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johnwesely


Aug 21, 2011, 8:26 AM
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Increasing Training Volume?
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I have a dilemma. On a normal week, I do two days of climbing in the gym and one outside on the weekend. Almost every training resource gives four days a week as the standard for optimum training volume. However, I am not really sure the best way to fit another training day into the week. Time is not really an issue, but my fingers generally require a rest day after a day of gym climbing to feel completely normal, i.e., no pain or stiffness. Also, my training sessions generally only last about 2 hours, meaning I am only getting four hours of real training per week. I have been seeing pretty consistent gains with this schedule since I started getting more serious about training last December, but I really feel the volume is way to low and will eventually be a fairly severe limiting factor to improvement.

What are some useful ways I can increase my training volume without risking over training?


ghisino


Aug 22, 2011, 1:38 AM
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Re: [johnwesely] Increasing Training Volume? [In reply to]
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johnwesely wrote:
What are some useful ways I can increase my training volume without risking over training?

ok i assume you can't do the most obvious thing : a second day out on the weekend.

that said it seems that in technical sports* (eg gymnastics) and in strenght training** (eg lifting), choppimg the same weekly volume of hard work into several smaller sessions is beneficial over having fewer, longer ones.
The frequency seems more important than the volume...

so if you have two indoor sessions of two hours with, i make an assumption, 1h for warmup/cooldown and 1h for harder climbing...
try having three sessions of 1h40' : same warmup/cooldown, 2/3 of the hard climbing per session.

this way you will :
-increase the frequency

-keep the same weekly volume of hard moves

-increase the weekly volume of easy moves, which won't make you sore but will make you ready for more hard training later on, and might even give some technical benefits if you do it properly.
(always practice technical drills on warmup/cooldown!!!)






*don't remember where i've read so, but the rationale is that you practice more often so your brain remembers complex movements better from a session to the next...and because you never get to the point where you train to exhaustion, you only make high-quality executions.
On the contrary if you do bigger sessions with more recovery days in between, on one side you will practice when tired in the last part of the session and break up your technique, on the other during the rest days your brain will start to "forget" some subtleties of the movement...

**goes under the name of "grease the groove" approach. google for "grease the groove for strenght" if you're interested


(This post was edited by ghisino on Aug 22, 2011, 1:41 AM)


johnwesely


Aug 22, 2011, 3:29 AM
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That makes sense. Thanks.


flesh


Aug 22, 2011, 8:31 AM
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+1

More days/week less time per session is better than less days/more time per session if you can swing it.

Keep in mind that the reason alot of folks don't do this aside from the extra time involved is because they don't "feel" like they climb as hard each time and they don't "feel" like climbing at a slightly lower level and therefore hurt their ego. I've found the cumaliative effect whether it be the way the body works or the extra technique/muscle memory practice is that over time you'll improve faster. It's more important when climbing more often to warmup well and to spend more days climbing only open handed to make sure you don't suffer any injuries. When following this type of schedule... if you get run down... after 2 or 3 weeks of it.. don't be afraid to take off 2 or even 3 days.... you'll come back stronger than ever and send everything you've been projecting all at once! That's how it works for me anyway. Those are good days brotha.

Some of my friends climb 5 days a week... but they aren't the kind of days most are accustomed too.

They may spend an hour slowly warming up... then just try a route or boulder once every 30 minutes for 2-3 hours... then leave... only having climbed for minutes of actual climbing time... then do it again the next day and so forth.

Personally, I'm an every other day guy... it's just easier and I er on the side of caution... so some weeks it's 3 days some weeks 4 days.... however I think I'm going to try what some of my friends do as it seems like these periods is when they really get fit and excel...


jbro_135


Aug 22, 2011, 10:02 AM
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Re: [flesh] Increasing Training Volume? [In reply to]
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I tend to climb every other day at the most, sometimes I'll take two or three days off and just do antagonist muscles if I feel my elbows or fingers are getting sore or strained.
Right now I'm not really training, just climbing outside as often as possible since nice weather only happens here a couple months of the year.

When I'm actually training in the gym I tend to climb more often. You can increase volume by doing more days of shorter workouts. I generally only do two days a week of strength training or campusing, but you can put in a lot more time doing ARC, CIR, or just climbing some easier routes and boulder and working technique drills.

Also if you find you can't train more because of elbow or shoulder pain you should definitely work on doing some preventative exercises. I know I don't do this nearly enough, but it would be beneficial for sure.


johnwesely


Aug 22, 2011, 10:22 AM
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Thanks for all of the advice everyone. My biggest worry is injury for sure. That is why I am hesitant to do two days in a row. As of right now, I think I am going to try stopping as soon as my quality of movement decreases and seeing if that leaves me feeling well enough the next morning to put in another session the next day.


jross


Aug 22, 2011, 12:27 PM
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I used to climb one day on, one off. With the exception fo two days on for outdoor climbing on the weekends if possible.

Last year I started to experiment with multiple days on. Soon after starting to do Tues Wed Thurs sessions my onsight went from 11b to 11d (within 6 weeks).

Now I aim for 2 on, 1 off or 3 on 1 off. Typically ill do a moderate day with a 1 hr warm up, then do 3-4 climbs near or at my onsight level. Day 2 will be easy volume. Day three will be a hard day of onsights, redpoints or bouldering if i want to work on strength, and finish with some weights. Then a much needed rest day.

If my fingers or forearms are sore ill take a day off. If i feel overly tired ill take a day off.
I never skip cooling down and lots of stretching at the end of a session. I eat just before and just after each session. It take a little for your body to get used to the incresse in volume so be carefull and start off on the easier end of things.

I find this really works for me, more sessions but less intensity. I mainly climb routes, and i know this would not work for me if I instead mostly bouldered.

FWIW I used to coach competitive swimming, and the older kids and varsity team would practice up to 9 times a week. A friend of mine was a power lifter, he would lift 5 days a week, mon-fri. Barely any of these workouts would be 100% effort...


mr.tastycakes


Aug 22, 2011, 1:21 PM
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Re: [johnwesely] Increasing Training Volume? [In reply to]
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johnwesely wrote:
What are some useful ways I can increase my training volume without risking over training?

Just a couple ideas...

Keep a good training log and you'll know exactly how many routes/problems you worked or sent from week to week. I think if you divide your total weekly training volume over 4 days instead of 3, then add in an extra route or two per day, you'll be able to increase weekly volume pretty easily.

If you're climbing 2 days in a row, try to do the more intense climbing on the first day. For example, hard bouldering on day 1 (strength/power), then laps on routes on day 2 (endurance/stamina). I've found that some easier route climbing can help to loosen up stiff, sore bouldering fingers.

Any pocket that accommodates less than 3 fingers and small crimps are evil. Avoid hard, repetitive use of those types of holds. Become a sloper master.


(This post was edited by mr.tastycakes on Aug 22, 2011, 1:23 PM)


johnwesely


Aug 25, 2011, 12:56 PM
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Re: [flesh] Increasing Training Volume? [In reply to]
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So I did my first two day session Tuesday and Wednesday. I did my normal threshold bouldering Tuesday but stopped when the quality of my movement began to decline. On wednesday, I did lots of laps of easier problems and circuits, focusing on quality movement and efficiency. Today I feel like I will be fully recovered tomorrow. With this schedule, I feel like the overall volume of past my limit bouldering is lower, but the volume of training is overall higher. Does this sound right, or should I be shooting for something else.


ghisino


Aug 26, 2011, 2:23 AM
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depends on your background and your objectives really.

i'd say give it a proper test before even asking yourself if it is "right" and, more importantly, right for what...

to "test" i'd train 3 weeks that way, take an easier 4th week, and then try to climb 2 days in a row in the weekend, just to see what it feels like.
("how am i doing on "hard" tries? how many climbs/tries can i handle during the day? how do i feel on my 2nd day? am i unusually good at some style? how big/small is the gap between my flash grade and my limit?")



then, personally speaking : the kind of stuff you are doing sounds quite similar to my average "base" work for bouldering or shorter PE.
the kind of stuff i do when i just want to be in a fairly good shape all the time and possibly see small steady gains, i.e 80% of my year.

The nice thing of training that way is that i only need a focused cycle of roughly 3 weeks if i want to have a strenght or short PE peak (prime conditions, close to a project, trip).

The only thing it not good for is longer stamina routes. For those i seem to need a different base, so first i need to change my base work for a while (basically : 90% easyish volume), and then i can think about peaking. If i don't do that, i tend to overpower moves a little and don't recover well enough once a good pump has set in...


(This post was edited by ghisino on Aug 26, 2011, 2:24 AM)


ceebo


Aug 26, 2011, 3:12 AM
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Re: [ghisino] Increasing Training Volume? [In reply to]
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Don't make the mistake i did in not factoring in other body parts. Increasing volume with lower intensity still keeps your other parts near enough at full load, and for longer.

I had a few minor injury's in anything but fingers. So for me it was about finding some middle ground between finger intensity, and avoiding volume over use for the other body parts. 3 volume days and 2 intensity days is what I'm going with atm.


johnwesely


Aug 26, 2011, 5:11 AM
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Currently, it is way too hot to climb outside, so I am just bouldering in the gym, trying to get really strong. When the temps drop, I plan on going all out for anaerobic endurance in order to climb my goal routes some time in October. My hardest onsights are only one letter grade below my hardest redpoints, so increasing that gap seems like an obvious area to target.


ghisino


Sep 2, 2011, 4:47 PM
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increasing an os/redpoint gap is usually "just" a matter of either trying harder or becoming more experienced at efficient redpointing
(including a very personal journey that is finding the kind of situation that takes you in the zone and makes you climb your "for real" tries at 110%. For me that situation is the last days of a trip when the pressure of not having sent yet gets to a climax, but as i said it is personal)

yet getting plain stronger is obviously a good idea. Laugh


tip: "dogging" days can be great strenght workouts if you get the volume and rest times right.

locals in frankenjura are the most radical people i've seen when it comes to this.
They go to their hardest projects on days when the conditions are obviously bad (warm, humid, no wind) and just climb them in really short (10 moves max) overlapping sections, with good 2 minutes rest hanging on the rope between each of them.

as they looked not too bad on single moves i've politely asked why they did not try the whole route, or bigger links, and they replied that on this particular day they were only at the crag for bouldering.
(as in, bouldering the cruxes of those routes)

then it all made sense to me. I started to count the minutes they were resting and how many times they tried before switching to belaying, and it turned out to be something like 4-5 dogging sets made of 5-6 "boulders" with 15' of "belaying rest" between them.

Just a perfect training session : as specific as it can get, and the bad conditions were making the overload.

I think that when fall came and temperatures dropped, those guys must have walked their projects like paths...


Mariofercol


Sep 14, 2011, 8:59 AM
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Re: [johnwesely] Increasing Training Volume? [In reply to]
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Hi Jhon

I was wondering if you tried the shorter frequent sessions they recommended, and how is it working out for you. I'm considering trying it myself.


(This post was edited by Mariofercol on Sep 14, 2011, 9:00 AM)


johnwesely


Sep 14, 2011, 9:21 AM
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Mariofercol wrote:
Hi Jhon

I was wondering if you tried the shorter frequent sessions they recommended, and how is it working out for you. I'm considering trying it myself.

It was working but I suffered a setback last Friday with shoulder injury that I do not think was connected with the increase in training volume. Try it out. You definitely get way more movement in and the volume of really high end climbing works out to be about the same.


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