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Coming back to Training



I basically took this spring off.  Not from climbing.  But from training.  I was doing what most people consider training: Climbing and projecting boulder problems at the gym during the week and climbing outside and trying to send routes on the nice weekends.  I basically “let myself go back to my base ability.”  Of course, that’s not true..but it felt like it.  We are a product of our past training.  It turns out my “not-training” base is climbing 12d second or third go and onsiting 12a and b.  So pretty hard to complain right?  Now that I’m successfully married and honeymooned, its time to get serious with my training.  I think sometimes taking a break is really good – like I am so excited to train right now, I’m bursting with it!
Ryan Smith on Blood Raid 5.13a, New River Gorge.


I’m a dedicated student of training – like all of us right?  So what is my primary weakness?  My natural strength has always been my pure enduro.  I’m a big guy (for a climber) which means I have tons of gas in the tank.  Unless I’m at my limit, I rarely fail on a route because of enduro or power enduro.  Because of my previous hangboarding workouts, my finger strength is awesome – I can hold just about anything.  I will certainly do a new hangboard workout this winter, but I’m skipping my summer hangboard workout to focus on my true weakness:  Power.


If you’re not sure what your weakness is, I would first ask your friends.  Training your strength is good and fun, but its not effective for breaking through barriers.  There are also some online quizzes.  If you’ve never done core training – I’ll tell you right now.  Your weakness is your core.  Especially if you don’t climb “super smooth.”



My climber bro, Ryan’s primary strength is his power, so I’ve been consulting with him and today at the gym, he’s going to take me through a series of ring exercises he’s been doing.  I’ll be training on the rings for core, stabilizer muscles (super important), some pull, and I want to do flies to improve my compression strength – which flat out stinks.  I’m also going to do weighted pull ups as well as train for a one-arm pull up.  I would say right now my 50/50 focus will be the general pull stuff as I described above and the campus board.  Once I get a good base on the pull stuff, I’ll probably move into 80/20 campus board, ring stuff.  I have about ten weeks before I’m going to regularly climbing outside (its hot as crap here anyways.)


All that on top of running of course.  I love running.  Once I get it all sorted out, I’ll post my routines and see if I can get some input from you internet readers.

Lauren Brayack doing some training in Cartagena, Spain

Me doing a little bouldering on the Rock of Gibraltar


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Ethan Pringle Sheds Blood And Sweat In Red Rocks

This spring, Ethan Pringle spent some time working the iconic boulders of Red Rock Canyon, Nevada. He came away with a send of 'Meadowlark Lemon' (V14) and several close calls on 'The Nest' (V15). Here's a quick edit of the Meadowlark Lemon…
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Alex Johnson on Projecting, Sending, and Lessons Learned

So much of climbing, especially projecting, is puzzle piecing. It isn’t whether or not you’re strong enough to do the climb, or do each individual move on the climb, but figuring out how to do each move, and configuring the most efficient…
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Guest Article: See the Send — Use Visualization to Up Your Climbing

This is a guest article by long-time Rock Prodigy enthusiast Philip Lutz. Phil has had tremendous success recently at applying the Rock Prodigy Method to his climbing, particularly bouldering. If you would like to contribute content to the site, please contact us! Over the past six months, I have been obsessively working my projects to…
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Ethan Pringle Sends Chris Sharma’s “Power Animal” (V13) in Bishop

  Some days just aren't your days, but some day are! Yesterday I was slipping off the upper crux of 'Power Animal' (V13) just like on my previous day of attempts, but on my third go of the day I decided to just try really really…
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Bouldering Circuits: A Quickie Power Endurance Workout

 Thanks to a loving husband and a (for the most part) cooperative baby, I’ve been able to consistently get to the gym 2-3 times per week starting around 2 weeks postpartum.  But when I go and how much time I have is always up in the air.  Sometimes I know up front that I only have 45 minutes to acquire a good pump…other times I go in thinking I have an hour and a half, only to have my workout cut short by a screaming baby.  If efficiency was an important component to my climbing workouts with just one kiddo,…Read the rest of this entry →
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Remnants Of The Past, Visions Of The Future

I have been working relentlessly to finish a 5.14? project in Little Cottonwood Canyon. It's funny, for only having a few moves, I sure have come up with a plethora of ways to climb it. However, no one particular sequence has worked as well as I had hoped. The last go I had was by far my best. I did the bottom sequence completely clean, but the middle crux is still throwing me. The crimps are so sharp that they've permanently scared my right finger tips. Scars, however, are just a stepping stone for me. It means that I am progressing.
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Bouldering for Power

Power is an essential element of climbing performance.  One could argue (and many have) it is the most critical physical aspect of climbing performance.  As Tony Yaniro famously said, “if you have no power, there is nothing to endure”.  If … Continue reading
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Roped Bouldering in Cowboy Country

We recently spent a few days in Wyoming to take advantage of the last week of Kate’s maternity leave. Sinks and Wild Iris are among our favorite crags.  I can’t ever recall having a bad day at Wild Iris.  Even … Continue reading