Saturday, October 11, 2008

Training Log: Body Tensions is not about situps!

First off, a quick rant about body tension.

I often watch people with saggy-ass syndrome (poor body tension) do endless situps. This does NOT solve the problem of keeping your feet on while climbing. "Core" strength or "body tension" in climbing means being able to hold on with your hands and keep your feet on an overhanging wall. Situps (or any ab-isolating exercise) are near-useless for this, it's all about making your shoulders, lats, and abs work together. Some version of front-lever, or whatever "curl up" exercise you can do, is the base of body tension on steep routes. Off-topic rant, but I hate to see good training time wasted. Of course, if the goal is pretty little stomach muscles then great, but that's not the reason I'm at the gym. And if you can do a front lever you'll have good abs, the difference is that you'll have functional strength, not poseur strength.

Wed. Oct 8th

Wrestled a wood stove most of the day in addition to video work, kid. Wood stove won the opening rounds but not the match. Nothing like trying to move 400+ pounds around... Crossfit style experience.

Rode bike to hill. Went up hill fast on foot. Knee good. 45 minutes.

Soundtrack: The world. I don't listen to music while I'm out in the hills, they sound great au naturel.

Thursday Oct. 9th.

I let life go sideways (Calgary, etc.) so I ended up in the gym at 8:15 in the evening, not my favorite time to train. Had to use chemical stimulants to get it going, yeah, those little cans of motivation. Felt like an ambushed owl for the opening 10 minutes but then got it moving. Warmed up well then got sucked into a boulder session with Big Frank. Super fun, big body-tension moves on decent holds so kinda what I wanted and sure fun. SPOGA between boulder problem goes.

Then about 15 minutes of movement with the tools in the mixed cave. Every time I drytool for the first time of the seasn I hate it. The tools move around too much, I'm terrified they will blow on every movement, and I wonder why I bother. Hell, it's a climbing gym, why not just use shoes and chalk? Then I start hucking small dynos, moving through the fear and it becomes fun, but those first few moves always destroy me. I need to pad the little finger of my Fusions already, forgot gloves the first day and my little finger is already swelling. I helped design these tools and wanted a positive little finger grip, what was I thinking? Well, not ideal for the gym but exactly what you need with gloves on for hard routes.

Then over to the drytool campus board. More vertical offset pulls but with a one-arm lock at the top of each pull, release lower tool for a few seconds. Only did three per side and didn't hold the lock long, but I feel them today for sure, a power movement. Then an exercise I've been doing for a few years to help my shoulder: hang from both tools, let go with one hand, and slowly, slowly, rotate about 150 degrees so you're facing out from the wall a bit, rotate back and grab the other tool. If it gets sloppy put your feet down right away. I think it's important to build all the little muscles and train them to work together for moves like this, seems to help me prevent shoulder problems. Drag your feet if you can't do this in control. Surprisingly hard to do in control, but if you build the coordination and strength to do this then you won't be doing it out of control on a route, and maybe won't rip your shoulder joint apart...

Then front lever (core) training. Getting better recruitment after only one session, could hold one leg out for a few seconds! So much of climbing is specific muscle fiber recruitment and coordination, not just "power."
Finished the evening out with some "pump you up" exercises of hanging onto just the tool shafts (no support from the bumps) on 20-second on, 20-second off intervals. Wicked pump in short order...

Maybe not the perfect workout, but far better than lying on the couch drinking scotch and doing fuck all, which is where I was headed at 8:00 p.m.

Soundtrack: Crystal Method was on in the gym. I always forget how good Crystal Method can be.

Friday October 10:

Passed wood stove inspection. Wrestled wood. Keyboard. Then blast on bike to hill, up hill to "lower rocks," back down. Under an hour. Stoked. Burned first load of wood in stove, house did not burn down. Cool.


river gums said...

Will it makes me tired reading your blog. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

This blog is entertaining! Happy your house did not burn down ;-)

John said...

Great training posts Will... please keep them up! The Rockies appear to be off to a great start for the season!

And for what it's worth my favorite "functional ab exercise" is knees to elbows in higher reps or ankles to bars in lower reps.