Eric Horst: Training for Climbing


Original Post
evan h · · Denver, CO · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 310

I heard a new book was in the works, but I wasn't aware that it is now available. Has anyone read it and have any input? I have the old version, which is a great introduction to linear periodization, but isn't nearly as beginner friendly as the Rock Prodigy method -- which tells you what to do and when to do it. Now that I've been following the latter method for a few years, I'm always trying to digest as much as possible from other sources to tweak a program that is best suited for me. Any insight on the new book?

kenr · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 10,116

Don't know about a new edition, but I felt I got plenty from the 2008 version.

Overall I think the Horst book had a greater number of helpful ideas than the Anderson book. Also a greater number of unhelpful ideas, but I know how to handle those, so I prefer a book with a greater variety of ideas.

I think that for training Hypertrophy, Eric had a better theory. Though the supposedly "scientific" approach on training since then has trended differently.

Ken

ARonchetti · · Mundelein, IL · Joined May 2011 · Points: 15

I think it all comes down to what works for you. Both books say that repeatedly. Personally I think the training for climbing books give better suggestions on non-climbing strength training while I like the micro/macrocycle routine outlined in the Anderson book. I also like the RPTC although I currently SUCK at the pinch grips on that sucker.

evan h · · Denver, CO · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 310

Thanks, I agree with what is said above. I guess the better question is this: Does the 2016 version differ significantly from the 2008 version?

Mark E Dixon · · Sprezzatura, Someday · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 549

I was inspired to buy the new Horst book after hearing him on the Power Company podcast.

http://www.powercompanyclimbing.com/blog/2016/8/31/episode-10-energy-systems-training-with-eric-horst

The new book is an improvement on the earlier edition.
Horst is very good at keeping up on the latest research.
Some of this comes across as "old wine in new skins."
For example, stretching is now called mobility training.

I was especially interested in reading about metabolic training and would have preferred a more in depth exploration than he provided. But it is a step forward, I think.

Bottom line, I'm not convinced there's enough new to warrant replacing the earlier edition.

On the other hand, I think anybody serious about training must have one of his Training for Climbing books.

evan h · · Denver, CO · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 310

Great review Mark, much appreciated. Keep em coming!

Dan MacKinnon · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 115
evan h wrote:Great review Mark, much appreciated. Keep me coming.
This is unintentionally hilarious!
evan h · · Denver, CO · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 310

Hahah! Damn auto correct!

Wilburn · · Cheyenne, WY · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 350

Evan I have both the 2016 and 2008 version of Horst's "Training for Climbing." I can provide a quick and dirty overview of my thoughts.

Cons: I'd say more than half of the book is a re-hash of what Horst and others have already stated. If the option existed to pay per page and cherry pick from the book I would have done that rather than buy the entire thing.

Horst is not as explicit as other authors. There are times when I'm wondering what exactly I should be doing, but usually common sense or a trial-by-fire approach resolves the issue.

Pros: The stuff that is not a re-hash is worthwhile. There are new exercises that were not present in the 2008 version and some exercises have been removed altogether (Heavy Finger Rolls for example).

Horst gets in-depth about the muscle physiology behind your training and helps to explain the different time thresholds that train different energy systems. This has been quite helpful in understanding why certain exercises are effective and what I should be aiming to replicate in my own climbing.

He also spends a lot of time explaining different energy pathways and how to train them most effectively.

Random Thoughts
There are a few new exercises that are worthwhile, but nothing especially unique or esoteric that you couldn't find by talking to friends or people at the gym. His repeater protocol has changed completely in favor of a 10-on 30-off itinerary or 30-on 30-off itinerary (scale-able).

Not a fan of the book advocating static stretching, BUT I haven't actually research dynamic vs static stretching whereas I'm sure Horst has.

The book is different enough that it is an improvement over the 2008 version, but I'd wait to buy it if you think you can get your hands on a borrowed copy.

evan h · · Denver, CO · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 310

Great review Wilburn!

Squeak · · Perth West OZ · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 23

he's also posting a few training videos on EPIC TV outlining beginner training

divnamite · · New York, NY · Joined Aug 2007 · Points: 170

Does he still recommend his HIT strip training or has he abandon it altogether?

Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 190

I have his "how to climb 5.12" book. Is Training for Climbing significantly different, or can I wait until I can actually climb 5.12 and use that one to get to 5.13? :p

Wilburn · · Cheyenne, WY · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 350

@divnamite - HIT strip training is still a significant part of finger strength protocol.

@Ted Pinson - I haven't read "How to Climb 5.12," but I do know that the most recent edition is 2011 while the current "Training for Climbing" is 2008. I think Horst refers to the 5.12 book as a book focused on mental preparation and execution?

The big differences are the additions and redactions of exercises from prior editions of his books. The staples (4x4's, Frenchies, intervals, etc) are all still there.

There are some of the new exercises posted on trainingforclimbing.com as well as the Nicros website.

Tony Monbetsu · · Minneapolis, MN · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 560
Wilburn wrote:There are new exercises that were not present in the 2008 version and some exercises have been removed altogether (Heavy Finger Rolls for example).
Interesting that heavy finger rolls have been removed, as they seem to be one of the more divisive movements out there. Any mention as to why he removed them? I don't remember it coming up on the Power Company podcast.
Wilburn · · Cheyenne, WY · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 350

I was also disappointed that the exercise was removed. There was no mention of the removal. Given that the exercise was good enough for Todd Skinner, I think it's good enough for me.

Tony Monbetsu · · Minneapolis, MN · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 560
Wilburn wrote:I was also disappointed that the exercise was removed. There was no mention of the removal. Given that the exercise was good enough for Todd Skinner, I think it's good enough for me.
I've never tried them. While most climbing exercises, like hangboarding or pull up variations, are generally treated as valid by all writers and trainers, finger rolls aren't. The Anderson brothers specifically do not recommend them, and include a sidebar on their reasoning. Just for that reason, I'd really like to know why Hörst removed them. Anyone feel like emailing him?
J. Albers · · Colorado · Joined Jul 2008 · Points: 1,793

Sorry to interject in your discussion, but just in case anyone of you would like to purchase a practically brand new set of HIT strips, feel free to PM me. I have been meaning to post them in the For Sale section, but perhaps this forum will actually find them a home (I am certainly willing to sell them at a very fair price).

Carry on... :)

reboot · · . · Joined Jul 2006 · Points: 125
Wilburn wrote:Not a fan of the book advocating static stretching
Why is that? The book is pretty specific about not overdoing the finger flexor, which may impact short term performance. The rest don't really matter (IMO, it's better to gain a fraction more ROM than lose some strength temporarily).
Wilburn · · Cheyenne, WY · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 350

Tony I haven't read the Anderson Brothers book and I'm interested to know their take on this exercise. Is it out of concern for the lower back?

Chris Rice · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2013 · Points: 50
Tony Monbetsu wrote: I've never tried them. While most climbing exercises, like hangboarding or pull up variations, are generally treated as valid by all writers and trainers, finger rolls aren't. The Anderson brothers specifically do not recommend them, and include a sidebar on their reasoning. Just for that reason, I'd really like to know why Hörst removed them. Anyone feel like emailing him?
I think the big change from when Todd talked about finger curls is the advent of climbing gyms. When he said that gyms were very few and far between. At that time the finger curl was a good move for those who couldn't climb for very long stretches of time (many of us as to outdoor climbing) - it can add significant general hand strength over sitting on the couch :)
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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