Monday, May 24, 2010

Rope Training, Part Two

Visualization is key to achieving any goals. A lot of us see ourselves achieving our fitness milestones and we lock the feeling of that achievement in our minds. How many of us can smell our goals though? That’s one thing about my main goal: every time I walk into that crimson, half-finished basement room that I work out in I’m immediately assaulted with the aroma of manila hemp rope. It’s the distinctive odor of my 3” rope that I’ve vowed to climb this year.

I recently put an eye in the rope, this time by seizing it into place. This takes up a lot less usable rope than the splice that I did for the 2” climbing rope that I did a few months ago. I haven’t done anything with the 3” yet. It’s just hanging up in a closet, waiting for the day that I take it’s dare to climb it.

In the meantime, I’ve been pounding away at the pulling exercises. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday are my pulling exercise days, to some degree or another. Mondays and Fridays are reserved for pull-ups, which I really do my best to push the limit on what I can do with pull-ups. The other two days are my rope climbing days, which I try to make a bit easier. On those days, I try to fit several climbs up the 12.5’ rope. On the rainy days (and there have been a few) I do sets of 20-22 wide-grip pull-ups on the towels, usually 3 or 4 sets.

I initially had concerns that I might be pushing the pulling too much but so far everything has gone pretty well. I can feel myself making some big strides. Mondays are 3” close-grip pull-up days. I started out doing only 3-4 sets of 8. Now, I’m moving up to 3-4 sets of 13. Fridays are the weighted thick-towel pull-up days. I started out doing 6 sets of 4. Now, I’m pushing up to 8 sets of 6.

As the weeks go by, that 3” rope is looking less and less daunting. I remember a few years ago that by the time that I got to doing pull-ups in sets of 15 without an issue, I realized that I was ready to do some rope climbing for regular training. When I’m hitting that benchmark on the thick-close grip pull-ups, I think that I’ll hang that rope up and give it a try.

Stay tuned... there's another awesome video coming up! Guaranteed!


Anonymous said...

Great progress! I have no doubt that you will surpass your goal.

I've started working on chin-ups and have progressed to weighted chins (albeit light weights for now) and I try to get in 3-4 sets per day rather then in one session. I guess I'm following the "grease the groove" routine for now (I find my joints thank me for that especially when I do dips). Surprisingly it has helped me increase the rep count in my sets. I was just wondering if you've ever tried such a routine to build strength/mass and your thoughts, if any, on such a routine (pros/cons). Thanks!

Keep up the great work.


Bodyweightmh said...

Sounds like your doing allot of pulling but if your still making progress then keep at it. Looking forward to the new video blog.

John Cintron said...

Cool article Justin. At the moment I am recovering from forearm tendinitus so I can"t pull as much as I like. I also sent you an add on on facebook .I was wondering if you where going to put up pictures of your weighted back pack. I have 20lb weight vest. I am getting a 50lb soon. All my bodyweights are done with a vest.

John Cintron

Anonymous said...

Do you do any special grip training?

t said...

I don't know if you read or not, I really like his stuff and find it somewhat similar to your ideas. His recent post talks about thick bar training.

In it, he mentions Fat Gripz (, which I think would be helpful in developing the grip strength needed to do rope training. I have not used it but just saw the post today and thought you might find it interesting.