/ Quantifying climbing-specific strength in a lab?

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givemetea - on 19 Jun 2012
If you wanted to try to quanitify aspects of bouldering strength which you could measure in a lab (and then come back and retest after training) what would you choose? Some researchers have designed a specific apparatus that can measure crimp strength and crimp endurance. Other tests used are ability to do one arm pull-ups. But surely there are lots of other relavant types of strength? Such as, how would you quantify the ability to perform compression-type moves ... or the hamstring strength required to execute more extreme heelhook moves?
Any thoughts?
johncoxmysteriously - on 19 Jun 2012
In reply to givemetea:

I'd go for whatever it was that Greg Rimmer so comprehensively outperformed Ben Moon at in OTE's famous test....not.

frqnt - on 19 Jun 2012
In reply to givemetea:
The single leg squat is often used to compare an athletes lower body strength pre/post objective.
chris687 - on 19 Jun 2012
In reply to frequent:

Re. Hamstring tests. You can use a machine which tracks power output during a maximal contraction. The subject is moved by the machine once they can no longer exert the required force. It then creates an output graph for you detailing the force exerted at all points of the movement.
givemetea - on 19 Jun 2012
In reply to chris687: Any thoughts on testing compression grips? ... Or what other tests might be relevant?
Stone Muppet - on 19 Jun 2012
Your suggestions all sound like bouldering specific strength.

For climbing specific "strength" you actually want to measure anaerobic endurance and recovery rates in the forearm. Hold on to small holds, recover on large holds, 'til you drop.
hedgehog77 - on 20 Jun 2012
In reply to givemetea: Squeeze a set of kitchen scales between thumb and fingers to test crimp strength? And other hand position possible.
PeterJuggler - on 20 Jun 2012
In reply to givemetea: I list of tests that were performed on the GB bouldering team is here.
jkarran - on 20 Jun 2012
In reply to givemetea:

What exactly are you trying to quantify and what equipment do you have available? Are you looking to measure how how a certain training regime affects climbing performance or how that regime affects specific grip and limb strength measurements?

For the former I'd maybe look to set a number of problems on a board then either alter the board angle or the ballast the climber carries to make the problems progressively harder. Obviously you need to be systematic about things like equipment used, rest intervals and hold condition. Then repeat the experiment after training. The problem with that is that the first session is on new problems, the second session is on familiar ones, you might expect an improvement even with no training (control group needed or a couple of familiarisation sessions before taking your baseline measurements?).

For the simpler grip-strength test I'd instrument a set of holds or fingerboard (could be as simple as standing a ballasted climber on scales beneath the board) then have them bear down on various grips.


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