Climbing App for your iPhone! If you're the type of climber that likes to keep track of every single detail of your climbs, your work-outs and your daily climb related fitness endeavors, we just found the perfect iPhone application for you.
"The way the app works is that you can log each route you climb, indicating whether it was done on lead or not as well as if you onsighted/flashed or simply redpointed. Based on the criteria entered for each route, a score is assigned to indicate the overall effort associated with whatever it is that you did...Once you save the climbs, you can go back and view the log for an individual day in your history. The basic premise is that you should be able to easily compare your training days based on the score the app has assigned to each day."
Interested? Check it out and report back to us if you like it or hate it. Use something else? We're all ears...sound off and let us know.
I just found something I thought was both interesting and useful for all of you out there interested in learning more about training, training techniques and some of the foundations of good, solid training. Eric Hörst has been recognized as an authority on climbing performance for a long time now, so when has ideas about how to train smarter, harder and more efficiently, I listen.
Anyhow, I just found his 3 "cornerstone training principles" that were spot on, so I thought I'd share them with you. Head over and check out what else he has to say, but for now, here are some of his thoughts:
"Individualization This could also be called the snowflake principle, since it highlights that no two climbers—or their optimal conditioning program—are the same. The best training program for you will target your specific weaknesses, address past or present injuries, provide sufficient time for recovery, and be structured to provide the greatest output for the available training input.
Since there is no other climber quite like you, there is no other climber's conditioning program that you'd want to copy—doing so will provide less-than-optimal results and might even get you injured.
Specificity The principle of specificity may be the most important of all for climbers to heed. It simply states that the more specific a training activity is to a given sport—muscle group, work load, velocity and pattern of movement, body posture, and range of motion—the more it will contribute to increasing performance in that sport. Therefore, for an exercise to produce meaningful gains in functional strength and endurance for climbing it must be markedly similar to climbing. Obviously, exercises that involve actual climbing motions (bouldering, fingerboard pull-ups, H.I.T. Workout, and such) are the most specific and will have the greatest transfer to climbing performance.
Effective training must also target the specific muscle fiber type and energy system most used in your preferred style of climbing. For instance, hard bouldering draws largely on fast-twitch muscle fibers and the ATP-CP energy pathway, so your want to favor brief, high-intensity exercises that target these constraints. Longer traditional or sport climbs, however, typically demand extended and alternating use of fast- and slow-twitch muscle fibers with energy coming predominantly from glycogen stored in the muscles and liver. To specifically train these systems, you'd want to perform many high-repetition exercises or climb for mileage at the gym or crag.
Overload This grand daddy of training principles states that in order to increase functional capacity for exercise, it is necessary to expose the neuromuscular and cardiovascular systems to a level of stress beyond that which it is accustomed. You can achieve this overload by increasing the resistance and intensity, volume, and speed of training, or by decreasing the rest interval between successive sets.
The best method of creating overload depends on the desired outcome of a conditioning program. For example, to excel in bouldering you'd want to create overload by increasing resistance and exercise intensity in order to build maximum strength and power. A roped climber would be more interested in developing local endurance and, thus, he should create overload by increasing both the exercise volume and reducing rest intervals between exercise sets. Finally, a big wall or alpine climber in need of greater stamina should train at a lower overall intensity and create overload by increasing total daily exercise volume."
A Few Days Left For Art Showing @ Diablo Rock Gym Just a quick note and a big thank you to Danny Grace for all of his art he had up at Diablo Rock Gym! He had to take the art down the other day and we just wanted to say Thank You for the showing. In case you didn't know, or were some of the unfortunate few that didn't get a chance to check it out, we were featuring photography from an amazingly talented photographer, Danny Grace.
Here is his artist bio and note, it's great to get a little insight into the man behind the lens. If you missed out, don't worry, February will feature some amazing interactive art from our very own Patti Phillips!:
"Photography has been life long passion of mine. I have always enjoyed having beautiful photo’s to remember the place’s we have been. Only recently with retirement have I been able to take this passion of mine to another level and accomplish a dream to share beautiful moments in time with more than just my family and friends. I have been published in magazines, books, newspapers and a calendar. I also have had the privilege to have an art show and have a photo shown on the news for channel 5. You may have already seen my photo’s as they are displayed at several different businesses.I hope that when you look at my work you can have fond memories of time spend in these places or have dreams of going there yourself. I want to inspire people to dream and live their dreams. I hope that you will enjoy the work and maybe want to share it with your family and friends as well."
Mission Cliffs Featured in "The View from the Bay"Mission Cliff was just featured on a popular San Francisco television show "The View from the Bay" that airs on the local ABC channel. Looks like they got some great footage, some great interviews and it's nice to see Mission Cliffs getting the recognition it deserves.
Those on the show sent over Leigh Glaser to Mission Cliffs and let her do a little bit of climbing and filming. The segment highlighted not only our climbing and fitness programs, but also our kids programs, birthday parties and after-school camps.
The video is entertaining, so head over and check it out. Thanks again all of you on "The View from the Bay," it was great to see this. They also had a bit of information I thought I'd relay for any and all of you interested in the after-school climbing we offer:
After School Climbing
Ten week sessions are offered from 4pm to 6pm. Call your local gym for dates & prices.
Suggested ages: 6 to 14 Days: Check with your local gym Time: 4pm - 6pm Price: $250 for non-members; $200 for members Curriculum: Belaying, knotcraft, basic movement technique, rappelling, anchors, mock leading, bouldering, spotting, training, route-reading
King Students Climb @ Berkeley IronworksThis past December, Berkeley Ironworks was happy to host a group of four students from King Middle School and it just recently came to our attention that they put up a great testimonial to the outing on the Hayward Unified School District website.
The four students that were selected for the day trip were chosen "by making commitments towards positive change as students and citizens of their school and community." They all got the full lay of the land once inside Berkeley Ironworks and all showed some great promise on the climbing walls.
Climbing Clip of the Week: Hans & Yuji Speed Record
Something special this week for our Climbing Clip of the Week...how about getting to check out Part 1 of Hans Florine and Yuji Hirayama's unbelievable, record breaking, brand new Speed Record on El Capitan.
The video is, to say the least, awe inspiring and I'm sure everyone who watches it will feel like they need to practice a whole heck of a lot more than they already are. Nevertheless, for a great way to end Friday, I think it'll do.
So, without further ado, check out the awesome video below of Hans and Yuji's record-shattering assault of The Nose. We'll see you Monday, in the meantime, we need to get more clips of our very own climbers doing what they do best. If you have any, or even just links of yourselves on YouTube, send them in...we'd love to feature you!
Great Western Power Company on Facebook! Fans of Great Western Power Co. I have news for you: If you're on Facebook, you can now stay completely informed with almost everything going on with Great Western Power Co. with a simple click of the mouse. That's right, GWPC now has a page on Facebook.
The page is packed with Photos, Videos, Events and even Discussion Boards so all of you members and fans can get together and form yet another great community. They already have 102 members, and I know they want many more.
Touchstone Bike Club 2009 It's a new year for all you Touchstone Cycling fans and as such, I thought it'd be a good idea to let all of you in on what's going on and what WILL be going on in the Touchstone Bike Club for 2009. You can also check out the Touchstone Cycling Blog to stay up to date with everything happening with the Cycling club.
Happy New Year, Happy Cyclists!
We don't know about you, but our resolution is to get back on the bike, whether it be road, mountain or cyclocross – or all of it. Lance is doing it, so why not us? All rides and cycling-related events will be posted on the Blog Calendar for quick and easy reference (http://touchstonebike.blogspot.com/).
With the whole year ahead of us, there are many things to consider.
Ride a 100 miles or two. Here's a smattering of centuries to train for: 1. Wine Country Century – 5/2/09 2. Grizzly Peak Century – 5/3/09 3. Davis Double – 5/16/09 4. Terribly Two – 6/20/09 5. Death Ride: Tour of the California Alps – 7/11/09 6. Marin Century – 8/1/09
Cheer on our team (or even join the team?): The Touchstone Road Racing Team is primed for the 2009 season. Stay tuned for race results from racers in the following categories: Pro Women Elite, Men's Masters Cat 3, Cat 4, and Cat 5, and Women's Cat 3. If you're interested in joining the team, please contact Markham at email@example.com.
Club rides not limited to road… Many Touchstoners have been spotted on the vast number of singletrack routes around the Bay Area. Let us know when you'll be riding next and need some company.
And, if you need inspiration, see the pros ride our roads! Amgen Tour of California – Feb. 14-22 Stage 2, from Sausalito to Santa Cruz, takes the peloton over the Golden Gate Bridge! (And I don't think the route will take them around the towers either…!)
If you have any suggestions for the Touchstone Bike Club or would like access to post rides, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Brief FYI About Aerobics At Touchstone Climbing, we're proud to offer a great deal of ways for our customers and clients to get into and stay in the best shape of their lives. I just found a study that reinforces just how important and successful it can be for your lives to add daily exercise into the mix.
Everyone knows just how important exercise is, but a new study contains some surprising facts. According to new studies, regular, daily exercise can actually shave 12 full years off of your biological age. 12 years. According to the research:
"A person who maintains aerobic fitness may delay biological aging by up to 12 years, a new analysis shows. Jogging and other types of aerobic exercise improve the body's oxygen consumption and its use in generating energy (metabolism). However, a steady decline in maximal aerobic power begins in middle age, decreasing about 5 ml/ (kg. min) every decade, according to the information in the analysis. When maximal aerobic power falls below about 18 ml in men and 15 ml in women, it becomes difficult to do any activity without experiencing major fatigue. A typical 60-year-old sedentary man has a maximal aerobic power of about 25 ml, nearly half of what it was at age 20. But research shows that a long period of relatively high-intensity aerobic exercise can increase maximal aerobic power by 25 percent (about 6 ml), which equals 10 to 12 biological years."
So, what we always thought has been officially confirmed. For more on the study, head over and check it out. In the meantime, hit the gym.
Berkeley Ironworks Movie Night Anyone in and around the Berkeley Ironworks area that wants something a little different to do next week, look no further. Looks like they're hosting what is sure to be an awesome movie night, showing an absolute classic for any and all of you that are interested.
That's right, it's a free film night and the movie will be shown in the lead cave after closing. Prepare yourselves, for the movie this time around is going to be the classic, the original, the best of them all: Die Hard.
Showtime is right around 8:30 pm on January 31st. It's going to be free, so don't worry about bringing any money. Hopefully they'll see you there!
Diablo Rock Gym Takes a Holiday I can imagine the daily grind of gym work can really start to get under your skin after a few months. Don't get me wrong, we all have some of the most rewarding, fulfilling, and just plain FUN jobs you can imagine, but every now and again don't you agree, people just need to take a day to get out there and completely let loose? Agreed.
I'm happy to report that your friendly staff at the Diablo Rock Gym did exactly that a few days ago. After all, we'd prefer them to all feel completely healthy, happy and sane while they're helping us fly up their climbing walls, now wouldn't we? Thanks to Andrew at DRG, we found out they took a Staff Trip to the Scandia Family Fun Center last week and had an absolute blast. They went Go Kart Racing, played some Laser Tag, and yes, even had a rousing game of Miniature Golf.
In case you're wondering, the Blue Team was decimated by the Red Team in Laser Tag, Mini-Golf scores ranged from 47 to 77 on only 18 holes, with our man Keith taking home the top spot, and to put it mildly, not a single person racing in the Go-Karts undersood the sign that read "No Bumping." Oops.
Nevertheless, it looks like they had an amazing time, and I for one am glad to see not only the fun they had, but the relaxing day they all go to spend. Looks like a ton of fun guys!
Artist of the Month @ Berkeley Ironworks In case you haven't stopped into our Berkeley Ironworks gym for a little while, I want to fill you in on some awesome news you just might have overlooked! As you know, all of our gyms here at Touchstone Climbing are dedicated to not only helping our communities get into amazing shape, and providing them with the Best climbing walls and exercise facilities possible, we're also here to help promote and publicize some of our local artists that show exceptional talent.
This month, at Berkeley Ironworks, we're proud and pleased to feature the art of Vanda Rotkovska, an amazingly talented photographer. Here is a little bit about Vanda, so you'll know where she is coming from when you stop in to check out her art:
My artistic training in the very early years was mostly born out of absolute boredom. My parents would drop me off at someone’s house on many a weekend, TV was a rarity, books were often left at home or already read and re-read, but a pencil and paper could always be scrounged up. Since my mid teens I have often used photography as a reference point for the imagery incessantly floating around my head waiting to be transferred to canvas or paper. This particular collection of photographs is my reflection on going home. As a child raised during the communist regime in the former Czechoslovakia, my memories of those years and places were tinged with certain grayness. Although my childhood was not a terribly unhappy one, there was always a sense of hopelessness and deterioration in the places we lived, and the people we knew. After leaving the city for the countryside I also soon had to put away my B&W film camera in order to try and capture some of the colour that had obviously faded from my recollections. Though I still very much gravitate to the quiet places that remind me of a different time, they now seem a little brighter even with all their imperfections. To contact Vanda, email her at: email@example.com
Stop in, say hello, check out the amazing art work and do some climbing while you're at it!
Post-Holiday Sale @ Touchstone Climbing! I know, I know the Holiday's are officially over, we're all doing the best we can to re-stuff our empty wallets after using just about every dollar we could find on gifts for our friends and families...the last thing you probably want to hear is that I have an absolutely amazing opportunity for you to save even MORE money, by, well, spending some of it.
When is it too early to start Holiday shopping again? Hmm, now? Yes, in fact, now is the Perfect time to start getting your birthday, Easter, Mother's Day, Father's Day, and yes, even next year's Christmas shopping done. Why, you might ask? Well when we're having a sale where brands like Carve and prAna are going for anywhere from 30-50% off, I'd say it's a great idea to spend a little more, to get a whole LOT more back!
That's right, we're having some major sales with select designs by Carve and prAna going for huge discounts. Check out the shorts, the cotton hoodies, the pants and a whole lot more at bargain bin prices. These brands are the best of the best and at 50% off, you'd be just plain silly not to bring home something.
Stop in, check it out, gear up. We'll see you there!
Foosball Tournament @ Berkeley Ironworks Now, my loyal friends, something a little bit different, but a lot bit awesome for all you that live anywhere near our Berkeley Ironworks Gym...how about trying this on for size: We're hosting a Foosball Tournament, TONIGHT at 8:00pm at our gym! Tonight!
That's right, come play the game of Kings and Queens! For centuries lives, lands and laurels have been won and lost on the spin of the ball and the fooser's wrist, and according to Paul at BI, "We at Ironworks like to encourage cultural appreciation, and in this vein we would like to draw attention to this ancient rite and see who among us is the best; who stands tiny, plastic head and shoulders above the rest."
Basically, how in the world can you possibly even imagine missing an event like this?! Tonight at 8:00, the Berkeley Ironworks Foosball Tournament begins...be early, you will NOT want to miss this event! Once there, a full dosing of the rules, rights, and rewards will be given.
Sacramento Pipeworks Bike Clubs 5th Anniversary! Can you believe it has been FIVE years since the very first Sacramento Pipeworks Bike Club ride?! FIVE years! Well my friends, believe it as just this last Saturday the members of the Sacramento Pipeworks Bike Club commemorated the awesome event with a very special group ride.
On Saturday, the members of the SPBC braved the 40 degree weather to ride the very same route they rode 5 years ago to kick off the amazing club. While the route was 16 miles and probably seemed long back then, for the members today it seemed altogether brief. The Sacramento Pipeworks Bike Club now averages 40-50 miles for a typical bike club ride. How far they've come!!
Vaughn sent us in this information and was quick to tells us all just how tight-knit a group they all are. According to him, their riding ability is equaled to only one thing...their ability to eat. Keep in mind, if you're in their area, the SP Bike Club is open to anyone who has a road bike and can comfortably handle riding 40-50 miles in a single ride. They'd welcome you with open arms, so if you're into it, get with them and who knows, we might see you in the next 5 year anniversary photo!
Climbing Clip of the Week: Indoor Climbing Tips
For this Friday's "Climbing Clip of the Week" I thought it may be helpful for any and all of you out there that have never been rock climbing, or are just now starting out, to show you a few videos that kind of give you the basics behind indoor rock climbing, and what you can expect to encounter when you find yourself sitting in one of our amazing Touchstone Climbing gym facilities.
For the first clip, I found a pretty awesome, pretty short and extremely helpful little video that starts with the basics...the Holds you'll find on an Indoor Climbing Wall. This video helps by showing you a few of the various types of holds that you'll find scattered across most climbing gym walls. By knowing what each of them are, it could help you to understand how best to hold them, and help you discover which types of holds you are best at, and which you need the most work on.
Check out this helpful little video and then the next time you go into Touchstone Climbing, look up at the wall, get acquainted, and start climbing your way to the top! Have an amazing weekend, and we'll see you bright and early Monday Morning!
New Core Class @ GWPC Hey all you Great Western Power Co. fans, this one is aimed DIRECTLY at you. As I've mentioned, we're officially into 2009, and I've decided this is the year we're going to get each and every one of you into the best shape of your lives. Ready to join me?
That said, for any and all of you Great Western Power Co. members, potential members, or even just people that have always Wanted to be members, now is the time to join up. We have a new Core Class that is guaranteed to whip you into healthy shape. Don't believe me? Check out this Course intro and a bit about our instructor...trust me, you'll buy it after you read, and see who's teaching:
High Energy Core and Flexibility Class
Having trouble controlling your hips on steep terrain? Can't quite reach that high-step? Two perfect examples of the need to increase core strength and flexibility!Isabel will help you open your hips and strengthen your abdominal muscles. A strong core and increased flexibility will improve range of motion and strength in many climbing positions such as stemming and high stepping. Release more power and gain more control! Being flexible while using strength is extremely advantageous and can develop an entirely new body awareness for all athletes. This class is also a great way for you to warm up and loosen muscles and tendons for your work out or climbing session. Working your abs has never been this fun! This class is open to all levels!
Isabel von Rittberg has been climbing since 2001, and has been dancing her whole life. Extremely stimulated by all kinds of movement, she includes stretching and a core strengthening workout into her daily routine. Climbing has become Isabel's main drive and spiritual inspiration. It allows her to work proficiently, be attentive, and feel alive. Isabel has combined her passions for climbing, music, and dance by starting her own dance-climb fusion company, the AscenDance Project. Her group conveys the grace and fluidity of a climber's delicate yet powerful movement.
The time is now, stop in, sign up and get to work! The Class starts in February and will be every Thursday from 6-7pm. IF you want a little sample of what you're getting yourself into, there will be a Demo Class this January 22 at 6pm. What have you got to lose?!
Mission Cliffs Hosting Beautiful Art ExhibitionHere comes an awesome heads up for all of you around the Mission Cliffs area: We have an amazing Art Exhibition for Marie-José Durquet showing right NOW!. Prepare yourselves to see some amazing photography from Haiti from an amazingly talented photographer.
I had a chance to go through the portfolio on the artist's website, and I was absolutely blown away. We're lucky enough to be graced with an entire exhibition at our Mission Cliffs gym, and I urge each and every one of you to stop in, check it out and learn a whole lot about something you might not have known anything about. The photographs are arresting, beautiful, and will stay with you.
Here is an Artists Statement, to give you a bit more information:
I traveled to Haiti 4 times between 2003 and 2006, and stayed at the Albert Schweitzer Hospital with my family. I did a photo-documentary project at the hospital focusing on patients and services provided there. I also pursued my own interests in documenting the art (heavily influenced by Vodou) and people in the surrounding community. I have long been interested in Haiti for the artistic and political/historical contributions it has made to the world. Haiti is or has been at the epicenter of revolution, slavery, surrealism, the colonization of the new world, deforestation, and issues regarding health care and hunger. It was eye-opening to experience this country, which is as close to Africa as one can get in this hemisphere. Haiti is a place where things change very quickly, where life is precarious but where time, in some ways, has stood still. Haiti truly is, as Herbert Gold's book suggests, "The Best Nightmare on Earth".
Touchstone Climbing Welcomes It's Newest "Mini-Member" Today I have some great, non-climbing news to report to all of you. Looks like the Touchstone Climbing Staff just grew by 1! That's right, we welcomed into our ranks the newest mini-member exactly one week ago today!
One of our spinning instructors at Berkeley Ironworks, Becky Ackerman and her husband Fred welcomed in a healthy, happy baby boy, David Richard Kohne Ackerman on December 30. He weighed in at 6lbs 15oz and was 20 inches long.
Here is a brief recap courtesy of Fred:
Becky's water broke at 11:15 pm last night and at 4:21 am today David joined our family. Becky did an incredible job and amazed everybody in the triage, delivery and recovery rooms with her strength. She was handling the early contractions so well they all thought she wasn't very far along and would take way longer than the 5 hrs it did. Since both Becky and David are so healthy they let us leave at 6:30 pm. All three of us are glad to be home now and about to catch up on some sleep. For those Bay Area locals who've so generously expressed interest in helping with meals in the coming days and weeks, please contact our good friend Molly Nakahara who's organizing a meal calendar. Please email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
In short, congratulations from all of us here at Touchstone Climbing! We're so glad everyone is safe, healthy, happy and doing great! Now get him a harness and lets get him climbing!
Every Year: Holidays Lead To Fitness Goals I just read an article that absolutely hits the nail on the head this fine Monday Morning. Lets face it, we're officially back into the swing of things now, the Holiday Season is over, the gifts have all been opened, the fudge has all been eaten, and the turkey is just about through making us extremely tired.
Just like clockwork, this time of year every single year leads to hundreds of thousands of people all collectively sighing, feeling their Holiday stomachs and saying, "I've got to lose weight." I don't know if it is the culmination of all of the Halloween candy, the Turkey and Stuffing, the Christmas Ham, the cinnamon rolls, or the Christmas cookies, but there is something about January 2-6th that should be named a National "I Should Lose Weight" holiday.
That said, this year is most likely no exception, and as such we're here to help. I mentioned it last week and I'll mention it again: If you're looking to get back into shape, stay in shape, or get into a new kind of shape you've never been in, there are few better ways than climbing, and there are few better ways than joining a community of people that are all looking to do the exact same thing. Think of it this way, if you go it alone and skip a workout, who, besides yourself, are you letting down? No one. Now, if you have a group of friends/family/co-workers that all count on you to work out with them each day at the same place, how much more difficult will it be to call in sick for a workout? See my point?
Climbing, as you might now, is an amazing, full body workout that can do wonders for not only your body, but your mind as well. If you've never tried it, now is the time, and again, with no initiation fees this January, do you really have any excuses left for why you're NOT here with us? We have a lot of gyms, one is almost certainly in your immediate area, what do you have to lose (except all that holiday weight)? Stop in, check us out, take us for a test drive, I guarantee you'll come back for more.
Climbing Clip of the Week: Nose in A Day
Hello and Happy Friday! Here's hoping that your New Year's Day was amazing and that 2009 is already treating you kind! I don't know about you, but personally, I'm ready for a weekend, all of the Holiday action has worn me out and I'm looking forward to a weekend filled with doing as little as humanly possible. That said, I figured a perfect way to kick off that sort of weekend, is by watching someone Else strain themselves to the limit.
For your viewing pleasure this fine Friday, I found a great Climbing Clip of the Week that you might just find interesting. How about "Nose in a Day" in Yosemite? Yeah, thought you might perk up at that. There is some great climbing in this video, and what's more, it just makes you want to do it too, despite how Holiday Exhausted you might be.
That said, we'll be back, energetic and filled with even more great information on Monday. Spend this weekend doing whatever you need to do to recover and recuperate from what was most likely a tiring Holiday week! Enjoy the Climbing Clip of the Week and we'll see you Monday!