TFNA and Rock Climbers training manual combo

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  • #5178

    I’m getting a little bit ahead of myself but I’m a planner and as I’m tapering for my current objective (lib ridge) I’m thinking about whats next.

    I’ve realized I’d like to get better at alpine rock climbing. A friend of mine got me the rock climbers training manual (RCTM) a few years ago and I finally got around to reading it. I’d like to climb my trad onsight/redpoint grade (10s) in the alpine (Bugaboos) next summer and I was going to do a cycle or two of RCTM to get strong at rock climbing but I don’t want to lose all the gains I’ve made doing TFNA this past year. I’d also like to actively build on my base.

    In trying to figure out how to combine the two programs, I was considering extending the transition period to 4 months to cover the duration of one cycle of RCTM and then re-evaluate and see if I need another cycle or switch to TFNA and maintain climbing strength. If it makes a difference, I can start training in early August and I would be climbing in July (although I plan to quit training sometime around April to go on a climbing road trip, so I wont be training so much as “practicing”)

    Also potentially relevant, my alpine combine 1000ft time is 31 min, I have terrible upper body strength (cant do a dip, did 11 pull ups, 15 push ups), and good core strength.

    Does anyone have thoughts on how to combine these two programs or more generally, how to improve climbing strength and improve moving through the mountains strength over the same time period?

  • Participant
    Mariner_9 on #5179

    Hi Lindsay,

    On combining training for climbing and endurance, this thread might be of use: How to balance climbing and running

    Re: dips specifically – I used to be very weak at dips. I started by doing seated dips and after a few months graduated to normal dips (or whatever they’re called!).


    Anonymous on #5236


    First, let me say that you are on the right track using the Anderson brothers’ book as a guide for training for rock climbing. Steve and I consider it the best rock training book and the equal of ours in its depth of approach.

    Great question and Mariner is right to link that article that Steve wrote. As I’m sure you’ve heard me say too many times both here and in TftNA book. It is a really challenge to increase your capacity in different realms at the same time. Its why we probably won’t see someone climb 5.13 on an 8000m peak. To train for these two disparate abilities will take a lot of time and the two systems being trained are almost diametrically opposed so they are not complimentary (meaning training for one will not transfer much if any to the other). This is why athletes in conventional sports specialize. What I’ve found over the years is that its best to periodize when you have divergent qualities you want to train.
    So, your idea of using an extended transition period where you focus in rock climbing while doing maintenance mountain endurance work will be a very effective approach I think. Remember the bicycle riding analogy: Once you have built the capacity for a certain type of work, it is much easier to maintain it then it was to build it in the first place. After this 4 mont rock focus you may find you can mesh the rock and mountain training pretty well with a program like Steve’s advance Alpine rock training program.

    Also 11 pulls ups is anything but weak, especially for a woman. I’d say that this is a fairly good representation of a good basic strength level and your rock climbing is probably not being held back but that. You’ll need to look for other areas to improve your leading grade. Moving to 15 pull ups prob won’t net you as much as working on finger strength on a hang board.

    Your 1000′ box step is also pretty solid.

    Keep thinking the way you are.


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