Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Using Injuries

Over the last few years, I have made most, if not all of my significant gains during peiods of injury.

It all started with a really bad pulley injury in my right hand, which meant that I could no longer hold small or marginal holds, except under very controlled situations . At the time I didn't see it as an opportunity to get stronger. Instead it seemd like my tiny little world was over, what with an upcoming trip to Font planned and the winter fun bouldering comps coming up.

A session at the wall, injured, unable to attempt any of the problems that I normally used as my benchmark would go like this.

  1. Warm up on the easiest of the Alien V1s and some easy climbing about.
  2. Gentle hangs on the campus-board using open, half-crimped, full crimped and bi-doigt grips.
  3. Campusing using the four above mentioned grips (if everything was feeling ok).
  4. Light stretching.
  5. Session over.

I came out from the end of this training, heading to font and getting some long-overdue projects laid to rest and all because I had started training with different grip positions, which I knew had been a weakness for many years (I couldn't close-crimp for toffee).

I guess that what I'm trying to get at is that if you want to improve in some specific way, then you should just go ahead and train for it and not let the distraction of the brightly coloured problems get in your way. This is easier said than done, but if you aren't improving from year to year, then you need to make some changes now, rather than wait for the next injury to provide you with the opportunity.

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