Wednesday, 8 March 2017

The Train Train.

A bit like the send train, but far more realistic for this wankshit winter.

My friend Jade posted this link recently: Interesting stuff, apart from it not being that interesting. A bit like this post no doubt but hey I'm writing it for me so stop reading it, okay? The author lives in Boulder Colorado, it is one of my ultimate aims in life to live in Boulder or SLC or Las Vegas. Fuck American politics, fuck miserable Brits slagging off crass and shallow Yanks, I want to live and climb in the desert (or near it, pedants). Anyway, from the article:

"Show me someone who said they had the time of their life doing weighted deadhangs all day in the gym, and I’ll show you someone I’d like to slap in the face." 
Show me someone who said they had the time of their life trying to rally some support for a grit trip, driving a 9 hour round trip to shower dodge and do fuck all apart from waste money and get weaker for when the good weather does finally arrive, and I'll show you someone who doesn't live in the fucking desert.

"The last sunset I watched through the windows of the gym was kind of lackluster if you know what I’m saying."
The last sunset I watched through the windows of the gym was kind of pretty and could have convinced me to try going out climbing if it wasn't for the sodden roads and buildings from the previous showers.

To be fair the weather hasn't been that terrible and it's probably fine if you live next to inspiring rock. To be fair I probably have a similar attitude to the author in that I love exploring diverse and interesting areas to do inspiring rock climbing and training is only ever a means to an end and a necessary evil. But I might as well enjoy and make use of that evil. Last winter sucked arse because I did fuck all rock climbing, but come spring I did fine on the trad and didn't get too strong to pull off too many holds on The Complete Works nor too reliant on bright plastic to miss the smears on The Baldest.

So after a low period I've got back to the gym to give my tweaked wrist a rest, and the weightlifting has fired my body enough that I've felt better at the wall and my wrist is now not as sore as my chronic golfer's elbow so I guess that's progress??

After less than 10 gym sessions and about 4 weightlifting sessions (for the first time in 8+ months?) I managed to get back to all my previous benchmarks (160kg deadlift, 80kg benchpress, 100kg squat, 20kg/arm military press, +25kg pullup) surprisingly quickly. I guess my body has adapted a bit over the years. Actually I've progressed a bit, 165kg DL and 160 more comfortable without straps, deeper squats, 22kg/arm MP (just!). My body feels good after that and I'm sticking to the maxim:

Increasing your 1rm (or at least, working your 3 rep max at 3 sets, say) will give you the best strength increase, for the least hypertrophy. Aka, the best of both worlds.
Anything else will be making you heavy!
As usual I'm mixing in these small sets of large weights with core work, antagonist work, CV, and climbing-relevant work (pulls etc).

Why so much gym stuff?? Firstly I'm too tweaked to train at the wall all the time, if I did more wall sessions I'd be held together by tape and scar tissue and my skin would be fucked. Secondly I'd get a bit bored wall training all the time. Thirdly there are some issues I can train more effectively at the gym (core, legs, CV) which will feed into my climbing one way or another. In short if I didn't go the gym I'd either be less fit or more injured or both.

Of course I go to the wall more and focus on that more, albeit pleasure and fun has a role too! But having some good benchmarks for weights got me curious about aiming for more climbing-strength-specific benchmarks. This is not some miserable abarro81 style PHD-level training plan, it's just having some goals to aim for so I can try a bit harder and maybe get a bit stronger. So I did some tests:

Weighted bar pullups: 1 x +30kg, 2 x +25kg, 3 x +20kg
(Aim: 1 x 40kg )

Weighted BM smallest edges hangs: 3.5s x +20kg, 5s x +15kg, 7s x +10kg
(Aim: Not sure, the weighted ones felt pleasingly hard so I'm keen to try more)

BM smallest edges hangs: 13s
(Aim: Not sure)

BM 30' sloper hangs: 30s
(No aim, too conditions-dependent)

BM 45' sloper hangs: 1.5s
(No aim, too conditions-dependent)

BM smallest edges pull-ups: 4
(Aim: 5 full pull-ups)

Campusing medium rungs: 1:3:4
(Aim: 1:3:5)
(N.B. Pre-dvt / weight gain: Campusing small rungs: 1:3:5)

TCA 45' campus ladder feet on single rungs: 1 full set + 1-2-3-4-5-6-7
(Aim: 2 full sets (2 seconds chalking after drop-off)

TCA 45' campus ladder feet on alternate rungs: 1 full set + 1-3-5-7
(Aim: 2 full sets (2 seconds chalking after drop-off)

TCA 45' campus ladder feet on alternate rungs without twisting body: 1-3-5
(Aim: 1 full set)

Of course most of these are highly dependent on skin, conditions, fingertip soft-tissue pain due to heaviness, etc. So not as pure as lifting a load of metal off the ground ;).

The goal of course....get on Billy Sprag and have good crimp strength to keep pulling on edges, and good thigh strength for any fierce rockovers, Get on Pass The Pigs and have good enough body tension to keep in the layback and have allowed my wrist to heal to hold the roundedness. Get on Woodland Ecology and have enough burl to commit confidently to the moves for the slopey ramp.

Etc etc etc.

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