/ Critique my training

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tombeasley - on 31 Jan 2013
I'd be interested in the thoughts of the UK Climbing faithful on my training plan. I enjoy training as much as seeing the gains but hope to see some climbing benefits!

My goals are to be able to climb harder to open up access to more classic sport, boulder and trad routes at the higher grades. Id describe myself as reasonable mid grade on Sport, Bouldering & Trad.

Mon home wall session (frenchies, fingerboard, agnostic and campus) & Short run
Tues wall session (boulder)
Weds home wall session and run
Thurs wall session (boulder)
Friday home wall session
Saturday run
Sunday climb (sport, boulder & occasional trad)

Time to train other than the wall session is limited to home due to family commitments. I also do some theraband agnostic training sit ups & press ups most evenings.
craig1983 - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to tombeasley:

Personally I've always been of the opinion that the body needs at least 1 days rest... but I'm sure some will disagree.
krikoman - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to tombeasley: Critique my training - it's rubbish
edinburgh_man on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to tombeasley:
"I also do some theraband agnostic training sit ups & press ups most evenings".

* Agnostic: "One who believes that it is impossible to know whether there is a God."

- Cool, but how do you train for that?

I assume you mean "agonist" or "antagonist" - although I'd prefer it if you really do train to be an agnostic.



RockSteady on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to tombeasley:

You're climbing pretty hard already so that would suggest you know what you're doing.

What I'd say about this plan is it's quite non-specific? What are you trying to achieve in each of those sessions? What do you do in a home wall session vs wall session? Are you trying to improve aerobic endurance, anaerobic endurance, strength, power? Easier to do them in phases than all at the same time.

I'm sure you'll see gains from this volume of training but you'll want to mix it up and focus on specific things to maximise the efficiency of your training.

PS think you probably mean antagonists rather than agnostics ;)
redcal - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to tombeasley: In other news...Pope bans theraband training from Catholic church.

More seriously, schedule a proper rest day. Important to recover properly to train harder next session.
biscuit - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to tombeasley:

He does have a rest day - on saturday when he goes for a run. Doesn't use any climbing muscles of note.

It's hard to say without seeing th intensity of what you do.

To me it looks like a strength/power orientated workout. Lots of bouldering, fingerboard and campussing.

If that suits your goals then cool.

If not then how flexible is your home wall to bring some PE work in or if needs be get down a roped wall and tie in now and then. I am in the same boat time wise so i ppreciate what you are saying. I put some campus rungs on my ( single panel ) home board and did foot on campussing ( 2 min on 4 min off for 4 sets ) supposed to be good for PE.

If this is a new phase then crack on, if you've been doing the same for a while ( more than 8-12 weeks for str ) then you need to mix it up. That doesn't mean go away from str/pow if that's what you're after but change the exercise intensity/duration/rest phases of the ones you are doing.
Jon Stewart - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to tombeasley:

I reckon you probably know a lot more about training than me, but that doesn't look like a plan that'll help get better at trad - no aerobic endurance in there. When I've had coaching advice for trad, it's been along the lines of: remember you're going to be on a pitch for an hour, you don't want to be getting tired half way.

And I know I couldn't do that much bouldering (I'm taking the home wall to be intense on the fingers/amrs/elbows?) - 5 days straight sounds like a recipe for f^cked elbows. 2 days on 1 day off for elbow-heavy stuff is my limit.
davo - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to tombeasley:

> Mon home wall session (frenchies, fingerboard, agnostic and campus) & Short run
> Tues wall session (boulder)
> Weds home wall session and run
> Thurs wall session (boulder)
> Friday home wall session
> Saturday run
> Sunday climb (sport, boulder & occasional trad)
>

Wow! That is a lot of volume! Personally I couldn't sustain that amount of climbing each week. Maybe once or twice every couple of months to shock the system.

If I was to make a suggestion it would be that you need to think about rest days in the week.

If you want to get stronger then training less but more intensely is the way forward, you can still combine this with a session of volume based climbing somewhere in the week for endurance and recovery.

Personally I generally do something like the following:

Monday: Hangs, campus, boulder + short pe circuits

Tuesday: Rest

Wednesday: Hangs, campus, boulder + longer pe circuits

Thursday: Rest

Fri: Long circuits/routes

Sat: Rest

Sun: Climb outdoors hopefully.

Quite often I actually climb 2 days at weekend and then rest on monday. Depends on weather forecast. However even if I was training for a sport trip away I wouldn't do more than 2-3 consecutive days on at the wall.

Obviously none of this is based on science just what I have found works reasonably well for me.

Good Luck Dave

Pero - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to tombeasley: I'd be bored stiff if I climbed and bouldered that often. I'd be interested to know what pros do. When you're climbing outdoors, are you not still tired and recovering from your training?

If you were a pro sportsman, like a runner, you'd have to schedule in rest before competitions.

I'm lucky if I get to the wall once a week, but I think you're overdoing the training!
The Ex-Engineer - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to tombeasley: FWIW I am rather dubious about how you can have a productive home wall session after a bouldering session the day before.

Certainly, if I've had a proper bouldering session at the wall there isn't any chance of me being able to do any worthwhile strength related training the next day. Also, the more I'm progressing in training, the more it is the case that I need recovery time. Stretching or running the next day would be about it, or potentially some trad climbing.

Also the last thing you want is a fixed weekly routine. You should be aiming to build up in both intensity and volume over 4-6 week cycles before having a recovery phase/week and then repeating.
Luke Owens - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to tombeasley:

Do you have any glaring weaknesses that you know of? If so I like to have 1 or 2 sessions a week concentrating specifically on these. Do you do any core training?
davo - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to Pero:
> (In reply to tombeasley) I'd be bored stiff if I climbed and bouldered that often. I'd be interested to know what pros do. When you're climbing outdoors, are you not still tired and recovering from your training?
>

A bizarre response to a genuine query about training! Clearly the op isn't bored stiff by it and wants constructive advice about structuring his training.



tombeasley - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to davo: Thanks for the feedback interesting to get some differing advice despite my incorrect use of language!

I enjoy training so getting bored isn't a problem and the wall sessions are great fun, they are replaced by getting outside more in the summer.

Saturday is my climbing rest day and I can always miss a home session if I feel I need it.

My sessions at home tend to be short moving from wall, finger board etc. I can usually just finish my plan. Power & Power endurance are my main goals as my stamina is ok.

I'd be interested in what others do and what difference it makes.
tombeasley - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to krikoman:
> (In reply to tombeasley) Critique my training - it's rubbish

errr thanks! I know who to ask for future help
tombeasley - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to davo:
> (In reply to Pero)
> [...]
>
> A bizarre response to a genuine query about training! Clearly the op isn't bored stiff by it and wants constructive advice about structuring his training.

Spot on! thanks
davo - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to The Ex-Engineer:

> Also the last thing you want is a fixed weekly routine. You should be aiming to build up in both intensity and volume over 4-6 week cycles before having a recovery phase/week and then repeating.

Am quite interested in this. I have previously thought exactly the same as this and done a fair bit of periodised training specifically in preparation for sports trips away.In general it has worked really well for long routes and I have done better than I expected.

However I have found that it did not actually get me any stronger and prepare me for British sport climbing. (Maybe this is exagerating things but is not too far away from the truth).

As a consequence it is my opinion (backed up by no science whatsoever!) that periodised plans don't necessarily work that well for climbing. Basically they all involve a large base load/volume followed by an increase in intensity and decrease in volume. At the end I feel amazingly fit and have great power endurance but am not actually any stronger (by stronger I mean finger strength). I feel that because of the nature of forearm muscles, finger tendons and ligaments having low blood flow it is necessary to do a lot more consistent strength work than is usual in the endurance sports where most of the periodised plans come from.

These days I try to consistently build up finger strength with hangs at the start of most sessions, then I boulder and campus a bit and after a bit of that I then do some PE circuits. Once a week I do some endurance/recovery training but only enough to just keep ticking over.

So far I feel like my finger strength has improved, my power endurance is miles better because I am stronger on individual moves. My recovery/endurance is average and would need improving if I was off to Spain but I suspect it would only take 3 or 4 sessions of hard endurance training to get a good result.

Admittedly the downside to this is that I have had a few more injuries this year!

Genuinely interested in other peoples' thoughts

Dave

Richard Hession on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to tombeasley:

Be careful of anything dave says, he's held together by strappal tape! ;)

I think higher intensity sessions and more rest days would be best in the short term to build up a bit of strength. Use the rest days to theraband and stretch to help stave off dodgy shoulders, elbows and back!
tombeasley - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to davo: Likewise periodization always seems to be tricky to plan and perhaps restrictive?

I enjoy training but enjoy going climbing far more!
davo - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to Richard Hession:

I prefer to think of it as an exo-skeleton!
tombeasley - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to Luke Owens: Too many weaknesses! I do some core stuff, sit-ups, leg raises but could do more for sure.
Richard Hession on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to tombeasley:

My number 1 tip is to try really hard, then chill in a chair all day eating as much as possible!
shark - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to tombeasley:

I've found that day on day off works well if the sessions are hard bouldering or other strength/power work having an easy week once a month with no fingerboard.

IMO ditch the running unless its for weight loss or pleasure.
pork pie girl - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to davo: i find by just climbing routes over the summer improves my finger strength, technique and endurance... and i push myself hard (for me... in terms of grades... from 6b (my limit uop until last summer but i never tried climbing harder on sports routes) to 7b in one season.. but that isn't uncommom because most people that apply themselves to sports climbing and generally try hard will achieve similar gains)
when i wnet back to indoor bouldering (in the winter) i was weak as *iss, feeling disappointed that all my efforts didn't amount to very much power being gained... usually climbed four times a week.. two or three of these sessons at malham and always climbing to my limit and then one session somewhere like giggleswick or robin protcor for fun and to try and stop my partner from ending our relationship.. (she was getting fed up of malham!!!)

the learning from this is to discipline myself to boulder hard stuff (again hard stuff for me would be v5 to v7) to try and maintain and power i have gained this winter .. with the plan being that i hopefully benefit when climbing routes this summer and I will be starting from close to where i am now in terms of power and can hopefully build on this next with increased power training thru out thewinter and then capitalise on it next season

as far as doing lots of exercise is concerned it sounds like i am a bit smiliar to the OP... i do intense cardio most days (as i cycle alot and i'm into that just almost as much as climbing)but on days i don't climb i always weight train as well as do the cardio. i find rest days inconvenient but know i need to factor them in... i rest about every 7 to 10 days

as far as injuries are concerned, the injuries i got at malham last summer have healed apart from a finger injury, but lots of bouldering on steep stuff makes one of my elbows a bit sore... but it it's a 2/10 sore so not bad and clicks when i straighten my arm

(started doing more press ups to try and balance things out a bit.. but don't like training chest that must as my pecs develop too quickly and a tiny tit hanging off a pec looks crap!! well i think so anyway)

i can't get into the finger board stuff.. i tend try and work my fingers as much as i can by going to crimpy problems as well as other stuff.

i think endurance can develop very quickly .. i tend to do one session of leading routes with laps on top rope to end with about once a week.. increasing this two twice a week two or three weeks before climbing trip. but i don't expect much from the first trip aftre months of doing no rock climbing... before now i have gone for volume routes, this time i'm going to try a bit of bagging routes along with working routes so i get onsight head and red point head going a bit

i'm still experimenting though so trying to suss out what works for me.
pork pie girl - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to Richard Hession: what back injuries are common? just interested
pork pie girl - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to Richard Hession: good tip
Richard Hession on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to pork pie girl:

It's more a case of strengthening the lower back as it can be quite weak on a lot of climbers who develop a 'strong core' but only in the one place (I.e. the front) and is really useful for steep climbing.

I managed to pull mine getting a pair of 5.10 teams on and now regularly work on the physio exercises to strengthen it and avoid it tightening up. its good to combine with a theraband and half dumbell shoulder and elbow exercises routine on rest days. Conditioning is pretty important if you want to push hard at training and improvement (IMO). Especially if you are getting on a bit like myself!
quiffhanger - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to tombeasley:

Looks like you're concentrating on strength/power: probably not a bad idea (depending on goals) as I'd say that Font 6c is on the low side for a F7c climber.

But possibly too much if you're really working strength. Particularly, Monday, you're key strength day isn't going to work well straight after an outdoor sesh which is presumably long and tiring. You've got to be rested and ready to pull really hard to get stronger.

If your fit I reckon you can generally climb multiple consecutive days but sessions cant be too long and nutrition & sleep become really important. And you'll need a break eventually.

I hear Dave's comments on periodisation - agree it doesn't suit mortal weekend warriors so well who need to maintain everything all the time to take max advantage of weather windows etc. However there is one broad period that suits us all: what's the point in being fit over winter? It's too f-ing cold & the days are to short to spend 2 hours on some trad pitch (which is probably wet anyway). Getting a little bit more specific try and match suitable times of your life to stuff. Strength takes the least amount of time to train imo, so do it when you have the least amount of time. The run up to Christmas works for me - not so much time and a little natural weight belt :) Conversely make sure the family are prepared for your absence sorted before committing to a fitness drive.

My main point is proper periodisation might be tricky but mixing it up is essential. Log gains and if it aint working change something. And remember strength takes bloody ages (at least that's my excuse for why I cant get any more).

-ross
BenNorman - on 01 Feb 2013
In reply to tombeasley: Hi Tom, been reading through this and would definitely suggest one days extra rest, Wed looks like a good candidate. I've been surprised recently at how stopping strong (normally after about 2 hours in a power session) but working at a really high intensity in that time has made a big difference. Also try and organise so that you do a power endurance or higher volume session the day after a pure power session.

Would suggest :
Mon - same as before, high power exercises
Tues - Wall session trying problems, possibly core to end
Wed - Run
Thurs - Climb on a board. The new woody or systems board at tca are perfect. Board climbing has been my best training resource by a long way in the past 6 months!
Fri - Home session focusing on more p.e such as circuits or 4x4's7
Weekend as before.
Also try hard, your strong enough to boulder 7b and climb 7c+ already!
pork pie girl - on 01 Feb 2013
In reply to Richard Hession: you're not getting on a bit!!!

i found that my lower back was quite weak in comparison to my abs... because there was a huge imbalance.. years of doing ab work wit haedly any lower back work... i do alot of core work that involves the lower back now, strated this about 4 years ago and don't have very much trouble now.. apart from tight hip flexor on the right side that makes me walk like pod of john wayne if i'v been sitting for a while (you won't know who pod is as you're too young) ..
hoodmonkey - on 01 Feb 2013
In reply to quiffhanger:

The OP mentions bouldering as one area he wants to improve, so it's arguable that winter is the most improtant time to be fit if that is your focus.

To the OP: how long have you been training like this for? It looks from your logbook, when viewing it side-by-side with your training schedule, that you could potentially be pushing harder grades (if that is something you're interested in). You have lots of years climbing experience and are doing some pretty intense, strength-specific training by the looks of it. Could you maybe look at other areas to help with this? E.G. are you at optimum weight? Do you employ tactics when working problems or redpointing?
tombeasley - on 01 Feb 2013
In reply to hoodmonkey: I've been doing this specific training for three months or so. Before that I mixed it up a bit more and focussed on lots of different sports but still made improvements - though its slowed lots in the last year or so.

I'm keen to push some harder grades, not for the grade specifically but more to climb harder problems & routes with great history and a sense of achievement.

I've lost a stone in the last year by avoiding alcohol in the main but could certainly try harder, get less frustrated and employ better tactics.
The people I climb with makes a big difference i.e. more positive & encouraging have made a massive difference when trying harder stuff.
tombeasley - on 01 Feb 2013
Thanks for your feedback everyone. Its really interesting to get different perspectives. I'm pleased that periodization doesn't seem to be the way forward at this stage, is sounds restrictive and less fun.

It sounds like I need to schedule more rest and concentrate on the intensity of sessions without over training.

Just got to wait for the rain to stop now to be able to get outside - fingers crossed for Roaches tomorrow :-)
seankenny - on 01 Feb 2013
In reply to davo:

> If you want to get stronger then training less but more intensely is the way forward, you can still combine this with a session of volume based climbing somewhere in the week for endurance and recovery.
>
> Personally I generally do something like the following:
>
> Monday: Hangs, campus, boulder + short pe circuits
>
> Wednesday: Hangs, campus, boulder + longer pe circuits

Hi Dave

Some really useful posts here (this and the other one). They sound like they come from hard-earned experience - always good :)

I'm trying to get stronger at the moment, so doing plenty of short, intense sessions. I find that despite only climbing for between one and two hours, I'm pretty spent afterwards and sore the next day. This is fine, in fact I just turned 40 so expect it's pretty much par for the course.

But I'm really aware that I'm not managing to do any PE-type work, even tho I know some of it takes a long time to train effectively (as per Dave Binney's articles). Ideally, I'd like to be doing some PE work at the end of a bouldering session, but tbh I'm pretty tired already. And I can only just about manage a day on/day off routine as it is, without getting injured. If my fingers are feeling tweaky then I'll take more days for sure. Does doing PE work reduce the intensity which you boulder at, or mean you have longer to recover?


LakesWinter on 01 Feb 2013
In reply to tombeasley: I got to bouldering font 7a by climbing only once a week for about 3 months. I raised my bouldering grade from 6a+ ish to 7a in that time, though I had previously done one or 2 6cs a few years back. A good intense outdoor session a week is what is needed for that.
Styx - on 01 Feb 2013
In reply to seankenny:
>
> But I'm really aware that I'm not managing to do any PE-type work, even tho I know some of it takes a long time to train effectively (as per Dave Binney's articles). Ideally, I'd like to be doing some PE work at the end of a bouldering session, but tbh I'm pretty tired already. And I can only just about manage a day on/day off routine as it is, without getting injured. If my fingers are feeling tweaky then I'll take more days for sure. Does doing PE work reduce the intensity which you boulder at, or mean you have longer to recover?

Don't mix your sessions, focus on one thing at a time, either strength OR power endurance, by mixing them you compromise any gains in either.
AJM - on 01 Feb 2013
In reply to seankenny:

Ancap, which I think is what you mean, can be done at the end of a bouldering session or paired with something like aerocap, based on the stuff I've seen. Ally and I had some posts on Fit Club about 2 weeks or so back if it's useful.
AJM - on 01 Feb 2013
In reply to AJM:

Oh and in answer to your last question the anecdotes I've heard and people I've spoken to suggest that they feel that a lot of the strength gains they've made since starting incorporating ancap into training cycles have come from it.
seankenny - on 01 Feb 2013
In reply to AJM:

Good stuff thanks, and yes, I saw the FC posts a few weeks back. In fact, your descriptions of the various terms were the clearest I've read so I've put them all into a little handy to reference document. Cheers!

So practically speaking, instead of just going all out for a full session on the hardest boulder problems I can manage, I should perhaps do 2/3 hard bouldering and then the final third of the session AnCap, ie. sets of hard moves, slightly longer than typical boulder problems, with timed rests in-between. Interesting that this appears to get you stronger than just doing strength exercises...
davo - on 01 Feb 2013
In reply to seankenny:
> (In reply to davo)
>
> I'm trying to get stronger at the moment, so doing plenty of short, intense sessions. I find that despite only climbing for between one and two hours, I'm pretty spent afterwards and sore the next day. This is fine, in fact I just turned 40 so expect it's pretty much par for the course.
>
> But I'm really aware that I'm not managing to do any PE-type work, even tho I know some of it takes a long time to train effectively (as per Dave Binney's articles). Ideally, I'd like to be doing some PE work at the end of a bouldering session, but tbh I'm pretty tired already. And I can only just about manage a day on/day off routine as it is, without getting injured. If my fingers are feeling tweaky then I'll take more days for sure. Does doing PE work reduce the intensity which you boulder at, or mean you have longer to recover?

Hi Sean

I think someone has already answered your question but will give my two penneth anyway.

I can only speak for myself and what I do really so I am sure that if you spoke to a pro they may tell you something different. I have read those articles by Dave Binney and a load of others as well.

Generally when I say that I boulder/campus or deadhange in a sesssion these are not very long at all and leave lots of time to do circuits. For example a typical session might look something like the following:

Warm up: 20 mins or so, gently increasing difficulty of boulder problems attempted.

Deadhangs: 6 to 7 sec hangs slowly increasing in difficulty (probably about 12 hangs in total and done over 15 mins)

Campus: 3 or 4 attempts at something hard for me on each arm (10 mins?)

Boulder: 20 mins at a hard project style problem on a board. Probably only about 10 -12 actual attempts as each move may well be pretty tough for me.

Circuits: 3 attempts at a 20 move circuit with 15 mins in between each attempt (maybe only 10 min rest if I get bored)

As I said the above is not based on lots of studies or evidence just from trying lots of different methods, reading a fair bit and a lot of failure!

The first strength part takes about an hour including warm-up and leaves an hour for circuits. I generally vary the length of the circuits every session. for example one day I do short intense circuits, other days I do medium length (30 ish moves) and other days I either do routes or longer 40 - 50 move circuits. Every so often (once evry 2 weeks ish) I do some longer endurance style work.

In general my main goal is to increase finger strength slowly and safely by doing lots of little sessions and keep maintaining if not slightly increasing my power endurance. As I am not off to Spain any time soon I am just keeping the longer endurance ticking over.

I think someone below mentions not to combine sessions as you will lower the results from each. This is probably true if you are a pro who can do double sessions a day eg strength in morning and then PE in afternoon but for most people I can't see this working and I think it is better to accept a bit of a compromise.

As an aside I also am 40 ( well a couple of days away!) and yes I do feel those aches and pains etc but I reckon it is still possible to keep making good gains as you get older as long as you go slowly and build things up.

Anyway, good luck and hope some of the above helps.

As I said it really is only my opinion and I am sure that there are more efficient ways.

Dave


AJM - on 01 Feb 2013
In reply to seankenny:

Glad it's been of help! I've had the good fortune to spend time with some training geeks over the summer, which means between that and the document I got sent about it I've got a grasp on some of the basics...

Thats the sort of thing I was doing yes although I find it quite hard unless your ancap circuit is on a neglected piece of wall to do it very strictly.
seankenny - on 01 Feb 2013
In reply to AJM:

Thanks guys, this is really useful stuff.
cha1n on 01 Feb 2013
In reply to tombeasley:

Tom, prepare to be overloaded with training information tomorrow!

I never realised you trained so much! Like others have said, the first thing that stands out is the volume, far too much. Remember that when you're training, you're causing lots of micro trauma to your tissues and the rest days are required to heal stronger than before.

Also, I don't think you've really provided enough specific details on your wall sessions for anyone to give some specific help. Knowing you personally, I'd say you need to work problems for longer. You know me, I'll work stuff at TCA for 3-4 sessions without a thought, you have to try stuff that's HARD! If you can do it in a session, it's probably not hard enough to force your body to adapt. I know this is hard for you though because you get bored.

More to follow en route tomorrow!

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