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We write each plan for a specific type of climber, so you can choose one that closely suits your needs.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

The #1 Reason Why Your Training Doesn't Work

Do as I say, not as I do. I wish those instructions actually worked, but they never do. Fact is, I train hard. I train smart. Most of the people I work with do the same, and I'm not shy about telling them that if they are taking shortcuts, they are only hurting themselves. But here's where it goes wrong... wrong for them, but right for me, that is. I don't climb outside locally during training season.

At 90 degrees with 90% humidity, I'm going to stay in the gym EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

That doesn't mean that it's right for you.  More than likely, it isn't.  Most of the people I work with have only been climbing seriously for a few years, and they all stand to gain a wealth of experience by grinding through the heat of a summer or suffering through snowy, freezing days.  I've climbed thousands of routes outside, in every condition imaginable... they've climbed 30 or 40 routes TOTAL.

You  CANNOT shortcut experience, and you don't get climbing experience in the gym.

I see it over and over again... a climber trains hard all summer long, never touching rock until the prime season arrives.  They go outside for ONE day, and send me a frantic email on the way home.

It didn't work!!!!  I fell on a 5.10!!!!  I can't believe it.... I trained so hard but I got WEAKER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It takes me a minimum of a few routes to get back into real rock mode.  That's after thousands of routes of every style... slabs, faces, steep caves, roofs, cracks, corners, roof cracks, offwidths, chimneys, sport, trad, runout scary headpoints, etc etc.

You've got 40 routes under your belt?  Expect about 4 or 5 days AT LEAST before you get comfortable, and that's only if you've ever been comfortable to begin with, and if those 4 or 5 days happen in the span of a couple of weeks.

40 routes on your all time ticklist and you only climb outside twice a month?  Expect to spend half of your season getting comfortable.  In fact, you shouldn't have a "season"... you should just go climbing EVERY CHANCE YOU GET, ALL YEAR LONG.

Put simply, the wider the base on your pyramid, the less chance it has of toppling over.

I know lots of 5.12, and even 5.13 climbers who skip the less than desirable days, and because they are climbing 5.12 or 5.13, it seems they've been successful anyway.  Not so.  It's not uncommon for those climbers to spend their first 2 or 3 attempts on a route just getting the jitters out.   Lets say those 2 or 3 attempts take up a whole day, which isn't a stretch.  Over the course of a season, even if you're the type that sits around most of the day, that's at least 10-12 attempts.

That's 5 or 6 days of prime temps that you've WASTED.

Here's the facts.  No amount of training will make you comfortable in a performance.  Not for a job, not for a musical, not for climbing.  You MUST spend time in the actual arena to become comfortable in that arena. There are no shortcuts.

Experience trumps training.  Everytime.

You know that girl who never trains, but always seems to outclimb you, without even trying hard?  The one you burn off in the gym and spray beta at because your ego demands you assert your dominance?  You know why you don't see her in the gym on the weekends during the training season?  It's because she's outside, getting experience.

You're getting stronger, but she's getting better.  

God forbid she discovers training...your poor little ego wouldn't stand a chance.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Training Videos, Podcasts, and Instagrams

I use the term "Training Videos" in the title of this post because "Exercise Videos" sounds too Jane Fonda or Jazzercise, and "Practice Videos" would elicit a "Psssht, I don't need PRACTICE!".  Yes you do, but that's for a different post at a later date when I'm not swamped with building the Power Company brand and business.  Basically, a later date when I can rant directly and piss some sensitive people off.

I know this is another in what could be a long list of "I haven't forgotten you, but I've been busy" posts, and I promise those will end soon and we'll be back to our regularly scheduled program.  Until then, here's what I've been up to:

Mobile Apps and Training Plans

It's training season, so I've been busy writing plans.  I've moved most of my previous athletes over to the new mobile platform, and they are helping me to work out some kinks before we officially launch it.  We need to get the videos in, make a few changes, and it'll be ready for the world.  The photo is of a quick screenshot of Power Company trainer Sarah Rottenberger's scheduled training day for today.  It's a very tiny snapshot of what this thing does, and I'm excited to have it so close to launching!  


I mentioned this before, but as I've listened back to a few of the conversations I had while in Wyoming and Colorado, I've gotten even more psyched about what I've got.  Look for these to start making their way into the world in a couple of months!  The photo above is of an in depth conversation I had with my good friend Rannveig Aamodt, concerning the mental and physical awareness and fortitude it takes to come back from a serious setback.  If you haven't heard Rannveig's story... you should!

Practice Videos

Yeah, that's right... Practice.  I said it.  These videos will be available in our mobile app, attached to nearly every exercise we prescribe.  There are hundreds.  It takes time.  Time x Hundreds = Swamped.  That's me, right now.

PDF Training Plans

We've started to populate our online store with PDF Training Plans for those folks who still like paper or are technologically challenged and still use flip phones with no intrawebs.  I'm not hating... I actually envy you.  At any rate, we've got a few of these up and available, though we're going to be adding a few things that will be helpful, like downloadable training logs and links to the "Practice Videos", once those are all online.   Keep checking back... there will be lots more when we're done (though we may never be DONE...)!

Kris Odub Kalous

Kris Odub Lindner

Kris Odub Schulte

Kris Odub Sharma

Kris Odub Webb Parsons

Kris Odub Sierzant

The Many Faces of Kris!

Boredom is not one of my problems.  Going crazy from staring at video editing or program writing, however, definitely is.  These instagrams were my way of staying sane last week.  My head on several famous Chrises.  (Yes, as far as I can tell, "Chrises" is the plural of Chris.  I've had this problem my entire life, so if you know of conclusive evidence to disprove this, I'd love to know.)  At any rate, if you aren't following me on instagram, maybe you should be!  You can find me at @kris_odub_hampton  

Oh, and of course I've been doing physical therapy.  That takes a pretty big chunk of time, actually.  I'm feeling WAY stronger, and I'll update you on that in a couple of days.

Talk to you soon!


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Broken Wing: 122 Days Post Surgery: Feeling More Whole.

Has it really been 60 days since I last posted an update on my shoulder?  Not that there was much to report on, save the same old routine of PT and mobility.  Getting new little exercises I could do quickly lost it's novelty.  Until recently, that is, when the "little" exercises that I was capable of got much bigger.

I've been on the road for about 3 weeks now, the last 2 of which have been in my second home of Lander, Wyoming.  While here, I've been in Elemental Performance and Fitness nearly daily, working hard on my mobility and strength.  I've gotten creative with some of the exercises that I can do to stay in some semblance of shape while I can't climb, and it's been a fun process.  I'm watching my strength skyrocket as I see my mobility slink ahead at a glacial pace.  If mobility were fast, we'd all be flexible, so I'm being patient.

While I still can't hang from my arms with them overhead (I can now reach the top of a door frame, barely, but it feels like a huge step!), I have been able to do inverted rows with no pain at all.  Besides all of the PT exercises and hours of slooowwwwllly stretching out my shoulder, I've also discovered that I can bench press with light weight on my right arm.  Thanks to a suggestion from Steve Bechtel, who owns Elemental and Climb Strong, I've been using Kettlebells, which put the weight in a safe place and allow me to move a little more.  I can't deadlift, but if I can get the weight up with one hand, I can do good mornings, which don't need nearly as much weight to be punishing.  Add in goblet squats, and I'm starting to feel whole again.  Pretty exciting!


Speaking of Steve Bechtel, while here I've been recording conversations about training and specific aspects of climbing style with a few folks.  I got about 3 hours of Steve on tape, talking about 3 different topics, an hour of Carlo Traversi, and an hour of Alli Rainey.  These aren't "interviews"... just directed conversations about a specific topic.  Once this app is ready and out, I'll start editing and posting those talks!

I'm headed to Estes Park today to hang out with good friends Rannveig Aamodt and Nathan Welton for a few days before flying back to sweltering Cincinnati, where I'll likely be getting more work done on this damned computer.  See you guys again soon.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Campusing, Part 4: Programming

So in Parts 1 thru 3 we learned why we should campus, the basics of how to do it, and when to use the plyometric approach to campusing.  Still, that doesn't tell you much about how to actually implement it, now does it?

There are a few rules I follow, and questions I ask, when programming for campusing.

  • Campusing, when appropriate, is always part of a power phase.  The campus board can be used for exercises during other phases, but campusing itself is a powerful activity by definition.  
  • If bouldering and campusing in the same session, boulder first.  Bouldering is much more demanding technically, so it should always come first in your workout.  If you are doing other exercises, such as various powerful lifts, those should always be programmed after.  These bouldering sessions are usually very short to save energy for campusing.  If you are already very sound technically, and pulling strength and explosive power are your true limiters, then this rule may not completely apply to you... but that is a very small percentage of the climbers I've observed.  
  • Campusing may not be necessary.  I always first look to determine if the climber stands to gain more from improving their technical abilities, including in more powerful techniques.  If so, then campusing won't be the best use of their time.  I generally don't advocate campusing until an athlete is climbing mid 5.12 and V5, and have a good grasp on how to climb dynamically.  Campusing will NOT help you learn to climb dynamically.  
  • More isn't better.  I generally ramp up the volume of campusing as the athlete improves, and then reduce it again as they transition to another phase.  Beginners do less than intermediate climbers, who do less than advanced climbers, and so on.  Also, more than twice a week, for more than 4 weeks, is going to be too much for most people, even elite climbers.

The following 4 images are screeenshots from the web version of the mobile app that I'll be integrating into our training platform later this summer.  They are the campus portion of workouts for the people we train, from around beginner (climbing mid 5.12 and V5) to elite (approaching 5.14, V10, and beyond).  Occasionally these will change slightly depending on individual needs of the climber, but the basic template is there.  

Friday, June 5, 2015

Broken Wing: 58 Days Post Surgery (It's the Little Things)

It's interesting how fast perspective can shift when one's situation is altered.  Each time I get the clearance to do a new exercise it's the highlight of my day.  Mobility or strengthening... doesn't matter... it's all the same level of exciting to me right now.  Some weeks it seems like I'm making huge leaps and bounds, and then I'm faced with something like starting my car, and while I can contort enough to get my right hand to the ignition, it certainly isn't as comfortable as the awkward left hand around the steering wheel reach I've become accustomed to.

But we focus on the little victories, because that's where real progress happens anyway.

Outside of the sphere that revolves around healing this shoulder, I've been productive.  More work on a book, the app is nearly ready (we have to film videos for the exercises and then we're live), and we're officially an LLC with a bank account and everything.  Growing up.  There's also song writing going on, my good friend Jeff helped me (well, did the work while I supervised) build garage doors for my garage, and we got our gardens in this weekend.  I've started a series of new paintings as well (which I can do as long as they are around waist level on a table) that will be showing and for sale in Lander this summer during the International Climbers Festival.  We ordered a new run of hoodies, tees, and tanks, which will be posted up soon (provided they don't go out the door so fast again that I don't have a chance).  I'm just starting to study for the NSCA Certified Personal Trainer exam, along with my friend Sarah Rottenberger, who I've been teaching my training system to.  She'll be joining Power Company Climbing as a trainer, and helping me to write training plans via the new app. She'll also be joining me for clinics, as she's extremely good at working with climbers (you may have guessed it, but I tend to be a bit blunt for most people's taste, so Sarah tempers that a fair amount).

But more on all of that later.  Right now you just want to hear the slow details of the recovery.

It's actually a considerably fast version of slow.  Slow, as in, I wish I were just ready to climb NOW.  Fast, as in, everyday brings new small gains to get excited about.

Mobility-wise I'm slightly ahead of the curve or right on the peak of it in all aspects.  This means that I still have a long way to go before I can hang from a jug directly overhead, but it certainly provides some motivation.

The photo above was actually taken at more like 48 days, but you get the point.  I may have a few more degrees since then, but it's slow going.