Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Happy Fingers app. An interactive e-book to learn about Finger training for climbing



In the middle of the rush for applying AI (Artificial Intelligence) and Machine Learning to training apps, #Happy Fingers wants you, rather than the machine, to be the one that actually learns something. It wants to make you smarter.

Happy Fingers has the following goals:
Answering all of your questions related to finger training for climbing;
• Carefully guiding you in the process of choosing some training method or grip type;
• Describing how to warm up; how to hang or how to perform each program;
• Teaching you how to control the training load to ensure the desired effects;
• Offering alternatives to keep from stalling;
Preventing injuries, overtraining and excessive fatigue in your forearms;
• Describing different training methods and the optimal exercise for each circumstance;
• Providing a range of training programs for each method, level and athletic goal to choose from.

I’m Eva López; climbing is my passion and the topic of my doctoral thesis on Finger Endurance and Strength Training in Climbing. I developed Happy Fingers with the aim of making you the main character in your growth process, looking at the reasons behind any hitch you find while training, offering strategies to keep your motivation or progressing in the long run. Of course, your personal situation, objectives and needs will always be part of the equation.

All of the above is based on the most up to date research and what I’ve learned along my 20+ years of observation, analysis and experimentation. I have adapted all that knowledge to the individual characteristics of every person I’ve trained, including myself, to refine and complete the process. Linking Science & Experience, relating Theory & Practice, Evidence-based Training, all describe this educational resource that will help you get the most out of your workouts and your climbs.

I want to make clear that the Happy Fingers app does not automatically churn out training programs from some initial evaluation. It's best characterized as an interactive ebook full of information and advice, but it will never command you to follow some path without challenging it. Individualization is a staple of training, the Holy Grail. You decide. You’re on the driver’s seat.


11. Are dead hangs for me?
1.2. Terminology.
1.3. What gear do I need


2.1. Strength or Muscular Endurance?
2.2. Which Method do I Choose?
2.3. Which Grip Type to Use?

3.1. Maximal Head Hangs.
3.2. Submaximal Dead Hangs.
3.3. Intermittent Dead Hangs.

4.1.Dead Hangs Technique.
4.2.Warming Up.
4.3. Control of the Load. Self-regulation.

5.1. The Dead Hangs Session.
5.2. The Training Week.
5.3. Proposed Training Plans.
5.4. Improving in the Long-Term.
5.5. Monitoring and Directing your Training.

6.1. Staying Motivated.
6.2. Reducing the Risk of Injury.

Future updates will bring even more contents, mainly in Methods, Programs and Physiological Adaptations.

Strong Fingers are Happy Fingers
Fingers with an Evidence-Based Approach are Happy Fingers
Well-coached fingers are Happy Fingers 

 Download on the App Store here

Get it on Google Play here.


FAQ about Happy fingers.

1. THIS APP IS DESCRIBED AS AN INTERACTIVE E-BOOK, but, Why not to release a tangible book, what makes it different?

  • Knowledge is always in your pocket. Any question that could arise during training may be solved right away.
  • You can enjoy new updates without paying an additional price for them. In the case of a book, you neeed to purchase the new edition.
  • You can navigate among all the sections. Each section and screen includes several links to different parts where possible new questions can be answered. The structure and system of navigation is based on how we learn.

2. THE PRICE, IS MONTHLY, yearly, or do you pay just once for it?

  • This app doesn't have a subscription model. You pay for it and it'll be yours forever. Including future updates with new contents.

3. ¿ARE YOUR BOARDS, PROGRESSION OR TRANSGRESSION, NECESSARY, for training with the methods proposed by #Happyfingers?

  • No, they aren't necessary. Happy Fingers provides you information about how to train, offering much more knowledge than just methods and training programs, but in any case, you'll always choose which method and program to use according to several things. One of them is your goals, but another one is the board you've already own. In this sense, Happy Fingers also includes a section about what characteristics should your board have and makes some recommendations.
  • Obviously, if you would like to train with the Minimal edge method, and your board only includes hold sizes too big or too small for you, it will be hard to make it work. But you can always figure out some solution, or opt for other methods. Besides, happy fingers also suggests you how to make your own board or what other exercises you might use apart from dead-hangs.


Sunday, February 21, 2021

Review of the Climbro Smart Hangboard


Versión en español

It's more than one year now that I received the Climbro smart hangboard for its review. So fortunate that the climbing researchers Michael Michailov, Jiri Balas and their team contacted me with that intention!

Just in case you don't keep up with it, this is a smart board with integrated force sensors under its edges for both purposes: Performance Evaluation and Training.

Thanks to a mobile application, you are provided with personal training plans prior assessments of your finger strength and endurance.

Therefore, I have been trying it and training on it for 8 months now and this is my *review:

1. The team behind it includes 2 well-respected climbing scientists Michail Michailov and Jiří Baláš.

2. After an initial test battery and the subsequent diagnosis, you can either let the app suggest you some training plans or choose single workouts each day to improve some particular ability. My favorites: "Low Endurance" & "Maximal Strength".


3. Checking the force applied in real time in the mobile app can potencially help to control your training (👉it doesn’t replace your coach!).

Other useful applications:

 •Monitoring strength gains from baseline and fatigue: understanding ensuing biomechanical changes in fingers, elbows...;
• Assessing asymmetries (fingers, upper-body limb);
• Optimizing your grip technique;
• Quantifying recovery and reconditioning after injury:

4. Currently, both the proposed workouts and training plans are pretty closed. By now, you can just adjust intensity ± 10%. Aspects like this are the most open to criticism, and I (and others) have pestered the authors enough that they’re planning features enabling individualization of each protocol!

5. Force sensors are THE tool for one-arm standing pulls, but beginners will need some time to adapt and learn the technique. It’s worthwhile, though.

6.  I love the “Free testing” feature: You design and perform a test, then you can export the results in Excel format for later analysis.

 7. The 8 skin-friendly, large radius edges are a nice open grip training platform, but also make the smaller edges (20 mm, 13 mm) harder.

8. Measurement is solved: using multiple force gauges means forgetting about torque and friction. This has caused headaches to so many who, after spending lots of money & time manufacturing a homemade device (one gauge force+ one edge), realize that it hardly complies with the validity and reliability requirements.


More info here. Use the code EVALOPEZ for a 10% discount. You can order it here.

*My review intends to be honest & unbiased, but you should know that: 

a) initially I received Climbro for free in exchange for my suggestions,
b) then I started collaborating,
c) now I get a %profit when someone use my EVALOPEZ code.