I am a husband, Father to two amazing boys and I work full time. It can definitely be challenging to keep up my strength in the midst of a busy family life! I guess it all comes down to priorities, how much time you have and what your goals are. I have made a commitment to put my family first, therefore I try to fit climbing in whenever I can outside of this.
Consequently over the years I have tested and tried many different training workouts to find what actually works for me and how I can get the most out of the little time I have.
I find it much easier to set myself a goal so then I can train specifically for that goal. For example, I love climbing hard outdoor climbs which push me to my limit and maybe take months of effort to finally climb. To a non-climber this must sound completely absurd.
To prepare for this I will tailor my climbing sessions to help me gain the necessary strength, power or endurance I need to complete the climb. I have even set indoor replicas of the outdoor climbs (the perks of being a route setter and climbing wall owner). I mainly do this as I can only get outside to my project a couple of times a month, but to have a session indoors is much easier as it lasts a few hours instead of the whole day.
To keep the fingers strong and compliment my climbing sessions, I feel it is important to train on the fingerboard and campus board to help target those weaknesses. My strength has always been open hand climbing and I find it alien to full crimp holds (I think because I rarely use this grip type) Therefore I have made a conscious effort to train in a crimp position to help target my weakness.
My training consists of many different exercises such as deadhangs, pull ups, repeaters and campusing, whilst focusing on the different grip types, open, crimp and full crimp.
I realised that of all the grip types I was training, I was missing one out…the thumb. I always felt there was a gap in the market for pinches and when Bison Grips Pinches came along, I could no longer use that excuse. Its only recently that I have incorporated pinch training into my workouts and it has been encouraging to see the gains (I went from struggling to do 5 pull ups to completing 10 on the large 90mm grips). Next time you go to your local wall, have a look at all the holds you climb on, you will be surprised how many holds you can use your thumb on… a lot!
Over the next few months I will be posting blogs on my specific training sessions that have helped me progress over the years.