Week 2: Base Fitness

Wrapping up one of the final days of endurance at French's Dome. 

Wrapping up one of the final days of endurance at French's Dome. 

Alright! The base fitness phase officially ended yesterday. The outdoor mileage part of it was awesome of course but the monotony of climbing up and down, up and down, traversing back and forth for 20 to 30 minute sets at a time in the gym just gets to me. Now that it's over, i'm excited to get into the next phase of training but let me give you the rundown of my workout for the last week. 

Saturday I slept in and headed down to PG to climb indoors. My goal for the day was to climb 10 pitches on their 60 ft walls, 10c and down. I started the session with some fall practices on lead. I focused on reaching the anchors and letting go without hesitation. I grabbed the rope on my first attempt, a habit I'm constantly working on getting rid of. On my subsequent falls I made sure to concentrate on a long exhale through the fall which helps me to not grab the rope. 

I led all 10 pitches taking a fall at each one of the anchor finishes to continue the fall practices. My skill set for the day was to focus on steady and rhythmic breathing through each climb. The point of the skill set is help me stay focused and avoid a narrow field of view. It also helps to keep any anxieties in check. I wasn't really worried about becoming anxious climbing anything in the 10's and down, but practicing breathing skills helps to make them habit for when I get on harder stuff that does bring up anxieties later. 

Last week I missed a core workout that I had pushed to Friday because of a busy day at AntiGravity Equipment so I made it up after I had finished my 10 routes. If you remember from last week's post, Cameron from Stoneworks helps with the core workouts. This is what he had planned: Lateral Crawls - 10 each side, Hover Crawls - 10 each side, Bear Crawls - Forward, backwards, sideways, V Ups - Hold with hands at knees for 30 sec, Hands over head for 30 sec, Hold with hand pumps for 30 sec, Hold with hands at knees while alternating knee tucks for 30 sec (15 sec rests between each V Up), Russian twists - 30 sec x 2, Repeat the crawl patterns, Hollow rockers - 30 reps x 2. 

The crawl patterns really suffered from poor form the second time around due to some wrist pain, but I was actually able to get through the workout this time (barely). I still felt like I wanted to puke, particularly after the V Ups. 

Sunday was Outdoor Mileage day! The plan was to go to French's Dome with Meghan and crush 8 moderate pitches on lead. My skill set for the day was to focus on open hand gripping. After turning my alarm off instead of hitting snooze, we were off to French's an hour and a half later than we had originally planned. Wired on a tiny cup of coffee (I'm super sensitive to caffeine) I got us to the dome in an 1 hour and 15 minutes. At the time there was only one other party of 3 at the crag but after only 3 pitches, more people started showing up. I ended up climbing 3 easy routes near the bottom of the dome somewhere around 5.8, and then I took 3 laps on the very enjoyable Silver Streak 10c, and I finished up with two sprints up Straw Man 5.8 before heading back to open up AntiGravity Equipment for business. 

Meghan cruising her way up Silver Streak. 

Meghan cruising her way up Silver Streak. 

Monday was an active rest day, that meant a core workout. I dreaded seeing what was on the calendar for the day but I opened it up while at a park in SE Portland and got Meghan to join me in the agony. Cameron's workout was as follows: Plank from elbows - 1 min, Lateral crawl - 10 each side, Plank from hands - 1 minute, Hover crawl - 10 each side, Plank touches 20 each - Hands, Elbows, Shoulders, Toes, 20 Lunges each side, 30 pushups - 10 regular, 10 incline, 10 decline, 20 Side V Ups into 30 sec side plank x 2, rinse and repeat! 

Oh hell no! I barely got through one set of planks and crawling patterns. My wrists were still pretty sore from Saturday and because the crawling patterns require you to hover through the movement, my triceps were also killing me. I can't even remember the last time I did lunges so it only took minutes for my legs to feel like they were being stabbed by vicious piranha teeth after I'd completed the set. When it came time to repeat the workout, I skipped the crawling patterns, skipped the lunges, and the side V Ups. I felt pretty light headed and I'm sure I must've looked a tiny bit green from the whole thing. 

Tuesday it was back to endurance training. I started my day with some fall practices with Meghan at Stoneworks. Then I did two traversing sets of 30 minutes each all around the gym. My rest time between the two sets was 20 minutes. My skills practice during the sets was focused on rhythmic breathing. 

Wednesday is normally an active rest day but this week there was an extra day of endurance. Cameron and I got to the gym at about the same time. I opened up the shop upstairs but it was pretty quiet so I decided to join him for the endurance session. We both did a first round of 25 minutes of traversing around the gym. The skills practice for the day was to focus on straight arm climbing. After a 15 minute break we started our second and final set for the day. 15 minutes into my 25 minute set I ended up having to stop early to help a new member pick out a harness and shoes from the shop so I didn't get to finish the second set in its entirety. That's ok though, I had a really happy customer walk out with fresh gear excited about getting into climbing. 

There was a core workout scheduled for today as well. Meghan dropped by the gym to join me. The workout was to be done on a hangboard or bar if you were somewhere other than the gym. Here's the agony: Dead hang - 30 sec, Tuck - 30 sec, L-sit - 30 sec, 20 Knee tucks, 10 L-sits, 10 Tuck to L-sits, 20 Side tucks. Short rests between exercises, 2 minute break, then repeat! 

I actually got through this one; With troubles but I got through it. Mainly the L-sits are really hard for me because I'm so damn inflexible. My hip flexors are super weak and it's hard for me to hold the L-sit with perfectly straight legs so I have to cheat and bend a little bit.

Thursday was my final conditioning day and last day of Base Fitness. Meghan joined me for the workout and we started the day with fall practices in the gym a few hours before I had to open Antigravity Equipment for business. After fall practices I did 20 minutes of endurance on one of the gym's auto-belays. I rested for 10 minutes or so and finished with another 20 minute set of traversing. My abs were killing me from the previous day's workout and my calluses were super sore from the hangboard. My skill set for the day was to practice precision in my footwork with quiet feet. 

Friday, finally, a day of complete rest! Except for the water balloon fight and kegger we're threw in celebration of all the June birthdays!  

Team SW/AG after an epic water balloon fight! 

Team SW/AG after an epic water balloon fight! 

Supplemental training: I'm still icing after climbs and still using the FlexBar to balance out my forearms. Next week I'm changing to the green colored bar for more resistance and more sets. The new thing I added for this week was more focus on hydration. I'm terrible about drinking water and I know I don't drink near what I'm supposed to each day. For hydration, I'm working on drinking a liter and a half of water each day by keeping a water bottle around at the shop that I can fill up. 

Next phase is strength training! Thanks for following along and feel free to drop me a line with questions or comments anywhere you see a "comments" section on our social media pages. 

Juan Rodriguez