Simplified. The New Plan.

After a spring of relative success I came to the realization that I had a few remaining glaring weak points.  Not necessarily that these facets are weak, I think of myself as a pretty well rounded climber, but that I had been working on them in the wrong way, or hadn't needed to in some time.  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.

What are the basics, exactly?  It could be boiled down even further than I will take it, but in my mind, for my purposes, the basics come down to the following 5 facets:  Finger strength, power, climbing endurance, technique, and - the one I feel should be saved for last - strength to weight ratio.

Endurance and technique?  I'm solid.  I've spent a huge amount of time the last few years learning and mastering new techniques and their subtleties.  Endurance comes and goes, but is always easy to get back when it's needed.  The base is there, so it's not something I'll ever need to REALLY train again.

Power and finger strength are different issues.  I've spent time working on both, but that work has been complicated by several factors.  When bouldering for power, much of the time has been spent on stronger techniques, rather than pure gorilla power.  Hangboarding time has been plenty, but skin has been a severe limiting factor.  And then there's the weight thing.  I certainly don't have much to lose, but I've never once tried to lose weight for the purpose of rock climbing (other than the extra weight I lost after my 5 year layoff).  Maybe now is the time that I should try it?

So with these things in mind, I engineered my new training plan for the summer.  I'm through the first 4 weeks, and I feel stronger than ever.  It's been more intense than ever before, but after much fiddling over the years, it fits right into my busy schedule.   To top it off, my skin is a little thin in spots, but holding together perfectly.  So far, only one split and it barely held up the session.  This isn't luck... it's all part of the plan.  A plan that was based on one thing:

Rocky Balboa.

That's right.  Remember how Rocky went to Russia and got all primitive leading up to the fight with Drago?  Me too.  And how he was pummeling sides of beef in the meat locker before fighting Apollo.  Yeah, that.  So it's back to basics.  With a vengeance.

4 weeks:  July 16 - August 12.  Strength.
Monday A.M.:  Hangboard
Tuesday A.M.:  Hangboard    Tuesday P.M.:  Threshold Bouldering (focus on 1-3 moves)
Wednesday:  Bike or equivalent.
Thursday A.M.:  Hangboard   Thursday P.M.:  Threshold Bouldering (focus on 1-3 moves)
Friday:  Rest.  
Saturday or Sunday:  Threshold Bouldering (focus on 1-3 moves)
Saturday or Sunday:  Bike or equivalent.  
4 weeks:  August 13 - September 9.  Power.
Monday A.M.:  Hangboard    Monday P.M.:  Campus
Tuesday P.M.:  Recruitment Bouldering (focus on 3-7 moves), Core.
Wednesday:  Bike or equivalent.
Thursday A.M.:  Hangboard    Thursday P.M.:  Recruitment Bouldering (focus on 3-7 moves), Core.
Friday:  Rest
Saturday or Sunday:  Campus
Saturday or Sunday:  Bike or equivalent.
6 weeks:  September 10 - October 21.  Power Endurance.  
Monday:  Rest
Tuesday:  Red River Gorge.  Short term projects and major project links.
Wednesday:  Bike or equivalent.
Thursday:  Recruitment Bouldering.  4x6.  Core.
Friday:  Rest
Saturday or Sunday:  Either Red River Gorge OR  Recruitment Bouldering, 4x6, Core.

Then I rest.  Then I crush.  That's the plan, anyhow.  The simplicity of what I'm doing doesn't come through entirely in the written program.  The bouldering is just what it says - no searching out of new techniques, no drills of any kind.  Just finding single moves and short sequences to get gorilla on.  For core, I just do it 'til it hurts.  No more counting, timing, or analyzing.  I know it's working because I feel like a midget could do pull ups off my ankles while I'm in a lever.  Forever.  When I bike, I don't use a watch.  I just go as hard as I can on an antique Italian roadbike for about 8 miles or so and I'm wrecked.  If walking is unsteady, I've done good.   My diet has vastly improved, though you'd be hard pressed to see me as a "health nut".  Nothing crazy.  Just simple, simple, simple. 

But that's not all.  Much of the boiling down to the basics has to do with the hangboard and campus workouts I'm doing.  Slick.  Streamlined.  I believe I've cut out all the unnecessary parts and kept what I need, and only that.  The results have been surprising.  And that's... well, that's next time.

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