How much can I train?

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  • #28024
    Landon Lim

    I’m an 18 year old student who is primarily focused on alpine, ice, and mixed climbing. My training history over the past year is around 23 hours a week on average. I understand that my volume depends on what discipline I am focusing on; and am wondering how to optimize my training. As of right now, I’m focusing on ice/mixed after coming off a season training for single pitch rock. My daily usually routine looks like this:
    1:30 climbing gym (ARCing at the moment)
    1:00 strength (push, pull, legs slit; on base period focusing on alpine specific movements.)
    1:00(more or less) zone 1 cardio (stairmaster or run. Speed work once a week)

    On the weekend I’ll usually go craging or alpine climbing.

    I feel like I don’t get the results based on how much I train. I have read both TFTNA and TFTUHA. Assuming I have unlimited time and access to weights and a climbing gym, how much can I train? I am 5′ 7″ ,135, squat 305, deadlift 315, climb 12c, and boulder around gym V7. I haven’t got on any ice recently but was leading WI4 last winter.

    Should I just keep doing what I’m doing? I feel like my strength is inconsistent to the amount of volume and effort I put into my training. Open to any and all suggestions.

  • Inactive
    Anonymous on #28167

    From what I see in your post you are climbing every day, lifting 5 days a week and doing aerobic training every day with one day of the being hard.

    I think the reason you are not seeing improvement is very likely that you are training too much and too hard. 23 hours/week a very high training load. Especially when many of those workouts are hard strength training.

    As an 18 year old you are still many years from your peak fitness. You need to gradually build to high volumes of training. I’d suggest more resting between hard workouts and less intense training overall.

    Also, you general strength is already very high 2.3x bodyweight for DL is a lot for anyone other than a sprinter of football player. You will make your best gains by focusing on technical skills at this age. The fitness will come if you are patient.


    Landon Lim on #28186


    Thanks for setting me straight. It’s great to have a fresh pair of eyes analyze my training. I have one quick followup question. Recently, I moved to the Canadian Rockies and my goals are to climb routes along the lines of SLipstream and the North Face of Alberta. With respect to training, should I focus on maintaining my cardio and devote more energy into specific strength? My aerobic base is solid as I have a background in ultra running type trips. I understand the huge skill discrepancy I need to work on before climbing routes like those. However, for the week to week should I primarily focus on specific strength with some climbing intermixed? I’ll spend my weekends on skill and technique acquisition. Thanks again for the reply.

    Anonymous on #28408

    For big alpine routes like you desire to do you need the whole enchilada: Skills and Fitness. It takes years to maximally build these. The skill set for alpine climbing is huge and you need to refine it on a progression of smaller routes as you build up to these major routes. I’d focus more on alpine climbing specific strength: The ability to go steeply uphill fast and the upper body and core to pull hard moves. I’d cut way back or drop things like squat and dead lift. I make the bulk of the aerobic work on steep up hills. Plenty of those in the Canadian Rockies.

    BTW: Slipstream is a dangerous route with unpredictable serac fall potential. My partner Steve House said he would never climb that thing. There are MANY other great routes up there that do not entail so much objective risk.


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