Can we just drop the one pad/two pad BS?


Original Post
Mark E Dixon · · Sprezzatura, Someday · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 234

I don't know how big your pads are.

I don't care how big your pads are!

If you are talking about hanging a small metolius campus rung, you are on an 18 mm edge.

Medium rung, 25 mm.

Something, else just measure it!

If precision doesn't matter, if we are going to stick with pads and cubits and fathoms and smoots, then let's be consistent and give hang board weights as approximate percentages of body weight.

EG I hang a one pad edge with a quarter added body weight for two heart beats.

Nivel Egres · · New York, NY · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 70
Mark E Dixon wrote:

I hang a one pad edge with a quarter added body weight for two heart beats.

Hmm, no. Aside from time, which is absolute, these stats should be designed to show a degree of adaptation of a specific human being. Imagine two humans, one 6'6" and one 5'0.'  A 18mm edge would be a vastly different hold for the two of them. A 50lbs load would be very different amount of weight for each one of them. On the other hand, if each one of them says "I can hang 1-pad with added X% of body weight" it actually describes the degree of finger training while taking into account specifics of each trainee.

Mark E Dixon · · Sprezzatura, Someday · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 234

How many pads is an 8 mm edge? 10mm?

For that matter, what do you define as a pad? On the rounded side of the metolius rungs, is a pad measured at the peak of the rounded section or is it the point where your finger separates from the rung (i.e. lower and further from the wall)? Is it right at the DIP crease, or elsewhere?

Furthermore, which climbs are defined by pad size? 

If I get on a problem, I climb the same Xmm sized edges as anyone else, regardless of my pad size. Why should training discussions differ from this?

Peter Beal · · Boulder Colorado · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 1,690

When I think of pads, I think of bouldering pads. The bigger and more of them the better. Does that help?   

Nivel Egres · · New York, NY · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 70
Mark E Dixon wrote:

If I get on a problem, I climb the same Xmm sized edges as anyone else, regardless of my pad size. Why should training discussions differ from this?

Not really true. Some training guru was actually showing interesting stats about how taller people are be weaker (in terms of BW+%) for the grade they climb and vice versa - he did measure their finger on a fixed size edge.  Short people will have an advantage in hold-to-finger sizing and a disadvantage in reach. The opposite for tall people. For most people the pad size will be proportional to their height.  So it makes sense to have a strength measure that takes it into account. IMHO, of course.

Mark E Dixon · · Sprezzatura, Someday · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 234

Do you find objectively quantifying campus training a hardship? 

Or should we start talking about 1/3 body length moves vs 1-4-7?

If someone tells me their beast maker board has a half pad edge, it tells me nothing. If they say it has a 10 mm edge, I know what they mean.

Whether pad size makes up for short stature is hard to say- taller people also have longer lever arms for their muscles. So maybe their diminished pad coverage is ameliorated.

Do we need to estimate lever arm effects too, or can we just use a concrete, reproducible measure like mm?

@Peter- there are never enough pads!

Nivel Egres · · New York, NY · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 70

We are already using a measure that's highly variable for different body types - the climbing grades. So I don't see why using pad-size is that much of a sin. 

While using absolute numbers might help sometimes (e.g do I buy these holds?) using self-relative numbers also makes sense (e.g. When talking about weight loss, would you rather use pounds or percent of starting weight?). 

Mark E Dixon · · Sprezzatura, Someday · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 234

Pounds any day.

How long is your pad? 

Nivel Egres · · New York, NY · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 70
Mark E Dixon wrote:

Pounds any day.

How long is your pad? 

I have 3 - an Ocun one, that's about 6' x 3', a MadRock big pad and a tiny Evolv for urban bouldering :) 

ps. I gotta lose 10lbs to be able to do my project :p

reboot · · . · Joined Jul 2006 · Points: 50
Mark E Dixon wrote:

How long...Pounds any day.

I always thought it was the girth that matters. Oh wait, what are we talking about again?

In semi-seriousness, width also factors in the equation: most natural (or even plastic) holds are not equal width and you can stack more of the strong fingers in the good spot.

K. Le Douche · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2008 · Points: 65

Nah, Describing things as 1/4 pad, 1/2 pad, or full pad is fine.  There is no real benefit to describing things as 16mm, 25mm, 3 cm, ect.   I get your point when talking about campus rungs, or a hang board, but what are you going to do when talking about a route...bring a ruler up with you to measure crimps?  If you're not going to bring a ruler, and just guess that your talking about a "24mm edge", aren't we right back to vague measurements?

I think you're way over thinking this.

will ar · · San Antonio, TX · Joined Jan 2010 · Points: 215

I couldn't tell you which edge on my hangboard is 10mm without using a ruler (and I'm guessing many climbers would tell you the same thing). While everyone has different size pads I doubt there is a huge amount of variation and I see no issues with using pads in general terms to maybe describe a workout protocol. For example: do a few reps on a 2 pad edge to warmup your fingers followed by x reps on a 1 pad edge and then x reps on a 1/2pad edge adding or removing weight as needed to cause failure near the last rep....

If you were describing how to do an exercise in the weight room would you tell someone to place their feet 18" apart or shoulder width apart? Would you tell someone to do a pull-up until they have moved 24" or until their chest touches the bar?

Unless hangboarding and campusing have now become their own separate sport with regulated competitions I don't see a huge need to tell your friend that you can hang with 50lbs off a xx mm edge. The data from your training has a value to you in terms of analyzing past training and planning future workouts, but relatively little value when comparing it to other climbers. 

If you want to make everything objective don't stop at how many mm deep an edge is. What is the radius of that edge? How much friction does it have? What was the humidity in the room?

Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 45

Mark, I feel like the same principle could be applied to crack climbing.  Sure, different people have different sized hands, and it's often useful to relate crack sizes to cam sizes, but that doesn't mean you can't also say things like "thin hands."

Old lady H · · Boise, Idaho · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 120
reboot wrote:

I always thought it was the girth that matters. Oh wait, what are we talking about again?

In semi-seriousness, width also factors in the equation: most natural (or even plastic) holds are not equal width and you can stack more of the strong fingers in the good spot.

Got one route here, exactly one, that is dependant on width/girth to squeeze through the offwidth to get into the chimney. My only chance of shutting down anyone!

No partners this weekend. Again. Sigh...

OLH, watching the lawn grow longer in Boise.

Mark, giant heap of bouldering pads was my first thought, too! Stick clip is much easier to haul, though...

GDavis · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2008 · Points: 10

I thought this was referencing manstruation 

Mark E Dixon · · Sprezzatura, Someday · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 234

I would bet that very few people have any idea what they actually mean when they say one pad or two pads.

A true two pad edge would be 50 mm (i.e. 2 inches.) Nobody hangboards a two inch edge.

Further, I'll bet that there is no true consistency in how many pads people will call a given edge, even if their hands are the same size.

It would be just as accurate, with less spurious 'accuracy', to just say big, small and teensy hold.

Out of curiosity, what would you call a small, medium and large metolius campus rung? 

will ar · · San Antonio, TX · Joined Jan 2010 · Points: 215
Mark E Dixon wrote:

A true two pad edge would be 50 mm (i.e. 2 inches.) Nobody hangboards a two inch edge.

Who is the standard for a TRUE 2 pad edge? Mine are 1 5/8". I also have a 2 pad edge on my hangboard. I do some hangs on it during my warmup and 2 finger hangs during my normal HB routine.

As for the campus rungs it's pretty common to hear people say small, medium, or large. Sometimes they specify the brand, sometimes not. I actually can't recall ever hearing anyone refer to campus rungs by pads or in mm. It's also not uncommon for people to reference which feature they are using on a specific hangboard.

Maybe you could give us more background. I'm a pretty detail oriented person, but I'm not seeing the need for everyone to start discussing edges (whether they are on a climb or for training purposes) in mm or why you care so much about it.

Mark E Dixon · · Sprezzatura, Someday · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 234
will ar wrote:

Who is the standard for a TRUE 2 pad edge? Mine are 1 5/8". I also have a 2 pad edge on my hangboard. I do some hangs on it during my warmup and 2 finger hangs during my normal HB routine.

As for the campus rungs it's pretty common to hear people say small, medium, or large. Sometimes they specify the brand, sometimes not. I actually can't recall ever hearing anyone refer to campus rungs by pads or in mm. It's also not uncommon for people to reference which feature they are using on a specific hangboard.

Maybe you could give us more background. I'm a pretty detail oriented person, but I'm not seeing the need for everyone to start discussing edges (whether they are on a climb or for training purposes) in mm or why you care so much about it.

In the first place, I'm definitely nobody and I have actually used a two inch edge hangboarding. So perhaps some hyperbole involved.

Here's a question- when you say two pads, what exactly do you mean? 

My fingers are all slightly different length. The middle is the longest. So one way to define a true 2 pad edge would be an edge on which my hand is perpendicular, and the tip of my middle finger just contacts the back wall. A two inch edge is a two pad edge for me in this definition. 

Or you could define a two pad edge as one where you can fit all four fingers on the edge, up to each one's PIP crease. In the latter case, my hand would be a little sideways and this is about a 1.5 inch edge.

If I cup my fingers slightly, 1.25 inches is a 2 pad edge.

If you want to communicate something about the anatomy of the hand, you don't talk about the middle knuckle or the last knuckle. You talk about the PIP or the DIP.

Why should the terminology of training be any less precise?

climberish · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 0
will ar wrote:

Who is the standard for a TRUE 2 pad edge? Mine are 1 5/8". I also have a 2 pad edge on my hangboard. I do some hangs on it during my warmup and 2 finger hangs during my normal HB routine.

As for the campus rungs it's pretty common to hear people say small, medium, or large. Sometimes they specify the brand, sometimes not. I actually can't recall ever hearing anyone refer to campus rungs by pads or in mm. It's also not uncommon for people to reference which feature they are using on a specific hangboard.

Maybe you could give us more background. I'm a pretty detail oriented person, but I'm not seeing the need for everyone to start discussing edges (whether they are on a climb or for training purposes) in mm or why you care so much about it.

In my experience it is pretty common practice to refer to hang board edges pretty specifically in mm.... Some new boards (e.g. Tension board) have the edge size in mm on the board itself. If you take your hang boarding seriously it makes sense to be pretty specific on edge size and weight add/subtracted in order to track progression and to figure out hat works best.

climberish · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 0

Tom Randall and the crew at Lattice Training have a rigorous assessment protocol that is backed by 6+ years of data collection typically for climbers in the 5.12/V5 - 5.15/V15+ range, which includes a correlation between the grade that a climber can climb at and how much weight that climber can hang on a certain edge. For instance, if you want to be climbing 5.14b-5.14c/V11-V13 you need to be able to hang at least 110% bodyweight on a 15mm (I think or 18mm) edge with one arm. Sure there are going to be some outliers on the high and low side, but statistically speaking this is true. 

Peter Beal · · Boulder Colorado · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 1,690
climberish wrote:

Tom Randall and the crew at Lattice Training have a rigorous assessment protocol that is backed by 6+ years of data collection typically for climbers in the 5.12/V5 - 5.15/V15+ range, which includes a correlation between the grade that a climber can climb at and how much weight that climber can hang on a certain edge. For instance, if you want to be climbing 5.14b-5.14c/V11-V13 you need to be able to hang at least 110% bodyweight on a 15mm (I think or 18mm) edge with one arm. Sure there are going to be some outliers on the high and low side, but statistically speaking this is true. 

"For instance, if you want to be climbing 5.14b-5.14c/V11-V13 you need to be able to hang at least 110% bodyweight on a 15mm (I think or 18mm) edge with one arm."

I doubt very much that this is the case. It depends on the route or problem more than anything else. 

This measurement is lacking  specifics such as  how long should one be able to hang on the edge, etc.

I respect Tom's work but that correlation needs some work.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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