RCTM - "Lost Art of ARC" Sidebar

Original Post
Sean H · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Dec 2008 · Points: 105

In Rock Climber's Training Manual, in the Base Fitness chapter, there is a sidebar titled The Lost Art of ARC.

The discussion in the third paragraph has a bit that I've been struggling to understand:

A great example of the power of ARCing is the Motherlode's premier route, Transworld Depravity. Transworld Depravity has three distinct cruxes, each slightly easier than the last, separated by more-moderate but pumpy climbing. I decided to ARC (climb below my MSS) between the cruxes, and suppress the pump until I hit each crux, where I expected the pump to build.

What exactly did Mike decide here? Personally, I'd have decided to climb the whole route below my MSS, meaning I have the beastly ability to ARC at 14a! Unfortunately I can't just decide to do that. OK - so the climbing between the cruxes is <14a, but you must get what I mean. If you're following periodized training as per the book, you're going to arrive at the Red with a certain amount of fitness. There's not much deciding to do as to what your MSS is - it's either good enough to ARC between the cruxes on T.D. - or it isn't.

Perhaps I'm being pedantic, but it seems to me either a poor choice of words, or there's something I'm missing about the point of the sidebar.

Eric Chabot · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 35

An alternative tactic might be to'sprint' the entire route would it not? I.e., climb above the MSS the whole time and hope to clip the chains before the pump clock runs out. You'd train and project the route differently if you decided to do this.

I'm not a 14 (or even a 13) climber with only a few cycles of training under my belt but that is my interpretation.

Brendan N · · Salt Lake City, Utah · Joined Oct 2006 · Points: 378

Eric is correct, it's an approach difference.

Steve Pulver · · Williston, ND · Joined Dec 2003 · Points: 455

Later in that paragraph he says, I had to focus intensely to stay relaxed, control the pump, and keep climbing. I *think* he is trying to make two points in the paragraph as a whole, That he was able to raise his MSS through prior ARC training, and he chose to stay below MSS on this particular route by trying to remain relaxed.
I guess both of these are things that you have a choice over, but I agree this is not completely clear.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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