/ NEW ARTICLE: Dave MacLeod Answers Your Training Questions - One

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JoH - Editor - on 17 Feb 2007
Want to improve your climbing?

Following on from Dave's hugely successful first set of indoor training tips we asked Dave if he wouldn't mind doing it all over again.

He's kindly obliged, so if you want to know if 38 is too old for 8a or whether saying 'no' to that last pint really is going to make a difference....read on.

http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=317





long - on 17 Feb 2007
In reply to JoH - Editor: Excellent Dave. Thanks for taking the time to write all you do on training and improvement. I've been following your advice and it's beginning to work.

Doug
Paz - on 17 Feb 2007
In reply to JoH - Editor:

Dear Dave,

How hard do you onsight, and do you really think VS leaders have as much fun as E5 leaders?

Many thanks, keep up the good work.

RupertD - on 18 Feb 2007
In reply to Paz:

This is really good stuff, I found it very interesting and useful. Looking forward to the next one. Thanks Dave.
BelleVedere on 18 Feb 2007
In reply to JoH - Editor:

Thanks

(my question got answered! ;-) )
Paz - on 24 Feb 2007
In reply to es:

This is good stuff, and it has been food for thought. But does anyone think the questions weren't really answered? I know he thought there were other fundamental issues about training that were more important, but it almost reads to me like he said some stuff he was going to say anyway. Not that I'm saying I'm innocent of that crime, or that I'm any sort of expert on training.

So I don't mean to piss on Dave's parade. Indeed in writing this I've realised both why this isn't suitable for an article, and why I don't write articles in general. But I thought I'd have a go:


"SidH asked Ė When training at the wall by e.g. steep bouldering, how much should you push yourself? Should you try to do everything statically, or should you be pushing yourself to your limit (and therefore slapping for everything)? And should you do more easier problems or less harder problems, assuming you enjoy them both equally? Oh, and slightly different - whatís your best recommendations for training in a house where you canít put up a fingerboard or anything fixed? A doorframe, anything else? "

Unless you have jugs and suitable footholds, steep bouldering is powerful. Power is force times velocity. The force required will be at least equal to your weight, and the velocity means that you probaly have to climb dynamically. There are hard static probalems, but usually if you can climb something statically then it's not hard for you.

When training power, e.g. when steep bouldering, after warming up (e.g. on easier problems) you should climb short hard problems giving it 100%, until, or preferably before, you feel your performance drop. At which point ideally you should cut the session short and come back tommorrow. Alternatively you could start to climb longer and longer problems, culminating in easier endurance/stamina problems or routes that you can climb more statically.

You'll probably surprise yourself what you can do when you're tired, which will naturally be at 100% effort, but
the above (shorter more frequent sessions) is what you should do in theory for power.
You probably need to decide on a training goal.

Whether you do more easier problems or less hard problems depends on what aspect you're trying to train. Mileage or fitnes/ stamina or endurance or even active rest probably requires more easier problems, where as power and strength require more training on hard problems.

If you can't use a finger board can you put up a £6 Argos expanding pull up bar in a door frame and do arm work? Can you work on core strength, use grip masters, other weights, stretches, or here's an idea: train your antagonist (pushing or opposing) muscles, e.g. using therabands to get strong shoulders and avoid injury?

"Necromancer 85 asked - If training for trad routes are steep boards going to help a large amount or are you better off working at more realistic angles? "

As above you probably want to decide on a training goal. The strength gains from climbign on steep baords will be more than welcome, but how often do you see strong indoor climbers apply this strength on your typical British trad route?

It all depends how steep the trad routes you're trainig for are. If you have a project, then you'll know. Steep bouldering will be ideal, but we're on about indoors If you want to get better at onsighting, the standard advice is to work your weaknesses. Personally if I fail on trad routes it's because I'm pumped. So at a guess I'd train on which ever angle, using which ever volume (route length or number of laps) enables me to best recreate that pump. In this way climbing up and down a vertical top roping section for a long time can be useful. But there's nothing like being confident on steep or pumpy ground on a trad route, and the easiest place to get this is probably by climbing lots on steep or pumpy routes down the wall.

"LMB asked - Do you modify your diet in any way to help improve your training? What are the sorts of foods you consume on a typical day?

No. Cereal. Sandwiches. Pasta-y stuff etc. Fast, convenient (and cheap) food without too much processed stuff.

Prana asked - Iím sure Dave's diet would be interesting, as would his views on how important animal protein is for peak performance. "

As would mine (at least to me). I'd say it isn't important. There have been lots of good climbers who are or were vegetarian or even vegan. Unless you want to build muscle then consult specialist literature.

"Es asked - I'd quite like to know about what you can do in quite a short space of time to get the most out of a climbing holiday. "

Fudge up on the guidebook, buy loads of cheap paper backs for when it rains, cheap slide film, and sweets for the plane. Do as much climbing as you can so that you're feeling good and confident before you get there, without embarking on any project missions or epics that could distract you from the holiday.

"Enty asked - I weigh 12.5 stones but I reckon if you cut me in half the legs would weigh at least 9.5 stones. Is there any point me ever going to a climbing wall and will I ever be a good Sport climber. At the age of 38 can I forget about 8A? "

Yes if you need to, yes maybe. And no, not necessarily.

There are F8a slabs in the world, for which legs are probably useful. There are big 8a climbers in the world. There are old 8a climbers in the world. Can't be all that hard then.

Just thought you'd want to know what the standard advice, cold logic, and the KISS principle say.
Fiend - on 24 Feb 2007
In reply to Paz:

> This is good stuff, and it has been food for thought. But does anyone think the questions weren't really answered? I know he thought there were other fundamental issues about training that were more important, but it almost reads to me like he said some stuff he was going to say anyway.

Yeah, agreed, I said as much in Mick's version of this thread.
Paz - on 24 Feb 2007
In reply to Fiend:

I missed that.

I had this idea that I could do it all with one word anwers, then realised that would be useless to everyone.
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Paz - on 27 Feb 2007
bump.

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