Look, I've been there, cooped up in a jail cell sized dorm room with brick walls spaced barely 8' apart and two bunk beds encroaching on my space and sanity. Claustrophobic yet? Add in the piles of homework, a dim lamp and a sense of anxiety about your exam tomorrow and you're looking a grim picture where training for rock climbing might be the last thing on your mind.
Why do I bring this up? Because the other day, I was asked this simple question:
"How can I train with the Port-A-Edges in my Dorm room??"
This question gave me a glimpse of hope that even when life gets hectic, people are still looking for ways to maintain and improve their rock climbing specific strength. Good news is, there are a number of ways to strengthen your fingers with the Port-A-Edges in a dorm room - or for that matter, any room where hanging them isn't an option.
Knock out this protocol while studying and you'll likely gain strength and stay sane while your prepare to crush your exam and your project simultaneously.
. . .
The Dorm Room Finger Recruitment Protocol
I don't want to bore you with a lecture so I'll be brief, let's first talk recruitment. Recruitment is a neurological adaptation that allows your muscles to pull at their max. Recruitment is best generated from doing max effort exercises. Simple.
When doing max hangs from a hangboard, or simply performing max effort sit pulls, you'll hit you're peak force levels within 2-5s of starting the exercise.
With this in mind, if you want to increase your recruitment and peak force generation, doing 5 second pulls is going to be a good bet.
Here's a great protocol for upping your finger recruitment in your dorm:
- Warm Up - a full body warm up as well as finger warm up is crucial to pulling at your max - get your fingers warmed by performing "Crimp-Ups" in the seated position
- Set 1: Max Sit Pull - post warm up, with the cords looped around your feet, your elbows at 90 degrees, and sitting with your legs straight and in an upright posture, perform a 5 second max effort pull in the rowing motion starting on a larger edge like the 20mm (note: we recommend trimming the cords to be comfortable for sit pulls)
- Complete 5 sets of 5 second pulls with 3min rest between
- Set 2: Max Sit Pull - min edge
- Complete 5 sets of 5 second pulls on an an edge one size down from what you can hang on