Galina Parfenov sends Gusher V11 in Ute Pass, CO. This is a tough one, especially the top out. Below she gives her beta for the Crux and Top Out. Great send Galina!
Crux: Shift your weight onto your left hand and lock-off while pressing hard with your right foot, then cross right hand to the undercling crack.
Topout: Using the starting rail for feet, traverse your way across the lower crack until you hit a good gaston with your right hand. Get a high right foot and bump your right hand over to a decent sidepull around the slopey corner. Move left hand to the gaston and finish on undercling crimpers.
This is a very proud moment, for women in climbing and for Tomoko. It’s really great to see women from around the world, pushing their limits, staying focused, and sending their projects. Watch this great video of Tomoko Ogawa, and how psyched she is when she sends. Congrats Tomoko!
by Mercedes Pollmeier, M.S., CSCS
First of all, what is the core? Well, it’s definitely not just your abs. It incorporates most of your trunk, your back and your butt. Some exercise science specialists also say that the core can extend all the way down your hamstrings (posterior chain) and quadriceps (anterior chain). The core really is the ability to recruit as many muscles as possible to make movement as efficient as possible. By doing this, you decrease your chance of injury as well as making your body more balanced. This is why it is very important to do “core” training, or also known as full body exercises.
In climbing, when you cut your feet from the wall, what is the deciding factor to stay on the wall? Well, it’s actually a number of factors, and all are included in the “core”. In order to bring your feet back to the wall, you must have the finger strength, shoulder strength, trunk strength, lat strength and back strength to swing back on and accurately place your foot. This means training all of these things together to achieve awesomeness.
What exercises would be good for core development? Well, first of all, I believe that women in general have really good isolated ab strength. When we do crunches compared to our male counterparts, it seems we can go forever. But, when you ask us to do more integrated exercises, such as leg lifts from a bar, we fall apart. So ladies, work less on isolated ab exercises and more on integrated exercises.
If you have never done ab exercises before, or have had some time off from training, or if you have a lower body injury that you are recovering from, you should start with gradual isolated ab exercises that work on the transverse abdominis and spinal muscles. This is very important to do!
Once you have done this for a few weeks, you can progress to some more difficult exercises that involve leg lifts, leg lifts with medicine balls, hanging knee raises etc.
Exercises that create a lot of tension or torque are also very important to incorporate into your regime. This is where all the muscles communicate with each other at the same time. Good examples are the front elbow plank, side elbow plank, and other really awesome varieties of the plank. To get the posterior chain, you can do hip bridges and table tops.
Climbing specific “core” exercises would be anything that involves hanging. Toe touches to the bar, front lever variations, windshield wipers are good examples of these.
Don’t forget! Squats, dead lifts, push ups and pull ups are also considered “core” exercises, because they involve the whole body to achieve the movement. Be safe with your exercises, take the progressions slow, and don’t push yourself to fast to achieve results. Your goal is to stay injury free as you become as strong as an OX.
For more training advice or online coaching contact email@example.com
Here is a video about Erin Machinchick, who is a fairly new climber and offers a great perspective on what it’s like when you make climbing a part of your life. She has only been climbing for a year now and has already lead a 5.12a outside. Keep it up Erin!
Brooklyn Boulders, a gym based just outside of downtown Manhattan, is working hard to embrace their surrounding community through the act of climbing. Their latest event, dubbed Elevate The Public, is geared towards raising funds to assist with recruiting students and mentors for their City Rocks Program. This program is geared to helping inner-city youths better themselves through rock climbing and community based projects.
Many people in the climbing community talk about giving back, but this program and the members of the Brooklyn Boulders Foundation have put the wheels in motion to help expose children to rock climbing as a way to mentor them during their lives. In order to create these great opportunities for the local youths, the foundation is asking those within the climbing community for assistance.
The video below offers a better overall view of the program your donation would go to:
If you would like to make a donation to the Elevate the Public campaign you may do so by visiting http://wediditfundraising.com/campaigns/29-elevate-the-public
If you would like more information about the Brooklyn Boulders Foundation check them out at www.BKBFoundation.org
Congrats to Sasha Diguilian for winning this award. She deserves all this recognition. To view her blog and her thoughts on winning click here.
This woman continues to inspire me. She is one of the few climbers and possibly the only female climber trying this stuff.
By Mercedes Pollmeier
If you are looking to make faster progress towards your climbing goals it is essential to include strength training into your regime. Whether you view climbing as a sport or activity, there is no doubt that a climber has to supplement their training with weight/strength training if they are looking to perform at a higher level. Look at all other sports and activities. For the most part, the athletes performing at the highest levels are also putting time in the gym to give them the edge. Strength training with weights will allow you feel stronger on routes as well as train the metabolic system required for climbing.
So, now that you are convinced that weight/strength training will help you reach your goals for climbing, you need to structure your workouts based on the season and time period you have for reaching your goal. Remember, make attainable goals, and continue to make new goals as you progress.
To start a solid training regime, you need to follow the progression of endurance, strength and power. This not only helps you peak for your project/season, but it also keeps you from getting injured. You also need to keep in mind that climbing also incorporates the lower body. It always surprises me that when I see a climber working out, they are sooo focused on ab and arm training. Your legs are part of your core, and are the base of support as well as the initiator of movement. So, make sure to include lower body exercises as well! (* A note for female climbers – we tend to suffer from the Q angle syndrome, which means that we have a very high chance of tearing our ACL’s. By training proper lower body mechanics, we can function better and avoid the chances of lower body injury. Mostly it’s the knee and hip movement that we need to keep an eye on)
Below is a sample of a strength workout. This is purely just the weight-training component. This does not include other important aspects that need to be incorporated into your training regime such as campus board, systems wall and cardio workouts. Other climbing specific exercises such as front levers, rope climbs, hanging legs raises etc, can also be incorporated into this program. The exercises selected are basic body movements that work the large muscle groups that will no doubt help you climb harder and function better.
Here is a sample progressive workout. This can be done 2-3 days a week. Work into it slowly! In addition to this, you can choose to take active rest periods. This is generally done every 4th week of the training program. You can still climb during this period, but try to keep the volume low. All physical adaptations from training occur during the recovery period!!
Endurance (3-6wks): 3-6 sets, 10-20 reps (you gotta feel the burn!), 30s-1min rest in between.
Body Weight (BW) squats
BW single leg squats
Hamstring extensions on the ball.
Pull ups *(50-75% 1RM)
push ups (50-75% 1RM)
Dumbbell chest press (50-75% 1RM)
Jump rope (considered plyometric, but great for building those calf muscles, do 5-15mins)
Strength (3-6Wks): 3-5 sets, 4-8 reps, 30s-1min rest. Weight selected should be progressed from 75-90% 1RM.
Straight leg dead lift
Weighted pull ups
Weighted push ups
weighted single leg squats
Box jumps (1ft height, ~25 reps)
Power (3-6wks): 1-3 sets, 1-5 reps, 1-3min rest. Weight selected should be progressed form 80-95% 1RM)
Squat to overhead press
weighted pull ups
weighted push ups
Dumbbell chest press
Bent over rows
box jumps (2ft height)
* 1RM means the maximum weight you can lift once. i.e. if you can chest press 100lbs, your 50%1RM would be 50lbs. If you can only do 1 pull up, use a bungee or resistance band to help you do more reps.
by Mercedes Pollmeier
In order to perform at the optimal level in climbing, your body needs to be well hydrated. Water is the basis of our body, about 45 to 70 percent of total body weight, depending on how much muscle mass you have. When our muscles and joints have the optimal amount of water, they can glide and move easily as we participate in our activities.
Water surrounding our muscles also provides the optimal environment for recovery. This is why creatine monohydrate supplementation is so helpful (though I don’t recommend it for most strength-to-body weight ratio sports/activities), because it draws water in and around the muscle tissue. With proper fluid amounts, cellular functions operate at a more efficient pace and allows for wastes and toxins to be flushed out of the cell. If you are dehydrated, you may notice faster muscle fatigue, reduced coordination and muscular cramping.
As a climber, I always found it difficult to stay properly hydrated in the cold and on long approaches. Firstly, no one wants to hike in the extra weight of water, this is why having a purifier is handy, but only if there is a water source near by your crag. Another problem I have encountered with many boulderers and climbers is that drinking water adds body weight, which seems detrimental while trying to crush your problem or route. While this is quite true, it may only add a few ounces at a time as you drink and regularly go to the bathroom. Remember, keeping hydrated while climbing is beneficial for performance on your project and helps with speed of recovery, repairing your muscles and getting them ready for your next training or climbing session.
Tips on staying hydrated: try to take a few sips after every burn and eat fruit while you climb. You don’t only get water from drinking it, you also get it from your foods, specifically fruits and vegetables. There’s another reason to eat your veggies daily! Try to avoid fluids with sugar in them, as this can reverse the hydration process, and this also prevents you from drinking your calories, which, when trying to lose weight, can keep you from reaching your goal weight. About 4 hours before activity you should drink 2 to 3 milliliters per pound of body weight to get your body ready and in proper water balance (“Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook”; Nancy Clark, MS, RD; 2008).
Some symptoms of dehydration: headaches similar to what is experienced during a hangover, decreased blood pressure (hypotension), and dizziness or fainting when standing up due to orthostatic hypotension. One’s heart and respiration rates begin to increase to compensate for decreased plasma volume and blood pressure, while body temperature may rise because of decreased sweating (Wikipedia, 2012).
Great article about the general reasons for why women should lift weights. Lifting will also benefit your climbing, as it can be used as injury prevention, improve weaknesses and maintain strengths. Are you ready to lift some heavy things!?
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