Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Next Steps for Training at Home: Equipment Check

So now we're about 5 weeks into the coronavirus lockdown and even if you've been getting out climbing locally and following social distancing guidelines, you might be missing the gym that closed back in March and hopefully you're still supporting by remaining a member. In fact your first impulse might be to build a home wall. Don't. It will probably suck. There are much more efficient ways to train the essentials for hard climbing than a home wall, options that will deliver a much louder bang for the buck.

Basically you need two things. One, that I mentioned before, is the home hangboard. This is the key to maintaining strength and fitness above everything else. If you can't buy a good one, make one from wood that supports half pad and full pad hangs. Pockets, pinches, slopers? Forget it. 7 mm tiny crimps? Unnecessary. Make sure it's sturdy and solid and comfortable because you'll be using it a lot. More on how in the next post.

The other thing that is useful is a home campus board. Three rungs are more than enough, 22cm or so apart. More complex to set up for sure but if you have the space and skills (and the strength) a campus board will deliver the power and lock-off strength that a hangboard can't do so well. Metolius wood rungs remain the standard as far as I am concerned. They also can be used to make a good fingerboard.

What else? In no particular order...

A chalk bucket is super helpful.

Weights. 2 25-pound plates, 2 10s and a 5 will be plenty for most uses. You can use other modes of adding weight but plates threaded on a sling hanging on a harness are the best. Improvise with water bottles or canned food in a pack if you lack proper weights.

An old harness is very useful for adding or removing weight.

Gymnastic rings: many cool strengthening options with these. Try to get wooden ones.

Lashing straps with cam buckles: Use them for the rings or as cheapo TRX-style straps.

7mm static cord: use it for rigging pulley systems and other applications

2 pulleys: use high quality pulleys for taking weight off

Assorted carabiners for clipping things

Weight vests and ankle weights are nice for adding difficulty in a more movement-friendly way

Elastic bands are nice for easy warmups and weight off options

Fans: keep your hanging area as dry and cool as possible

Music: Speakers that can play off your phone are key

Clock: A large movable analog clock with a visible second hand remains superior IMO to phone apps

Floor covering: always good to have something to protect the floor and yourself.

Notebook: record your progress

With these items you can train for just about anything you want. So let's get started!

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