31 August 2006

Time poverty and ways round it

Lots of people who ask me about what types of training they should be doing have one major thing in common - lack of time. They only have time for two climbing sessions in the week and aren't sure how best to improve. The answer to this depends partly on what stage of development you are at with your climbing and whether the lack of time is permanent and year round.

For people without many years of climbing behind them and those climbing at lower grades, increasing the number of climbing moves you make each year is often top priority. There is no point being 5% stronger if you don't have technique with which to apply it. For those who move very well on the rock and have tactics very well sussed, strength is more likely to be the biggest barrier to the next grade.

But there are 2 more points to bring up here:

1. If your routine (and time available to climb) changes during the year you can use the busy times to build in some strength training (preferably boulder supplemented by some basic strength work). This works well because busy times tend to be quite regimented which makes it easier to discipline yourself to spend a session doing organised strength training. Also strength training takes the least training time - short, high quality sessions are exactly what youre after.

2. You need to find ways to spend your time efficiently too. Do you spend ages travelling to a wall? If so build one in the garage, or if you have a tiny flat like me just put up a fingerboard. If you want/need to use big climbing wall for routes and to meet friends then you could do a half hour session on the fingerboard before going there. When you arive you'll already be warmed up.

If your routine is just busy all year round and those two sessions are all you've got, then stick to training that involves actually climbing. But I feel most people can squeeze in very short additional sessions somewhere in their week, to work on basic strength as a supplement. For instance I fingerboard when I have reading to do (I work from home). Others will do half an hour at lunch. Others will put the fingerboard above the kitchen door and do a few hangs every time they are boiling the kettle!


tonan said...

train while you cook, usually gives very appropriate intervals

Mateusz Loskot said...

Hi Dave,

Short, but very informative post.
I have question to this part "do a half hour session on the fingerboard before going there (climbing wall)".
What kind of training on fingerboard do you mean here? I assume it's strength, right?

Does it mean it makes sense to do strength training before actual climbing or some less intensive bouldering - in other words, an endurance oriented session?

I find it very difficult to find how to combine fingerboard or campus workout with climbing (routes or bouldering) during the same session, same day.

On one side, strength on campus or fingerboard should be done when you are fresh, means, at the beginning of session after warm up.
On other side, how to structure the following climbing (routes or bouldering) to not to "damage" goals of the campus/fingerbaord workout.

Perhaps you could drop a few insights to this. Thanks!