/ strength, power, endurance. what comes first?

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justdoit 09 Jan 2020

hello, 

I am wondering what others do for the training season. mainly im wondering about what order or 'is there any order? that people train in different areas. keeping it simple im asking about strength (mainly relating to finger strength e.g max hangs). power, this is something ive never really trained before specifically, im looking more at aerobic as I usually climb routes (foot on campus laddering?) anymore suggestions? Then endurance, this is usually (4x4 mainly boulder, 7,3's fingerboard, route pyramid e.g 6a,6a+,6b,6b+,6c,6c+,7a,6c+,6c etc. 

what I really want to get to if I haven't already is what order would people train these different areas in, the way i am doing it atm is. strength, power, endurance. 

I started training September - November, this included lots of very easy milage, lots of core (and still doing it), antagonistic. 

thanks 

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jezb1 09 Jan 2020
In reply to justdoit:

Need to know what your aim is really, and where you’re currently at relative to that.

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justdoit 09 Jan 2020
In reply to jezb1:

this year (2020) I AM going to climb 7b, also for trad I want to onsight more British 5c/6a. 

currently I am still doing strength training (so hangs on finger board for 10 sec 3 mins rest x 6 on 20mm holds) 2 times a week, also plenty of bouldering indoors and outside. routes indoors. also core after every session and antagonistic. I plan to continue this until February, then start the power training, but keep up with the fingerboarding. then training endurance mid march, all the way to end of April. if all goes to plan obviously.  

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Jon Stewart 09 Jan 2020
In reply to justdoit:

Over the years I've done a handful of coaching sessions and got their ideas on training plans. Each time it's been quite different both because I've been different in my strengths and weakness, and because they've had different ideas.

The general principle is to assess your strengths and weaknesses and how these relate to your goals. So one time for me the coach thought I had pretty good finger strength but shit endurance, so he set me off doing loads of route 4x4s. Another time a different dude thought my endurance was good and finger strength crap (but I actually think his Lattic TM data was pretty wonky for my relatively low grade) so he had me finger boarding and bouldering mostly.

My personal experience is that I found the very sciency Lattice assessment missed the mark for me. I think any decent coach could spend a session watching you boulder, do a few hangs, climb some routes etc, and work out strengths and weaknesses without all the numerical stuff. You'll get much better advice from someone like than folk on here who haven't see what sort of climber you are - but obviously it costs a few quid.

Personally, I tend to focus on strength (bouldering board) Oct-Dec, then Jan-Mar do more routes stuff (4x4s or trying hard routes). This way I'm pretty fit early season, after which follows a gradual descent into being absolutely shite as I spend most of the summer just walking up hills and standing around with the occasional pitch of not very hard climbing (mountain trad). If I wanted to redpoint sport routes, I'd probably do something completely different, involving a lot more PE (redpointing indoors and PE circuits).

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jkarran 10 Jan 2020
In reply to justdoit:

> this year (2020) I AM going to climb 7b, also for trad I want to onsight more British 5c/6a.

From what reasonably consistent high point this year and what is actually holding you back? 7b is achievable without going near a finger/campus board, whether that's the right way for you to tick a 7b and whether that's the fun way for you to get there...

jk

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Andy Hardy 10 Jan 2020
In reply to justdoit:

I'd train what you're worst at.

Failing that the classic periodisation thing is phase 1 - endurance, phase 2 - strength, phase 3 - power endurance, phase 4 - active rest. with different numbers of weeks per phase and sessions per week, I'm sure your google-fu is better than mine...

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douwe 10 Jan 2020
In reply to justdoit:

This article has some good information about training for sport climbing regarding different energy systems. Worth a read if you haven't already.

http://alexbarrowsclimbing.blogspot.com/2014/02/training-for-sport-climbing.html?m=1

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1poundSOCKS 10 Jan 2020
In reply to justdoit:

> I am wondering what others do for the training season. mainly im wondering about what order or 'is there any order?

Given a 3 month winter window indoors I prioritise strength; fingers and core. That tends to set my ceiling for the rest of the year as I gain a lot of power endurance and endurance outside but my strength tends to plateau at best. And I spend plenty of time on movement practice, mainly bouldering 2 or 3 V grades below max.

I do some endurance at the wall maybe once a week, and also to keep my head when it comes to falling, but I don't see that as priority as I get to the crag 3 or 4 times a week when the weather improves. Mainly redpointing on bolts with occasional trad.

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Liamhutch89 10 Jan 2020
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

> And I spend plenty of time on movement practice, mainly bouldering 2 or 3 V grades below max.

Interesting. I tend to boulder above my 'in a session' max for technique improvements, which are needed to compensate for a strength deficit! 

Suppose both methods can be beneficial as the volume and variation of moves are limited in my method

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1poundSOCKS 10 Jan 2020
In reply to Liamhutch89:

> Interesting. I tend to boulder above my 'in a session' max for technique improvements, which are needed to compensate for a strength deficit! 

> Suppose both methods can be beneficial as the volume and variation of moves are limited in my method

Yes. I can do far more without getting tired, which adds up to a lot more time climbing. And I can do it when I'm tired so I can focus on strength training when I'm rested.

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In reply to justdoit:

So the general idea is if you are going to do a periodised training programme to start with aerobic and capillarisation work (ARCing). This will promote good blood and energy flow to climbing muscles.

Then move to Strength usually focusing on neurological gains before physiological gains, finally with strength is to focus on power. The argument being you want to have the strength before moving onto the next phase of Strength Endurance. Similarly within this phase you can't develop max power with max strength. Too much strength/finger training and you'll probably injure a finger as you out grown the strength of the connective tissue. 

Then Strength Endurance (Anerobic) whether you focus on routes or boulders for this would depend on your goals. Too much strength endurance and you'll muscle will get weaker (after ally are essentially bathing them in lactic acid every time you train). 

I spend roughly 4 weeks on each as a good rule of thumb, as easy to fit in one month. 

However there is also the idea that you can instead spend one month cycling through each of these but focus on your weaknesses. In which case the order is less critical, but avoid focusing on any one thing for too long. So finger strength might be a weakness so train it for a month, but next month you might decide to focus on shoulder or bicep strength instead.

There is a 14 week overview to periodised training here.

https://snowdoniamountainguides.com/instructional-art/14-week-periodised-rock-climbing-training-program/

https://snowdoniamountainguides.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/14-Week-Climbing-Training-Program-PDF.pdf



 

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Fishmate 13 Jan 2020
In reply to justdoit:

> currently I am still doing strength training (so hangs on finger board for 10 sec 3 mins rest x 6 on 20mm holds) 2 times a week, also plenty of bouldering indoors and outside. routes indoors. also core after every session and antagonistic. I plan to continue this until February, then start the power training, but keep up with the fingerboarding. then training endurance mid march, all the way to end of April. if all goes to plan obviously.  

One consideration is that fingerboarding like any stimulus is affected by neural adaptation. Unless I misunderstood you, your protocol is 6 ten second hangs. Continuing any protocol for more than 6 weeks tends to produce diminishing returns because the brain has decided that the stimulus is all too familiar and no longer providing suitable stress. The purpose is to have a built in escalation factor. 10 seconds is generally too long for standard strength work and 6 reps is too small to induce a valuable adaptation unless you are adding weights, which you don't mention.

I would agree that 20mm is a good edge size to work with.

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UKB Shark 13 Jan 2020
In reply to Fishmate:

I think 10 secs is fine. If you check out Eva Lopez studies she advocates 10 sec hangs for strength work and 6 reps or even less is fine provided you are fully recruited from other hangs or bouldering for those hard hangs.

Your point about a progressive escalation factor is well made. This can be done by adding weight, using a smaller edge, reducing number of fingers or increasing hang duration. Also changing the protocol every few weeks is good to provide fresh stimulation especially if you are getting diminishing returns from an existing session. A week off every few weeks is also a good idea.

To the OP. You may be doing this already but a lengthy progressive warm up on gradually harder hangs is vital to get your fingers (forearm flexors) recruited so you get the most out of your hardest hangs.

Post edited at 10:09
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Robert Durran 13 Jan 2020
In reply to justdoit:

Interesting reading. I have always gone by the rule that, when preparing for a bolt clipping trip, I should roughly concerntrate on strength first and end with endurance with power endurance in the middle. This seems logical to me because my strength, once gained, seems to last a long time while endurance gains start getting lost after a couple of weeks. But maybe I've been doing it all wrong!

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UKB Shark 13 Jan 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

I think theory is that you can keep training the stamina stuff for longer and get gains so it has a longer cycle than than the power, strength and power endurance. That's the theory anyway.

For those of us more limited by strength/power it may be better to concentrate doing a few cycles of that (maybe keeping the stamina ticking over) and and do more PE and stamina trading as the trip/season approaches. (Well, thats what Im doing anyway).

  

Post edited at 13:45
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Fishmate 13 Jan 2020
In reply to UKB Shark:

Exactly, I used the Lopez 10 second protocol for 1RM testing last week. Still feeling it

The results inform you of the weight for the training protocol. I'm going with 7/53 x3 reps x 3 sets, progressing to 6 sets over 6 weeks for pre season. It brought good results for last autumn. I would recommend that you don't test on your own. The neural effects when you reach max are quite powerful and it's better to be safe than sorry.

I definitely second a progressive warm up. Tom Randall advises well on this in his latest Lattice video on YT. Well worth watching whether you are familiar with such approaches or not.

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In reply to Fishmate:

Is that the Lopez "Intermittant Hang" protocol though - i.e. repeaters? I think Shark is referring to the "Max Hang" protocol that Eva Lopez is best known for - i.e. use near maximum limit added mass for a 10s hang, do hang once, rest 2-3 minutes x 3-6 reps (so a small number of widely interspersed, very hard hangs with long rests).

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Fishmate 14 Jan 2020
In reply to thebigfriendlymoose:

It is a Lopez creation, perhaps marginally different. I take 80% of my 1RM to use for the training cycle. 7 seconds on, 53 seconds off repeated twice with 3 minutes rest x 3 sets increasing to 6 over the cycle. It's sufficiently heavy that it's advised you don't climb hard during the cycle but work on technique and movement.

10 seconds is used to establish your 1RM not for the cycle which is 7 seconds. It worked for me prior to autumn season last year. Hoping I'll be saying that again come March... for what it's worth my new working weight is higher than last years 1RM.

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