January 17, 2014

City Rock Climbing Gym: Training Review

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So, I rarely get to check out other climbing gyms. But family trips offer a few minutes after the kids go to sleep to sometimes try one out. Over winter break we found ourselves in Colorado Springs and I had an hour and a half at the City Rock Climbing Gym.

Because I was very excited to climb a bit, I made the best of that time at this cool place to train and climb. I was able to meet up with a random gym patron and trade belays instead of using one of the many auto belays. For me, the gym experience is about climbing with a partner and not trying to be alone inside a facility. The route setting was great and I had a good time trying to bang out pitches in such a short amount of time before closing.

The main climbing area was sectioned off from the rest of the facility which was nice. There was no worries about whether or not a slack liner, boulderer, other climber, or anyone would bump into you. Plus the walls were tall and slabby to wickedly overhung! I forgot what it was like to get pumped indoors (my local gym is only about 20ft tall which makes it pretty tough).

After my partner had to leave, I choose to explore the other facets of the the gym. There was a slack line area and a bouldering area that were spacious and popular. Lastly, the upstairs was the training area. This is what I was most interested in because climbing routes can only do so much.
 There were three adjustable systems boards that were operated by a winch.All were 12ft wide by 12ft or 14ft tall. SICK!! The board at my gym is also adjusted by the winch method and I feel that even though it serves its purpose and works that it is not the best set up. The reason that I feel it is not the best is that the winch is typically only attached to the center of the board. This allows any dynamic movements to create movement or oscillation in the board, especially if you are on one side or the other.
My other observation was that there was no pattern to the placement of the holds. There was no way to work a specific hold type size or movement in a systematic manner. I feel that the systems board is an amazing tool to utilize in a gym but that most gyms don't set them properly.
 Systems board can be used in a number ow ways. One of which to complete repeated movements of a certain type. In doing this you can really improve a certain finger strength, hand strength or specialized movement. I have many of these explained in past postings.
The other way to use a systems board is to climb a problem that works a certain skill set or holds and to then slowly lower the angle until it becomes difficult. Then send it at the steeper and steeper angles. What you will find is that you will have to relearn how to climb the route and how to grip the holds and how to place your body with each angle increase. It is very powerful. This is one way that the European climbers have been training for years!
The yellow photo shows their extensive campus terrain! I liked it. The slopers were poorly made though in that the screws stuck out and you could rip your skin on your palms. They need to be deep set. The padding was nice and the boards were spaced properly.
 I really liked this set up, mostly. The bar is rigged on chains (which I don't like) but is two diameters for pull ups and whatever else you want to use it for (stretching and such). Plenty of space for multiple people to use it.
 It is welded and painted.
In trying to use all their space efficiently, they have hung lots of training camps rungs for finger boarding. My problem is that you can rest your arm against the wall which effects your finger boarding.
Overall, it is a great place to train at and it has lots of potential!

2 comments:

  1. I agree, I would love to have that gym in my backyard! Great height, routes and people : )
    Thanks for your comment.

    ReplyDelete