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Endurance, Strength, and Preventive Training

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I am not new to climbing by any means but as I get older I'm looking for good information regarding maintaining healthy joints and muscle mass, to keep from injury and stay on the rock longer.

 

I was hoping to get some recommendations for literature or internet sites that provide a comprehensive approach to training hard both indoors and out.

 

I try lifting weights after a hard climb to max out or will power through EVERY easier route in the gym to build endurance. I stretch and so on...

 

But I could use something concise and more specific to climbers.

 

Thanks in advance and take care all.

 

Peace.

 

 

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"Extreme Alpinism" by Mark Twight has good chapters on diet and training.

 

This is where I first read about gastric emptying. Something I had experience with but never saw put into words. Essentially you can perform much better at max capacity running only on energy gels/blocks.

 

"Ice and Mixed Climbing" by Will Gadd has chapters on training

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Great website and info Mike.

 

Of course, listen your your body. I've had clients come to me after CrossFit Training with bad injuries and torn meniscus' saying they'll never do it again. CrossFit and similar programs get a bad rap from some people (especially middle aged folks) who jump into it full force. It's not CrossFit that's the problem, but they didn't have proper instruction and lift form and tried to keep up with people that have been training that way for several years. Of course, this is common sense, but it's easy to want to push yourself too fast.

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Extreme Alpinism is one of the most influential books I have ever owned; though some of the material is slightly dated it is still one of the best books out there. Twight has since gone on and founded a gym in Salt Lake City: Gym Jones. Gym Jones is literally Extreme Alpinism 2.0.

 

I hold training certifications with a number of organizations including CrossFit, Mountain Athlete (mentioned above), Steve Maxwell, Dan John, Body Tribe, among others and though each one has some value none of them come close to Gym Jones. I highly recommend the online membership; the amount of content and knowledge contained on the member site is overwhelming to say the least.

 

Lastly, since you are in Portland I will mention starting next month I will be teaching a course for the Mazamas that will cover training for climbing: program theory, design and application, exercises, nutrition and recovery. If you want more details send me a PM or contact the Mazamas.

 

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Extreme Alpinism is one of the most influential books I have ever owned; though some of the material is slightly dated it is still one of the best books out there. Twight has since gone on and founded a gym in Salt Lake City: Gym Jones. Gym Jones is literally Extreme Alpinism 2.0.

 

I hold training certifications with a number of organizations including CrossFit, Mountain Athlete (mentioned above), Steve Maxwell, Dan John, Body Tribe, among others and though each one has some value none of them come close to Gym Jones. I highly recommend the online membership; the amount of content and knowledge contained on the member site is overwhelming to say the least.

 

Lastly, since you are in Portland I will mention starting next month I will be teaching a course for the Mazamas that will cover training for climbing: program theory, design and application, exercises, nutrition and recovery. If you want more details send me a PM or contact the Mazamas.

:tup: That is awesome!! What a great offer! Wish you lived in Central OR, John!

 

Keep FA'ing those Alaska peaks!!

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I uploaded extreme alpinism on my kindle and am about half way through it. I recognized some of the stuff in the book I'd been doing for years but the detail Twight get's into is really deep. I have a few book marks in it already.

 

I had read kiss or kill recently and really enjoyed it so thought I'd try extreme alpinism and have found it really eye opening.

 

I'm getting a lil older and wanting to keep climbing for a few more years... Training this body is a lot different than my 30 yr old body, so this knowledge will help I'm sure...

 

fwiw

 

d

 

 

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I uploaded extreme alpinism on my kindle and am about half way through it. I recognized some of the stuff in the book I'd been doing for years but the detail Twight get's into is really deep. I have a few book marks in it already.

 

I had read kiss or kill recently and really enjoyed it so thought I'd try extreme alpinism and have found it really eye opening.

 

I'm getting a lil older and wanting to keep climbing for a few more years... Training this body is a lot different than my 30 yr old body, so this knowledge will help I'm sure...

 

fwiw

 

d

 

 

Hell Doug, training my 31 year old body is a lot different than my 21 year old body so I had beter pick this book up. I think the heavy loads and jumping out of airplanes is taking its toll on my ability to recover from extreme workouts/ climbs; maybe that's just the old age.

 

Great info so far guys. I wish there were more training dedicated climbers out here. It seems CO is more about getting stoned and just sending which is great and all, but as I get older, I can't just jump into the hard stuff anymore without paying for it.

 

Thanks again guys!

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I uploaded extreme alpinism on my kindle and am about half way through it. I recognized some of the stuff in the book I'd been doing for years but the detail Twight get's into is really deep. I have a few book marks in it already.

 

I had read kiss or kill recently and really enjoyed it so thought I'd try extreme alpinism and have found it really eye opening.

 

I'm getting a lil older and wanting to keep climbing for a few more years... Training this body is a lot different than my 30 yr old body, so this knowledge will help I'm sure...

 

fwiw

 

d

 

Well, doug, if it's ANY consolation to you, I met a super bad as dude free soloing some 5.11's at Squamish ( a local). He was 43 years old, ripped and hot!

 

meow.

 

 

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haha Princess, You're very kind.

 

Truth is, I'll turn 58 later this month.

 

My real strength comes from my ability to accept mediocrity I think.

 

Good luck,

 

d

 

 

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I need to pick that up! Anyone red this one? Climbing: Training for Peak Performance.

 

Its a decent book. Nothing mind blowing but can give you a foundation if you are not sure where to start. I used it primarily for weight training exercises since I have a good handle on other aspects of exercise.

 

Extreme alpinism is a great book, especially in a conceptual way. For anyone in the PDX area, take advantage of whatever John offers!

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Hell Doug, training my 31 year old body is a lot different than my 21 year old body so I had beter pick this book up. I think the heavy loads and jumping out of airplanes is taking its toll on my ability to recover from extreme workouts/ climbs; maybe that's just the old age.

 

Great info so far guys. I wish there were more training dedicated climbers out here. It seems CO is more about getting stoned and just sending which is great and all, but as I get older, I can't just jump into the hard stuff anymore without paying for it.

 

Thanks again guys!

 

If you are near Boulder I highly recommend Connie at the Alpine Training Center. Great coach and great facility.

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I think to really answer your question you have to be more specific with what type of climbing your training for and specific goals for each training cycle. "Strength" on a 100 ft crux pitch or strength throughout a 2000ft mixed route. "Endurance" on a 150 ft finger-crack, or endurance on a 26 hr push?

 

I totally agree that Twight's book is awesome (have read it proably 4 times cover to cover in the last 10 years and just loaned it out) and that Gym Jones, Mountain Athlete are premier venues for alpine climbing training/programming. BUT, if we are talking "hard" (defined different for each person) rock climbing, there are much more valuable resources out there and there is a clear distinction in training for the two mediums. I think Rob at Mtn Athlete and Twight at Gym Jones would proabaly agree that training for rock climbing is not their specialty (though it seems like both gyms do do a good job at preparing the alpine climber for the "hard" rock part of their programming, it's not rocket science).

 

Personally, I have to dibble and dabble in each training element at different times of the year. Defined, my specific goal for training is to climb traditional 5.12 rock climbs in the mtns. So, overall I have to train alot for hard rock climbing and a bit for alpine endurance (this changes throuout the year). If i train the enduro alpine game too much I wont send the crux pitches, if i train the hard rock without training the enduro apline side then i'll be too fatigued from the approach to the climb and the approach pitches to send all the crux's (thought on certain climbs I can fudge through with minimal enduro alpine training: E Face of Lib Bell, easy approaches in the Enchantments..)

 

I am definetly not trying to start the classic debate on what training is best, but, if you want to climb hard rock, then Extreme Apinism is not the best resource.

 

Some links to blogs that can help you improve on the rock:

Dave McLeod

Dave's Climbing Coaching Blog

Mark Anderson's Training Blog

Eva Lopez

Stevie Haston Training

Power Climbing Company Blog (Kris Hampton)

Alli Rainey

Ryan Palo

Robot Climbing

 

Books:

9 out of 10 Climbers Make the Same Mistakes by Dave McLeod

The Rock Warrior's Way by Arno Illgner

Performance Rock by Dale Goddard Udo Neumann

Mike Anderson's Rock Prodigy Articles

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I second checking out Dave MacLeod's website. Not only is he a world class climber, he also holds a masters degree in sports science. Seriously, his web site is a great resource, check it out.

Edited by jordansahls

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I'll throw my 2 cents behind sol's main point -figure out what your dream routes are for the next year or two, and train for those. If you want to send Fitz Roy, climb the Nose in a Day, boulder v10, or handle 24-hours of steep snow and mixed climbing, those will each require very different skills. They may all be "climbing" but at the extremes they are essentially fully different sports. A dedicated boulderer who did crossfit or jim jones or that stuff would be like someone who exclusively competed in freethrow contests, and trained for it by playing on a basketball team.

 

There will be some overlap, but this is my rough view of the "continuum" of climbing - with less overlap of skills and training among goals farther apart.

 

There's a reason that the people who excel at one of these activities seldom excel at others.

 

Boulder your first Vwhatever - Send a hard sport route - Redpoint a steep short trad route - Complete a multipitch freeclimb - climb new ice grades - bigwall freeclimbing - "alpine light" freeclimbing (Bugs, WA Pass, etc) - Alpine climbing (mostly free, mostly rock) - Alpine ice and mixed climbing at high standard of difficulty - Alpine and snow speed-slogging - slow/aid/frozen alpine sufferfest climbing - lower elevation bigwall aid climbing - sitting on couch drinking beer.

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Gym Jones specialty is building programs whether it be for NFL lineman or Petzl athletes like James Litz.

 

None of the athletes they work with train exclusively there; Gym Jones recognizes and teaches the strength and conditioning coach (i.e. them) is secondary to the sport coach which it sounds like we are all saying here...?

 

If you're really truly serious about your chosen sport you will have a sports coach to do drills, exercises, etc etc with as well as a strength and conditioning coach who will help build fitness in support of those goals.

 

 

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don't know the OP at all, but maybe what he needs is just a plain ole strength program (with no emphasis on climbing for balance in strength) mixed in with regular rock gym time? something like 2 days in weight room and 2 days in the rock gym per week? nothing fancy.

 

something like squats, deadlifts, bench and overhead pressing in the weight gym

 

pulling of course is done in the rock gym.

 

I suspect that the hardcore mtn athlete, gym jones and even crossfit is too much for a "aging" climbing athlete. Maybe crossfit conditioning once a week. but what do I know?

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"Climbing Stronger, Faster, Healthier" by our own Dr. Layton is also a great resource.

i particularly like the picture of the fool guzzling a cheeseburger down in the "alpine nutrition" chapter :)

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And that could be a program for him Gene... it will depend on where he is at now, where he wants to go and how much time per week he has.

 

The problem (or challenge?) is as much as we all want one there is no one size fits all program. We all have different training histories, training goals, strengths, weaknesses, mindsets and so on... which is why we all need a different program.

 

Look at Steve and Vince when they trained for the Rupal... same goal, same time to event, arguably similar skill sets... yet they both followed different programs.

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And that could be a program for him Gene... it will depend on where he is at now, where he wants to go and how much time per week he has.

 

The problem (or challenge?) is as much as we all want one there is no one size fits all program. We all have different training histories, training goals, strengths, weaknesses, mindsets and so on... which is why we all need a different program.

 

Look at Steve and Vince when they trained for the Rupal... same goal, same time to event, arguably similar skill sets... yet they both followed different programs.

 

i think john really nails it here. there is no formula that is guaranteed to yield the results you want. instead, you have to do some homework, take some classes, experiment with different things, etc. but foremost you have to be pretty clear about what it is that you are trying to achieve -- probably the hardest step of all.

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Think of climbing like track and field. We all have specialties and it is important to know what they are and how to train for them. 100m. race is bouldering. 10K is alpine. Triple jump, long jump, and javelin are cragging.

 

These people spend endless hours preparing for their specialties and so should we.

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