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).