Sublime Climbing Brush Infographic

By Ransom Allison
on June 04, 2015

Launching the Sublime Climbing Brush

By Tom Randall
on May 21, 2015
2 comments

The history of climbing is littered with plenty of climbers who have enjoyed pushing themselves on the rock, but maybe not so many who have enjoyed trying to run a business or both at the same time. I suppose it’s the hugely time consuming nature of climbing that ends up being a limiting factor and also that many people did not start climbing as a way of making money. I think the cool thing in our industry is that most of the companies are still run (and often owned) by real climbers - the people that truly understand why someone wants to hand over their hard earned cash for a sport which we can mostly practice for free. 

My own foray into climbing related business started by joining forces with a few other climbers and creating an indoor climbing gym. In 2012, we opened The Climbing Station and whilst it was extremely scary at the time, it’s been hugely rewarding. Almost as good as climbing sometimes! That positive experience then opened my eyes up to further opportunities and by a chance encounter I met a very psyched American climber in 2014. His name was Ransom Allison and he was so incredibly motivated to try and develop some climbing product ideas that I was immediately hooked. I knew from my background in coaching that if someone has that much enthusiasm, they’re going to go a long way! With the combination of Ransom’s design and technology experience and my long term industry involvement we formed a small start up business called Sublime Climbing.

 

Last year we started Sublime Climbing to develop great climbing products. Products we all want and need, but no one makes. Over the last year, we’ve sat down, skyped, talked, emailed and bashed around various ideas. Whilst we have around eight or nine of different products that we are continuing to develop, we honed in on the simple idea of a “brush that doesn't break or wear down, and works perfectly” as our initial project we wanted to create. Our brush is something that every climber out there uses (or should use) and one that everyone would see as a reflection of our passion to do things incredibly well and in line with the morals of the climbing community. 

We’ve had our project tested in the hands of hundreds of our climbing friends and by super-star climbers from around the world. Everyone has been so amazingly helpful. The climbing community is going to be using this brush, so who else better to test, feedback and help develop our project?!

Together with the climbing community, we've designed the Sublime Climbing Brush to be;

Nearly Unbreakable- backed by a 1 year guarantee

The Highest Bristle Density on the Market- over 14,000 bristles

Ergonomic- fits your hand exactly

Lightweight- 4 ounces

Beautiful Design- a perfect blend of form and function

Secret Compartment- for our special ClimbOn brush-bars

100% Recyclable- leave no trace with our brush

Our Sublime Climbing Brushes will be available through our Kickstarter campaign and if funded, via our online store on the Sublime Climbing Website, as well as gyms and retailers around the world. So if you’d like to see another business in climbing grow from small beginnings to create more and more amazing products then please share or back our Kickstarter when it launches on June 8th. We're in this together. We are climbers and we know climbers, and this brush is as good as it gets. It’s as simple as that.

 

 

-Tom

Train Like a Pro: Q & A with Magnus Midtbo

By Ransom Allison
on April 30, 2015
1 comment

Train Like a Pro: Q & A with Magnus Midtbo


After 10 years of being the Norwegian climbing champ and blasting through 9b, Magnus Midtbo is still hungry for more. Magnus sits down with Sublime Climbing to discuss everything from how he learned to crank out endless one-arm pull ups and his scariest climbing moments to what’s next for him.


photo credit: MadSkillzMedia

 

Almost every climber has seen your Youtube video, where it looks like you turn off gravity on the campus board, what are some beginner exercises you started with to help develop that crazy strength?

Upper arm strength always came easy to me. I started doing one arm lock offs, working my way up to being able to do a one arm pull up. That was my first goal. After being able to do a one arm, I started focusing more on dynamic strength, such as double dynos on biggest holds on my campus board. I always felt my fingers would get sore before the rest of my body on a normal climbing session, so I used whatever energy I had left to train my upper arms and body. I liked the weightless feeling it gave me. But we are all different in that way. For some it might be the opposite, with their body getting sore before the fingers. As long as you train your weaknesses I don’t see anything wrong in improving your strengths as well. In reality I just did whatever motivated me.


Here are three drills for building your own lock-off and core strength.

photo credit: Henning Wang

You’re synonymous with intensely powerful climbing, but climbing harder routes requires so much more than just muscle. How did you develop analysis and problem solving skills for climbing?

Problem solving is not something I spend much time on, even though I probably should. Whenever there are new problems at my gym, I go through them and give a good flash burn. The best training for problem solving for me is going to a new gym trying new routes and boulders.


Which are you more proud of, your mental skills or your athletic skills and which do you think is harder to keep up?

My athletic skills. My only real mental skill is that I’m stubborn. Not necessarily a good thing in every-day life, but a good quality in sports, which I guess has been important for me to be able to develop my athletic skills.


Here is how to develop power-sloth endurance from Delaney Miller


How much time do you spend at the gym per day/week?

This is the hardest part. When people ask me how I train, I have a hard time coming up with a good answer. The truth is I mostly do what I feel like. People want a formula, though I don’t think one exists. If there is anything I have learned, it’s how all the top climbers train so differently. Which is one of the things I love about climbing. You need to find your way. The only thing I feel the top climbers all have in common is the motivation for climbing and being true to themselves and their goals.     

I will try to explain my training though. Some weeks I don’t spend any time in the gym. It all depends on what I’m training for. What works best for me is doing hard periods of gym climbing with rock climbing in between. I usually do 10 days of gym climbing. More than that I would just get too sore and mentally tired for it to have any effect. During those 10 days of gym climbing I climb almost every day. Maybe only one rest day. Around 4 hours in the gym every day. As well as a small session at home on my crash pad, doing sit-ups, push-ups etc. There is really not a whole lot of planning behind my training. I mix it up often and I’m not afraid to try new things.

 

What do you think has been your greatest development enabling you to consistently climb at such a high level?

What is most important for me in order to improve, is staying motivated. I’ve learned not to force motivation. If I’m not motivated there is not really any point to me going climbing. Whenever I’m not psyched I should just do something else. A couple of times I have forced it, knowing I wasn’t psyched, but still went climbing just because I felt I had to. That's when I have had my lowest lows.



photo credit: Henning Wang

What is your Achilles's-heel in climbing?

Technical climbing on small holds, where you are not able to cut your feet.




What’s your scariest climbing moment?

Have not had a whole lot of scary moments. A couple of trad climbs have been scary enough. Masters Edge in Peak District felt pretty scary since it was my first time trying something hard not on bolts. But the scariest I think will have to be a 7a onsight I did in Sweden. Also trad. From the ground it looked like the crux would be in the beginning, but I was wrong. After 10 meters of irreversible climbing and no placements for protection I got to the crux really shaky. A sketchy technical granite crux. There was no way I was gonna jump 10 meters with only one crash pad surrounded by sharp rocks. Luckily I kept it together, climbed to the top and got away in one piece. I really like the thrill of trad climbing and hope to do more of it in the future!


 

What climbing projects have you been working on?

I spend every winter/spring in Spain. Every year there are new projects, except one route that has been breaking me for a couple of years now. Neanderthal in Santa Linya. When I first started trying it I did not think it would be any different. I thought I had gone through the redpoint process enough times to tell roughly how long a route would take me after going through it the first time. But this one had me fooled.

 

photo credit: Dan Morris

 

What has prevented you from getting them?

I could probably write a book about that - A long and whiny book that no one would ever want to read. But I will try to keep it short and light. My main frustration was with the conditions. It seemed that whenever I was psyched and fit, the route would be wet. After falling of the crux more than 30 times, it turned into an obsession. It was all about doing it and not so much the journey - The different journey every route takes you on and you should learn from.

I put everything on hold to do Neanderthal. I rested whenever the route was wet, which was pretty often. The whole cave could be dry, except that one spot on Neanderthal where all the water would seep out of. Waiting for good conditions made me weak, but I would not go anywhere else until I had done the route. It was just a bad circle. This year I went through the route once and realized I had no motivation to spend yet another season on it. So I decided to leave it for now and try other routes instead. So for I don’t regret that decision one bit. I have had tons of fun doing other routes and feel I have gained so much motivation!     

Check out Tom’s warm-up to take down your nemesis projects for when conditions are right and you’re ready to roll.

 

What's your motivation?

Improving motivates me, but the better you get, the harder it is to improve. One step back two steps forward is how it feel like. Sometimes maybe even two steps back. It’s hard to measure progression, but whenever I do a new route that used to feel really hard I feel like I have improved and it gives me a whole lot of new motivation. That is probably why I had such a hard time on Neanderthal. I felt no progression for such a long time.


I’m also motivated by many other climbers. Whenever I need a quick fix of motivation I click into someones blog, or see a film on youtube. I prefer watching shorter films on youtube and Vimeo, because I feel they are more genuine most of the time.  

Magnus Midtbø vs. Neanderthal from Norrona on Vimeo.

 

What training have you been working on for Neanderthal?

I’m not a huge believer of specific training in the gym for outdoor projects. I would just go to Spain as fit as I could. Doing more boulder training in the gym before I left since I loose that climbing long pumpy routes in Spain. The specific  training for the routes I do on the routes. Linking as much as possible until I send.

 

You've had a lot of fantastic moments, what do you feel is your greatest moment?

Exactly 10 years ago, in 2005 I felt like I had a breakthrough. After becoming World Youth Champion, doing my first 8c and World Cup finals, I decided to really go for it and see how far I could take my climbing. The moment I took that decision was the greatest!


photo credit: Henning Wang

What's your greatest disappointment?


There has been a lot of disappointments, but not really one that sticks out. I have had seasons where nothing felt right. Whenever I was psyched and ready to climb hard I would just get sick and had to start from scratch again. It affects the motivation, and is just a bad spiral that is hard to get out of.


As you mature in the sport what lessons do you want to leave with those who are just starting?


As cheesy as it might sound I would advise them to follow their heart and do what motivates them. Not get caught up in improving by numbers, but improving as a climber. Stay hungry and never be satisfied for too long.



What has climbing taught you?


Physically climbing has taught me how adaptable the human body is. How something that feels impossible all of a sudden goes. On a deeper level I guess climbing has made me more reflected and structured.


What’s next for you in climbing?


Climbing is a rapidly growing sport on a global scale, and Norway is no exception. In Oslo where I live the demand has outgrown the supply. A couple of years ago we started talking about creating a big enough gym in Oslo, for everyone. Frictionwalls is a company I have worked with since I was a little kid. We have put up new gyms all over Norway. All of them are doing great. So we thought, why not make a gym of our own - the biggest one! Back then it was far fetched, but we slowly started working on it. Looking for a suited location. Last fall we found it. It felt like now or never. So we decided it was gone be now. Along the way, we have involved more people who we think can benefit the project. You can see a few pictures on my facebook feed.

I can’t wait for this gym to open. Not only will it be great for me to train in, it will be good to be a part of something bigger working together with some of my best friends towards the same goal; offering the best climbing for everyone from beginners to pros.

photo credit: Norrona

Magnus is currently Sponsored by Norrona, Petzl, Beal, Five-Ten, FrictionWalls.com, Tyrili Klatring, Varri, and Norges Klatreforbund

 

 

 

Train Like a Pro: Golfer's Elbow - A Possible Solution?

By Ransom Allison
on April 22, 2015

Around 2004 I started to climb indoors a lot – as in 4 times a week or more. As you might expect, my grades started to creep upwards but at the very same time I developed a nasty case of Golfer’s Elbow. That deep pain on the inner side of your elbow (the fancy word being medial epicondylitis which only seems to get deeper and more excruciating the more you lock-off or do pull-ups. Know the feeling?

Like many other climbers I sought the advice of the internet and a series of physios. I tried the usual methods; rest, ice, hot-cold treatment, massage, anti-inflammatory medicine, postural correcting exercises and lots of antagonist work. I must have spent a good £1000 or so seeing different people, buying books and feeding my growing Ibuprofen habit. Unfortunately though, nothing seemed to hit the spot. Every person I asked recommended some kind of combination of the above, but I started to get frustrated as the pain continued to get worse. Eventually I made the hard decision to take some time out from climbing and training as I knew no other solution. 

Just as I’d made this decision I coincidentally got talking to one of the GB Senior Team members called Drew Haigh (I was managing the team at the time) about my plight and he showed me an exercise a yoga teacher had showed him for Golfer’s Elbow. Drew sounded really convinced about this “magical stretch” that he had been taught, but I remained sceptical as nothing had worked until this point. I got the beta off Drew at a training session and guess what………. 2 weeks later my Golfer’s Elbow had totally disappeared! I couldn’t believe it. Two years of pain had been removed in 2 weeks. 

The Stretch

I have no idea what this exercise is called, but hopefully with the aid of the following photos and a little description some people out there may benefit in the same way as I did. I’ve shown this stretch to a number of people I’ve coached over the years and it has to be said that it’s not always successful – it’s seems to work best when none of the conventional approaches (physio, antagonists, NSAIDS) work. Give it a try though – you’ll only have wasted a few minutes if it doesn’t work. 

The start pose – the position that you’re aiming to hold with your arms is that shown in the picture below. You want your palms facing outwards and for your elbows to almost touch in the middle – it feels quite awkward to hold this position. You should note that in the correct position your elbows should be about the height of your belly-button and inside the line of your body i.e. arms not lying down the side of your body. Got that so far?

The finish pose – ok, so with that in mind, you now have to perform that same arm positioning, but on the ground lying on your front! This means that you’ll be lying on top of your arms and your bodyweight is forcing your arms and elbows into a nice straight/open position. Note that it’s really important that you do this exercise on a solid floor (not soft matting) as you don’t want to be able to hyper-extend your elbows. In this position you should feel a nice stretch – if it feels painful, then stop! I find looking straight at the ground in front of me or to one side is most comfortable with the neck.

The movements – once you’ve gained confidence with the initial positioning and you’re happy that there’s no undue pain, then you can try raising one leg at a time (I do reps of 10) which results in the front of your hip bone pushing into the back of your forearm giving extra stretch. The leg needs to be raised out 10inches or so off the ground and I do just 10 reps on each leg. Once done, I get up off the floor shake my arms out, and get back to whatever I was doing 2 minutes earlier!

Below is a quick shot of the back of the forearm to show you the point at which it makes contact with the front of your hip bone once you’re lying on top of your arm.

 

If this helps one person, then it’s all worth it! Please do pass on the information if you find it useful and I only came across it by word of mouth from Drew. I owe you big time Drew!

 

-Tom Randall

 

 

 

 

A Note on the Blog from Co-Founders Tom Randall and Ransom Allison

By Ransom Allison
on April 15, 2015

We've started this blog for the sole purpose of helping people climb better and climb harder. It's designed to be an aggregate of climbing knowledge. One that's easy to access and filled with quality and reliable content from the most successful climbers in the world, sharing specific and detailed walk-throughs on what they actually do that makes them the best. Our posts are designed to be clean and efficient, each one providing you with something tangible you can go out and use immediately. Enjoy.

 

Tom Randall and Ransom Allison

 

*Sublime Climbing does not produce any sponsored content 

 

 

 

 

 

Train Like a Pro: How to Warm-Up to Take Down Your Nemesis Project with Tom Randall

By Ransom Allison
on April 15, 2015
1 comment

photo credit: Casio G-Shock

We all have nemesis projects. You probably envisioned your current nemesis as soon as you read the title. You’ve decided the beta you’ll use, you can do most if not all the moves, and you might even be able to link up moves or sections. Yet we’re all too familiar with the ‘no no no no no…!’’ feeling of losing tension and getting kicked off the route, again, again, and again.

photo credit: Alex Ekins @Alex_Ekins

Tom Randall has conquered quite a few nemesis projects. He’s gained notoriety with his climbing partner Pete Whittaker for the incredibly meticulous training and detailed prep work that went in to each individual route. The two years of prep that went into Century Crack is chronicled in Wide Boyz, which if you haven’t seen, you should watch asap. Century Crack. Cobra Crack. Dina’s Roof. Pura Pura. All taken down. But even after you've trained with Randall-grade preparation there are always unexpected challenges. Fingertips split, tendons sprain, you get sick, trips end, conditions deteriorate, and indoor routes are reset. In order to take down your hardest projects you need to be able fully commit when conditions are right. When the stage is set, here’s how Tom warms-up  to climb at his max and take down his nemesis projects, making certain they don’t wind up being the ones that got away.

1) Get Warm and Get Focused

 

photo credit: Casio G-Shock

We’ve noticed this pattern with all the pro climbers we’ve spoken with so far. They all put in a significant effort to calm down and focus their mind on the task at hand before beginning.

  • Run at a light pace the last .5 mile (.75 km) to the crag to get ‘warm as toast’ as Tom put it.
  • Rotate each joint 10 times each. From your neck to your ankles.

2) Pull-ups/ Push-ups

photo credit: Alex Ekins @Alex_Ekins

Get light recruitment of your back shoulders and arms, but not enough to wear you down.

  • Pushups 1 set of 10 reps
  • Pullups 1 set of 5 reps

Tom does this 4 times for his warmup, aiming for a relative difficulty of 5 on a general 1-10 scale. He says ‘the main thing with the warm up is to get warm, so don’t fuss too much over reps, when you feel warm you should be ready for a more specific bit of climbing.


3) Project Warm Up

One of the biggest problems for warming up at crags is that the “perfect” route for warming up often doesn’t exist! It’s either too steep, the grade is too hard or too easy and even worse, there’s a giant queue for the first half of the day while everyone tries to warm up on the same set of polished holds (We’re looking at you Smith Rock). To get around this Tom hops onto his project and uses parts of it as his warm up before giving it a serious attempt.

  • 20 to 30 sets of 1-3 move sequences on his project. Aiming for a difficulty of 7 out of 10.
  • If you’re indoors he recommends adding in a single 30-40 move circuit at 3 grades below your on-sight grade before seriously attempting your project.

4) Maximum Recruitment Hangs

photo credit: Tom Randall

The idea is to pull at your absolute maximum capacity to open a window for 5-20mins where your body is fully recruited and you’re most likely to pull off the hardest moves. Tom uses a portable hangboard, if one isn’t available find the closest sized holds on the rock.

  • 6 reps of 5 to 8 seconds dead hangs on the hardest holds you can.
  • 1 single arm pull at 5-8 seconds on a 3 / 4 inch (2 cm) with a slightly bent arm.

5) Proper attire.

Serious climbers wear serious outerwear.

 

photo credit: Tom Randall

Click Here To Download A Printable PDF Of This Workout

 Tom Randall is currently sponsored by Five Ten, Rab, Wild Country, Sterling Rope, and ClimbOn

 

 

Train Like a Pro: 5 Steps to Climb Harder with 3-time National Champ Delaney Miller

By Ransom Allison
on April 09, 2015
1 comment

Delaney Miller has been dominating competition sport climbing since her time in the SCS youth category, culminating with her three-peat crown at SCS Open Nationals in March 2015. Miller’s style is a precise balance of static and dynamic, aided by perfect placement and vicegrip-like hands. She’s five feet two inches and 96 pounds of of undeniable power and endurance that’s the result of thousands of hours of intensely-focused practice.

 

Here are 5 steps from Delaney Miller to channel your inner ‘power sloth’.

photo credit: Jason Kruse @jkrusephoto

 

1) Stretch your fingers, slow down, and get stoked to climb harder.

Take a few minutes to relax and mindfully stretch each finger. Here is a link to a great finger stretching tutorial if you’ve never done this before, the action starts at 1:45. 

 

2) Hangboard warmup

Photo credit: Ben Brewer @bbrewerphoto

  • 1 minute on - 1 minute rest on jugs
  • 30 seconds on 1 - 1 minute rest through the sets of holds to the hardest crimps you can safely handle.

 

3) Hangboard Deadhangs to Failure 

  • 3-5 sets of deadhangs to failure on bad holds with 1 minute rest between sets.

 

4) Timed Up/Down laps on routes

 

Photo credit: @thecircuitclimbing

Delaney’s slow exact style seems to be built around her incredible circuit training regimen. If you were wondering how she gracefully flashed each route at this years SCS Open Nationals without stopping to shake out or having even the slightest tense moment. This is how.

 

  • Establishing a Base Endurance - Pick a route about half a grade below the level you can comfortably on-sight. Climb up and down climb the route with a goal to stay on the wall for 8 to 10 minutes. After you establish a base endurance it’s time to turn up the heat.

 

  • Resistance Training- Find a route right at your on-sight climbing level, with hard moves, where recovery is impossible. Climb up and down climb the route with a goal to stay on the wall for 6-8 minutes.

 

Sound kind of crazy? It is. In order to do this you’ll need to move in a slow mindful way. You’ll have to focus on placing your feet and hands exactly. This is how you can develop technique and ‘Climbing IQ’. This is how to channel your inner power-sloth.

 

5) Recovery

Photo credit: Aaron Colussi @aaroncolussi

  • Jog a few laps and climb a few easy routes to stretch your muscles back out and minimize soreness.
  • Fix your hands back up by applying some ClimbOn.
  • Get your muscles what they need to recover with some super nutrition from Skoop.

 

Delaney Miller is currently sponsored by the great people at Five Ten, Skoop, ClimbOn, Petzl and Adidas Outdoor.

 

 

 

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