Dec 31, 2010

Annual Review - Qualitative Analysis

My Favorite Climb in Poudre Canyon, CO

My Favorite Climb in Red Feather, CO

My Favorite Video

My Favorite Roadtrip
"Warm Beer & Cold Nuts"
Taos-Prescott-Las Vegas-San Diego-Las Vegas-Barstow-Las Vegas-Truckee

My 2nd Most Favorite Roadtrip
New Mexico(Various)-Las Vegas-Truckee-Santa Maria

Physical Manifestation of The Climbing Lab
1st Stage Completed - Photo Evidence

Most Important Thing I've Learned
I choose creating, over criticizing, copying, or destroying.

Dec 29, 2010

Annual Review - Quantitative Analysis

Number of Climbs Published - 28+!

Number of Boulder Problems Climbed - 160+
(There were ~20 problems on private property and areas I was asked to keep "secret")

Number of Routes Climbed - 49

Hardest Boulder Problem Sent - V10 (Unconfirmed)

Hardest Route Sent - 12a

Hardest Boulder Flashed - V7

Hardest Route Flashed - 12a

Average Boulder Problem Sent in a Day - V8

Average Route Sent in a Day - 12a

Number of Outside Climbing Days - 100+

Number of States Climbed In - 7

Number of Different Climbing Areas - 24
(The number I'm most proud of)

Dec 27, 2010

Annual Review - 2010 Goals

I spend the last week in December reviewing my previous year.

Here is the breakdown of my goals from the last year :

- "Travel. Visit 10 new (to me) climbing areas."
Killed it. I visited at least 12 new climbing areas: Red Feather, Groom Creek, 3 Sisters, Sinks Canyon (bouldering), Keystone, Sailing Hawk, Turtle Lake, Flagstaff, Owl Canyon, Pie Shop, Flatirons, Shelf Road.

- "Finish Projects"
Minor Fail. I couldn't round up enough rope partners. I finished a bunch of boulder projects.

- "Attempt Over-My-Head Projects"
Major Fail. I continued to remain in my safety zone of climbing things onsight/in-a-day.

- "Develop More"
Yes (Kinda). I only bolted one route because I focused my effort on new bouldering.

- "Redpoint Something I'm Proud Of"
This is my favorite climb of the year.

- "Body Composition"
Better but not ideal

- "Campus 1-5-8"
Nope. Focusing on sending outside cut into my campusing. I eked out 1-5-7.

Bonus – "Birthday Challenge"
I started training for one but lost the plot.

I didn't accomplish all my goals. If I had, I would be worried that I didn't aim high enough.

Dec 26, 2010

"You don't have to live your life the way other people expect you to."

I make rules in life to make things simpler.
(I break them to have more fun).

One of my rules: I must create before I consume.
(It tricks me into putting up new climbs, writing blog posts, and making videos.)

After you have created something/anything today,
read this - a brief guide to world domination

It elucidates my take on climbing/life better than I ever could.


I schedule a week off from climbing every 6 months. This is the week.

Dec 25, 2010

Saturday Syke Video

Let us not forget ...

Some people view climbing as a business or a series of historical reenactments. I see it as art. I appreciate the gift that climbing as art gives me. I refuse to defend to my climbing/art. I see the value in other people doing the same (or not doing the same). Not all people have the same standards (nor should they).

The world would be a mighty boring place if everyone thought, talked, acted, and climbed the same.

Dec 23, 2010

This Is Not That

Training: 1) Technique

2) Flash Ladder

3) Power Endurance, Long

4) Power Snatch

5) 1-arm bench

6) Core/Prehab

Moon Board & The Bay
Training Nirvana

My Nemesis
40+ ft @ ~45 degrees
No Place To Hide/Rest

Notes: Medium Intensity/High Volume. Back to PG of SF. I'm a routesetting snob and those people do it right. Every problem at every grade is a lesson in movement. My intercostals are still sore from reverse crunch strip sets. (Note to self - I'm not a bodybuilder thus DON'T DO STRIP SETS!)

#1 Worked on crossing moves. Getting better. Thinking that outside crosses are a different species than indoor crosses, same genius. #2 I love flash ladders. Great way to trick myself into high volume of quality moves. Today's pyramid - (5 x V4, 4 x V5, 3 x V6, 2 x V7, 1 x V8, 2 x V7, 3 x V6, 4 x V5, 5 x V4) I didn't get the V8, and I realize those are "indoor grades." #3 There was nice 30 move V4 that went up the ramp. I eek out ascents outside by resting & recovering. There was no resting on this beast. Just a lovely lactic acid bath. I got wet 8 times with 3:00-3:30 rest between dips, aka Song Intervals. #4 Singles @ 135, 145(f), 135, 135, 135. My standard baseline in PS. #5 3x8 @ 55. Great Ab/Horizontal pushing exercise. I don't do enough. Remembered it when reading Dan John's book "Never Let Go". Highly recommended (the exercise and the book). #6 Redirecting my core and prehab work. Standing core only. Dropping prehab exercises that don't work for me.

Dec 20, 2010

Show Business for Ugly People

Training: 1) Technique

2) Onsight Hardest Routes Possible

3) Laps

4) Power Clean & Push Press

5) Good Mornings

6) Core & Prehab

Notes: It's raining and cold most places in CA. However, I got to train a premier commercial facility - Planet Granite in San Francisco. Nice routes and great weight room.

When I onsight outdoors, I tend to pause and sprint. That works well most of the time. It does not work well on power endurance oriented routes. When I get pumped, I slow down and get stupid. In addition, since I only rope up once a month I lack the mental tolerance to really push myself physically. I worked on those deficiencies today.

#1 I onsighted a hardish route then immediately repeated it. I strive to climb the 2nd lap 20% faster while being more efficient (I didn't measure). #2 Sometimes it is hard for me to separate my ego in training. I have the best intentions of not showing off in the gym. Today I did. I suckered myself into onsighting the harder routes in the gym. I rolled the dice and got about 1/2 of them. I worked on climbing with poise & grace while being pumped silly. #3 2-3 routes per set, 30s of rests between routes, 5-7 minutes of rest between sets. #4 5 Singles @ 185 #5 3X8 @ 135. My lower back is the weakest physical link I have. (I might still be too bulky). #6 Reverse crunches. The Yin to Good Morning Yang. My shoulders are very healthy. Need to reevaluate that aspect of my program.

Dec 19, 2010

Nongaussian Errors in the Residuals


1) Work Project


1) Campus

2) Repeats

3) Hangboard

4) Prehab

I'm a big fan of tactics.
The space heater made all the difference for this session.

Notes: Last day outside in CO before CA holiday break. High of 36. Warmed-up on home wall.

#1 - Did all the moves on my project. Some small links. Definitely V10 for me. A V8 (4 moves) into a V7 (6 moves) then topout (2 easy moves).

Short training session. No time for technique. Rewarmed-up by climbing a circuit which included most of the comp problems I did and some harder stuff. Interesting!

#1 1st Medium Rung microcycle session. Did 1-5. Not too bad #2 Repeats went really well. #3 Open hand switches. Skin was tired.

Dec 17, 2010

Winter Project #278

My Favorite Arete in Poudre Canyon, CO

I'm working on an alternative sit start.

Perfect Excuse To Train!

Dec 16, 2010

Ferret Leggings

Training: 1) Threshold Bouldering

2) Hangboard

rest 2 hours

3) Technique

4) Repeats

5 ) Technique

6) TGU

7) Press

8) Core & Prehab

Notes: Start of the official winter training session for me.

#1 Back to my home wall. I set it up specifically for threshold work. I'm better (possibly stronger) than last home wall session. #2 Surpassed my old benchmarks. Success! #3 Foot Hoover. I tend to climb ladder-like when I foot hoover. I worked on other movement patterns. #4 Did doubles. Flashed all the new problems. Was able to dramatically improve on 2nd lap. Playing with movement. Got hard real quick. #5 Foot Hoover with no hands. I have a project in that style. Freaking hard/rad. #6 Worked up to 35lbs. Perfect movement. #8 3X5, 125 Maintenance work. #9 Standing crunches, 3X10, 180lbs

Dec 15, 2010

Lecturing Birds On How to Fly

Performance: 1) "Unkown", aka Random Arete, V5

2) Alternative stand start into #1, V7

3) Work sds to #2

4) "Better Luck in the Next Life", V8/9

Training: 1) Technique, 2 blocks

Notes: My last Front Range outside day for a little while. Simply Beautiful. #3 should be a V10. I keep breaking holds, evidence of a potential FA.

#1 1st block - Foot hover/Quiet Feet. That is the best technique drill I know. It directly translates to me sending. In addition, I enjoy climbing more with quiet feet. 2nd block. - Relax/Recover. I can get by climbing hardish routes with my ability to recover on route since very few Front Range routes are continuous. There is limited transference training continuous power endurance. I'm developing my ability to microrest on every hold.

Dec 13, 2010

Playing Chess While Wrestling

Training: 1) Yoga, 2 blocks

2) Technique

3) Campus

4) Repeats

5) Prehab

Bonus: I tested my 1-arm pull-ups. I can two full ROM dead-hang 1-arm pull-ups with each arm. Do I really need anymore?

I'm chasing Power, Technique, & Mobility. All parallel goals.
What are you chasing?

Notes: Long Yoga session. Short & Hard climbing session

#1 Sunday Yoga is the same every week. It is my tester. While Thursday Yoga, my private practice, and daily mobility drills are builders. Seeing progress. #2 Worked on keeping one foot on while stepping high or outside with the other. Easy movements today #3 Last Big Rung microcyle session. Did 1-5-7 without too much trouble. Tried and almost got 1-6. All mental #4 Repeats went really well. Feel like I'm micro peaking. Time to be extra careful #5 My left shoulder is back to fully functional. 2 weeks of smart focused training improved the situation. It is almost like this stuff works.

Dec 11, 2010

Data Is The New Oil

Training: 1) Technique

2) Threshold Bouldering

3) Hangboard

4) Core/Gymnastics

Louie Simmons on Proper Training
(Sorry I'm having trouble embedding .mov)

What are your testers?

What are your builders?

Notes: A session at The Spot. Climbing at The Spot is its own subgenre of climbing - Big feet & Small Moves.

#1 Worked on smooth flashes #2 The Spot doesn't set that many hard moves. It is the 10+ medium-hard moves in a row that get to me. #3 They don't have a hangboard (WTF?). Did Crankenstein hangs = Offset hands on campus rungs. #4 Did shadow-boxing front levers. They are similar to Power Touches but more scalable. I'll post a video next week. I'm working the gymnastic skills of a 6 year old girl, i.e. walk overs, cartwheels, and basic tumbling.

"Zombie Land", First Ascent

Saturday Syke Video

Respect to the Visionaries

Dec 10, 2010


Performance: 1) Too busy climbing ..., V0/2 (Stand/Sit)

2) Zombie Land, V5/6

3) I can't fight your war ... , V7

Training: 1) Yoga, 2 blocks

2) Technique

3) Campus

4) Random Repeats

The "hourglass" shape in the rock were the original holds

Sometimes Destruction comes before Creation

Notes: Great day at Red Feather! Knocked down some reasonable projects. Lots of unreasonable projects left.

#1 2nd Yoga session of this cycle, getting more in the groove. Yes, I even periodize my yoga. #2 I was not in the mood for technique but did it anyways. Typically, I use time prioritized training for technique, e.g. 10 minutes focusing on crossing moves. Today I borrowed a page from CrossFit and used task prioritized training. I did 100 cross moves. ~50% were easy, ~40% were hard, and ~10% were project level. (Not for time because that would be silly and counterproductive for skill work) #3 2nd Campus session of this cycle, getting more in the groove. I always forget how skill based campusing is. Still Big Run microcycle. I worked up to 1-2-6. Failed on 1-3-7. #4 Today was a Medium Day so the repeats were easier.

Dec 8, 2010

Malevolent, Vengeful, and Arbitrary

Training: 1) Technique

2) Threshold Bouldering

3) System Board

4) Random Repeats

5) Prehab

Notes: A Medium Day in The Plan. #1 Did a circuit of moderates to work on smooth flow. Minimal time on the ground and shaking out. Right now now my technique work is random. I need to create a progression to address my limiters. #2 Worked some individual moves. Already seeing improvement. Also made connections between moves I can do and can't do. #3 Was able to repeat my old Open hand benchmarks. Did some body open ladders. #4 Random fun. Tried to climb well but was tired.

Dec 7, 2010

Growing Tall vs. Growing Up

Training: 1) Technique

2) Technique

3) Campus/Mobility

4) Techniq

Scott Hagnas on Hip Mobility
(Sorry I'm having trouble embedding .mov)

Notes: My legs are still not recovered from the competition. Using open handholds in routesetting encourages using large footholds, heel-hooks in particular. Since I'm weak on open handholds, my legs took a beating.

#1 Climbed outside at Horsetooth Reservoir. That place is classic but not good. Mostly got on slabs (no handed). It was nice being outside. #2 Climbed the easier problems from the competition. Repeated each one until perfect #3 The plan is to hammer power (along with technique) this cycle. Experimenting with using pendulum wave loading, ala Westside. This week was Big Rungs & Big Moves. Next week will be Big Rungs & Big Pull-Throughs. The following week will be Big Rungs & Big Moves/Pull-Throughs. Then the same progression will start over with Medium Rungs. Here are My Campus Logs if you're curious. #4 Climbed Open level problems with any feet. Noticing how my intuitive technique is the same or different from the forced sequence. Did several Open Problems with different sequences. Exploring movement possibilities.

Brian Hulking It

Dec 6, 2010

Please Do Not Name This Workout

Training: 1) Yoga

2) Technique

Notes: Start of a new cycle. Mixing in "Light Days."

#1 I use Robb Wolf's simple test - "Does X make you look, feel, and perform better?" In the case of yoga, climbing, and me, the answer is YES. Good enough. #2 Any feet climbing on the easier problems from the competition. Any feet allows me to use the best technique I have, instead of the best technique the routesetter has.

Dec 5, 2010

Competition Completed & Lessons Learned

The competition came this Saturday. It sucked. More precisely, I sucked. (Almost) everything was anti-Brian style setting, aka open hand/fat pinch. In the end, I placed 1st in the Advance Division (for the second time in a row). I sent Open Problem #7 (out of 10) because it was crimpy. I also put Open Problem #2, dihedral you had to climb backwards, in the satchel. (I can trad boulder with the best.) Open Problems 10-8, 6-3, and 1 were hopeless for me. In fact, I couldn't do the second move of Advance Problem #10, holding the swing on two fatties. I sent a couple of easier advanced problems to fill out my scorecard.

Advanced, but not advancing

It was inspiring watching the frankencranks from Boulder. The top 3 men sent all the problems and were only separated by falls! The women were "beasting" it.

There are lessons to be learned and new training plans to be made. Despite the same ranking, I feel like a much better climber. At the last comp, I was only able to send Open 1. This time I was able to send 6 levels harder. It came down to the setting, which was great, exposing my limiters. My general training plan doesn't need to be overhauled, just recalibrated.

My nonlimiters:
- interpreting indoor sequences
- stamina
- crimps
- indoor dynos

My limiters (more importantly):
- use the appropriate beta for my physiology more quickly
- crossing moves
- stepping one foot high with the other foot still on a hold
- right leg heel hooks
- open hand
- horizontal fat pinches
- vertical fat pinches

Dec 4, 2010

Satuday Syke Video

At some point "just climbing" will not yield a significant stimulus to produce an adaptation. Then other paths must be pursued.

Dec 3, 2010

Dec 1, 2010

Underperforming Asphalt

Training: 1) Technique

2) 3x repeats

3) Systemboard/hangboard

4) Technique

Jump to 4:45

Re-adapting to plastic pulling

Notes: Today was a perfect day to climb/be outside. I choose to climb/be in the gym. Last day of training before comp. It was a "medium" day. I've adapted to training for climbing at the Intermediate level (at a minimum), moving away from the Novice level. I can't train maximally all the time (which kinda sux).

I dropped the intensity (by a little) and volume (by a lot). Intensity is harder to measure in climbing, but not impossible. I rank order all the problems in the gym (I can do). I chunk them into 10 groups. I only climbed problems in the easiest 8 chunks (~80% intensity). I measure volume by the number of hand movements.

#1 - Thumbless & Both feet on holds. I noticed, by looking at the videos from my recent roadtrip, that I flag too much. A couple of problems could have been sent faster if I worked to have both feet on (including a couple of missed flashes) #2 Focused on quality of movement. #3 Still focused on movement. I choose the systemboard because I wanted to train my biggest indoor limiter, pinches, and the system board has lots of pinches. Did my standard Open Hand switches on the hangboard. #4 Split time between slab climbing and brisk continuous climbing. Foot work & movement = my bread yam & butter (I'm paleo).

Nov 29, 2010

The Best Chain on the Slaveship

Training: 1) Technique

2) Competition Simulation

3) Threshold Bouldering/Technique

4) CIR

5) Prehab

Notes: Last "Heavy Day" before the comp. Only climbing but laser focused climbing. #1 Focused on being relaxed. “Slow is smooth and smooth is fast” (Stolen from Dan John. Who probably stole it from someone else.) #2 Flash some hardish stuff. At several points, I was heel hooking hard enough to almost cramp up. I'm curious about the cause - suboptimal technique, electrolyte imbalance, hamstring weakness, leg fatigue, or something else. Focused on learning the tricks of the competition setters. Learning from the past - most national champions were from Boulder, CO and most national championship setters were from Boulder, CO. (Quite the coincidence). #3 Focused on movements that are difficult for me. #4 Advanced problem repeats with near complete rest. #5 No abs or strength training today.

Nov 27, 2010

Saturday Syke

This week's syke is a narrative, instead of the usual video, thanks to trouble with my laptop and lack of internet access (standard roadtrip stuff). I'm not much of a writer or a project climber but respect people that choose to excel at those activities. They take a distinct mental disposition (and lots of practice).


Nov 26, 2010

Thingsgetting Day

Training: 1) Technique

2) Competition Simulation

3) Campus/Hangboard

4) Stamina

5) Prehab/Core

High of 30 ...

3ft of snow on the boulders ...

Time to Hit The Board!!!

Notes: Coming off a successful 2+ week roadtrip (more about that later). New cycle - Contest Prep. Attacking specific weaknesses - reading heel hooks during flash attempts, indoor pinches, and stamina for 3 hours of sending. #1 - foot hoover, decompress, keep technique the same as grades increase (stolen from Olympic Lifting training) #2 - I flashed the second hardest problem in the gym. The hardest "problem" was 13+ moves. Most routes I do aren't 13 moves. #3 Was syked on a campusboard with pinches until I found out that 50% were spinners. GUTTER!! Lack of quality control. Settled for flat rungs (non-standard spacing of course) #4 Sent 95% of the problems in the gym, expect for the problems set for double-jointed leprechauns. #5 Left shoulder is a 3 on a scale from 1 (mighty healthy) to 10 (schedule the surgery suite). Need to reprioritize durability (durability = mobility + strength, Mountain Athlete definition).

Nov 9, 2010

Clydesdale Climber

Training: 1) Continuous Climbing, .5 block

2) 3x repeats, 1 block

3) 6x3 bouldering intervals, rest as needed

4) BS, 3X5, 205

5) Press, 3x5, 130 (f)

6) Prehab

Notes: Last training session before roadtrip. No need to taper because I'm in a performance cycle. Session geared towards efficiency. My current focus on outside bouldering has lead to some bad habits. #1 - Best way to trick myself into becoming a better climber. #2 - All diffuciity levels. Rewarded myself with a hard flash every couple of sets. #4 - Way off my all time PR of 315. Choosing to be a climber. #5 Failed on last rep.

Nov 8, 2010

"Norma Jean" Project, A Gift

I view my climbing, and my life, as art.
Part of being an artist is giving gifts.

Here is my gift-
I bolted and cleaned the chunk of rock adjacent to the "Marylin Monroe" climb in Red Feather Lakes Area of Colorado, Lady Moon Trailhead to be precise. You can't miss it.

It is an Open Project.

Nov 5, 2010

Liquid Network

Training: 1) Flash Ladder, 1.5 blocks

2) Power Endurance, .5 blocks

3) Technique, .5 blocks

4) Bench, 3X5, 165lbs

5) Prehab only

Listen & Learn-
Christian Griffith

Notes: I usually leave work around 2pm, which gives me plenty of time for a nice outdoor session (I usually return to work at 8pm). However, an "emergency" came up and had a stay late. Then I choose to climb at a new area that require trail building. I ended up in the gym (OMG) to get a dose. It was fun seeing the scene again.

#1 I ran around and tried to flash everything in the gym. It didn't happen. I rationalized my choice of doing 1.5 blocks by saying, "It was volume training which I don't get outside." It is still doing shit I'm good at. #2 Stuck to "N"s . I sucked really bad. Need to work on mental tolerance to be become a better sport climber. #3 I abuse my strength. Today, I was beating it like a redheaded stepchild. I put myself on time-out by focusing on continuous movement and efficiency (not just effectiveness). #4 Focus on whole body compound movements. Yes, benching is whole body (if you do it right). I don't bench to be a better climber. I bench to be a more useful human being.

Nov 4, 2010

Soul Edition of River Blocs

These are some of my favorite problems of the season-

Problem #1 - Hard to grade because it a 1-move wonder. If I had to guess, I would say V6/7. There is a sit down start that adds ~12 feet of dead horizontal climbing that should come in at V11/12.

Problem #2 - The direct start to another line. It suits my style, i.e., crimp & go. V8/9.

Problem #3 - The alternative start/link-up to another line, very nice movement and might be V9. The direct finish is harder.

Oct 31, 2010

Halloween Edition of River Blocs

Still knocking down river blocs

Bonus - I cleaned 3 additional lines that will be double digit problems. Real Projects!

Oct 28, 2010

Return to the River Blocs of Poudre Canyon

Burr. Yesterday was the coldest (and windiest) day of the season. Despite my recent fling with Red Feather, I still love Poudre Canyon. Baby, please take me back.

Ice Blocs are coming.
Are you ready?

I forgot my waders, so I couldn't get on my current projects (rookie mistake). I used the opportunity to check out a couple of new areas that are on my never-ending-exploration-list. By the end of the day, I put up 8 River Blocs.

Here are the best two -

Bonus - During the process, I found about 20 more projects.

Oct 25, 2010

Bachar's Block of Boulder Canyon, CO

I ended up in Boulder Canyon and decided to check out Bachar's Block. I wanted to climb "Stone Master" V11/Project/WTF. I climbed something but exactly sure what.

Here is a video my experience-

On the way to Bachar's Block, I found this gem -

Take the gully to the left of "Law of Physics" Crag until you are parallel with "Mind Shaft Cliff". Make a right, between another abandoned mine shaft and a large pile of rocks, and walk about 200ft. It is directly on the trail. If you hit Bachar Block, you have gone too far.

Oct 21, 2010

The Last 4 Days

In the last four days I have:

- Climbed the 3rd Flatiron (a 1000ft romp)
- Developed & Published a Limestone Bouldering Area
- Trained on a homewall (that I built)
- Bolted & Cleaned a 5.13 granite sport climb
- Worked a full-time job (that I love)

I love my life and the Front Range!

Jumping Levels!

Oct 19, 2010

Decorated Silence

Training: 1) Technique

2) Threshold Bouldering, 1/2 block

3) Hangboard, 1/2 block

Raw Power,
Always Classic

Notes: Deep in the season. The only problem is my work doesn't know it. Snuck in some training. #1 Climbed easy problems on my home wall three times. First time was normal. Second time was foot hoover. Third time was "decompress." I did some problems with foot-chip only feet. #2 Fun #3 Open hand only. 15s time domain. You can't push a river.

Guide to Owl Canyon, CO

Owl Canyon is located on Highway 287, approximately 7.8 miles north of the junction with Highway 14 (Ted's Place).

Park in the large pull-out, on the right, .3 miles past CO Rd 72 junction. Walk east on a closed road about 200ft until it is blocked by a barbwire fence. The boulders are located on the opposite side of the ditch to your right. The approach time is ~2 minutes.

The short approach and afternoon shade make it a nice option for an after-work session. The rock is limestone and should clean up with a little traffic.

1, V5 - start sitting, 1 move wonder
2, V0 - low angle
3, V1 - slopers, easier if you stem
4, V1/2 - big feet holds and small hand holds to start, small feet and big hand holds to finish
5, V0 -
6, V1 - wide fist crack or stem
7, V0 -
8, V0 - low angle

The rock band immediately above the boulders has the potential for a long traverse and high-ball problems.
The rock quality is questionable.

Oct 16, 2010

Saturday Syke Video

Lately, I have been exploring Red Feather, CO.
Here are some classics-

Oct 15, 2010

Killing The Monkey Brain

Training: 1) 80% Bouldering

Ben Moon,
Always Classic

Notes: Despite the name, this is still power training. Short periods of intense effort coupled with long rests. I'm a big fan of systematic progression. Today, I repeated about 15 problems to get warm-up. I begin by working training projects. When I started to see diminishing returns (i.e., longer rests to generate same effort), I moved to adding thumbless ascents to the list. My thumb likes to sneak into the action. It takes self-discipline to make sure each ascent was clean. Sometimes, I repeat it just to make sure. Finished up the session with foot chip climbing. I got a dose but left plenty in the tank for the weekend.

Oct 13, 2010

Using Video

Lately, I have been using video to speed up my climbing evolution. I have used it extensively in the past when Oly lifting (in lieu of adequate access to a quality coach). Video help me build a simulator of a recent project and paved the direct path to sendville. I use video to remember and refine beta.

"Coffee is Life" is a good case study.

Original Beta (starting at 1:07)

Refined Beta

This video also displays the sometimes arbitrary nature of bouldering. "Coffee is Life" is immediately to the left of "Gluten is Death", using some later hands holds for foot holds. Currently, there are two stand starts. A high start left hand on crimp and right hand undercling (probably V6). A medium start starting on opposing sidepulls (probably V8). The sit down start is beyond on me. I have spent 2 days just looking for possible holds. I just don't see it. Hopefully, this video will inspire to someone to continue the evolution by adding a sit start.

Oct 12, 2010

Jumping Levels

I sent 3 projects yesterday, "Zen Garden" Right Sit Start, "Coffee is Life", & "Do you want to get coffee or something?" My proposed grades are V8, V8, & V9+. It is a great feeling to be jumping levels.

The video that continues to inspire me to "jump levels"

Oct 9, 2010

I Got Now, I Don't Care Who Got Next

Training: 1) CIR, 1 block

2) VIR, 1 block

3) Press, 3x5, 125

4) Deadlift, 1x5, 275

5) 5 rounds
Swings, 60lbs, 'till lose pop
Push-ups, 'till pause
rest 1:00

I'm a lifer.
I figure I've about 10 years of hard climbing left, but I maximize each day.

Notes: I'm starting my season. Getting outside 4-5 times per week. Training 1 day per week. My two training goals are:

1) Supplement outside climbing
2) Maintain general Strength and Conditioning

This week I worked (and sent) many medium/hard first ascent climbs outside. There is always more figuring and cleaning than doing with first ascents. I tend to climb too tentatively and statically, since the problems are new and dirty. I flipped the coin for my indoor training by doing a high volume of familiar climbs. I worked on flowing and moving efficiently. #1 Homewall, repeated easier climbs #2 Commercial Gym, repeated & flashed climbs. Very crowded but kept moving. #3-5 My maintenance schedule is loosely based on this template. No need to make it complicated since I back at the novice level in the S&C world. I plan to push my numbers in a systematic and sustainable manner. The conditioning was "auto-regulated". Focused on quality of movement (instead of killing myself).

Satuday Syke Video

One Word - TACTICS!!

Oct 7, 2010

Looking for a sponsor...

I wore through this toothbrush in less than 2 weeks.

I officially announce - I'm looking for a toothbrush sponsor.

Oct 5, 2010

Worse Than Lyrca

This is my cleaning get-up.
I look like an extra for a post-apocalyptic film.

Where are the zombies?

Oct 2, 2010

Satuday Syke Video

I found a mini-Bishop, perfect patinaed granite with zero approach, about 1 hour from my house.
There is no evidence of any climbing development.

Time to "DO WORK!!!"

Sep 29, 2010

Guide to Gateway Natural Area of Poudre Canyon, CO

Gateway Natural Area is located at 5216 Poudre Canyon Highway (Hwy 14). Take Highway 287 to Highway 14 West, then travel 5.2 miles on Hwy 14 West. Gateway Natural Area is on the right side of the road.

Park in the large pull-out just past the entrance. Walk back down the canyon along the guardrail until it ends. This boulder pictured below is located ~100ft downhill. The approach time is less than 1 minute.

This boulder is steep, short, and shady. Those 3 Ss make it perfect for a quick after-work session in the summer. The rock is granite but flaky. That means there are nice incut holds but they can break. It should clean up with more traffic.

1, V4 - start sitting, follow arete to the top
2, V6 - start sitting with hands and feet on a large ledge, a variety of sequences possible
3, V1 - start standing on large rock at the base, falling is not advised
4, V6 - start sitting, follow crack feature
5, V0 - start standing, short and scrappy

Sep 28, 2010

The Last Hummingbird Video (I promise)

Notice how arbitrary the start holds I picked are.
Feel free to pick your own.

In fact, it was a sit/hang start for me since I have relatively long arms and torso. It would be hard, possibly impossible, for many people to start the same way. The fun jump move, which happens to be the hardest move, is the same regardless of the start.

Create Your Own Standards.

Sep 27, 2010

The Next Level

This is the single hardest rock climbing move I have ever done in my life.

I have reached the next level in my climbing. How do I know? I sent one of my projects. How did I do it? Smart, Hard, and Consistent Work.

Smart Work
- I didn't run a 5k or dead-lift an arbitrary number.
- However, I did set a very similar problem on my home wall. Training on my project was prohibitive.
- I identified physical, my ability to hold slopers, and mental, fear of failure, limiters. I treated them appropriately.
- I waited for the temperatures to drop, both by picking the right day and waiting for the sun to dip behind the horizon, to maximize my opportunity.

Hard Work
- I subtly and systematically changed the difficulty of the simulated problem on my home wall.
- I added weight every hangboard session in the Open hand position.

Consistent Work
- I did the simulated move at least 2x week. Even if I wasn't feeling strong, I got after it.
- Every time I hit the hangboard (at least 1x week), I trained open hand.

I'm not sure if I'm the first to do this move or this problem. It is not terribly important. I had to a far amount of cleaning, including some loose rock. It is off the beaten track, but there is a history of climbing in the area. The problem might have been overlooked because of its stature, short but not dabby.

I'm not sure what grade this move or problem deserve. It is impossible for me to grade because I have insufficient context. I know it is my hardest send to date. What does that mean? In the past year, I have sent 1 V9(ish) in less than hour, sent 4 V8s in less hour, and flashed 1 V8. The crux of this problem took ~30 tries over 2 days. The 2 days were 1 month apart. I did the simulated move about 45+ times during that 1 month gap. Additionally, I did the move in my mind 100+ times. I can safely say it is harder than V9. How much harder? Honestly, I don't know. It is not terribly important.

I do know I'm taking this new level into my other projects and my life.

(Update - I onsighted my first 12a sport route 2 days later.)

Video Interlude

Parvin Lake is rad.
This slab is rad.

Sep 22, 2010

The Pirate Eye

Training: 1) Bouldering

2) Technique

Another line I put up in Keystone, CO. There is an even lower, super dabby, start to that problem. The line to the left looks nice but I couldn't motivate myself to clean it up. There is literally 1'' of moss on everything in that cave. "Demand Control" will probably be downgraded to V0- once all the moss is gone.

Notes: I found a nice project about 20 minutes from house. Here is the breakdown -

Pros - 20 minute drive & 1 minute walk, Probably has never been done, Easy to protect, ~8 moves

Cons - It is a link-up (At least it is not an eliminate. I have standards. Not high standards, but standards none the less), Outside chance of bashing my skull open (Helmet time?).

I was planning to shoot some video today, but God's is crying on the Front Range. I added a project page to keep me syked. If any of them look good, hit me for beta (Should be called "digital" now?).

#1 Standard stuff - new problems, refined old problems, found limiters #2 More standard stuff. My technique business, i.e, relax, breathe, focus on foot placement, and pushing with feet. I put it at the end of this session to stress-proof the techniques. I want to use that good technique stuff on the rock when I'm tired.

Sep 20, 2010

Strong is the New Skinny

1) Bouldering

2) Hangboard

Notes: I'm too busy right now to climb as much as I like, ideally 4 times a week. I'm getting ahead in work now so I have more free time when the temperatures are better. Keeping the goal the goal. However, I snuck out to Shelf Road for the first time. It is rad, chossy American limestone. I onsighted 6 routes in a 1/2 day (9, 10a, 10a/b, 10c/d, 11b, 11b). It was fun to have a Zero-Fall Day. The best excuses that I could come up for the low numbers with are: It is still the preseason, aka freaking hot, I haven't been clipping bolts, and it is 1/4 of full moon. If I'm going to be a better sport climber, I need get better excuses. #1 Falling in love with my woody (Don't Judge). Here is my "challenge" list. I list the holds, which have names, in order to make a challenge. No tape! The main problems are rank ordered by row. The columns represent different styles. Open - any feet. Thumbless- can't use my thumbs but still open feet. Static - use my thumbs and any foot holds, but no feet cutting. Foot Chip - wooden dowels only for feet. FC/TL/S - Foot chip, Thumbless, Static, aka Crankenfrank style. There is built-in progression, both vertically (harder problems) and horizontally (harder style). #2 Just Open Hand. Hit new benchmarks!! I spent the rest time wrapping my PVC pipe in athlete tape. I upgraded to PVC the last year (Thanks to Dan John advice), but now it is "better" thanks to Wenlder. KANI.

Sep 16, 2010

Crowd Accelerated Innovation & Climbing

Climbing is evolving. This evolution is driven, in part, by video. It can be seen in the Mt. Evans/Lincoln Lake/Strike Force/Wolverine Land phenomenon, many hard problems put up very quickly. This phenomenon will move beyond climbing area development to climbing technique, training, and routesetting.

I'm evolving.
Are you?

Sep 13, 2010

Prudent Paranoia

Training: 1) Technique

2) Hangboard

rest 5 hours

3) Screw Around in Climbing Gym

4) Front Squat, DE, 175lbs

5) Press, 3X5, 115

6) Core & Prehab

Notes: 3rd day on. The other two days were putting up first ascents, fun but not high volume. I'm a believer that massive amounts of quality climbing is the fastest path to Crankdom. So today was a volume day. #1 Trying something new - thumbless climbing. Inspired by the video. No crimping or pinching. It fixes two problems 1. My strong loathing of pinchcentric indoor climbing. 2. My addiction to crimping. Thumbless climbing also forces straighter arm climbing (free money). All around a great tool in the workout toolbox #2 I trained in the 15-20s range. Matching my previous baseline. #3 Went to a commercial gym. Horrible setting and crowded. The best I could manage was a hybrid of density training and short intervals. Chasing two rabbits and didn't catch either one. #4-5 Maintenance work. Lowered the volume on the squats. Last time my squat recovery cut into my subsequent outdoor session. If your cross-training cuts into your sport or life, it time to reevaluate your program (or lack of one). #6 Rotator cuff is healthier. Elbows are little funky.

Keystone, CO

I'm super busy with work but was able to get away to Keystone, CO. I had the best intentions to relax and repeat problems. However, the diamonds in the rough looked better. I put up 5 problems in the main area. This one is the hardest and the best.

I plan to share the business on Mountain Project. If you can't wait, hit me up!

Sep 7, 2010

The Wrong Day To Quit Methadone

Training: 1) 80% Bouldering

2) Hangboard

3) Core & Prehab

Note: I'm not much of a project climber. There are too many good climbs to try anyone for more than a day! However, I'm fired up about the "Merlin Project". I have to get stronger on crimps. DAMN!!! It provides a renewed focus to my training.

#1 This is hard play. I find moves I suck at and try to refine them. Lots of falling. Some not falling. All success (I define success as learning and growing). #2 Still making progress. I did a full workout (all three grips). I gave myself a gold star for doing mobility drills between sets. #3 I rotate core exercises every 3 weeks, trying to break PRs every week. The current menu specials are L-sit scissors and ab wheel roll-outs. Hammering my rotator cuffs (in a good way).

Sep 6, 2010

You know the "project" to the left of "Merlin" in Poudre Canyon ...

Not that one, the other one.

It goes -

The temperatures have finally dropped, and I exploited the opportunity to get on some projects. The first one to fall was a line to the far left of "Merlin" in Poudre Canyon, CO. I did it with a hop start from a nearby boulder. It also goes from the ground with a Gill start from a vertical crimp, remarkably similar to the "Pinch Overhang" of Horsetooth. (You can did either way, I won't write you a ticket.)

I'm very syked about the line to the left of Merlin. It follows a series of small, but friendly, crimps on a slightly overhanging face. I have an "out of the box" sequence but couldn't channel enough Fred Nicole to send.

Time to hit the hangboard.

Projects are going down.

Sep 1, 2010

Data is Not The Plural of Anecdote

Training: 1) Flash Ladder

2) Power Endurance, Short

rest 5 hours

3) Power Endurance, Long

4) 5 rounds
Squat, DE, 195lbs
1-arm pull-up, both arms

5) 1-arm press, 50lbs, a bunch

6) 4 rounds
8 slapping pushups
6 Russian lunges
10 45lb sit ups
15 5lb shoulder handjob

Notes: Back to being syked about training. Went to a commerical gym. I flashed all the boulder problems in the gym expect for 3. Here is the breakdown:

1 - Low ball traverse. I don't do low ball traverses outside. Why train them inside?
2 - 19 move problem. Most routes I do outside aren't 19 moves. Why train that inside?
3 - The hardest problem in the gym. I flashed the lower section. The upper section had no chalk (my guess is I was the first person on that section, including the setter) and required wedging yourself in a dihedral (very body size dependent)

#2 Played with linking problems together. No resting on the wall. Complete rest between sets. Got pumped! #3 Song intervals with lots of recovery on the wall. #4 First time squatting in a long time. Felt good to be under the bar.

My left rotator cuff is a significantly weaker than my right. I notice it on 1-arm hangs and prehab work. It might be do to an increase ROM from mobility drills. The scar tissue seemed to protect it, now I need muscle to that job.

Aug 31, 2010

Hedonic Adaptation

Training: 1) 80% Bouldering

2) Hangboard

Ankle mobility is a prerequisite for quality climbing movement.
Check out Mobility WOD (Climbing Lab Approved)

Note: I did not want to train today. It was a "Everything Sucks Today" day. I worked all day and went to the Big Game Area right after (it is the last day of the season). I started working on some lesser projects. It was hot and muggy. I fell out of awkward heelhook, missed the pad, and bruised my foot. As I was exploring, I fell in the river. I throw in the towel (which I didn't have), went home and put on some Dr. Dre. Once I started to train, everything was put right.

#1 I made up new medium hard problems. I wasn't in the proper mental state to compare myself to my own previous performance. #2 I didn't want to push my old records so I created new records in a different time domain, 15-20s. Still sticking the basics and stuff I suck at, i.e. Open and 1/2 Crimp positions.

Aug 25, 2010

Merit-based Discrimination

Training: 1) 80% bouldering, 2 blocks

2) Hangboard

Notes: Back in CO. I had a rad session yesterday at the "Big Game" Area, cleaned up and sent 4 projects. The videos are all cut (can't post them because I'm over my VIMEO limit).

#1 - This workout was inspire by a Dan John comment about working your personal 80% level up. Some people pound themselves into the ground working 1 RM/ limit level sends. If you gently nudge up a lower (but still significant) work capacity, you can make more progress with less chance of injury. I translated that to climbing problems that I can send in 2 or 3 tries. I'll report back if it works. It is similar to ideas in Wendler's 5/3/1. #2 - Still milking linear progress on hangboard. Keeping grip, hold, and time constant, but adding 2.5lbs per workout. Adding 1lb per workout from now on.

Aug 19, 2010

Suspiciously Straight Lines

Training: 1) Technique

2) Campus
Ladder, Medium Rungs, 1-5-8*
Ladder, Small Rungs, 1-4-7X4

3) Flash Ladder

4) Press, 3x5, 115

5) 3 rounds
1-arm pull-up, each arm
10s plank, 1-arm (ring), 1-foot

6) Prehab & Hanging leg raises

* Nonregulation spacing

Notes: Back from a short, fun trip to Lake Tahoe. Still early in the season, i.e. climb in the morning, hangout at the lake, and climb in the evening. There is a general lack of quality problems (in the guidebook) harder than V8. The granite did a number on my skin. Need to build it up for the season. Video ticklist in production.

Listening to the feedback from the last trip. Moved well. Strong enough to give rapid fire tries, which helped to figure out sequences and send. A major, but often forgotten, benefit of strength. No major tweaking in my program. Just increase training volume so I can climb more problems outside.

Went to a "seminal" climbing gym in the US. It was not great. 75% of the holds are pinches. 100% of the holds on problems harder than V7 are pinches. I suck on pinches and don't see a reason to get better. #1 Focused on relaxing and quality movement #2 I was "forced" to campus. The gym has a nonregulation spacing. VERY LAME! It was fun and hard but meaningless. #3 Not only am I weak on pinches, I have very little capacity on them. Most problem went like this: Preview, Setup, Flash most of it, Hard Pinch Move, Fall. #4-6 The conventional gym part really sucks. Too much equipment wedged into a cave. The squat rack faced a mirror which completely throws off my squats. I settled for pressing. My numbers are way off my PRs but it doesn't matter since it is just cross training.