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wmfork


Feb 6, 2013, 1:32 PM
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Re: [lena_chita] Incorporating hangboard into training [In reply to]
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lena_chita wrote:
But, if your max "peak" power gets better, and your max "best" endurance capacity gets better, then even when you are in the in-between phase, you still are climbing better than before.
While I agree with that in general, my experience last year felt like playing a game of wack-a-mole: I'd do a fingerboard or campus/bouldering or PE phase and absolutely crushes each phase individually, but I had a hard time making the gain in each phase "stick".

My year sort of went like this:
I had a sport project (hard and consistent 4-5 bolt section) that required a combination of PE, finger strength and bouldering power. I started the year with good finger strength & realized I needed more PE to send the route. I trained PE for a few weeks, came back feeling great, but couldn't do the fingery start. I worked the finger strength back in, but then wouldn't be able to finish off the last bouldery move at the end of the hard climbing. I go back to bouldering, got strong & finally sent the route, taking early summer to early fall (thank god that wasn't all I did climbing wise), much longer than I thought it'd take.

At the end of the year, my redpoint capability moved from 13- to 13c ish, compared to 12d to 13- the year before where I just climbed mostly. Of course, it's hard to say I should have expected the same gain one year after a good climbing year, but I also became more of a one trick pony: I couldn't onsight as close to my redpoint grade and I couldn't redpoint my physical limit as easily (I didn't have the ability to "fight" thru the redpoint: it either feels easy or I fall off).


lena_chita
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Feb 7, 2013, 6:46 AM
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Re: [wmfork] Incorporating hangboard into training [In reply to]
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wmfork wrote:
lena_chita wrote:
But, if your max "peak" power gets better, and your max "best" endurance capacity gets better, then even when you are in the in-between phase, you still are climbing better than before.
While I agree with that in general, my experience last year felt like playing a game of wack-a-mole: I'd do a fingerboard or campus/bouldering or PE phase and absolutely crushes each phase individually, but I had a hard time making the gain in each phase "stick".

My year sort of went like this:
I had a sport project (hard and consistent 4-5 bolt section) that required a combination of PE, finger strength and bouldering power. I started the year with good finger strength & realized I needed more PE to send the route. I trained PE for a few weeks, came back feeling great, but couldn't do the fingery start. I worked the finger strength back in, but then wouldn't be able to finish off the last bouldery move at the end of the hard climbing. I go back to bouldering, got strong & finally sent the route, taking early summer to early fall (thank god that wasn't all I did climbing wise), much longer than I thought it'd take.

Interesting. When it comes to sending a project, I have never found anything to be a better approach than simply getting on the project. The closest I've ever come to "training" for a specific project that i felt was helpful was to create couple boulder problems that kinda-sorta re-created the cruxy sections of the project and climb those problems in between my bi-weekly attempts at the project.

Devil's in the details on stuff like that, and personal interpretation of what various training terms mean, and how it applies in your specific situation. For example, when you were training PE, were you really training PE, or were you in reality doing more E than PE? And when you say that you got strong bouldering, is that really just P, or is it, in fact, closer to the PE training that you may have wanted to train earlier, but didn't?

None of it is standardized, and what I picture when you say PE may be very different than what you actually did for the PE phase, and maybe neither my interpretation of PE, nor yours, is strictly correct...


wmfork wrote:
At the end of the year, my redpoint capability moved from 13- to 13c ish, compared to 12d to 13- the year before where I just climbed mostly. Of course, it's hard to say I should have expected the same gain one year after a good climbing year, but I also became more of a one trick pony: I couldn't onsight as close to my redpoint grade and I couldn't redpoint my physical limit as easily (I didn't have the ability to "fight" thru the redpoint: it either feels easy or I fall off).

I would consider this a very decent improvement, but I can see what you mean about your improvement being comparable, at least grade-wise, with two different approaches.


camhead


Feb 7, 2013, 7:02 AM
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Re: [lena_chita] Incorporating hangboard into training [In reply to]
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lena_chita wrote:

Devil's in the details on stuff like that, and personal interpretation of what various training terms mean, and how it applies in your specific situation. For example, when you were training PE, were you really training PE, or were you in reality doing more E than PE? And when you say that you got strong bouldering, is that really just P, or is it, in fact, closer to the PE training that you may have wanted to train earlier, but didn't?

None of it is standardized, and what I picture when you say PE may be very different than what you actually did for the PE phase, and maybe neither my interpretation of PE, nor yours, is strictly correct...

The more I mull over it and do specified training, the more I realize that nearly EVERYTHING is PE training.

Most boulder problems that are more than 3 moves (especially at my gym where the best problems are 8-10 moves long, on a 70 degree overhang) have some small component of endurance to them. Hangboard repeaters are more of an endurance exercise than a pure strength thing, too (though with next to no power component). And even when I do some sort of ARCing or >10 minute traverse, I still occasionally throw in a slightly difficult move.

On to wmfork's broader question of periodization versus just climbing, I have seen no definite evidence one way or another for me, or for people that I've anecdotaly observed.

One friend, who has little free time, a family, and a full time job, became a sold 5.14- climber through periodization. But I also know people who have made great gains by either climbing a lot, or simply by being unusually gifted, physically and mentally.

For me (sorry, gonna spray), I have not seen an magic bullet solutions through periodization. I was stuck in the 12+ zone for years, gradually consolidated my technique and familiarity with diverse climbing styles, and then, in 2011, devoted more time to climbing than I ever did before. I broke into 13s, and by the time the year was over, I had redpointed 13a enduro, technical face, bouldery power, and crack routes. This was all just by climbing a LOT, including a full-time summer roadtrip. No structured training.

The next year, 2012, I began my first periodized training routine, and managed to redpoint one 13b, so I suppose that, technically this was a gain. Instead of climbing for a whole summer, I took most of the summer off, and then managed to redpoint one more hard 13a (without doing anymore training), which was more of a subtle technical route than one of pure fitness.

Right now, I am able to do nothing BUT hangboard, due to a broken foot, and am feeling really strong in the fingers and forearms. But because of the injury, I have pretty low expectations for what this spring will bring.


lena_chita
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Feb 7, 2013, 7:45 AM
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Re: [camhead] Incorporating hangboard into training [In reply to]
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camhead wrote:
The more I mull over it and do specified training, the more I realize that nearly EVERYTHING is PE training.

Most boulder problems that are more than 3 moves (especially at my gym where the best problems are 8-10 moves long, on a 70 degree overhang) have some small component of endurance to them. Hangboard repeaters are more of an endurance exercise than a pure strength thing, too (though with next to no power component). And even when I do some sort of ARCing or >10 minute traverse, I still occasionally throw in a slightly difficult move.

I guess people who say that I set "endurance-y" boulder problems (10-12 moves) have a point. Tongue

More seriously though, yes, I agree, everything that is more than couple moves long has some endurance component to it, and PE is a spectrum.

The scientist in me would really like to quantitate it somehow. Sigh.


camhead wrote:
For me (sorry, gonna spray), I have not seen an magic bullet solutions through periodization. I was stuck in the 12+ zone for years, gradually consolidated my technique and familiarity with diverse climbing styles, and then, in 2011, devoted more time to climbing than I ever did before. I broke into 13s, and by the time the year was over, I had redpointed 13a enduro, technical face, bouldery power, and crack routes. This was all just by climbing a LOT, including a full-time summer roadtrip. No structured training.

The next year, 2012, I began my first periodized training routine, and managed to redpoint one 13b, so I suppose that, technically this was a gain. Instead of climbing for a whole summer, I took most of the summer off, and then managed to redpoint one more hard 13a (without doing anymore training), which was more of a subtle technical route than one of pure fitness.

Right now, I am able to do nothing BUT hangboard, due to a broken foot, and am feeling really strong in the fingers and forearms. But because of the injury, I have pretty low expectations for what this spring will bring.


You are getting to the other thing that is often overlooked in these sorts of discussions, and that is not everyone has the ability to get on the rock as frequently as is optimal. Periodization training, while it may not be better than climbing regularly and a LOT, for someone who lives in a place with no true "off" season, and/or is able to travel to climbing destinations during the local off season, may be an answer for someone who isn't able to do so.

I know that for me personally the decision to try periodisation this winter had a lot to do with my anticipation of no outdoor climbing from mid-December on, for couple months. And since it is the first time I am trying it, the results are yet unknown.

Oh, the suspense! Don't you hate it when you build up the expectations, and things just fizzle out into nothing?


Partner cracklover


Feb 7, 2013, 9:07 AM
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Re: [lena_chita] Incorporating hangboard into training [In reply to]
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lena_chita wrote:
More seriously though, yes, I agree, everything that is more than couple moves long has some endurance component to it, and PE is a spectrum.

I guess that's why JT is always ranting about how climbing is, at the heart of it, an anaerobic sport. Which is true, but begs the question.

The trouble is that the key to climbing harder is just as much, if not more, about raising your anaerobic threshold than it is about increasing your capacity to climb once you're past that threshold. I mean, I can climb some types of 5.10 literally all day without getting pumped, and I can boulder V5. Right there, that allows me to send some 5.12 routes, even with next to no PE.

Most of the stronger climbers I know who can send 5.13 and up can climb a lot of 5.11 all day without getting pumped. So the real difference between them and me is that they can climb harder without getting pumped. Of course I'm not saying that it's all physiological. I'm sure a lot of it is superior technique, better strength-to-weight, etc. But in the end that all boils down to how hard you can climb while still mostly on this side of the aerobic/anaerobic threshold.

In reply to:
You are getting to the other thing that is often overlooked in these sorts of discussions, and that is not everyone has the ability to get on the rock as frequently as is optimal. Periodization training, while it may not be better than climbing regularly and a LOT, for someone who lives in a place with no true "off" season, and/or is able to travel to climbing destinations during the local off season, may be an answer for someone who isn't able to do so.

For me, it's not so much that, it's something that RGold is always stressing - the fact that these training techniques allow you to focus on one area in a controlled setting. I happen to know by now that my stupid finger pulleys are likely to snap when they take too much abuse. This makes working on pure power (which has always been one of my weak points) troublesome. So I can do a little bit of hard bouldering, but more than a little, and *snap*. Solution? Turns out that, for me, at this point in my development, the campus board is a controlled, safe, environment, where I can push hard and not hurt myself.

In reply to:
I know that for me personally the decision to try periodisation this winter had a lot to do with my anticipation of no outdoor climbing from mid-December on, for couple months. And since it is the first time I am trying it, the results are yet unknown.

Oh, the suspense! Don't you hate it when you build up the expectations, and things just fizzle out into nothing?

Based on how you've been doing at comps recently, I think you know that you're already seeing payoffs. Of course it can take a bit of work to translate that back onto real rock, so don't expect to see great things (although you might surprise yourself) your first outing.

I remember once having a phenomenal winter in the gym, and coming out raring to go in the Spring, expecting to tear it up. My first trip to the Gunks, I hung all the fuck over a 5.9, eventually lowering to the belay so my partner could take the lead. Incredibly humiliating, and made me think at the time that all that gym work was worthless. Of course it wasn't worthless, it just never translates 100%. It takes some work to get used to standing on tiny crystals, trusting your gear, using body positions and holds you don't encounter much in the gym, etc.

I'm sure once you get past all that, you'll have a kick-ass season.

GO


lena_chita
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Feb 8, 2013, 12:53 PM
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Re: [cracklover] Incorporating hangboard into training [In reply to]
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cracklover wrote:
lena_chita wrote:
More seriously though, yes, I agree, everything that is more than couple moves long has some endurance component to it, and PE is a spectrum.

I guess that's why JT is always ranting about how climbing is, at the heart of it, an anaerobic sport. Which is true, but begs the question.

The trouble is that the key to climbing harder is just as much, if not more, about raising your anaerobic threshold than it is about increasing your capacity to climb once you're past that threshold. I mean, I can climb some types of 5.10 literally all day without getting pumped, and I can boulder V5. Right there, that allows me to send some 5.12 routes, even with next to no PE.

Most of the stronger climbers I know who can send 5.13 and up can climb a lot of 5.11 all day without getting pumped. So the real difference between them and me is that they can climb harder without getting pumped. Of course I'm not saying that it's all physiological. I'm sure a lot of it is superior technique, better strength-to-weight, etc. But in the end that all boils down to how hard you can climb while still mostly on this side of the aerobic/anaerobic threshold.

Yes. The SCC had a good discussion on the relationship between aerobic threshold and max power. Don't have the book with me at the moment... I let a friend borrow it a couple of months ago. Come to think of it, I better get it back!

Obviously, there are multiple components to how hard you climb. Lead-head and technique issues aside for the moment, I think of it this way (not necessarily standard definitions of the terms):

1)Strength (what can you hold onto/hang off of)

2)Endurance--how hard you can climb without getting pumped

3)Power-- the hardest moves you can do fresh

4)Power Endurance-- the hardest move you can do while pumped

5)Stamina-- how quickly you recover from being pumped, once you are done with the climb, and how many "real" attempts can you make at a hard climb in a day, before you get progressively worse.

In terms of training, I have never done anything specific for (1), and followed SCC for
(2) ARC
(3) Threshold bouldering
(4) 4x4s, bouldering pyramids
(5) VIR/CIR roped laps with timed rests.

(the above is over-simplification, obviously, but that is the gist of it)

This approach (along with various movement exercises, etc. from SCC) got me to where I currently am. And I do not think that it is not useful anymore.

But I did want to shake things up a bit/do something different, and also there is the practical reality of the gym not being set up in a way that makes some of these things easy to do...


crackmeup


Mar 2, 2013, 5:18 AM
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Re: [lena_chita] Incorporating hangboard into training [In reply to]
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Here's another data point for you. I started a three-month cycle in December, the first month included a hangboard routine three times a week. I did repeaters: three series of the same hold, progressively shorter hangs and more added weight for each series with a given grip.

Until last year I could do V7 in the gym but not outside. I had been stuck at V6 for a while everywhere I went (Bishop, Yosemite, Vegas). I noticed a significant improvement after the hangboard phase, and even more after the subsequent campus sessions. A couple of weeks ago finished my first V8 and I'm close to my second one. Last week I took it easy before going on a trip, and a couple of days ago did a benchmark V7 in 4-5 tries (with all the right beta from a local).

I must have had some obvious low-hanging fruit on the finger strength side, that's where I noticed the most difference.

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