Apr 29, 2009

"Worse Than Expected"

Objective: Climbing Stamina

Warm-up: 10 rounds
6 pull-ups every 30s (+10lbs for rounds 3-8)

Training: (1) 15 rounds
1 cave lap
10 jumping squats (60lb sandbag)
5 dips

(2) 5 rounds
10 push-ups
20 back extensions

Some days it is hard to hold onto anything.

Notes: Another Mountain Athlete session. I was pleasantly surprised by my performance on the pull-up density training.

A cave lap starts out on 45 degree HIT strip then follows a dead horizational roof for 15 feet, turn around, and go back. I suck at roof climbing. However, this is a little different because the feet are below you. It is a matter of wedging yourself between the roof and the vertical feet. Like I have said in the past, roof climbing is fun, but I'm sure how it translates to outdoor climbing. I have never been shut down outside on a dead horizational roof with jugs. The coach at MA pointed that I lack core stabilization in the cave. It is helpful to have an outside perspective to indentity weaknesses. The cave laps were hard, but just because something is hard doesn't make it smart training.

The rest of the stuff made me breath hard but was doable. The only place to dip was on the GHD and could not get full ROM. Not cool.

My hands have taken a beating at Mountain Athlete. I have "jug flappers" on both hands. I climb at many places that are hard on the skin, e.g. Bishop and Hueco, but I don't remeber the last time my skin being in this bad of shape. I wonder about the sustainabitliy of this training.

Bonus: Dave Tate - Listen & Learn
Greg Everett - Read & Learn

Apr 27, 2009

"New York", aka a 70 minute mugging

Objective: Climbing Power Endurance


I was too lazy to write it down.

Bonus: Max number of dead hang pull-ups, chest-to-the-bar, 17

Photo courtesy of Mountain Athlete
Me on the jugs, which I said I avoided.
The camera doesn't lie.

Notes: Second session at Mountain Athlete at Boulder, CO. I used the jugs only during the first two rounds of the hangboard warm-up. Otherwise, it was only slopers, edges, and pockets. I got a dose. During the system board intervals, I was on the steepest board and stayed off the jugs (mostly) until weight was added. I started with 10lbs on the 6 minute round. I added 2.5lbs each round and finished with 22.5 lbs. I used 10lbs on the wrist curls and 45lbs on the weighted sit-ups. I was a little disappointed with the pull-ups, but that was just my ego speaking. That is enough pull-ups for the climbing I want to do.

I was the only person at this session, and it was perfect for me. Power endurance training for over 60 minutes with no silly alpine stuff. The coach at Mountain Athlete asked if I got "pumped," and I didn't know how to answer. I'm going to steal someone else's answer: "I don't get pumped anymore, I just lose a little contact strength." I didn't feel like I was going to fall off, but I just couldn't use the smaller holds after the 45 minute mark. Interesting ...

Apr 26, 2009

The Next Cycle, Training For An Outdoor Gym

Photo courtesy of Mountain Project

I'm no longer injured and through the recovery process I have built up a good aerobic base in my forearms. I'm ready to start a new training cycle. The goal of the training cycle is a 4 day trip to Mount Charleston over Memorial Day weekend. I have never been there so I will focus on onsighting as many routes as possible. Mount Charleston is limestone, which means steep, big moves, slick feet, and pockets.

My general training principles:
- 4 climbing days per week (2 performance days & 2 training days) and 3 rest days
- Strength/Power is King
- Power Endurance is Queen.
- Minimal cross-training.

With those principles in mind, I here is my training schedule:

Week 1
M - Power Endurance at Mountain Athlete
T - Rest/Cross-training
W - Power Endurance at Mountain Athlete
Th - Endurance/Technique
F - Rest
Sa - Performance
Su - Power Endurance

Week 2
M - Rest
T - Performance/Power
W - Power Endurance
Th - Rest
F - Rest
Sa - Performance
Su - Rest

Week 3
M - Power Endurance at Mountain Athlete
T - Rest
W - Performance/Power
Th - Power Endurance
F - Rest
Sa - Performance
Su - Power Endurance

Week 4
M - Rest
T - Power Endurance
W - Endurance
Th - Rest
F - Rest
Sa - Start of Mount Charleston trip

The performance days will be outside, weather permitting. If I have partners, they will be sport climbing days. If I can't find partners, they will be bouldering in new areas to keep my onsight skills sharp. The power days will either be outside, working bouldering projects, or inside, campusing or threshold bouldering. The power endurance will be inside, e.g. intervals on the systems board, 4X4, or 6X8.

Apr 18, 2009

Bulimia is my training metric. Anorexia is my training diet.

Objective: Cross-Training

Warm-up: Burgener Warm-up

Training: 5 rounds for time, but a 12 minute cut off
10 power snatches, 115lbs
20 wall balls, 20lbs
(4 rounds plus 5 snatches)

Begining of the Workout
The Rx'd weight is very light for me so I choose to muscle Snatch (it is quicker) and drop the weight (it is easier).

Post Workout Happy Place

Notes: I'm injured (no serious climbing training), and its raining (no bolting). That means it is time for CrossFit. This workout is one of the practice events for the CrossFit Games. I love CrossFit, but I just think it could be better.

First - The only official warm-up is going up and down with a PVC pipe. That is not a complete warm-up for snatching 115. The coaches did not suggest an additional warm-up. I finished warming up on my own.

Second - I don't think the person that wrote the workout actually did it. NOONE in the gym finished it in the allotted 12 minutes. I was one of the closest to finishing it. That is why I can't join a CrossFit gym. There are some really wacky workouts that I don't think are good methods for developing fitness.

Third - No matter how much anyone's form deteriorated, the coaches did not stop them or reduce the weights. It was completely about finishing the workout with the quickest time.

I had fun, and the people are great. I just think the methods could be improved.

Bonus: T-nation article about CrossFit. That draws similar conclusions.

Apr 16, 2009

You don’t have to like it, you just have to do it

Objective: Climbing Endurance, Climbing Technique

Training: Day 1 - ARC, 20 mintues
Day 2 - ARC, 30 minutes
Day 3 - ARC, 20 minutes X 2
Day 3 - ARC, 30 minutes X 2
Day 4 - ARC, 30 minutes X 2, plus "easy" bouldering

Old System Board Set-up
There were only 6 panels. They were too far apart to pull through, forcing you to match. Matching does not make you stronger. The crimp panels were blocked by the larger panels.

Reset System Board
12 panels and spaced properly to allow pulling through. If you match, you are weak. The crimp panels are no longer blocked.

Notes: Lately, I have been rehabbing my finger injury with a vengeance. I found the best method is ARC, aerobic restoration and capillarity. ARCing is climbing continuously for set amount time, 20-40 minutes. It is basically jogging on a climbing wall. It is a great opportunity to work on climbing technique, tricking you into climbing without over thinking. You will be able to climb more pitches in a day, because the increased density of the "capillary beds" will remove waste products more efficiently. You will be more comfortable climbing when slightly pumped, decreasing the likelihood of punting.

Why don't people do it? It is booorrring. I don't care. I know it is the best thing for me.

I got a job at the local gym as routesetter. My first project was resetting the system board. My next project is resetting the campus board. Watch out : 1-4-7 with standard spacing. Here I come!

Apr 11, 2009

We all love climbing, we all have bad jobs

Objective: Climbing Technique

Training: (1) 1 handed climbing

(2) No handed climbing

(3) Southwest face of Ship's Prow, V4, flash (felt easy, but I could have used a hold that is off, it is the freakin' Rotary)

I was motivated to work on my technique by this video while I'm recovering from a finger injury.

Notes: It was chilly, cloudy, lovely morning at The Rotary. I'm not enamored by the climbing there (too contrived), but I decided to treat it like an outdoor gym. I plan to train technique and stamina there.

Apr 10, 2009

Pull out & Walk out

Objective: Climbing Power Endurance

Warm up: 5 rounds
1 minute fingerboard
4 x burpees
3 shoulder scarecrow, 5lb

(1) 5 rounds
1 HIT lab (jug, small jug, two finger, pinch)
every 3 minutes

(2) 5 rounds
3 x staggered pull ups
10 x GHD sit ups
30 x finger curls
8 x push ups

(3) 4 rounds
5 x KTE
1/2 calf tabata
1/2 HAM

(4) 3 rounds
30s slam ball, 20lbs
30s overhead hold

What sweet torture lies behind that door?

Notes: Today I made my first pilgrimage to Mountain Athlete in Boulder. Returning from my road trip, I had a small finger injury. I have been a good boy, i.e. complete climbing rest, active recovery, and ice baths. I thought a MA session would be a good way to ease back into training. I was right. The original version focused on strength, whereas today's session pumped the living daylights out of me.

1 minute on hangboard always kills me. It is not getting much easier. I have noticed an improvement in my clipping ability from this training because clipping requires hanging one-armed from jugs when you are pumped. I don't understand why MA puts the pinch grip, the hardest one, at the end of the HIT lap. I would reverse the order, climbing on the jugs when you are pumped. You would fail due to losing mental focus, not a lack of physical strength. The staggered pull-ups were pretty much one-arms. Trying to straighten my hands during the push-ups was sheer torture because I was so pumped from the finger curls. I had mistakenly thought fingers curls were pulling from open hand position to crimp. Finger curls are pulling your palms to the board. The nonclimbing stuff was very easy, coming from a CrossFit background.

I plan do my strength/power workouts on my own and head down to MA for power endurance training. It is hard to find the motivation to train power endurance for 1 hour by yourself.

Apr 5, 2009

Santa Barbara, Getting Stomp On At Old Stomping Grounds

Objective: Performance

Problems Sent: Lord of the Flies, V0+, repeat (warm up, at least there is a lot of moves)
A Steve Edwards Project, V5, 2nd try today (1st try was still a warmup, I flailed on it long ago with no success)

Total Points: 5

Problems Tried: Shake it like a tornado, V6, a bunch of tries (cool moves to a not cool topout)
Gangster Hippie, V7, 3 tries (I couldn’t commit because of the fall, it felt potentially horrendous)
King Dinosaur, V7, 1 try (I sent it using an incut dish out left. A review of pictures and videos rules my ascent invalid)

My dirty hippie impression

Sending "A Steve Edwards' Project"
I remember trying it years ago and not being able to get established. Today it felt easy.

Notes: Between Yos and CO, I stopped off in Santa Barbara just long enough to hang out at the beach and sneak in a quick session at Lizard's Mouth. I was psyched to check out a new problem called "Instant Coco." I knew the general location of the problem but had no clue which particular boulder. I ended up not finding it. No big loss. After time at Joe's and the Valley, I lack the motivation/skills to excel at Santa Barbara bouldering. The feet are too sandy and the top-outs are too rounded.

Apr 1, 2009

Yosemite: Keeping People Climbing 5.9 Since 1972

Objective: Climbing Technique/Performance

Problems Sent:
Initial Fiction, V1, 3rd go (overcame huge mental barrier, fell making the last move on 2nd go)
The Sloth Left, V2, flash
I’m Pumped, V3, flash (no I wasn’t)
The Sloth, V3, flash
Ament Arete, V4, flash (from the stand, no clue how to do the sit)
Tendons Give, V4, 2nd go (traversed too far on flash because the guidebook was unclear)
Unnamed (bridwell boulder), V4, 3rd go (would have flashed if I wasn’t mislead by the guide book)
All problems on Unnamed boulder near B-1 boulder
VB, V3, V0, V0+, V5, all flashed

Problems Tried:
Sentinel Traverse, v6, 2 tries (fell on last hard move both times, move #14 : hand/foot match)
Unnamed (sentinel boulder), V5, 1 try (freak out and got pumped)
Spanish Fly, v4, 3 tries (no holds & no chalk on top out)

Enjoying perfect rock and perfect movement

Yosemite 5.10a, hard and scary

One of my hobbies is strongman training, aka picking up heavy awkward stuff. I convinced my girlfriend to dabble in it.

Notes: Spent 3 days in The Ditch, aka Yosemite Valley, with my girlfriend. No crowds, perfect weather. The long climbs were wet so we just cragged and bouldered. Epic free.

The main mission was getting her to start leading trad. She got up a bunch of things, including a 5.9, Grant's Crack. It is nice dating a climber. She understands the obsession and when I come home bruised and sored. However, she belongs to a different tribe, the traditional tribe. I self-allied with the bouldering/sport tribe. Yosemite is a wonderful watering hole were different tribes can come together.

The second objective was for me to overcome my mental barriers against the valley and slab climbing. In the past, I have been shut down on fiction climbing. I have big muscles and like to use them. I swallowed a bit of my pride and pawed up some fiction. There was a shocking amount of trutching.

The ticklist is not complete but selected highlights.