Monday, May 27, 2013

Training Tools

The following is a list of the tools I use most frequently when training for bouldering. I have refined this collection over a couple years and they all have proven useful and effective. In other words they are all worth buying and having if you are a gym rat like me.

I won't be going into too much detail about how to use most these things because they all seem pretty self explanatory, but if you have questions as always feel free to ask in the comment section. I'll be focusing more on why they work for me and help me become stronger.

1. Wristwatch with stopwatch/interval feature - I've had the same one for years and haven't even changed the battery on it yet. This is probably my #1 suggestion for people who want to take their training to another level. Timing rests and activity gives me a bearing on progression from week to week.

2. Notebook - Even if you are not on a regiment, buy one of these and start writing down your entire workout. This serves two invaluable functions for your climbing. First it provides a tangible reference for your progression over time. This takes out the anecdotal "I'm having a bad day/week/whatever" and replaces it with something you can check. You may feel like crap but looking back on a month ago you may actually be crushing your previous time/rep/etc. Second, a notebook keeps you on track. If you are writing down everything in your session or goals you have during your time at the gym the notebook will help you make better use of that time.

And you can put stickers of your favorite stuff on it!

3. Weights - Pretty standard. If you have a decent climbing facility they might have weights available for you. I'm not as lucky here so I bought my own. At the most I recommend the following plated weights: 2 10lb and 1 25lb. This gives you a good amount of options between 10-45lbs and they should be enough.

Great all around tool. Hypergravity hangs, sit ups, general badassery.

4. Harness and Sling w/ Biner - I only use my harness for weighted hangs (AND SPORT CLIMBING JK LOL) and the sling I use for a one handed hang assist while hangboard training and also for fastening the plates to my harness.
Seriously guys, what's a "one-hang"?
5. The Ivanko Super Gripper - Yes, this spring-loaded torture device is absolutely Russian. And yes, you will love it. Primarily used by a niche sect of bodybuilders obsessed with grip strength, this thing has adjustable tension springs ranging from "not so bad" to "are you f*cking kidding me?!"

6. The Ab Wheel - If you decided to buy one thing off this list it should be this. It's like $10 and you will not regret it.
These were actually cut from scenes in Zero Dark Thirty for being too cruel and unusual.

7. Ankle Weights - I use these all the time. At least twice a week for various things. Front levers, leg lifts, even practicing holding swings on steep terrain. Great for a little resistance.

8. 10lb Weight Vest -The only reason I specified 10lbs is because I used to have a 20lb and I did not find that it helped much. I use this sparingly, but it is great for a 4x4 once in a while when you want to feel like a superhero.

Worst superhero outfit ever.

 9. Ice Packs - These next couple items I use after almost every climb session. Not essential for training, but critical for recover and injury prevention. Ice packs are a must.

10. Finger Massagers - They're cheap and it feels great on the fingers. Keep one in your skin kit, one in your car for the approach, or wherever else. Really nice to have around.

11. Theracane - Dirtbag massage therapy at its finest. I prefer investing in quarterly massage work but between sessions or on a road trip this thing is great for working knots and sore muscles.

Plus when you type finger massagers into google you're in for a certified awkward moment.

I hope this helps with your training!


1 comment:

  1. Two words: foam roller.

    Also, a one hang is where you get stuck for months, never send, and go back to bouldering. I'm pretty sure.