Tuesday, 31 January

Back in 2004 I carried out my first research project. From my research I found that training dead hangs with maximum added weight on an 18-mm edge for 4 weeks, and then proceeding to train for another 4 weeks on the smallest possible edge without added weight, led to the following changes:

- There was a remarkable improvement in maximum finger strength (as indicated by the maximum added weight held while hanging from a 15-mm edge);

- A noticeable increase in the maximum time hanging from an 11-mm edge (finger endurance);

- Finally, the participants were able to hold their body weight off a smaller edge than before.

After that study, I and the climbers I have been training (Luis Alfonso Félix, Nacho Sánchez, Eric López, Andrea Cartas, Pablo Barbero, Dani Moreno…), have used this method along with others that I later developed.

Leaving aside individual factors, and given that I found that training finger maximum strength had a positive effect on finger strength endurance, my training schedule consists of using maximum strength methods in a first stage (3 to 5 sets x 5”-10'':3'), and then performing a strength endurance phase, doing intermittent dead hangs of 5 to 10 seconds in duration with an incomplete rest of 30 to 3 seconds.

The key aspect of this methodology, though, is that each person must adjust and control their training load. Just as some people when doing 8-rep sets of biceps curl will choose the 10 kg dumbbell, and some other the 40 kg one, we will choose each day, or even each set, the edge size or the amount of added weight (depending on the method used) that will allow us to hang for the stated time.

In order to accomplish that, we need a fingerboard that provides us with different and progressive edge depths.

That is why, together with Dafnis Fernández and Joan Machado I've developed, for JM Climbing Surfaces, Progression™ and Transgression™; two fingerboards that include different and progressive edge depths, so that climbers of a lower or medium, or a higher level in the case of the latter, will be able to train in an effective way their finger strength and strength endurance. To achieve that goal, each board comes with a training guide based on the conclusions of my researches and my broad experience from training climbers for more than 10 years.

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