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 Functionalhandstrength.com, 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.