Friday, April 24, 2015

Half A Milli

Sometime yesterday we passed half a million views.  That seems a little crazy to me, considering the tiny niche that we occupy.  Regardless, thank you!

Following some of my traffic back to reddit recently, I discovered a very spot on critique that my recent posts have seemed like advertisements.  I looked back, and it became obvious to me how review heavy I've been the past several months.

I 100% stand by my reviews of those products, but it's true... there have been far too many reviews as of late.  That's changing.  I committed to a handful of reviews, and when life threw me a sinker last fall, blogging became one of my lowest priorities.  I still felt the pressure to get those reviews out, and not just throw them together, so those posts ended up being the only ones to see the light of day.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Deadlifting for Climbing: Truth or Trend?

Deadlifting for climbing. It's all the rage, there is no denying that. Climbers everywhere are doing it.  I've done it. I've had my athletes do it. But why? Is it really relevant?  Should everyone be doing it?

Before I just launch into this thing like I tend to do, let me briefly give you my weight lifting background, so you can either listen or completely discredit me.

I've been lifting since I was 16.  When I first started, it was in the "old" method of bodybuilding, in which everything was 3 sets of 10, and we were lifting with the number of plates and the mirror as our main sources of feedback.  We picked up everything we learned from muscle mags, with no eye toward relevance to sports or health.  Back then we deadlifted, we squatted, we leg pressed, benchpressed, military pressed, and bicep curled.  Millions of bicep curls.  Billions, perhaps.  I gained weight.  Alot of it.  In high school I put on 65 lbs, but it was high school. 98 lbs was only going to last for so long.  After I hit 160ish, I never really got any bigger.  And I was trying to.  I was eating 6 or 7000 calories a day, and lifting 5 or 6 days a week, 3 sets of 10 to infinity.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Broken Wing: 10 Days Post Surgery

Percocet causes selfies.  Just say no.
Top:  Frayed Bicep
Bottom:  Anchor

So surgery went well, they tell me.  I have no idea since I don't know what's going on in there.  I'll trust their judgement.  They found a few more things to add to the list, if anyone is keeping score.  Apparently I really fucked my shoulder.

The new list:

  • Full Thickness Supraspinatus Tear: Status:  Repaired
  • Full Thickness Labrum Tear: Status:  Repaired
  • Bicep Tendon Tear and Severe Fraying: Status:  Frayed section Removed
  • Bicep Tenodesis (Now shortened bicep tendon anchored to humerus): Status:  Complete
  • Acromion Process Bone Spur: Status:  Removed

Friday, April 17, 2015

Review: bäm! board from bäm! climbing.

When it comes to training, and training for climbing in particular, it's incredibly rare that a product hits the market that I really feel is a game changer.  On average, most products are just a reshaping of another, equally useful (or useless) product.  Many of these "NEW!", "AMAZING!!", "GUARANTEED!!!" products quickly end up as toys for circus tricks or drunken contests.  When it comes to hangboards, it seems that for the most part, they've gone in one direction... bigger but sleeker, with a larger selection of holds.  With the exception of the Pro and Transgression boards by Eva Lopez, these bigger boards provide little to no added benefit.  In the rare case that boards get smaller, they often become even more useless, providing grips that will be useful to a very, very small slice of the population, and frankly, these boards often end up with grips so big that the group who could possibly benefit from it should be learning to climb instead of learning to hang.



And just like that, things done changed.  

How about we get straight into this?

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Broken Wing: Post 1

I'll keep this short and sweet, since you'll be hearing alot from me in coming months.  I leave my house in about 30 minutes to head to the hospital for rotator cuff surgery, specifically to repair a full thickness labrum tear as well as a full thickness supraspinatus tear.  To ease the strain on the labrum in the future, I'll also be having bicep tenodesis, a procedure in which the long head of bicep is detached from the labrum and anchored to the humerus.  I'll be able to start climbing again in 6 months, assuming all goes well.

I figure, why not update regularly on the recovery, since I won't be able to work for a few months?  My loss is your gain.  Actually, I see it as an upgrade.  This shoulder hasn't been right for a while.  For years it's been about 20% weaker than the other shoulder. Work just destroys it, and it was a fall on ice at work that finally did it in.

We've got some other big news, of things I've been working on, and we have a review of the great new Bam Board just about ready, so I'll see you all again in a week or so, pecking away left handed at my keyboard,


Friday, March 27, 2015

Review: Chalk from FrictionLabs.

Chalk is chalk, right?

I've long known that this statement to be false.  As a gymnast, I entered climbing with a preconceived notion of what chalk should feel like.  That makes me something of a chalk diva.  Even before I was an uptight sport climber, I knew when chalk was wrong.  So many of the climbing companies got it wrong.  I won't put them on blast... they didn't know any better.

Furthermore, I've read about 500 reviews of new chalk products... colored versions, scented versions, block chalk, liquid chalk, chalk in a ball, chalk in a sock, chalk that feels like rocks and chalk that feels like baby powder.  They all say the same thing.  It's the STICKIEST CHALK EVER!

They were all full of shit.

Know how I know?  Because FrictionLabs hadn't been invented yet, that's how.

First, I'll tell you what Friction Labs tells me as to why their chalk is better:

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Review: Winter (Medium 4 and 8) and Noah (Small 3) from Kilter Climbing Grips.

Give me a choice between two equally useful items, and I'll always opt for the simpler version over the one with all the bells, whistles, and embellishments.  Of course, give me something with elegant, clean lines that out performs the over complicated, and I will sing it's praises.

When it comes to climbing holds, I'm currently singing the praises of the brainchild of shaping luminary Ian Powell, Kilter Climbing Grips.

I've been a fan of Ian's shapes since before I knew they were Ian's shapes.  Grips like the Comfy Crimps and Hueco Patina Flakes from e-Grips, a company founded by Ian in 1996, have long been in my go-to bucket for training problems. He's an OG in the shaping game, and he's easily one of the lead dogs in the current, much more saturated, scene.

Kilter offered to send me a few sets of holds for review, and I simply gave them my angles and the grades that we usually train on, and shortly after, a box arrived, containing some of the nicest, simplest shapes I've seen in some time.