Getting Strong


A few months ago during rugby world cup season my fiance and I were driving through Hamilton (NZ) and found ourselves parallel to a Ute that contained arguably the most famous of All Black rugby stars. I had recently done promotional work along side them and waved out, when I turned to my partner, Jono, had beads of sweat ready to stream down his face (which had assumed a beetroot type color). I thought something was seriously wrong and maybe he was about to vomit over the dash. Turns out he was overwhelmingly star struck…and about to vomit over the dash :). The knowledge of this made me keel over with laughter, and this is pretty much where the story ends.
However I shall eat my words now because I am simply emailing my own “lady hero”, and my palms are beyond clammy. This email did have a point…I live in New Zealand and started climbing in the south island but now live on the coast of the north island where my home town is situated. Won’t be living here for too long but at the moment we are approximately 4 hours from any decent crags and our town is too small for a climbing gym. Now NZ does have some pretty climbs but all of our best climbing is in Australia :). We get away fortnightly to climb but it’s difficult to maintain my strength during in between times which means that Jono is always climbing two grades harder than myself. He doesn’t realize that we are competing buuuuuuuut I figure that just gives me the mental advantage (although I am well aware he has a head start physically).
My technique is okay but what can I do to stay strong? and yes I am expecting your many years of experience to result in a magical cure for my feeble biceps. I’m really hoping you don’t say 1000 pull ups/day because this is just unrealistic.

You’re awesome,

PS. We are getting married in Jan and our honeymoon is 4 weeks climbing down south. Soooo no pressure, but there is a time limit for this weakness remedy to work.

Hi Jessie,
Congratulations 🙂 and thanks for writing!
If you want to get stronger, you will have to train. If you don’t have local crags or a gym, this is going to be tricky. You are going to need something to train with–at the very least, the floor may have to do. I would advise you to work on core strength, because you can do that through situps and actually through pushups too. If you have any access to a hangboard, you can try doing some pullups with it. If not, at the very very least you can find some large stones or bricks and carry them around with straight arms and a pinch grip.
Something is always better than nothing. So if you can at least work on pushups and situps, I think you are going to see some benefit–but the very best thing would be if you could set up some kind of training zone for yourself that would include a hangboard, rock rings or a pullup bar.
🙂 Steph

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