'm only talking about grip strength since it's a grip strength thread. I only climb about twice a week right now--so don't worry I spend plenty of time on other muscles Smile

as far as cycling through different capacities, I totally agree. even if it didn't provide physical benefits, I would still favor a more diverse exercize program since it keeps me motivated. which is the main reason I currently follow the crossfit methodology in deciding what workouts to do (despite the cult factor). but I'm always looking to improve my understanding Smile


roy_hinkley_jr


Dec 18, 2008, 6:19 PM
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fresh wrote:
elcapinyoazz wrote:
fresh wrote:
I think campus boards are always gonna be my preferred method of training

I predict that you will suffer many and frequent injuries in both fingers and elbows. Campus boards are a tool best used sparingly.
it's brazen and naive, but I'd rather push it, get injured, and find out what my limits are. so far it's worked. in 2 years I haven't had any injuries that I can remember.

Ahh to be young and indestructible! Perhaps we should start a poll on when you will first post a whining complaint about not being able to climb for 9 months due to a chronic injury ;-)

Seriously, Elcap is right. Your experiment has been tried by countless climbers and the results are always the same given time. Bachar ladders were once hailed as the hottest climbing training...until all the elbow injuries started cropping up. A campus board is better in some respects and worse in others. Great tool when used smartly and sparingly. BTW contrary to popular belief, a recent study showed that campusing is not a plyometric exercise.

As for crossfit, they get so much wrong when it comes to sport science and training that the crap overwhelms the occasional good info. Yet they tend to shout down anyone who offers anything that differs from their group-think. Case in point: http://baye.com/crossfit/


fresh


Dec 18, 2008, 9:33 PM
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"roy_hinkley_jr wrote:
Ahh to be young and indestructible! Perhaps we should start a poll on when you will first post a whining complaint about not being able to climb for 9 months due to a chronic injury ;-)
pretty much sums it up Smile I built up my exposure to hard training fairly slowly, so my intuition is that my tendons have had time to adapt. but really, 90% of it is that it's fun to me. an ancillary is that getting injured is a great learning experience. maybe you'll get to hear me whine pretty soon Wink

I'd love to hear the criticisms of crossfit, but we should probably keep it to the crossfit thread. I'm mostly interested in the philosophy of power -> strength -> endurance, and how that can apply to grip strength training. if it even does.


sidepull


Dec 18, 2008, 10:01 PM
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A few points:

1) Overall great thread! Good civil discussion of important points.

2) Crossfit parameters are more "similar" (please take similar with some coarse grained kosher salt) to workouts from The Self Coached Climber than to the periodized parameters advocated by Performance Rockclimbing and used by Rockprodigy. I'm not saying that one is better than the other, simply that trying to do both will likely provide worse results than just sticking to one.

3) Waiting for or expecting injury as an impetus for learning is the antithesis of wisdom. Indeed, the very purpose of training is to avoid injury because injury is the quickest way to derail progress.

4) I found this example interesting:

roy_hinkley_jr wrote:
As for crossfit, they get so much wrong when it comes to sport science and training that the crap overwhelms the occasional good info. Yet they tend to shout down anyone who offers anything that differs from their group-think. Case in point: http://baye.com/crossfit/

a - roy is right, there's a lot of close-minded "shouting down" going on, although I'd be interested to know exactly what points of sport science roy is referring to.

b - at one point on the thread, baye argues that how fast you do a move has no impact on subsequent speed. I find that extremely hard to reconcile with anything else I've heard, felt, or seen.

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