Well, we have come to the end of my down to earth training tips and those who have been following them should have a better idea on how to improve the areas of their climbing that need it.
Now, you might be asking, what do I do to if I want to tweak things a little, get a little bit more power and spring, get a little bit more endurance, stamina. Sometimes the pure power isn’t enough and the pure endurance neither. Some times you just need a little more and then something special.
Adding speed to your power is possible on the campus board. This is where movement is added to the power training and the power transferred over joints and different muscle groups work together creating a spring effect in your inter muscular coordination. This time the fingers are involved along with the biceps, triceps, lats and body movement to create dynamic powerful movement. Pay close attention to what your fingers and elbows are telling you and stop when any pain is felt.
Start off on the biggest rungs on the campus board and at the beginning just work your way up and down the rungs with your heels on the floor stretched out in-front, this gives you about a 60 – 80% load. Eventually you will feel like doing the basic feet free pull up and snatch, going up to the top of the board and then jumping off. Slowly build up and even start using smaller edges or leave out a rung or two.
The variation on the campus board is huge and you can use any kind of combination, it is also a great tool to judge your progress as all the exercises are measurable and give an exact readings as to your progress. Then there is the down climbing! Be very aware of the dangers in down climbing, your elbows will tell you very quickly if you should be doing it or not. The down climbing pushes the load on you fingers and elbows over the 100% intensity and sometimes it could go up to 120% or even higher. This is where tennis or golfers elbow have put a stop to many a climbers training for a month or five.
Then there is the word stamina! This is where you taste the blood in your mouth and you are able to push through the pain barrier that has held you back all these years, it also allows you to recover with a flick of your wrist. This training works best on a 35 – 40 degree wall. Create a boulder that you can climb just under your max for 1 minute ± 30 moves. Then get a boulder that you could climb for ever, nice big jugs to shake out on also for a minute or 2. Then the most important ingredient, the stop watch or a power CD with 1 minute jet fuel music that will help wring that last ounce of effort out of you, remember, you may scream!
After a good warm up start off with one minute hard climbing then go onto the bigger grips for a minute and then rest for a minute, Do this 6 to 8 times. These are nice short training sessions 18 to 24 minutes in total, but they will blow your mind and you will be tired for at least 4 days afterwards, so don’t plan on doing one of these on a Thursday or Friday and then expect to climb on the weekend, because it just isn’t going to happen.
Now you are finely tuned and your training program has come to an end and the big numbers are falling left right and centre, you want to keep the form you have for a few months. The maintenance program gives you a mix of the different training areas. After a good warm up I normally work on very hard routes (projects) this keeps the max power going and the body memory is kept sharp with learning new complex moves. When I feel the power dropping I change to some boulders or routes that I am familiar with and can do even when slightly pumped.
When that tank is empty I just traverse for 20 minutes or do laps on very easy routes. Every now and again throw a campus board or a stamina session in for flavor. When bouldering, remember to use your feet and not get stuck with the tracking, hands/feet, kind of climbing. Tracking is not good for your style and you forget to use your feet to their full potential. Tracking is also very hard on the shoulders and fingers and can led to injury.
Also remember to find your balance, which is normally below the spot where your belly button is. Place your foot in the area below you hips and get your weight over this point. Do not forget the left hand/right foot or right hand/left foot combo, you don’t always need to place both feet.
Now go out and climb a rock!