PDA

View Full Version : Advanced Rock Climber here, looking for a workout plan



Joe14
09-08-2007, 02:52 AM
Basically I am looking for a full 3 days/week workout plan geared toward rock climbing. I thought there would be no place better then the wannabe big forums to ask this. I would love to hear what you guys have to say, and if any other advanced rock climbers have made there home here like I now have your help would be much appreciated!

I don't really know any exercise names. So if you could type out the full name, I could then look it up to see how to do it and everything like that.

Thanks alot


Joe

jdeity
09-08-2007, 11:56 AM
I've only climbed once in my life, so I won't pretend to know what the best plan is per se, but I think you'd benefit a lot by first recognizing your weaknesses while climbing (whether it's pulling yourself up, your grip, endurance, legs, etc) and focus on those. Finding your weaknesses and turning them into strengths is really what you should be doing, w/o knowing what you need to improve it'd be hard to recommend specific stuff.

Adam
09-08-2007, 12:20 PM
I'll advise looking into the website www.crossfit.com
For what you want you'll do better with a mix of strength/conditioning/endurance work rather than just a strength workout.

jdeity
09-08-2007, 12:23 PM
yeah crossfit's a great all around site for gpp, but I'd still want to focus on areas I felt needed improvement if I already considered myself advanced. I think once you're at that level you should be focusing more on your actual technique and overcoming weaknesses than just general gpp training. If I had known more about training when I was an advanced wrestler I would've done things *extremely* differently.

Anthony
09-08-2007, 12:47 PM
yeah crossfit's a great all around site for gpp, but I'd still want to focus on areas I felt needed improvement if I already considered myself advanced. I think once you're at that level you should be focusing more on your actual technique and overcoming weaknesses than just general gpp training. If I had known more about training when I was an advanced wrestler I would've done things *extremely* differently.

Tell that to Mark Twight. A LOT of athletes at the advanced level are still lacking fundamentals without realizing it. CrossFit will help expose those gaps and force improvement. It's not to say it's the end all, be all, but it has been used by world class climbers with extremely good results.

jdeity
09-08-2007, 12:56 PM
Tell that to Mark Twight. A LOT of athletes at the advanced level are still lacking fundamentals without realizing it. CrossFit will help expose those gaps and force improvement. It's not to say it's the end all, be all, but it has been used by world class climbers with extremely good results.

That's was pretty much my point, although I just didn't say 'use crossfit to find your weaknesses'. I guess I was thinking of wrestling, and if I could go back and train better, it would've been a ton of squats (I almost universally did a standup from down position and would've been able to make that move flawless!), but I knew what I'd need to improve.

I should've been more careful in my wording, I was just trying to say that he doesn't sound like he needs just general training, it sounds like he needs to train weaknesses, and you're right crossfit would expose those.

Joe14
09-08-2007, 02:27 PM
Thanks for all your comments so far guys. I will defiantly look into cross fit.

My weaknesses are intense slopers and crimper's, Power off of a hold to jump up and reach another one, with legs on or off the wall (Dyno's). Finger endurance (Hanging from a overhang with just hands on the wall for long periods of time.

Thats all I can think of atm.

samadhi_smiles
12-16-2007, 12:36 PM
Mark Twight (or Dr Doom as he likes to be referred to) is an alpinist, not a climber (although he is a very good climber). As such, he trains like an alpinist.

Not trying to brag here, but I've climbed 12c's and 12d's before. The only way I did this was by climbing til I puked, many many days.

Climbing is so specific, anything you do in the weight room is NOT going to transfer over very well at all. In fact, it will probably hinder you to a greater degree than it will help (think strength:weight ratio).

Specificity is KEY with climbing.

Climb outside as much as possible with STRONG climbers. Rumney, Red River Gorge, New River Gorge, Twall, Red Rocks, Hueco, Bishop, Yos, Indian Creek. Go to them all and climb every route you can. Offer to clean stronger climbers' routes and follow them on multi-pitch routes (I climbed with folks that could redpoint 14a/b's and learned a ****-ton from them).

LEARN as much as possible.

Be OBSESSED with climbing.

DREAM about climbing.

Eat a LOT, eat healthy, drink a lot of water.

Most of all...ENJOY the time you get to climb.

It will take you to some of the most beautiful spots in the world and will inspire you to be stronger, fitter, faster than you ever were.

peace and good luck!
S_S

jdeity
12-16-2007, 12:45 PM
Climbing is so specific, anything you do in the weight room is NOT going to transfer over very well at all.

I always have to take issue with those kinds of statements. Every sport is specific, and yeah you want to tailor your training to that, but supplemental training apart from the actual climbing, damn, I just don't see how you feel that's not useful.

Unreal
12-16-2007, 01:08 PM
Core and grip training are going to be the big ones. If your climbing enough extra work probably won't be required because climbing will provide this. Crossfit would be good, but if your doing that and climbing as much as you should, rest will be an issue.

samadhi_smiles
12-16-2007, 04:20 PM
Well, Jdeity, I climbed for about 7 years and trained 'off the wall' a good bit on and off with various different methods.

The number one thing that helped me the most was long distance backpacking, it built up core strength in a similar way that is used climbing and it built leg muscles which are very useful for certain types of routes.

Certainly using a 'hangboard' (basically a large plastic hold that you can grip in various ways and do 'footless' static hangs and dynamic pullups, etc) with added weights can help tremendously, but is not recommended for someone who has not been climbing a while or is not a genetic mutant.

Keeping your weight down will also help TREMENDOUSLY. When I was onsighting 5.12b's and redpointing 12d's I weighed 125 pounds and could simply use holds that others who weighed 40-50 pounds more could not (could not even fathom using even!).

Most of the grip stuff out there targetted at climbers is complete and utter bull****. It will not help a bit (again, my experience and the experience of close friends who have been at climbing for years).

Meditation will help tremendously, as will different visualization exercises. To anyone who wants to read a TREMENDOUSLY good book on the mental aspect (as well as a lot of talk about the physical aspect) of climbing: read The Warrior's Way (or something like that).

If you're just starting out climbing (1-2 years) then the best thing you can do is climb, climb, climb. Try to climb 3-4 days a week and make sure you get plenty of rest in between. Maybe some cardio on off days, interval running/biking perhaps (gotta stay in semi-shape for the approach to the wall!).

Climbing is just a very unique activity. If you want to progress fast in it, you have to train for it specifically (ie climb your brains out man!).

Sigh, what a tough job, huh? :D

samadhi_smiles
12-16-2007, 04:22 PM
oh btw, beware about climbing, eventually you will end up quitting your job, selling anything valuable (except your climbing gear and truck!) and heading out west to bum around for what will start out as a few months but (in my case) ended up being a good solid two years!!!! :D

tomv
12-16-2007, 06:59 PM
I'm just getting into climbing now.. Sadly I'm not sure I'll ever be fantastic as I'm weighing in at about... 215lbs and I really have no desire to be much lighter then 190-200.

jdeity
12-16-2007, 07:51 PM
I don't see how weight is relevant per se, it's more about weight/strength ratios, unless I'm missing something.

tomv
12-17-2007, 04:09 AM
I'm not sure if you're referring to my post or not Jdeity but weight is fairly relevant. I can be incredibly strong but the fact of the matter is you simply can't have enough strength to move your body around constantly. It's a blend of strength and endurance really. Also a larger body is harder to fit in to certain areas. More weight = a harder climb.

Sensei
12-17-2007, 06:51 AM
I always have to take issue with those kinds of statements. Every sport is specific, and yeah you want to tailor your training to that, but supplemental training apart from the actual climbing, damn, I just don't see how you feel that's not useful.
I agree w. you jdeity... Swim coaches say the same crap and it's too bad - they have no idea. There are many successful athletes in many sports (usually where relative strength is key) that have never touched a weight and misguided coaches and athletes point to them and say "SEE!". Poor S&C coaches and personal trainers compound the problem of course...

samadhi,
I don't see how you can say in one sentence that training board work (w. or without weight) is useful, and then, in another, say that weightroom work will hinder you. Obviously only a fool would be training for hypertrophy...

samadhi_smiles
12-17-2007, 09:13 AM
Well, Sensei, I am no weightlifting expert, as may be apparent from my never-ending questions I ask on this board :D

But, I am fairly knowledgeable about training for climbing, and talked with hundreds of very good (expert even) climbers about how they trained and what they did to make themselves stronger.

Loads of them will tell you that the only way to get stronger at climbing is to climb, climb, climb.

Yes, hangboard work and plyometric work for your tendons will help a lot, if you are at the point where every other component is nailed down tight (style, technique, headspace, etc).

Weightlifting will probably only ruin your climbing style and grace and make you heavy (not good when your hanging on a 2 finger edge and trying to mantle up over an overhanging lip), it does not improve anything. The movements that need to be executed on a climbing route are VERY specific and tinkering around with your bodyweight, strength, etc will skew the learning curve (IMO!). There are some people that even suggest not using things like hangboards because they are not specific enough.

Jdeity, as far as strength:weight ratio goes, yes that is a big component, but remember, human tendons can only be so strong. And remember, its strength (in a relevant sense) to weight, not strength (ie your barbell row)! :nod:

Climbing is so much fun, anyways, why would you want to train off the wall?

Surely if its not possible to get climbing 3-4 days a week, then some off the wall weight lifting will probably help you. I have no clue about how to design a program, but I would guess squatting, deadlifting, rowing, pullups, overhead pressing would all be good choices.

samadhi_smiles
12-17-2007, 09:21 AM
oh ps, I intend to start climbing again after a year and a half (after graduate school is over). I plan to head out and live at Yosemite for the summer and then head to Indian Creek for the fall/winter and work and climb in Moab.

I also plan to be a LEAN 180 pounds by then (a 55 pound increase!!!). I'm halfway there!

I plan to tear it up and climb hard, scary routes like I used to when I was a flyweight and had nothing to worry about. I will ;)

Climbing is 99% in your head. If you think you are 'too big and heavy' then you will never get to the top.

Whatever makes you stronger, mentally, whether thats climbing, lifting, hiking, etc, will make you a better climber (and I found strangely enough, a better person).

Peace WBB! :)

Unreal
12-17-2007, 10:08 AM
I have been climbing for about 8 weeks now. I have been going 2-3x a week. It is rough to climb after a gym session but the gym comes first, then climbing is just for fun. Currently doing 5.9s. It is a fun activity but I rather squat then climb given the choice.

Sensei
12-17-2007, 11:28 AM
Yes, hangboard work and plyometric work for your tendons will help a lot, if you are at the point where every other component is nailed down tight (style, technique, headspace, etc).

Weightlifting will probably only ruin your climbing style and grace and make you heavy (not good when your hanging on a 2 finger edge and trying to mantle up over an overhanging lip), it does not improve anything. The movements that need to be executed on a climbing route are VERY specific and tinkering around with your bodyweight, strength, etc will skew the learning curve (IMO!). There are some people that even suggest not using things like hangboards because they are not specific enough.
Your views of what S&C consists of are pretty narrow and you totally ignored the points I made in my previous post. A traditional bodybuilding program could very likely hinder progress in rock climbing. Properly programmed off-season and in-season S&C work could improve functional range of motion, relative strength, and endurance and help prevent injury.

I'm not presuming to know anything about rock climbing, because I don't, but I'm pretty certain with some research and discussion, it would not be that hard to come up with a reasonable training plan for gym-center strength and conditioning for rock climbers.

There is such a thing as GPP for every skill and sport and a lot of it can be done in the weight room with traditional and non-traditional weight room equipment.

samadhi_smiles
12-17-2007, 03:56 PM
Sure Sensei. I agree with you to a large extent. I buy that a better conditioned individual will most likely be a better all around climber. A lot of this conditioning can be done 'off the wall' and even in the weight room.

My money is on the greatest benefits from cross-training coming from things like hang and campus (a plyo) boards. And probably a lot of benefit from general cardiovascular fitness.

But, does someone need to be thinking about this type of training that posts as an 'advanced' rock climber on a weight lifting board? Probably most likely not (besides cardio shape, I believe everyone should pursue that).

Get out and hike up some damn mountains to remote cliff faces and climb those cliffs and then bask in the gloriousness at the top. Rap off the cliff and climb it again (another route) and do this over and over and over again on that cliff. Find another cliff, repeat, rinse, etc.

That's 'training for climbing.'

Shifty
01-13-2008, 08:52 AM
Just to offer some support to samadhi_smiles. I climb to around 7b/7b+ which is around 12c/12d. When I have been climbing at my best/strongest I have done nothing but climb for a few months.

Sure putting the hours in at the gym will help a bit, but actually climbing will have so so so much more benefit. If your serious about getting good at climbing, just climb. Go out on the rock and put the hours in on the wall and you will feel the benefit.

People say that weight lifting won't help as the time could much more productively be spent climbing. If I could manage to fit in weightlifting sessions in around my climbing then yes, I would - but it is detrimental to a climbing session so I don't.

The only climber I can think of who does a lot of weight work is Malcom Smith. He is a nutty scotsman who does lots of oly lifting.

So yeh, just climb and love it! You will end up at some beautiful places.

leetuck
01-13-2008, 09:24 AM
Why don't you just rock climb with some weight on your back instead? Then as you get used to the weight, increase it? When you climb with no weight on ya back ... it will be much easier.

jdeity
01-13-2008, 10:59 AM
Sure putting the hours in at the gym will help a bit, but actually climbing will have so so so much more benefit. If your serious about getting good at climbing, just climb. Go out on the rock and put the hours in on the wall and you will feel the benefit.



the OP was an *advanced* rock climber looking for an edge, no? Just climbing more would undoubtedly be inferior to specialized training.

Sensei
01-13-2008, 09:08 PM
Just to offer some support to samadhi_smiles. I climb to around 7b/7b+ which is around 12c/12d. When I have been climbing at my best/strongest I have done nothing but climb for a few months.

Sure putting the hours in at the gym will help a bit, but actually climbing will have so so so much more benefit. If your serious about getting good at climbing, just climb. Go out on the rock and put the hours in on the wall and you will feel the benefit.

People say that weight lifting won't help as the time could much more productively be spent climbing. If I could manage to fit in weightlifting sessions in around my climbing then yes, I would - but it is detrimental to a climbing session so I don't.

The only climber I can think of who does a lot of weight work is Malcom Smith. He is a nutty scotsman who does lots of oly lifting.

So yeh, just climb and love it! You will end up at some beautiful places.DOH!!!

You are sooo missing the point. It is NOT an either/or proposition, but whatever...

After some very casual thought for the OP who requested a 3x/week plan (and opening myself way wide to flaming), here are some suggestions for "in-season" and "off-season" exercises. Obviously you would NOT do every exercise in every session. Sets, reps, rest, intensity, tempo etc. should be tailored to what you want to accomplish.

"off-season"
M (Pull): climbing board work (chins, holds, etc), rows, bent-over laterals, chins/pullups, shrug (kelso, pulldown), etc.
W (Push): front squats, dips, presses, shrug (bench press, dip, overhead)
F (core and grip): ab work - leg raises, ab roller, ab pulldown, side bends, Russian twists, grip work - plate pinches, farmer's walk, hanging holds, finger and wrist extension, wrist work (wrist roller, leverage bar work)

"in-season"
M: Front SQ, presses, ab work, grip active recovery work
Th: Rows, bent-over laterals, chins/pulldowns, core work, grip active recovery work

edit: ...and I wish I had checked the OP's profile before bothering - he hasn't logged in since September...