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/ SKILLS: Lattice Training Series with Tom Randall - Part 7: Training Lessons from the Over 50's

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UKC Articles - on 06 Dec 2018
Keith Sharples climbing into his 60s.Crack connoisseur, training guru and director of Lattice Training, Tom Randall, shares some training tips in this training series, complete with live Q&A sessions in the forums from 7-9pm tonight. Ask him anything (within reason...!) in the thread linked to this article during the session.

We're all very aware that as we get older, physical activities become increasingly tough (especially strength, power and agility-wise) and often this leads to a decrease in climbing performance. This is can also be accompanied by increasingly frequent periods of injury or ill health. Is it all a downhill journey though? Can you actually improve your climbing post-50?



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kevin stephens - on 06 Dec 2018
In reply to UKC Articles:

Thanks again for an inciteful article.  I think I and a lot of my peers fall into category 3?  Decades of climbing experience and technique but little or no training focussed on physical conditioning.  Hopefully we have most to gain in being able to deploy all that experience and technique on smaller holds and steeper ground?  We may get spanked by youths indoors but can often outwit them on rock by cunning and guile (so long as it's not too steep)

Although we have avoided training injuries (mainly due to lack of training) I'm aware of need to take care over recovery etc

For a 60 year old cat 3, 6c-7a / E2-E4 climber would more than 2 sessions (1 finger training , 1 power endurance) be reasonable, too much or too little?

 

 

TomPR on 06 Dec 2018
In reply to kevin stephens:

> Thanks again for an inciteful article.  I think I and a lot of my peers fall into category 3?  Decades of climbing experience and technique but little or no training focussed on physical conditioning.  Hopefully we have most to gain in being able to deploy all that experience and technique on smaller holds and steeper ground?  We may get spanked by youths indoors but can often outwit them on rock by cunning and guile (so long as it's not too steep)

> Although we have avoided training injuries (mainly due to lack of training) I'm aware of need to take care over recovery etc

> For a 60 year old cat 3, 6c-7a / E2-E4 climber would more than 2 sessions (1 finger training , 1 power endurance) be reasonable, too much or too little?

Yeah you've hit the nail on the head there, in terms of experience and cunning! I see this a lot where the youth can have incredible levels of power and fitness but they've got a decade worth of climbing still to do where they truly hit the top levels of experience. That stuff you can't fast-track! 

Difficult to give you an exact answer on what is and isn't ok without know a reasonable amount about you, but I'd say to try this:

 

1 x FB and 1 x PE session per week. 

---> If you see improvements try 

2 x FB and 1 x PE per week

--> If you see further improvements REALLY think about some general strength and conditioning around this. 

--> If you see stagnation or reduction in performance with 1 extra FB session, then you might be over-cooking it or getting the intensity of your sessions wrong. There are of course loads of other factors.... it's all a bit hard to say for sure over the internet!

 

Bob Conley on 06 Dec 2018
In reply to UKC Articles:

Thanks for a really interesting article. As someone who rediscovered climbing at age 57 after a 30 year layoff, I can relate to these views quite well. In my first year of getting going again I suffered several shoulder and elbow injuries, primarily because I thought I could just jump back into something that “I used to be able to do”. Then followed a year or two of overdoing it on lead and bouldering walls, with plenty of insufficient rest - probably because I now have the time to do that. Steady improvements did follow and the goalposts kept getting pushed further with each improvement, to the point where I’m now trying to climb harder than I did in my 20’s. 

I’m now following a plan based around the Crimpd app and really enjoying it. The main difference between following this and doing my own thing is that my focus is much greater and I’m resting more so I can enjoy any open climbing sessions better.

I reassessed myself today at the local bouldering wall and pull-up strength has increased by 8% and finger strength by 3% in the past 3 weeks. I’ve been doing two fingerboard sessions a week - one max hangs, and one repeaters - and then weighted pull-ups, on top of other low intensity stuff. Whether this translates into further improvements in my climbing, I’ll find out next year lol, but right now I’m enjoying an easy week. 

TomPR on 06 Dec 2018
In reply to Bob Conley:

> Thanks for a really interesting article. As someone who rediscovered climbing at age 57 after a 30 year layoff, I can relate to these views quite well. In my first year of getting going again I suffered several shoulder and elbow injuries, primarily because I thought I could just jump back into something that “I used to be able to do”. Then followed a year or two of overdoing it on lead and bouldering walls, with plenty of insufficient rest - probably because I now have the time to do that. Steady improvements did follow and the goalposts kept getting pushed further with each improvement, to the point where I’m now trying to climb harder than I did in my 20’s. 

> I’m now following a plan based around the Crimpd app and really enjoying it. The main difference between following this and doing my own thing is that my focus is much greater and I’m resting more so I can enjoy any open climbing sessions better.

> I reassessed myself today at the local bouldering wall and pull-up strength has increased by 8% and finger strength by 3% in the past 3 weeks. I’ve been doing two fingerboard sessions a week - one max hangs, and one repeaters - and then weighted pull-ups, on top of other low intensity stuff. Whether this translates into further improvements in my climbing, I’ll find out next year lol, but right now I’m enjoying an easy week. 

Hi Bob, 

Ah yes, it was me that wrote your plan! Really pleased to see that you're having such good response to it already... it's one of the reasons why we're really keen on collecting data on your current abilities and lots of info in the questionnaire..

We've got lots of chaps in the 50s & 60s who've really seen the light with this stuff and enjoyed getting back into decent shape. It's definitely not easy, but it is worth the effort put in. Just keep it really nice and steady. Slow like the tortoise with physical training ... that hare never won the race ;-)

Have a nice rest week

reubenrules123 - on 06 Dec 2018
In reply to UKC Articles:

Anyone know what the boulder problem in the photo is?

tom_in_edinburgh - on 06 Dec 2018
In reply to UKC Articles:

The best approach to improving your climbing post-50 is to be really really crap at 49.  So far it is working for me.

timparkin - on 07 Dec 2018
In reply to UKC Articles:

Any advice for a 52 year old that has just discovered climbing (a year ago) after a non-sporting life so far? I live in Lochaber so have decent access to facilities and have a mini wall in my shed.

galpinos on 07 Dec 2018
In reply to reubenrules123:

I would guess at Back Street Mime Artist at Burbage North?

ripper - on 07 Dec 2018
In reply to UKC Articles:

Any tips for a 52-year-old who can't train the fingers too much due to onset of osteoarthritis and Heberden's nodes? Oh, and I've also developed bursitis in one shoulder. I'm going through a lazy spell just now but when I'm a bit more on it I just try to do some regular-ish cardio to keep the weight down, and general, all-round upper body stuff including my own made-up movements which I hope will work antagonist muscles in the back/shoulders etc. I generally climb indoors once a week, occasionally twice - any more than that, or even one tough session, makes my swollen DIP knuckles hurt. Outdoors I prefer trad, where guile, craft and calculated boldness seem to help me just about keep pace with the younger whippersnappers in my club, so far at least.


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