I'm playing with some new ideas in climbing training. I've spent 25+ years climbing, so my movement patterns are half decent I think. Unfortunately, due to a few injuries, other sports, etc., my climbing fitness is pretty weak right now. Normally I start with a very high volume base cycle, but I have limited time right now as well as some decent base fitness from other sports, time for a plan B. I've been doing relatively short but higher intensity sessions in the climbing gym, trying to pack larger volumes of movement into shorter periods. The classic version of this type of exercise is the 4x4, but my goals involve longer days on terrain up to 5.12, I don't think I need more power endurance than I have right now, just more endurance and the ability to absolutely blast pitches. What I really is another gear, another way to put out more watts faster in a shorter time period.
My experiences with both Crossfit and training "long-interval" style for the dZi Foundation 24-hour climb have led me toward trying to do bigger sets of fast intervals and then adding a "big gear" load on the end of each total interval. I really felt this gave me one hell of a base for the 24-hour climb, and that's sort of (no more 24-hour stuff though!) where my head is at. So 4x4s with heavy kettlebell swings as the fifth station to totally fry my system, or a long traverse with thrusters at the end to mess me up. One thing I've noticed with doing intervals is that the ability to handle that kind of "Now we're going to gasp for three minutes!!!" load responds much better to training than I used to think, and unlike many forms of training the response isn't sports specific. Putting out at an anaerobic level is a skill, whether it's racing up a pitch or doing thrusters. Anyhow, it's an idea, we'll see how it goes...
I'm also not happy with my definition of fitness from the last post. I think I missed a few things, namely that there is a sort of "base" fitness level where the participant is fully functional, meaning not grossly overweight, can move up stairs quickly without gasping, etc. My definition is more based around athletic expression, which is a narrower definition. I'll keep working on my definition, but it's not as good as it should be yet.
Time to go get after it!