Jason Kehl has been climbing for over 13 years and an artist for just as long. Climbing has always been a good creative outlet and his vagabond lifestyle and penchant for danger have fueled his adventures over the years. Jason's evolvement in the climbing world reflects theses ideas and he is willing to share them with whoever is willing to listen.
A pro climber that has been living on the road for the past 10 years, Jason always seems to find adventure. His highballing escapades have been well documented, including some amazing first ascents like- Evilution in Bishop, Ca and becoming the first person to solo 5.14d with his boulder ascent of The Fly in Rumney New Hampshire. You can also see what he is up to via his website www.cryptochild.com.
It's amazing how much strength you can loose when you don't lift a finger. After my knee surgery I decided to take a break from climbing that lasted two months. For the first month I wasn't allowed to weight my leg at all and the next month I was just getting mobile again. I figured a break would be nice since I climb all the time and I can't remember the last time I stopped climbing for more than a week. When I started to get back into it, I could barely do 10 pull ups and realized I was going to have to do some serious training to catch up.
So now I'm back on the wagon and psyched on getting back into shape. I had been okayed to do some top roping a couple of weeks ago, but top roping isn't really my thing, so I decided to jump on the hangboard instead. Whenever I have had enough time to train on a hangboard in the past, I have noticed decent gains in finger and hand strength. I like to keep a log of my progression, so the next time I can keep track of what I need to train harder. I've been working out on a wooden board Mike Auldridge and I made several years back. It was originally called The Dojo, until I passed that name along to The Spot Bouldering Gym for their new steep wall. These days it has been dubbed the Torture Chamber. It has basically everything you need, including pinches, slopers and some heinous edges. The smallest, edge being an eighth of an inch and then getting bigger from there. The whole board tilts when you pull on it and gives the pinches a great angle requiring more core tension to hold on. Timed hangs have always bored me, so I like to do pull-ups on the holds to work my fingers and entire body even more.
In the past I have noticed the quickest strength gains on the pinches. My theory is that the muscles required are much quicker to grow, than the tendons that are used mostly to hold the edges. Lucky for me, since right now pinching seems to be my weakest link. It's fun to watch the progression of it all, maybe the first time you try something you can barley do one pull up on some bad holds, then several weeks later your cranking out five or more. The human body is an interesting machine and climbers are always pushing theirs to the limit.
I like to incorporate several other things in to my workout to balance my body and stay tight over all. Like push-ups on the rings and front shoulder raises with some light hand weights. Another great exercise that I picked up while training at Gym Jones(www.gymjones.com) in Salt Lake City was the use of the 10lb handball, which is a fun way to warm up and also strengthen your hands. I've come to enjoy the workout and am starting to notice some good progression, but it's still not the same as climbing. It's definitely given me a fresh look at climbing through the beginners mind. My craving for climbing has been growing steadily for a while now; it's kind of a nice feeling. I just hope I don't explode.
Lastly, I'd like to touch on the topic of John Sherman's DeadPoint blog#2...
I had heard from some friends about all the commotion he was making on his blog, so I thought I should check it out. But I had a hard time making it through the long-winded rant about nothing. For god sake man, where are the photos? Anyways I decided to do a video response, enjoy!