Week 11: Power Endurance
Only a couple of weeks left to go before entering the peak sending phase and I'm feeling pretty good about my climbing outside. I'd been curious to see how quickly the indoor training would adapt outside and though I've yet to visit Smith, I have been getting out to local crags on the weekends to practice power endurance on the rock.
Training outside is great for somethings but not so great for others. Indoors you have the flexibility to create sequences in infinite varieties tailored specifically for the result that you want to achieve. Outside however, the routes can be so varied, it can be quite hard to find that perfect line or lines that will get you the right amount of fatigue needed to properly execute a power endurance workout. Luckily we have this awesome little crag called French's Dome in Zig Zag and it has quite a few routes that mother nature designed as if she had power endurance in mind. So, when the opportunity to climb outside was available, that's where I headed.
Because Power Endurance workouts can be so taxing, these weeks have less climbing during the week and more climbing during the weekend. The difference is the volume is greater and more concentrated on crushing the endurance out of your fingers and arms so the extra rest is definitely needed. My friend Cameron made sure that laziness didn't have a chance to set in though, and also designed some crushing workouts to perform on opposing exercise days and core days. See below.
Monday: After a 24 hour rest day from Saturday's attempt to climb Infinite Bliss, I headed out with Meghan Austin to French's Dome for a late afternoon power endurance session. In my haste to make it out to the crag on time, I forgot to pack enough quickdraws for Meghan and I to both do laps on routes of our choice. That mistake would cost me during my sets but it would also highlight the kind of shape I had been training myself into.
I belayed Meghan on a couple of warmup laps on Straw Man. She wanted to try redpoint burns on Silver Streak (aka Dirty Deeds), her first 10b. I led the route twice as a warmup intending to leave the draws up for her redpoint attempts. Silver Streak is one of those routes that is a good indicator of climbing fitness. If it feels super pumpy I know I'm not in as good a shape as other times but if it flows and feels manageable to the chains, then I know I'm off to a good start. On this day, it felt easy and flawless; A perfect warmup.
After Meghan took a lap on it, I searched my bag for more quickdraws so I could begin my power endurance set on Crankenstein, 11c. As I'd mentioned before, I forgot all the extra draws back at my place. With only 3 extra draws it was going to be impossible to lead without having to take some draws down on Silver Streak. I asked Meghan to clean the first 3 on her route and with 5 draws I set off to climb my route. I ended up being able to climb the entire thing by back cleaning and bumping draws up the route on lead without falls. On my way down I cleaned 3 draws so Meghan could re-lead her route and we went back and forth like that until we had each taken 3 laps on our routes. I completed Crankenstein back cleaning on lead 2 times and the final time I fell at the last bolt just a few moves below the chains. Success!!
Tuesday: Core workouts! Cam's gut wrenchers consisted of the following- Mountain climbers (opposite knee to elbow) x50; Around the Worlds (33lb plate) x40; Turkish Get ups with 5 windmills at the end of each one (using 20lb dumbell) x10; Hollow Rockers x20 followed immediately by Hollow Hold x30 secs. 2 rounds if you don't pass out first.
Wednesday: Power Endurance indoors. I started the workout with 15 minutes of endurance and 10 minutes of rest. Next was a Warmup Boulder Ladder consisting of V2 x4, V3 x3, V4 x2, V5 x2. Next I spent about 20 minutes working on a dynamic V6 mini-project followed by 15 minutes of rest.
Power endurance: Linked bouldering circuit. At Stoneworks we have various hold specific circuits set about the gym that are perfect for power endurance training. I chose to work on a crimp circuit that also had a long crimpy boulder problem that ran along the same wall. I started on the on the boulder problem which traversed left. When I reached the end, I climbed back a few holds without coming off and climbed into the crimp circuit which traversed right. I set the timer at the start of the circuit and by the time I fell off some 32 moves later I was at about 2.5 minutes. I timed my rest for 5 minutes (double the time on the wall) and when the timer went off I repeated the set. I was able to complete 4 cycles slowly decreasing from 32 moves down to about 28 by the time I reached the 4th cycle. The decrease in volume was due to forearm fatigue increasing with each set.
Thursday: Rest Day!
Friday: Core and Opposing Exercises. This workout is the one that had me the closest to losing my lunch. Bear Crawl down and back x1; Lateral Bear Crawl down and back x1; 30 sec on the airdyne at 85 rpm's; Heavy Swings with 70lb kettlebell x20; Heavy Racked Carry with 55lb kettlebell down and back x1 on each side; Heavy Swings with 70lb kettlebell x20; Deadlifts with 70lb kettlebell x20; Knee Tucks on hangboard x20; Heavy Swings with 70lb kettlebell x20 (shoot me now!); Windshield wipers on hangboard x10; 20 sec on the airdyne at 85 rpm's. I completed the second round green to the gills. A third round was not happening.
Saturday: Dawn Patrol! Meghan and I left at 3am to meet Cameron and Missy at Area 51. It was our first time there. Just after dawn we were racked up and ready to warm up. It was great to get the four of us out there at once and to see the progress we've all made during these last 11 weeks. Meghan redpointed her first 10b, a pumpy route called First Contact. Missy kept her lead head together through a technical slab, something she's been consistently improving on during her training. Cameron and I set off to try his mini project, Resistance is Futile. I came within two moves of on-sighting and managed a tenuous send on the second try.
Shortly after we had to leave so I could open AntiGravity Equipment for business, Cameron texted to let us know he sent his first 11c. I think he's made the most progress out of the four of us considering he started 11 weeks ago at routes in the mid to high 10's.
Sunday: After closing AntiGravity Equipment on Saturday night. Meghan and I drove back out to Zig Zag to camp with Cameron and Missy so we could get another alpine start on Sunday; This time at French's Dome. It was definitely a lot of driving but commitment to the climbing shop and commitment to the training regimen dictated that this was the only way to fit in both. Sunday morning we had the crag to ourselves for a part of the morning before climbers started showing up to escape the hot weather and enjoy the beautiful day.
After our warm ups we all got on our power endurance routes of choice. This time with enough draws, I was able to lap Crankenstein 3 times in between Cameron's attempts. With the draws up, I felt like I had energy to spare, enough to do possibly 2-3 more laps if I'd had more time. I'm looking forward to getting back out there and trying laps on Pump O Rama and seeing if I can push that power endurance level farther.
Additional Training: This week Meghan helped me prep two more nutritious recipes to help bring the weight down a couple pounds and encouraging a healthier food options. Even though is it was super hot out this week, I insisted on a chili recipe because it's easy to cook in bulk, has tons of protein and is easy to pour into containers and transport.
The other recipe was baked chicken breast, cut up and added to a salad mix. I put dried cranberries in mine and add some cashews in there for crunch instead of croutons. For dressing I use a balsamic vinaigrette and that's about it. So far I've brought the weight down to 165 from 170, though I think that's largely due to decrease in beers and snacks.
After intense workouts I'm still doing ice baths for my forearms, hands and elbows. Still using the Flexbar for opposing forearm muscles. Water intake is doing well. I gave up on stretching but on the plus side, I'm relatively pain free in my arms for once in my climbing career. Next I'm going to work on getting better sleep and picking out my fight song for Darkness At Noon!