What's the ROI ?

ROI –  Many a Western man and woman will live and die by this one agonizing question,

What Is the return on my Investment?

If it’s high, move forward, if it’s just medium, then perhaps sit and chill for a while, and if it’s low, you’ll probably want to pull out, sometimes literally.  This can be applied to many things in our often shallow society, work, training, relationships, finances, diet, whatever you can think of.  Nearly everything has an ROI, with the exception of spirituality perhaps, which (physically speaking) there is very little “return” (except for the one you give to yourself).  It seems to me at least, spirituality means having faith, ROI means having facts.

So with that being said, here’s a training video that my new friend Bailey Manson sent me regarding a new-ish grip strength routine. Or at least it’s new to me, I’m sure the Chinese have been doing this for thousands of years already.  Anyway, check it out, and please give us some feedback, we’d like to hear if anyone out there has any thoughts on this or are doing this already.   If nothing else, it looks like a great way to get the blood pumping, but then again, what’s the ROI?…

Here’s my Two Cents.

1. That dude with the bleached blond hair is sort of intense.   2.  You could probably do this with whey protein cookie dough as well, and when you’re done, just pop that shit in the oven and presto, you got yourself a tasty energy bar at the end of it all:) ha ha.

But seriously, I think it’s a super interesting idea, and I may even give it a shot one day, just to see what it feels like.  I think stronger muscles almost always create better climbers, (i.e. Nels Rossasen) and this seems to me as though it will definitely get you stronger, pump more lactic acid through the veins and get you to recover quicker too.  Also, it will help strengthen rotation, mobility and the smaller more stabilizing tissues.  I like it.  But, how well it translates to REAL climbing?  I don’t know.   From what I’ve learned, hard rock is generally about how much force you can put on your finger tips, and then maintain core strength and wrist control throughout body movement without letting that force slip.  I still think hangboarding and fingerboarding workouts would deliver better direct results.  Basically, I think rice buckets will help with overall grip strength, like for ice climbing and mixed climbing, and probably pitching and hitting baseballs, but slightly less for face climbing and crack climbing purposes, (unless you’re on big roof holds and tufa’s) but small edge crimping probably not as drastically.  But still, it’s kinda cool and worth a try I suppose!

  • Sean

    Yep, might help. Yep, probably worth a try.
    Can I think of more enjoyable exercises to do then play with bowl rice? Yep.

    And on a serious note, this seems to more endurance based. The only real strength aspect seems to come from the ‘popping’ of the rice. Which, if this the case (I should try it before I judge) I can think of better exercises to focus on actual strength. From there I would also argue for most of the climbing population simply climbing would be a better endurance exercise.

  • molony

    We actually used to do this same thing on my high school wrestling team. I’ve tried it to train for climbing, and like you mentioned, it just isn’t specific enough to really produce any gains in the areas climbers really need. I will say, however, that I’ve found rice bucket workouts nearly invaluable for recovering from/preventing wrist, finger, forearm, and elbow injuries. Something about getting the blood flowing without being too high impact.

  • rp

    reminds me of when bruce lee first gets to the secret island in “enter the dragon”

  • Alex

    I think Dave Macleod has written about this on his training blog.

    I’ve used a rice bucket (and RICE–ha ha) when recovering from finger injuries; obviously, I was a lot less aggressive about it. It worked really well; I was able to stimulate blood flow to the injured area(s) which seemed to make my recovery quicker than it had been in the past. As a training tool: I’m sure that it doesn’t hurt, and it probably would promote better recovery and overall joint/tissue health. After all, as climbers, how often do we train the muscles that open our hands and offer balance/stability to those overworked muscles that we use to hold on?

  • Chris

    I don’t know how much the rice bucket can help with finger strength, but my physical therapist put me on a similar routine to cure tendonitis in my wrists and forearms, incurred from a combination of work and climbing. Worked like a charm 🙂

  • i didn’t listen with sound, but my understanding is that this is an ancient martial arts technique that begins with rice, moves on to sand, then finishes with iron pellets or something like that. or maybe sand is the hardest?

    in any event, i wonder if a master at this technique could just smash holds straight-fingered and create positive depressions.

    finger-chiseling climbs is my true dream.

  • All I need to know about ancient martial arts I learned from Drunken Master: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080179/

  • Wolf

    I would eat the rice and climb with the energy i get out of it 🙂 That bucket doesnt looks like fun for me.

  • Björn

    My father tried to convince me to do karate when I was a little kid. And he told me about those training methods. Maybe it works for those karate-kungfu bro´s.
    If u use the rice-training just tell if it works or not.

  • Katie

    I wonder if it’s going to strain his back whilst doing these exercises.