/ Keeping fitness topped up in Summer

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Cake 05 Jun 2019

In recent years, when time on rock in the summer has been more limited, I have noticed that my fitness starts wane by late July because I haven't been training indoors.

This year I feel more determined not to let this happen, but without resorting to going indoors when the weather is good.

This is roughly what I am attempting to do:

1) I seem to be getting out properly trad climbing once a week for a decent sesh once a week. I am making sure I do at least one climb that is genuinely exhausting each time.

2) Fingerboarding once a week going for maximum contact strength

3) I have started going to Stanage End doing reps of some of the traverses up there like Flatwall traverse, the ones right of Hamper' Hang, etc.. At the beginning of Spring I was going soloing instead of this, but, although fun, I don't think it really trains anything much, so I've stopped for now.

Assuming that I will not find a load more time up my sleeve, am I missing anything? I am onsighting about E2 and pushing onsight grade is what I'm after. 

Ta

2
Jon Stewart 05 Jun 2019
In reply to Cake:

When I lived nearby, I used to go to Stoney and do laps on Wee Doris and Cabbage Crack on a shunt. Debatable whether this is more pleasant than climbing indoors, but climbing on the shunt is definitely scarier!

joeldering 05 Jun 2019
In reply to Cake:

Broomgrove Road Wall?

(or maybe the traverses at Rubicon)

DubyaJamesDubya 06 Jun 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

So you are the one responsible for them being polished horrors

1
Rigid Raider 06 Jun 2019
In reply to Cake:

Surely you are talking about muscle strength, not fitness?

The body reacts remarkably fast to stress so bulk will disappear fast if you stop stressing the muscles as I know to my cost, nine months after a clavicle break. In the same way the body rebuilds bulk remarkably fast when you re-stress the muscles, especially if they were formerly strong. So why not go to a gym?

As for cardio-vascular fitness, mountain biking is great and it's good for arm and shoulder strength too but road cycling will get you even fitter. However if you do a lot of road cycling the body will tend to "rob" the upper body muscles for the benefit of legs and cardio-vascular fitness. Look at cycling pros with their skinny arms.

2
AlanLittle 06 Jun 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Well, you’re definitely contributing to them becoming even less pleasant 

1
MischaHY 06 Jun 2019
In reply to Cake:

Sounds like endurance is your main issue. If you could manage a couple of hours twice a week down the wall you'd probably be onsighting E4 by the end of the summer. 

Short of this, you can train endurance on a fingerboard by doing repeaters on bigger holds. 12 sets of 6 reps 7/3 is a good example. Depending on how keen you are you could also consider some core etc. 

Honestly though, could you get out a bit more? It's always better outside ;-) 

Post edited at 09:05
Jon Stewart 06 Jun 2019
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya and Alan little:

Oh don't be sanctimonious gits. Those routes are incredibly polished, which is why they make good training routes - they're knackered, they cannot get any worse. 

If you want to blame someone for the polish you need to looking at the generation before me. 

1
Jon Greengrass 06 Jun 2019
In reply to Cake:

1) I seem to be getting out properly trad climbing once a week for a decent sesh once a week. I am making sure I do at least one climb that is genuinely exhausting each time... am I missing anything?

Yes, you've missed that training to failure is failure to train and looking at your logbook, it appears that you climb about 4 single pitch routes during an average outdoor session, that is not  a "decent sesh" its barely a warm up.

If you are struggling with time due to the faff of trad go sport climbing instead, if you can't motivate yourself for low grade Peak limestone sport, why not set up a top-rope after you have a led a trad route and do some laps, on steeper routes this will work your fitness and refine your technique on less steep stuff and jamming cracks.

3
Jon Stewart 06 Jun 2019
In reply to Jon Greengrass:

> Yes, you've missed that training to failure is failure to train

Relevant here? 

> and looking at your logbook, it appears that you climb about 4 single pitch routes during an average outdoor session, that is not  a "decent sesh" its barely a warm up.

Balls! It's a normal trad session. There's no way you're climbing anything hard if you're doing stacks of routes. In fairness a trad session isn't training, you're learning skills but it's not going to improve strength or endurance. 

1
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Just to salve your conscience, I held Geraldine’s ropes on a huge amount of laps on Wee Doris and Bitterfingers. Like you say, they were trashed decades ago (way before Geraldine was doing laps btw).

to the op 

I find polished limestone best for keeping strength up. If you like shallow pocket action, then the low level traverse at Rhinestor is just the ticket, as is the slightly esoteric traverse at The P in Matlock Bath, and the low, mid and high traverses at Rubicon.

Tyler 06 Jun 2019
In reply to Jon Greengrass:

> Yes, you've missed that training to failure is failure to train and looking at your logbook, it appears that you climb about 4 single pitch routes during an average outdoor session, that is not  a "decent sesh" its barely a warm up.

I don't follow, in the first half of the sentence you seem to be berating him for doing too much and in the second part you seem to be berating him for doing too little. Regardless, an exhausting session is not necessarily counter productive when you have a couple of subsequent rest days.

DubyaJamesDubya 06 Jun 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Tongue in cheek Jon. I realise you aren't the only climber to have used Wee Doris as a training route.

Having said that, it is surely a benefit of the advent of climbing walls that three star routes can get a bit less use for training (unless you take the view that they encourage more climbing and thus more polish...)

Post edited at 14:23
Cake 07 Jun 2019
In reply to joeldering:

> (or maybe the traverses at Rubicon)

I've never tried Broomgrove Rd Wall yet. That's a good idea. 

Part of the reason I'm going to Stanage is that I'm in Sheffield (I should have said) and if I've only got a short time, it's only 25 mins travelling time to such a convenient place. I think Rubicon is probably too far for a short session.

Cake 07 Jun 2019
In reply to Rigid Raider:

> Surely you are talking about muscle strength, not fitness?

Sorry if my terminology is wrong. I want to be able to get up stuff that I can't do when I get too pumped in the summer when I haven't been training. I thought this was a type of fitness, I should have said "climbing fitness"

> The body reacts remarkably fast to stress so bulk will disappear fast if you stop stressing the muscles as I know to my cost, nine months after a clavicle break. In the same way the body rebuilds bulk remarkably fast when you re-stress the muscles, especially if they were formerly strong. So why not go to a gym?

I didn't think I should go to a regular gym because I thought that as my weakness is climbing specific, I should train by climbing. Is this not correct?

> As for cardio-vascular fitness, mountain biking is great and it's good for arm and shoulder strength too but road cycling will get you even fitter. However if you do a lot of road cycling the body will tend to "rob" the upper body muscles for the benefit of legs and cardio-vascular fitness. Look at cycling pros with their skinny arms.

Again, I don't think cardio-vascular fitness has anything much to do with the climbing fitness I'm looking for.

Cake 07 Jun 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Wee Doris and Cabbage Crack on a shunt. 

Certainly doesn't appeal, and I'd have thought that there must be more efficient ways to stay on top of fitness outdoors (I may be wrong), plus Stoney's 30 mins away.

Cake 07 Jun 2019
In reply to MischaHY:

> Sounds like endurance is your main issue. If you could manage a couple of hours twice a week down the wall you'd probably be onsighting E4 by the end of the summer. 

> Short of this, you can train endurance on a fingerboard ...

> Honestly though, could you get out a bit more? It's always better outside ;-) 

That's just what I'm asking about, really. Given my time is limited, and, for argument's sake let's say I have no more time available than that which I have described (family commitments, etc), am I using my time training time the best way? I figured that I need to keep the endurance going so I thought I would do it on some nice close-by grit which forces me to use a good bit of technique rather than the fingerboard which requires none. Do you think that the traversing will not be able to train endurance effectively?

Cake 07 Jun 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> In fairness a trad session isn't training, you're learning skills but it's not going to improve strength or endurance. 

No, not improve, but I figure that if I haven't tried hard, on at least two routes, fitness is probably going backwards.

Jon Stewart 07 Jun 2019
In reply to Cake:

> Certainly doesn't appeal, and I'd have thought that there must be more efficient ways to stay on top of fitness outdoors (I may be wrong), plus Stoney's 30 mins away.

I didn't do it for long for the same reason. What I did do a lot of was soloing at Stanage, but as you say you're kidding yourself if you think it's training. To make it a bit more physical, I had a circuit with a lot of routes starting with hard moves, for example, starting up Desperation but traversing right below the next hard move if I didn't fancy it, up, then back along Rubber Band. Greengrocer Wall, the direct start to The Nose, Punket, Suzanne, that type of thing. But it still wasn't really training because I knew the routes so well I could do them in my sleep - but it was a lot more fun than doing laps on that polished bollocks at Stoney!

These days, for my sins, I go and do the Red Wall traverse at Trowbarrow. That's bollocks as well, but at least it's a bit further from the road than Wee Doris.

1
Cake 07 Jun 2019
In reply to Jon Greengrass:

> If you are struggling with time due to the faff of trad go sport climbing instead, if you can't motivate yourself for low grade Peak limestone sport, why not set up a top-rope after you have a led a trad route and do some laps, on steeper routes this will work your fitness and refine your technique on less steep stuff and jamming cracks.

Thanks.

I admit that this is not training, but I'm not going to give it up, because it's the whole point isn't it? To have fun onsighting stuff. The other two parts are the training and I want to improve them if possible. They are meant to be quick wins, and I'm afraid that the sport is not a quick win as it's that much further away (Horseshoe doesn't count) and I just need to fit it in by myself really.

Cake 07 Jun 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Thanks for the Desperation circuit idea. Sounds good I'm thinking if I can get pumped and repeat it lots, it should help. Right?

Cake 07 Jun 2019
In reply to paul__in_sheffield:

>  If you like shallow pocket action, then the low level traverse at Rhinestor is just the ticket, as is the slightly esoteric traverse at The P in Matlock Bath, and the low, mid and high traverses at Rubicon.

Thanks,

Do you really go all that way just for some limestone traversing? Rubicon's one thing, but I definitely won't be able to squeeze the other two in after tea. Perhaps I'm making a wild, erroneous assumption that you live in Sheffield too.

Jon Stewart 07 Jun 2019
In reply to Cake:

> Thanks for the Desperation circuit idea. Sounds good I'm thinking if I can get pumped and repeat it lots, it should help. Right?

Yeah...but I wouldn't recommend getting too pumped while you're on Rubber Band, it's 50ft up you know! If you're doing stuff to get pumped, it needs to be at ground level, and I'm afraid all the long pumpy traverses I can think of are on limestone.  You may have to face the fact that for stamina training, grit is not the venue, unless you do laps on a steep route at Higgar or something. Later in the summer, when the grit is sweaty and midge-ridden, you'll be much better off on the limestone anyway.

Jon Stewart 07 Jun 2019
In reply to Cake:

> Do you really go all that way just for some limestone traversing?

I've spent the odd happy summer evening bouldering at Rhinestor. It's a nice spot. The climbing is a bit horrible, but it's pocketed limestone, you get what you're given. Better than sweaty, midgy grit on a hot summer's night.

You're working within very tight constraints. If you want to train on grit, then use a top-rope. If you want to  do pumpy traverses and avoid the midges, go on limestone. Or if you're really short of time, go indoors on a cirtcuit board. Can't have it all!

Post edited at 21:16
Cake 07 Jun 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Yeah thanks,

I'm not fixated on grit. It's the time. I reckon Rubicon might work for an evening. Bits of Minus Ten might work too, I suppose.

MischaHY 14 Jun 2019
In reply to Cake:

I just really doubt you're in a situation where you couldn't also fit in a 30 minute fingerboard session a few times a week. If you're not psyched for it then that's fine, but I can't believe you don't have any time for it at all. Even just 30mins of fingerboard repeaters a few times a week will have a huge impact on fitness and finger strength. 

purkle 15 Jun 2019
In reply to Cake:

It's been pissing it down! Certainly my climbing strength has improved loads in the past few weeks (my endurance less so because I haven't been training it properly). If it's constantly amazing weather then I definitely get it, but I really haven't lost any enjoyment recently by not going out to showering seeping crags...


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