|The double sided horse-shoe shaped canyon holds thousands of pitches and starts a 5 min walk from our apartment.|
I have been training for climbing in varying consistency for about the last 8 years, (but more so for the last five years coinciding with my wife's first pregnancy and then the birth of my oldest daughter Ayla Jo). I feel like it took these five years for me to even learn how start to training effectively and efficiently. (Note: training for five years does not mean I got stronger! I began training in that crazy time in a new parent's life where they get real weak, discouraged from climbing, and some quit the sport. Performance climbing is a demanding sport even more so as you get older and as even more so once you have kids. Until about the last year I simply was able to maintain my climbing performance through the thick and thin times of parenthood. Often I was banging my head against the hangboard for weeks at a time only to get thwarted in any type of performance phase by sick kids, limited time, limited sleep, weather, poor programming, not enough time on the rock, etc. At times it was really discouraging! But I kept my head up (and down on the training grindstone) knowing that simply trying to maintain at any level was important and that life would get easier and I would eventually make some gains. Finally, that time is starting to come.).
|Sparkly shoe repeater sets.|
The biggest game changer for me in my training for climbing was building my own home gym last December (the L-Town Climbing Dojo) complete with Moonboard, Vertical warm-up/ARCing wall, Campus board, Hangboards, Gymnastic Rings, and Rock Rings. The ability to get a work-out in at home, while my girls are napping, after they've gone to sleep, before they get up or I go to work, after work, or simply with them has been paramount for me to continue to progress in climbing with my full time job, family life, and non-profit volunteering. It's dusty, dirty, cramped (eveyone blasts their head into the campus board at some point), floods during big rain and snowmelt, leaks, gets hot, gets cold... I fucking love it!
|Matty Van Biene introducing my girls to the darkside|
|The Main Event: modified Moonboard with supplementary jugs|
|ARC Wall on the L with screw on jibs/holds|
|Do u even Campus bro?|
|Hangboard zone with pulley eyebolts, gymnastic rings, rock rings (for weighted pull-ups).|
|Kid Wall (we build crushers here)|
|Mark Anderson taking down his hardest redpoint to date: Shadowboxing, 14d. These guys are super inspiring bone-crushing dads with full time jobs.|
I recommend reading their book, following their programs and checking out their website.
This fall I am following a Conjugate Periodized Energy Systems training program based off of UK sport-climber Alex Barrows online training PDF "Training for Sport Climbing." Alex is a prodigy of Brit Tom Randall, who I feel is perhaps at the forefront of climbing training when it comes to data analysis, strength/weakness deficiency evaluation, and energy system conjugate periodization. Already I've had great results with this program and I gotta say, I think these Brits are really on to something.
What I like about it compared to the Anderson's Brother's*:
- More movement, less hangboarding. I am clearly still working on my 10,000 hours of practice for the sport and putting hard movement aside for 4-8 weeks at a time during the ARCing and Hangboarding phases just doesn't seem efficient or appropriate for an intermediate climber.
- I did not like that I would get strong on the hangboard or powerful during my bouldering phases and then put these aside for weeks to months revisiting them only during the next cycle. These power and strength gains are hard-earned and should at least be maintained at all times. Likewise, endurance gains made during the power endurance and performance phases are also not maintained for weeks to months until the next cycle. The conjugate periodized program focus's on one to two climbing facets but at the same time maintains others.
- It focus's on strength and power throughout all facets of the program which I agree is the most important trainable skill/trait for rock climbing.
- The conjugate style or periodization differs from the Anderson Brothers in the ability to maintain a somehwhat high level of performance for longer or more frequent periods of time during the cycle of throughout the year (though perhaps at the costs of a less highly peaked performance period). The higher the peak the greater the valley.
- Enduro 40m limestone pitches are about as far out of my granite crimping forte as it gets. I know I will need "fitness" like never before and I think these guy's approach it in a very systematic and trainable manner (not that the Anderson' brothers didn't). The Anderson Brothers main form of high-end endurance training is the linked bouldering circuit which is super effective and very sport specific. This new program includes that exercise but also adds in a few others for variety and undulation in training (which I think is important).
I recommend that everyone interested in this stuff read Alex's full PDF that is linked below.
- Alex Barrows "Training for Sport Climbing PDF
- Alex Barrows Blog
- Alex Barrows Training Beta Podcast
- Lattice Training - Tom Randall's Website
- Tom Randall Blog
- Tom Randall Training Beta Podcast
- Rock Climbers Training Manual - Anderson Brothers
- Anderson Brothers Training Beta Podcast
- Anderson Brothers Training Beta Revisited
And in case any of your are too lazy to motivate to train, i'm gonna let CT get on ya: