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Topic - What's the optimal bouldering session?

Cellinski - on 17 Jan 2013
Iím a 38 years old, have been climbing for 22 years, have a full time job and a family with 2 little kids. Iím not unhappy with my climbing, I do sport up to F8a redpoint and boulder up to about Fb 7A+. My strengths in sport climbing are resistance, technique and experience. Vice versa, I think I'm physically rather weak (by nature). What is perhaps important to know is that my (outdoor) focus is also on alpine multipitch (sport) climbing, ice climbing, mountaineering and all sorts of stuff, some inspiration is to be found on my blog (though in German, and not relevant to my question): http://mdettling.blogspot.ch/

Because I'm putting quite a bit of effort into my "training", without making much progress, Iím a bit unsure about my current (winter) training routine, i.e. about its efficiency. I can usually do 3 boulder sessions a week (TUE - THU - SAT or SUN), each lasting 2h. Changing intensity and session length will hardly be realistic, due to family and work commitments. Moreover, I enjoy my sessions (really!). I just wonder if there are (little) things that I'm doing wrongly, and which hamper progress.

My usual session is as follows:

~20 min warm up: starting with easy boulders and only taking short breaks, progressing to more difficult terrain until I can feel very light pump. Then, I take a good break and start the next phase.

~60-80min power: working on (for me) hard boulders / projects. Usually in the 4-12 moves range, thus either max power or (short) power endurance. Mostly Iím taking longer breaks (2-8min) until I feel well enough recovered for a good next try in a project.

~20-40min endurance: as soon as I either donít recover enough to make fruitful attempts in my projects, or at the latest when there are only 20mins left until the session ends, I start doing endurance training by doing circuits, i.e. boulders below my max limit with short breaks only.

At the end of the endurance session, Iím usually knackered, meaning that I will have problems to complete powerful Fb 6B problems. Thus, I have the impression of a good workout, and go home happy and satisfied. Nevertheless, it feels to me as if I could do such a session on a daily basis, i.e. until the next day, I feel fully recovered.

On a global scale, my climbing ability has never been better than today, but also pretty much plateaued in the last 3-4 years. From my gut feeling, Iíd perhaps say that I still progress very, very slowly. But my results (when measuring in terms of climbed sport routes up to a certain grade) remained very similar over the past 3 years. I donít really expect (and neither need to) break through to another level, but nevertheless, a few questions:

- are my sessions intelligently structured?
- any ideas on how to improve efficiency?
- what would you change?

Many thanks for any thoughts and help!
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