As power month comes to a close, Phil Requist has appropriately posted an article with some protocols for maintaining power throughout the year. His observation, that power gains lost are hard to get back so it should be maintained regularly, is exactly why my climbing has dropped off over the last 15 years while his has continued to improve.
Being a multi-sport athlete, I cycle through different sports throughout the year. When I return to climbing, I’m always starting from scratch (granted with many years of base development), and always transition to a different sport before my power has fully returned. Since I’m not a professional athlete, who cares, right? Pushing towards any grade in climbing is fun. The number is irrelevant. But I’ve always thought that power could be maintained, without severely cutting into the current sport, with the proper protocol and the psyche to do it (no small matter). In this post, Phil outlines a protocol for just this thing. He states:
Regardless of if and how you cycle your training, I’m convinced that maintaining power is critical. Not at 100%, but at maybe 80-90% of your peak at all times. Power can disappear quickly: if I don’t train monos, I lose my mono strength very fast. But campusing, is powerful by nature, how does one best incorporate it into a training cycle? This was the problem I faced in my current cycle. The approach I took was new – to me.
Campusing Base and Component Moves
“Base Moves” refers to moves that you can hit consistently, say 85+% of the time. I targeted 20 moves; 10 different moves performed on each side (right & left.) Every three minutes, I did a move, so the entire workout is 1 hour. That was my Tuesday campusing workout (Tab: Base Moves.)
On Thursdays, I did the “Component Moves” which refers to three partial movements done in repetitions. These three component moves are: Bumps, Low Explosive, and High Shrug. Again, I did my sets every 3 minutes and did a 1 hour workout (Tab: Component Moves.)
You might be thinking, 2 hours per week, plus a through warm-up, is too much?! Keep in mind that Phil’s only sport is climbing and has an enormous specific fitness base. I think less campusing, put together with well-rounded total body training program, could maintain solid levels of base power during times of the year that are focused on, say, endurance sports.
After my spring cycle, my power levels are back to about where they always get to when I focus on climbing for a season. Hopefully, they have a little more reserve than normal, which I’d expect because specific training is better for this than general climbing. This I won’t know until I integrate this training with more time outside. Regardless, it’s still only going to give me one cycle of training results, which is not enough for the goals I’ve set this year. In order to meet those, I’m going to have to maintain my power while I bring my endurance up to snuff this summer. For this, I’ll be putting Phil’s protocol to the test.
Vid: John Brzenk is rad. Thanks, Phil, for finding this. More on him tomorrow.