January 31, 2014

Training with Piz: The High/Low Crimp Foot Cut

Contact Piz at pizem@hotmail.com for Motivational/Instructional/Entertaining Speaking Engagements, Climbing Instruction, Training and Periodization Programs

Until then... Get outside and have an adventure!

piz : )

Thanks to my amazing sponsors: www.arcteryx.com   www.camp-usa.com   www.scarpa.com   www.sterlingrope.com   www.americanalpineclub.org   www.brewersledge.com   www.windx-treme.com  

video
This is another way to work core tension and compression.

Grab the same crimp close to full span on a steep wall. (this is at 45 degrees)
Then cut feet and place then exactly where you were once standing. Choose awkward foot placements in order to increase the difficulty.

Repeat 3-5 moves in a row and then repeat with the opposite hand placement.

This is powerful and explosive and requires engaging your whole body from finger tips thru your forearms and core down thru your legs and finally ending at your toes.

A great move to learn how to engage every part of your body.             

January 28, 2014

Training with Piz: Fingerwalking

Contact Piz at pizem@hotmail.com for Motivational/Instructional/Entertaining Speaking Engagements, Climbing Instruction, Training and Periodization Programs

Until then... Get outside and have an adventure!

piz : )

Thanks to my amazing sponsors: www.arcteryx.com   www.camp-usa.com   www.scarpa.com   www.sterlingrope.com   www.americanalpineclub.org   www.brewersledge.com   www.windx-treme.com

video
Fingerwalking       

Shuffling on various sizes of crimps can be good. Start on a big piece of wood like a 2x4 and move down to smaller and smaller crimps. Ideally your feet will be off the ground, but you can have one foot on to develop the skill.
Every time that you move is with a small kip of the hips (pop up).
Be sure to use open hands and no thumbs!!    

Treadwall Training with Piz: What am I doing Wrong (Treadwall Videos)?

Contact Piz at pizem@hotmail.com for Motivational/Instructional/Entertaining Speaking Engagements, Climbing Instruction, Training and Periodization Programs


Until then... Get outside and have an adventure!


piz : )


Thanks to my amazing sponsors: www.arcteryx.com   www.camp-usa.com   www.scarpa.com   www.sterlingrope.com   www.americanalpineclub.org   www.brewersledge.com   www.windx-treme.com



           Lets just try to identify all the ways in which I am failing, there are many...

Here are two videos of me trying my new problems. Each one has long reaches and cross throughs on 1 pad size crimps. (my weakness)
 
 
 
Have fun and let me know where I am going wrong and what I could do to be more efficient and use better technique! 

January 27, 2014

Winter 2014 Outdoor Retailer Photos

Contact Piz at pizem@hotmail.com for Motivational/Instructional/Entertaining Speaking Engagements, Climbing Instruction, Training and Periodization Programs

Until then... Get outside and have an adventure!

piz : )

Thanks to my amazing sponsors: www.arcteryx.com   www.camp-usa.com   www.scarpa.com   www.sterlingrope.com   www.americanalpineclub.org   www.brewersledge.com   www.windx-treme.com

              
 The drive north to Salt Lake. I should be seeing mountains but the air pollution is thick today!
Friday nights talent show. It was the ninth year where retailers and reps join together to jam. Four bands came together with 30 minute sets. It was a good time to dance and relax. Here Sarah Wood rocks out as she sings some Cyprus Hill!
 One of the walls of goodness at the CAMP booth!
 The climbing shoe collection from SCARPA!
 STERLING ROPES as far as the I could see!
Ah Arcteryx, the booth of booths.

It makes me feel good inside to know that all these companies are working hard to improve their lines and make life just a little bit better for folks like us : )

Thanks to my sponsors

piz : )

January 17, 2014

City Rock Climbing Gym: Training Review

Contact Piz at pizem@hotmail.com for Motivational/Instructional/Entertaining Speaking Engagements, Climbing Instruction, Training and Periodization Programs

Until then... Get outside and have an adventure!

piz : )

Thanks to my amazing sponsors: www.arcteryx.com   www.camp-usa.com   www.scarpa.com   www.sterlingrope.com   www.americanalpineclub.org   www.brewersledge.com   www.windx-treme.com  

So, I rarely get to check out other climbing gyms. But family trips offer a few minutes after the kids go to sleep to sometimes try one out. Over winter break we found ourselves in Colorado Springs and I had an hour and a half at the City Rock Climbing Gym.

Because I was very excited to climb a bit, I made the best of that time at this cool place to train and climb. I was able to meet up with a random gym patron and trade belays instead of using one of the many auto belays. For me, the gym experience is about climbing with a partner and not trying to be alone inside a facility. The route setting was great and I had a good time trying to bang out pitches in such a short amount of time before closing.

The main climbing area was sectioned off from the rest of the facility which was nice. There was no worries about whether or not a slack liner, boulderer, other climber, or anyone would bump into you. Plus the walls were tall and slabby to wickedly overhung! I forgot what it was like to get pumped indoors (my local gym is only about 20ft tall which makes it pretty tough).

After my partner had to leave, I choose to explore the other facets of the the gym. There was a slack line area and a bouldering area that were spacious and popular. Lastly, the upstairs was the training area. This is what I was most interested in because climbing routes can only do so much.
 There were three adjustable systems boards that were operated by a winch.All were 12ft wide by 12ft or 14ft tall. SICK!! The board at my gym is also adjusted by the winch method and I feel that even though it serves its purpose and works that it is not the best set up. The reason that I feel it is not the best is that the winch is typically only attached to the center of the board. This allows any dynamic movements to create movement or oscillation in the board, especially if you are on one side or the other.
My other observation was that there was no pattern to the placement of the holds. There was no way to work a specific hold type size or movement in a systematic manner. I feel that the systems board is an amazing tool to utilize in a gym but that most gyms don't set them properly.
 Systems board can be used in a number ow ways. One of which to complete repeated movements of a certain type. In doing this you can really improve a certain finger strength, hand strength or specialized movement. I have many of these explained in past postings.
The other way to use a systems board is to climb a problem that works a certain skill set or holds and to then slowly lower the angle until it becomes difficult. Then send it at the steeper and steeper angles. What you will find is that you will have to relearn how to climb the route and how to grip the holds and how to place your body with each angle increase. It is very powerful. This is one way that the European climbers have been training for years!
The yellow photo shows their extensive campus terrain! I liked it. The slopers were poorly made though in that the screws stuck out and you could rip your skin on your palms. They need to be deep set. The padding was nice and the boards were spaced properly.
 I really liked this set up, mostly. The bar is rigged on chains (which I don't like) but is two diameters for pull ups and whatever else you want to use it for (stretching and such). Plenty of space for multiple people to use it.
 It is welded and painted.
In trying to use all their space efficiently, they have hung lots of training camps rungs for finger boarding. My problem is that you can rest your arm against the wall which effects your finger boarding.
Overall, it is a great place to train at and it has lots of potential!

January 16, 2014

Treadwall Training with Piz: Training Plans

Contact Piz at pizem@hotmail.com for Motivational/Instructional/Entertaining Speaking Engagements, Climbing Instruction, Training and Periodization Programs

Until then... Get outside and have an adventure!

piz : )

Thanks to my amazing sponsors: www.arcteryx.com   www.camp-usa.com   www.scarpa.com   www.sterlingrope.com   www.americanalpineclub.org   www.brewersledge.com   www.windx-treme.com



I know that not everyone or every gym has a Treadwall, but if you have access to one this post is for you! I will be sharing a few ways to incorporate a Treadwall into your program.

A few notes before I begin.
  1. If you have been "training/working out" the same way for a long time (years) and have seen no gains in your climbing you need to reevaluate what you are doing. Cutting the crap, you are wasting your time and not doing anything that is actually developing your weaknesses.
  2. If you think that training is going to the climbing gym and doing some routes, some boulder problems and then using some of the training equipment, then you are NOT working out.
  3. If you are not taking notes and measuring daily progress and tracking your "workouts" then you are not really training seriously and will never make the real gains that you are seeking.  
  4. To address some misconceptions, campus boards are not only good for developing power and Treadwalls are not only good for warming up or training endurance. Understanding the tools that are before you and how they can be used to promote physical development is the key to improving fitness. If you don't understand or think that you do, it is worth asking a qualified person to help clarify any confusion.
  5. Finally, Training is Not for Everyone. It requires more hard work, focus and dedication than just going to the gym and climbing.
So how can you use your Treadwall?

You can use it for warming up.
  • After doing some simple stretching hope on the wall at a more vertical angle and do a couple laps while using good holds.
  • After a couple laps and a short rest (2-3 minutes) kick the angle back and complete another lap or two on more good holds.
  • After another short rest period, get back on and increase the difficulty so that you get pumped, keep climbing through the pump as much as you can and move to better holds until you complete those few laps.
  • Rest and then begin your gym session (whether it is bouldering or routes)
You can use it for power development.
  • Initially, just lock the Treadwall down (non moving) and work hard 2-3 move boulder problems.
  • I suggest starting at a just less than vertical angle and doing a problem that you can complete every time, but just barely.
  • After 2-3 laps on the problem, increase the overhang angle (maybe 5-10 degrees) and try the problem again.
  • Your goal would be complete the problem at the steepest angle.
  • Then change problems and begin again with a new sequence.
You can use it for endurance training.
  • Endurance comes from a high volume of lower intensity climbing.
  • Choose an appropriate angle (normally less steep at the beginning) and climb a certain number of laps in a controled manner or for a specified time.
  • Break that up into a few sets with a good rest in between and you will be building your endurance.
  • If you are climbing at a higher level, then steepen the angle or increase the difficulty of the routes that you are lapping.
  • Remember that you are attempting to remain at a level of pump that is just below out of control. (that constant forearm "pain" but not to the point that you are going to fall off.
You can use it for power endurance training.
  • There are a couple methods for doing this and I am sure something that I don't know about too!
  • One method is to choose 3 or 4 different routes. In one set you will climb one of the routes 4 times in a row with a minute rest inbetween each route. Then rest 5-10 minutes and then do the next route and the third and forth in the same manner. Be sure to choose four routes that work on different styles of climbing and that have different holds and cruxes. I try not to end on a "easy" route because I am looking to increase my threshhold for trying hard and muscle memory. Note doing this before a day of climbing outside will make for a bad day. Build in rest days after doing this type of training.
  • Another method is to add in a hangboard (like in the photo at the top of the page.) I have found that an effective way to get me able to hang on to routes longer is to do the following. Choose a route (or two if you are at that level) and climb it. Then instead of resting for a minute while sitting on the floor, hang on the fingerboard and shake out for 1-2 minutes, then get on your next problem or routes and then shake out again. Repeat this for up to three or four shake and climb sessions in a set. Then you must rest well before doing the next set. That could mean a 15-20 minute break. Then go for it again. This is particularly destructive. Choose your routes wisely and develop the type of power endurance that you are looking for. The combinations that you choose make or break the training. Also, I try to use smaller and smaller holds to recover on to simulate real rock routes and recovery on them.
  • A final method that has worked too is to climb fast on a medium difficulty route. Normally doing double or triple laps on that route will get you into the zone of a power endurance route. Choose three to four of those types of routes and climb 3 sets (each set might be 1, 2 or 3 laps) with about a 5 miutes minute rest between each effort and 15-20 between each set.
You can use a Treadwall to develop finger and grip strength.
  • Choose a route that has all crimps or open handed hold or underclings or whatever and climb it over and over in order to develop your skills. If you want big vertical reaches, work on those with a route set to that style. If you want to work on side pulls and compression, set that kind of route and work on those skills. You can always adjust the angle to make it steeper in order to increase the difficulty if you get a type of move too wired. Be creative, the Treadwall does it all!!
  

January 14, 2014

Training with Piz: Compression Training

Contact Piz at pizem@hotmail.com for Motivational/Instructional/Entertaining Speaking Engagements, Climbing Instruction, Training and Periodization Programs

Until then... Get outside and have an adventure!

piz : )

Thanks to my amazing sponsors: www.arcteryx.com   www.camp-usa.com   www.scarpa.com   www.sterlingrope.com   www.americanalpineclub.org   www.brewersledge.com   www.windx-treme.com
video
 
 
Compression is required on all kinds of climbing routes. I would say there are more bouldering compression problems out there than routes, but they exist. Some climbers can call themselves compression climbers and they normally get crushed on all other kinds of routes. So it is in essence a specialty skill, but one that should not be over looked. Font in France has tons of compression problems
 
To Train:
1 Find a set of holds and a wall if you are lucky enough that is overhung where two good open holds can be squeezed together at your maximum reach. Try to set the feet so that they are at a similar max
 
2 Pull on the wall and hold tight for a given time.
 
A good progression of this exercise is to move from jugs, to open hand with thumbs and without thumbs and finally to crimps.
If you have an adjustable wall, which more and more gyms are investing in. You just have to kick back the angle to increase the difficulty!
 
Get out there and train!

January 13, 2014

Training with Piz: Goal Setting, The Secret to Success and Happiness

Contact Piz at pizem@hotmail.com for Motivational/Instructional/Entertaining Speaking Engagements, Climbing Instruction, Training and Periodization Programs


Until then... Get outside and have an adventure!


piz : )


Thanks to my amazing sponsors: www.arcteryx.com   www.camp-usa.com   www.scarpa.com   www.sterlingrope.com   www.americanalpineclub.org   www.brewersledge.com   www.windx-treme.com  

I think this post is one of the more important ones that I will write. This is because you need to know why you are training and what you are training for. It is mind boggling to me when I think about those people who can train just for the sake of training. Cheers to those who can go to the gym or wherever and give it their all with no end or big goal in site. I am not one of those people!

Also, for those who have goals that are years off in the distance. That dedication is Olympic and to those I salute you. But for the rest of us, our goals are more short term and in our "near" future.
Looking ahead 1, 2 or even 6 months is pretty easy and not that challenging to stay on task throughout the hard labor of preparation.

This post is more about goal choosing. It is already understood that having goals drives you to complete them. Additionally, creating a timeline where you move closer in stages truly makes reaching that goal a forgone conclusion. Like anything, all you have to do is follow through with your best effort and stay true to the cause.

As I have grown older, my personal climbing goals have migrated all over the place. I want to complete new single pitch climbs that are good for all abilities, I want to travel and do first ascents in the best style possible and I want to establish a few more big routes with lots of belays in them. Externally, I want to positively promote our sport and create an open forum of climbing/training information for the community, now and in the future.

Sounds easy and like I know what I want. Well it is not that easy. Setting goals as a single climber is pretty simple, add in the love of your life, a few kids, a career, other life responsibilities and the clarity seems to be muddied.

Someone in my shoes cannot choose a goal that requires, 150% of effort because you will simply not have enough hours in the day. (I know this because I don't have time between, family, career, other job, freelancing, sponsorship responsibilities, and on and on and on.) I used to have that free time and it, along with my job took all of my time. Starting slicing up the hours that you can commit to something and you better be choosing goals that actually can be achieved within the given 24 hours that each day offers.

The risk of choosing beyond your time constraints is being unhappy with your progress or a lack thereof and never actually completing it. Setting goals that you never complete is NOT the goal at all. Aiming high and not even shooting will never lead you on a positive growth path in your life.
On the other hand, the old saying that nothing good came for free/easily is glaring you right in the face when you shoot to low on the spectrum. So where does that leave us? Where does that leave someone in my shoes?

My Plans for 2014
I have come to the conclusion that local projects are a priority and the only far away project that I will invest my heart and soul in will be something where I can stay there for a couple weeks at a time. That limits my choices for far away objectives due to my work schedule.
I will not to set my self up for failure by staying away from low percentage types of routes and routes that depend on conditions. When you have to schedule your climbing days a month or two out and you can not change due to other obligations, it is best not to be working on the project when the conditions are impossible.
I will choose goals that allow me to be on different rock types, so that I don't get bored of one style or location.
Finally, I will choose goals that will build so that they are preparing me the big final goal way off in the future.

Thanks for listening and get outside and have an adventure.

piz : )




January 9, 2014

Training with Piz: Big Moves

Contact Piz at pizem@hotmail.com for Motivational/Instructional/Entertaining Speaking Engagements, Climbing Instruction, Training and Periodization Programs

Until then... Get outside and have an adventure!

piz : )

Thanks to my amazing sponsors: www.arcteryx.com   www.camp-usa.com   www.scarpa.com   www.sterlingrope.com   www.americanalpineclub.org   www.brewersledge.com   www.windx-treme.com

So, if you are not yet able to work on the campus board due to the holds being too small or a hand/finger injury, you can still work on making powerful moves and developing your power/explosiveness and contact strength.

Get on the adjustable systems board or just a steep overhanging bouldering zone and choose two good holds and feet to start from.
Make an explosive (fast) move up to the highest hold that you can reach.
Try to hold on.
Tips for sticking that move:
  1. Lock off with the low hand (that will keep you in tighter to the wall).
  2. Grip like mad with the high hand, hold on like you are about to fall off a building top!
  3. Engage your core to prevent sagging. Once you sag, you are off the hold and wall.
  4. Push hard with your feet,by not doing this it is difficult to engage your core.
  5. Visualize sticking the hold and how you will look doing it. That way you just have to make it look like it should and you will be in the proper body position.
  6. No feet cutting. Once they are off, you are off.
Be sure to rest between attempts and to rest before switching lead hands.
When you first start try to stick a good hold, no crimps at the start unless you consider yourself an advanced level climber.

Have fun!!

video

 
 


Thoughts on the New Earthtreks Gym

Contact Piz at pizem@hotmail.com for Motivational/Instructional/Entertaining Speaking Engagements, Climbing Instruction, Training and Periodization Programs

Until then... Get outside and have an adventure!

piz : )

Thanks to my amazing sponsors: www.arcteryx.com   www.camp-usa.com   www.scarpa.com   www.sterlingrope.com   www.americanalpineclub.org   www.brewersledge.com   www.windx-treme.com  

So, I only had a few minutes at the gym, but I immediately loved it. I like the walls and the shapes and the texture, I like the floors and the open space and the route setting. I like the bouldering. The bathrooms were clean and there was tons of open space. It is not a cramped gym, which is nice.
I like the systems boards but did not think that they were set as they could be. Also the fingerboard area seemed like it was an after thought. The cardio zone with weights was sweet and would work nicely for individuals, but not as nice for groups of people at once.
Overall this is a rad place that I would have a membership at if I lived on the front range. Or else I would be working there!
 They have balls. Lots of them. I use the yoga balls regularly at my local gym for all kinds of core work and strength training. Don't be afraid to ask someone at the gym to find out how to use any equipment.
 There is plenty of cardio equipment. All new and top of the line. You can use this stuff and watch folks climbing in the main area. Not a bad idea. Also there is a ton of room between the equipment and the workout area so that people are not stepping on each other. If you notice there are rings and slings hanging from the ceiling. another nice feature that keeps them off the floor and out of the way while in the workout area. No lost slings or Atomic balls at this gym
 You want power? Well, check out the campus zone. It is wide open and ready to be used by all who dare.
 The place is beautiful, clean and has routes for everyone that are over 40ft tall
 Can't lead yet, no problem. There are tons of top ropes. Also the routes are set by color of the holds. No more tape to have to try to see. That is way nicer than the old way.

 Climber to show scale on the wall.
More training on the adjustable systems boards.

January 7, 2014

Training with Piz: Two Move Finger Board Repeater Pops

Contact Piz at pizem@hotmail.com for Motivational/Instructional/Entertaining Speaking Engagements, Climbing Instruction, Training and Periodization Programs

Until then... Get outside and have an adventure!

piz : )

video
Thanks to my amazing sponsors: www.arcteryx.com   www.camp-usa.com   www.scarpa.com   www.sterlingrope.com   www.americanalpineclub.org   www.brewersledge.com   www.windx-treme.com  

Choose two different but good holds that you can move back and forth on.
Start hanging on one pair of holds and then without touching the wall or floor "pop" or move to the next one. Go back and forth between these holds.

It is a great finger strength routine, great for the core, your kip motion for campusing and power endurance. If there is a wall and you get tired place one foot on and if there isn't, then move to bigger holds!

Upcoming Slide Shows

Contact Piz at pizem@hotmail.com for Motivational/Instructional/Entertaining Speaking Engagements, Climbing Instruction, Training and Periodization Programs

Until then... Get outside and have an adventure!

piz : )

Thanks to my amazing sponsors: www.arcteryx.com   www.camp-usa.com   www.scarpa.com   www.sterlingrope.com   www.americanalpineclub.org   www.brewersledge.com   www.windx-treme.com  

Two big shows will be coming up in February and March this year.

Dallas, Texas for the
Texas Mountaineers at the Summit Climbing Gym Grapevine
I will be giving two slide shows on Feb. 8 starting at 7pm
I will also be offering two clinics throughout the weekend.
The first clinic is on Climbing Training to Reach Your Potential and the second is about Traditional Climbing techniques.
Come on out and see some slides about Norway and some of my desert first free ascents.
Email me directly at pizem@hotmail.com to sign up for a clinic.

and

Golden, Colorado for the American Alpine Club
I will be giving a slide show on March 4 and the theme will be climbing in the west!
Come and enjoy the best host for climbing events and community building, the American Alpine Club for a fun filled evening with food, folks and fun!!





             

A Winter Day in Ouray

Contact Piz at pizem@hotmail.com for Motivational/Instructional/Entertaining Speaking Engagements, Climbing Instruction, Training and Periodization Programs

Until then... Get outside and have an adventure!

piz : )
 On the last day of the semester I left this little guy at home and took my students to Ouray for a day of ice climbing and cross country skiing!
 We had the gear!
 The ice was fat!
 The kids did great!
 They thought it was tough!
 They tackled a couple ice lines.
 After a quick lunch we went and got a short ski in near the ice park.
 The day was perfect and we even saw some "wild" life on while skiing through the woods.
 Making tracks!
 Enjoying the winter temps in some warm clothes!

Thanks to my amazing sponsors: www.arcteryx.com   www.camp-usa.com   www.scarpa.com   www.sterlingrope.com   www.americanalpineclub.org   www.brewersledge.com   www.windx-treme.com  

January 6, 2014

Holiday Pictures!

Contact Piz at pizem@hotmail.com for Motivational/Instructional/Entertaining Speaking Engagements, Climbing Instruction, Training and Periodization Programs

Until then... Get outside and have an adventure!

piz : )

Thanks to my amazing sponsors: www.arcteryx.com   www.camp-usa.com   www.scarpa.com   www.sterlingrope.com   www.americanalpineclub.org   www.brewersledge.com   www.windx-treme.com

 D.O.U.B.L.E. T.R.O.U.B.L.E.
 This guy is sitting up and crawled over the holiday!
And of course, my wonderful wife made some delicious cookies for us to enjoy!

January 1, 2014

Training with Piz: Climbing is for Kids

Contact Piz at pizem@hotmail.com for Motivational/Instructional/Entertaining Speaking Engagements, Climbing Instruction, Training and Periodization Programs

Until then... Get outside and have an adventure!

piz : )

Thanks to my amazing sponsors:
www.arcteryx.com  
www.camp-usa.com  
www.scarpa.com  
www.sterlingrope.com  
www.americanalpineclub.org  
www.brewersledge.com  
www.windx-treme.com

Check out the link of a 9 year old climbing at the Red River Gorge.
Her technique is amazing.

Watch her
-ability to lock off to make long moves (for her)
-her perfect use of twisting to reach holds (backstepping)
-her high stepping
-her shake out
-look at her foot placements
-remain calm
-keep moving
man the list goes on. What a joy to watch and think about a 9 year old being able to lead and stay focused. I am very impressed!

http://www.climbing.com/news/whats-next-for-9-year-old-angie-scarth-johnson/