Tuesday, November 27, 2012

What the Fall Season Means to Some of Us...

The leaves change colors, the air dries, the temperatures drop.  These are the characteristics of a typical fall season...unless you live in New England where you get 2 consecutive years of having a major hurricane followed by a freakish snow storm (which are so big and bad they give names to them!).  But then it goes back to normal and we resume our normal fall activities whether it be hiking, rock climbing/bouldering, or cleaning out your gutters twice a week because you have too many trees living by you.  I prefer the hiking and rock climbing over cleaning the gutters (who wouldn't!).  I have been out hiking and climbing at my local climbing spot and was able to capture some nice outdoor shots and put together some videos of climbing.

The picture above is not a fox or a dingo, but a rare breed of dog that has the capability of convincing you to give her a bite of whatever you're eating.  Well not rare, but this is actually my dog Bailey.  She is an amazing hiking companion and crag dog.

The above picture is my friend Sean.  He has also been out at the crags working on his projects before the winter takes over and ruins everything for us climbers. 

For some people the fall brings an end to the outdside fun that was had in the summer, but for others it ushers in the beginning of their outdoor adventures.  For me, it is the latter.  The woods of Connecticut is the place where I can let go of the stresses of the week and crush it away on some obscure rock in the middle of nowhere.  In the past month I have put together two videos of some of the climbing I have been doing.

Whatever the fall season means to you, make it a good one and try to explore something new in your area.  You might be surprised at what it could offer you.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Climb for Multiple Sclerosis at Prime Climb on Dec. 8th

For the 2nd year in a row, my friend Sean Ewers, with help from Prime Climb (indoor rock climbing gym) is putting together another awesome fundraiser event!  This year's event (Dec. 8th, 2012) beneficiary will be the National Multiple Sclerosis Foundation-Connecticut Chapter.  I was able to talk with Sean to ask him about this year's event.

Sean Ewers (left) and Prime Climb owner Brien Roscetti

Several people close to Sean have been affected by MS, which has given him reason to find a way to help and give back through his passion: climbing.  With the success of last year's "Hera Rocks" fundraiser at Prime Climb, which raised about $1500 for ovarian cancer research, Sean hopes to have a repeat of the fun and excitement that went on last year. The "Climb for MS" event will have free admission from 1-8pm, a dyno competition, crate stacking comp., and slack lining.  There will also be a raffle with rad prizes from Friksn, Organic Climbing, Evolv, Mad Rock, So Ill Holds, Julbo Sunglasses, Sanuk, New England Ropes, 5.10 climbing shoes, Pusher, Revolution Climbing, Detroit Rock Climbing Company, and Motivation Volumes.  A bake sale will also be on hand to keep all the climbers energized for the day!

If you're not a climber, who cares!  Stop by anyway and try it out and support a great cause!

All proceeds from bake sale, raffle, and donations will go to the National Multiple Sclerosis Foundation.  Information about date, time and location of event can be found on the event Facebook page here.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Training for Rock Climbing

The bouldering (rock climbing) in Connecticut is known to be one of the hardest places in New England to climb. In order to keep progressing and pushing into harder routes and problems, you have to have a tough training regimen.

I have been looking through training videos and articles for the past couple of months on how to get stronger and push your boundaries.  After going through seemingly endless lists of videos on Youtube and articles from such websites as dpmclimbing.com and rockandice.com, I was able to find some helpful training regimens.  The videos were the most helpful in finding exercises to try due to the complexities of some of the routines if they were only in written form.  So my lazy-not-wanting-to-read-all-these-damn-training-articles self decided to focus on the videos and find some good climb training routines.

After going through and looking at all the videos (and trying some of the performable routines), I categorized them into 3 types of training videos:

Type 1:  These videos were the ones that had tasks that could be performed on a home hangboard or at the gym.  These also had routines that could be performed at all climbing levels and was adjustable to a climbers particular skill level.

Type 2:  These videos were mostly done by elite athletes and they had routines that were not realistic for the average climber training.  While they were awesome to watch and very motivating, performing the routines would more than likely snap a tendon like a guitar string!  However, I came across a few routines that could be modified for your own skill level.

Type 3:  These videos had incomplete routines, had routines that could not be easily performed, or could not tell what the trainer was doing.  You could easily filter through these routines usually in the first 30 seconds or so.

Below you can see a list I made of my top training videos that I have found to be most helpful (Type 1 videos):

1.)  Sean McColl training video.

An elite climber (one of the best in the world!!) Sean McColl has shown his style of training he does.  The great thing about this video is that it can be tailored to your skill level.  I have tried a lot of the training in this video and I feel it has helped me out tons!

2.) Galina Parfenov training video.

Yes, girls can climb hard!!  Galina is actually a climber at my local gym.  She has developed a training routine that can be done at the gym or on a home hangboard that any climber can try.  This training video is a must see!

3.)  Sonnie Trotter Campus Rungs

I really like this video because I am hooked on using campus rungs for training.  Some of the exercises are unrealistic for the average climber but they can be tailored to fit your skill level.  However I don't recommend using these type of exercises until more you become a more advanced climber.

4.) Metolius Project Board-10 minute workout

I like this video because I have the project board and the workout felt great.  It was great for the entire body and had some interesting exercises.  This video is great for all skill levels!

5.)  There is not a video here but more of a directive to get better at rock climbing.  In order to improve your rock climbing skills you have to be doing actual climbing at a gym or outside.  One cannot be good at rock climbing without climbing any rocks!  Being on the wall engages your entire body and mind to balance itself and pull at different angles that cannot be achieved on any training board or system board.  So get to the gym or get outside and climb!

Remember, these videos were made by well trained athletes and all caution should be taken before performing any of these routines.  Listen to your body, if an exercise hurts, don't do it!  Most importantly, stay safe and have fun with your training!