Project Kong

The ambition to on-sight 7a by an older man returning to climbing.

Archive for the ‘training’ Category

Day’s of Power – how to have them and how to avoid an injury!

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I had a day of power yesterday. I felt light and every hold felt large and positive. I felt I could climb anything. Projects were dispatched with ease and I felt a huge reservoir of power.

The last time I felt this excess of strength I did two 7A boulder problems and a 7B problem which had been eluding me for months and it felt easy. But ¬†I injured myself in the process and strained a tendon in my left index finger and my right pinkie. I was so pumped up that I didn’t really notice until the next day. The lesson I learnt is that muscles have a Day of Power, but tendons don’t. Tendons (for the thousandth time) take much longer to get strong than muscles. But when I was pulling on a two finger half pad pocket on the 7B and felt light. I had forgotten that.

But yesterday I remembered it. So I didn’t charge down to my projects and start ripping myself apart. I had a great day felt like a god but kept it mortal for the sake of the tendons, which have only just recovered ūüôā

However for those who wish to ignore my warning regarding Day’s of Power here are the secret tricks. But you have been warned. My Day’s of Power always come after a couple of months of intense climbing where I can feel that I am¬†over-climbing¬†a bit and starting to ache. I then take a five days off and do one good day of climbing. But not exhausting. Then another five days without climbing. I don’t drink for a few days before and sleep really well. I didn’t do any other exercise apart from some yoga and antagonistic exercises like push ups etc. Then you will be ready. Basically exercise the opposite of your climbing muscles but leave the climbing guns alone for a few days.

Oh and eat plenty the night before and on the day itself never get hungry. Keep snacking so that body is full of the good stuff. Oh and a bit of protein at lunch seemed to help if you are climbing in the afternoon.

That’s what works for me:)


Written by Journo

August 31, 2011 at 10:39 am

Tangerine 6C+

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I tried this line for about five months over last Summer. Maybe longer. It’s really really thin with micro edges and small lumps for the feet. It’s not much better for the hands. It starts with a jump up to a slopper and then trends upwards and right along a line of small crimps and slopping holds to the end where you find a “medio bueno” (spanish for half ok) hold on the lip. Then to finish you have to do a really hard heal hook rockover for a great hold much further back.

The line might be harder than 6C+ but I haven’t done enough boulders at this difficulty to say. ¬†I think shorter climbers will find it harder reaching between the holds and footholds. But awesome moves all the same and really required a step up in my technique on both body position and feet to send it.

Written by Journo

July 26, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Falling practice

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I am back doing¬†endurance¬†as I have done my three weeks of bouldering and I can feel my muscles getting stronger than my ligaments. So back to mosaico and los buitress for some real routes. I decided to kick off by taking Dave Macleod’s advice of doing some fall practice every time you climb. So on the first time on No es broma a 6b on Mosaico wall I climbed to above fifth bolt and fell onto the fourth three times. On the last pulling up a bit of slack for a bit of extra air time. First time took a bit to let go but did get used to it. Dave reckons that until you find falling boring you’re still scared of it!!

I’m always suprised by how gentle the catch is on falls. It seems the longer it is the more stretch the rope has and the softer the landing. The only bad part is the swing in which hurt my toes at bit. But that was probably because Amy was attached to a tree so her not being dragged up the cliff didn’t soften the blow!

Here is the man himself taking a monster whipper on an E11 right on the last move. Awesome!!

Written by Journo

May 7, 2010 at 8:02 am

Beastmaker – the number one choice for all budding Kongs

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After extensive research, exhaustive research by a man with more money than power. The choice was made. Foregoing larger brands with more holds, or innovative uses  of plastic, metal, or wood. I have decided to buy and install the Beastmaker. It has arrived and it has overwhelmed my expectations.

The holds feel non tweaky, skin friendly with a nice progression from the bigger holds to the smaller ones.

I particlurly love the top of the board which has a couple of jugs which are great for warming up and for doing body tension and core muscle work. IE lifting my legs parallel to the ground to work the core.  But the rest is made up of these great sloppers. The middle one is quite easy but the two on the outside are just hard enough to hold but with any swinging around I peel off them. These are going to be great for encores and frenchies.

This is the beastmaker 1000 on it's frame.

I’m having a few problems on the smaller edges and pockets and can’t even hang some of them. So it’s great to have something to work up to. I’m new to finger boarding and paranoid about injury so i’m going to do a couple of months of slow acclimatisation and just mix it up with my other climbing and only during the 3 week power phase. I’m also going to combine it with the turntillburn heavy finger rolls to get some synergistic boost.

One final note is which board is best for any one person. I’ve just done a couple of font 6c in Albarracin in Spain and I feel the 1000 ¬†is the right board for me. The 2000 would probably be too hard, although I would like to try and hold the monster sloping slopper!

The beastmaker website is also great and has a full training program on finger boards and other stuff which is all really useful. I’m going to tailor it to myself and will report back with my own plan when it has been honed down. After all the number one rule is do not copy anybody else’s plan (unless they are your identical twin and stronger than you)

Written by Journo

April 4, 2010 at 8:05 pm

Turntillburn verdict

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I’ve got to give this product the thumbs up. I have noticed a real break through in my strength plateau using this product. Every week I can feel myself getting fitter on it and my forearms reacting really well to it. It’s the only thing I have which actually exercises the forearm muscles in a dynamic rather than static way. For a climber who spends all his time gripping and holding a static position it’s a totally new feeling. I feel that the synergy between this and my other static training is huge.

I found it after looking at Eric Horst’s books on climbing training which go on about heavy finger rolls using a hugely expensive ball bearing sleeved bar bell and massive weights and huge spotting rig. The turntillburn seems to do the same from a rotating pull up bar. Check out the website as it has loads of good articles on it.

Written by Journo

March 8, 2010 at 2:05 pm

El Helechal session

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the 6a arete from the ground

Finally found the bouldering area El Helechal near Bolonia in Tarifa. There are apparently loads more problems but we found plenty for a first session. We met a bunch of spanish boulders there who showed us a few of the problems. The sandstone rock has loads of friction and trashes the fingers but it’s an awesome spot. There are loads of problems there with grades from 6a upwards. The hanging arete is a really nice soft 6a. It is an off balance start off good holds and then keeping your balance upto a crimpy lay away with an awkward reach to a blunt pinchy crimpy hold. This allows you to get established on the upper part and make the easy moves to the top and off. Really nice warm up problem.

Same 6a arete.

Written by Journo

February 17, 2010 at 9:20 am

Injury Free

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I once read in a book called “feng shui your life” that when things are going well you shouldn’t be afraid to say, things are going well and fear that doom would befall you. So without fear of jinxing myself with immediate injury I can say I AM INJURY FREE and feel good about it. Not a tweak in any fingers, elbows or shoulders, lower back or knees. I feel good. So far I believe that periodisation is helping with a 3 weeks of power, two weeks of¬†endurance¬†and then a week of rest. The changing pattern seems to place stresses on different parts without causing repetitive strain injuries. I’m also swinging between home wall, turntillburn, and real rock. Perhaps the other major change is my now obsessive antagonistic training with the metolius hand grip exerciser and reverse wrist curls and shoulder rotary cuff exercises.

Written by Journo

February 16, 2010 at 3:12 pm