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Trip-Specific Periodization for Red Rock
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Mar 14, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Freaking Maverick over here
Howdy ya'll, I'm planning on heading to Red Rock for the second time the first week of May. I've recently begun getting more regimented in my approach to training for climbing. But have yet to dip my toes into periodization as I haven't had the appropriate objective in mind. But now, with the trip 6 weeks away, I thought I'd reach out for direction in planning my gym time for the next month and a half.

Current ability level (last trip, my climbing fitness was about where it is now, and I cruised up the 5.10 routes at RR) so let's say 5.10a to 5.10b onsight.

Goal: Climb 5.10c-5.11- Red Rock routes. On the tick list: Prince of Darkness, Adventure Punks and Unimpeachable Groping.

Style of climbing: technical, vertical face climbing with sporadic crack pitches.

Resources available: live in Boulder, ready access to Boulder Canyon and Eldo for days off. Membership at Boulder Rock Club for weeknights.

So, where do I start? What should I emphasize each week? How should the workouts look?

I'm not asking you to do my work for me either, so if you have any articles that would be pertinent to my planning I would love to read them if you can link to them, even better.
The Blueprint Part Dank
From FEMA Region VIII
Joined Jun 21, 2013
469 points
Mar 14, 2016
6 weeks of hangboarding. Finger strength will be your biggest help on those techy 11s. JWatt
Joined Aug 25, 2011
16 points
Mar 14, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Freaking Maverick over here
JWatt wrote:
6 weeks of hangboarding. Finger strength will be your biggest help on those techy 11s.


Just hang-boarding? I mean, I can, but I do have that fancy schmancy gym membership, and climbing routes is more fun...
The Blueprint Part Dank
From FEMA Region VIII
Joined Jun 21, 2013
469 points
Mar 14, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Onsighting Air Ride Equipped 11a at the Red River ...
The Blueprint Part Dank wrote:
Just hang-boarding? I mean, I can, but I do have that fancy schmancy gym membership, and climbing routes is more fun...


I would recommend buying the anderson bros book if you can afford it. If not, they have a free forum you can join and look at what others do, and see others that have asked a similar questions to yours and had it answered.
-Joe



Forum
rockprodigytraining.proboards....

Book
Direct
rockclimberstrainingmanual.com...
Amazon
amazon.com/gp/product/09895156...
Joe Coover
From Baltimore, Maryland
Joined Jun 8, 2014
20 points
Mar 14, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Freaking Maverick over here
Joe Coover wrote:
I would recommend buying the anderson bros book if you can afford it. If not, they have a free forum you can join and look at what others do, and see others that have asked a similar questions to yours and had it answered. -Joe Forum rockprodigytraining.proboards.... Book Direct rockclimberstrainingmanual.com... Amazon amazon.com/gp/product/09895156...


bought, thank you Joe, looks like this book has exactly what I'm looking for...

Though any other advice is still appreciated!
The Blueprint Part Dank
From FEMA Region VIII
Joined Jun 21, 2013
469 points
Administrator
Mar 14, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Pulling the lip on Angle of the Dangle. Photo by S...
The Rock Prodigy book is highly recommended. However, with your timeframe, I'd simply pick out crimpy, technical routes and boulders at your gym and just start climbing those. That's going to help the most. Micah Klesick
From Vancouver, WA
Joined Aug 18, 2013
4,237 points
Mar 14, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Freaking Maverick over here
Yeah. I'm about fifty pages in now and can already see that I'm starting WAAAAY too late for any periodization. I think I'll replace one to two of my weekly gym climbing days with the beginers hangboard routine in the RCTM The Blueprint Part Dank
From FEMA Region VIII
Joined Jun 21, 2013
469 points
Mar 15, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Onsighting Air Ride Equipped 11a at the Red River ...
The Blueprint Part Dank wrote:
Yeah. I'm about fifty pages in now and can already see that I'm starting WAAAAY too late for any periodization. I think I'll replace one to two of my weekly gym climbing days with the beginers hangboard routine in the RCTM


You can condense everything into a shorter program and try to emphasize routes with the climbing style you will do at the red. For example, if your endurance is good, start the strength phase for 2 weeks (if you need more endurance add the optional arc during this), do the power phase 2 weeks, and 1 week power,1 week power endurance and your good.

It may not be ideal, but it can be done. In the book, it also highlights how to do it weekly for those that need to peak for have many competitions in one season. You won't see as much gains as in a whole season per the book, but it is better than just aimlessly climbing.

Good luck!
-Joe
Joe Coover
From Baltimore, Maryland
Joined Jun 8, 2014
20 points
Mar 17, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Best climbing pants EVER
I've never done PoD or AP so I can't comment on them, but IMO routes like Unimpeachable Groping don't require any specific training, only general fitness and endurance. Sounds like you're plenty strong to do the routes already.

  • Have good general fitness to do the approach and still be fresh at the base. It's a long uphill grind and surprisingly draining.
  • Have the stamina to climb pitch after pitch of fingery, techy, balancey moves at sustained 5.10. UG is like soloing the 1st flatiron with a pack and then going straight to the BRC and doing 25 pitches.
  • UG has no showstopper moves (unless you're terrible at pulling roofs). It's all about endurance (most pitches are 175'-200') and stamina (endless 5.10 movement all day long). Best training is to just log lots of mileage. Run up-down-ups on low 5.11 routes on the vertical walls at the gym. Look for routes that have highly balancey moves on slippery, poor feet ideally.
  • Pro tip: Link P2+P3 and P4+P5. You'll avoid 2 awful hanging belays. Bring double ropes though. Rope drag would be heinous with a single unless you don't mind skipping a bunch of bolts.

Also, a condition report: I did it 2 weeks ago. I brought a couple Aliens (grey, red, and yellow I think) and was glad to have them. Some bolts are missing hangers. You'll also need one if you want to protect the transfer from the tree onto the rock on P1. Otherwise you're 20' up with no gear. Last but not least, the anchor on the ledge below the roof pitch is missing one bolt and the other bolt wiggles a bit. A 2-cam anchor felt WAY safer than the single wobbly bolt. I don't remember which cams I used where, but I certainly used all 3.
Jon H
From Boulder
Joined Nov 24, 2009
138 points
Mar 17, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Freaking Maverick over here
Jon H wrote:
I've never done PoD or AP so I can't comment on them, but IMO routes like Unimpeachable Groping don't require any specific training, only general fitness and endurance. Sounds like you're plenty strong to do the routes already. * Have good general fitness to do the approach and still be fresh at the base. It's a long uphill grind and surprisingly draining. * Have the stamina to climb pitch after pitch of fingery, techy, balancey moves at sustained 5.10. UG is like soloing the 1st flatiron with a pack and then going straight to the BRC and doing 25 pitches. * UG has no showstopper moves (unless you're terrible at pulling roofs). It's all about endurance (most pitches are 175'-200') and stamina (endless 5.10 movement all day long). Best training is to just log lots of mileage. Run up-down-ups on low 5.11 routes on the vertical walls at the gym. Look for routes that have highly balancey moves on slippery, poor feet ideally. * Pro tip: Link P2+P3 and P4+P5. You'll avoid 2 awful hanging belays. Bring double ropes though. Rope drag would be heinous with a single unless you don't mind skipping a bunch of bolts. Also, a condition report: I did it 2 weeks ago. I brought a couple Aliens (grey, red, and yellow I think) and was glad to have them. Some bolts are missing hangers. You'll also need one if you want to protect the transfer from the tree onto the rock on P1. Otherwise you're 20' up with no gear. Last but not least, the anchor on the ledge below the roof pitch is missing one bolt and the other bolt wiggles a bit. A 2-cam anchor felt WAY safer than the single wobbly bolt. I don't remember which cams I used where, but I certainly used all 3.


Dude, you are the man. Thank you so much for the beta, very, very appreciated
The Blueprint Part Dank
From FEMA Region VIII
Joined Jun 21, 2013
469 points
Mar 17, 2016
The Blueprint Part Dank wrote:
Yeah. I'm about fifty pages in now and can already see that I'm starting WAAAAY too late for any periodization.


I agree with this, and you've recognized it quickly. Periodization is a great tool, but it really requires a fair bit of lead time to make a full cycle of periodization work. It is a way to plan your entire year, not a way to do a quick 6-week fitness re-up. Trying to fit a full cycle into 6 weeks doesn't work because it makes for excessively short phases. A week and a half of hangboard training just isn't long enough to make any meaningful or persistent gains.

On the other hand, the routes you are hoping to do, and the abilities you need to do them, are classic "base fitness" terrain. You don't have to do any really hard moves, you just need to be able to climb moderately strenuous terrain literally all day. In this way, if you want to get on the periodization program, you can actually make this trip and the preparation for it fit very neatly into a Rock Prodigy cycle. You will do a modified, extended base fitness phase, capped off with your trip as a base-fitness "performance". Once you return, you will be ready to move into a proper length (3-4 week) strength phase.

For your training, focus on the "Base Fitness" chapter. Lots of ARCing, Outdoor Mileage, and aerobic exercise will prepare you well for those routes. I'm assuming that you are already adequately strong/powerful for the moves on the routes (i.e. at least a mid-5.11 climber at the crags), and will just need to increase your long pitch / long day stamina. ARCing in the BRC and milage days outside will provide this.

The schedule I would recommend is to put in long multipitch days in Eldo on weekends (I'm assuming Sat and Sun off; adjust accordingly if otherwise). These will provide fitness and help get your trad systems working again after the winter. Do 2 gym days during the week (Tues/Thurs, or whatever works for you) devoted to ARCing/mileage. If it rains on the weekend, go to the gym and ARC more. If you are worried about losing too much strength/power, replace or combine one of the ARCing days during the week with a bouldering session. Any remaining time/energy you have can be used to train aerobic/hiking fitness (the approaches in Red Rocks are non-trivial) by slogging up a hill in the flatirons with a pack on.

Also, everything that Jon H said is spot-on.

And PoD is actually kind of lame. It is the exact same move over and over again for 800 feet. It is one of the few times I've actually been bored while climbing a multipitch route. There are much better routes to be had on that wall (Fiddler on the Roof).


Jon H wrote:
It's all about endurance (most pitches are 175'-200') and stamina (endless 5.10 movement all day long). Best training is to just log lots of mileage. Run up-down-ups on low 5.11 routes on the vertical walls at the gym. Look for routes that have highly balancey moves on slippery, poor feet ideally. *


Yes.
JCM
From Seattle, WA
Joined Jun 9, 2008
65 points
Mar 17, 2016
PoD: Solo up and down the flatirons in climbing shoes until your calves and feet burn to prepare you for the level of foot pain you'll experience. Seriously. The foot pain is the crux. There are very few routes multi pitch routes that I adamantly refuse to repeat. PoD is one of them. The comments that this route is the Prince of Foot Pain is no joke.

Unimpeachable: If you sport climb in the range it's a pretty chill outing. Just a lot of movement. The crux is not getting stuck behind other parties. General fitness is all you need. I'd do some general endurance workouts if you're concerned about it.
Jun Kim
Joined Jul 22, 2011
16 points
Mar 17, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Freaking Maverick over here
Jun Kim wrote:
PoD: Solo up and down the flatirons in climbing shoes until your calves and feet burn to prepare you for the level of foot pain you'll experience. Seriously. The foot pain is the crux. There are very few routes multi pitch routes that I adamantly refuse to repeat. PoD is one of them. The comments that this route is the Prince of Foot Pain is no joke.


Damn... thanks for the heads up. What kind of shoes were you wearing
The Blueprint Part Dank
From FEMA Region VIII
Joined Jun 21, 2013
469 points
Mar 17, 2016
The Blueprint Part Dank wrote:
Damn... thanks for the heads up. What kind of shoes were you wearing


My comfy TC Pro's I wear for multi-pitch... That still aren't comfy after five pitches of slab climbing. You maybe want edgers for the one crux move going into the last pitch. Cause it's a committing move. But there's no way in hell you would want to wear anything but the comfiest shoes for the remainder of the climb.
Jun Kim
Joined Jul 22, 2011
16 points
Mar 17, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: tahquitz!
I think you would see significant strength gains from 6 weeks of consistent hangboarding. Especially with how well hangboard grips can translate to the holds you'll find on PoD/UG (I haven't done AP).

RCTM suggests ARC workouts can be done on non-strength days anyway.

Not that I think doing laps on gym 5.11 is going to hurt but you seem like an experienced climber with less to gain from keeping technique fresh, building base fitness, etc. Brutal hangboard workouts will be way more effective toward building strength than gym sessions (IMO of course).

FWIW I'm heading to RR in mid-May and between now and then my plan is 6 weeks of hangboard, 3 weeks of power. I suspended my gym membership (I'm also in BLDR) for a number of reasons but a significant one is that for me, regimented training has been way, way more effective than indoor climbing. Full disclosure: I have two little kids and about an hour to train each day.

Finally, +1 to skip PoD. UG was better but even that route was kinda monotonous. Someone mentioned Fiddler, which looks amazing but I've been scared off by the hype. DoWT (nearby) is outstanding but you mentioned already cruising 5.10 @ RR so perhaps you've already been on this route.
pfinnegan
From Boulder, CO
Joined May 7, 2004
54 points
Mar 17, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Lucander off the GT Ledge on p. 2 of Keep on Strut...
You're putting waaaaaaaay to much thought into this. Go climb and have fun. Oh - and post a tr. lucander
From Stone Ridge, NY
Joined Apr 1, 2009
340 points
Mar 18, 2016
The Blueprint Part Dank wrote:
Just hang-boarding? I mean, I can, but I do have that fancy schmancy gym membership, and climbing routes is more fun...


Welcome to training.
JWatt
Joined Aug 25, 2011
16 points
Mar 18, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Freaking Maverick over here
JWatt wrote:
Welcome to training.


truth.... I had an interesting conversation with a buddy who went through a full cycle from the RCTM and he came to the conclusion that for him (a very strong climber already) his found himself enjoying climbing less as he went through the process, though it did make him stronger faster. He decided that he would rather enjoy the experience of climbing for fun, and improve less rapidly, than commit to such a regimented training plan. I plan to do at least one full -length cycle from the book after my return from RR and form my own opinion on things before adopting his stance on the plan.
The Blueprint Part Dank
From FEMA Region VIII
Joined Jun 21, 2013
469 points


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