Tuesday, 11 December 2012

The Joy of Training

It has to be done.

If you want to climb something hard whether it be a DT, mixed or ice route, you have to train. There's not much point turning up at the bottom of an overhanging beast of a bolted mixed route having climbed slabby or vertical trad routes all summer, the only thing you will get out of that is.... your arse handed to you.
Specificity is definitely the key if your keen to improve at a particular element within climbing or have a  certain route that you want to climb.

Theres a huge amount of training info out there on the internet and deciphering what the best way to train for your ultimate goal is always the most difficult bit.

For myself and the chaps I climb and train with were lucky to have some quality training venues and crags all pretty close. The guys at Rock Over let us set our own circuits on the steep boards on offer at the wall.

The 50 deg board @ Rock Over

Most of the training we do consists of laps of steep circuits, either max efforts with long rests to replicate the effort of hard redpoints at the crag or maybe a session aimed at endurance such as a lap of the 45 deg board with 2 mins rest repeated 6 times.
A good session I do occasionally which teaches the body to flush out the lactate and allow it to recover is to complete a max effort on the 50deg board (climb as long as you can) then jump straight onto a vertical traverse wall and aim to complete two laps (about a min per lap). Hopefully you find that despite the max effort on the 50deg wall when you then jump straight onto the vertical wall it suddenly feels pretty easy and you can recover whilst still climbing.
Climbing in rock boots helps with your ability to climb longer simply because you can use heel hooks, keep better body tension and stand on smaller footholds. For the ultimate pump though and to really get the core used, trainers are a good option. Its hard work but stick with it and you will reap the benefits.

Andy & Si Training @ RockOver from Tom B on Vimeo.

Swinging around on axes down the local wall or crag isnt always a practical option for some due to work commitments, a rubbish local wall etc. The best option i've found for when not being able to train on the axes is quite simple......

The Dowls of Pain.

Two wooden dowls with a hole drilled through the top and a piece of rope threaded can then be hooked over a pull up bar or something similar. They work a lot better than doing pull ups on a bar or on ice axes because they work your grip strength which is usually the first thing that fails when climbing steep stuff. You can do various workouts on these from simple pull-ups, lock offs and even just deadhangs. When you start to get real tired just put one foot on a chair in front of you to allow you to carry on for a bit longer.

As Derek would say "He who dares Rodney, he who dares....".

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