The Millcreek Training Deck

by Nik Berry /

Many climbers have preconceived notions of training. Climbing is filled with great people, uplifting attitudes (well…..I guess that is debatable), lightheartedness and a supportive atmosphere. From what I have gathered speaking to people about training, they believe training will negate these positive characteristics. I understand this coming from an intense running background, where I burned out harder than Keith Richards. Burning out can stem from many reasons; two of these are the dreaded plateau and boredom. Training can solve both of these evils. You do not have to train every workout. That would likely create a downward spiral of digression. One hard training session for the 5.11 climber and above would dramatically increase their strength. I argue that training when you are psyched can help to eliminate burnout.

The Training Area

Clean, open and welcoming are some of the words that first came to mind upon first glance at Momentum Millcreeks training area. This is a pleasant change from the typical dusty, dark and cluttered training areas climbers are used to climbers expect from training areas. The features available are theThe training area includes the Beam, system boardan adjustable system wall, a 45 degree woodywall, a campus board, a peg board and all the weights a climber could ask for. SLC’s training specialists, Steve Maisch and Justin Wood, have meticulously engineered each of these training tools. These fine gentlemen have been experimenting on themselves for decades. Mo Millcreek is the culmination of all their trial and error with training techniques and tools.

The Beam – Noah Bigwood sculpted this training tool. Its elegance makes one think it belongs in a museum, however, do not let its beauty fool you. There are endless possible training techniques to use on this beam. Simple hangs and pull-ups are the obvious workouts but let your imagination run free on the beam. Swinging around on the hanging Atomic grips or horizontal campusing should get your minds grinding.

System Board – I have never seen a system board with the options and holds this board offers. This is one of the better training tools the area offers for moderate climbers. Climbing up and down this board on the same grips (pinch, crimp, open hand, pocket, undercling) shooting for 10-20 hand movements will increase finger strength and lock off strength dramatically. This board’s angle can easily be adjusted with a handy lever on the left side. The angle of the board is noted on each notch to gauge progress. This is a great addition to the typical system board and allows this wall to be beneficial to the elite and beginner climber. This board also creates Using this board will create a base for training, which will spring you into advance training techniques.

The 45 Degree Woody – Is This is the classic piece of training equipment. This The 45 degree angle allows the climber to hold onto small holds and build power. One can mimic their project by choosing similar holds and sequences and for doing 4×4’s or circuits. Have a blast making up your own problems, playing add on or look at the whiteboard to see established problems. This is a personal favorite and in my opinion the gem of the training area.

Campus Board – The campus board is primarily used for contact strength. This is the ability to grab a hold once you reach it. Lock off strength and power are gained by using this simple but extremely beneficial training tool. Only advanced climbers should campus. Aspiring climbers should use the adjustable footboard by sliding it under the campus ladder of their choice footboard to prevent injury. This board offers many sizes of rungs and a weight reducing system to allow climbers to utilize smaller rungs. so climbers can use smaller rungs as they become stronger. This board is low making one think, “is it a campus board for ants?” Although it is low to the ground, it’s still usable by bending your legs. Momentum Sandy has a full height campus board for the serious campus boarder.

Peg Board -This tool will help you gain precision and lock off strength. A Google search provides videos of plenty climbers performing incredible feats of strength on this board. Mo Millcreek is the only gym in Utah that offers a peg board and it will make your shoulders sore for days. This board is one of the most advanced training tools and should only be used by advanced climbers due to potential shoulder injuries. I am ecstatic about this training tool and can’t wait to put more time in on this board.

Overall the training area is a great place to get strong and take your climbing to the next level. Training isolates specific areas of your body which puts strains your body more and increases the chances of injuries. Ease into using these training tools and take ample amounts of rest between workouts to ensure full recovery and reduce the probability of injuries. Although training will most definitely increase strength, climbers must master a multitude of skills to be a great climber and strength is only one piece of the pie. After all, Adam Ondra climbed 5.15b before doing a one-arm pull up.

Check out the Photosyth below to explore the Millcreek Training Area.

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