It’s finally here. If you are a long time follower of what we have been building over here at The Power Company, you know that this ebook has been in the works for quite some time. There’s a reason for that. A few actually. One is that we’re climbers so we’re out climbing. Another is that Nate has (as he does) put a ton of thought into this to make it something we’re proud to sell as well as a valuable tool worth spending your money on.
We’ve long believed that training core strength is largely misunderstood, and that many climbers haven’t yet learned to use the core strength they already have, a problem we addressed in our ebook Applied Body Tension. However we also recognize that building a stronger core is an important part of progressing as a climber, and we sure as hell aren’t going to try to stop people from doing it.
That said, there are thousands of different “core” exercises to choose from, many of dubious value, and even more that are entirely pointless. You won’t find those here. This is a no frills program designed to give you the best chance of building a midsection with strength that can easily transfer over to your projects.
Directly from the intro “Fundamentals” of the ebook:
Core. The mythical attribute that we all seek. Along with finger and shoulder strength, few things hold as much prestige in the climbing world as core strength and the ability to turn that into overall body tension.
Core is a fairly vague term that gets thrown around a lot. For the purpose of this book, we will describe it as the muscles that support everything between your hips and shoulders. It will also be described as your midsection.
The core connects your upper and lower body together and allows you to transmit force between the two. Without a strong and stable core, you leak power when you climb and lose out on effectively transferring the strength that you already have to the rock. My favorite phrase to convey this idea is, “you can’t shoot a cannon out of a canoe.”
Our intention with this e-book is to both give you the tools to develop a strong core that helps you to climb harder, and to make this entire process simple and repeatable. By the end of this, our hope is that you will have a better idea of what the core does, how to make it stronger, and have a plan to put that information to use.
Much of this program is about developing core stability. Our midsection, especially the muscles that surround our lower abdomen, is meant to stabilize the spine, not to generate power, so we should strengthen it for that purpose. Our body is capable of producing tremendous amounts of force through the hips and shoulders, and it’s the job of our core to remain stable so that we can fully apply those forces. Imagine trying to hit a baseball with a wooden bat versus using a foam pool noodle. It doesn’t matter how much force you put into swinging that pool noodle, the second it comes in contact with the baseball, it will bend and most of that power will be lost. You want to be strong and stable like the baseball bat, able to fully transfer the force you are generating.
Like Nate says in the above passage from the book, our goal here is to give you the tools you need in order to climb better. To climb harder. And to climb for longer. Core Strength for Climbers is an important piece in that puzzle.
What You Will Find in this E-Book
Fundamentals: With a nearly limitless number of core exercises out there, it can be hard to know where to start with your training. This book will lay out the exercises and progression methods that we at Power Company Climbing believe to be the foundation of developing a strong midsection.
Ready-made plans: Here you will find several circuits that are practice-ready and can be started today prior to completing this book. Obviously, there is more nuanced information as you continue reading, but don’t be afraid to put the book down and get to work. Your journey with core strength will be ongoing and you don’t need to know absolutely everything before getting started. The best way to learn is by doing, so once you feel like you have a grasp on what’s going on, get after it.
How to create a plan of your own: As you progress through these workouts you will start to get an idea of your strengths and weaknesses and be able to start modifying the program to suit your individual needs. This section has suggestions on how to make a unique program that is still sustainable and effective.
Exercises: This section has detailed descriptions for the exercises and how to progress them through modification as well as a series of focused climbing exercises. We have also included videos to go along with the written instructions for each exercise.