UKC Fit Club Week 755

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 AlanLittle 05 Sep 2021

On my way home from the Frankenjura: placeholder for those who absolutely must post this evening. Full stats to follow tomorrow 

 AlanLittle 06 Sep 2021
In reply to AlanLittle:

Nobody? Right then.

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.

This week's Psyche Vid - I confess I haven't watched all of this yet but it looks like it'll be interesting, and the outside world doesn't seem to hear much these days about goings on on the Elbsandstein. English subtitles available (also useful for fluent German speakers who learned their German in Bavaria and struggle with the Saxon accent!) Elbsandstein XIIa equates to about 8c+

Last weeks post -

AJM - excellent news on Liquid Sun, and the post-lockdown bouldering progress generally. 

Ally Smith - good FA, cool name.

biscuit - "Note to self - make [S&C work] a consistent habit" - couldn't agree more on this. Difficult to remember to fit it in at times of year when we're climbing a lot, but worth trying to keep up at least some basic maintenance level. El Chorro in October iirc? What does the September endurance programme look like?

Liam P - very sorry to hear of your accident. Best wishes for your recovery.

planetmarshall - hope the Pembroke trip continued to go well

Ross Barker - not sure what's the bigger achievement, moonboard benchmarks or 2 x real 7's

Si dH - I for one am interested to hear about your approach to max hangs & finger rehab, and will continue to be. "The Orme. Did the usual 3*30 second density hangs after warming up" - also interested in this. What do you use for the hangs? My mate and I were contemplating the benefits of portable fingerboards yesterday, as we arrived at a crag where the less-than-ideal "warm up" is a 6b/+ that starts up a steep slab with monos and polished footholds.

Somerset swede basher - that does sound like an excellent holiday week. Back at work now?

Steve Claw - ah, South West sea cliff climbing, where even toproping is adventurous! Hope the bat didn't sneeze on you.

the sheep - how did race day go?

Tom Green - two classics and an epic sounds like a good North Wales week.

Tyler - congratulations on thee house. Living near the Carneddau definitely offers potential for getting your hill fitness sorted

AlanLittle - smart move timing the lurgy to coincide with the bad weather (?)

 AlanLittle 06 Sep 2021
In reply to AlanLittle:

Felt like it took most of the week to get over the virus that knocked me down last weekend

STG: Frankenjura: Edelsteine return match next weekend. Any or all of Opal, Türkis, Diamentenfieber
STG: Summer 2021: Fill out my couple-of-goes pyramid around the 6c-ish level before moving back onto harder projects.
MTG: Autumn 2021 sport trip. Ditch the lockdown weightbelt (3 to 5 kgs) beforehand and get fit 
LTG: Be a confident, well rounded low to mid 7's sport climber. For measurable definition see Fit Club 658

M: Recuperating from virus - felt better but still not 100%, seemed wise to take it easy. Booked flights for Leonido in November - game (hopefully!) on
T: Still not feeling well enough recovered, so skipped my usual Tuesday evening wall session. Half an hour stretching before bed. 

W: Wall, Boulderwelt. Circuits. Pretty good session, up to & including doing the moves on a fun 7a on the 45° wall but being quite a way off linking it. Excellent - hopefully this will stay up long enough that I can use it as a PE benchmark for my Leonidio training.

T: Catching up on work, sat at desk all day. Not good - should have found the self-discipline to get off my ass and get some movement in, but didn't.

F: Half an hour stretching, mobility, shoulders. Better.

S: Frankenjura, Algersdorfer Wand, location of my mate's big project. Really wasn't feeling it today - lingering virus after-effects, bad sleep and work stress all week. Pottered desultorily on a couple of routes, but mostly just belayed my mate on his - successful, yay! - project burns.
S: Frankenjura, Edelsteine. Slept better, climbed better. Working on my highly deficient skills at butch overhanging pocket pulling. No ticks except the 6b/+ warm-up, but had fun trying. 

 Tom Green 06 Sep 2021
In reply to AlanLittle:

Hi clubland. Thanks for the stats Alan -unusually keen to post this week!

Good start to the week, good finish to the week and total rubbish in between. I feel like the next couple of weeks will be treading water from a training point of view, until the move is done and I come up with autumn/winter plans.

Week 35:

M: Climbing. Clogwyn y Grochan. Felt pretty lethargic, but managed to pull myself together for the brilliant Hangover (E1 5b)

T: Nowt.

W: Horse stood on my foot, putting paid to running for the next few days.

T: Fingerboard. 

F: Nowt.

S: Nowt.

S: Climbing. Tricked Tyler in to coming to Llanymynech on a day of perfect mountain crag weather (i.e. awful sweaty weather for the suntrap of Llany!). With a combination of Tyler's coaching and the eventual arrival of some shade I finally got Jack the Smuggler (7a) (although not without dropping it on the easy top moves -twice)! First 7a, first route I've ever properly projected (apart from drytooling sieges!) and, whilst I know that 7a is barely even entry level these days, I'm pretty chuffed with it!

Week 36:

M: Rest

T: Long work day

W: Run

T: Climbing

F: Run

S: Fingerboard

S: Climbing

STG (Sept 17th): 

Jack the Smuggler (7a) -TICK!

One of Red Square (E2) and Black Wall (E1 5b)

2021 Goals:

35 E-points -currently miles off this, need to get out more.

Run 30km vert and 1000km -got a LOT to do to get these, but heading in the right direction!

Post edited at 10:32
 Ross Barker 06 Sep 2021
In reply to AlanLittle:

Nice one on the stats, I debated getting my post in but was absolutely wrecked after a full-on week, plus it's good to have a bit of conversation.

> Ross Barker - not sure what's the bigger achievement, moonboard benchmarks or 2 x real 7's

Hah, those MB benchmarks can be very stiff indeed! They're both pretty soft in my opinion, but likely still definite 7s, which is something!

> My mate and I were contemplating the benefits of portable fingerboards

The question wasn't posed to me but I would absolutely recommend getting a little portable hangboard, they're not too pricey (mine was £25 ish I think) or you could make your own cheaply if you've got the tools. Very handy for when, as you found, there's not much easy stuff to try, and also if you're limited by skin and don't want to use any warming up the ol' digits.

Last Week:

M - Session on The Ramp Up (f7B+). Most energy was spent relearning my old beta from months ago, but after that I was able to get a move or two further before powering out. Tough laybacking to the top! Feel like it could go this summer/autumn if the weather plays ball.

T - Rest.

W - The Ramp Up (f7B+). Beta was fresh but I was not. Pretty much the same high point, but fewer goes. Might be one for spring!

T - Some shady toproping at  Trowbarrow en route to the Lakes. Dogged up an E3 with my abysmal endurance but had a good time nonetheless.

F - Started off at Surprise View Boulders, tried L’Apparramarra (f7B) but couldn't be arsed to pursue it, I was able to make some moves when I got the heel in right but it was such a low-percentage faff each time. Did soft 6C next to it which was decent. After lunch went on the classic Little Chamonix (VD) which was great fun, third pitch was a bit dodgy but all in all a good time alternating leads. Almost pitch black as we topped out after some massive rope mismanagement and general gear faff. Epic.

S - Sour Milk Boulders, got on Thermodynamics (f7A+) and ticked it relatively quickly, felt rather soft, I think the problem description needs more detail as it gets rather easy the higher you start, but the lower moves are just a bit thuggy and crap if you go from a sitter. Couple of other easy bits including a spicy highball slab/solo thing.

S - Tour de Mersey Sandstone on the way home from the lakes. Did a couple wiggy highballs at  Pex Hill Quarry and got stuck into Hart's Arete Layback (V5). Sussed a good sequence but didn't have anything in me to finish it. Next time I'm in the area I'm sure I'll swing by to finish it off.

Next Week:

M - Rest.

T - Rest.

W - Crag B? Indoors? Maybe even Rigpa?

T - Rest.

F - Rest.

S, S - Praying for good weather.


Rehabilitate finger (pretty much done at this point).


 Ally Smith 06 Sep 2021
In reply to AlanLittle:

Thanks Alan - another sterling effort with the stats

Week 35

M – As per last week

T – >9hrs teleconferencing. Brain mush. Rest

W – More rest.

T – And more of the same.

F – Evening gorge session. Investigated potential 8c headwall project. It’s flippin’ brick hard! 5 move >7C on top of 7c+ of pumpy climbing? I’ll keep probing but it’s not a goer this season. Probably time to move on and concentrate on the 3 projects I have bolted on the Orme this Autumn? 1x dog 2x failed RP efforts on Fair Trade “7b+” which has probably lost a hold or two. Easily 7c even with maximum lank deployed. Shoulder and neck grumbling.

S – Day of shopping and assembling child-proofing measures.

S – 6.5mile flat walk with Squiggle in rucksack carrier, followed by a squeezed in aero-power boulder-interval session; 6C+ & 7As. Went better than expected with only 2 problems dropped.

In reply to AlanLittle:

Thanks Alan, back to work today so the week below was the last week of freedom! 

Mon. Went for a sequence refining mission on Fine Beta at Anston Stones. Made a couple of tweaks that made the start and middle higher percentage and a massively better way of doing the end.... its on!

Tues. 9km run.

Wed. Rest.

Thurs. Life got in the way so ended up being a late lamp session but managed to finally tick Fine Beta (f7C). This is the culmination of 2 sessions in 2017 but I wasn't fit enough, another 2 in 2019 but couldn't find fine enough beta for the finish then another 3 session in the last few weeks. Pleased! It went quickly today so I managed to do Fine Art Direct (f7A+) too which somehow I've never noticed before. 

Fri. 12km on the mtb taking mini swede to the park.

Sat. Went sport climbing now my partner is back off holiday. Got on an 8a which felt unlikely first tie in but I did all the moves 2nd tie in and in 3 sections 3rd tie in. Need to sort a couple of clipping positions but hopefully get a redpoint in next session. It'l probably still be a multi session epic though!

Sun. Tried to go for a kiddy ride on the bikes but small swede stacked it into the gravel after about 4km so we headed back from there. 

In reply to Ally Smith:

Did you manage to do the 5 move boulder in isolation? Sounds nails! 

 Ally Smith 06 Sep 2021
In reply to Somerset swede basher:

> Did you manage to do the 5 move boulder in isolation? Sounds nails! 

No, unfortunately not. I was making shapes but only did 3 of the 5 moves in isolation. There's a distinct lack of feet which makes one long reach particularly troublesome.

In reply to Ally Smith:

Maybe it requires more cleaning and stabilisation...

 Si dH 06 Sep 2021
In reply to AlanLittle:

Thanks Alan. Lots of strong showings this week, especially Tom and Somerset. And of course Ross's six days outside climbing in a week, that's more than I manage on a Font trip! Very jealous. Here's my boring indoor contribution...

Having set out my priorities last Sunday, they got a bit derailed this week as we decided to stay with my mum for a few days and I was without my usual training equipment, so couldn't do any max hangs in the week. It was helpful for childcare purposes though and I managed to get a wall visit in.

M: rest

T: evening - found a way to set up my portable fingerboard to hang from my mum's staircase in a way she was happy with, but ran out of time to do any actual training.

W: morning - 3*30 second density hangs, 5*5 one arm scap pull-ups with theraband assistance**

T: evening -  3*30 second density hangs, followed by a bouldering session at Boulder Hut. I did 5 or 6 purples (v4-6) and a couple of blues (v5-7.) The blues were both really good problems.

F: rest (and return home.)

S: evening - hip mobility routine

S: 3*30 second density hangs, followed by measuring myself on max hangs for 12 seconds, as I'm going to have a go at Steve Bechtel's 3/6/9 fingerboard routine for a while. I have made some spacers out of an old plastic coat hangar and reduced the good bm2000 pockets to ~27 mm. I'm hopeful this should be a good edge to make some training gains on without irritating the bad joint. I managed bodyweight+20kg on both 4 finger half crimp and 3 finger open hand, probably could have pushed it slightly more but that felt pretty hard and I decided it was enough. Afterwards did a few problems on the board, didn't feel strong (unsurprisingly) but left ring finger was fine.

Main good thing this week is that I've had no pain at all in the finger, it's held up well. Feels like I'm on the road in the right direction with it.

**These were easier than usual and I needed very little assistance. The top of my portable fingerboard is almost like holding a bar whereas the jug on the lattice edge that I use at home requires some finger strength to hold one armed. I think I'm probably maxing out on fingers by the 4/5th rep at home because of them gradually slipping, and ideally need a bar to develop this training towards being unassisted and hence get the shoulder benefits I'm after.

Pull-up bars seem ridiculously expensive to buy and not designed to fit to an overhead beam, which is what I want... anyone seen any good hacks?


 Si dH 06 Sep 2021
In reply to AlanLittle:

> Si dH - I for one am interested to hear about your approach to max hangs & finger rehab, and will continue to be. "The Orme. Did the usual 3*30 second density hangs after warming up" - also interested in this. What do you use for the hangs? My mate and I were contemplating the benefits of portable fingerboards yesterday, as we arrived at a crag where the less-than-ideal "warm up" is a 6b/+ that starts up a steep slab with monos and polished footholds.

Hey Alan, the density hangs were prescribed rehab for me at the end of my warm-up routine and they seem to be helping, but I think my injury is perhaps a bit unusual (a problem with the DIP joint, definitely not a classic pulley strain/tear) so I wouldn't suggest the same thing for someone else without seeing a physio.

The max hangs aren't part of the planned rehab but basically my way of getting back in to finger strength training without irritating the joint. Small edges set it off but larger edges are ok if I warm up well and I've been told that if I avoid pain I'm not at risk of damaging it further. So, now that it's feeling robust enough that I can do something worthwhile, I just experimented to see what edge size didn't cause pain, then what weight I could hang on it was. Tbh I think I have suffered over time because the 'classic' 20mm (especially a curved lattice edge) doesn't allow me to weight my pinkie properly, so it loads my ring finger DIP joint a lot.

I use a portable fingerboard from Crusher holds, a Send. It's ideal for the purpose and they are much more sensibly-priced than most (I think mine was £25 or £30.) He was advertising them recently but I don't know if he delivers to Germany.

Post edited at 18:04
 mattrm 06 Sep 2021
In reply to AlanLittle:

Just wanted to say you've been doing a great job with the statting this last year.  I've mostly been reading the posts, even if I don't actually post.

 AJM 06 Sep 2021
In reply to AlanLittle:

Thanks Alan. Another positive vote for the portable fingerboard, I’ve found mine useful already. I made mine albeit with some commercial crimps since I was ordering holds already. I have made edges myself before that I’d be just as happy using though.

After Monday’s success, the main news this week is finally the very tentative opening of an account on Mark of the Beast. Otherwise, feeling a bit tired and also got that “end of season” sort of feeling, unsurprisingly given the time investment in Liquid Sun - it isn’t, really, the dws season is in mid flow and I’m not sure it’s even been boulder season lately, but nevertheless a bit of a contemplative week. The one thing I feel I ought to work on over the winter is getting stronger face on. I’ve been contemplating whether I can get a regular wall session going with miniAJM and otherwise whether I can step up the volume of indoor wall stuff again this winter after a few fairly home-bound winter training seasons when microAJM was little and then through this winters lockdown. And it would be great to use the home board to actually get route fit again for next year.

A quiet weekend on the climbing front although some groundwork laid for winter stamina training - see Sunday. First day at school for the little one today, which I still can’t quite believe, and now we are camped up on Portland (he has tomorrow off to recover!) with hopefully a bit of roped climbing on the cards for tomorrow.

Monday - yyfy as per last week

Tuesday and Wednesday - resting and regrowing skin

Thursday - Lulworth in the afternoon. Cloudy and colder than I had hoped but the rock was dry and not greasy. Opened an account on Mark of the Beast at last. I’ve spent some time building this up in my head, especially the sketchy start (it’s close to the start ledge for a chunk of the initial section). As a result it’s unsurprising I didn’t make much progress, wanted everything to feel very controlled and didn’t have much “go for it” going on, and super static isn’t a style I’m strong enough for at that angle. I did have an odd learning point though - one of the moves I naturally tried to go outside edge, only to find it left my wrist too open trying to get the next pinchy sidepull. Next time, inside edge on the same hold, shoulders a bit more open, no problem! 

Great to get started though. Hope for some more crisp dry days yet this season, I’d like to at least get to the bit where other people get scared (there’s a move right that takes you even closer to/above the ledge)! Would be great to actually get past that and out above the deep blue this season, but we shall see.

Friday, Saturday - nothing. Feeling pretty tired, bit wiped out really.

Sunday - quiet day at home, thought with the first day at school for miniAJM Monday we should keep it chilled. Made a dozen large incut edges/jugs, drilled bolt holes and countersunk screw holes, painted them bright green for effect, and stuck them on the wall. First circuit up! The plan is then to set a crimp circuit (for the moment, eventually I want to be able to switch between a crimp circuit and a pocket circuit, but I need more pockets first!), and then I can start working out combinations. Yet to decide whether to go for some sort of attempt at a realistic grading system or whether to go for a more qualitative grading system, perhaps using alpine grading nomenclature for comedy value.

 AlanLittle 06 Sep 2021
In reply to mattrm:

Glad to hear you're still about

In reply to AJM:

> circuit and a pocket circuit, but I need more pockets first!

As a quick job you could you drill large holes in the board and comfortize with some wood filler?

> perhaps using alpine grading nomenclature for comedy value

If you’re after comedy you could use the Moonboard grading system 

In reply to AlanLittle:

Thank you Alan.

Quieter week again due to not training as to rest the elbows (not seen a physio yet), and less outdoors due to Mrs Claws being unwell, so can't leave her with the children.

Will be back on the training during September, and with Lundy trip on the 18th coming, I really need to get my head ok leading E4, which I almost never fall off when TRS (top rope solo).

Wed - Took Children to  Trewavas and had them help set up the ropes, and also belay me up (with the TazLov as a backup onto the live rope)

Sun - Back in Bristol so explored the Grey walls in Quarry 5, slabby and technical, so definitely my sort of thing, these ones I will return to lead. Without issues did (TRS) A Symptom of the Moral Decay (E4 6a) (O/S Warm up) Looking Good Houston (E5 6b) O/S and Disrespectful Youth (E5 6b) 1stRP, finished up at dusk, had to tick the footholds just to see them.

Currently got a strong adventurous feeling to do some hard lead solo (LRS), just trying to get my head around the point where adventure danger meets stupid

Post edited at 23:47
 AlanLittle 07 Sep 2021
In reply to AJM:

I‘ve never quite understood whether „Abominable“ is above Extremement Difficile, or exists in a parallel universe adjacent to it like XS

 AJM 07 Sep 2021
In reply to AlanLittle:

I think there's two schools of alpine grading

- one where it's linear, so ... TD+, ED-, ED, ED+, ABO-..... I think this was the original french system

- one where ED is open ended... TD+, ED1, ED2.... I think this is a later attempt, and possibly partly driven by the Brits given the parallel with E grades. I don't think ABO technically fits here...

 AJM 07 Sep 2021
In reply to Tyler:

Yeah, Moonboard is an alternative isn't it! Start the circuits at Fb2+ and work from there!

 biscuit 09 Sep 2021
In reply to AlanLittle:

Thanks Alan.

I've got two weeks in Costa Blanca from the 18th Sept, then El Chorro in Oct. It's getting close, so jjst ticking over really now.

I've sorted out my goals - 7b in a day x3 and onsighting 7a+. If we're limited to cold crags due to hot weather in Costa Blanca i may go for a 2 or 3 session redpoint of 7b+.

Not sure for El Chorro yet.

M - Hollywood bowl for a go on Sunset Boulevard. Still tired from the day before. Nice day out but nothing achieved other than getting pumped and taking some falls.

T - Rest

W - Boudler up to V6 on vert/slabs. Aero Pow (foot on campus) - new peak of 3 mins first set down to 59 secs for set 6.

Leg and shoulder weights

T - Rest

F - Back on Super Dupont (7b+). Cloudy and cool day with a breeze. Everything felt very do-able. Big links made. It's a goer! 

S - Rest

S - Back on Super Dupont. Sending day! By the time i got warmed up the cloud burnt off and it turned into an un forecast boiling hot day at a south facing crag. Had a very hard time taking the draws out and went for a swim. Bugger!

Great that the moves felt so much better in better conditions. I've been on it 3 times now. Day 1 - boiling hot, bailed half way up first dogging go. Day 2 - great connies. Day 3 - bailed again. But realistically i feel like i've had one proper session on it. If i get it next session i'll be pleased with that as a 7b+ tick before the holiday.

This week is ticking over before the holiday. 

 the sheep 09 Sep 2021
In reply to AlanLittle:

> the sheep - how did race day go?

Cheers Alan, had a really nice event. Took it easy on the swim and got out of the lake refreshed as it was bl00dy cold! Took a chance on not wearing a cycle top and sticking to just the tri suit.  Thankfully the sun came out and and stayed out. The cycle route was quite hilly and there seemed to be a lot more up than down for a circular route! Coming out of transition to the run the legs felt good, none of the wobble you sometimes get. Run went well, got in under my desired time with negative splits all the way through so well judged  Then home for a well deserved full English. Rest of the week went as follows;

Monday, 1km lunchtime swim

Tuesday 1km lunchtime swim and 5km evening run

Wednesday, 1km lunchtime swim and 6.5km evening run

Thursday, 1km lunchtime swim followed by stretch class, very gentle 4km evening run

Friday, 1km lunchtime swim

Saturday, carb loading, any excuse! 

Sunday Tri day

In reply to AlanLittle:

W: Very quick visit to Gordale after work, this route is weird as I've never been able to stick to a sequence, every go up is different. Can literally only go bolt to bolt (i.e.  can't do links) on first go up. Had time for one redpoint that ended with one bolt's worth of hard climbing and a tricky clip to go.

S: Had various chores to do so met up with friends at Pen Trwyn late afternoon. Flashed a 6c+ to warm up which is my hardest post op flash then just about struggled up the 6c+ next door on my second attempt after spending along time trying the crux. Logbook votes indicate 7a/+ which I agree with, all compressed into one move.

S: Met Tom at Llanymynech and in the biggest strategic error since the Charge of Light Brigade we decided to go Jack the Smuggler in the blazing sun;  28 degrees  and no breeze. I'd top roped this successfully a couple of months ago so had a retro flash go but dropped the last hard move (only an idiot would fall off above this point!), fell in the same place next go before we went to try and find some shade and I made a hash of not getting up Dead Man's Fingers (7a). I got quite intimidated and didn't even complete my bolt to bolt. We then went back and both stylishly sent Jack the Smuggler. Enjoyable day and great to meet up with Tom.

 Tom Green 10 Sep 2021
In reply to Tyler:

> (only an idiot would fall off above this point!)


In reply to AlanLittle:


Last day at Pembroke. Prospective climbing partners were heading home so no chance of getting on Beast unfortunately. Needed something that I could retrieve gear on abseil and walk out. Went to look at Manzoku (E1 5b) but the queue was four teams deep Repeated Hercules (HVS 5a) instead.


Actual last day at Pembroke. Still a queue on Manzoku (E1 5b) but only the one party. Did Limbo (VS 4c) and then the main event - great route, and will have to go back for Cool for Cats (E1 5b) (but maybe not on a bank holiday weekend)


Brought back down to Earth (though not literally!) with a frustrating attempt on Sergeyenna (E1 5b). Made it as far as the final overlap then fell off, pumped senseless. Frustrating, I spent far too long dithering over the crux and wasted too much energy.

Next Week's Goals

Depending on conditions, one of

  • Two routes at E1 or above
  • Two routes at 6b or above
  • Two problems at 6A or above


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