Thursday, May 1, 2014

Campusing - Goals and Plateaus

Regardless of your campusing ability and experience, plateauing is a common problem. The main reason for this is that the next hardest move/goal is often much harder than the move you've just completed. I recommend having parallel goals on the same rungs and alternate goals on other (bigger and smaller) rungs. Clearly, trying a specific goal is one way to train for it. The next most obvious method is to simply try the goal on bigger rungs. This article covers the less obvious ways to train for a specific goal; the methods I cover here are: Drops, Component Moves, similar moves on the same board, and Stacks.
   For the sake of this article, I'm going to assume you've adopted the Lord of the Rungs standard model for campus board design and rung size. This is for two reasons: first, most of my readers are from Santa Barbara and have access to such a board; and second, I have to have a fixed platform upon which to plan a routine.
   The LOTR site has all the moves used in competition and these will cover most peoples goals. The glaring exception is Drops. Everyone should have a Drop goal but I'll cover that at some point in the future. This article will cover only Up goals as those are the most common.
   The table below has the standard Up moves for the combinations to 5,6,7, and 8. Moves easier than 1:3-5 are not covered as you should probably go to bigger rungs or do something other than campus if you're already using the 1.75" rungs. Moves harder than 1:5-8 are not covered because 1:5-8 on the 1" is the most difficult move I've done.

A Survey On Syntax
I experimented with a different syntax for campus moves. The only change is to use a ":" to separate the starting hand position from the move(s). For the Up moves, the change is minor: 1-4-7 becomes 1:4-7; but many training moves are more complex. Here are some examples of the changes by move; if you have a preference, please cast your vote below.
  • Bumps: Old syntax 1-4. New syntax 1-4:3-4; meaning start on 1 & 4 and the hand on 4 bumps between 3 & 4. This can also be used for the High Bumps where 5:1-5 means start matched on 5 then the moving hand lowers to 1 then back to 5.
  • Drops: Old syntax 6-2-1-6 or 5-1. New syntax 2-6:1-6 and 1-5:1-5; meaning start 2 & 6 and the hand on 6 lowers to 1 then goes back to 6.
  • High Shrugs: Old syntax N/A. New syntax 1-5:7; meaning start on 1 & 5 and the hand on 1 goes to 7.

Difficulty Tiers
I categorized each move into a "Difficulty Tier." I estimate that if we were to look at 100 people's campusing ability, we would see it group somewhat like what I have described. (I put my estimation for what percent of active campusers would be working a goal in the specified tier for the 1" rungs.) The point of the tiers is to give suggestions for goal selection.

Parallel Goals
By "Parallel Goal" I mean a move on the same rung size as your main goal. I suggest working all the moves in the same difficulty tier in parallel. If there are no moves in the same tier, try a move from the next harder tier. If that move seems too hard, focus on alternate goals on other rungs.

Alternate Goals
"Alternate Goals" refers to different moves on bigger or smaller rungs. For smaller rungs, select a move from the difficulty tier one tier easier than the tier of the goal. For larger rungs, select a move from the difficulty tier one tier harder than the tier of the goal. I list specific examples; these are the "Easier Board Goal" and "Harder Board Goal" columns.

Drops are most appropriate when the goal is a short move followed by a long move (i.e., 1:2-5, 1:2-6, 1:3-7.) If a Drop is listed for your goal move, it is your best training device. If the Drop move I suggest is too hard, find one a bit easier. You should be able to do 2-4 reps of the Drop.

Component Moves
I discussed Component Moves in my last post and they are also covered on the exercises page. The component moves are: Bumps, High Shrugs, and Low Explosives. Like Drops, they are not listed for all goal moves, but if they are, they should be an excellent way to train.

Same Board Moves
Some goals are trainable by doing similar moves that are slightly easier. For example, one that worked well for me when training for 1:5-8 is 1:5-7b9. That is 1:5-7 then the hand on 7 bumps again to 9 then you match 9. This move is maybe 80-90% the difficulty of 1:5-8; which is an excellent target range for training moves.

The Stacks to 9 are described here and listed here. In the past, I have not used Stacks in training for my goals. I am going to begin experimenting here and listed the stacks I estimate would be most appropriate for each goal.

Up Moves in Approximate Difficulty Order
Drops Component
Stacks Easier
1:3-5 1:2-4-5-7-8-10 1:4-6 1:3-4
1:3-5 1:3-4-6-7-9-10 1:4-6 1:3-4
1:2-5 1-4:1-4
1:3-5 1:2-4-5-7-8-10 1:3-6 1:2-4
1:4-6 Low Explosive: 1:4
Bumps: 1-4:3-4

1:5-6 1:4-5
1:3-6 Low Explosive: 1:4
Bumps: 1-4:3-4

(1:2-5,1:4-5 x2)
1:5-6 Low Explosive: 1:5
High Shrugs: 1-4:6
1:5-5b6 1:4-5-8-9
1:5-7 1:4-6
1:2-6 1-5:1-5 Low Explosive: 1:5 1:5-6-9
(1:5-6 & 1:2-5)
1:3-7 1:2-5
1:4-7 Low Explosive: 1:5
Bumps: 1-5:4-5

1:5-8 1:3-6
1:5-7 Low Explosive: 1:5
High Shrugs: 1-5:6b7
1:5-6b8 1:4-5-8-9
1:5-8 1:4-6
1:3-7 2-6:1-6 Low Explosive: 1:5
Bumps: 1-5:4-5
1:2-6 1:4-5-9
(1:4-5 & 1:2-6)
1:5-8 1:2-6
Low Explosive: 1:5.5
High Shrugs: 1-5:7b8
Bumps: 1-6:5-6
1:5-7b9 1:3-7-9
(1:3-7 & 1:5-7)
1:5-8.5 1:5-7

I gotta get a bit more intense during my workouts...