Saturday, March 20, 2010

Training for my 3" Rope Climb, Part I

Pain. Swelling. Soreness. In. My. Fingers. Forearms. and. Hands. In other words, another day of training for my 3" rope climb... my primary strength goal for the year.

The first thing on the list of part of my training was to get an eye splice in my 2" rope so I could get started on training with that. Both the 2" and the 3" rope are 18' long. My intention was to splice them and end up with 15' of climbing rope. That didn't go according to plan with the 2-incher. I haven't spliced rope in ages. I messed around with that damn thing for an hour, messing up the strands a little before I got it right.

The trouble was, the splice ended up making the last 2.5' of the rope over 4" in diameter so it's not really climbable now! So, I only got about 12' of climbing length on the rope. I haven't done anything with the 3" rope yet but rest assured, that won't be spliced. Instead, I'm going to use a technique called seizing to put an eye in the rope.

Why eyes, you ask? Putting an eye in rope is much, much stronger than a knot. Plus it's much easier to set up than a knot. Think about this for a second: how easy is it to tie a knot on an limb, or whatever, when you're 15'+ off the ground? How about doing it with rope that's thicker than your wrist? It may require me to study up on my rope skills but what the hell? You only do it once and after that, hanging a rope is as easy as passing the tail of the rope (aka, standing part) through the eye and your rope is secure around the object that you're hanging it from. Plus, it's easy to get it down too!

So, what's a guy to do with a shortened rope? Do an L-sit rope climb! DUH!So, I decided to do some supersetting: 12'x2" thick, L-sit rope climb and 15 deep dips. Mondays and Fridays are my usual push-pull days so at least one of these days is devoted to making sure that I climb rope. Once again, it's all about how often I can get access to a spot where I can hang my rope.

Other than that, I don't do a pull-up or a chin-up on an object that isn't at least two inches thick. One of my favorite pull-ups has been off a shower towel (which is about 2 inches thick after I gather it together), neutral grip, with a 40 lbs backpack. I try to crack out 4-5 reps each set. So far, things are off to a good start. I think that I'll be up and down that monstrous rope by the beginning or the middle of the summer.

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