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April 30, 2014 posted by

Power-Endurance, Integration, and Weight Loss

Power-Endurance, Integration, and Weight Loss

5 Week Pre-Climbing Trip Prep Block

Sun Mon Tue Wed Th Fri Sat
Week 1 Ems – b am – y,cPE

ems – f,s

Z2 Am- y,cPE Am y,c Am- yZ1L PEEms-b
Week 2 PEEms – f,s Am – y,cZ2 PEAL

Ems-b

 

Am – y,cZ1L

AL

PEAL

Ems – f,s

Am-y,c PEZ2

Ems – b

Week 3 PEEms – f,s Am – y,cAL PEAL

Ems b

Am – y,cZ1L

AL

PEEms –f,s Am- y,cZ2 PE
Week 4 PEAL Am – y,cAL PEAL Denis bdcZ1LLL Am – y,c  Int
Week 5 IntAL Am – y,cAL Am – y,cInt

AL

Am – y,cInt

AL

Am – y,cZ 1L

LEAVE PM

see below for a breakdown

As Power Month comes to a close, it’s time to focus on the ultimate agenda, turning strengths gains into rock climbing performance. I leave for a climbing trip and the end of May, so my month is focused around power-endurance, integration, and weight loss. Let’s look at what that means and how I plan to achieve it.

If you’ve been following along, my winter began with rest (post birthday challenge), then worked on building a fitness foundation, followed by hypertrophy and power (aka absolute strength).

The next step is to integrate the fitness gains into what I want to use it for (climbing, in this case), build some endurance, and get my body to the weight that will most benefit my goals. The nutritional side of things, how to get to peak weight, is a big subject on its own, and  being covered over the entire month of May. Here’s a breakdown of the fitness rationale.

 Power vs Endurance

For greatest effect, power and endurance should be trained separately. As a multi-sport athlete, I had not focused on power (for climbing) in a while, as performance across many disciplines has trumped focusing on one sport.

This training cycle focused solely on climbing. After a block of specific power training, I need to work on power-endurance,  known to climbers as the ability to stave off for as long as possible and then perform pumped. Power gains take a long time. Endurance returns relatively quickly. Therefore, I’ve only given myself a few weeks of power-endurance training. I’ll post my workouts at the end of the month, when I have faith they worked well (they should, as this is tried and true stuff, nothing theoretical, though I’ll have my own thought/spin on them, per usual).

This vid is pretty good. I do something similar, with exercises at the end. I don’t have the “extra 15 minutes to go somewhere really good” so I do it in my garage, and alone. A partner would be fun but my schedule’s strange enough it’s hard to find climbing partners, not to mention training partners. This is why so many of my projects are traverses.

Integration training, specially, is designed to turn your fitness gains into real world applications. Even though I’ve been climbing for many years, there are subtle things you lose with training that take some time to get back. Some are obvious, like skin preparation, while others are less so, like breathing and moving fluidly.

After a period off the rock, especially when I’ve been training, I feel as though I’ve forgotten how to climb. Neuromuscular patterns are lost when new muscle is formed, and needs to be re-training. This is called integration.The power-endurance training begins to integrate, as you’re focused on climbing, but integration takes it another step by getting outside and climbing at a cadence similar to how you plan/desire to perform for your peak.

Finally, weight loss. People who climb hard are small, which makes sense given that, when fighting gravity, weight is paramount. The lighter you can make yourself the harder you climb. It’s pretty simple, really, at least in theory. The reality is that I don’t care that much about my climbing performance to go too crazy about weight. For one thing, I’ve got a wife who’d rather I not look like I was rescued off a desert island.  Still, I’ll turn the screws a little (since dieting is always, a-hem, fun) and try to shed a little bulk. Climbing things is fun. And the better you are at it, the more fun you get to have.

PE – power-endurance workout

Int – integration workout

AM – yoga,core (short yoga/core session 15-30m)

Ems – electronic muscle stimulation (for recovery)

Z2 – zone 2 aerobic work

Z1L – long zone 1 aerobic work

AL – Alto Lab rebreathing work (1hr)

Denis bdc – Denis’ birthday challenge (long aerobic–bike–day)

4 Comments

  • Morning Steve, have you came across Steve House and Scott Johnston’s new book ‘Training for the New Alpinism – A manual for a climber as athlete’? If you have I was wondering what your thoughts on it were regarding endurance, power and nutrition?

    • I have it, and have read through some of it. Pretty excited to read the rest as, beyond just training info, there are heaps of great anecdotes. I like it, so far, quite a lot, but it’s too early for me to comment on its training strategies. There is no doubt that it’s a well informed book. I’ve already heard some scuttlebutt about too much zone 1 training but if he’s basing things on the theories I believe he is, it’s probably sound advice. Hard to argue with House’s accomplishments at any rate. I will likely review the entire book at some point.

  • Julz, I commented back but it didn’t save. Hmm…

  • I have it, and have read through some of it. Pretty excited to read the rest as, beyond just training info, there are heaps of great anecdotes. I like it, so far, quite a lot, but it’s too early for me to comment on its training strategies. There is no doubt that it’s a well informed book. I’ve already heard some scuttlebutt about too much zone 1 training but if he’s basing things on the theories I believe he is, it’s probably sound advice. Hard to argue with House’s accomplishments at any rate. I will likely review the entire book at some point.

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