subbing in Ice climbing specific training

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  • #72440
    Matthew Morriss

    Morning all,

    I’m working through the intermediate mountaineering group training plan right now, and as I work on my ADS and building up my AET, I wanted to have an eye for some of my winter objectives, which will include a fair amount of vertical ice climbing. I have read several articles about Capacity vs Utilization training, and was curious when and if it would be appropriate to substitute ME or Cham fit with 1 or 2 Ice Climbing specific workouts (perhaps from Steve & Scott’s Ice climbing training plan

    Perhaps being that I”m only a month in, my focus should be Capacity training but curious to hear the coaches thoughts. I know there was a kinda similar question in last week’s call regarding adding climbing specific training, perhaps ice climbing is a similar story.


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    Anonymous on #72442

    Matthew, We have touched on some similar questions but each situation is a bit different. I absolutely 100% think you should sub (or add) in some of the ice specific work if that’s on your goal list for the winter. Ice climbing is very specific and its well worth the time to do a bit of this specific strength. 8 weeks is a good time frame to start with. I would tend to keep the ME once a week and swap it for chamfit later in the week. You could also experiment with doing a modified version and just adding the toe raises and tool hangs to the end of a Chamfit and maybe a 2nd time per week as well. A few sets of toes raises and tool hangs won’t have a huge global recovery drain so you can plug them in a few different places and get away with it.

    Cory from Wisconsin on #72649

    Hello fellow uphill athletes and coaches. I’m curious on your thoughts about how to pack the most into a workout without giving up the desired training result and thought this might be the appropriate post to tag onto.

    Background: in addition to the prescribed intermediate workouts, I am also trying to systematically mix in some max strength (and ultimately ME) for ice climbs. Usually I will just supplement the extra time needed (such as doing a prescribed workout in morning and adding the ice specific workout to the evening), but there are weeks where work or family won’t permit that.

    Example A: What are your thoughts on breaking up a Z2 recovery walk/jog and adding in some ice strength (from Steve’s article on training for Ice/Mixed). As in warm up on treadmill, keep treadmill running and jump off to do a set of weighted pull up’s and max hangs on tools, then jump back on treadmill for 3 min while strength recovers. Repeat for 6 sets. Then do sets of incline pull ups and leg raises, hopping on the treadmill for the 3 min recovery for 6 sets, then a final couplet would consist of lock-offs and toe raises with time on treadmill between sets.

    I’m pretty sure it ticks the box on the max strength component, but how much does this approach ding me on the recovery? Other than calf raises it’s really upper body focused.

    Example B: Thoughts on same type of couplet max strength work, but added to the lower body gym based ME work.

    This would require adding more rest than prescribed between the ME exercises (2-3 min vs 60 seconds and dropping as we progress).

    My gut tells this may be compromising the leg based ME. I also wonder if the total load/global fatigue may be a bit high.

    Thoughts? Have others experimented with this?


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