Continuous Climbing At Home

  • Creator
    Topic
  • #39516
    pieterjan
    Participant

    I’m just finishing up on the first week of the 8-week intermediate to advanced rock climbing training plan. Yesterday our government decided all sport facilities (including climbing gyms) should be closed until further notice, but al least the following 3 weeks, because of the COVID-19 virus. (I live in Belgium).

    Now, I have a semi equipped home gym (free weights, TRX, etc.) and a fingerboard. Also they can’t really prohibit cragging, meaning I can still climb outside once a week. So I should be fine for the OMC workouts and all the fingerboard routines starting in week 3, however I’m not sure I’m comfortable skipping week 2 simply because I can’t do the CC workouts anymore. Is there a way to do these on a fingerboard? For example: taking off weight and hanging for x minutes, while switching holds every 10 seconds? Of course I would sacrifice the skill learning element, but I guess the muscle adaptations are pretty much the same?

    Same question for the LBC workouts.

    Thanks in advance.

Posted In: Climbing

  • Moderator
    Scott Semple on #39521

    To be honest, I would avoid climbing gyms even if they aren’t closed.

    Is there a way to do these on a fingerboard? For example: taking off weight and hanging for x minutes, while switching holds every 10 seconds?

    Yes, exactly. I’ve been using the following routines to target different intensities. So far it seems to be working well. Early in my cycle I focused on ARC and Max. Now I’m focusing on PE. All are increasing in weight.

    • (10) 6x 7″/3″ (1′) @ 40% of max hang (aerobic restoration and capillarization)
    • (6) 12x 7″/3″ (4′) @ 50% of max hang (low power endurance)
    • (6) 5x 7″/3″ (3′) @ 70% of max hang (high power endurance)
    • (6) 4x 3″/1″ (2′) @ 90% of max hang (max strength)
    Participant
    pieterjan on #39523

    That’s so helpful! Thanks a lot!

    So if I’m not mistaken (10) 6x 7”/3” (1′), is short for 10 holds, 6 reps consisting of 7 secs hang, 3 secs rest, and 1 minute rest between holds right?

    Moderator
    Scott Semple on #39528

    Yeah, sorry. I forgot to explain that. You are correct.

    Participant
    julie.morter on #39864

    So even for the endurance building you would only have about 7 minutes of actual hanging, or would you repeat any of those for a couple rounds? (go through the 6 reps on each hold more than once)

    Moderator
    Scott Semple on #39865

    For the ARC sessions, whenever a session feels really easy, then I’ll extend it and/or add more volume during the week. So over a few months, I’ve been able to do double sessions and increase from 2-3 per week to almost daily.

    The key with easier sessions is to keep them easy enough that they feel like you could repeat them. Then you know that you’re at the right intensity. The same principle applies to any endurance training.

    For the higher-intensity sessions, I add more volume to those as well, but only so much that they can still be completed successfully. Also key is to make sure that you’re 100% recovered going into the harder sessions so that you get the most benefit.

    Participant
    Alan Russell on #40039

    This is very useful as I’m starting to think about how I could ARC at home with only a fingerboard without trying to find a way to hold on for several minutes!

    For the 10 holds, is that 10 different pairs of holds? I’ve got a Beastmaker 1000 but I’m not sure if there are 10 pairs of holds that I could do 6 x 7 secs hang, 3 secs rest on, so in that case would you maybe repeat holds?

    Moderator
    Scott Semple on #40046

    I just use a 20mm wooden rung for everything.

    Participant
    Alan Russell on #40062

    Cool, thanks. Do you use weights/supports to adjust the resistance?

    Are you periodising your training and if so do you include ARCing only in the conditioning/transition phase? Currently I’m trying to do a max. strength phase and have been doing the max. strength workout here (https://uphillathlete.com/kis-strength/) and the hangboard workout here (https://uphillathlete.com/rock-climbing-training-arcing/, though with only 10 s hangs and without weights at the moment) 3 days apart with running on the other days, though I’m planning to increase the frequency of the strength training to every 2 days with running on the intervening day as I didn’t seem to be making strength gains, but I’m wondering if I’d be better leaving them at the original frequency and/or adding ARCing.

    Moderator
    Scott Semple on #40072

    Do you use weights/supports to adjust the resistance?

    Yes, for sure. I use pulleys and a backpack with weights in it so that I can record and adjust the weight used. I don’t think that going by feel would be nearly as effective.

    Are you periodising your training and if so do you include ARCing only in the conditioning/transition phase?

    Yes. At the beginning of a macrocycle, I start off at the extremes: max strength and ARCing. Then, closer to an objective, I’ll do more power endurance.

    (PE is the intensity that 99% of people climb in 99% of the time. It sharpens fitness and then it creates a plateau. For many, without adjusting their training, that plateau becomes permanent.)

    My spring trip was cancelled so I’ve moved away from power endurance and am back to focusing on max strength and ARCing.

    It’s also worth noting that this idea is based on real climbing not being available and, to a lesser extent, not required. Where I’m living this winter has a very outdated, very busy gym. I find it anti-performance, so I’d rather hangboard in the basement. Now with COVID-19, almost everyone is without a climbing gym to train, so this is probably a worthwhile experiment. Whether or not it leads to enhanced performance on real rock remains to be seen.

    My weakness has always been finger strength, so this is why I started training like this without a gym.

    Participant
    Alan Russell on #40087

    Thanks Scott,

    I’ve used counterweights slung over the beam my board is on when I had a finger injury, but it was a bit fiddly, so I’ll probably try just going on big holds for ARCing.

    That’s interesting that you do the max strength and ARCing together – do you do a combined conditioning and max strength phase and if so, how do you structure it, i.e. how much max strength, how much ARC, do you do any other strength/aerobic training, and how do you fit it all together? How soon before your trip do you switch to PE?

    I view hangboarding as supplement too i.e. something to be used when real climbing is unavailable. I’m expecting technique to suffer without actual climbing, but I’m glad I’ve got the board.

    Moderator
    Scott Semple on #40124

    That’s interesting that you do the max strength and ARCing together – do you do a combined conditioning and max strength phase and if so, how do you structure it, i.e. how much max strength, how much ARC, do you do any other strength/aerobic training, and how do you fit it all together? How soon before your trip do you switch to PE?

    At the moment, this is an experiment. I had great results using a “funnel”-type approach in my skimo racing, so I’m trying the same thing with my return to rock climbing.

    A funnel approach works the extremes and then progresses both toward goal pace. In terms of rock climbing, it would progress toward redpoint or onsight intensity, i.e. power endurance.

    I should have mentioned that in my last post, so thanks for calling it out. It would be a long post indeed to explain it all. I’m working on an explanation of it in terms of endurance sports, but I have no idea when I’ll finish it.

    In the meantime, reading up on Renato Canova (who coaches some of the top runners in Kenya) is a good place to start.

    It probably sounds crazy to get inspiration from running to train for climbing. From a technical perspective, that’s true. But from the physiological, I think it’s very applicable after you adjust for intensity. A typical redpoint, for example, is 4-6′, so a very similar intensity to the mile for runners.

    Participant
    Alan Russell on #40134

    Thanks Scott, all very interesting. Look forward to seeing your article as and when it appears.

    Inactive
    Anonymous on #40170

    @ScottSemple What TSS do you assign, if any, for your fingerboard routines (ARC, low power/high power endurance, max)? Do you think it’s useful track these workouts in TrainingPeaks to help monitor load/fatigue? Thanks! -Ed

    Moderator
    Scott Semple on #40346

    Good question. I give them 0 TSS.

    Hangboarding would have zero benefit (and zero fatigue) for anything aerobic so I don’t give those workouts any TSS alongside my endurance training. For me, it’s more important that my TSS numbers reflect the fatigue from my endurance training.

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