Michelle recently finished reading Eric J. Hörst’s Training For Climbing, and was interested in developing a custom workout based on Hörst’s 9-week program focusing on three areas:
3. Anaerobic Endurance
Monday night was the first workout in our new 9-week program, and it focused on Skill and Endurance. After 10 minutes of warm-up traversing and 10 minutes of mild stretching, I got on the wall to begin my 60-minute block of climbing. The idea is to climb as many routes in 60 minutes as possible that are 1/2 – 2 grades below your maximum. I started out on a harder 5.9, and stayed primarily on 5.10s over the course of my block. My final tally looked like this:
• Three 5.9s
• Twelve 5.10s
• Three 5.11s
I ended up climbing a total of 18 routes over the course of 60 minutes. I had so little strength left in my fingers and arms that I could barely hold onto even the largest of holds. The last two 5.10s felt like 5.12s, I was so tired.
We finished up the evening with some exercises to work opposite muscles, those we didn’t target during climbing. That involved dips, push ups, shoulder presses, pronators, reverse wrist curls and leg lifts.
Tonight we are doing our Strength/Power workout, which involves bouldering and finger exercises. After a 10 minute traversing warm-up and 10 minutes of light stretches, we’ll do 60 minutes of bouldering at or near our max. After that we’ll spend 60 minutes doing fingerboard exercises and a variety of pull-ups. I believe we finish up similar to the Skill/Endurance workout, working opposite muscles that aren’t targeted with bouldering.
So why the training, you ask? Well, there are a couple of reasons:
1) I’ve been climbing at Sportrock since November 2008, and Michelle has been there since August 2009, and we are both ready to move up to the next level in our own respective climbing abilities – something that casual climbing isn’t going to help us do.
2) Michelle and I are planning a BIG climbing trip surrounding Easter weekend, marking the beginning of our 2010 outdoor climbing season, and we want to be ready to hit it hard! We are planning on going to one or more of the following places:
• Looking Glass Rock in the Pisgah National Forest, in NC
• Red River Gorge, in KY
• The Gunks, in NY
3) Lastly, while showing up at the gym and simply “hopping on routes” is fun, it can start to get a little old after a while. My enthusiasm for the gym has been slowly dwindling, as has Michelle’s I believe, so having a purpose and goal should help us pull through the rest of the indoor season and leave us excited and ready for getting outside this spring.0