December 31, 2012

Training with Piz: 5 Minute Core

This is the current core workout that I do twice a week.
I have folks doing it everyday and have seen great gains in their ability to maintain a strong core.
It is meant to be completed after your workout, but can be done anytime.
Friends just rafted the Grand Canyon this fall and finished everyday of their trip with a little core work before bed on the shore of the Colorado River.

1 minute of the plank: be sure to engage every muscle from your toes to your arms while trying to reach your chin to your belly button. A good plank consists of every muscle being flexed even your butt cheeks!
1 minute of dolphins: be sure to hold your hands and extend as far forward as you can while rolling over your toes.
30 seconds of 1 arm plank: the goal is to NOT adjust your feet, keep them shoulder width apart and to move your weight off of your arm/shoulder while keeping your shoulder and hips square to the floor.
1 minute of v-ups: be sure to have both shoulder blades touching the floor all the way and then to keep your hands in front the whole time. (I add a 5-10lb weight to my hands)
1 minute of scissor kick crunches: point your toes to the opposite wall, keep straight legs and move then up and down no more than 3 feet off the ground, then add a crunch with your hands behind your head. If hands behind your head hurts you can put them along your side near your butt and it will make the challenge easier.

piz : )

December 20, 2012

Training with Piz: Bruce Lee's

There are a few movements/positions that display mastery of muscle groups in the body.

As a climber, having control over your core is essential for pushing the grades and excelling on  steeper rock climbs.Yoga has numerous advanced positions that can develop your core strength in addition to climbing specific training. If you are actively doing yoga, you will see the benefits throughout your entire body.

I do not know yoga nor do I pretend to. I have participated in a few classes of each of the varieties, but have not invested serious time into it.

The Bruce Lee is a great position to hold for a short amount of time in order to test/challenge your whole body core strength. I don't know when or where this position showed up, but I do know that when I first attempted it, that I was not very successful. This position takes time to master and can be done as a progression.

  1. Grab the back of a bench and drive your shoulders into the seat of the bench and your legs up above your head, as in the video. Be sure to point your toes down.
  2. Next, lift your legs and hips above your head and attempt to maintain a straight position. If you can do that (the key is being able to force your hips into alignment with your body.) you are in position to lower your legs. (I describe it to my students, as the forward hip thrust position, it is all about getting your hips forward) You will immediately know whether the next step is possible when you attempt it.
  3. Finally, lower your legs and hips (as they are in a straight line from your neck) to the 45 degree mark and hold.
To progress: start from the vertical position hold it for a 20-30 seconds and build up reps until you can lower your legs closer to 45 degrees.

The key to this is to continue your regular breathing and to not strain your neck

Get outside and have an adventure!

piz : )

December 19, 2012

Sunday Hike that will Turn into a New Route!

 As I took a snowy hike last Sunday, I found this little guy that I will come back to clean and climb. There are two options for the first pitch (the right or left dihedral). Then I will move up through that overhanging off width to the top. It should be pretty good and I suspect that there won't be too much loose and dangerous rockfall. The wide bit up top looks like #4's, but I have been wrong before at this distance away. (My eye sight is getting worse and worse every year).
 The views from the hike. The hike started with a totally overcast sky and it cleared out within a half and hour of trudging through the snow and wandering the loose hillside.
 I started with a down jacket on and ended up wearing just a t-shirt and vest!
By the time that I got to the end of my hike, I had no intention of going back the way that I came. I was tired and did not want to get into the shade where the walking was easier. (I actually fell through the ice earlier on the hike and did not want to navigate the edge of the meandering creek again).
So I luckily found a few passages up and out of the canyon and managed to indirectly find the road back to the truck. I did feel lost even though I knew where I needed to go. I was running through the pine forest following deer tracks and rabbit tracks through washes and over the flat terrain. It felt like a movie, all was silent, I was along and just charging through the empty desert. Pretty rad.
Normally after I find a new route, I immediately come back with a helmet and rope and see what the new route is all about. As the winter days get colder and the breeze stays consistent, I find that a         WindX-treme neck gator is my go to article of clothing (that is the red thing on my neck).
Get outside and have an adventure!
piz : )

December 18, 2012

Training with Piz: Systems Board Pinches

In this clip we are doing a repeated move off pinches.
Our feet are fixed in position and we are grabbing a friendly pinch as many times in a row as possible.
The systems board is at 45 degrees overhanging and we are looking to be consistent at getting 100 movements. It is at that point where we can think about adding a weight vest or moving on to another move that we want to improve.
You can do this at any angle if you are beginning and can set a time or a number of repetitions that you want to repeat with each round.
We are doing three reps of our maximum movements after being properly warmed up.
You work your hand strength, core tension, foot placement and body English during this movement, in addition to endurance and stamina. The real benefit comes when you are about to fall off and are able to push through your fatigue and continue doing the movements. It is those moments that assist you in completing your projects and sending routes. Being able to hit the wall and push through is the ultimate goal of this workout.

Now get out there and use your training to have some fun rock climbing!

piz : )

December 11, 2012

Training with Piz: 1 Arm Lock Offs on Systems Board

When you want to simulate being on a route with challenging lock offs, you can utilize an adjustable systems board/finger board/campus board, door frame, rings or whatever you have and recreate the angles that you are climbing on outside and increase your ability by moving towards steeper and steeper angles.

We are doing one arm lock offs with comfortable feet in this video at 65 degrees overhanging.

The point is to build the height that we are reaching for, our core strength and our stamina during the exercise.
We will always have one foot higher than the other.
We will always have the high foot be the same as the hand doing the lock off. Example right hand locking off with right foot on high foot hold.

Advanced types of lock offs are at a steeper angles, use smaller holds/underclimgs/side pulls/slopers/pinches/pockets (whatever). Additionally, you can adjust the foot location to opposite foor high and having extrememly high feet that force your butt to hang away from the wall.
You can incorporate the weight vest.

Hold pose for a time20-40 seconds  and repeat for 3 sets with a 1-2 minute rest in between.
Focus on keeping your hips in tight to the wall, (being twisted and straight on), breathing, and reaching high. Begin these on very comfy holds because you can create instant flappers with poorly designed climbing holds.

Have a spotter if you feel like you may hit the floor upon your max.

Get outside and use your training!!

piz : )

December 7, 2012

Training with Piz: Modified Peter Pans

We call this a modified Peter Pan. (named by the one and only coach Dave Wahl, who taught me what I share with you).

There are many versions that can be created with a systems board and because our systems board is fully adjustable(from 45-90 degrees), we can develop thousands of versions of the movement.

History: The movement is based on doing repetitions on the pinches. Once you are good at a more vertical angle, you can move onto a steeper one and repeat for a set time or number of reps.
We are working grip strength, core, footwork, compression, power endurance and dynamic movement.

Since I am attempting to simulate the movements of a certain route, This configuration of moves came to mind and you are witnessing someone attempting it in the video. We are at 60 degrees overhanging, because I want to first develop the movement and then amp it up into the most difficult version of the movement.

Start at 60 degrees overhung (we will eventually do this at 45 degrees) and cut your feet every time that you match hands on a new hold.
Here we begin on the side pulls, move to the small crimps (cut feet) then back down to the side pulls (cut feet) then up to the pinches (cut feet) and back down to the side pulls (cut feet)
repeat for a time or certain number of reps.

What is great about this is that you can simulate many moves that you may have problems with for all types of climbing.

Now quit training and get outside and have an adventure.

piz : )

December 6, 2012

Training with Piz: Lockoffs on Rings

I will be sharing what we do at the gym while we train in very short video clips. Enjoy

Take note that these will normally be challenging versions of each exercise. I you are trying this at home (or your gym) you should find a way to modify the activity to your level.
That being said, there is always something harder/easier to work on with training.

We do a pull up them lock off one arm and then hold for 5 seconds.
Then we release back into the general two arm pull-up and switch hands for the next lock off.
Try to make it for approx. 40 seconds, rest and do it again. We normally do 4 reps of 40 seconds twice a week. (We do not do it every week, this movement like all of them that I will be sharing get cycled into the training.

As you progress, it is good to decrease the size of the hold until you are on crimps.
You can use a hang board or rings to start off.I like to add the l position when I do it cause it also works the core and legs and back.

piz : )

December 4, 2012

Training with Piz: Where I Train

Lots of folks wonder where it is that I train. It is called the Grand Junction Climbing Center.
As a gym, it has ample bouldering and top ropes/leads, but I feel that its pride and joy is the training opportunities.

The best adventures that you have are the ones in which you come back healthy and safe and injury free. I feel that training and strengthening your weaknesses is the best way to ensure those things.

Twice a week at 5 am, I play on the equipment that is in the video with some friends who enjoy it enough to get up at 4:30 with me.

I am a lucky man that I don't have to do it alone.

Get outside and have an adventure!
piz : )