Mixed and Ice plan: tool hang reps confusion

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  • #46095

    I’m using this plan at the moment and have just completed week 4. I read on another thread that the ice tool hangs are supposed to be done in sets of 10. I’m disappointed to learn I’ve not been doing the ice tool hangs properly. IMO its not clear from the the instructions you’re meant to do 10 reps of 30 sec hangs. To quote the plan (week 4):

    ‘The last stage of the workout after the general routine above:
    Ice tool hangs for 30 seconds, tools in both hands. If you can now hang from one tool begin to do this for 15″ per arm. Do 2 sets of either single or 2 arm hangs with 2 min rest between. Stop if you start to shake. Keep your shoulder muscles active, don’t hang fully relaxed so that your shoulder is stretching out, this can cause injury.’

    It doesn’t say 10 reps nor does it say what rest you should take between reps (if its 2 min between sets). The other workouts in previous weeks have similar wording. Should I have been doing 2 x 10 reps of 30 sec hangs for this workout?

    In the Specific Strength WO #3 it says:
    ‘Ice Axe hangs;
    3 sets (each arm if needed) of 10 second hangs. Use enough weight that you can only hang 10 seconds. Take 1 min rest between hangs.’

    Does this mean 3 sets of 10 reps of 10 second hangs…? As in the general strength workout wording, reps are not mentioned. Some clarification would be welcome.

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    Anonymous on #46155

    I’m sorry for your confusion. I hope I can clear it up.

    In weeks 1-2 the ice axe hangs at the end of the General Strength workouts are just 1 x 30s hangs with both arms. That’s it as this is meant as a basic conditioning exercise to prepare you for the next step. This may be too easy for you but when we write these programs we do not know the level of the the climber and we want to be sure not to prescribe something harmful for anyone.

    Starting in Week 3 the ice axe hangs change and the instructions read:
    Ice tool hangs for 30 seconds, tools in both hands. If you can now hang from one tool begin to do this for 15″ per arm. Do 2 sets of either single or 2 arm hangs with 2 min rest between.
    This is meant to be 2 15second hangs with one arm or 2 30second hangs with 2 arms taking a 2minute rest between. I see your confusion and will change the wording to, hopefully be more clear. This is just a progression in the conditioning phase and yo may need to adjust slightly to suit your strength. If you are stringer you might make this 3 reps of 15sec hangs and so on.

    In the Specific strength workouts. Substitute “reps” for “sets”. This is meant to be 3 10second hangs with 1 min recovery between .

    Again I humbly apologize for this confusion and hope this helps you sort it out. Thanks for brining it to my attention. I hope you can take some comfort in the fact that this program has been to very good effect, even with its confusing wording by even high level ice and mixed climbers.


    metrorunt on #46169

    Hi Scott, thanks very much for the clarification.

    Apart from that small confusion I’m finding it to be a great programme and am feeling the benefits already. Fortunately I have been doing as you describe with the tool hangs but became uncertain when reading ahead into the specific strength workouts.

    I searched on the forums for some clarification first and found a post from 2019 with someone essentially asking the same question but there was a reply from Steve H indicating the intention was sets of 10 30sec hangs (https://uphillathlete.com/forums/topic/ice-climbing-training-strenght-plan-specific-training/). Hence my confusion!

    Thanks again

    matt.macphee on #46202

    Hey just thought I’d echo metro’s comments. I am just finished week 3 and happened to pop on the forum and saw Steve’s post in the link above first, then spent 20 mins wondering if I had wasted the first three weeks of the program via confusing the recommended volume.

    The easiest clarification might just be to either remove or clarify Steve’s post from the other thread so people following the ice mixed plan don’t think they’ve made a mistake if they happen to see that post as both Metro and myself did. Had I not found this one I would have started to 10x my volume!

    I’m liking the program so far, I’m already seeing improvements in a few areas. Can’t wait for it to ramp up in the later weeks.

    julie.morter on #47792

    I read all of these replies, and I am still a bit confused.
    In the Specific Strength and Core exercises, do the Primary Exercises (PE) just include the ones off the rings, or do they also include the ice tool ones from the video?
    At the end of Specific Strength and Core#3 it discusses ice tool hangs separately at the end, but it only seems to be talking about hangs, not the full progression shown in the video. Does that mean that the set of PE exercises (PE-1 and PE) are done for both the ring and then the ice tool exercises, followed by some straight deadhangs at the end? Or is the section about the ice tools covering off everything you need to do from tools.

    metrorunt on #47795

    Julie, I felt similarly about the way the video was constructed but ended up concluding that the PE exercise was whatever the hardest incline pull you can do for 6-8 reps (per side if applicable) with good form in control. You do them with ice tools preferably but if you can’t then use rings. The weighted tool hangs are a separate protocol and are not the PE.

    This might not be correct – it’s just my take. I agree the way the video presents the tool hangs is unclear.

    matt.macphee on #47854

    I interpreted it differently, I assume the PE progression went something like
    -two handed, no weight
    -two handed, with weight
    -one handed, no weight
    -one handed, with weight
    -incline one handed pull
    -progressively harder versions of that.

    So I started with the following in the first few SS workouts
    -PE-1:two handed w/weight
    -PE: one handed

    Then moved into (SS4-6 or so):
    PE: one handed with weight

    Finishing with (SS7-8+):
    PE: incline one handed pull

    through all of the hangs, I counted reps as seconds. So when it said something like ‘up to 6 reps in control,’ I’d hang for up to 6 seconds. Eventually around SS7 I found I could do the whole ‘Biz’ workout with one handed hangs, +10lbs, 4 sets of 5, 6 sec hangs. I then moved to the incline, which I’m finding harder than I expected. Doing around 2 reps per set.

    It’s very possible I read this totally wrong as well. My assumption is the rings are only there for if you can’t do anything with tools. So if you can use tools, forget the ring progression is there all together. The thought that the tool hang progressions aren’t meant to be included there doesn’t make sense, as that’s the strongest training stimulus, in my opinion.

    julie.morter on #47855

    We ended up doing both, so incline pull-up lock off stuff with a trx (instead of rings) at PE-1, then dead hangs on tools at PE -1 (weighted two had), then PE on both (which was weighted one hand hangs for the tools). We changed reps to seconds like you did. The incline pull up/twist locks feel like really effective training and at least in our setup, would be hard to do with tools. The deadhangs work grip strength, but not really that lock-off/pull-up strength.
    However, when I went to the next week it talked about ice tools as a separate item, so that is what made me ask the question. Sounds like no one has any idea and everyone is doing their own variety!

    Clara Maynard on #81652

    I don’t know if I’ll get a response since this is quite an old thread, but the video instructions are confusing to me. I ended up concluding what metrorunt did, that you are doing the incline pull up progression but preferably with ice tools and then doing a set of dead hangs at the end using the ice tool progression shown in the video. It doesn’t make sense to me that ice tool dead hangs would progress to incline pull ups with reach, seems like you would be detraining pulling muscles if all you did was dead hang. The only thing that makes me question this logic is that the phases listed for the rings versus tools are not congruent. The phase 5 for the rings is boots on ground with 1 arm reach, while phase 5 for the tools is boots on block with 1 arm reach. Right now, I am going to do the incline pull up progression on ice tools and follow with a sets of dead hangs on tools. If anyone has any confirmation that this is correct, I would appreciate it!

    Jim Prager on #81655

    Clara, I agree that the phases in the video are not well organized. I have been doing the inclined pull up progression followed by sets of hangs on tools. I believe this is correct (it’s been effective for me in years past).

    Bruno Schull on #81689

    I apply the program as Clara and Jim, first the incline pull ups with reach, then the dead hangs as a separate exercise.

    What I have found difficult are the different intensity/difficult levels for the incline pull ups.

    Where do people fall in the incline pull-up progression, and how do people actually set up the exercises?

    -Two arms or one arm with knees bent and both feet flat on the ground is relatively easy for me.

    -One arm with my legs straight and my heels on the floor puts a great deal of tension through my posterior chain and in effective and achievable.

    -I would like to move on to one arm with my leg straight and my toes pushing on a hard edge, but I am having trouble envisioning a way to set that up.


    Clara Maynard on #81934

    Hi All,

    I received an answer from the uphill athlete coaches. They confirmed that how I interpreted it was correct, incline pull ups on tools followed by tool hangs.

    Bruno, To complete phase 7 & 8, I hang my tools from webbing off of a pull up bar that is about 2 meters away from a wall. I then push my step up box (~14” tall) against the wall and weight it with a dumbbell so it doesn’t wobble. This is much harder than doing it with heels on the ground for me.

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