A new thread is posted each week on Sunday for anyone to jot down their previous week's activity. UKC fit club is a rich community with posters sharing their goals, noting successes and failures and offering support to those struggling to maintain motivation. Anyone interested in starting is very welcome to join, but to get the most of UKC fit club you should aim to post each week, every week, however little or much you have done. By making such a regular public record of your activities and by restating your goals every week this new habit will hopefully improve your training habits and drive you towards achieving your goals whatever the level of your chosen activity.
The following training article by Alex Barrows gives an excellent breakdown on training the four main "energy systems" specific to climbing:- http://alexbarrowsclimbing.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/training-for-sport-climbing.html also this - https://www.instagram.com/p/CEGfCg7DbkK/?igshid=4a1o55jwpus2
For those wanting to find out more about training for climbing a number of physical training articles are linked here:- http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=274502
And for those looking for more theoretical background, there's a useful subject index of published research studies on the Beta Angel project. Not sure how actively maintained if is though. https://beta-angel.com/research/research-inventory/
Leicestershire Psyche Vid: another one that's so obscure I had never heard of it (i.e. not in the yellow guide!) Looks like I wasn't missing much in this particular case: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSjTpzlmeco&
Lockdown Month Five, its hour come at last, slouches towards Bethlehem to be born, and finding something novel or insightful to say about fingerboarding, home board sessions and going for runs is getting harder. But I shall continue to do my best.
Fit Club fourteenth birthday next month (and not next week! Note to self: a year is not exactly 52 weeks). What are you doing fourteen of by 25th March?
AJM - good news about the negative test. And as you say, probably actually significantly less training time lost to lurgies this winter than most.
alexm198 - how's the core training resolve going? The big thaw seems to have thoroughly set in now - don't know how high up / north facing your mixed route goals are?
Ally Smith - impressive boarding. And ordering suitable holds deinitely counts as "concrete steps towards" an aerocap programme.
BarneyLoosemore - are the new holds up? And what does weighted shoulder mobility consist of? I'm sure most climbers - certainly myself included - are sorely in need of good ideas of any kind for shoulder fixes.
biscuit - I like the sound of your board, but I guess a plus for climbing walls (if only!) is that they offer so much more opportunity to try diverse anti-style things.
Liam P - Are the handstand pushes free standing or feet on wall? (Or pole?) I like your Fit Club 14 suggestion, but given our current weather forecast I'm (hopefully) in danger of overshooting on cumulative pitches, and on current form would have to ge *really* easy to get fourteen in a day.
Ross Barker - I have no idea what Twitch is (or TikTok) And only the vaguest recollection of what breakthrough progress on a climbing project feels like. So how did Monday go?
Si dH - if I'm counting correctly you only did one finger rehab session last week, which does sound maybe a bit on the low side. More this week? Or not, because of it being a rest week?
Somerset swede basher - like the sound of all the ice cragging. Is it all gone now though, lioke it soon will be over here? Did the finger deload week bring you roaring back with renewed strength this week?
the sheep - hope the rehab week went ok?
Tom Green - not pushing too hard, too soon sounds more like good sense than overcaution to me
Tyler - sorry to hear about the ongoing calf issue. Any change this week? Congratulations on bneing the official Oldest Inhabitant though
AlanLittle - good effort getting out to take advantage of the conditions despite the scary forecast.
STG: Weight back below 85kg - eat when hungry not when bored. Start Couch To 5k.
MTG: Go climbing after lockdown? Get vaccinated before I get infected.
LTG: Be a confident, well rounded low to mid 7's sport climber by 2021. For measurable definition see Fit Club 658
M: Beastmaker. Inspired by a current thread on ukb, I tried a diy Critical Force test, 7/3 repeaters to failure at ~40% of max. I managed 6 minutes @ 42%, which I think is ok? This is supposed to give an indication of the aerobic level that one can sustain more or less indefinitely. Although six minutes isn't quite "indefinitely", so not really sure what it means except as a benchmark for future comparison.
Plus calf raises, shoulder presses, scap pull-ups including some sets of assisted one-arms.
W: Max hangs, weighted pull-ups, l-sits, shoulder stability, one-leg squat progression
T: Bike 1½ hours. To my favourite coffee roastery & back - laying in stocks the for next few weeks of lockdown. Note that I am carefully saying "next" rather than "last" few weeks of lockdown.
40 minutes stretching
F: 40 minutes stretching, mobility, foam rolling
S: Auer Wandl. Actual climbing, yay! Went to a little sector a bit up the hill from the current local Zellerwand, in the hope that that longer appraoch might keep the inevitable crowds away. It didn't, but was still ok distancing-wise. Interestingly the usual first-time-out-in-the-spring issues - footwork, headspace above the bolt - felt no worse than they do in a normal year. Thus showing, I suppose, the severely limited value of winter climbing wall training, in those respects at least.
S: Hillwalking with my son. Notkarspitze, Ammergau. An absolutely lovely day out: good company, near perfect conditions, fantastic views. And a refreshingly wild, mountaineeringy feel considering it's under 2000 metres and 45 minutes drive from home.
Frankly I'd be delighted if I could do fourteen routes at a clmbing wall in time for FitClub's fourteenth anniversary on 25th March. Sad but true.
> Congratulations on being the official Oldest Inhabitant though
M: Outhouse - I've started working some of the circuits screw-ons only, Orange is not much harder, Red is very much harder
T: Outhouse - no progress
S: Outhouse - progress
> Si dH - if I'm counting correctly you only did one finger rehab session last week, which does sound maybe a bit on the low side. More this week? Or not, because of it being a rest week?
Thanks Alan, I was doing two hanging/rehab sessions - the repeater sessions should help as well as the scp pull-ups I think as I'm using the same holds - in each 8 days, and two board sessions too with a day off fingers in between each. So some weeks only included one hanging rehab session in a seven day period. I'm going to switch to a weekly plan and take out a board session for a few weeks as it will probably be better for my fingers and easier to manage. Also put a few more weighted pull-ups back in.
As planned, a deload week for me this week.
W: did a short session of one arm hangs on the incut edge that I've been using for scap pull-ups to see how they felt. A bit harder than expected is the answer. Possibly because I was doing them face on rather than side on, which is probably good for training my shoulders but I've never done one arm hangs like that consistently before so had probably set my expectations a bit high. I might try fitting these somewhere in my training plan in a few weeks.
F: hip mobility routine and 3 X 10 second L-sits
Looking forward to training again this week. I have some weighted pull-ups and core/hip mobility stuff planned today. I'm not as full of energy as I'd like though - really struggling to get enough sleep at the moment, which is partly my fault and partly my son's. Need to try harder to go to bed early.
As an aside, rumours abound that the latest relaxation of the UK lockdown is going to allow outdoor recreation again but still require us to stay local. F*ck knows what that means for climbing, I will be examining the legislation with interest. Confess I'm jealous of you being able to get to the hills twice at the weekend! On the positive side, my mum had her vaccine this week. Once she has some protection (we see her every week as we are in a bubble and she helps with childcare a bit) I will more seriously consider going back to a climbing wall again if they open. I never felt the risk was acceptable for me in 2020, I went to the local wall once but it was way too busy.
Hi FitClub. Thanks Alan for continuing to find novel things to say to keep us on the straight and narrow despite the least varied posting FitClub has ever seen!
> Tom Green - not pushing too hard, too soon sounds more like good sense than overcaution to me
Glad you thinks so as this week was fairly cautious too!
Ticked all planned sessions except Prehab (5/7).
M: Board sesh: Strength -boulder pyramid. Felt pretty good being back on the board. Prehab (legs).
T: Alpine start & finish for work.
W: Prehab (legs and arms).
T: Prehab (arms).
F: Max hangs. Prehab (legs and arms).
S: Board sesh: AnCap -boulder triples, good mixed problems with hand crack, dry tooling and slopers. Prehab (legs).
S: Max hangs. Strength sesh.
2 x climbing
2 x max hangs
2 x strength
1 trial run(?)
14th Birthday Goal:
14 consecutive crack laps
STG (End Q1):
Max Hang total 79kg
Weighted Pull-up total 83kg
Jug circuit 5-on, 3-off
Board Problem 'GTH'
Run average 25km/week and Edale Skyline
MTG (End Q2):
Max Hang total 84kg
Weighted Pull-up total 88kg
Jug circuit 10-on, 10-off
Board Problem 'Le Grimpeur' (Tick!)
Grid Iron (6c)
Black Wall (E1 5b)
Run average 35km/week and Cheshire Gritstone Trail
LTG (End Q3):
Yates' Layaway (f6B+)
Jack the Smuggler (7a)
Black Wall Direct (E2 5c)
Cairngorm Classic Rock IAD, El Cap nose-day (880m climbing) and Welsh 3000s
Run 30km vert and 1000km
It gives you a figure from which to calculate other workouts. A bit like FTP in biking, or heart rate training zones. It's not the same as these, but this just gives you an idea.
your input is always appreciated. Life is so groundhog day that you could probably just copy and past last weeks comments and we'd never notice.....
I have separated my core workouts from my strength workouts as i keep skipping them. I've historically been very lazy at doing core. I'm experimenting with anti-rotation exercises and they feel very climbing specific. So my UKC goal is to do 14 sessions before March 25th!
I'm re posting my goals to remind me where i am up to:
MTG: 3 weeks left now.
Pistol squat x2 both sides
Angel Deelite (7A)
Sun of Krypton (f7B)
Voodoo People SS (f7B)
Ned's Problem (f7B)
The Crushinator Low Start (f7B+)
Texas Hold Em' (f7B+)
Wild Rose (f7B+)
Ash Tree Wall (f7C)
LTG: 1 year +
Not sure on climbing specific goals, but i'm not getting any younger and you can't go wrong with getting strong. So:
1) Front lever - 10 seconds good form
2) One arm pull up both sides
My bouldering goals got totally sidetracked by the board and the weather. Not the end of the world but i do need to try and touch some rock sometime soon.
Who knows where we're up to for getting out on routes. I'll just be patient and keep training.
I have a rough plan of two more hard weeks and then a deload week where i will hopefully hit some boulders. It's time to get more serious with the circuit training on the board. I have checked vids of my project out and it's under 2 mins of climbing and just breaks into double figures for hand moves. It also has a kneebar rest in it that accounts for about 30 seconds of the 2 minutes. So it's quite sustained! I'm going to focus on pinches a bit as well as it's up a tufa. It has a pretty intense heel hook that broke my friends knee last year so some heel hook training is now creeping its way in.
M - Board session
.5 hr run
T - Stretch and mobility
W - Stretch and mobility
T - Strength A
F - Stretch and mobility
S - Board session
S - Strength B
5:3:5:3:5 on fingerboard
Massive walk for 3.5 hours with full rucksacks to see how hill fit we are for mountain trad - not very!
This was the biggest workload week i've ever managed (926) and i feel good coming out of it. No tweaks, rested and recovered. Considering i am into my 3rd week of calorie restriction to drop a couple of kilos i am very happy with this.
Repeat this pattern for the next two week, but with more specificity for the goal route and a bit more intensity, then a deload week and then try and crush!
P.S. Just to add, I think you are doing a great job, the time you obviously spend reading what everyone has written and commenting / questioning intelligently is really helpful to keep fit club interesting. Without any discussion or debate it would all be a lot less engaging.
> Confess I'm jealous of you being able to get to the hills twice at the weekend!
Yes, Alex & I are fortunate in that Bavarian lockdown rules only severely restrict travel for regions that go above a certain level of new cases, and Munich hasn't (yet?) hit the threshold.
And the only place I felt severely uncomfortable about the lack of distancing last summer was at a bouldering wall, so I think your caution there is well founded.
> As an aside, rumours abound that the latest relaxation of the UK lockdown is going to allow outdoor recreation again but still require us to stay local. F*ck knows what that means for climbing, I will be examining the legislation with interest.
What it means - the death knell for compliance with the guidance?
Thank you. The value of moderation/interaction was what moved me over here and away from UKB Power Club, where I felt it was lacking. So I'm happy to be doing my bit.
> P.S. Just to add, I think you are doing a great job, the time you obviously spend reading what everyone has written and commenting / questioning intelligently is really helpful to keep fit club interesting. Without any discussion or debate it would all be a lot less engaging.
Seconded! It really does make a difference Alan - thanks.
Ditto - it feels like there is more interaction here, and I suppose also I am maybe more part of the crowd here (there's been a fairly London/Portland-centroc crowd at points in the past, plus some of my regular partners - and even now I have climbed with quite a few of the posters) whereas Power Club always feels like a very tight group (or maybe two very tight groups) of Sheffield or Leeds based people with me (and others, obviously) firmly not in that circle - too far away and too weak!
> Ross Barker - I have no idea what Twitch is (or TikTok) And only the vaguest recollection of what breakthrough progress on a climbing project feels like.
Twitch is a livestreaming platform, mostly dominated by people playing video games and making loads of noise. Not too clued up on TikTok myself despite being a young'n, I think it's similar to what Vine was.
> So how did Monday go?
It wasn't bad, I think I got my hopes up a bit too much. Was considerably warmer (12⁰C vs. -2⁰C) than last session, and skin was a bit worn. I stuck the crux move once more but couldn't quite throw to the lip from it. Not a total waste as I'm always learning.
Had a deload week this time, a culmination of realising I'd not had one for ages and a bit demotivated from project flailing.
M - Rigpa. Didn't go, stuck the crux once but no luck. May have not been 100% rested, might be the muggy conditions, think I did the finger tape a bit too tight, who knows. Good time out at least!
T - Rest
W - Rest
T - Rest
F - Rest
S - 40 or so pushups over the course of a couple hours, max reps/set was 25 which I did not expect!
S - Not as many pushups but a couple
M - Max hangs, 5x5s, stretches
T - Antagonists
W - Evening Rigpa or...
T - Early morning Rigpa, stretches
F - Local crag development, friend gave a tip-off about some Churnet-esque buttresses nearby
S - Same as F but with more daylight?
S - Antagonists and stretches
Don't get injured
Suavito (on hold)
Tierdrop (on hold)
Rigpa (going rather well for something hard)
> What it means - the death knell for compliance with the guidance?
I suspect you are right, at least among many climbers. However given that my job could theoretically require me to enforce Coronavirus regs on a nuclear site (albeit extremely unlikely in practice due to my current role) I do feel like I should stick to what I think is the intended spirit of the law as well as the letter. We'll see what he says later...
> Leicestershire Psyche Vid: another one that's so obscure I had never heard of it (i.e. not in the yellow guide!) Looks like I wasn't missing much in this particular case: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSjTpzlmeco&
Cheers Alan, having visited Ratchet Hill in the past I can confirm that you really didnt miss anything special!
Its been another low distance week running wise. Slowly getting back into it. Good news is that with the warmer weather here the bike got dusted off and I was able to go for a ride with no discomfort so I can keep the cardio up that way whilst i recover
Monday, Les Mills Body Balance. Got a free 60 day om demand trail via the gym at work so a bit of yoga/pilates seems like a good idea
Tuesday, 40km cycle, forgotten how much I enjoy it. I will now be incorporating a longish ride into my weekly activity.
Wednesday, Body Balance again
Thursday, lunchtime run/walk with the kids. 5km in total
Saturday, rest, watching rugby, drinking beer and eating all the food
Sunday, 5km run/walk with the eldest
> with the warmer weather here the bike got dusted off
My son brought his roadbike out of hibernation on Saturday too. And has big plans for the summer involving building up to a 220-miler Munich to Lake Garda in a day.
Looks like I'll have to be planning in a few weekends as support driver.
Thanks again for doing the stats at a hugely unexciting and unvaried time. The ice disappeared with predictable speed but at least its easier getting to work now. At the start of the week fingers were still a little bruised from the velux window incident but seem to be ok now.
Mon. Max hangs 6 x +29kgs, 5x5 on the min pull ups, 3x10 pressups. Decided not to weight the pull ups as my upper body was a bit tired from last week's tool wielding antics.
Tues. 6km run
Wed. Burbage session between the showers. Did Definitive 5.12 Left-hand Exit (f7A+) which put up a fight even though I'd worked it at the end of last session. Took at look at Mr. Sheen 7A+ and was getting within a couple of inches of the top when the rain came in, probably fortunate though as its pretty skin intensive and one of my tips was already bleeding. A case of too many tries without resting as I could see the rain coming. Had another look at the Fallen Slab Eliminate 7B (it stays dry a bit longer) and made progress. I've never been able to get my bum off the floor before and I found the magic body position today. I think it was Biscuit that was trying this one before, let me know if you want some beta. I managed to slap the top of the block but not stick it as it was getting wet by now but keen for another look. I remember the rest not being too bad once you know where you're going so need to get that wired again.
Thurs. 6km run.
Fri. 6 sets of repeaters +6kgs. Tired from Wednesday but did struggle through and complete it all. 3x 10 press ups.
Sat. 5x5 pull ups +12kgs. Only managed 3 on the last set again. 2x 10mins on 10mins off aerocap.
Sun. 8km run.
Also after some advice if anyone has any words of wisdom...
I've been trying to improve my general upper body burl with pull ups and I've stopped progressing at +12kgs - which isn't really all that much! I've been doing one weighted set and one non weighted set a week for a couple of months now. I progressed from +8 to +12 kgs reasonably quickly but not moved from there. Should I put another non weighted set in a week so there is more volume? Or weight the non weighted set? Or both? Or something else?
And, possibly related... I tried to experiment with 1 arm hangs the other day just using the jugs. My fingers were happy but there is ZERO shoulder engagement so I stopped straight away. I think I have really weak shoulders! What exercise should I do to fix this? I think this links to my failure to climb problems where holds are really far apart and the higher arm is straight. For example, Undercut to Crimps at The Tor, I can hit the crimp and hold it every time but I can't pull because I can't get my shoulder moving. Its the same on the campus board, even if I start on 1 and 4 I can't pull past 5!
Advice, however basic and obvious that I might have missed, welcome!
> My son brought his roadbike out of hibernation on Saturday too. And has big plans for the summer involving building up to a 220-miler Munich to Lake Garda in a day.
That sounds like an awesome trip!!
> Also after some advice if anyone has any words of wisdom...
> I've been trying to improve my general upper body burl with pull ups and I've stopped progressing at +12kgs - which isn't really all that much! I've been doing one weighted set and one non weighted set a week for a couple of months now. I progressed from +8 to +12 kgs reasonably quickly but not moved from there. Should I put another non weighted set in a week so there is more volume? Or weight the non weighted set? Or both? Or something else?
> And, possibly related... I tried to experiment with 1 arm hangs the other day just using the jugs. My fingers were happy but there is ZERO shoulder engagement so I stopped straight away. I think I have really weak shoulders! What exercise should I do to fix this? I think this links to my failure to climb problems where holds are really far apart and the higher arm is straight. For example, Undercut to Crimps at The Tor, I can hit the crimp and hold it every time but I can't pull because I can't get my shoulder moving. Its the same on the campus board, even if I start on 1 and 4 I can't pull past 5!
> Advice, however basic and obvious that I might have missed, welcome!
I think this is what scap pull-ups are good for, apart from helping fix imbalances. It might also be worth trying to hold fully engaged one arm hangs with some weight taken off. I'm sure others will have input to this too.
Are scap pull ups a different name for shoulder shrugs for are they something different?
It's more commonly done offroad on a mountainbike over several days. But roadbike in-a-day is a thing too, and the old Brenner Pass road is quite nice now that nearly all the through traffic goes on the motorway.
The MTB version would appeal more to me, but it's great that my son is seeking out his own big challenges.
I think the same
Thanks Alan, some thoughtful questions in this week's summary/stats. Still waiting for 2nd half of the wooden hold set to be delivered.
I totally over-cooked it with weighted flexor training last Sunday and paid for it with DOMS/minor forearm strain for much of the week. Concentrated on aero-cap/recovery exercises until it had sorted itself out at the weekend...
M – Forearm DOMS from flexor conditioning, so just some light aero-cap repeaters; 7/3/6/1x15@30%
T – More aero-cap waiting for forearm DOMS to subside. 5on/3off x3 foot-on-floor circuits plus 7/3/6/1x10@40%. 5x5 bench @57.5kg. 5x10 jug shoulder engagements with 8kg kettlebell.
W – 23km ride. Half easy with wifey; half nauseatingly full-bore. COMPEX core.
T – DOMS still there...
Forearm massage, then light aero-cap repeaters; 7/3/6/1x15@30%. Threw in some crunchies (5x30) and press-ups (5x10) during brief rest intervals.
F – Still basically rehab: 5on/3off x3 foot-on-floor circuits. Extensors.
S – Feeling better, but lots of other stuff going on, rested
S – 1hr on the board, trying hard but not really going anywhere – quite humid and greasy – called it an extensive warm-up and tested 1-arm hang maximum.
Worked down from 8kg, 5kg, 3.5kg, 2.5kg; and barely managed the required 5s with 1.5kg assist – BOOM!
5kg increase in max-force since November
What is your flexor conditioning routine?
Thanks for the stats, Alan.
> finding something novel or insightful to say about fingerboarding, home board sessions and going for runs is getting harder. But I shall continue to do my best.
Personally I really look forward to reading your comments each week, so thank you for persevering with it. Particularly for someone like me whose training is so monotonous at the moment!
> how's the core training resolve going? The big thaw seems to have thoroughly set in now - don't know how high up / north facing your mixed route goals are?
Core training resolve not going super well. Abstractly I am sort of motivated for it, but part of the challenge is working out at home, I think. I live in a small studio apartment so at least runs provide a nice chance to get outside and move. By contrast, core workouts take place on a yoga mat next to my desk, which is substantially less inspiring. Hopefully gyms will reopen before too long, but in the meantime I think my attitude towards core work needs to become one of maintenance, not of gains, which would hopefully remove some of the pressure.
Mixed climbing details below.
Not a very good week on paper, no core work, no shin prehab, no long run. But in practice, still a pretty good week. I think I did the right thing by replacing the long run with a 12 hour day on the Rubihorn as my shins were starting to feel slightly tweaky on Thursday's run and best to err on the side of caution rather than injuring myself sticking to the training plan by the letter.
T 11.15km Z1, straying into Z2/3 at the end. Tuesday runs are always nice, often feel refreshed after a rest on Monday. Happy with the pace on this one, consistently sub 5:00/km without feeling very difficult.
W 8.36km Z1.
T 10.68km Z1. Ran via the office to print off some paperwork as I'm trying to get my car registered in Germany. Printer didn't work. Got turned around by the police on the Ludwigstraße. Not sure what was happening but I've never seen so many police vehicles (at least 20). Improvised through Maxvorstadt. Shins felt a little dodgy towards the end of this run. Keep an eye on them!
S Some extremely mellow sport climbing at Bad Heilbrunn with a new local partner, who is not very experienced but wants to get the skills for alpine stuff. Drove to Frauenwasserl first but it was completely mobbed, so went somewhere else instead. Nice just to move on rock again!
S Ruby Tuesday (M6) on the Rubihorn Nordwand. 12 reasonably sustained pitches up to M6. My partner, despite having been the one to suggest the route, decided on the first few M4 moves of P3 that he wasn't confident on mixed and lowered off, suggesting that I should lead the rest of the route. Erm... I reasoned that driving back to Munich empty handed was a significantly worse option than having to lead the next 500m of climbing so off we went. The route was actually really good, though very thin at the moment and heinously loose in places. The M6 stuff felt pretty cruisy, so either the grading is soft or running fitness is weirdly transferable. Great fun to do a big route again, feeling pretty worked today. Car to car ~10km, ~1100m ascent and descent.
Last week's goals:
68km running [30.19/68]
2 core routine (do them!) [-]
3 shin prehab [!!!]
Isidor-Hacker-Gedenkweg on the Aggenstein? [No, but did a bigger and harder route]
STG (This Week)
MTG (End of June 2021)
LTG (End of 2021)
What sort of protocol are you following with the weighted pull-ups? How many reps/sets/rest in between?
I tried a block of these a while back but they felt really easy (3 sets of 10 no problem). Maybe I got the intensity wrong though and should have used some weight or taken some off and gone with one hand?
5 reps, 5 sets, 3 mins rest between sets. It doesn't sound like much but I'm struggling by the end of the last set.
As long as you are confident you got the form right then I'd have thought the way forward would be to try adding some weight, if you found bodyweight two armed easy, but can't engage at all with bodyweight on one arm. Definitely make sure your form is good though (recommend videoing your back/shoulders while doing it and then watching some videos online. Look out for your shoulder blades coming out, they should stay fairly flat and retracted.)
Hmm, that sounds about right. Anecdotally, I saw really good results with 6 sets of 4 reps done as a couplet with another exercise and a 3 minute rest in between (i.e. 4 weighted pull-ups followed immediately by 4 weighted hangs or 4 weighted hanging leg raises and then a 3 minute rest, and repeat the whole thing six times). I did this twice a week, making sure I had at least 48 hours recovery in between. Possibly you may see better results from replacing your non-weighted session with a second weighted session?
That's all based off the max strength guidance from Uphill Athlete, which is ice/mixed focused but easily generalisable: https://www.uphillathlete.com/training-ice-mixed-climbing/
Thanks Alan. Lurgy dragged into this week a bit but better now, touch wood!
Looking a few weeks back I seem to have strayed off my planned structure a bit. Not done much high intensity aerocap, not quite stepped up the climbing specific volume as much versus the simpler pushing/pulling sessions. But I’ve still done my best to keep up a reasonable volume of things so hopefully still making progress.
Been doing a bit of idle daydreaming and staring at climbing pictures, with the school summer holidays particularly in mind, and now have a few more vague things on the “trips I’d like to do” list - quite granite trad/crack focused.
Also had a delivery of more liquid chalk, climbskin etc this week which is good, and have been plotting building a proper pinch block to replace the thing I built last year that I’m not a huge fan of. And started to track my weight a bit more regularly, together with trying to tip the vegetable:carb balance a bit and cut down on snack volume, which should hopefully start a gentle drift downwards. Judging from today, another kilo or two back to last summers weighins, but ideally be good to drop a little below that.
Monday - 2 sets each side of trx pistol squats, trying to manage the assistance such that sets of 10 are hard. I think I might start with the trx and then move to a stretchy band once a bit more progressed, since that puts a more robust limit on how much assistance I can get.
Tuesday - nothing. Coughing half the night, called in sick in the morning. Back at work in the pm and a little better.
Wednesday - still not right, but a bit better. 1 set each side trx pistol squats, 3 sets face pulls, 3 sets push ups, some L sit to planche attempts.
Thursday - a whole night of sleep - revelatory! Good fingerboard session in the evening - new p.b. of c88kg on the 8mm edges and 3 sets of double pull-ups on the 15mm edges @89kg. Felt like I’d always shifted on the hold just a little too much for a third rep, so be good to work on getting this silky smooth and controlled to up the reps slightly.
Friday - nothing. Shattered by the evening!
Saturday - 3 sets face pulls first thing, then tried pistol squats and dips mid morning. Did pistol squats fine but had to stop the dips after one set as something in my chest felt tweaked. Decent marks for keenness, low marks for achievement. After some ice and some vitamin I it was less sore and was fine to wear a rucksack over, so I went for a ~2 hour 10k walk with microAJM through suburbia down to the beach and back. Felt exercised which rescued the day somewhat.
Sunday - just over 3km walking/splashing round the park with miniAJM on the bike and microAJM in the rucksack. Decided to rest the shoulder and do a pinch block session, since from the perspective of the shoulder that’s pretty low load. Reminded myself I don’t like my existing pinch block very much (it’s 6 layers of 18mm ply on a piece of cord, so you can vary the width to a good degree by picking up the number of layers you want, but it’s a faff to line things up properly and the edges of the layers aren’t very well rounded off so they make my skin sore and probably give a fair chunk of friction assist. I can do better, basically!). But at the 90mm width I was able to pick up 17kg.
> Bad Heilbrunn
I quite like Bad Heilbrunn, and I still have an important to-do there. You're not a proper UIAA VII Munich climber until you've done Ines at Bad Heilbrunn - friction slab - and Henkerdach at Konstein - big roof. I have done neither.
Your shoulders sound like mine!
I thought that if I ever did them regularly assisted one arm hangs on a jug or bar (I was using 5kg or so counterweight), pulling from fully relaxed into engaged and then either doing reps or doing the static hold would work quite well, in that they felt very relevant pulling the shoulder downwards.
Steven Low would recommend face pulls as his go to scapular exercise of choice. I’ve been trying them, I can see how they’d be doing something worthwhile, they’re definitely working something in between my shoulder blades doing the retraction.
> I suspect you are right, at least among many climbers. However given that my job could theoretically require me to enforce Coronavirus regs on a nuclear site (albeit extremely unlikely in practice due to my current role) I do feel like I should stick to what I think is the intended spirit of the law as well as the letter. We'll see what he says later...
Yeah, I’ll wait and see, but I feel like my patience with the whole thing is going to be pretty tested if the idea is that schools can go back but I’m still not supposed to drive out of town to boulder on my own!
- +12kg pull-up is rather weak
- If I remember correctly, you've stalled progress on weighted pull-ups because of elbow issues
- Over-reliance on elbow flexors vs the shoulder for the pull-up motion could be a reason why you've had the elbow problems?
Sorting out your shoulder stabilisers so that the big movers (lats) can do more work could help out on the elbow front too?
Reverse flys on the rings were great for me in this regard, but you need to reign in the ego and accept that proper form with straight arms and no momentum to assist initiating the movement feels like you're virtually standing upright!
Scap shrugs can be done as static holds as well as concentric movements and helped me discover the feel/proprioception of which muscles need to fire to keep the scap well engaged.
I have had previous episodes of nasty biceps tendon inflammation from weighted pull-ups. Now I'm being very careful and controlled on the eccentric phase and deliberately not quite going to full extension. Seems to be ok so far.
Have also introduced assisted one-arm scap pulls, the same as what you're describing I think. Except that I currently need significantly more than 5kgs of assistance.
> What is your flexor conditioning routine?
There was no routine - that was the problem! I'd been doing fairly regular extensor exercises and spotted something similar in Crimpd for both flexor & extensor.
Obviously the 10reps @17kg x3 sets was overkill and I should have used much lower weight when introducing a new exercise!
In the past I've struggled with pull ups due to elbow issues but I think I've now built up a good enough base that they don't appear to be an issue at the moment. Think I probably tried to do too many too soon before. I wonder if the press ups have been keeping things balanced too.
Rings work might be the way forward. I've always avoided it because I never felt like I could actually do the exercises properly or well enough to actually be doing anything and getting on the fingerboard seemed like it might be more productive use of time but possibly I was wrong. I'm terrible at wide arm compression boulder problems so I should probably just get stuck in here and see what happens.
I'll do some youtubing on correct scap form this eve and see if I'm doing things properly in prep for bringing some scap pull ups into my routine too.
If I'm honest, I forget what the 5kg counterweight allowed me to do, but it was probably the equivalent of the 5s max effort, certainly not a set of reps or anything. And rope friction. And I was lighter then!
I've had problems with elbows and pull-ups in the past too. I found knee to bar (i.e. pull in and out of a tuck front lever) a good alternative for working on the back whilst not stressing the elbows.
I’d suggest not enough stimulus to stress the tissues into responding. 5 sets of 5 twice a week is the current thinking for strength work.
I found the same with my climbing. I can hold a hold (strong fingers) but I can’t pull it.
I started with one arm scap shrugs to build a base. Now I’m onto 90 degree lock offs and power pulls. I’m going to build in weighted pulls, after my performance phase in spring, to bring it together. I didn’t see the point in going with weighted pull training as I had a real deficit in my left shoulder in particular.
My 2rm did improve from doing a scap shrugs.
Sounds like something we should rectify once the conditions are a bit better! That slab with Ines was horribly mucky on Saturday.
> I’d suggest not enough stimulus to stress the tissues into responding. 5 sets of 5 twice a week is the current thinking for strength work.
Ill weight both sessions then.
> I started with one arm scap shrugs to build a base.
> My 2rm did improve from doing a scap shrugs.
Right, will start on these next week then. Would you do yours in the same session as pull ups or on a different day?
> That slab with Ines was horribly mucky on Saturday.
And Henkerdach is bird banned until July. So no great rush then, but yes, at some point I'd be delighted.
I did 5x5 single arm scap pull ups/shrugs or whatever you want to call them. Offset by a pulley or therabands. That was my pull exercise, I didn’t do weighted pull ups as well. I did/do have a deficit in my left scap due to an old injury so wanted to address that.
it does make some sense for what you described to do similar. It’s that initial engagement that Ally was talking about that you need in place first.
i couldn’t hang one arm off the jug of a bm1000 without spinning round and feeling wobbly in my left when I started. A shrug wasn’t possible at bodyweight.
I got six one arm shrugs at body weight by the time I finished. They weren’t pretty though.
I’m now finding lock offs equally stimulating for my left scap and will be interested to see what difference it makes to pull ups when it’s testing time.
Then it’ll be outdoor climbing time so I may not get round to weighted pull ups this season.
Cheers Alan. Holds aren't up yet unfortunately! When I strip the board I want to sand + stain the wood as it's starting to get a few spots of mould. Was supposed to do this on the weekend but I ended up being a bit busy (& lazy..). The weighted shoulder mobility I'm doing isn't anything crazy - some plank twists with dumbbells in hand, and dumbbell single arm snatches with a hold at the top. More of a prehab thing than anything I spose, but good to do regardless!
M - Rest, stretches
T - Scap activations, frenchies, curls & press-up variations. 5K in the eve
W - Density hangs
T - Limit bouldering on the board
F - Bar core, 5K - the shin splints are back, agh! This time pretty much exclusively in the left leg. I might have to switch to some other form of cardio for the time being (cycling?), we'll see
S - Limit bouldering - felt super strong here. Perhaps reaping the rewards of the lower volume + higher intensity of late?
S - had a few things penned in, but ended up being quite busy so didn't get much done unfortunately - i.e. rest
Rest week for me so nothing to report, other than a +3lb weigh-in!
I train handstand push-ups against the wall. I can hold a free handstand for around 30 seconds but no chance of any lowering/pushing - very impressive display of strength and balance if you can achieve it.
The monotony of lockdown training was getting tiresome, but I’ve got a bit of motivation back following a week off (especially after reading about everyone’s training!)
My plan is to make some hangboard endurance gainzzz over the next 4 weeks in preparation for our release date...so here it is:
A 14 minute set of hangboard moving hangs with feet on a stool - my PB is 3:30 so I don’t hold much hope!
Thanks for all the help. I'll mull it over this week and do some experimenting to get the intensity right then make a proper plan from there.
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