A tour of the FA training zone
I’m sure you’ve seen that bench, the one under the hang boards that has the weights and stuff in it. It’s just a small part of one of our best kept secrets. Have you had a closer look? Like most things at Friends and Allies, the training zone has a lot packed into a tiny space. If you’re just here to climb some fun problems and hang out with your maats then you can stop reading.
If you’re here to get stronger, improve as a climber and open the door to climbs you once thought impossible, read on.
FA's best kept training secret
I’m going to take you on a tour of the training zone, give you a peek into what is where, why it’s there and most importantly, how you can use it to further your climbing journey. Some main features to be aware of include the hangboard library, the red box of toys, the weights, the bands, the rings and the TRX. Obviously the main infrastructure of steel is the core of the training zone and we’ll dive into that in a bit too.
The hangboard library gives you all the options you might need for finger specific work. Whether you’re testing your finger strength or endurance with the Lattice Triple Rung, training slopers on the Beastmaker 1000 or 2000 or warming up with the Tension Grindstone MK2, we have all your fingerboard needs covered.
Each board has its nuances, play around and see what you like. There is also the Scallywags Snatch board with campus rungs, micros and pinches. Take the board you want to use, pop it onto the frame and you’re ready to hang. There are also two pull up bars, one fixed in right by the Omsight door and one that can be moved around.
Serious training in a toy box
The toy box has many exciting things packed inside. For starters, there is some basic equipment needed for serious training: slings, biners, a harness waist belt, some cord and pulleys. There are a few smaller one handed hang related products: the Lil Krimp, an Edge Climbing pocket, a pinch block and a Dreamhigher mono. There are a series of bands for resistance exercise and for pull up progression.
In addition to the round resistance bands, there are end to end bands with a small carabiner that can take a handle, a Lil Krimp or something similar. These are moveable and are great for doing horizontal movements during your warm up. The colours make it easy to increase resistance in small steps.
The bench has a series of weight plates stacked inside that can be used in a thousand ways. Having two plates of each weight allows you to use one per hand for some exercises. The weight vest allows you to add weight to your body for cardio and strength based exercises, it’s really stable for on the wall use which is amazing for getting to that next level of climbing power. Use the collection of foam rollers for warm up or cool down or to work a specific muscle group you know needs extra TLC.
Get a full body activation
The TRX and gymnastic rings are a gym in and of themselves with thousands of workouts and exercises available online for these simple pieces of equipment. The all round body awareness and full kinetic chain activation that can come from using these make them a top tool for climbers. They’re so specific because, like with climbing, it’s engaging everything between your feet and your fingers.
Warming up for climbing
The training zone is our answer to two of the most common mistakes we see in climbers. Not warming up sufficiently before you get on the wall and only using climbing as a way to train for climbing. Warming up off the wall prepares your body for intense physical effort while reducing the chance of two of climbing most feared injuries. Overuse conditions and finger injuries.
Spend up to 30 minutes warming up in the training zone and you can hop straight onto your project in the best possible physical state to send. There are many advantages that come with climbing a lot as there is so much skill and technique involved. Using climbing to train is hard because it’s tricky to quantify what you’re doing over time. Using resistance and modern training techniques will help you develop the strength, power or endurance you need to send much quicker than relying on the wall to provide it.
You have just less than a month! FAF chapter 5 starts on the 4th of July. Every few weeks we have a round of competition: a new chapter in the FA Fables.