Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Campusing for wimps

Something I've being trying on my trainings is this: I'm very bad at campus boarding. I mean really shit. I can't barely hold myself on it and every time I decided to spend some time with this evil machine I end up getting hurt. So this time I decided to put a bit of effort into strength training but with a more conservative approach. Strength is crucial in climbing, strength training will give endurance but endurance training will not give you strength, simple as that. Plus, like it or not, at some point it all boils down to finger strength.

What I have being doing are 3 sets of 5x holding for 10s with 50s rest between the holds and 2' rest between sets. Easy and light and slowly I feel I am able to hold more and more...

I believe many campus beginners hurt themselves because they ended up trying some super pro training without enough rests in between sets, or trying hard moves for which your body is not yet prepared. You overload your fingers, don't get to finish the sets in proper form and get hurt. It can take years to properly evolve your tendons, so be gentle and not an eager silly climber. In the long run, it is better to climb smooth and non-stop, with consistency, then hard with 2, 3 months break in between injuries.

Gradually, as you get used you can increase the sets and decrease the rests once you feel your body is taking it fine, i.e. no tension on shoulders on tendons, feeling fresh after each hold. Listen to your body. Then, only after a lot of training you can consider more advanced stuff as chin-ups or going up and down the ladder. No rush. Don't hurt yourself :-) Avoid crimps as much as possible and try to get used to have your hand open as much as possible, get used to climb in a way you won't damage yourself in the future.


At the end of those short intense trainings I will always get home and ice hands, shoulders and forearms even if I don't feel any pain. The change of temperature stimulates blood flow and helps those areas to recover. I told you, this is a proper conservative training.

Very important is to remember to keep tension on your shoulders, don't just hang on them. Work on a long and light warm up, before even getting to the holds I will always do a short set of theraband exercises. You want to start on the campus feeling slightly sweaty but still fresh.

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