I kinda stumbled upon this one. The other day I ended up having some extra time after my usual AM finger strength session. Currently, I’ve been doing a 7on:13off x5-6, rest 3 min protocol. After I completed my planned 5 sets, I decided I wanted to try something different to train pinches. I kept my timer going and went over to my 40 degree spray wall, when the timer started up again I picked two pinches and a bad foot then held the position using the same protocol as before. Each rep I would switch the foot/side. I did a few sets of this switching up pinches each set. After this I took a longer rest 5+mins and made up a boulder using the holds I had used earlier. I was AMAZED how strong I felt on these holds, after doing a fairly long strength session I felt stronger on these holds than ever before. I will defiantly be playing with this style of work moving forward, and probably add it into my warm-up on outdoor boulders as well when possible.
My feeling is this is a much more functional way to train pinches especially, and at the same time you are engaging your whole body in a climbing-specific way. Felt similar to the gains I’ve seen from sloth climbing. I am also sure this method would work well with any grip type, especially small holds. I also think this might be a cool way to work on “simulator-style” moves for outdoor boulders.
Definitely a fan. This was a big part of my full crimp journey initially, I used it extensively after shoulder surgery when I couldn’t get fully overhead, and I often use it when trying really hard boulders. This method is on the same spectrum of specificity I discuss in this video. How to Train Contact Strength | A Spectrum of Exercises for Climbers - YouTube
I tried something like this with our youth team a while back. The way we went about it was to have our kids attempt limit single or pairs of moves, and then do 3-4s “hangs” in the starting and ending positions.
I liked it, but we weren’t consistent enough with it to really get a gauge of its transfer. Might be worth playing with though?
Definitely, especially for those who have progressed really fast. It’s a great way to add in some slow-controlled loading of the fingers in a more sport-specific way that helps contribute to movement technique and tension.
Kinda off-topic but your method reminds me of something I had my older group do recently while lead climbing. I had them stop and take a few breaths at each clipping position, before clipping. I noticed that a lot of them were rushing clips, and or falling after making a stressful clip that they had rushed. Most of them prefer bouldering and this definitely helped them recognize the difference in pace/relaxation needed for sport climbing.
I’ve tried holding each position of a project as part of sussing out beta and warming up but ever tried the repeater approach. Will definitely give this a run on some spray wall projects!
I like the clipping / relaxation drill alot! Probably gonna steal it :).