training "low-end" power endurance?


Original Post
Nivel Egres · · New York, NY · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 130

I have recently noticed that I have trouble with hard moves that come at the end of problems. E.g. I was working ~10 move boulder problem at our local choss factory. While I can do the final few moves (an "established" problem on it's own) easily and can do the traverse portion, I fell a few times on the very last hard move when linking it. Retrospectively, this seems to be my weakness - I definitely seem to prefer crux moves to come early and gas out if there are power-moves at the end of the problem. I think it's especially true if early moves are body-tension intensive.

Feels to me that doing 4x4s for that type of endurance is too "lengthy". An average problem at a gym is 6-8 moves, so we are talking about 25-30 moves in a row, while longer outdoors problems (the ones that feel "power-endurance" oriented) are 10-15 moves at most. I think my problem is maintaining 90ish percent effort for 10 moves, not 75ish percent effort for 3-4 minutes.  Or, alternatively, cranking 100% effort following a number of moves at 80%. So how do I train for it?


Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,740

In running, one typically trains "overdistance". It's a well known, time-tested way to help you perform at a higher level at shorter distances. So train more moves than you need.

Tylerpratt · · Litchfield, Connecticut · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 35
Gunkiemike wrote:

In running, one typically trains "overdistance". It's a well known, time-tested way to help you perform at a higher level at shorter distances. So train more moves than you need.

Dan Austin · · San Francisco, CA · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 0

Agreed with gunkiemike, but also don't feel need to do 4 problems in a PE circuit just because 4x4 is the most popular form that type of training takes. Pick a set of problems that gets you more like 18 moves as opposed to 30. Maybe that means climbing 2 V5s or maybe it means climbing half of four V6-8s. If the problems are close enough together you can try linking them without coming off the wall for even more specific training. 

Lukasz Czopyk · · Krakow, Poland · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 10

Interesting topic and similar problem, since I also prefer (and struggling on :) ~15 moves short routes.

My routine (I agree that far from perfect and in particular disregarding body tension in the top-outs) is as follows:

  1. Pump forearms to ~90% of perceived max with chosen protocol, in time that corresponds to duration of expected climb (plus some reserve, say 30%). In my case it is feet-on campusing performed for 90-120s.
  2. Without any rest jump to hangboard and perform few hangs almost to failure. I try to tune up difficulty in the way to avoid injury (possible when hangboarding while being pumped) but preserve 7-10s hanging time. Of course, hangs are MUCH easier than these taken during dedicated hangboarding training.
  3. Repeat

Some advantages I have observed:

  • it works:),
  • it is simple and can be performed on campus only (as long as campus board contains rungs of various sizes able to cover the range of hangs),
  • Even simple hangboarding is suprisingly hard while being pumped. I have noticed, that it has interesting and hardening influence on the psyche: I can feel, that now I can stay focused, undistraced by pump and more "pain-resistant" on endings of actual climbs on rock.

Going to observe the thread,

Luk

Halbert · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2011 · Points: 288

did 4x4s to adress pumping out at the top moves as you describe. Worked very well. If you set your own problems on a training wall you can adjust the problems to your specific needs. I don't think you have to be too precise with the number of moves. Just train your overall power endurance and you'll reap the benefits. Nowadays I mostly train on circuits, didn't notice endurance problems since

Eric8 · · Maynard, MA · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 245

Well if your goal is to specifically work this weakness. I think you would look for 10-12 move boulder problems with cruxes near the end and just work those. Even if you find some gym problems that are to short you can always make up traverses into them. If you want to add structure do intervals. Then you can increase the difficulty by decreasing the rest or increasing the difficulty depending on if you want to focus more on the strength/power or endurance end of the spectrum. 

If your bigger goal is to redpoint routes doing something such as 2x4's as mentioned above. Would help and transfer to routes.

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

Nivel, (how do you pronounce your name, btw?)

Here's how I would analyze the question form a metabolic point of view:

10-15 moves equals 40-60 seconds of climbing.

Energy source for this is primarily anaerobic-lactic. 

Oxidative systems will start to ramp up by the end, but aren't likely to provide much additional energy. 

Anearobic-alactic (i.e. creatine phosphate) will get consumed and regenerated based on moment to moment energy requirements. Presuming your CP stores are depleted at the end of the problem, will have contributed a modest amount.

So you need to primarily train anaerobic-lactic. 

I would expect reps lasting 30-75 seconds to primarily stress this system. 

Any longer and aerobic systems will also be stressed. That isn't necessarily bad, but might blunt the training effect you desire.

Any shorter and you may not be getting the training stress on the AE-L system that you need.

I believe rest intervals would need to be long. Say a 3 or 4:1 rest to work ratio. 

If you shorten the rest interval, say to 1:1, I would expect the aerobic system to become increasingly important over the course of the session, again blunting the desired training effect.

Intensity should be high, as hard as you can manage and still complete the rep. 

This could be boulder problems, feet on/off campusing, circuits.

Maybe 10 repeats? Stop if the intensity you can maintain is dropping significantly.

Would be curious to hear what you decide to do and what the results are once you are done.

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

How do you guys feel about Circuits vs 4x4s?

Jordan · · Wilmington, NC · Joined Mar 2017 · Points: 0

Invest in "Training for the New Alpinism"; it goes over all this stuff in incredibly good detail. If you complete a training cycle in that book, you'll be pretty good all around.... One of the best training manuals for climbing in existence for sure.

Nivel Egres · · New York, NY · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 130
Mark E Dixon wrote:

So you need to primarily train anaerobic-lactic. 

I would expect reps lasting 30-75 seconds to primarily stress this system. 

Any longer and aerobic systems will also be stressed. That isn't necessarily bad, but might blunt the training effect you desire.

Any shorter and you may not be getting the training stress on the AE-L system that you need.

Exactly. Feels like I want to do medium-length intervals with long rests in between. Intenstity is key - I have to be close to failure at the end of each interval. It was suggested that I approach it from the power side and try to attenuate move difficulty down until I can link 15-20 moves (e.g. doing something on a system wall).

PS. I was told by a really strong climber that P/E training is a very tricky realm because it's very easy to err on the endurance side. 

Nivel Egres · · New York, NY · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 130
Jordan wrote:

Invest in "Training for the New Alpinism"; it goes over all this stuff in incredibly good detail. If you complete a training cycle in that book, you'll be pretty good all around.... One of the best training manuals for climbing in existence for sure.

Dude, the training goals in that book have little to do with what I want to achieve. Overlap in fitness of alpine climbing and bouldering is virtually zero - I need to be impossibly strong for 30 seconds, while an alpine climber needs to carry on for days on end.

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

Nivel, two things-

keep in mind that response to training is highly individualized. You will need to experiment and see what protocol actually gives you the results you desire.

two- I meant to post something about TFTNA but wanted to at least look at the book again before pronouncing it useless, in fact counter productive, for your goals. You beat me to it!

I'm not totally convinced it's that great for alpinism.

@Ted- I think the main difference is the brief rest between problems during 4x4s. I would guess this decreases anaerobic stress and moves the exercise more towards oxidative.

But a two minute or longer interval is headed in that direction anyway. Especially with a 1:1 work rest ratio.

Nivel Egres · · New York, NY · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 130
Mark E Dixon wrote:

Nivel, two things-

keep in mind that response to training is highly individualized. You will need to experiment and see what protocol actually gives you the results you desire.

Yeah, I guess we shall see. In October, I am planning a road trip to meet some limestone roofs so I can use that training.

ps. It's N-ee-vel with a soft "L" at the end. Sometimes I hate my parents :)

JCM · · Seattle, WA · Joined Jun 2008 · Points: 95

A resource I like for PE training formation is the Alex Barrows PDF.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-40C59n2E_4aVRyYjY5U1Rtc2c/edit

You should refer to Section 5.2 (Anaerobic Capacity). To summarize, Barrows suggests something pretty similar to what Mark Dixon reccomends. Do 12-15 move boulder problems/traverses/circuits (30-50 sec climbing time), with rests 3x to 4x the climbing time. Since your emphasis is bouldering, you might want to err on the strength/power end of this spectrum, with 30 seconds of climbing and 1.5-2 minutes of rest. You should get powered out, not pumped.

A nice starting quantity for this protocol is sets of 4 reps, with a 10 minute rest between sets. Do this protocol twice per week, after an abbreviated bouldering session.

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

I consulted my copy of the Barrows plan before posting my reply! Just to make sure I wasn't too far off base.

My only concern with shorter intervals is that they will draw more on the creatine phosphate (anaerobic-alactic) system and not stress the AE-L system enough, but Nivel should probably pick something, experiment and modify as needed.

@JCM- did you ever get a Lattice assessment?

Jordan · · Wilmington, NC · Joined Mar 2017 · Points: 0
Nivel Egres wrote:

Dude, the training goals in that book have little to do with what I want to achieve. Overlap in fitness of alpine climbing and bouldering is virtually zero - I need to be impossibly strong for 30 seconds, while an alpine climber needs to carry on for days on end.

you should just take steroids then. 

for real though, it's definitely not only for alpine climbing. there's ton of ice climbing workouts, etc. that translate over to rock pretty well. you can always adjust the training to fit your needs though. it just goes over everything, the physiology of the workouts, and tons of other super good info. It's not a book of exercises. 

Jordan · · Wilmington, NC · Joined Mar 2017 · Points: 0
Lukasz Czopyk wrote:

Interesting topic and similar problem, since I also prefer (and struggling on :) ~15 moves short routes.

My routine (I agree that far from perfect and in particular disregarding body tension in the top-outs) is as follows:

  1. Pump forearms to ~90% of perceived max with chosen protocol, in time that corresponds to duration of expected climb (plus some reserve, say 30%). In my case it is feet-on campusing performed for 90-120s.
  2. Without any rest jump to hangboard and perform few hangs almost to failure. I try to tune up difficulty in the way to avoid injury (possible when hangboarding while being pumped) but preserve 7-10s hanging time. Of course, hangs are MUCH easier than these taken during dedicated hangboarding training.
  3. Repeat

Some advantages I have observed:

  • it works:),
  • it is simple and can be performed on campus only (as long as campus board contains rungs of various sizes able to cover the range of hangs),
  • Even simple hangboarding is suprisingly hard while being pumped. I have noticed, that it has interesting and hardening influence on the psyche: I can feel, that now I can stay focused, undistraced by pump and more "pain-resistant" on endings of actual climbs on rock.

Going to observe the thread,

Luk

This is a good workout for what you're doing. You need to mix it up some though, which is why I mentioned TFTNA, it gives you a good overview on a workout system and what it should sort of look like. The biggest thing for these kind of works out, for me at least, is to not rest in between sets. Do them back to back until you are failing. I don't think you need to be "insanely strong for 30 seconds", working on your endurance will help you keep some reserves. It sounds like you're probably good enough (strength-wise); you just need to work on making it last longer.

 

Nivel Egres · · New York, NY · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 130
Jordan wrote:

you should just take steroids then. 

Could you point me to a reputable source? :) 

I just think that with abundance of training information for rock climbing and even bouldering specifically, it would be silly for me to read a text which is geared towards endurance athletes. Not that I think they are less athletic (probably more, in fact), it's just a different type of training.

JCM · · Seattle, WA · Joined Jun 2008 · Points: 95
Mark E Dixon wrote:

My only concern with shorter intervals is that they will draw more on the creatine phosphate (anaerobic-alactic) system and not stress the AE-L system enough, but Nivel should probably pick something, experiment and modify as needed.

@JCM- did you ever get a Lattice assessment?

Seems like a reasonable critique. As you say, Nivel can tweak the rep and rest lengths to be specific to his goals/needs.

Also, it is nice to have two different circuits anyway, to vary the stimulus and spread out the toll on the body/skin. You could mave these circuits slightly different lengths. I.E. 5 reps on a 12-move, more powerful circuit, rest 10-15 minutes, then 5 reps on a more sustained 16 move circuit.

Never did the lattice assessment. Probably ought to eventually.

Nivel Egres · · New York, NY · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 130
JCM wrote:

I.E. 5 reps on a 12-move, more powerful circuit, rest 10-15 minutes, then 5 reps on a more sustained 16 move circuit.

This. Will do it tomorrow. 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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