Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My 2010 Goal

I've stated numerous times over the years that I think that the best BW-based exercise (possibly the best, period) for building grip and forearm strength is rope climbing. Whenever I get the chance, I love to climb rope. One strength training goal I had involves rope climbing. Sally blogs a lot about the importance of goals, so I decided that it's time to pick one up for the year. This seemed like a good one.

I wanted to do this last year but buying the gear was a little expensive considering I needed to buy some paint and tile for my house. Plus, I didn't have the place to train with it on a regular basis. This year, it's back on the agenda. Big time.

It's climbing a 3" thick, 15 foot rope. It's a monster chunk of Manila! It weighs more than two pounds per foot, and around 40 pounds total. It's got a 64,000 lbs break-point. You could pull a good-size truck with this behemouth! Holding it makes you feel like a kid again. Even John Wood, the head beer-can-crusher of, wont even sell it. Still, I got it in my head that I can do this.

Obviously, this is going to take some serious training. From now until the time that I pull this climb off, I don't plan on doing a pull-up or a chin-up that isn't done from a seriously thick hand-hold. I've already started thickening up my already-two-inch thick pull-up bar even more. I do my towel pull-ups with a bath towel, rather than just a hand towel. Yes, I bought a 2" thick rope to train with over my normal 1.25" rope. I've also tried to throw in some hand and grip work into whichever push-ups that I can.

I don't have a set time to accomplish this goal. I'd prefer to get it done by the end of the year but it's going to hinge on having a place to hang my ropes from. Frankly, I'd better. This chunk of rope cost over $120.00. It would be a waste of money if I don't pull it off.

I'll keep you posted.


John Cintron said...

Hey that rope looks sick. Love your blog.

Zach said...

Justin, how did you work up to the one arm push up?

Justin_PS said...

Zach, I have to be honest with you: I didn't use much of a program to get to a OAP. I tried them one day back in early 2007 and I did about 7 on each arm, if memory serves me correctly.

That doesn't mean that I don't have ideas though. Like with most any push-up, there are two ways of getting there: hand placement and weight distribution. You could place on hand on an object slightly higher than the hand on the ground and perform push-ups, alternating with each hand which is highest. As that gets easier, move the object, and your hand, away from your body. This would be the logical direction to go if you're lacking the upper body strength do do the OAP.

If you're lacking in core stength but you're okay with upper body strength, then you might want to play with doing the OAP with your single hand up on a chair, bench, milk crate, etc. The higher up you go, the easier it gets. Just make very sure that your weight is over the chair.

One-arm planks are a lot of fun too. Even now, I still use them.

Hope this helped out. Good luck!