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Fit but confused

Posted: Thu Apr 06, 2006 10:39 am
by mikep_
I am in pretty good shape right now (except for my plantar faciitis) but I need to get into superior shape by August. In Aug I am going to go on a rock climbing trip that will involve 3+ days of none stop effort.
I think my cardio is okay at alternating 60/40 min. on machines 4 days a week. Where I am not sure is in the weight and core training. There is a lot of conflicting info and if followed most of it my workout would be about 3-4 hrs. a day. Specifially, my questions are as follows
1. Is my cardio enough?
2. How much core work is enough?
3. What should my wt. routine involve? Or as some suggest, I should just do core.
4. If you recommend a trainer, how can I find one that will listen and not say, "Whadda ya wanna do that for? Are ya crazy?"
ps I'm in my 50s.

Posted: Thu Apr 06, 2006 11:12 am
by Matt Z
If you're serious about rock climbing, you'll want to stay light, so adding lots of muscle mass wouldn't be a good idea. Instead focus on improving your strength to weight ratio. Bodyweight excercises are good for this, especially chins. Also, you'll want to work on your grip, so don't use wrist straps, and you can add grip excercises like fat guy hangs. Finally, try to stretch every day.

Posted: Thu Apr 06, 2006 3:28 pm
by TimD
The previous post was pretty well on the mark. Let's just take a look at some specific areas. Upper body pull, definately. Chins, rows, etc. Some upper body push to balance it out. Also, don't forget the posterior chain and quads, it will really help for pushing off with your feet to assist your upperbody when pulling yourself up. Any type of squatting, lunges, step ups, Deadlifts etc, and as was previously pointed out, your core. As Matt stated, you definately don't want to get bulky. and bodyweight stuff is good, so are KB's and DB's. Strength/ndurance would be key here as well. You might want to check out It's a general fitness site, lot's of sevicem,en, fireman, martial artists, police types over there, with a large variety of interests, and have seen some rock climbers.
They focus on about all aspects of fitness, and are very heavy into strength endurance.
Good training. You shouldn't expect to get through these workouts as written, just scale them back. I do a lot of this stuff and am 56, so at 52, I'm sure you can benefit from it.

Posted: Fri Apr 07, 2006 10:00 am
by tim heaton

I am a rock-climber so thought my input might be useful. I must admit though that I am very much a beginner compared to the people who post on here with regards to weight training. I would very much appreciate some feedback from others on my training schedule.

To answer your questions thoroughly I think I need a bit more information. What kind of climbing are you intending on doing? Will it be bouldering (3-4 moves of maximum effort and power) or more endurance based long routes because I think that will make a big difference to the type of training that you want to do.

I don't know how experienced a rock climber you are (forgive me if you already know this) but if you are a beginner then I would try and climb outside as much as possible getting in mileage and experience. There is some truth in the saying that the best training for climbing is climbing but certainly some full-body sports orientated weights and cardio would be a great help too.

If it's any help here is my current weekly training program (note I am currently more geared towards power and bouldering, I will switch to a more endurance geared training plan at the end of the month). If you are going to do routes then I would concentrate more on the endurance stuff with maybe 1 session of bouldering a week.

Sunday - system board (specific climbing training concentrating mainly on strengthening fingers) basically some short bouldering
Monday - Weights workout A (see below)
Tuesday - Laps on routes. If you want endurance then the best thing I have found is spend long (~30 mins) spells climbing relatively easy routes (you don't really want to get particularly pumped). This can be quite boring unless you have a friend to do it with.
Wednesday - Off
Thursday - system board/bouldering again
Friday - Laps on routes as Tuesday
Saturday - Weights workout B (see below)

I also don't do that much isolated core stuff as I find that gets worked just doing overhanging bouldering and in my general weights. You could easily throw in some L-sits/front levers depending on how strong you are.

Anyway here are my weights workouts. I would very much appreciate comment on these from more experienced members of the forum as I am always keen for new input. I should say that a lot of climbers develop overly strong pulling muscles and as a result can have shoulder problems. I try and include some pressing moves to balance this out.

Weights workout A (climbing specific workout)

Complex 4 * 8 reps of Clean - Push Press - negative shoulder press - Back Squat into Push Press (pretty light weight as fast as possible to get the cardio)
4 * 4 reps of negative 1 arm pullups - can't quite do a proper 1 arm pullup
4 * 6 reps of 1 arm pull down (really like this exercise)
4 * 6 reps of 2 arm pull down
4 * 6 reps of bent over row
4 * 6 reps of reverse flyes

Weights workout B (antagonists to climbing and a bit of plyo's)

Same complex as above to warm up
Deadlift/Squats (maybe combined with some jump squats)
Dips/bench Press
Military Press
Plyometrics on stairs

I intend to start to periodize these on a monthly cycle. As I mentioned any comment on my weights would be greatly appreciated. I did Javoreks exercise regime that TimD recommended to me last summer which is absolutely excellent training to get you fit but I must admit that it was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I think this is similar to the crossfit stuff that was recommended above.

Anway back to your question. As August is a while off then you can periodize your climbing training quite a bit. Presuming you are doing routes then I would start off concentrating on improving your endurance and capillarity with long 30 min endurance sessions for a month or two. Then perhaps a period of power training. When you get nearer the time I would start doing more power endurance.

I hope this helps, it might well be much more than you want to do but I got a bit carried away in my writing,


Posted: Fri Apr 07, 2006 12:17 pm
by TimD
Hi Tim H. If you got through that programme I sent you, you are no longer a beginner, LOL. Good job. As to the weight routine you're doing now, looks pretty fair to me. You've got some pretty fair GPP in the complexes, and seem to have a pretty good balance over the two sessions.
Tim D

Posted: Fri Apr 07, 2006 12:57 pm
by tim heaton
I did "somehow" make it to the end. Did very nearly kill me though



Posted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 7:37 am