Necessity being the mother of invention, the original Crimpwerks finger strength training accessory was thus invented. The goal was simple: Make a finger strength training tool that was very small and light weight that could fit easily in a travel bag, but versatile enough to provide a broad range of finger strength training exercises. The solution - bolt a hold on an aluminum plate with a hole at the top. Simple enough!
This actually worked quite well in hotels with a cable weight machine or a pull-up bar. Cable weight machines were ideal as it allowed me to develop initial finger strength at sub-body weight loads. Having found my rock climbing passion rather late in life (43 for whoever is counting) I wasn’t about to jump into the finger injury ridden terrain of full body-weight finger hangs. And I think this has made a substantial difference in building initial finger strength at a pace that doesn’t induce unnecessary risk for finger injury. Sub body-weight resistance platforms such as a cable weight machine are really optimal approaches to building finger strength for beginning climbers in those first few years of training.
Of course not all hotels had cable weight machines, so I came up with the isometric resistance bungee as another tool in the toolbox. The bungee made it easy to get a pretty serious no-hang workout when the hotel gym sucked (not uncommon) by anchoring the bungee to a fixed point (bathroom door hinges worked surprisingly well...but don't do that!) and pulling to whatever lockoff load I wanted for a given period of time. While not optimal for max finger strength loading, it did much to improve both lockout strength and power endurance through repeater interval training. So with a surprisingly small amount of very portable gear, I could get a good pump going without leaving the comfort of my hotel room!
Eventually I became more interested in being able to using difference sizes and shapes of holds. The original bolt-on design made this somewhat inconvenient, so I went back to the R&D lab (aka the garage) and starting prototyping what eventually because the QC and QC2 systems. With these, you could just ‘clip-on’ and ‘clip-off’ a hold onto a French cleat rather than screw-on and screw-off bolts that attached the holds. Suddenly holds changes became fast and easy, and playing around with an assortment of holds became trivial.
Until now the Crimpwerks empire has largely existed inside of our garage. If you own a Crimpwerks hold, chances are it was poured by hand by me in my garage. Now we are in a somewhat radical transition in our evolution: the move out of the garage and into commercial space. We are somewhere in the middle of this transition, but these are exciting times indeed! Check back for updates that are coming soon!