/ Beastmaker for the older climber ?

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Dave Reeve - on 27 Dec 2012
Having been climbing for 25+ years I'm currently around 7A sport/indoors and E2 on trad limestone. My main inhibitor to climbing harder seems to be lack of finger strength which is particularly noticable on indoor boulder walls where I just can't hang on some of the tiny holds and/or slopers..

Most of the strong (and much younger) lads have beastmakers so I'm considering getting one. I don't expect to be able to train as hard as someone of 18 and I don't want to finish off my somewhat abused fingers but do you think some worthwhile gains could be made if a sensible training regime was followed ?
johncoxmysteriously - on 27 Dec 2012
In reply to Dave Reeve:

I'd certainly hope so. Ask Rab Carrington!

jas wood - on 27 Dec 2012
In reply to Dave Reeve: without any shadow of a doubt you would benefit more than most. I was in a similair quandry and have made the plunge (climbing about the same grades) improved finger strength dramatically.
Word of warning though don't over do it and get quality rest in between sessions.
Dave Reeve - on 27 Dec 2012
In reply to jas wood: Thanks..did you follow their training plans and would you advocate the 1000 or 2000 ?
jas wood - on 27 Dec 2012
In reply to Dave Reeve: i followed the plans, lots available online. I got the harder/more experienced one and tailor you workout to suit by using a chaeting thumb for instance until strength imporoves.
shark - on 27 Dec 2012
In reply to Dave Reeve:

Having been climbing a long time then your tendons should be in a better condition to cope with fingerboarding than most unless you have a history of finger injury.

Gains should be possible. Admittedly I'm 10 years younger than you but have gained excellent results from deadhanging over the last 6 months and can now hang with with about 20kg+ more than in the summer.

As a long termer you should be looking for a high level of intensity (after warming up) to provoke a training response. That means hangs at or near the limit of your strength. Lots of medium level hangs might result in little or no response. To achieve the required intensity usually requires a day of rest before a deadhang session and 48-72 hours rest before your next fingerboard session. Blocks of three weeks then a rest week can work well.

Good luck.

AlanLittle - on 28 Dec 2012
In reply to Dave Reeve:

I'm 51 and bought a BM1000 this year. Am not using it much yet I must admit; mainly bought it as a precaution against times when work/family precludes getting to the wall regularly, and that luckily hasn't been the case so far.

One thing to not be too surprised/disappointed by: new ones are *much* more slippy and harder to hang than well worn-in ones at walls. I can hang the 45 slopers for a few seconds on one at my local wall: on my own at home I have yet to get off the ground on the 35s.

See this thread on the other channel where I asked for advice about which one to get:
jon on 28 Dec 2012
In reply to AlanLittle:

I've never used one, but isn't the idea that they should be hard to hang? Genuine question, by the way.
AlanLittle - on 28 Dec 2012
In reply to jon:

Hi Jon

Genuine question, genuine answer: yes, but ...

I am not an expert, but what impresses me about the BM from what I've heard / read on their website is a lot of attention to detail. Careful selection of wood for skin-friendly texture, shapes & radiuses painstakingly thought out to be tendon-friendly and so forth. But also: consistent/repeatable/comparable across individual boards. What I can do on my beastmaker is supposed to be somewhat comparable with what I can do on your beastmaker; assuming both are hung exactly vertical, similar temp, humidity etc. Kind of like in rowing where there are Ergometer online leagues & records, working on the assumption that Ergometers tend to be pretty well calibrated and consistent.

Whereas in reality what I learned is that there is a *huge* difference between a well bedded in heavily used BM in a public place and a brand new slick one at home.

This doesn't bother me at all - I was just pointing out to the OP that it is so, in case he too is used to BMs at walls and is then shocked to find he can hardly do anything when he hangs his new one up at home.
shark - on 28 Dec 2012
In reply to AlanLittle:

Yes. There is a trade off in consistency vs skin friendliness between wood and resin fingerboards. Slopers on new beastmakers are especially slick. Dan at Beastmaker has recommended using diffrent grades of sandpaper to customise the texture. Another tip is to rub spit into your fingers instead of chalk. Ambient heat/humidity can make a big diffrence too.

On a seperate note I have found that weighted deadhangs using a half crimp on an edge whilst (currently) unorthodox has given me vastly better strength gains than various forms of repeaters across diffrent holds. This approach has been pioneered by Eva Lopez whose initial research is here http://en-eva-lopez.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Finger%20training and expanded in her blog and there is a UKB discussion here: http://ukbouldering.com/board/index.php/topic,20341.0.html

Dave Reeve - on 28 Dec 2012
In reply to shark: Thanks for the interesting feedback and links to articles.. I was wondering whether there was a scientific approach to improving finger strength after reading Bradley Wiggins autobiography and learning about the sports science used in cycling...
shark - on 28 Dec 2012
In reply to Dave Reeve:

The sports science is woefully limited especially compared to cycling. No prizes for guessing why. Unfortunately we can't borrow much either as the development of isometric finger strength and endurance is useless for any other sport.
OffshoreAndy - on 29 Dec 2012
In reply to Dave Reeve: Easier to warm up on the 1000 and also has the small holds to allow progression. Would suggest you get that and upgrade if you really get into the training.
mloskot - on 31 Dec 2012
In reply to Dave Reeve: Have great time reading Stevie Haston's blog http://steviehaston.blogspot.co.uk/
Dave Reeve - on 01 Jan 2013
In reply to mloskot: Interesting and stimulating articles from Stevie Haston... I see he recommends the Crusher fingerboard...is there any significant difference between a Beastmaker 1000 and a Crusher Matrix fingerboard ?
mloskot - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to Dave Reeve: I haven't used the Crusher myself, so I can't tell. I use Beastmaker most of the time, sometimes Karma http://www.karmaclimbing.com/fingerboards.html and both are very similar.

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