base planning

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  • #10807

    There are only 4 exercises for Strength Training in the log book during the base period. Is this all that’s recommended? I feel like I should be doing more. Is it recommended to vary which exercises are done week to week?
    Just finishing up the transition period this weekend. Finding a tough recovery from lumbar surgery last year. Fused 3 levels, rods, big screws, etc. Took a lot out of me. I’m planning the start of the base period now. I set my volume equal to the Transition week 7+10% at 12.8 hours.
    I have lots of weaknesses. Doing split squats and box steps with 40 lb dumb bells, can’t do inclined pullups without legs bent, need assist weight of 55 lb in order to do pull ups, squats are with 50 lb otherwise I start leaning forward as I bend my knees. Fairly poor, I know.
    I started the special max strength pull up program in the book. I’ll add that to the base period for the first 8 weeks. I need assist weight of 55 lb for this as well. I also have box steps, dips, and squats.

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    Anonymous on #10809

    I’m sorry to hear of your misfortune. Be sure you have clearance from your doc and PT before doing any heavy lifting. Working on strength is a great fist step toward recovering normal function.

    That’s correct that there are only 4 exercises we normally use in the early base period. That’s because the first 8 weeks of the base period are devoted to Max Strength. We normally use the Box Step Up/Pull Up couplet and either a Dip or Push up/Split Squat or Step Down. These are very basic exercises that work well for climbers. Max strength workouts need a lot of rest between sets and we know most climbers will not want to spend hours in the gym doing a routine. So we arrange as couplets of upper/lower body to shorten the rests a bit while still keeping close to the normal Max Strength protocol.

    But this program is all designed for healthy people. In the case of recovering from a major injury and surgery you may be better off to spend a year doing more general and varied strength routines before focusing on max strength in a fe major muscle groups.

    Steve and I have both had to recover from major injuries and I recommend a long general and core strength program. As you say, you’ve lost lots of strength in many areas. It will take a long time, years probably to correct some of this deficits and imbalances that arise from those weaknesses. Take the long view and proceed slowly and generally. You will get better just don’t expect miracles or speed results.


    Rich on #10811

    Thanks, Scott. The book and the training program are both excellent. You and Steve have done a great job. I plan to use this program for years to come as you suggest. The surgery was a big deal, but it was successful, and I consider myself lucky.
    I am cleared by the doc, and my back is doing fine. Kind of a funny story: I was at the doc, orthopedic surgeon, he had already cleared me to return to work a couple months earlier, and in this follow up appt, I asked him if I could start skating again. I play ice hockey in a recreational league. As soon as I asked, he says “That’s where I know you from! I thought you looked familiar!” The doc played in the same league a few years before and recognized me. He played in a different division, and if I played against him, I didn’t remember him. Anyway, we had a good laugh about it. He said I was fine to start playing again.
    As you suggested, I did spend time (June to April) in a general flexibility and weight training routine, going to the gym nearly every day. But, I wasn’t making much progress and your program was a welcome change. I developed some tendon pain in an elbow that started from lat pull downs. Still feel it, but it doesn’t stop me from doing any of the exercises.
    Are pull ups “safer” using straps, or something other than a fixed bar?
    I’ll stick with the base period as I planned it. The Z1,2, and 3 workouts will have to be on a treadmill since that’s all I have access to. I used to run a bit 25 years ago, but stopped after the first back surgery in 1994. I am reluctant to start again. The treadmill is working for now. It should be good for the Z3 workouts as well. Beyond that is too far in the future to worry about now.
    I will be in Spain visiting with my wife’s family, and am looking at doing some hiking in the Sierra Nevadas in November.

    Anonymous on #10857

    Thanks for the kind works. We’re very gratified that so many people have found out book useful. We never expected it would become popular and I figured we’d sell maybe a 1000 copies and we could go back to our lives. Didn’t happen that way:-)

    Especially if you are having any elbow tendon pain, use rings or Rock Rings for pull ups as they allow for the natural supination/pronation of the forearms so result in less stress at the elbow.

    Good luck

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