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Hangboard repeaters with very short rests- anybody tried these?
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May 30, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: At the BRC
I got to thinking about the standard 7 second on/ 3 second off standard repeaters. I believe this tempo was based on the tempo of weightlifting, 7 seconds concentric/ 3 seconds eccentric.

But climbing isn't really like this. On a practiced route, my hand is gripping for about 6 seconds at a time with a transition to the next hold lasting about 0.5 seconds.

This article

A Time Motion Analysis of Bouldering Style Competitive Rock Climbing
 in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 24(5):1356-60 · March 2010

researchgate.net/publication/4...

found that competition boulderers had an average grip time of 7.9 seconds and a transition time of 0.6 seconds.

So maybe the tempo should be 8 seconds on/0.6 off?

Anybody tried this?
I remember how hard it seemed going from 6/4 to 7/3.
Makes me think transitioning to 8/<1 would be a challenge!
Mark E Dixon
From Sprezzatura, Someday
Joined Nov 29, 2007
517 points
May 30, 2016
Mark E Dixon wrote:
The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 24(5):1356-60 · March 2010 researchgate.net/publication/4... found that competition boulderers had an average grip time of 7.9 seconds and a transition time of 0.6 seconds. So maybe the tempo should be 8 seconds on/0.6 off?

Well, if you want to mimic that, then you should hang (referably off-set hands) continuously for ~60 seconds, but alternate 1 arm hang every 8 seconds for 2-3 seconds (since peak loading is longer than 0.6 seconds, starting from move initiation to post-move control), and take some weight off :) Seriously, even 7/3 repeaters feel way more like endurance than bouldering power. The hard part about bouldering is typically making/controlling those split-second moves, less than a dozen times in a roll.

Edit to add:
notice how in the average attempt time of 29.8s (successful ones are ~40s), 22.3s are "dynamic" and only 7.5s are static. I wouldn't even know how to mimic that on a hangboard (maybe swing around w/ your lower body?)
reboot
From Westminster, CO
Joined Jul 17, 2006
163 points
May 30, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: At the BRC
reboot wrote:
Well, if you want to mimic that, then you should hang (referably off-set hands) continuously for ~60 seconds, but alternate 1 arm hang every 8 seconds for 2-3 seconds (since peak loading is longer than 0.6 seconds, starting from move initiation to post-move control), and take some weight off :) Seriously, even 7/3 repeaters feel way more like endurance than bouldering power. The hard part about bouldering is typically making/controlling those split-second moves, less than a dozen times in a roll.


I'm actually more interested in sport routes than bouldering. But haven't found a similar time motion study for routes so far.

For me, the goal of HB at this time is forearm hypertrophy. (Well actually just maintenance now, but hypertrophy during the next training cycle.) From what I can tell, both low rep/high resistance and high rep/low resistance sets can achieve the same results (assuming the latter are taken to "failure"). So for my purposes, I think 7/3 repeaters would work nearly as well as 1RM max hangs.

But I am curious about whether there may be a metabolic training effect I may be missing by having unnaturally long rest intervals. In real life, blood flow restoration and creatine phosphate regeneration must happen in that 0.6 seconds while a hand is moving. This would be primarily from the glycolytic/lactic system based on the time frame. Then during subsequent rest periods (or easier climbing) the oxidative system could clear the resultant lactate and H+.

Regardless, at least it would be something different!

Mark E Dixon
From Sprezzatura, Someday
Joined Nov 29, 2007
517 points
May 30, 2016
Mark E Dixon wrote:
I'm actually more interested in sport routes than bouldering....In real life, blood flow restoration and creatine phosphate regeneration must happen in that 0.6 seconds while a hand is moving.

Well, sport climbing is very different. People shake their hands more than climbing on the way to the top, which makes it extremely boring as an spectator (IMO). Also, depending on one's style, the reach interval is typically longer than bouldering. You are the doctor here, but I think the hand contact vs reach interval is not that informative: you hands are not evenly distributing the weight, and the "dynamic" duration (which requires harder contraction than static hang) is much longer than the reach interval.

During the hands-off interval of a hangboard workout, you are actually resting. During the reach interval while bouldering, I doubt you are doing any resting at all, not when the other hand is firing as hard as it can and the rest of your body is engaged.
reboot
From Westminster, CO
Joined Jul 17, 2006
163 points
May 30, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: At the BRC
reboot wrote:
During the reach interval while bouldering, I doubt you are doing any resting at all, not when the other hand is firing as hard as it can and the rest of your body is engaged.


But surely the reach interval affords some rest to that forearm and is the sole opportunity for re-perfusion.
Mark E Dixon
From Sprezzatura, Someday
Joined Nov 29, 2007
517 points
May 30, 2016
Mark E Dixon wrote:
But surely the reach interval affords some rest to that forearm and is the sole opportunity for re-perfusion.

I suppose that's possible, but is the reach a rest if one can be on the wall much longer statically w/ 2 hands than trying to make the move? On submaximal moves and where static balance is possible w/ one hand, people drop (& shake) the reach hand before making the move all the time, but in those cases the reach interval will be much longer. World cup bouldering on the other hand, is a very different animal: there's typically very little 1-hand, static balance moves, and there are usually at most 7-8 (sometimes very big) moves per problem.
reboot
From Westminster, CO
Joined Jul 17, 2006
163 points
May 30, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Belledonne skiing Cime du Sambuis
you could set up two or more hangboards one above the other and move up on the same hold types

regarding time between holds for sport climbing it is best to film yourself on a project route and do the analysis
Rui Ferreira
From Longmont, CO
Joined Jul 2, 2003
859 points
May 31, 2016
Mark E Dixon wrote:
For me, the goal of HB at this time is forearm hypertrophy.

I know the science behind static hangs and forearm hypertrophy is far from well understand. But if your goal is hypertrophy I think short ie 1 sec rests would be much more on the endurance spectrum and less in the hypertrophy/muscle building spectrum.
Eric8
From Maynard, MA
Joined Nov 2, 2007
298 points
May 31, 2016
Mark E Dixon wrote:
From what I can tell, both low rep/high resistance and high rep/low resistance sets can achieve the same results (assuming the latter are taken to "failure").


Source?
divnamite
From New York, NY
Joined Aug 1, 2007
193 points
May 31, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: At the BRC
divnamite wrote:
Source?


The Physiology of Training for High Performance

amazon.com/Physiology-Training...

pages 270-5, 283,4. They cite a number of papers, but I haven't had the chance (or really the interest) to look them up.

There may nevertheless be advantages to low rep/high resistance sets in terms of specifically training loading patterns of agonists/antagonists, etc. And they also mention that more advanced lifters may need to focus on higher loads to see results.


Great book, btw.

@ Eric8-

I agree that repeaters and/or max hangs are best for hypertrophy.

I got interested in the very short rest idea while trying to figure out how to program something called sprint interval training, which is supposed to be the best way to improve anaerobic power and capacity. SIT consists of repeated brief (30-45 second) maximum sprints, with 2-3 minutes rests.
Randall/Barrows suggest something similar using 5-7 move boulder problems (i.e. about 30 seconds) followed by 1.5-2 minute rests for AE capacity, but suggest repeated 5-7 move boulder problems with very brief rests to train AE power.

My main problem with bouldering for AE is difficulty finding routes that really constitute an all out sprint that i can also repeat multiple times during a session.

But I could definitely do 4x7/1 hangs, and take weight off as needed for subsequent sets. Alternatively, straight 30 second hangs might do the same thing.

I might try a few of these this summer, but really looking more towards next fall.
Thought I'd ask now while psyched about it though.

@Rui-

Yes filming myself on a worked route would be interesting.

@Reboot-
I do realize that route climbers tend to pause, chalk up and take brief rests. But the ability to just keep motoring through without needing to pause seems pretty useful too.
Mark E Dixon
From Sprezzatura, Someday
Joined Nov 29, 2007
517 points
May 31, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Aleks
Mark E Dixon wrote:
... I agree that repeaters and/or max hangs are best for hypertrophy...


Climbing friend,

Yes, but which is better for maximum crushing strength? Is there not some white college student with dreadlocks that they put down their blunt stick and can conduct a study on this for give to me the answers?

I still very much like obtain both brothers crushing anderson for controlled case study experimentations.

Lock them brothers crushing anderson into scientific laboratory with lab coats, beaker and test tubes and grip strength measureing device, and many spreadsheets.

Climbing is ... SCIENCE!

Control their diets identical, allow 3-4 weeks pretraining macrocycle for sexual frustration levels to peak for maximum fingerboard motivations, and then you force one brother crushing anderson to perform 6+ weeks cycle of heavy 1 rep maximum hangs, and the other brother crushing anderson to perform their holy 7/3 or 10/5 repeater protocols.

By the end, you have great data on how they have progressed, grip strength measurements, and so forth. You then have the brothers crushing anderson attempt many bold flash thrusting up on elite climbing rocks. You then change the rocks and again compare the performance of the two. Change the rocks yet again and you see which brother crushing anderson has improved the most and also which is the superior brother crushing anderson!
Aleks Zebastian
From Boulder, CO
Joined Jul 3, 2014
162 points
May 31, 2016
I had kind of a similar idea a few days ago. I'm working on a route right now with no real good rest. There are a few holds that I can hang from to get something back in the other arm before I continue on. I was thinking of going through the route and trying to figure out how how long I'd be on each hold and mimic the routes timing on the hang board. Anyone tried this and found it useful?

I'd be interested to hear if you try your routine what your results are.
Andrew Southworth
Joined Apr 3, 2014
29 points
May 31, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Aleks
climbing friend,

I thought that the glory of the hangboard was not that you pretend to replicate climbing exactatacly, but rather you load tendons and muscles with massive, incredible loads in short period of time, so instead of spending a day wandering around and waiting for your belayer, you simply crushing on your hangboard for 20-30 minutes is like climbing 6 hard sport routes due to the increased in intensity. myah?
Aleks Zebastian
From Boulder, CO
Joined Jul 3, 2014
162 points
Jun 1, 2016
Mark E Dixon wrote:
I got to thinking about the standard 7 second on/ 3 second off standard repeaters. I believe this tempo was based on the tempo of weightlifting, 7 seconds concentric/ 3 seconds eccentric. But climbing isn't really like this.


For what it's worth, I'm almost positive the 7/3 was chosen as a compromise between climbing specificity and a total rep time of 10 seconds. I'm struggling to find the source at the moment though. It's not in the Rock Prodigy Training Manual, it may have been Mike Anderson's "How to Become a Rock Prodigy" article from way back in the day. Take it from a guy who worshiped a wall clock, back before smart phones and tabata timers anything other than a 10 second rep was a logistical nightmare.

I think you need to consider chalking and clipping in your time as well. And whether you prefer on-site climbing or red-point which would have a big impact on your training in general. I could see a rehearsed red-point being able to snatch holds in .5 seconds repeatedly, but in almost all other situations my time would be much longer before I actually weighted the leading hand.
Tipton
Joined Jun 22, 2010
23 points
Jun 1, 2016
Aleks Zebastian wrote:
climbing friend, I thought that the glory of the hangboard was not that you pretend to replicate climbing exactatacly, but rather you load tendons and muscles with massive, incredible loads in short period of time, so instead of spending a day wandering around and waiting for your belayer, you simply crushing on your hangboard for 20-30 minutes is like climbing 6 hard sport routes due to the increased in intensity. myah?


I have a couple routines that I use most of the year that involve weighted timed hangs that I think have been worthwhile and have definitely increased my finger strength. I am just thinking about experimenting with something new for a specific route to see if there was any impact.
Andrew Southworth
Joined Apr 3, 2014
29 points
Jun 5, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: At the BRC
Andrew Southworth wrote:
I had kind of a similar idea a few days ago. I'm working on a route right now with no real good rest. There are a few holds that I can hang from to get something back in the other arm before I continue on. I was thinking of going through the route and trying to figure out how how long I'd be on each hold and mimic the routes timing on the hang board. Anyone tried this and found it useful? I'd be interested to hear if you try your routine what your results are.


If you can create a simulation of your route at the gym or on your home wall, that would be best.

But I'll bet if you just simulate the handholds, esp with a little extra stress from added weight or whatever, it would help.

You might get more generalizable results from working your PE (anaerobic capacity) though.
Mark E Dixon
From Sprezzatura, Someday
Joined Nov 29, 2007
517 points
Jun 5, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Aleks
climbing friend,

how do you work your Überklingen grip of power?
Aleks Zebastian
From Boulder, CO
Joined Jul 3, 2014
162 points
Jun 10, 2016
IIRC, the Anderson bros said the 7/3 came from their analysis of actual route climbing during redpoint attempts. 3 off seems a bit high, but maybe that included shakes?

I've done extended hangs, up to a minute, but never done repeaters on a protocol with the "off" shorter than 3 sec.
Will S
From Joshua Tree
Joined Nov 15, 2006
1,377 points
Jun 26, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: At the BRC
To stir the pot again-

I found the following article which looked at World Championship competition lead climbing and found the average hold time for men in the final 2012 route was 7.0 seconds and for women 8.5 seconds, very similar to the results from the bouldering study.

Unfortunately not available online for free, afaik.


A time motion analysis of lead climbing in the 2012 men's and women's world championship finals

Authors: Arbulu, Aitor; Usabiaga, Oidui; Castellano, Julen

Source: International Journal of Performance Analysis in Sport, Volume 15, Number 3, December 2015, pp. 924-934(11)


Abstract:
The dearth of research in lead rock climbing means that much remains to be learnt about the external and internal demands of this sport and about the suitability of current training protocols and techniques. The aim of this study was to perform a time motion analysis of movements made by elite lead climbers and to compare results between men and women. Video recordings of the men's and women's lead finals in the 2012 Sport Climbing World Championships were analyzed. Sixteen ascents (8 by men and 8 by women) were coded using the purpose-designed Sport Climbing Observational Tool (SCOT), with recording of climbing speed and frequency and duration of use of handholds, successful and failed quickdraw clipping actions, chalk use, and rest gestures. The mean ± SD time needed to complete the climbing route was 220 ± 81.7 s for men and 355.9 ± 92.8 s for women. Significant differences were also found for the frequency and duration of holds, chalk use, and rest gestures, which were all greater in women. The findings of this study demonstrate how results from time motion analysis of competitive rock climbing, combined with evaluation of responses during intermittent isometric exercise, could be used to design targeted training exercises and tests for lead climbers.


I also had myself filmed while attempting to onsight a route at the BRC (just above my OS level.) Again, average hand contact time was about 7 seconds per hold. Transition time between holds very short.

I have a couple of articles on forearm blood flow dynamics I'm still reading.
A quick review suggests that advanced and elite climbers have better blood flow to their forearm muscles than non climbers or novice climbers, and that elite climbers have better oxidative capacity in their forearms than all others, but I'm still digesting, so may have to edit this post if my first read-through is mistaken.
Mark E Dixon
From Sprezzatura, Someday
Joined Nov 29, 2007
517 points
Jun 26, 2016
Mark E Dixon wrote:
A time motion analysis of lead climbing in the 2012 men's and women's world championship finals

Is this the competition in question?



Perhaps we can just analyze one or two of the climbers. From a cursory look at the footage, I'm not sure it supports a very short rest repeater workout as the climbers perform plenty of clipping & hand alternating/shaking every few holds once the angle steepens.
reboot
From Westminster, CO
Joined Jul 17, 2006
163 points
Jun 26, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: At the BRC
Is this the competition in question?
>

I think that's it.

I don't think I'll get a chance to look tonight, but will try later this week.

The article itself is a bit hard to interpret, as far as exactly how they determined the times.

It's an onsight comp as well, so not strictly generalizable to RP efforts/training.
Mark E Dixon
From Sprezzatura, Someday
Joined Nov 29, 2007
517 points
Jul 23, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: At the BRC
Mark E Dixon wrote:
From what I can tell, both low rep/high resistance and high rep/low resistance sets can achieve the same results (assuming the latter are taken to "failure").


divnamite wrote:
Source?


Here's a pretty sound recent article that shows 1) that 20-25RM sets and 8-12 RM sets yield the same muscle hypertrophy and similar strength gains and 2) that post-exercise anabolic hormone levels don't seem to have any correlation with those gains.

They tested strength with 1RM sets. I wish they had also had a 1-3 RM experimental group and that they had also used a 10RM and 25 RM test on the subjects.

jap.physiology.org/content/jap...
Mark E Dixon
From Sprezzatura, Someday
Joined Nov 29, 2007
517 points
Jul 23, 2016
Mark E Dixon wrote:
Here's a pretty sound recent article that shows 1) that 20-25RM sets and 8-12 RM sets yield the same muscle hypertrophy and similar strength gains and 2) that post-exercise anabolic hormone levels don't seem to have any correlation with those gains. They tested strength with 1RM sets. I wish they had also had a 1-3 RM experimental group and that they had also used a 10RM and 25 RM test on the subjects. jap.physiology.org/content/jap...

I think it's common knowledge that train to failure is a key in hypertrophy. It's interesting that LR group has equal strength gain.
divnamite
From New York, NY
Joined Aug 1, 2007
193 points
Jul 25, 2016
Mark E Dixon wrote:
Here's a pretty sound recent article that shows 1) that 20-25RM sets and 8-12 RM sets yield the same muscle hypertrophy and similar strength gains and 2) that post-exercise anabolic hormone levels don't seem to have any correlation with those gains. They tested strength with 1RM sets. I wish they had also had a 1-3 RM experimental group and that they had also used a 10RM and 25 RM test on the subjects. jap.physiology.org/content/jap...

divnamite wrote:
It's interesting that LR group has equal strength gain.

There's a big different between not finding statistically significant difference in strength gain and finding similar strength gain:

The former says the study can't conclude one is better than the other.
The latter says the study actually found the 2 approaches to be similar.

The paper actually found the low rep group to have higher strength gain (at 62% of the work volume) than the high rep group. It's just that besides bench press, those higher gain can easily be caused by statistical noise (given the gain variation and the study sample size)

To recap:

The paper found LR and HR training (of untrained individuals) are both effective (even that depends on what margin of gain is considered "effective") for muscle hypertrophy; it could not conclude one method was more effective than the other (vs concluding both are similarly effective).
reboot
From Westminster, CO
Joined Jul 17, 2006
163 points
Jul 25, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Aleks
reboot wrote:
There's a big different between not finding statistically significant difference in strength gain and finding similar strength gain: The former says the study can't conclude one is better than the other. The latter says the study actually found the 2 approaches to be similar. The paper actually found the low rep group to have higher strength gain (at 62% of the work volume) than the high rep group. It's just that besides bench press, those higher gain can easily be caused by statistical noise (given the gain variation and the study sample size) To recap: The paper found LR and HR training (of untrained individuals) are both effective (even that depends on what margin of gain is considered "effective") for muscle hypertrophy; it could not conclude one method was more effective than the other (vs concluding both are similarly effective).


climbing friend,

yessssssssss, most intelligent, yessssss myahhhhhhhhhh, myah.

but if they are talking about the dynamic liftings of 8-12 reps being low volume, and 20+ being high volume, then would it be true that something akin to a max crushing single isometric hang was not compared here?

Max crushing deadly hammerfall single hang would be maybe 6-8 seconds of tension.
8-12 reps of moving lifting would be what, 40 seconds of muscular tension? So their low volume group actually would be having a similar time under tension as an insecure climber desperate for improvments doing a set of 7 second repeaters for 6 reps (42 seconds)?

And they are basically sayings that even a set of around 140 seconds time under tension would be producing similaarrrrrrrr strength and hypertrophyyyy gainnnnnssssss as the 42 second set?

do you think time under tensionnnnsn is a good way to compare isometric hangings to gym bro weight liftings studies while moving your heavy irons?

help meh, I just want to sculpt my guns when my sexual frustration levels are quite high and I cannot flash the crag climbing rocks.
Aleks Zebastian
From Boulder, CO
Joined Jul 3, 2014
162 points
Jul 25, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: At the BRC
reboot wrote:
There's a big different between not finding statistically significant difference in strength gain and finding similar strength gain: The former says the study can't conclude one is better than the other. The latter says the study actually found the 2 approaches to be similar. The paper actually found the low rep group to have higher strength gain (at 62% of the work volume) than the high rep group. It's just that besides bench press, those higher gain can easily be caused by statistical noise (given the gain variation and the study sample size) To recap: The paper found LR and HR training (of untrained individuals) are both effective (even that depends on what margin of gain is considered "effective") for muscle hypertrophy; it could not conclude one method was more effective than the other (vs concluding both are similarly effective).


I think you are right. Thanks for pointing this out.
The data is in Figure 4 which I should have read more carefully.

There does appear to be a distinct trend towards greater strength gains in the low rep group.
This makes sense to me, as it reflects specificity of training.

This specificity goes to a question Aleks asked in some thread- why I continue to do repeaters and not just max hangs.

It's because I think repeaters are more likely to stimulate increased vascularity and creation of new mitochondria than max hangs. They tax the oxidative system more, so I'd expect more improvement in the oxidative system. If they don't stimulate as many new myofibrils, well, that's what the max hangs are for!

The caveat is that combined strength and endurance training has been shown, in some settings, to hinder strength gains. But AFAIK, not in weight training, at least with respect to rep number.
Mark E Dixon
From Sprezzatura, Someday
Joined Nov 29, 2007
517 points


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