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8th-Mar-2012 12:49 pm
running, shoes
So, I don't do situps very often, because these days the thinking in strength and conditioning circles is that doing tons of spinal flexion exercises is relatively risky compared to the benefits. However, situps are still a pretty standard way to test abdominal strength/endurance, and one of the things that motivated me to start strength training seriously was my discovery about a year ago that doing even one good full situp was quite a challenge for me.

Yesterday, my trainer had me do an exercise where you lie in situp position with your toes against a wall, and sit up and touch the wall. I thought I might be able to do it twice if I was lucky. I did it 15 times. And then another 15 times after a suitable rest break. And then 12 times after that.

It's not quite the same as 42 full situps, because you get a bit of a boost from being able to stretch your arms forward. But still, rumors of the nonexistence of my abs may be exaggerated.

I discovered a crucial difference between bouldering and top rope climbing yesterday, when I unexpectedly made it nearly to the top of a bouldering wall: when you boulder, you not only have to get up the wall, you have to get back down again. Seriously, I felt like a kitten up a tree*. I considered looking cute and waiting to see if the fire brigade would come get me, but that seemed unlikely. I settled for stepping down a couple of footholds and then jumping off.

*I think primates are supposed to have frontal cortices for handling this sort of thing. Mine never seriously entertained the possibility that I would get more than a couple feet off the ground.
9th-Mar-2012 04:26 am (UTC)
Sounds like good progres!

As for bouldering, it is much more physically taxing than toproping - you have to do it without many breaks because you can't lean into the harness and rest. However, this lets you work more on Big Dynamic Moves, which are beautiful things - often you can get up something with a dyno move where trying to do it more slowly will require just too much strength.

(even huge strong people benefit from good use of dyno compared to more static types of moves..)

as for getting back down, there's a couple of choices - there is climbing back down (excellent choice, cos you build even more strength climbing down than up) or falling off and doing a neat little roll onto those mats. it is probably better to fall off - if you are climbing down and losing control and grab on like a crazed marmot, you will be at risk for Unpleasant Injury (when falling, just fall. don't try to "save" yourself.)

I suck at bouldering cos I'm not super strong yet, BUT... it is a great way to build strength and to rapidly scan through a lot of moves you want to learn for later on, when you're up on the rope.

Good work!
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