Saturday, December 20, 2008


Climbing is a skill rarely mentioned or tested in the law enforcement world. The ability to quickly climb over walls, fences, vehicles or other objects is hardly a rare occurrence in the life of a patrol officer. Although this may not be true in your profession, climbing remains one of those functional skills requisite to overall fitness.

Besides - It's just plain fun.

Training can take the form of rope climbs, wall hurdles, muscle-ups or rope ladders. Climbing around the local playground equipment certainly qualifies. One of the benefits of being a parent is having an excuse to climb up, over and around the playground equipment at the local park.

Dropping by an indoor rock climbing facility is a great way to mix up your training regimen. Most gyms have daily climbing rates, usually in the area of $12-$20. Vertical Endeavors in Warrenville, Illinois has one of the best indoor climbing facilities in the nation. In addition to increasing grip strength, endurance and balance, rock climbing allows you to gain confidence and faith in your equipment and enhances your mental ability to control discomfort and fear.

For those with spare garage space - consider mounting a climbing rope or hanging a rope ladder at home. I have both, and usually find occasion to utilize them in a workout at least once a week.
The rope, with mounting hardware, costs somewhere in the area of $ 150.

The rope ladder, manufactured by Yates, is completely portable and a great piece of tax-deductible dual-use equipment for work. The 8 foot "Pocket Ladder" costs around $ 140.

Rock Rings are the latest piece of gear added to my gym. They are billed as a great way to build hand and finger strength for hanging and pulling. I'll be breaking them in this week.

A few tips when training at home.
-Wear boots when climbing the rope multiple times (Tommy V anyone?).
-Use gloves with the rope ladder.
-Don't fall.
-Use padding on the ground and ensure the climbing apparatus is properly secured and backed up.

Variations are plentiful, ranging from climbing with no legs, L-climbs, and climbing upside down.
If you wear heavy armor or bunker gear for work - climb with it. The time to get comfortable is now.


Louis Hayes said...
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Louis Hayes said...

Brian, the tip "Don't Fall" is priceless. I like going down the rope more than going up...something about Gravity.