Thursday, April 01, 2010

Adam Ondra on Training and Diet, a fun Crossfit Workout...

For those of you who don't know, Adam Ondra is among the very best sport climbers in the world. In terms of climbing the biggest collection of very hard routes fast he is arguably the best. In any case, he's damn good. Here are his thoughts on training for climbing and eating for the same, lifted from the web site. I often talk with people about how to become better rock climbers; some get it, but most don't want to believe the path forward for pure rock climbing technical performance is to train either in the climbing gym or on the rock by climbing. I train for a range of sports and my training reflects that range, but if you want to climb harder then climb rock, pretty much everything else is a waste of time. Or you can argue with Ondra's success... Do check out the whole interview if you're into hard rock climbing, it's an interesting look into a prodigy's mind.

10. Obviously, sending of the hardest routes in the world on natural rocks and victories in World Cups’s require hard training. How and where do you normally train? Do you have any special training programs or you train more by intuition? What is your typical training schedule and what do you pay the most of attention?

I train more or less just by climbing. How simple! I train on couple of small bouldering walls, where I train endurance and bouldering power as well. I rarely climb indoor with rope because there are not good walls enough in the city. The way I train depends on what I am training for. If I am preparing for bouldering, I do just lot of hard boulders. If I train endurance I do laps. I figure out usually 20move lap and try to climb 3 times. 60 moves are usually more than enough. Good trick how to become stronger is to use ONLY micro footholds for your feet. You work on your power and precise footwork at the same time. I do not train more than 3 days in a row.

11. Do you follow some certain nutrition diet or restrictions in your food?

I care about what I eat and try eat in some healthy way and to get enough proteins and vitamins, try to think what would be good dinner for fast recovery and so on, but I do not restrict myself in amount of food. When I am hungry, I eat. I have advantage that I can really a lot and I do not put on weight.

So, eat well, and train specifically for specific performance. Works for me; I'm in a "general" stage of my training, looking forward to tomorrow's Crossfit workout, Tabata this. If you've never done CF it's not a bad workout to start with if you drop the rounds to 16 or even eight instead of 32, or pay the price. If you've never done air squats before click this link. Main points: Weight on heels, everything lined up from your toes through your femurs, stick yer butt out, stand up fully. Go. You can even download an ap for your iphone for the Tabata intervals, and if you've never done squats remember that you do one every time you get on and off the toilet, nothing new.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Good writing, CF Sectionals, and the Gadd Not Diet

First off, I really like this piece of writing by Stephen Koch. It rings true and clear for not only climbing but many things in life. Stephen really helped me and all of us out during the Ouray Endless Ascent battle, this essay explains a few things, and urges me to do better not only in climbing but life. Nice one, and hope you're healing all the old injuries Stephen!

Second, my wife, Kim Csizmazia, and Sarah Hueniken (both train at Cult Fit, check it out)went to the Crossfit Sectionals in Edmonton over the weekend. Sarah has been training CF in the evening after guiding all day; I have no idea how she does it, the load would be too high for me to handle. Kim trains CF around chasing our kid, writing, etc., I also have no idea how she find the motivation. CF is motivational... Our neighbors think we're crazy, especially when the garage door is open and there are women screaming in the driveway with big weights at -20. Me, I think it's pretty damn cool. Anyhow, Kim finished 11th and Sarah 20th. These are good results for sure, but even better considering they have only been CFing for six months. Kim is now qualified for CF Nationals in a couple of months, the neighbors are gonna be scared now!

Third and last, I've got some opinions developing on "nutrition." I'll write more about this later, but I'm convinced the whole "diet" industry is composed of nothing but energy sucking vampires; the only thing worse than them are the victims who keep expecting something different out of the latest program.

Here are the "rules" for any diet that will actually work:

1. It has to be a way that you can eat for the rest of your life, starting today. Really, no BS on that--don't "get just a bit leaner" first, etc. etc. That will NOT work long-term. Why is it so hard for people, me included, to understand this? Seriously, it NEVER works--every failed diet on the planet shows this, long-term there are no exceptions. You have to eat today like you will forever or you're just playing games with your body and head.

2. Measuring, calorie counting, or any other form of food manipulation is doomed to fail. See above; it never works long term. And if it doesn't work long-term then why bother? I am an athlete for life, I want to eat as an athlete for life, and find a way to do that.

3. Any "diet" ultimately pushes the eater farther and farther away from the real goal of nutrition, which is to fuel the body appropriately and leave the eater feeling reasonably good (stable enough blood sugar levels, looking good enough nekked to be happy, etc). The only way to reach this goal is to learn how to listen to your body. I can see every zoner, Pritikinite, Grok, Blood Type and South Beacher's hackles rise; "It's not possible your body actually knows what to eat!!!!" Yes, it is, but most people have screwed with their eating so much they no longer have a clue what their bodies are saying. "Learning" how to eat by Zoning or whatever is just retarded because it only teaches you how to ignore what your body is asking for, and your body does ask, loud and clear if you listen. But if you're only eating three blocks of A when your body wants a steak then you'll ignore those signals...

4. So, what to eat? Well, CF's original nutrition (and that's different than a food-restricted diet like the Zone, or a food-restricted diet like the cave man stuff) prescription was pretty good: "Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat." Cool. Try that out. If you're hungry eat more. If you're not don't. Go eat a whole bowl of ice cream with extra sauce, but instead of feeling all guilty about it pay attention to what your head and body feel like when you want that ice cream, and then after eating it, and how your energy levels change. Write this down if you need to. Learn about insulin, the glycemic index of food and as much as you can so you can understand what's going on physically and mentally... Go hiking or climbing all day and bring beef jerky, a chicken breast, a can of tuna and no carbohydrates. Watch your vision dim and your motivation drop. Learn why complex and even simple carbs work when you're working hard. Read about nutrition, but ignore the diet hoaxers. Eat. Listen. Listen carefully. Never "cheat," because the idea is ridiculous to begin with--you're eating the way you want to eat, to feel the way you want to feel as a human. Listen to your body starting now. It takes time to learn to listen, but less time than all the diet nonsense wastes year after year.

So there it is, the Gadd not-diet. Send me a cheque for half of what you save on diet books, "Paleo," "Weight Watchers" or any other branded and packaged food that purports to be special. It's not, I look forward to retiring on my cheques. This would be funny if it weren't such a tremendous waste of money, time and energy for so many.