UKC Fit Club Week 736

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 AlanLittle 25 Apr 2021

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:-     also this -

For those wanting to find out more about training for climbing a number of physical training articles are linked here:-

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.

Last weeks post -

AJM - first post-lockdown Font 7, excellent. Index fingers stronger than middle is interesting and, I think, unusual.

Ally Smith - good evening boulder chossage. Did the rope make it out of hibernation this week?

BarneyLoosemore - I hear you on the liquid chalk and the masks. Glad to hear you made it back out onto the rock, and will be very interested to hear how the board endurance circuit fitness translates to routes.

biscuit - " My masterplan is to have no good footholds" sounds like a plausible roadmap for building strong body tension on the board. Hope you're feeling better again?

Liam P - "only" four training days in the face of post-lockdown distractions seems pretty respectable. How did the Wye weekend go?

mrchewy - three climbing sessions sounds encouraging, although taking it steady sounds wise given your injury history

planetmarshall - sound like a fun Wales trip. I would definitely find a butch grit HVS considerably more intimidating than any 6A blocs, especially with a post-lockdown lead head.

Rebecca Ting - "bouldering Peak benchmarks to see if I can still climb 6A-7A " ... and?

Ross Barker - did a week of hugging boxes pay off on any Welsh compression boulders? And did the lost fingerboard ever turn up?

Si dH - glad to hear the weekend improved after the tough week. And well done Si jnr.

Somerset swede basher - decent result on the two 7c's, shame about the lost hold on the 8a+. I have fears that an important crimp on my current proj may be not long for this world too, although it did survive the winter.

the sheep - well done on ten miler. Back on track (trail? groan)

Tom Green - Getting out on the rock/trail in the sun definitely >> sticking to indoor training plans.  Interesting variety of climbing styles at Llanymynech (now!) 

AlanLittle - one or two max hangs sessions during the week and a day at the crag at the weekend doth not a sufficient general fitness programme make

 Roadrunner6 25 Apr 2021
In reply to AlanLittle:

Not posted in this for years.

LTG Back under 2:45, 

STG Get back to under 180lb, currently 184ish down from 195-200. But sub 2:48 in the marathon.

Been getting back into some proper work. 4 weeks out from a marathon

m: am: 4.5 mile trail run with the dog. pm: 6.2 mile road run steady pace whilst my daughter does gymnastics.

t: Track. 9 miles including 6 x 1 mile (5:40-5:45 pace), 1 min jog recovery and 2 x 200m in ~33s.

w: afternoon: 3.1 miles steady. Evening: 4.5 miles easy sunset trail run on the mountain with the dog.

t: 13.5 miles solid aerobic pace, 6:45 min mile pace.

f: afternoon: 3.1 miles easy. Evening: 3.5 miles easy sunset trail run on the mountain with the dog.

s: am: 10 miles including 10k race. 2nd 35:29. First time under 36 in years. Fastest 10k in 7-8 years I think. pm: 2.5 mile trail run with the dog, very easy pace.

s: 90 min soccer game as goalie, won 5-1 (the goal we conceded was a penalty). afternoon: 11 mile dirt road run easy pace with the dog, legs achey but not too bad.

70ish miles for the week. 

Post edited at 20:56
 AlanLittle 25 Apr 2021
In reply to AlanLittle:

STG: Weight back below 85kg. 
    Start Couch To 5k. 
    New Project STG: link from the third clip to the end of the hard climbing on Dookie.
MTG: Complete one of my local (Zellerwand) 7a projects - short, sharp power endurance. Complete Couch to 5k
LTG: Be a confident, well rounded low to mid 7's sport climber by 2021. For measurable definition see Fit Club 658

M: Max hangs

T: Rest day. Half an hour mobility, stretching, foam rolling

W: Max hangs. Good session, but I suspect this is largely attributable to warmer weather making my beastmaker less glassy.
    Warmer weather also enabled 3x12 ARC laps on the playground wall, but it turns out I'm far from being the only person who has discovered this place. Might have to start going early in the morning to be able do long traversing sets uninterrupted.

T: One hour bike then walk-jog intervals

F: Took delivery of my shiny new massage gun. Shot myself extensively.
    An got a vaccination appointment for next week. Woo hoo!

S: Seltmans - took a break from east Bavarian lockdown limestone - and project pressure. Had a more relaxed day pulling pebbles on Allgäu conglomerate instead.

S: Technique & movement coaching session. This was something I was planning to do before lockdown, and the coach I was planning to do it with has managed to discover the one open (outdoor) climbing wall in Bavaria, so we finally managed to have a first session. My first day pulling plastic for six months (playground traversing doesn't count)
    I've done a couple of one-off coaching sessions before, am not sure how much I really gained from them long term. The idea now is to have somebody local to monitor progress and give regular feedback. Mostly confirmed things I already know about my style - too slow, too frontal - but my theory is that there moght still be value in having thdse things confirmed by an experienced outside eye, and some ideas of what to do about them. 
    And one interesting insight that I didn't previously have but totally makes sense given my climbing history: I'm quick, confident & decisive (relatively) on below-vertical ground but I slow down and become hesitant and indecisive as soon as things get steeper. Exactly the opposite of what one really needs.

Post edited at 20:47
 AJM 25 Apr 2021
In reply to AlanLittle:

> AJM - first post-lockdown Font 7, excellent. Index fingers stronger than middle is interesting and, I think, unusual.

Thanks Alan. Nearly managed to add the sitter this week! I think you’re right on the fingers. On my right hand, it’s not too surprising, in that Ive had various issues with pockets on my right hand in the past - I couldn’t do middle two because of the strain between middle and ring, and for some reason monos weren’t great either despite front 2 being fine. On my left it’s a bit more of a puzzle. The only thing I can guess is that it relates to my “lazy” half crimp which due to my finger lengths means that when my middle finger is at ninety degrees my left is actually quite open, maybe it’s been trained up by accident!

I lost a day this week with a bit of a disaster on Thursday, and today has been pretty light given my aches and sore skin from Saturday (but it should mean my traditional Monday rest day becomes a training day). So I think I’m down an aero session and a fingerboard session, although slightly more stretching than the plan. Otherwise, a good week. Saturday was a big day out, pleased to get close on The Drifter sit start. Happy I finally made it down to the Undercliff and tried Aeolian Sky but it’s monstrously hard and a lot of faff. Certainly more doable and accessible projects to be had! And improvements seen on the tuck planche too.

Seeing friends this weekend so probably no climbing, unsure if I will manage to get indoors so this may be one where I try to focus on fingerboard, antagonists etc instead. In good news, I’ve maybe got a pass for a weekend in a few weeks time which should allow me to venture a bit further afield. Very excited. And we may have agreed to rebuild my sons climbing wall (we’re having new carpets in that room soon, so it has to come to bits) into something which would be more conducive to adult training as well - a slightly overhanging flat panel or something that I could use for aerocap. Not 100% sure how the campus board fits into this picture yet, whether I can incorporate it or whether it remains separate.

Monday - good style aches from lugging pads and a rucksack of child clutter and so on around and pulling hard. Good stretching session.

Tuesday - short stretching session before work. In the evening, pinch block to 18.5kg again. Good session, time to push on a little next time?

Wednesday - antagonist session. Filmed very poorly something which resembles a tuck planche more than previous attempts. Comparing it with January does suggest some improvement, happily, see below. Some stretching in the gaps. Feeling tired and not quite with it much of the day.

Thursday - survived the day, somehow, on c4hrs sleep after a fairly disastrous night with microAJM. The whole house was asleep by about 9pm, adults included! “Rest”, or something.....

Friday - after a better night, some actual rest

Saturday - last minute changes to plans left me with a child free pass to go to Swanage. To make maximum use of this I chose St Aldhelms Undercliff, probably the longest and most awkward approach in Dorset and definitely not a place for a four year old! 

- My main goal was to have a go at Aeolian Sky, a top50 7A. It’s safe to say I got shut down. Tiny crimpers and the number of moves I could do was woefully small. 7A eh? Looking for a silver lining - if i had got close, I’d have had to make the hour-each-way trudge down there again soon, whereas I know it’s so far beyond me that I can shelve it for several years. 

- I also did a circuit of 6A-6B+ problems which were all good, worth going down there for those. The trudge back up the hill, with my pads acting as sails in a strong buffeting crosswind on uneven ground, was pretty hard work.

- after a sit down rest up on the upper tier, I thought I’d spend my last half hour trying the sit start to The Drifter. Much to my surprise, I got the sequence from sit to stand pretty quickly and found myself falling off the last move! At the end of a session, I’m pretty pleased with that. Have to schedule a return trip to the top tier for this one.

- the walk back in the wind was wearing!

Sunday - all the aches, plus finger skin a mess. Shoulders just one large pile of ache, and my quads have taken a battering too it seems! My in-laws have been staying nearby this weekend, so some park strolling and stuff. In the evening, a decent stretching session plus some core compression work.

 Ross Barker 25 Apr 2021
In reply to AlanLittle:

Cheers for the stats Alan! Bit of a more active week for me as far as vaguely climbing-related activity goes, a bit of pushing and a bit of pulling before a good grit day out.

> Ross Barker - did a week of hugging boxes pay off on any Welsh compression boulders?

Didn't get to try any! Was keen for Paul O Grady (V6) but partner wasn't, but it wasn't too bad. Key thing is that I didn't crimp anything too hard and worsen the injury.

> And did the lost fingerboard ever turn up?

It bloody well did! A chap found it and posted on FB, I posted on UKC, someone who is a regular on both connected the dots and pointed us in the right direction. I picked it up yesterday and slipped a fiver in his postbox for good measure, which he's donating to MR.

What I've learned this week is that my flash game is decent and that I need to find some projects that are friendly for the summer heat!

Last Week:

M - Rest

T - 60 pushups

W - Rest

T - Light hangs tying weights to a chair, a very rudimentary hangboard setup.

F - Rest

S - Gardom's Edge. Began with a surprise flash of Mark's Roof Left-hand (f6C+). Planned for some pulley-friendly beta which turned out to be the best beta anyway! Then moved onto Bin Laden's Cave (f7A) with a cheeky 2nd go send, flash go was dead close but slipped off onto my arse. Eventually pulled onto Suavito (f7B) but it turns out it's quite susceptible to warm conditions, quite greasy left hand crimps. The right hand arête also has a pinch which puts my knuckles at the perfect angle to piss off the pulley, so had to begrudgingly leave it, might be a job for next autumn.

S - Rest

Next Week:

2 rehab sessions now that I have my hangboard back, doubt I'll have time or weather to nip out, but we'll see!


Rehabilitate A2 pulley




 Ross Barker 25 Apr 2021
In reply to AJM:

That Aeolian Sky problem looks mint! Also disgustingly hard, nailing such tension while pulling on such small holds? Ouch!

Post edited at 21:38
 AJM 25 Apr 2021
In reply to Ross Barker:

Disgustingly hard is about right! It's a cool problem and a nice situation but it's a cheque way too big for my fingers to cash right now!!!

In reply to AlanLittle:

Cheers Alan. Upped the volume this week which felt good but the Wye Weekend didn’t go according to plan - on a plus note, I’ve caught the ‘Sport’ bug!


  • Max Hangs - 90% 4x 10s (15mm) - felt hard but I haven’t done them in a while.
  • HSPU 3x 1, 1, 0.5 - finally got the head to floor back but still no Rep 2.
  • Frog Stands 5x 18s - felt easy so progressed to Straight Arm.


  • 6 sets of Boulder trebles (Failed on a few V3s with body tension)
  • 5x laps of 5+ Circuit Board (finally started using the LS Solutions I got for Christmas but they are agony and I can’t see them stretching much)
  • Typewriter Pull-ups 3x 6,5,4


  • HSPU 3x 1, 1, 0.5 - still no Rep 2.
  • Crow Stand 5x 3s. Felt almost impossible. Very hard on the wrist and feels like I still have a slight bend in the elbows so not true Straight Arm (need some AJM tips as he’s one progression ahead of me on his Tuck Planche.)


  • Campus Wideboy Ladders: 2x 1-2-3-4-5-6-7.  6x 1-3-4-6-7 (half on last 2 sets). Happy with the Offsets and feels like I’m getting good training benefit towards a 1-3-5-7.
  • 5x 1on1off on 5a Circuit Board (old softer shoes back on for laps)


  • Crow Stand 5x 5s. Getting better but still feel a slight elbow bend.


Cracked my van windscreen so couldn’t make it to Wye Valley  Went to the Wall whilst it was in the Garage.

  • Managed the V3 body tension problem I failed on Monday (4 goes)
  • Foot on Campus 6x 20s (20mm)
  • 6x 1on1off on 5a Circuit Board
  • Typewriter Pull-ups 3x 7,6,5


Still waiting on those last 2x VS leads but I’m happy with baselining my Sports Grade at 6a. Still Nice and Still Sleazy (6a+) looked epic so think I will work towards that next.

Post edited at 22:24
In reply to AlanLittle:

Thanks again Alan! Turns out I'm going to Pembroke for a week on Friday so will soon get a chance to see if the training/board endurance work has paid off (trad head game permitting - it's been a fair few months).. anyone have any esoteric venue/route recommendations? 

Ramped up the volume and aero-cap/pow work a bit this week after trip plans were finalised - probably a little last minute but oh well

M - rest, stretches

- boulder doubles, then boulder triples!

W - shoulder strength/mobility

- push-up variations

F - limit bouldering on the board, felt pretty good. Finished with a lap on the "psuedo-route" (went OK), then 5 on 3 off (x3). After this scapula activations, then one-arm lock offs (hard! - need to stop leaving this to the end of the day/session)

S - rest, stretches

S - some attempts at new BM's on the board, still felt pretty worked from Friday though. Moved pretty swiftly on to aerobic work - 1 on 1 off on board jugs, then 8 on 5 off (x3) with feet on floor

Post edited at 23:19
 Si dH 26 Apr 2021
In reply to AlanLittle:

Thanks again Alan.

M: rest

T: evening - first session back at the Hangar since last summer. Good session, I did a couple of reds (v4-5ish) and 5 or 6 whites (v5-6ish). Pretty pleased with the volume/time I managed, both from the perspective of getting more variety of climbing movement done again and because if I can keep that up once a week I'd hope it would improve my work capacity outside a bit, which is pretty poor.  As expected I was much stronger on things with decent size holds, and felt weak and heavy on problems with small crimps. No finger pain issues. Booked again for the coming week.

W: evening - feeling tired, managed 6 sets of 8/2/8/2/8/2 scap pull-ups on the incut edge with bodyweight, followed by 3x 20 second bent finger hangs  on the 10mm edge with feet on chair.

T: evening - hip mobility routine and crimpd floor core session

F:  Afternoon - 5 sets of 7/3 repeaters on the incut edge with bodyweight +10kg. Then 3x10 TRX hamstring curls. Then 3x10 second 1 arm max hangs on the bm2000 bottom middle edge with bodyweight -14kg (ok on right, hard on left)*, then 4x10 facepull/overhead press combos.

S: hip mobility routine, then some Copenhagens (4 sets of 4 reps on each side, just trying them out really). Thanks Biscuit for the heel hook article, I haven't ever thought about exercising my adductors before so I imagine there are some gains to be had.

S: trip to the Pass to try The Witch (7B). I've now tried this three times, each approximately three years apart! Got the moves well wired again today and did some links but then cut my little finger on a sharp hold on my first proper attempt, and didn't have any tape😞 Had a few goes on Northern Soul (7A) afterwards in case I could climb ok on different holds, but it wasn't really working.  I'm a bit in two minds about whether to go back for The Witch. The climbing is great, really interesting moves where I have to be super precise about everything for it to come off, and I think if I went back next week I have a better than 50/50 chance of doing it. But it's quite a long drive with a really early start to get a parking space in the pass, and a bit a mission walking up the hill with three pads, so I really don't want to turn it into a project.

* this was an experiment. I wanted to see if I could do a max hang on that edge without pain and the answer, on this occasion, was yes. Which was good. If I can get back in to some finger strength training I have loads to gain because I'm currently 7-8 kg down on my personal best on each arm I think (even accounting for weight gain), and haven't trained it for ages. So I will try this again next week, but this time at the beginning of a session and see what happens.

Pretty good week. Happy I'm keeping up consistently with my training plan, indoor session was good and pleased that tentatively I managed to hang off an edge without my finger hurting on Friday. It's such a weird injury.


Post edited at 07:02
 Si dH 26 Apr 2021
In reply to Ross Barker:

Good effort at Gardoms. I've never got round to finding Bin Laden's. Thought it was supposed to be really slopey, did you have good conditions?

The main Mark's Roof problem is one thing I'm psyched to drive back to the Peak for at some point when it's properly cold again.

Post edited at 07:11
 AJM 26 Apr 2021
In reply to Liam P:

> Crow Stand 5x 3s. Felt almost impossible. Very hard on the wrist and feels like I still have a slight bend in the elbows so not true Straight Arm (need some AJM tips as he’s one progression ahead of me on his Tuck Planche.)

Ive never really tried the crow stand, I’ve sort of attacked the progression a bit differently.

- I use paralettes for basically all my planche stuff, which keeps wrists more neutral. I’ve not done much off the floor and I suspect I might find the same as you in terms of it being hard on the wrists because mine definitely aren’t super flexible.

- because I’m using high paralettes and wanted to do the L sit to planche, it made sense for me to start in a neutral position between the two (I.e. just push  up on the bars to lift my feet off the floor directly under me). From there, I’d just try and rotate round as far as I could each time, so the movement was more “how much can you rotate and lean” rather than “lean forward until your feet come off the floor”.

- I also did planche leans and pseudo planche pushups to build strength as well (I.e. leaning forwards as far as you can over your hands and either holding or doing pushups in that position)

 Ross Barker 26 Apr 2021
In reply to Si dH:

Nice one on finding parking at the pass on a weekend, surely that's the crux of every climb there?

Bin Laden's is pretty slopey, conditions weren't too good as there wasn't too much wind down in the trees, but I think low relative humidity and a decent dollop of lank helped. Worth seeking out imo!

The main Mark's is a good looking problem but for me it's a bit too long, got no power left by the time I get to the crux mantel. Would you also be keen for Suavito if we get another cold snap?

 Si dH 26 Apr 2021
In reply to Ross Barker:

I've done Suavito before but if we could work out a plan to combine it in a day with Mark's roof I'd be up for that. I think it'll probably be too warm for slopey grit to be a good choice until autumn now tho.

 AlanLittle 26 Apr 2021
In reply to AlanLittle:

Hey Guys

I've decided it's time to look for a volunteer I can pass the statting baton on to. 

I feel like I'm losing momentum. I had inwardly set myself a target of keeping going until the end of lockdown here in Bavaria, but there's no foreseeable prospect of that happening, so ...

No rush, but if anybody feels like handling the inevitable and imminent post (UK) lockdown Fit Club membership boom, raise your hand

 Ross Barker 26 Apr 2021
In reply to Si dH:

Ah, I didn't know that, assumed you hadn't as you hadn't done Mark's Roof, which is significantly closer to the car! Let's have a chat about it when it starts to get a bit colder again.

In reply to AlanLittle:

Thanks Alan.  There are plenty of wobbly rattling holds in the Peak that have been hanging in there for years so you might be OK on your project!

Mon. rest.

Tues.  Took a walk up to  Cracken Edge Quarries for some soloing but the first hold I pulled on fell off which kinda put me off!  Instead I carried on along the ridge to  The Big Stone where I climbed the established problems then added my own Shirley's View (f7A).  Its always hard to grade new things.  I flashed the 3 6Bs while warming up and this took me about 45mins and didn't go first go even after I'd worked out all the moves so figured it must be more than a grade harder.  I won't be heartbroken if someone thinks its 6C+ though.

Wed. 10km trail run with 225m ascent @4.49/km

Thurs. Walked up to  Wormstones for some more east facing after work shady gritstone.  About 15 solos, nothing harder than VS.  The 15min uphill approach took me more than 15mins after yesterdays run!

Fri. rest.

Sat. Headed back to the 8a+ for the morning.  Decided I needed to either make significant progress or sack it off after today.  Managed to work out a new crux sequence after the demise of my foothold last session.  This may have actually been a benefit (even though it cost me a session) as my new sequence is definitely better.  I still find the crux really hard but did 2 laps of crux to top then got on redpoint.  Fell several times at the end of the crux from the floor.  If I can just do that move from the floor I should be able to fight through to the top.  Progress made - worth going back for.

Sun. Feeling bleugh after my covid jab yesterday afternoon.  Sat on a bench while the kids ran around the park most of the day.

In reply to AlanLittle:

Psyche video contribution: here's Molly Thompson-Smith campusing along Jerry's Traverse (f7B). FFS...

(saying nothing about the music choice though...)

 Si dH 26 Apr 2021
In reply to Ross Barker:

> Ah, I didn't know that, assumed you hadn't as you hadn't done Mark's Roof, which is significantly closer to the car! Let's have a chat about it when it starts to get a bit colder again.

We had a team of us keen for Suavito a few years ago, I went there 3-4 times. I assume you know it's closer to approach from the south end (Birchen parking) if that's your only objective?

Mark's roof is very unreliable conditions wise I think, several times when I have visited it has been wet on top, that area doesn't dry fast and obviously it needs a good friction day - very cold and/or a breeze. I've only ever managed one decent session on it but couldn't use the top slopers well enough. Other good problems if you find yourself in that area are Soft on the G and Kidneystone.

Post edited at 10:36
 the sheep 26 Apr 2021
In reply to AlanLittle:

Thanks Alan, steady week, however new wheels arrived so happy days.

Ran Tuesday and Wednesday, 10 and 5 k respectively.

New wheels arrived on Friday afternoon so ditched work and spent a ver happy afternoon swapping things over. Getting new tyres on the new rims however turned out to be much tougher than expected. 2 Pinch punctures and much swearing ensued. However much satisfaction was gained from getting the job done and everything working perfectly.

Saturday, went out for a 50km ride with some folks from our running group. New wheels working a treat. The bike felt like it flew after riding the heavier commuter bike all year so far  Finished our ride at the local pub for a pint outside which was lovely.

 Si dH 26 Apr 2021
In reply to planetmarshall:

> Psyche video contribution: here's Molly Thompson-Smith campusing along Jerry's Traverse (f7B). FFS...

> (saying nothing about the music choice though...)

Molly is super strong isn't she. Her campusing around on small beastmaker crimps is just insane. To be fair though, it's not actually that hard to campus through the crux of Jerry's. They're the sort of handholds that an average 7B climber can fairly easily hang on one armed, the problem is the shoulder power to transfer your bodyweight across and get underneath them. Using feet is slightly easier but you need really good footwork, a strong core and new shoes because the footholds are so terrible.  It's impressive she can stop and wave though.

Edit: in fact I obviously have a bad memory because looking back, I campused that move too! With a lot less style admittedly.

Sorry for the vid, there is some Suavito beta for Ross on there too, although it's pretty obvious.

Post edited at 11:12
 AJM 26 Apr 2021
In reply to Si dH:

> They're the sort of handholds that an average 7B climber can fairly easily hang on one armed

The reason why I'm not a 7B climber, revealed in one innocuous phrase!

In reply to AJM:


Think I’ll invest in some parallettes and try Tucks and Planche Leans.

 AJM 26 Apr 2021
In reply to Liam P:

I am definitely not a big DIY person but I made mine without too much drama. Dowel of the right size I only found online but apart from that it was all just stuff you could get from Wickes/b&q/whatever.

 Ally Smith 26 Apr 2021
In reply to AlanLittle:

 Thanks for the stats again.  The ropes Jane been out twice this week  
M – 36km flat ride; 1hr 15min. Lovely sunny ride. Later, 12x 1on/1off on the wooden circuit. Fitness definitely improving.
T – An-cap 6x6. Plenty of 7B’s in the mix. Tight traps.
W – Rest
T – Cross border raid – Gorge-ous! Played on the bouldering for a while to warm-up, then got sucked into my partners objective. After an hour I was just about firing on all cylinders and managed “Under the Bridge” stiff 7B+. Then got on a rope, revisiting Cerberus as a training objective. Boy was I moving stiffly. 3 obvious things:
-    Dampness and dustiness didn’t inspire confidence
-    Tight thoracic spine (leftover from Tuesday)
-    General early season lack of familiarity
Briefly played on the sitter to UTB and was close – might have done it if I hadn’t been on the rope?
F – nowt
S – pub lunch and 4 mile walk
S – mixture of investigative equipping and short boulder 

 Tom Green 26 Apr 2021
In reply to AlanLittle:

Hi All. Thanks for statting, Alan -it's much appreciated, having some thoughtful comment each week definitely adds a lot of extra value to posting up. Regarding passing on the stat baton, I feel your pain -it takes some keeping going! I'm not mad-keen to do it at the moment, but hopefully someone will be in the right place to pick it up...

Not a great week for me. Poor training and not much climbing either. Never mind, I feel like I'm in some good training habits at the moment, so can probably take the odd light week here and there.

Week 16:

M: Rest.

T: Max Hangs. Strength sesh. Retested 2RM for pull-ups: progressed to 94.6kg total (from 87.4kg total) over the last four months. With no real weight training history I'm not sure whether this is good gainz or not? But I feel quite strong on things like steep dry-tooling compared to last year. Need to get on some of my nemesis routes (Heavens Above (M7+)) and see if they feel easier.

W: Trail run: 14.4km, 409m vert, 6:12/km. Longer than planned (I've been trying to be careful and build up mileage slowly) -it was just such a nice day I wanted to keep running for ever! Entertaining run, including getting lost and falling in a ravine!

T: Climbing at Nesscliffe. A bit of an odd session -was struggling to trust the gear and the holds (stupid soft sandstone!) but did the enjoyable Batman (HVS 5a) before backing off Ramblin' Days (E2 5b) due to fear of breaking my ankles on the massive ledges!

F: Prehab (arms and legs)

S: Short, sharp swim in the sea.

S: Nowt.

Week 17:

Prehab -arms on run days; legs on climbing/strength days.

2 x climbing

2 x max hangs

2 x strength 

3 x run 

STG (End Q2):

Max Hang total 85kg

Weighted Pull-up total 88kg

Thug circuit 1-on, 1-off

Eliminator (V4)

Grid Iron (6c)

15 Pembroke E-points (I'm going to be based in Pembroke for work for a chunk of time)

Edale Skyline and/or Cheshire Gritstone Trail

MTG (End Q3):

Yates' Layaway (f6B+) 

Jack the Smuggler (7a)

Black Wall Direct (E2 5c)

One of: Cairngorm Classic Rock IAD, El Cap nose-day (880m climbing), Welsh 3000s

2021 Goals:

35 E-points

Run 30km vert and 1000km

In reply to planetmarshall:

Wow, that's impressive. I'm pretty sure my ascent including a lot more wild leftward slapping while trying not to dislocated my shoulders as my arms straightened at an alarming rate!

That video of her on Keen Roof is really impressive too. I've seen a lot of folk almost climb Keen Roof and none of them, even the really good ones, have looked anywhere near that comfortable. 

In reply to Tom Green:

You were so close to HA last time. I think just being slightly more efficient and you'd get it. With being a bit stronger too you'd cruise it.

 Tom Green 26 Apr 2021
In reply to Somerset swede basher:

Thanks mate. I should probably get on it before I forget where the hooks are! Just need some bad weather to justify summer tooling! ;-p 

In reply to AJM:

I may follow your lead as I’ve just checked on Amazon and they aren’t cheap! Must be the Home-Workout Economic Boom.

What size dowel did you use?

 AJM 26 Apr 2021
In reply to Liam P:

38mm for one pair, 40mm for the other.

There are various YouTube videos of the DIY, both making them with wood and making them with plumbing pipes should that be easier (which can be 1.5" diameter so 38mm).

 biscuit 27 Apr 2021
In reply to AlanLittle:

Cheers Alan. Interesting about your coaching session. Yes one off sessions often confirm what we already know, which is not a waste by any means. What we do about it is the issue. We already knew it and weren’t doing anything...... 

For skill/technique based stuff it’s good to focus On those aspects in your warm up/cool down if you can. Top rope a route fast or get as many drop knees in as you can etc. 

My week was a bit meh due to illness. I didn’t feel right until the weekend but then we hit   Brandy Crag which was nice, though I failed (mentally) on an E2.  Also went to Dow Crag. Did the first and second pitch of Nimrod (E1 5c)and then dropped my shoe off the belay ledge. Went to the Easter Buttress/Ampitheatre and did a brilliant HVS and seconded an E2. Did another HVS in there that was also very good and then seconded Pink Panther (E2 5c)

Great day out. My trad head and gear placing needs to catch up to my climbing ability. I’m taking ages and not feeling very confident. When/if I do commit to a crux it goes fine. It’s still early season so there’s time yet. 

Not sure how this week will pan out. I’m tired (we also climbed yesterday at  Trow Gill) and seem to be jumping between bouldering, trad and sport without getting any training in. It is early in the season and I feel there are gains to be made, but while the sun is shining and it’s so dry it’d be stupid not to get out. 

if it gets cold and rainy I’ll get on the board and go to the wall. If it’s nice I think I’ll be out again. 

Post edited at 15:41
 biscuit 27 Apr 2021
In reply to Ally Smith:

Top early season transition tips from a seasoned campaigner would be useful for most/all of us i think. Got any gems? 

I’m aware I’m stronger than last year and I’ve bouldered outdoors so movement and footholds aren’t as alien as they normally are. But I’m not accessing my new strength yet and I’m not confident in my decision making on a route. My footwork is rapidly improving on routes, but my lead head needs work. 

Knowing the issues is more than half the work. 
My plan is volume (I’m doing way more 6’s before trying hard in a session and more easy trad routes to get going), falling practice and stick with it for a few weeks. Trust that it will come. 

 AlanLittle 27 Apr 2021
In reply to biscuit:

>  Top rope a route fast or get as many drop knees in as you can etc. 

Those were very nearly two of my homework items: repeats trying to go faster every time, and not full drop knees but outside edge / hip in every move.

I have done the latter regularly in the past on very easy warm-up routes, but the assignment now is to do it on routes at or around my onsight limit (whatever that turns out to be when/if more than one climbing wall in the entire state reopens)

In reply to AlanLittle:

> planetmarshall - sound like a fun Wales trip. I would definitely find a butch grit HVS considerably more intimidating than any 6A blocs, especially with a post-lockdown lead head.

Yes, though highball bouldering has its own head-game, I'm finding...

Last week:


Trail run. Padley Gorge/Fox House. 8km/229m 


Bouldering at  Cold Pike Bouldering. Superb venue with a great outlook (see photos) - though the rock is like the love-child of moorland Gritstone and Gabbro. Highlights were

  •  Eiger Aspirant (V2) (V2 my arse...) f6a+ attempt - didn't quite have the courage for the final move, despite the generous paddage. One for next time.
  •  6a+ sit start problem on Boulder 10


Cragging at  Black Crag (Wrynose). Another superb venue - probably doesn't see a lot of traffic since single pitch cragging is not really what people come to the Lakes for. Practically roadside by Lakes standards, though.

  • Attempt on Slipshod (HVS 5a). Took one rest which I shouldn't really have needed - spent too long hanging around, need to climb faster through the steep sections.
  • Redeemed myself with first E1 onsight of the year on The First Touch (E1 5b)

Goals - 

  • Lattice benchmarks. Done - as predicted no change from December (but at least I haven't regressed)
  • Lakes trip. Christen the Lakes Bouldering book. - See above
  • 2 trail runs of at least 8km - Only one but I'm also counting hoofing a bouldering pad up to Cold Pike, back to the car again and then hoofing up a tent and trad gear.
  • 3 routes from Graham Hoey's HVS->E1 ticklist. - Nope but I did get a benchmark E1 at Black Crag.
  • Revisit my trad goals for this year. - See below.

Next week

* Not officially starting lattice program until 10th, just do some conditioning work in preparation
* 3 routes from Graham's HVS->E1 ticklist
* At least 20km trail running

2021 Trad Goals

Mostly restated from December:



In reply to planetmarshall:

Do you work in Chapel too?  I'd be keen for a bit of trad up at Castle Naze one afternoon if you fancy it?  There are a load of E1s right of the tower I'm keen to get on (happy to second anything too obviously).  I have an afternoon every other week that I finish early so could be up there soon after lunch.  The only trad I've done recently has been subVS solos and headpointed harder stuff so would be good to do some onsightable stuff in the middle!  

In reply to Somerset swede basher:

I work at home which is at Bankhall just below the crag, so sure just let me know. I can be at the crag in about 10 minutes. Drop me a message.

In reply to planetmarshall:

I've mailed you.

 Ally Smith 29 Apr 2021
In reply to biscuit:

A few thoughts on early season transition to rock:

- go easy on yourself! Climb with trusted partners/belayers that will boost your confidence, not erode it with distracted belays, hard catches, etc

- Mileage. My personal favourite is to make sure I go home with a new tick for each trip out; generally that means doing a different warm-up/warm-down at crags you're familiar with or visiting somewhere new

- Concentrate on footwork, body-position and being smooth. (Slow is smooth; smooth is fast is my favourite doctrine for speeding up redpoint climbing)

 AlanLittle 29 Apr 2021
In reply to Ally Smith:

> My personal favourite is to make sure I go home with a new tick for each trip out; generally that means doing a different warm-up/warm-down at crags you're familiar

I generally always prefer doing something new to repeating warm-ups. Can turn out discouraging though, when something that "should" be an easy warm up isn't.

 Si dH 29 Apr 2021
In reply to AlanLittle:

Just to provide more support to this; when I used to do a lot of trad I always found the quickest way to get my head back "in" after a period of bouldering, sport or a break was to go and onsight a bunch of stuff at a grade I was fairly comfortable on. It usually only took one good, long day of this to be back to my usual self. Repeating routes I had done before, for trad, didn't help anything like as much. I have never really had much of a (psychological) problem getting back on sport routes after a break so can't add much specifically on that front. The only thing that really scares me about sport routes enough to interrupt the flow is when they aren't steep.

Post edited at 12:58
 biscuit 29 Apr 2021
In reply to Ally Smith:

I’m taking slow is smooth, smooth is fast 👍🏻

 mrchewy 30 Apr 2021
In reply to AlanLittle:

Hey Alan, cheers.

Two indoor sessions and trip to Wales, which was mainly walking up and down. So nice to have different skies above my head and bumped into a few peoy I've not seen in a while. Ace.

Going to have to drop out of fit club - had my first counseling session this week for the PTSD and I really need to focus on that for a while.

Cheers for letting me step back in, it has made a difference.

Have a great summer everyone.

 Tom Green 30 Apr 2021
In reply to mrchewy:

Sounds like a good week. 
Good look with the PTSD stuff. Look forward to hearing back from you when the time’s right for dropping back in to FitClub again.  

In reply to AlanLittle:

I've not given up but not really training either but the real reason for my intermittent entries is time is flying but even I'm shocked its 6 weeks since my last post. I'll probably restrict myself to monthly updates for a bit as (I think I've said before) this is my only point of reference.

Current benchmarks:

11 stone 10

Made good progress on B&W a few weeks ago, consistently doing each half and doing links into the crux

Cycling up to the top of the Bacup to Tod road

Pretty consistent with yoga

Last week I had a good evening in Trowbarrow when I top roped Essence of Giraffe and Essence Direct 

Weekend was spent in Holyhead where I was disappointed to still not be able to touch the crux of Crimson Crimp. Spent the rest of the day stomping around Gogarth and bullshitting to the wife about tales of daring do, so inspired was I spent Sunday on the beach. Started to think about moving to Wales....

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