While on my recent, first-time-out-since-October bouldering trip, I began mentally planning my final push toward Spring. Knowing that a full training cycle had been lost due to time spent on the house, I had to maximize the intensity of this training period. At the same time, I wanted to make the most of the time I could slip away to the boulders, and get that first V10 under my belt.
But.... is that even possible? Can you simultaneously be in an intense training cycle and realistically expect to perform your best? Doubtful. My first thought was "I've never really trained for a bouldering season... I'm always training DURING bouldering season. It's possible that I could boulder much harder if I timed my peak right." Soon that led to "If I'm spending time trying to perform during bouldering season, is that negatively impacting my winter route training?" Most likely.
The V9 I did on this last trip was power endurance oriented. In fact, all of my V9's, with the exception of one, have been all about power endurance. I'm essentially trading out half a week of training for performance in the same arena. Exactly a problem I've highlighted before. Shit.
Back to the drawing board. Easy fix. For now, I have to forego performing on the boulders in favor of keeping within the parameters of my training. If sends happen, great. If not, it's all part of the higher plan.
I'll still be making trips to the south. The difference is that now my outdoor goals will match my training. During my hypertrophy phase, I'll focus on working out the moves on V10's and 11's. V9's that don't suit my style will get the same treatment. Possibly even V8's that exploit a specific weakness. As long as there is a series of 1-3 moves that I have trouble with, it's fair game. For my max recruitment phase, it'll be about making links on these same problems. Come time for AE, I'll be making attempts at longer links. I may not send a single boulder for the rest of this winter, but I'll be ready to rope up when spring arrives.
Here is how the plan looks now. There are a few tweaks to make, some specifics to work out, and routines to dial in. It begins tonight. Let's get it.
Meghan Baker is a recently married 43 year old mom (to a teenager), who works 50 hours a week, is a brilliant actress in local theater groups, volunteers, and still makes time to train for climbing. You think you are tight on time? Well, to be frank, you're full of shit.
Job, family, friends, hobbies, etc.. Trying to balance that with climbing, training for climbing, talking about climbing, thinking about climbing, and listening to podcasts about climbing is TOUGH WORK.
In this episode, I sit down with strength coach, climber, and multisport athlete Charlie Manganiello, from ClimbStrong, to find out how we can all perform in multiple sports. Even if you're only switching from sport climbing to bouldering, Charlie's philosophies are applicable.
So in the previous posts of this series, 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?
I've gotten several questions about my schedule during my High/Low training, and to those I've answered, "I'll be posting it soon," and then never posted it. Before I divulge my top secret schedule, let's talk a little about how I created it.
For those that have never undertaken a project, it can be intimidating just to decide on the right route. It's easy to get in over your head, and even easier to not shoot high enough. There are a couple of questions you can ask yourself to help make this decision.
My friend Nate Drolet, asked his belayer if she wanted half of his banana. Of course she did - who wouldn't? Rather than peel it and break it off with his chalky, dirty fingers, or dig in his pack for a knife, Nate snapped the banana in half. Clean break, right through the middle. Like a ninja.
After a spring of relative success I came to the realization that I had a few remaining glaring weak points. At the root of all of it was that my thoughts on training had gotten maybe too complicated. Too many exercises, not enough real focus on a few of the basics.
I've been friends with, climbed with, and offered training advice to Yasmeen Fowler for several years.As I've watched Yasmeen's 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.
There are thousands of ways that your training can be rendered ineffective or inefficient. After much deliberation over a list of about 25, I've decided on the 5 ways I see experienced climbers derail their progression.
The fact is, you WILL NEVER get to within earshot of your potential if you don't have a complete skill set. No matter how hard you train, no matter how much blood, sweat, and tears you contribute to the cause, you'll never get the job done without the tools. So what are you waiting for?
Christian writes: I've got a few questions that I would like to discuss with somebody (preferably with more knowledge about climbing than me), so if you or your readers have opinions about the following points, I'm very curious:
At the beginning of every cycle I set new goals. I put them down on paper, and post them front and center on my refrigerator so I'll remember those goals everytime I reach for the vanilla bean ice cream. I aim high, so inevitably, my goals are never completely met, and will have to carry over to the next season. This isn't an accident. It's by aiming for harder to hit targets that we learn the little lessons we need to improve ourselves.
More readers are asking great questions, which has prompted me to decide to periodically answer as many as I can, in addition to my regular posts. Carlos writes: I also wanted to share my new training plan with you and hopefully get some suggestions on improving it...