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DIY doorway hangboard

My training begins soon. But prior to starting, I need to get my equipment ready. After much reading, I settled on the V5.12 hangboard to start with. I had planned on mounting it above a doorway some where in my home but my wife did not like that idea very much. And with the fact that I am at work 2-3 days in a row, I decided I needed a portable hangboard. I have some friends that use portable doorway pull up bars and know of a company that makes a doorway climbing hold mount similar to these pull up bars, so I decided to make my own.

Parts list
Doorway pull-up bar from local big box store $29.95
(2) 1/2″ x 4″ galvanized nipples
(2) 1/2″ galvanized floor flanges
(2) 1/4″ x 3/4″ bolt with nut? (not sure exactly what size, just grabbed bolts off my workbench that fit.)
3/4″ plywood (I cut mine 30″ x 18″)
3/4″ wood screws

Be sure to take the pull-up bar you get to the store with you to make sure the 1/2″ nipples fit. You will see where below…

1. Assemble the pull up bar and screw the nipples into the flanges to make what I will call the nipple mounting bracket 🙂 . Pop the end caps off the pull up bar tubes where the handgrips are(see photo below)

2. Insert nipple mounting brackets into tubes and drill a hole through the pull up bar and nipple mounting bracket to allow you to put a bolt through both to secure the nipple mounting bracket. Insert bolts loosely to assemble.

3. Place pull up bar system on plywood and mark where you want the plywood to mount. I placed mine 6″ from the bottom of the board. Seems to work well (see final photo).

4. Screw nipple mounting brackets to plywood. (Note, you might have to remove them from the pull up bar to give room from to access screws.

5. Assemble pull up bar if removed and tighten all bolts/screws. Hang in doorway to test and add hang board and holds. Enjoy!


5.12a – 5.12c

Today was a benchmark for my up-coming training plan. I climbed my max difficulty level of all time at the gym, almost redpointing a 5.12a and with a bit of hang dogging crawled up a 5.12c. In conjunction with the recent completion of my project climb out at the local crag, a 90′ 5.11c sport climb, I know have a benchmark to start my training plan. To be cont…

How to climb indoors more like you are outdoors

I had an epiphany. It hit me today as I was bouldering a crimpy V3. We know that indoor rock climbing is nothing like being out on the real rock. But why? Other than the obvious reasons (tape marking routes, overhangs everywhere, plastic, ect…), what specifically is it in the actual climbing, the holds, the motion that makes it different? I have always wondered this but never really can get a good answer. And then I saw it. I saw myself climbing on this particular problem and realized what makes the actual climbing different.

Lets go back to last week when I was working on a project out on the local crag. I have been trying to have better self awareness when climbing and on this particular day I managed to pay more attention to my body position and movements. This route is a 5.11c with half pad edges, 2 finger pockets, and small, slick footholds. And as I climbed it, just like every other route I climb outdoors, my focus and success was in my footwork. Keeping my hips into the wall and trusting my feet. You say, “no kidding dummy! You didnt know this? This is basic technique!” Well yes, I know this. But it is illustrated much more clearly when you climb on real rock. Hence the point I am getting at. Hand holds were basically for balance only as I barely had the strength to hold on, let alone actually pull myself up the wall. I was forced to use my feet by the simple design of mother nature. Real rock makes you use technique.

Now fast forward to today. As I am bouldering, I notice that the hand holds are all soo positive. From the smallest edges to the slopers to the pinches, they all seem to allow for so much more arm use. I found that even on my max problems (V5), my hips were out from the wall as I used too much of my arms! Now once again, this goes back to basic technique and keeping your hips close to the wall, which I know how to do and know that I should do it! But for what ever reason, when I am in the gym I have the tendency to use too much arms as I am sure many of us do. I think its just the nature of the plastic holds that, try as hard as the manufactures may, just can’t compare to real rock. Plastic holds allow you to skip technique (to a point).

So from this point forward, I am maintaining my heightened sense of body position and movement and am forcing myself to keep my hips in and climb with my feet, even on the jug fest 5.10’s and V1’s. I have to consciously tell myself over and over until hopefully it becomes habit in the gym. The harder routes tend to lend themselves to better footwork and technique but I still notice the positivity of the holds and the ability to over use my arms if I don’t focus on my feet. While this epiphany might not be profound for those that have been climbing a while or are simply better than myself, I hope that this insight might lend some help to those that are new or looking to improve. And I hope that it lends to better, more realistic gym climbing.

Why 5.13?

Why 5.13 you ask? The short answer is that I want to climb 5.12 really well, and I want 5.11 to be easy. So 5.13 seems like a good target to help achieve my real goals that I just stated.

The long answer is this. At my age (31), I have given up hope of becoming an elite, sponsored rock climber. I am married, have 2 kids, and a wonderful career as Fireman. But I love rock climbing. It is my passion and is often all I can think about. And I want to climb better, just like anyone else out there I am sure. Why? Well, answer for me is two fold. My personality makes me strive for new challenges. I get bored with something once I achieve it. (Lucky for me, there is more rock to climb than days I have left alive) The second and main reason is that I would like to be able to climb 5.12 well, with 5.11 being somewhat easy. The reason I say this is that it provides the opportunity to climb many more routes! From my local crags to the somewhat local climbing meca of Yosemite, I simply want more options.

The problem, as many of us know, is finding the time to climb. I climb as much as I can, a minimum once a week outdoors (weather permitting) and usually a few gym sessions throughout the week which vary between bouldering and climbing. While this may seem like a decent amount for a dad and husband I’m sure you would agree that more time on the rock is something to strive for. But it is what it is, and I will say I am lucky with 3 days a week to climb. When it comes to progressing and achieving my goal however, 3 days a week might not get me where I want to get. If it does, it might take a while. Unless I being some sort a training. And thats where this project comes in. You can read more about this project here.

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