Forums: Climbing Information: Technique & Training:
7 weeks until competition, how to train?
RSS FeedRSS Feeds for Technique & Training

Premier Sponsor:



Oct 10, 2010, 6:14 PM
Post #1 of 4 (3224 views)

Registered: Nov 14, 2009
Posts: 662

7 weeks until competition, how to train?
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (1 rating)  
Can't Post

I am entering a bouldering competition that's happening in just over 7 weeks. I want some input on what I should do to prepare.

- The competition is a 3-hour redpoint prelim + probably a 5-problem finals where you have 5 minutes to send each problem, most problems in least tries wins.

- I climb up to ~v7 outdoors. Lately I have been doing a lot of bouldering outside, with the very occasional day of sport climbing. Basically I have a fair bit of power but my endurance and power endurance are weaknesses.

- I will likely make finals without too much trouble, but scoring may be based on up to my 10 best routes, so there is a significant amount of redpointing involved.

So, I haven't been following a training schedule since the season is just coming to an end here and i've been trying to just get outside as much as possible. I'm thinking I should do some kind of periodized training, but i'm not sure how I can do that to peak in 7 weeks. How does this look?

weeks 1-3
- 2 x hangboard workouts
- 2 x ARC sessions (2x30 minute sets each workout)

weeks 4&5
- 2 x campus board workouts
- 1 x ARC sessions

week 6-comp day
- 4x4 workout
- 6 laps of death
- 4x4 workout

One thing I'm concerned about is my ability to do a great number of redpoint attempts in one day. I recall reading about training for that in the SCC, but I don't have a copy currently (if i loaned it to you give it back will ya...). What should I be doing to work on that?

Anyway critique my plan please, help me get strong


Oct 15, 2010, 8:11 PM
Post #2 of 4 (3071 views)

Registered: Oct 1, 2010
Posts: 106

Re: [jbro_135] 7 weeks until competition, how to train? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (2 ratings)  
Can't Post

A couple of thoughts

1) you don't need to periodize or worry about creating a peak. The competition format you are describing is going to reward the climbers who have the highest stamina level so that is where your focus should be.

2) The schedule you have outlined above has no stamina training in it.

3) To improve stamina you want to be using repetitions with closely controled intensity levels. The two stamina workouts that I have had great success with are Continuous Intensity Repetitions, and Variable Intensity Repetitions.

The goal in either workout is to pre-determine the level you will be working at and to complete 12 - 15 boulder prbloems, of varying styles and characteristics at that pre-determined level.

By necessity you will be working at the intensity level at which you can complete each boulder problem in 1 - 3 tries.

So if you boulder up to V7 then maybe your first workout should be at the V4 level. Go to your bouldering area or gym and find all the V4's you can. Seek out a diversity of movement styles, angles, and hold types. Make a list of all the problems you want to do, and create an order in which you will do them. Do the first problem, note on your list that you have completed it, and then rest a few minutes before trying the second problem. When you have completed the second problem mark it off your list, rest a few minutes and move on to the third problem, and so on.

(This is what distinguishes repetition methods of training from interval medthods of training such as 4X4s. in interval training the duration of the rest period is controlled. In repetition methods the climber can take as much rest as is needed between attempts.)

Give yourself up to 3 tries on each problem. If you don't complete the problem on the third try move on to the next one. In this manner you will work through all the problems on your list until you have completed at least 12 problems.

Note: if there aren't 12 - 15 different problems just do some of the problems more than one time.

Up to problem 10 the workout may feel too easy. You won't really feel the impact of the workout until the last few problems. On these problems you will feel yourself starting to get really tired, your movement will become less precise, and you will find that you suddenly run out of energy a few moves into each attempt. This will happen despite getting plenty of rest between each problem and never getting a pump.

So for your first workout you will go for doing 12- 15 V4s of widely divergent styles. If V4 is the right level, you will barely get through the workout by the skin of your teeth. If that is the case then work at the same intensity level for 2 more workouts. Then up the intensity by doing a Vairable Intensity workout that includes several V5s (1-4) so you will be doing 10XV4 and 4XV5. As you feel yourself improving you should keep adding V5s and reducing the number of V4s in the workout until you are doing 14XV5. Then you start adding V6s and so on. It doesn't matter what your actualy level turns out to be, the basic structure is the same. What matters is finding the correct base level and adding harder problems at the correct rate, which you have to do based on how you are feeling as you do the workouts; its highly subjective by necessity.

4) Note that how many of these you do in a week really depends on your base level of fitness. If you are weak and old (like the author of this post) you will find that doing 1 -2 of these per week is all you can handle. But even for the young and fit I think 2 of these per week is a good number because the volume of climbing is so high, and the intensity is so tightly comtrolled. These can lead to over use injuries if you are not resting and stretching enough, so keep that in mind.

5) Note that you may see several workouts of steady progress and then find that you are really fighting just to keep working at the same level. That's o.k. it most likely means that have not fully recovered from the previous workout.

So in 7 weeks you should be able to get 14 of these workouts in, which should be enough workouts for you to make significant progress. You can also do some arcing as active recovery and warm-up.

6) The benefits of doing this training are measured in two ways:

1- your bouldering flash level should go up by a number grade or more in the time you have.

2- Over the weeks you follow this structure your records of each workout should show you being able to work at a higher and high level. By the end of 7 weeks your base stamina level should be 1 - 2 V grades higher than when you started and your records of each workout should show this progression happening as the weeks go by.


Oct 15, 2010, 9:01 PM
Post #3 of 4 (3059 views)

Registered: Oct 11, 2004
Posts: 232

Re: [jbro_135] 7 weeks until competition, how to train? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Definitely do 4x4s. Power endurance pays off in both redpoint and onsight comps.

Another drill I like to run to get ready for a hard redpoint comp is to climb all the V0's back to back, just moving across the wall from one side of the gym to the other. Then head back the other way doing all the V1's. Then all the V2's, and V3's, etc. until you can"t even pull off the ground anymore. Do the early, easier climbs closer together and slowly start to space out your attempts as you ascend through the grades.


Oct 16, 2010, 11:45 AM
Post #4 of 4 (3017 views)

Registered: Nov 14, 2009
Posts: 662

Re: [DouglasHunter] 7 weeks until competition, how to train? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Thanks for the reply, I really appreciate your input. I think I will try doing those workouts up until two or 3 weeks before the competition and then change my focus to power endurance training as it's definitely a major weakness.

Forums : Climbing Information : Technique & Training


Search for (options)

Log In:

Password: Remember me:

Go Register
Go Lost Password?

Follow us on Twiter Become a Fan on Facebook