Jul 29, 2009

Scalar Field

Objective: Climbing Power Endurance, Short Intervals

Training: (1) 18 rounds
One Adv problem on the 1:30

rest 10 minutes

(2) Rhythm Intervals
Level 1, lower right

(3) Prehab

I give props to Rob Shaul for always trying new stuff.

I think the most important element of core strength is the successful application of the strength you already posses. "It doesn’t matter how big your engine is if you don’t have traction on a surface." Once technique is rock solid, you can work on a bigger engine.

Even with core work, my primary focus is increasing maximal strength because any climbing worth doing is hard. I don't train core endurance, i.e. longer 5s, because I figure it is already being trained through functional movements.

Notes: End of the current Power Endurance cycle. Last training day before a roadtrip and the start of fall/performance season. I'm a little tired, but I'm strongest, fittest, and technically sound I have ever been. I hope this translates to the rock and sending. The best thing is I'm not injured.

During #1, I did every Advanced problem in the gym worth doing.

I'm abbreviating the Rhythm Interval workouts because I'm tired of writing them out. I mostly do Level 1. I have done one at Level 2 (it really sucked).

Jul 28, 2009

Dell Hell

Objective: Climbing Endurance

Training: Easy traversing, 45 minutes

Notes: A mellow day between two hard days.

Bonus: This article has been on my mind lately, link. "Maximal Oxygen Consumption" has little or no bearing on climbing. "Lactate Threshold" and "Efficiency" are of critical importance to sport climbing. The article makes the argument for focused training on "Efficiency" for less technical sports. Given that climbing is a very technical sport, I wonder what the last figure would look like for climbing. Today was another step on my continued quest for "Efficiency".

Jul 27, 2009

You're Never Really Asleep; You're Never Really Awake.

Objective: Climbing Strength, Climbing Power Endurance, Medium Intervals

Training: (1) Flash new problems, Adv & Int

(2) Threshold Bouldering, 45 minutes

rest 6 hours

(4) System Board, 1-4 moves
two finger pockets, middle, lower right
crimp, #2, #1

(3) 10 rounds
Up (Adv), Down (Rec), Up (Adv)
rest 1:30-2 between rounds

Advance Flash

Notes: I haven't been climbing lately, but I haven't been recovering either. I have friend visiting. His name is Insomnia. He sucks as guest. I wish he would go home, back to hell. I did the best I could, which was a notch above completely sucking. 5 days til the Oly Comp. At this point, it is potentially dangerous for me to go through with it.

I felt much better during second session, although a little weaker than normal. Up, Down, Up are another new addition to the program. It is a fun mind to crank hard when you are a little pumped. I started to fade during the later rounds.

Bonus: Tate on Steroids. He knows his stuff and is not afraid to tell it like it is. I strongly recommend becoming a CrossFit Journal subscriber and listen to the complete article.

At the end of the complete article, he states the most beneficial fitness attribute is maximal strength. I have always been a resident of that camp. Even though I train for sport climbing, I realize that if I become stronger I will climb higher grades. That is why the foundation of my training is hard bouldering/hangboard/campusboard/systemboard.

Jul 23, 2009

The Slow Clap

Objective: Climbing Strength (or Strugglin'), Climbing Power Endurance, Long Intervals, Technique

Training: (1) Technique, Roof, Dropknees, Bicycles, Hand/Foot Match

(2) Threshold Bouldering, 40 minutes

rest 6 hours

(3) Long Intervals, rest as needed, 45 minutes
climb Adv, recover on wall, repeat until failure

Technique, Roof, Hand/Foot Match

Threshold Bouldering, sorta

Notes: I feel so weak. I tried flashing the new problems and got shut down on all of them. All grades: Advanced, Advanced +, Open -, and Open. I couldn't pull off the ground on most of them. The session felt very unproductive because I couldn't link more than 3 moves together. Most of the time I couldn't even pull one move. I thought it was just a bad day, but I could run laps on problems I have already done (at similar grades). It makes no sense. I feel like my bouldering is a zero or one. I can run laps on a climb or can't climb it all. I hate bouldering.

I tried to redeem myself with some endurance training. I went really LONG with the intervals, linking 4-5 problems together. I stuck mostly to Advanced problems. I was focusing on resting/recovering on the wall. I do okay at recovering on vertical. Once it gets steep, it feels like resting takes more energy. I'm forcing myself to learn how to recover on steepness. When I throw something new in my training, I use an intuitive approach. I didn't keep track of the exact number of moves, work/rest ratio, and quit when I felt tired.

Jul 20, 2009

Critical Denisity

Objective: Climbing Power Endurance, Short Intervals

Training: (1) Technique, Roof, drop knees, bicycles, hand/foot matches

(2) 20 rounds
easy traverse into an Adv problem, 7-10 moves
on the minute

(3) Rhythm Intervals, system, lower right
2 rounds
30 on/30 off/ 30 on/ 30 off
30 on/30 off/ 30 on/ 30 ar
rest 4 minutes between rounds

(4) Prehab

Notes: Gym is getting too crowded for evening sessions. I watched this video before I the session. It always fires my ass up. I kept the same intensity as the last short interval session, but dropped the hammer on volume. 20 hard problems on the minute is no joke. Ran out of time to repeat technique work.

Jul 19, 2009


Objective: Climbing Power Endurance, Long Intervals

Training: (1) Technique, High Steps, 10 minutes

(2) 10 rounds
30+ moves
rest 1:1 (~2:30)

Notes: I increased volume, from 8 to 10, but kept intensity the same. Next time, I'll put some Adv problems in the mix. I rested less on the wall because I'm adapting to the long circuits. The gym closed before I could repeat the technique work. It was a small blessing because I was beat down at the end.

Jul 18, 2009

Resource War

Objective: Climbing Strength, Climbing Power Endurance, Medium Intervals

Warm-up: Long one, including working an Open Problem

Training: (1) System board, 4-6 moves
two finger, small pocket/lower right
crimp, #2/#1
sloper, lower left

rest 6 hours

(2) 12 rounds
Prefatigue into a Int+ problem, 15 moves
every 2 minutes

Open Problem
My first go after figuring out the moves for 5 minutes.
Big moves on a roof, not my thing.

Notes: The gym was oddly crowded for a Saturday morning, mostly families. It didn't matter, I got psyched and trained.

Jul 16, 2009


Objective: Climbing Power Endurance, Short Intervals

Warm-up: Up & down climbing with any feet

Training: (1) Technique, high steps

(2) Flash, Adv, Open(f)

(3) 3 rounds
1 Adv problem on the minute for 5 minutes
rest 5 minutes

(4) Rhythm Intervals, system, lower right
2 rounds
30 on/30 ar/ 30 on/ 30 off
30 on/30 off/ 30 on/ 30 ar
rest 4 minutes between rounds

(5) Prehab

(6) Technique repeat

Advance Problem Flash

Notes: Birthday Challenges are fun. Training for Birthday Challenges sucks. Every time I do intervals, I get sucker punched. They start so easy and end so hard. My legs felt weak on the high steps. My abs hurt. It is takes me a while, 1-2 days, to recovery from short intervals. I'm a whinny scrotum.

Jul 15, 2009

Intimidatingly Nice

Objective: Climbing Strength, Climbing Power Endurance, Long Intervals

Session 1: Maximal hangs, rest as needed
1) Sloper, hard side, middle
53, 63, 63, 63

2) Crimp, easy side, smallest crimp
0, 0, 0, 0

3) 1/2 crimp, easy side, middle outside
53, 53, 53

Session 2:
Re-Warm-up: Open feet traversing, 10 minutes
Mobility Drills

1) Technique, roof, drop knee, small bicycles, large bicycles

2) 8 rounds
30+ move circuit
rest 1:1+

Ninja Training

Technique, roof, bicycling

30+ move Circuit, Last Round

Notes: Steve B. suggests hitting the hangboard once a week. Climbing is always hard, it pays to stay strong. Keep it simple, sloper, crimp, 1/2 crimp.

I repeated the drop knee training and adding bicycling. It is almost completely different doing small bicycles and large bicycles.

Each circuit was Int+(up), Rec(down), Int+(up), Rec(down), about 3:30 minutes of climbing. I repeated an individual circuit until it got too hard or too easy, with a total of 3 separate circuits.

I was so worked by the end I forget to repeat the technique training. I still need a coach to be present.

Jul 14, 2009

Protoplasmal Primordial Atomic Globule

Objective: Climbing Power Endurance, Short Intervals

Warm-up: (1) Climb lots of problems with open feet

(2) Flash, Int x 4, up and down

Training: (1) Technique, roof climbing, drop knees

(2) Flash, Adv X 3
Redpoint, Open x 1

(3) Various crimp moves/hangs

(4) Rhythm Intervals, system, lower right
2 rounds
30 on/30 ar/ 30 on/ 30 off
30 on/30 off/ 30 on/ 30 ar
rest 4 minutes between rounds

(4) Technique, repeat

Today was a #2 day, either bad skin or tired.
Tomorrow is a well earned rest day.

Notes: I bubbling over with training ideas from the clinics in Lander. O-dub discussed the idea of proper body positioning, instead of looking for footholds. Climbing with any feet is method to reinforce proper body positioning. You use the best technique you posses, not the best technique the route setter possesses.

Steve Bechtel always focuses on technical improvements by training it first and last. I realize that I can break down my roof climbing suckage into elements. I used large handholds but dropped kneed on every move with no foot cutting.

I actually redpointed a boulder problem. CRAZY. The difference was switching to redpoint speed, i.e. <2 seconds on each hold/no messing around.

My skin was hurting from 5 days on. I did more maximal crimp hangs than actual moves.

Rhythm Intervals are a super secret training method from Steve Bechtel.

Jul 13, 2009

I Got A Coach!!! (sorta)

I have mentioned several times I need a coach. I think you're an idiot if you are your own coach or do your own programming. It is always better getting an outside perspective and mentorship by someone more experienced. This I weekend I made steps toward rectifying my situation by seeking out Steve Betchel in Lander, WY.

It was rad to geek out with him about training. I got a lot of great ideas. I'm jumping right into the middle of one of his programs. That isn't ideal, but better than the crap I put together. It should set me be for a successful run at my 2009 Birthday Challenge, onsight 30 routes in a day.

If only I lived in Lander.

Jul 12, 2009

Lander, Day 5, BAWSE

Location: Wild Iris, OK Corral/Right Side

Route Sent:
?, 9, onsight (8 in the guidebook, i'm up grading)
?, 10c, onsight (short but great warm up)
Ride me cowgirl, 10b, onsight (rad, wanders a bit)

Routes Tried:
?, 11c, bail (tweaky slab)
Saddle Tramp, 12a, 1 try (fell at crux, hard to read)

Cowboy Fun

Notes: Went to Joe Kinder's Redpoint Clinic. The same people as yesterday's clinic. I ran into Joe awhile back at VRG. He was injured and kinda bummed. Now is back in the game. There is no one more inspiring to climb with. He loves climbing, especially sport climbing, and wants you to send everything.

Kinda sunny, which sapped the psych. I got on a super heinous 11c. I fell and might have sent 2nd go, but there possibility of injury. No route is worth it. It was interesting watching other people hurl themselves at it, especially after I described in detail what a POS it is. There are three types of people. Some people you can tell. Some people you have to show. Some people have to pee on the electric fence themselves.

I fell trying to onsight an okay 12a. It was jugs to 2-3 move boulder problem, which I read incorrectly. It would have been an easy 2nd goer, but I had to head back to CO. I would like to thank the dude watching me struggle on the boulder problem for not spraying beta, until after I fell. I hate when people spray beta during onsight attempts. I love the onsight game, even when I fail.

There is so much route potential in Lander. I'm bringing a bolt gun next time.

Jul 11, 2009

Lander, Day 4, Crowded Cliffs Still Suck

Location: Wild Iris/Zorro

Routes Sent:
Chico, 8, onsight
Cirque de Suave, 10b, onsight (cool dihedral, all legs)
Gaucho, 10d, onsight (pockets, more pockets, rad pockets)
?, 10c/d, onsight (slab, everyone did it differently, each way sucked)
Eweanimiy, 11b, flash (saw O-dub climb it first, but still messed up a sequence)
The Guns I’ll never Own, 11c/d, 2nd go (fell on 2nd move, NEGATIVE!!!, pulled back on & went to top)

Total Points: 28.5

Wild Iris is the place to be.

Limestone is the best.

Notes: Went to Odub's Onsight Clinic. The cliff was packed. There were 8 routes, 24+ people, 5 dogs, 5 kids, and 2 babies. OUT OF CONTROL.

Kris knows his stuff. Lots of little nuggets to incorporate in my climbing. For example, don't focus on footholds. Focus on body positions and footholds will be there. I climbed all my routes in the last 2 hours of clinic because I wasn't aggressive enough getting my mandatory warm-ups.

Bonus: Rad poem about Lander - Cowboy King (using only route names)

Jul 10, 2009

Lander, Day 3, Competence, not Confidence

Objective: Climbing Performance

Location: Sinks Canyon/Shady Crag

Routes Sent: The Sorting Hat Left, 9, onsight (glad to be climbing)
The Sorting Hat Right, 10a, onsight
Cool Whip, 11a, onsight (not bad)
Ice Cream, 11c/d, onsight (slab, hard slab)
Imaginary Fans, 10b/c, onsight (double extension, more crazy slab)

Total Points: 21

Routes Tried:
Imaginary Fans, grade = ?, 1 fall (triple extension)

Kit & The World's Brightest Rope

Notes: Today almost didn't happen. We epiced, sport climbing style, on the approach, e.g. wrong parking lot, missed the trial, wrong cliff, and all in flippy flops. Sophie did her first lead. NICE. Ryan picked the routes, and he picked slabs. He is a little goofy. Yet another 11d onsight. I'm getting solid at the grade, all kinds of rock and angles.

Imaginary Fans is interesting:
5.5 jug haul to first anchors.
10b/c horrible slab to second anchors.
Rad roof to 3rd anchor.

I blew the onsight when I didn't find the JUG (3 inches!!).

Jul 9, 2009

Lander, Day 2, If heaven ain't a lot Like Wild Iris, I'd just as soon stay home

Objective: Climbing Performance

Location: Wild Iris/OK corral

Routes Sent:
Outlaws on the Run, 6, onsight
One Eyed Jack, 7, onsight
Unknown, 9, onsight
High Plain Drifter, 10c, onsight (big pulls between big pockets, did not climb static)
Tribal War, 11b/c, 3rd go (fell after "crux" on os, hard slab)
Winchester Pump, onsight, 11b (felt easy compared to Tribal War, clipped high and went around crux)
Miner’s Delight, 11c/d, onsight (fun boulder problem to micro crimps, shorty)

Total Points: 29

Wild Iris is idyllic, set at high altitude among wild flowers and aspens

During my onsight of Miner's Delight.
Always focused on footwork.

After misreading the guidebook and trying to warm-up on a 12a.



Notes: American limestone, hell yeah. Lots of routes, lots of variety. I need to be more patience during onsight attempts, I fell on a slab move because I rushed. I need another 11d onsight like I need another tattoo. I'm ready for a 12a onsight. Cratestacking is the sport of the FUTURE.

Jul 8, 2009

Lander, WY, Day 1, Complete Radness

Lander is a rad city for climbers.
You can camp for free in their city park and walk to the coffee shops and bar (there is only one). Their city park has free electricity, sporadic wireless, and Shakespearean plays.

A nugget in a sea of limestone.
The Sinks Canyon is a huge climbing area only 7 miles from downtown. It contains sandstone, granite, and limestone.

Notes: Made the hot, boring drive to Lander, WY. It is a radder version of Bishop, CA. Instead of pebbles, you get sport climbs. Instead of The Pit, you get a city park.

I immediately meet some other climbers/travelers, Ryan, the TEXAN, and Sophie and Kit, two British girls. They were representing the international part of the "International" Climber's Festival. We exchanged pleasantries and went cranking at Sink's Canyon. It was a low-key bouldering session (no guidebook) in the pleasant evening air. The girls went to the summit, while Ryan and I quickly dispatched all the hardest lines that weren't link-ups or eliminates. It had a Rotary Park vibe. I decided I doubly suck at turning roofs. I'm syked for the Festival and clipping bolts.

Jul 5, 2009

Going Viral Faster Than H1N1

Threshold Bouldering, with commentary

The Patriot, aka A Winning Terrorist

Objective: Climbing Strength

Training: (1) Threshold bouldering, 45 minutes

(2) System Board, 4-6 moves
Monos, middle pull through
slopers, lower left pull through

Stopping in the middle of the workout because I felt something wrong in my elbow.
Sometimes the smartest training is what you don't do.

Notes: Focused on roof climbing during the threshold bouldering. I suck at roof climbing, and it should make me stronger. Right as I started working slopers, my elbow started acting up. I stopped immediately.

Jul 1, 2009

Unnatural Carnal Copulation

Objective: Climbing Endurance

Warm-up: Flash new problems (Int X 3, Adv X 2)

Training: 2 rounds
Traverse, 15 minutes

Notes: Easy Day. Nothing fancy, just time climbing. Focus- 1) Quick, silent feet 2) Moving quickly over difficult ground. Moving slowing on easy ground to recovery.

Elbow felt funny at the end. No pain, but faintly buzzing.

I just read an article about Jim Wendler on T-nation. He said, "Most people live and die by their one-rep max. To me, this is foolish and short sighted. If your squat goes from 225 x 6 to 225 x 9, you've gotten stronger." I feel the same way about climbing. If you measure your progress by your best redpoint, it will be a rare day when you improve. That is why I look at multiple measurements, number/difficulty of climbs in day or number of tries it takes to send a grade.