/ How's my lock off training?

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Kemics - on 12 Aug 2014
I'm currently doing a 3 week 'power' phase of training. I'm trying to focus on being able to lock off on one arm. I'm very weak :(

At the moment I start off with heavy finger rolls at the gym. Then cycle to the climbing gym

I do 15 easy but burly boulder problems. On every hold I lock off in a static position and hover my hand for 5 seconds over each hold before actually using it. I then do some harder burly bouldering but just climbing normally. Then over to the system board, it has a jug in the middle. I lock off (with feet on) while reaching for a hold for 10 seconds. Do 10 reps on each arm. I then finish off with 50 uneven pull ups but in aggregate. So I do 5 pull ups and then rest for the rest of the minute. Every time the second hand comes back to 12 I do another 5 till 50 (10 mins)

Is this a good training plan? Are there any other more efficient exercises I could mix in...or am I wasting my time! :)
1poundSOCKS - on 12 Aug 2014
In reply to Kemics:

I asked a trainer at my local bouldering gym about improving my lock off. He suggested doing very slow pull-ups. Take 10 seconds to go from fully extended to chin over the bar, then 10 seconds to lower down to fully extended. Repeat 3 times on the bounce, so 1 minute of this. Repeat this complete set 3 times, with a 2 to 3 minute rest in between sets.
Simos on 12 Aug 2014
In reply to Kemics:

My guess is that you are doing too much and maybe not hard enough. Eg 50 pulls sound a lot to me, maybe you try some one-arm negatives (assuming you can descend in a controlled manner). Also why don't you try campusing easy, juggy problems? Overhangs would be better... (if there's a system board you should be able to also try on that).
brownie mike on 12 Aug 2014
In reply to Kemics:

Its all about frenchies merlin...
Pewtle - on 13 Aug 2014
In reply to Kemics:
Try Chris Web Parson's fingerboard routine (somewhere on google) - gets your fingers strong along with developing good lock strength.

Or if you can find somewhere with a peg board you will become a lock off beast.
jonnyblindsign - on 13 Aug 2014
In reply to Kemics:
After your bouldering, a lot of what you are doing is more a benefit for power endurance, not pure power/strength training. Power/strength is more about doing low reps at your max limit.

Eric Horst's Conditioning for Climbers recommends weighted pullups, weighted hangs, campus lock-offs (as many rungs as you can manage) and one arm lunges. I found 3 sets of 5 reps each more than enough to start with. Should be very careful not to overdo it and leave plenty of rest days between sessions.
Post edited at 10:13
Jackwd - on 13 Aug 2014
In reply to Kemics:
Agreed with the mention of CWPs video on training lockoff strength. It's also worth remembering to also strengthen your "pushing" muscle group as well as your pulling. Not doing so will put you at a higher risk of injury, particularly elbow tendonitis. Don't make the same mistake I made! :P
Post edited at 11:53
Pagan - on 13 Aug 2014
In reply to Kemics:

You may want to have a read of this (and the rest of the articles in the series):

http://en-eva-lopez.blogspot.com.es/2012/07/lock-off-training-ii-does-our-locking.html
Fraser on 13 Aug 2014
In reply to Kemics:

Here's the CWP link if you've not already watched it:

http://www.vimeo.com/61430224
Pewtle - on 13 Aug 2014
In reply to Kemics:

Agree with what Jackwd said! I went for a stupid backwards dyno at the bouldering wall the other day, caught the feature with my arms locked at 90, held it, and subseqently felt some serious bicep / shoulder pain when I tried to campus to the next move. Needless to say it was game over for me that day (and the next). Really wish I had done more antaganist training..

Kemics - on 13 Aug 2014
In reply to Fraser:

Thanks for that. I'll check it out. Have you used it with good results?

Man training plans are so confusing. It seems like no one actually knows what works, there's such a mass of conflicting information. How exactly do people work out what to do?
nw - on 13 Aug 2014
In reply to Kemics:

The thing is everything works to some extent. Read around, try and understand some of the theory behind different methods and then try stuff on for size. Make sure you give a training plan enough time to have an effect - four or five weeks at least. Eventually you'll figure out stuff that works for you.
Dandan82 - on 14 Aug 2014
In reply to Kemics:

I don't know how useful it is for improving lock off strength, as you kind of need to be able to lock off in the first place to perform the exercises, but that CWP fingerboard program worked fantastically for my grip strength, I went from being able to one-hand dead hang a standard campus rung for less than 1 second to being able to hang for 10 seconds in any arm postion, all in 6 weeks!
If I hadn't popped a finger pulley (in an unrelated incident) I'd have started another cycle, i'd be doing one arm chin ups on doorframes in no time!

Has anyone suggested trying to do lock offs in order to improve your lock offs? Sounds obvious but it seems the most straightforward route, find two holds, lock off with one arm and use minimum pressure with the other hand (or use a much lower hold) in order to hold the lock.
AlanLittle - on 14 Aug 2014
Stevie989 - on 14 Aug 2014
In reply to Kemics:

Some shocking advice in the CWP video. Contrary to a lot of advice from other climbers/trainers.
Dandan82 - on 14 Aug 2014
In reply to Stevie989:
> Some shocking advice in the CWP video. Contrary to a lot of advice from other climbers/trainers.

Could you expand on that a little? I don't remember anything jumping out at me as being a real no-no or contrary to other advice, i'm not having a dig, i'm just keen to avoid any potentially dangerous advice/misinformation.


Souljah - on 14 Aug 2014
In reply to Kemics:

Are you wanting to train power or lock offs?

If you want to train power then you should look to short explosive movements like campusing and dynos.

Lock offs are the opposite to power, static strength.
Alex1 - on 14 Aug 2014
In reply to Stevie989:

Clearly works for him though...
Stevie989 - on 14 Aug 2014
In reply to Dandan82:


I was always under the impression that hang boarding from a straight arm was not recommend as was allowing your fingers to rip off the holds.

The half crimp is a valid point but what's wrong with training open handed?
What works for one might not work for another.
Dandan82 - on 14 Aug 2014
In reply to Stevie989:

I'll be honest it has been a while since I watched it but when he says straight arm does he not explain that he means a few degrees off of straight so it's not locked out? I tended to find myself contracting my arm up 10-15 degrees anyway when I did the 'straight arm' portion of the exercise, it just felt more natural.
I'll agree about not letting your fingers rip off the holds though, my elbows would never forgive me if I was continually going from full effort to grasping at thin air in a split second, I would just let my feet touch down as my grip failed.
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Stevie989 - on 14 Aug 2014
In reply to Dandan82:

No he gives the impression that its totally straight - the next hang he does is slightly bent elbow.

Its not a bad way to go (the sets in general) but for starting out I think you'd be liable to injury if you copied his technique as shown in the video (dude can climb way harder than me - granted)
galpinos - on 14 Aug 2014
In reply to Stevie989:
> Its not a bad way to go (the sets in general) but for starting out I think you'd be liable to injury if you copied his technique as shown in the video (dude can climb way harder than me - granted)

If you'rejust starting out there's no way you'd be even able to hang the hold one-handed so the chance of injury is minimal.

It's a very advanced program and has little benefit if you're trying to get better at lock-offs (as the fingers will be the point of failure, not the lock!)

Stevie989 - on 14 Aug 2014
In reply to galpinos:

Is the whole point of the program not that you start not being able to hang one handed - hence the sling/rope aid?

Lock offs = pull ups.
Dandan82 - on 14 Aug 2014
In reply to Stevie989:

I think its aimed at the more advanced climbers as week 5 involves non-assisted single arm hangs. This assumes you can get to a level where you can hang one-handed (on a crimp) within 5 weeks, so you would have to be pretty strong to start with.

It's good training and it definitely worked for me but yeah, I wouldn't say it's ideal for training lock-offs, i'd still stick by the idea of doing lock-offs to train for lock-offs!
galpinos - on 14 Aug 2014
In reply to Stevie989:

> Lock offs = pull ups.

I'm with Dandan here. If you won't to get good at lock offs, do lock offs. Add assistance with your other hand as required and do controlled lowers. Warning - Chance of elbow injury is high.

Frenchies can also be used and are a little less intense and are more akin to PE/climbing.

Pull ups are a dynamic exercise, lock offs are static (isometric).
Kemics - on 16 Aug 2014
In reply to Dandan82: and everyone else too

Thanks for all the responses! Reading through those blog articles it seems lock off training is a little redundant and it comes as a side effect of climbing well, rather than being a specific goal.


I'm going to try and follow the CWP finger board system for a cycle and see how I get on . Though I don't know if I'm up to hanging one armed without support. The only tricky bit with measuring goals is judging how much weight you're taking up with supporting hand

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