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climbing useful exercises for circuit training

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Gene: as you've likely already noticed everyone seems to have a few favorite circuit exercises that they argue will benefit climbing. I would go as far as to say just about any type of physical exercise is going to do more good then harm for your climbing. As a wise man once said "everything works... nothing works forever"


So... search the internet semi regularly and look for new and fun stuff. Dont cherry pick the stuff you are good at avoid the stuff you dislike or worse arent good at. I hate and suck at the Sott's press but I try and do it twice a week for those very exact reasons.


A few people that have many exercises you could do with the equipment you listed that I really like for whatever reason include:


Steve Maxwell: lots of bodyweight and kb movements to gain from him... many of them on youtube


Rob Shaul/Mtn Athlete: Rob didnt invent most of these but he has some classic strongman stuff demonstrated


As you noticed other listed some other websites above also... I bet you find at least one or two exercises you like on those sites also.


That said the real value of training isnt from the individual exercises you choose... it is how you put them all together in a larger program that truly matters. Example: the deadlift is a truly great lift that benefits multiple muscle groups (some people call it the king lift) but just deadlifting all the time is going to leave holes in other areas of your fitness.


What you need to do and likely have already done is identify your training goals and build a program around that.


My generic prescription for anyone is as follows:


1) General: Training schedule will depend on your goals. if your goal is to be better at your job your program will look a certain way. If your program is to be a better triathlete and be better at your job then your program will be different. Isolate all of your goals and start there. I generally advise that at most you can truly go hard on only 3 days. By hard I mean really truly hard at maximum intensity. People think they can go hard 5x days a week but perceived exertion is not a good measure of intensity. You may train more than three times a week but the other workouts should be comprised of recovery workouts. A schedule could possibly look like this:


Monday: Hard Gym


Tuesday: Recovery


Wednesday: Hard Gym


Thursday: Recovery


Friday: Hard Gym


Saturday: Recovery


Sunday: Rest


As for additional work you can always add things to the schedule. If you add to the schedule though be careful to monitor your recovery status. Add low impact movements like rowing and biking. You could also add more running or hiking with load carriage depending on how destructive running and hiking are on your body. If you add endurance work to the mix you may do it on the recovery days depending how destructive the work actually is. For example 90 minutes of easy paced cycling may not be destructive but a 90 minute road race may be. If you want to do two a days that will be acceptable some days as well. If you do this do the endurance work after (later on in the day) after you have done the strength type work in the gym. It will make the endurance work more efficient and will not compromise your strength type work.


2) Do not underestimate the value of recovery. It is the most important aspect of training. Plan your workouts accordingly. Engage in recovery practices on a daily basis including recovery showers, foam roller sessions and recovery walks. Even though you will have to work really fucking hard do not assume that always working harder is the answer. Work smart.


3) Intensity - during your hard days you need to go hard. Floor it. The underlying premise of all of this is that you possess the mental fortitude to push yourself.


4) Diet - sort it out now. You cannot outwork a shitty diet. It needs to be as healthy as possible.


5) Training: for training ideas start looking at other peoples training journals/websites/books. Not knowing your level of fitness it is hard for me to prescribe any specific workouts but single leg strength will definitely be important. Do not just work your strengths. Work your weaknesses as well. Focus on the Power-to-weight ratio. Be as strong as you can in as small of a package as possible.


Finally seriously consider seeing a coach to make sure you are doing this stuff correctly. As this stuff is potent the potential for injury exists. Fern lives very close to you and is an awesome coach... consider climbing in Squamish one day and seeing her in the evenings for some form/programming talk. If you can find the time to trek to Portland I would gladly spend a day or so working with you on both movements as well as some programming discussion... in fact bring some friends if you want.


Hope this helps!



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Hey Bronco I assume that's not all in one session because I know I wouldn't be just burpeeing but vomitooing also!


But really, for climbing ice you've got to strength train the shoulders and lats extra hard. That's because your tools are always over your head. So here is for the upper body (legs later);

1) Pull ups (standard)

2) Lat pull downs

3) Over-the-head press (dumbbells or bar)

4) Standing front-raise. Take a weight in each hand and alternately raise and lower them strait up in front of your body until overhead with the elbow bent slightly.

5) Across-the-chest-raise. This is the end-all for what you do with your ice tools. Take a dumbbell in one hand, put the other arm across your chest just under your breast (if you have one)and grab your lat on the opposite side, now take the dumbbell hand keeping it at breast level and go from the opposite side across your front till it is extended out from your body, now raise overhead with bent elbow to your ear, lower and repeat 10x for each side, 3sets. Make sure it burns!

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Great thread.


I don't think these three excellent resources have been mentioned:


Training for Peak Performance


Some really decent training regimes in here that make use of circuits. Also good on the nutrition regime.


Gym Jones aka Mark Twight's suffer zone... the shit here is just soul destroying


Hyperfitness aka Sean Burch's insane series of cruel tortures that will leave you crying in a heap

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