January 30, 2013

Training with Piz: Round the Worlds

The Round the Worlds are a core and lock off exercise that can be done on any type of bar.

  1. Grab onto the bar like a you are doing a pull-up (palms away from you, not towards you)
  2. Pull up into a lock off position (arms should be close to making 90 degree angle) and move/spin around to place your lead hand on the other side of the bar.
  3. Stop your swing and bring the other hand around (you will be set up to do another pull-up)
  4. Repeat the motion as you go round and round the bar. You can change direction if you get dizzy.
  5. Add weight after you become proficient with your body weight by using a weight vest or hold a dumb bell with your feet to increase the resistance and core work.
How Much?
  • No more than once or twice a week of 2-3 reps of 10 with 360 degree rotations.
What if I cant do one of these?
  • It would be possible to take weight off if you rigged a pulley in the middle of the bar to your waist and a few pounds. It might get all twisted up, but it would work.
  • I would focus on climbing more before trying these specific movements and after a while this will be a way to add to your power/endurance.

Get outside and have an adventure!

piz : )

Thanks to my amazing sponsors: Arcteryx, CAMP-USA, SCARPA, Sterling Ropes, the AAC and WIndX-treme

January 28, 2013

Army of Darkness Almost Send Video

Check out this old footage of me on Army of Darkness just before I made the first free ascent!

Get outside and have an adventure!

piz : )

Thanks to my amazing sponsors: Arcteryx, CAMP-USA, SCARPA, Sterling Ropes, the AAC and WIndX-treme

January 26, 2013

S-Crack Onight Free Solo Video: Alex Honnold


Last weekend I got to climb with Alex Honnold, it had been a while since our last time and it was nice to hang out at a quiet area near my house in Grand Junction.

He chose to onsight solo a 5.10 crack called the S-Crack and let me video it for all of you to see.


Get outside and have an adventure!

piz : )

Thanks to my amazing sponsors: Arcteryx, CAMP-USA, SCARPA, Sterling Ropes, the AAC and WIndX-treme

January 25, 2013

Rowan and Daddy on Winter Walk

Rowan and daddy on a winter walk.

Get outside and have an adventure!

piz : )

Thanks to my amazing sponsors: Arcteryx, CAMP-USA, SCARPA, Sterling Ropes, the AAC and WIndX-treme

January 23, 2013

Saturday Morning Show

Last summer at the Outdoor Retailer show, someone came around and made a video of some of the climbers that I know.
I forgot about this until I accidentally saw it doing a search for something else.
Enjoy, I think that I even end up chatting at sometime too!


Get outside and have an adventure!

piz : )

Thanks to my amazing sponsors: Arcteryx, CAMP-USA, SCARPA, Sterling Ropes, the AAC and WIndX-treme

Finally, Some Good Temps!

 Rowan and I could actually play outside for more than 10 minutes. Here we met some of our neighbors while on a walk near the house.
 Rowan also got to try out a slide at Kidsplex! I think that he liked it.
 Then we went climbing at Escalante with Jesse, Chandler, Mike B and Alex Honnold (aka boy wonder). Here is Alex on a nice finger crack.
 Mike and Alex stealing each others apples.
 Later that day boy wonder got psyched to solo the S-Crack, a 5.10 fingers to 5 inch OW. He soloed up the route and back down to the ground.
 The we all tried a 5.12- lie back through .3's. It was a little pumpy and really nice. Here boy wonder takes his time as he enters the crux.
 Lastly, I let boy wonder try my project, so he could reveal secret beta that would help me send it faster. To my surprise he said it was about as hard as I thought and agreed that my beta was probably the best way to send (even though there are other options/each providing their own challenges.
 Mike lounging around on the beautiful day.
Jesse getting after it on the 5.12- corner. Ah yeah!!!

Get outside and have an adventure!
piz : )

Thanks to my amazing sponsors: Arcteryx, CAMP-USA, SCARPA, Sterling Ropes, the AAC and WIndX-treme

January 18, 2013

Training with Piz : Round the Block

Round the Block is a 4 move finger strength exercise that I created in order to develop finger strength over the period of  4 moves. It can be modified in many ways. Be creative!
This is great for times when you are climbing and you fail at the end of a sequence or boulder problem where the type of hold switches. Like when a boulder is all crimps and then turns open handed at the end and you can't hold on. You can recreate that on the finger board, in addition to many other situations.
  1. Identify a series of 4 grips that you would like to work on. It can be jugs, crimps, slopers, pockets, anything you would like to get better at using.
  2. Determine the order of the sequence, for example: jug to crimp to slope to pocket.
  3. Attempt to move from each hold while in a lock off for 30 seconds, 2-3 reps once or twice a week will show results.
  4. If you can not hold the lock off while doing the Round the Block then you may use one foot on a small jib to assist. Your goal will be to eventually be successful without your foot assist.
  5. When starting off it is better to stay on bigger holds. Certain transitions can be extremely difficult. Be warmed up (especially the fingers) before doing the Round the Block. 
Get outside and have an adventure!

piz : )

Thanks to my amazing sponsors: Arcteryx, CAMP-USA, SCARPA, Sterling Ropes, the AAC and WIndX-treme

Training with Piz: Smear Pulls on Crimps

I know that many times you have needed to pull up with little or no feet. This movement works that specifically.

You can start with bigger holds and then move to tiny crimps. It cane be done on a near vertical wall and you can progress to a steeper angle.

Be sure to push hard with your feet and pull as high as you can.
Just 2-3 sets of 10 on this movement twice a week can improve your smearing and pulling!

Have fun and work hard!

piz : )

January 14, 2013

Short Trip to Vegas

Ben, Mayan and I went to Vegas for some sport climbing at a few of the crags around town. We stayed with Andy Reather and Kim and had perfect weather and found our pump quickly at Mt. Potosi.
Here is the hike up to the cave with a 50 ft horizontal roof.

Andy climbing the warm-ups with Mayan belaying. Not all the routes are steep and these 5.10's were fun. Although they did not prepare you for cave!

Ben trying one of the routes in the cave.

Mayan heading out the roof!

Andy just being Andy!

Get outside and have an adventure!
piz : )

Thanks to my amazing sponsors: Arcteryx, CAMP-USA, SCARPA, Sterling Ropes, the AAC and WIndX-treme

January 12, 2013

Ouray Ice Festival 2013

All my favorites were at the Festival this year! The best ropes.

The best climbing shoes and boots!

And the best clothes, harnesses and packs!

Oh yeah, the ice wasn't bad either. Living just 2 hours from this place rocks, really its awesome!!

It was a cold day and many great mixed ice climbers gave their all on a wild and entertaining comp route that made the best work hard for their money!

Get outside and have an adventure.
piz : )

January 10, 2013

Why I Train.

So, for the past week I have been unable to upload pictures or video from my computer. Blogger is having technical difficulties and we are left to the blandness of my words. (I wonder if blandness is a word) I apologize, but will take this time to talk about training indoors versus outdoor climbing.

In a nutshell, I would always rather be climbing outside. That is where my passion lies with climbing.

Now that that is clear, I can address the question of "why do I train so intently indoors when I don't have a passion for it?"

What I do have is a passion for the results of what a regular and systemized training program will bring me. I love to go outside and feel and perform at my personal best each and every time and through training indoors, I can make that happen.

Having a family, a full time job, a part time job and other obligations makes my free time extremely valuable and short. (Try to climb with me outside and you will see its nearly impossible to schedule it) That means that going to the gym to just boulder or randomly climb many routes and add some core work on another day will never really do anything for maintaining or improving my climbing or fitness level.

I need to constantly identify my weaknesses based upon my goals outside (aka my project(s)), design and implement a program that will develop and strengthen them, and then follow through with it deliberately.

Gym time is useful for making gains and is otherwise wasted (unless you are just going for the fun of it to hang out with friends and have no deeper goals of improving) when you just go and do "whatever".

In conclusion, I am not here to waste my time and will not be in the gym training before its light out or way after its dark because I love to, but because only through that focused effort will I improve. Maintaining is not a goal (it's like just remaining good enough and I do not want to just remain good enough). I want to push my personal limits and see what I am capable of accomplishing. It's not about keeping up with anyone, it's about pushing myself to reach my potential. 

So get outside and have an adventure
and if not,
start focusing what you are doing, so that you can improve and have better, safer, bigger adventures!

piz : )

January 2, 2013

Training with Piz: Dynamic Side Pull to Gatons at 45

Here are we are working on dynamic moves, contact strength, core, leg and hand eye coordination.

Set the wall to 45 degrees and bump from the side pulls to the gastons and back for 30 seconds over 2 reps.

Focus on pushing hard with your legs/feet and staying tight throughout your entire core. It also helps to move with momentum towards the holds between each movement.
This takes practice and should be done after a good warm up or even after climbing for a while, but never at the beginning of a workout.

piz : )

January 1, 2013

2012 Year in Review

When I look back to 2012 and think about my family, friends and climbing adventures, a few experiences stand out.

Late Winter was when I managed to complete a four month long single pitch crack climb first ascent that I named, "The Frank Zappa Appreciation Society". The route damaged my two index fingers for nearly 6 months, due to the crux moves revolving around ring lock campus moves out a roof. (.75inch cams for those who are wondering)

Shortly after that, I taught crack climbing skills to fellow climbers and was auctioned off for the American Alpine Club at the Red Rock Rendezvous in Las Vegas, Nevada.

 Jane testing the ice for me on the Grand Mesa.
 Just another perfect day just below freezing on a desert tower.
 Yeah, I train folks to be BAD A**es!
 Get inspired by the landscape of Oregon.
We found this van during our trip to Norway a few years back. Ari and I couldn't stop laughing, nor could we pass up a chance to get our photo taken with this legendary vehicle. 
Over the summer, I spent a lot of time in Ohio with my family and attempted to be prepared for my first trip to the Bugaboos in Canada. Unfortunately, I ended up with a sinus infection during the trip after a long night pacing a friend who was running the Hardrock 100 Mile Race in southwestern Colorado. Once we landed on the glacier, I lost my balance due to the infection and lie in my tent puking and waiting out a two day snow storm in the middle of July. During the rest of the trip I managed to second a few of the climbs including the Becky-Chouinard, but spent most the time feeling crappy and apologizing to the rest of the guys.

It was also at that time that I began working on opening up a new free climb on an unclimbed wall in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison with a friend from home. As with any kind of adventure in the Black, it took way to long and included many long days cleaning and establishing the line. At the end of an eighteen hour day in August, we finally sent Black Cloud 5.12- PG, a nearly eighteen hundred foot traditional climb deep in the park. It was like a black cloud had been lifted from our shoulders because of the many difficulties that we encountered during the climb.

In between all the traveling, I was able to establish a few shorter climbs locally, but it was during the fall when I really had some fun. I was asked to participate, teach and speak at a few events out west including one at Smith Rock, another at the City of Rocks and the last one in Yosemite National Park. Although the traveling wore me out and kept me away from my work as a high school science teacher and my family, it was a great experience to connect with and share stories with so many climbers from around the world.

The last two events that were life changers for me were the conception of my second child (due at the end of May/early June 2013) and the purchase of a TV. You may ask, why was buying a TV so monumental in my life and why would I add it to my year in review? Well, I had lived without one for about 15 years and never wanted to have one in my life again, but due to my wonderful wife's love of Notre Dame football and her patience of not having one as long as we had been together, I figured that it would be a good idea to add one to the house. It's not so bad : ) (Although, I do refuse to learn how to use it!)

All in all, I really appreciate all that Arcteryx and my other sponsors due for me and I hope that I inspire you to get outside and to have your own great adventures. This next year, I look forward to my new child and many more rock new climbs in and around Colorado. Be sure to drop me a line on my blog, pizem.blogspot.com if you are passing through town and maybe we can get some pitches in!
piz : )

Training with Piz: Standing Dumb Bell Press

In this movement you are working on the triceps, shoulders and core.

When I use it in a circuit, it is a strength movement rather than a power and we are looking for high reps and failure at around 40 seconds, rather than just a fewer numbers over that time period.

At this point in the game I am able to go for 40 seconds with 20lb weights for each of the four rounds. It is a challenge to complete about 20 reps each cycle.

Be sure to avoid a weight that makes you bend your back in an improper manner. It is possible to injure your lower back by using to great of a weight.

Now train hard and use all this outside on the rock and mountains!

piz : )