Performance Maintenance During Training Lull


Original Post
J Sundstrom · · San Diego, CA · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 55

My time is fairly squeezed these days and time in the gym is generally limited to 1.5 hours at a time, though I can often get in three to four times a week. To maximize my efficiency in the gym as opposed to 'just climbing', I've started to try and incorporate some sort training routine; I've been loosely following Eric Hörst in Training for Climbing. The problem, though, is that usually every few weeks or so there's about a week or two in which getting into the gym at all (or more than twice a week for an hour) is problematic. This ends up throwing off my training schedule and I'm not at the place I was when I can resume.

Has anyone had any experience in performing some sort of minimal exercise in order to hold oneself over until one can resume training without losing progress that's already been made? I'm thinking hangboarding and core would be the best but I'm certainly open to other things. Of course if the lull is long enough it won't matter but lets say a week or 10 days; is this a reasonable proposition?

climberish · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 0

Get a home hangboard if you can to at least be able to work finger strength, which can be argued to be the most important aspect of training. If you can get even a 30 minute session in at home with 30 minutes of bodyweight exercises (pull ups, push ups, handstands, ground L-sits, planks etc) then you should be fine.

climberish · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 0

Also, if you can push hard for 3-4 weeks, having a week off isn't terrible... its definitely not ideal. You really want to be shooting for the 6-7 week straight of training before taking a deload/rest week.

Tomily ma · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2011 · Points: 290

If a week or two off kills your performance  you probably need a good rest anyways. The obsession with training is great for elite athletes, but regular people just get overtraining injuries. If you're that strapped for time, maybe you'd be better off in the long term by taking a climbing should be fun rather than a must meet training goals approach. I have a 3 year old and a 6 month old so I get the time thing. Just don't drive yourself crazy. 

climberish · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 0
Tomily ma wrote:

If a week or two off kills your performance  you probably need a good rest anyways. The obsession with training is great for elite athletes, but regular people just get overtraining injuries. If you're that strapped for time, maybe you'd be better off in the long term by taking a climbing should be fun rather than a must meet training goals approach. I have a 3 year old and a 6 month old so I get the time thing. Just don't drive yourself crazy. 

I strongly disagree with this (not the rest thing, rest is great, people need to rest more!), you get overtraining injuries from overtraining, not from training.... I severely broke my ankle in December, and have been exclusively working through strength and power training exercises (including bodyweight cross training) since January. Prior to that I was stuck in the mid-upper 5.12 sport climbing range and maxed out around V6 for bouldering due to weak fingers/lack of strength/lack of power, I could barely hang bodyweight on 25 mm edge and could not even touch the campus board even with the typical large normal campus rungs. Over the last 5-6 months, working with 6-8 week training periods with deload weeks between I have safely worked up to hanging 40 lbs on a 23-25 mm edge, 20 lbs on a 18 mm edge, and bodyweight on 14-16 mm edges (10s on 5 minutes off 5 reps per edge size), and have been able to do up/down ladders on the normal campus rungs. I have begun including limit interval workouts on our systems board and have comparable or better endurance on harder moves than I did before the injury (even with almost no real climbing in 6 months), and I can feel a huge difference in my form from developing all the upper body muscles from these training cycles. My fingers, elbows, and shoulders haven't felt this good in years, and prior to this ankle injury I had years of finger and shoulder overuse injuries, and some elbow issues. 

You can accomplish a lot to build or maintain strength through even small amounts of focused training, likely a lot more efficiently than a hour at the gym. Most "average" climbers that get overtraining injuries when "training" is because they decide to jump into a hard training program while still trying to climb in the gym the same amount that they had been, and do not know how to program a decent routine with the required amount of rest. 

J Sundstrom · · San Diego, CA · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 55

Not sure that I'd say it kills my performance but I can tell I'm not where I was though I'm generally caught up in another week. My goals are really more about climbing harder because those routes look more interesting and fun rather than climbing hard for the sake of it. I'm just looking for a way of maximizing efficiency while I'm in the gym (it's only so fun pulling on plastic...).  

Ya, I figure the hangboard is the way to go. Thanks for the feedback!

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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