Well its that joyous time of year again, winter. When the weather turns to a snowy arctic mess, all my friends leave to warmer better climbing areas, and I stay in Estes Park doing tree work. Well I work when the weather is above 10 degrees and its not shitting down snow. Last year to deal with the solitary lifestyle of winter I read lots of books, watched lots of movies, cooked, baked, climbed a bit In adam’s garage, and also skated in the garage.
This year I plan to take advantage of having nothing to do and no one to hang out with by training in hopes of having a few nice days on the weekend to send some winter projects I have picked out. here’s the extensive list. be pretty psyched just to do one or two of these in all reality.
I figure its the best time to train because I will have limited distractions and I really won’t have anything else better to do.
I have always had this idea about doing a training period with 100% sincerity to really try and see how much stronger I could really get. So, this winter that is my goal. commit 100%. eat only kale salads, train 15 hours a day, never rest, and drink lots of protein drinks. Ha! just kidding. In reality eat well, cut out those ice cream, cheesecake, cookie, rice pudding, carrot cake, pastry binges. I just want to do everything I have learned over the years to get stronger, not injury myself, and be in tip top shape.
So to prepare for this upcoming training period I decided to rest from climbing and climbing related activities for 2 weeks. I’m not one to scare from resting periods like that. I have been going pretty hard since april getting ready for park season and then tirelessly hiking up to park to do battle. I am a firm believer to keep progressing, these rest periods are essential. I have just been foam rolling my back and doing yoga to try and rehab the body a bit, and man does it feel good. By the end of the park season I wasn’t really feeling in the best shape, or rather some days I would feel amazing and other days like total shit, this is when I usually know its time to take a break.
Towards the end of the fall season I could see some holes in my climbing. I felt like my pinch strength, my power endurance and my core tension was severely lacking. So I am definitely going to try and improve on all these aspects, plus I think crimp strength and campusing can always be improved upon. I always feel like its important to access your weakness so you know what target.
After climbing for 15 years and training off and on for the majority I have done a lot of crazy, super specific exercises, I have over-trained, done exercises that felt like they didn’t do anything, done exercises targeting stupid muscle groups you don’t need, etc. Through out this process there have been exercises that I keep in my training and others that got discarded. My theories on training have changed a lot from super mega marathon training sessions, and lots of rest days, to short sessions but lots of them. My current theory is to keep it simple, listen to your body, be elastic with your planning, and less is more when it comes to training.
here is my current climbing program and the training exercises that I use now. Its basic and pretty streamlined. I am no scientist, so I can’t give you the nitty gritty on why this works. Through trial and error I can tell you that it works for me and most of these exercise are pretty fun and when you feel strong on them your confidence in your strength translates well to when your actually on the rock. which is huge for the mental side of succeeding on your project.
Well I usually just climb on adam’s 60 and 50 degree wall or josh’s moon wall, 47 degree wall or tread wall.
On Adam’s walls I make up climbs that target my weakness in climbing, such as cross overs, close compression, bad feet, and keeping tension fully extended off low feet. I also make basic climbs to just get strong at certain things, like a basic crimp problem, problems with terrible holds, big move problem, small move problem. I try and make up climbs I can do in a session or two. Ideally I would like to work and send 3 problems in a session. Plus, I will put up some simulators of the projects I want to try this winter.
Every once in awhile I do bouldering exercises like 4x4s or cutting my feet and hanging for 3 seconds on every move of a boulder problem. If I do the latter exercise I try and pick 4 medium hard boulders and send ’em in this fashion.
On Josh’s walls I try and send the climbs he has made up, circuit medium hard problems, or try and do a new moon boulder problem, which are funky and usually hard as fuck. I like to climb over here to switch it up and not climb on boulders I have made myself. Also, when you don’t feel like bouldering you can pump yourself silly on his tread wall circuit for some fitness.
For this training round I am goin dabble with wearing a 15 to 20 pound weight vest. I will either get mucho strong or injured ha!
it’s what holds ya to the rocks. always can be improved and I put a lot of importance on training them.
for improving crimping I like doing Chris Webb Parson’s Hangboard workout shown below.
except I don’t do 3 sets of full lock-offs, instead 6 sets slight bend, 3 sets half lock off. I got bad tendonitis on the top of my elbow from doing the full lock-offs. I usually only do this once a week too. otherwise I get elbow problems too.
For pinching I just keep it simple using the beast maker 2000
I do as many pull-ups as I can on “hold 1” pinching the bottom of the board. Once I start to slip I hang until failure
I do 9 sets with 1:30 rest in between.
I am a big fan of laddering.
my normal campus routine consists of
- bigs 2-4-6-8-10-8-6-4-2 static, slow, and hopefully silent. 2 sets, 2 min rest
- medium 2-6-9, 4 sets, 1:30 rest, leading with opposite hand each set
- smalls 1-4-7-10 4 sets, 1:30 rest, leading with opposite hand each set
- bigs 2-4-6-8-10-8-6-4-2 static, slow, and hopefully silent. 2 sets, 2 min rest
To spice it up I’ll sub one of those out with some double dynos, or try and do my max campus ex. 1-6 match drop, or more laddering like 2-5-8 bump again to 9.
I like to do my ab work-outs during the chris webb-parsons finger boarding. so during the last 6 rest periods of the finger board work out I do these. If my descriptions suck or are confusing I got these exercises from the book Gimme Kraft, which I recommend its pretty rad.
Ice cream makers-
- pull-up to 90 degree lock-off, raise into a front lever hold for a split second then lower back down. repeat 8 or so times. usually I fail before that. 3 sets, 2 minute rest.
- hang on a hang board or pull-up bar bring you’re feet up to the bar and lower your legs to the left as far as possible then go back to center and without stopping do the same on the right, once you get back to center again then you have done one rep. I try and do 8 reps and 3 sets, 2 minute rest
I’m not really good at these two. Well I slack for sure, but it definitely helps to avoid injuries.
- For elbows I do these from the video below. 12-15 reps, 3 sets. I also go the opposite way from the video in the same fashion. 12-15 reps, 3 sets. I am goin try and do them after every training session
- I also do reverse wrist curls and do 3 sets with just enough wait to get a bit fatigued, not crux out on the last rep. I am goin try and do these after every training session too.
I fucking hate stretching and as I mentioned before I am not that keen on doing general conditioning. I do manual labor so I get an overall fitness, but my shoulders still need to do opposition exercises. And well I don’t stretch. So to appease these two lacking components I am going to force myself to do yoga twice a week. I started already and I like these two videos so far.
- This one is more stretching and less physically demanding. I think its perfect for increasing leg and hip flexibility so you don’t have to fight yourself to get on those spread out feet.
This one is a good mix of physicality and stretching, well if you suck at yoga like me. It gets a lot of opposition muscles and still more stretching which is bueno.
normal training week might look like this but my schedule is very elastic depending on how my body feels. I would rather not develop an injury pushing myself to get stronger. So I play it safe and am more conservative I guess.
Monday- bouldering for an hour or so, campus board work-out, conditioning exercises
Wednesday-bouldering for 30 min or so, fingerboard work-out with 6 sets of abs during rest periods, conditioning exercises
Thursday-bouldering on the home wall, pinch pull-ups, conditioning exercises
Saturday- climb outside, or boulder on the wall, campus or fingerboard work-out or just abs, conditioning exercises
Sunday- chill, yoga if you want, skateboard, read.