I put this together from past programs, in the hopes that it'll help me reach the goals below. Could you please give me some input and change the program as you see fit?
Goals and what I need to reach them:
1. Send Hoofmaker before January of 2012
V5 bouldering strength for ~10 moves
12c endurance for ~70 feet
good recovery on moderately good holds
the desire to work something for a season instead of trying new routes (I'm finally there, 10 years into the game)
2. Send at least 3 12c's and 1 12d in Kalymnos
(These are guesses)
V5 bouldering strength
12c endurance for 120 feet
good recovery on moderately good holds
better roof technique
the desire to hump stalactites
I've been climbing through the summer, but not training; though I've still been able to maintain the 12a level. My plan is to start ramping up to the attached training program with some quasi training once or twice a week.
Then, I'd like to get in 3 months of training before leaving for Kalymnos (November 12th), and either send Hoofmaker before or after Kalymnos.
Not that I haven't thanked you before, but thanks for all those training programs - even piecing one together was hard, let along drawing them up from scratch.
Yas sending Jesus Wept. Photo: Anne Skidmore
I've been friends with, climbed with, and offered training advice to Yasmeen Fowler for several years. While her email didn't exactly surprise me, the timing of it did. Back in the spring of 2009 she broke through the 12d barrier with the classic "Jesus Wept" at Red River Gorge, and added another 12d in the fall of the same year. I expected that momentum to continue into 2010. For whatever reason (I believe it's partly the more than monotonous training I had prescribed), 2010 only saw Yasmeen logging five routes in the 5.12 range, and none harder than 12b. I was pretty sure she had had enough, and had moved on to just having a good time, which is a choice I couldn't fault her for (and sometimes wish I could make).
As I've watched Yasmeens climbing closely for years, I immediately saw a few problems with her plan. She was pulling the ideas from programs I had written at a time when her needs were different. Her endurance is her strength. She climbs very much like a Red River route climber... usually pushing with both feet, doing moves the least powerful way possible. The techniques she has in her bag of tricks, she has mastered. Problem is, there is nothing powerful in that bag of tricks. I replied with this:
Couple of things to think about, and a couple of questions...
First, don't think of it as "12c" endurance... what you're more likely to need is sustained 5.11 endurance. For instance, there are only a few moves harder than 5.11 on the whole of the undertow wall. Building up to being able to climb 11+ for 120 feet will get you easily through the moderate climbing on most enduro 13s.
Second, the best way to see gains at your level is going to be by directly attacking your main weakness. I would vote for power, specifically moves in which you have only one foot to push from, and your hand has to travel a long way (no "matching up" in the middle of a move). I know it's scary to feel like you're "losing" endurance, but that stuff comes back fast and easy. Power is more elusive, and I think at your level, spending more time on power will help way more than spending time on endurance. In my recent experience, it takes at least a couple of weeks of just bouldering to really begin seeing solid results, so if you go that route, don't get discouraged early.
For the past couple of seasons I've had success training in blocks that follow a specific formula... endurance, then power, then power endurance, rest, followed by a noticeable peak in ability (performance phase) for a time about equivalent to the length of each "block". You've got a solid endurance background, and with the muscle gains you made in the P90x program, I'd think you're primed for a power push. We could sit down and figure it out so that you "peak" for Kalymnos, or try to peak for Hoofmaker, and use Kalymnos as the endurance phase of a second cycle.
Those are just suggestions. What you've outlined will certainly help, and I definitely believe that if you put the work in, you can do Hoofmaker. I suppose what you need to decide is do you want to do Hoofmaker, or do you want to be ready for 5.13 in general? Power is going to be an essential element of harder routes, and it's the space where you stand the most to gain.
Let me know your thoughts, and I'll look over the program again...
I had tried once before to get Yas to boulder more, and it was definitely a failed experiment. After just a handful of days bouldering she had perceived a loss of endurance, and was right back to roping up. In her defense, the bouldering at Rockquest SUCKED back then. Now we have The Anvil, so she had no excuses. Regardless, I expected a struggle, so I tried to compromise.
... if you aren't getting on routes for a month or so, then you won't know you've lost any endurance. If you were to start now, use August for power, September for Power Endurance and a week of rest, then you'd have a 3 week or so peak time in October for Hoofmaker. There won't be a sharp drop in ability (some people using periodized training report this, but I've found that performance in the gym is affected far more than performance outside... particularly where endurance is concerned) for November/Kalymnos, so your goals there would still be in line.
Yas in Greece.
To my suprise it seemed she was game to try and leave the harness at home for a while. Much like myself, Yas prefers to work out to a set plan, with an outline to keep her focused, so on August 4th, I wrote this rough program, concentrating on her weaknesses, for her to begin working with:
4 WEEKS: Power: Chances are if you're climbing routes outside, it's going to suck. Try and get in at least 2 workouts a week, preferably 3.
**Warm up GOOD! I find it's helpful to have a warmup circuit of problems that you do, finishing with a problem or two that were mini projects in the past. Also, try to add a few steep, one foot pushes during the warmup just to get that movement becoming more automatic. Try some of your warmups without using two feet to push off of every move.
**1.5 hours of threshold bouldering. Pick 2 or 3 projects that feel impossible, and 2 or 3 projects that seem doable within a couple of weeks. At least one of each that exploits your weaknesses. Best to stay on 3-6 move problems (not counting the topout if it's easy). Any longer and it's pushing into power endurance. The goal with the "impossible" problems is to learn each move by itself, and then try and connect a few. You may not send it... so what?
**.5 hours or so repeating a few problems that are hard for you, but that you can do, particularly ones that exploit weaknesses.
**20-30 minute ARC session on the Anvil. Be sure to spend some time in the steep, even if it's on jugs, and when you're getting close to where the pump lets nervousness set in, bail out to a lower angled wall. Try not to spend a ton of time shaking out. It's best to try and do most of your recovery while climbing. I would say that in a time-strapped situation, ARCing is the optional step.
3 WEEKS: Power Endurance: It's September, so put in some work on Hoofmaker. At the least, get it ready for send attempts in October. Days on Hoofmaker can be finished on easier Undertow routes... you can own that angle if you put in the work. Twice a week is plenty for this phase. A 3rd day in the gym could be used to get back on a rope and work out a single pitch project.
**Warm up BETTER!
**1.5-2 hours bouldering. Longer problems are ok now. Try and repeat all your old projects and continue work on projects you're close on. If need be, pick new ones that are sendable within a few sessions. Don't destroy yourself. Save alot for the 4x4.
** 4x4. Moving into 5.13s, your goal should be to include at least one v4 into your 4x4. If you want to set it up to be like Hoofmaker, it would look something like this: V4 or V5, V1, V3, V2. Mostly on edges and minijugs. Maybe a few pinchy holds. Rest about 3 minutes between sets.
** Finish up with 20-30 minute ARC session on a rope if possible (keep it easy... 11-ish.)
1 WEEK: Rest. Climbing outside = ok. Climbing in the gym... only if you didn't climb outside, and only on easy routes.
OCTOBER: Crush Hoofmaker if it isn't already done. Crush other routes. Crush rocks in general.
Hope that helps... I'll be psyched to watch!!
For the uninitiated, threshold bouldering can be a frustrating experience. Spending hours just to leave without having connected more than two moves can be a definite mindfuck, particularly for someone who is used to climbing routes with 60 or 70 moves. To her credit, Yasmeen stuck to the plan throughout August and into September, when she made her first forays onto Hoofmaker. Even though she'd never worked for any real length of time on one route, she quickly got excited about seeing small bits of improvement from week to week. On October 3rd, after her normal weekly update about the progress on Hoofmaker, I sent this message:
As far as my help goes... I just put it on paper. You're doing the work, so good job! Hoofmaker sounds like it could go down within a couple more days on it. Then you could clean up on the 12d's on that wall, and when you're in super-enduro shape, 40oz is waiting. Of course, there's always The Force. So many options you're opening up
In future news... if you do a similiar, power based schedule over the winter, I bet it boosts you even more. Your power has a long way to go, and you'll be able to milk a lot of improvement out of it.
Less than two weeks later, on October 16th, I got the excited message I'd been waiting for:
In the spirit of documentation and closure... I SENT HOOFMAKER TODAY!!!!!! :D :D :D
I'll relay the whole tale of battle when I've got a real keyboard in front of me, but wow! I can't believe it! :D
It doesn't end there, and frankly, I'm more impressed by what Yasmeen has accomplished post send. With nearly a month before her Kalymnos trip, it would have been easy to bask in the success, but she continued training. Before now, Yasmeen's most difficult send on a roadtrip was 12a, and only a handful of those. She had previously onsighted one 12a and flashed another. Between Kalymnos and a weekend trip to the Obed, her ticklist jumped to this:
5.12aIsland in the SunKalymnos(flash)
5.12cTufa King PumpedKalymnos(second go)
5.12bLucky StrikeKalymnos (third go)
5.12bLulu in the SkyKalymnos (onsight)
5.12cFire WallKalymnos (second go)
5.12bThe Odyssey (aka Little Duke)Obed (flash)
5.12aThe World Between Your LegsObed (second go)
Does training work? If you stick to it like Yasmeen, it does.
The Proof is in the Progression.
Yas in Kalymnos. Photo: Rick Bost