Chicks Training: More Tips for Bombproof Shoulders

Demo of Front Leaning Rest

Front Leaning Rest

Winter is nice because everything’s on ice, or, maybe all the ice gets you dreaming of warmer days, excited for splitter sandstone cracks.

Chicks offers so many fantastic programs: you can decide to head to Ouray for “The Jiffy” in February; or set your goals on rock climbing with an April launch in the desert; or, both!

Whatever your goals, shoulder stability is paramount.

I cannot stress the benefit of shoulder strength and stability enough. I’ve emphasized this in the past in Training Tip: Solid Shoulders.

For newcomers to Chicks Training Tips, it’s worth looking back through ALL my past posts to get a fuller picture of the progression of my training recommendations.

For those who’ve been doing their homework, I’ve included some great progressions.

At least once a week, preferably twice, do the following important shoulder-stabilization exercises.

Warm-up and Cool-down with Band:

(note: links to exercises at bottom of each section)

1X10

Attach band at knee height:

A) Y

B) 90/90

Attach band at shoulder height:

C) Rows

D) Flys

E) Pull Downs

For exercises A-E, squeeze shoulder blades together and down before moving arms. Maintain squeeze while reversing movements (harder than it seems). 

Training Tip: Solid Shoulders

Workout Exercises:

A)

Use light DBs and do movements sequentially (without rest) until all three have been completed:

3x

5x Front Raise

5x Lateral Raise

5x Reverse Fly

Again, squeeze shoulder blades together and down before moving arms for all three movements. Maintain squeeze while reversing movements (harder than it seems). 

Training Tip: Shoulder Stabilizers

B)

Do each of the following exercises once, or do one 3X with 30 seconds rest in between:

Ring Support – goal 30 secs

Handstand or Over Head Hold (25 – 45# pound plate) – goal 60 secs

FLR – Front Leaning Rest (Plank with hands on gymnastic rings, toes on floor or slightly elevated on a 12” box) 90-120 secs

Training Tips: Core Movements

Training Tips: Core Movements (part 2)

C)

If you can do the preceding exercises as suggested, try adding the following exercises. Choose two movements. Do 3/4 sets with 60 seconds rest in between. DO NOT try all of these at one time. It will be too much for the shoulders to tolerate.

Side Plank with Hip Raise and Lower: goal 30 secs

Superwoman: 8 – 10 reps, on knees, full range of motion

Arm Sweeps: 8 – 10 reps, on knees, full range of motion

Archers: 4-5 per side, on knees or toes, full range of motion

 

Example Workout:

Warm up (as suggested above)

2×8 shoulder openers

2 x 5 cuban press

3×5 wall squats

Training Tips for Chicks

Mobility

Training Tips: Correct your Imbalances

3x

5x front raise

5x lateral raise

5x reverse fly

(As described above)

6x

2x turkish get up (TGU) per side

Training Tip: The Key to Getting Stronger

5x

5x toes to bar

5x l-seat pull-up or pull-Up

Training Tips: Core Movements

10x archers

3x

30 second ring support+30 second rest

Training Tips: Core Movements

Cool Down (as suggested above)

As always, I highly encourage you to seek professional help to ensure you have the best form possible on all movements. You can watch my short videos, Google, and You-Tube most of this stuff, however, having someone watch you and give you feed back is invaluable.

If you need information for a specific climb or trip of any nature you can contact me at:

carolyn@rippleffectraining.com

970-773-3317

Carolyn Parker

Founder Ripple Effect Training

Gym Jones, Fully Certified Instructor

AMGA Certified Rock Guide

Coach for Uphill Athlete

Hangry?

Kitty's favourite GU flavours

Kitty’s favourite GU flavours

My most difficult ski tours have been approaches to winter alpine objectives—breaking trail for miles through deep snow toward majestic peaks that beckon with the satisfaction of a challenging route.

When I was younger, I commonly packed nothing but peanut butter sandwiches and chocolate chip cookies for these long days out in the mountains. As a result, my energy levels spiked and crashed according to my Chips Ahoy intake, each cookie giving me decreasing returns.

Over the years, I learned that in terms of success and safety, proper nutrition in the backcountry is just as important as proper gear.

I’ve lived the truth in renowned climbing trainer and author, Erik Horst’s statement that “Most climbers can realize a 10-20% improvement in performance, recovery, concentration, and energy through thoughtful diet.”

Most significantly, I know that when I’m tired and low on energy I’m more likely to make judgment errors, which I can’t afford, especially if I’m navigating in avalanche terrain. My brain needs calories to process the information it’s taking in.

I need to stay focused and calm. I can’t be hangry.

This is why I take planned fuel breaks.

One of the ways I plan my breaks is with nature’s cues. For example, when the sun sets and the temperature drops, I stop, pull on another layer, rip open a GU and start to sip some hydration mix.

I’ve been using GU instead of chocolate chip cookies for about 20 years now. Actually, truth alert, I still eat chocolate chip cookies but not nearly as many. And, I supplement the cookies with timely gel intake and hydration mix. This makes all the difference. My energy levels stay even. I stay focused. And, I feel way better the next day, ready to do it all again.
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Quick Weight Loss Program

The New Year typically comes with resolutions to hit the gym and start a diet. Resolutions are empty plans including goals of losing weight. I am here today to help. I am going to give you tips to shed ounces and maybe even pounds. My approach will help you shed weight quickly and easily. This weight loss will require no diet, no exercise, and no change in your lifestyle choices. What is the secret?

Follow these two easy steps
1. Look at your climbing harness. See all of the stuff you have hanging on there?
2. Remove all those items from the gear loops so that you are left with a naked harness.

This includes all carabiners, additional belay devices, knives, cord bundles, tape rolls, chalk bags, nut tools, belay cards, slings and personal anchor systems.

It’s that simple! I bet you will instantly feel lighter and freer to move around. I know for some people this blank harness can be terrifying. Illusions of safety are just that. I advise you to remember that extra items can clog the harness and make it messy when we are in the business. I ask if the emergency kit of knives and prussics are genuinely needed in the gym?

It is up to you to stay slim and trim. Start each climbing day with a naked harness. Then, build your tool belt with only what is needed for the climb. After climbing, strip the harness and store gear on a sling. The clean harness will help pack as a smaller bundle in our backpacks. Chalk bags should also be worn on a belt.
Here is Dawn before the weight loss program, and after. She looks much lighter and happier on the climb.
climbers weight loss
Good luck everyone.

Advanced Workout for Ski Training

Winter is officially here December 21st!  The pacific northwest and the Alps have been hogging all the snow and honestly, I’m a little jealous here in Colorado where it’s dry and sunny…although that hasn’t hurt my extended rock climbing season. But enough of that – the snow will fly, it always does, and when it does, the stoke will be high for making turns, powder shots, and back-country fun.  So let’s talk more ski training.

Chicks is running fabulous must do programs for all beginner to advanced backcountry skiers. Avalanche safety and rescue, AIARE avalanche courses, backcountry skills and travel, plus rad ski trip to La Grave France.

Now let’s get you ready from your next ski adventure!

Last year, I touched on some basics of ski training for the “first time” training in the gym for ski season athlete, a few months ago I discussed an eight week “uphill” program to get your legs ready for your first backcountry days, plus more strength programs.

So, what more can we do? Let’s turn up the volume just a bit for those serious go getters! Remember, just like the last training tip where I touched on more advanced training for ice climbers, this ski training work must be laid on a solid foundation. Hopefully you’ve been able to follow the programs from previous training tips. Now on to the good stuff.

Try adding a few more threshold workout to increase your cardio vascular output as well as some slightly tougher leg workouts, and there’s always core and upper body thrown in ladies. All mountain sports use the entire body.

Threshold:

IWT – Interval Weight Training
Power endurance

 

Advanced Ski Training WO #1

10 MINUTE WARM UP

2 × 8 shoulder openers
2 x 5 cuban press
work on mobility
3×5 wall squats
2 x 5 goblet squat
3 x 5 squat jumps

WORKOUT

10x KB Swing
2:00 minute row/ski or Airdyne. Go hard – set a goal from pace maintain pace for all three rounds.
2:00 minute rest – you should have gone hard enough that you want this entire rest.
Three Rounds
Rest

THEN

10x Front Squat or Front Rack Squat (with two Kbs which ever is most appropriate for athlete and level of upper body mobility)
2:00 minute row/ski or Airdyne + go hard – set a goal from pace maintain pace for all three rounds.
2:00 minute rest
Three rounds

THEN

30 sec ring support + 30 sec OH Hold (plate, double Kbs or Barbell)+ 30 sec mtn climber + 30 sec rest
x Four rounds
Cool Down

 

Advanced Ski Training WO #2
Power Endurance

10 MINUTE WARM UP

2 × 8 shoulder openers
2 x 5 cuban press
work on mobility
3×5 wall squats

WORKOUT

5x RMM (Renegade Man-Maker) +
2:00 min row/ski or airdyne go hard – keep track of pace, maintain pace for all three rounds
2:00 rest between rounds

3 rounds

THEN

10x Back Squat +
2:00 min row/ski or airdyne go hard – keep track of pace, maintain pace for all three rounds
2:00 rest

THEN

5x Push up + 10sec rest x 10 rounds
Cool Down

 

Advanced Ski Training WO#3
More advanced Power work:

10 MINUTE WARM UP

2×8 shoulder openers
2 x 5 cuban press
work on mobility
3×5 wall squats
3 x 6 goblet squats

WORKOUT

Box Jump Series
Jump on a 20/24” box, off forward, on a 20/24” box, off forward, over an 12 – 16” box or another object then on to a Bosu, and off to one side back on the Bosu off to the other side, back on. Step off Bosu forward, turn around repeat progression back to where you started. This is one round.

5  – 7 rounds

THEN

8x Accelerating back squat 45# bar + one set of chains, three secs hold and the bottom + 6x Burpee
x 5 rounds minimal rest

THEN

5 x 5 Chest Press with KB or DBs on the Bosu or Bench
Cool Down, mobility work and foam roller for legs.

Have so much fun with these workouts and all your ski adventures, stay safe out there my friends and stay tuned for more training tips!

If you need information for a specific climb or trip of any nature you can contact me via email or 970-773-3317

Full Body Ice Climbing Workout

Winter is on its way and so is ice climbing season!

Maybe you’re new to ice climbing and you’ve decided to head to Ouray for “The Complete” in January, or possibly more advanced skills in the backcountry are your calling and you are off to Cody or bigger adventures still, Iceland. No matter where you are headed a little extra preparation will make for a vastly better experience.

Normally, I wouldn’t jump into “specific training” for ice climbing or rock climbing unless I knew that the athlete in question already had a good foundation to launch from. All outcome-based training must be laid up a solid foundation.

So let’s check in, ask yourself a few questions:

1) Do I have a well developed cardiovascular system, good resting heart rate, rapid heart rate recovery from high output activities? A regular aerobic fitness program, 4 – 5 days a week 30 – 90+ minutes.
2) Have I addressed my postural and mobility issues? Do my joints have a good range of motion? Have I taken steps to correct my posture if necessary, through yoga or other stretching routines?
3) Do I have a well rounded, balanced strength base on which to begin more difficult training to avoid injury? This could come from rock climbing, body weight workouts, or gym strengthening classes.

If you can say yes to all of the above, let’s dive in! If not, you will benefit, not only in your climbing but in your health, life and injury prevention, if you manage these pieces of your fitness first.

Ice climbing is a unique sport. It requires strength overhead to swing an ice tool, solid core strength to stabilize the body while swinging and while moving upward on single points of contact, and good leg strength and endurance, especially calves, to hang out on your front points while placing gear or finding the perfect tool placement.

Overhead Strength

Overhead strength requires overhead mobility. Add some specific overhead mobility work into your routine. Here’s a suggestion: I call it the overhead reach.
Overhead Reach
Then:
Add Overhead Triceps Extensions, Pull Overs, and Pull-ups (can be assisted) on 1” dowels or your ice tools to orient hands and forearms into the necessary alignment for ice climbing movements. Five sets of five reps (5 x 5) on all the above movements, making them heavy and hard, after proper warm up.

See videos below:


Core Strength

We talk about core strength for climbers often and I’ve included many good exercises in the training tips along the way. Add in KTE (knees to elbows)(3-4 x 10), heavy Strict Press, although this is considered arm upper body strength movement it’s a test of your “core” strength to stabilize mass overhead (5 x 5), and GHD situps or Anchored Leg Lowers if no GHD.(3 – 4 x 10).
See videos below:




Leg Strength and Calf Endurance

Lastly, a little tune-up for the legs. In order to “learn” to effectively use the hips and legs to stand while climbing or what is affectionately known as “push the bush” and to really work the entire system with “external object control” add in KB Swings and Ball Slams. These are both “hip, glute, leg” driven movements but are oh so much more: grip strength, core strength, and so complex that they become a great challenge for the cardiovascular system. (3 – 5 x 10)

Then those calves, always stretch, daily…if you hike, run, bike, they are tight. Each season the first pitch of difficult ice climbing is always a wake-up call, standing on front points can be a calf burner. There’s not a lot one can do to prepare other than getting out there, however, a few sets of 4x 30 secs work/30 secs holding of calf raises on a step won’t hurt. You can increase the challenge by doing multiple sets of 4x 30/30. Or increase the workload to 6x 30/30 or 8×30/30 and so on.
See videos below:



Let’s throw a workout together

10:00 warm up row, bike, run
2 × 8 shoulder openers
2 x 5 Cuban press
work on mobility
3 × 5 wall squats
3 x 6 goblet squats
Then:
5x Overhead Triceps Extension
10x KTE
10x Ball Slams
5 rounds – rest as necessary.
Then:
5x Pull Up on dowels
10x KB Swing
5x Strict Press
x 5 rounds
Finish with 4x 30/30 calf raise and hold.
Cool Down

This can be broken into two different workouts if the volume of work is too much for the athlete, you can supplement in the other movements I didn’t mention in the workout that is referenced above. Make sure this is in addition to your regular fitness routine and replaces only one or two workouts a week.

And most importantly have fun with this and your ice climbing season!

If you need information for a specific climb or trip of any nature you can contact me via email or 970-773-3317

Carolyn Parker
Founder Ripple Effect Training
Gym Jones, Fully Certified Instructor
AMGA Certified Rock Guide

How to Build Strength For Those Ski Legs

Here in northern Colorado the leaves are changing and snow is beginning to blanket the high country. Winter will be upon us in no time, which means…Ski season is upon us! If you are new to the Chicks Training Tips take a few minutes to read the previous newsletters, there’s a lot of great information in there. This is training tip #25 which includes focusing on building strength in your ski legs! It’s incredibly beneficial for “the Chicks” to be introduced to new movements and concepts for training.

Maybe you’re stoked to get into backcountry skiing this season so you’ve registered for one of our many new Intro to Backcountry Skiing courses or Avalanche Rescue Courses with Chicks and the Silverton Avalanche School. Or perhaps you’re a more advanced skier it’s off to La Grave to ski the steeps of the French Alps.

Whatever the case may be, we need to build a good base of aerobic stamina and ski leg power into the mix for uphill travel, carving turns, dropping in for epic fluffy pillowy powder for days and 5,000 vertical days, so here we go! If backcountry is your game you’ll need uphill stamina and enough strength left for the downhill you earned.

Uphill is dramatically different that just going on a run around the neighborhood. If you live in an area where hills are available let’s log some vertical outside. If not, get on a step mill or find a tall building with a stairwell, run or speed hike up that stairwell. We’ve got 8 weeks to prep, then we’ll want to start fine tuning your skills on the slopes in December. Whoop!

Week 1- 4:
2 days a week set a goal of a minimum of 60min uphill effort, whether outside or inside, use that iPhone, Suunto GPS, or whatever the machine you’re using tells you is the vertical you are accomplishing. Numbers are fantastic motivators. For 4 weeks build a base and try to push yourself to accomplish a little more each week. For example, week one in 60min you manage 1000 vert feet gained understanding there is an up and a down element if outside. By week four maybe you’ve improved to 1250 vert.

 

Week 5 – 8:

Let’s push a little now that you have a base. Let’s try one slightly longer session a week 90 -120 minutes of sustained uphill for vertical gain. Maybe this is 2000 vertical feet maybe more. For our second day of the week we’re going to push our threshold a bit, warm up for 10 minutes then go hard for 10 minutes uphill, recover for 5 minutes, repeat this cycle three times and cool down.

Once the snow flies and you are skinning and skiing for days you’ll be so stoked that you took the time to prep your legs and lungs!

Now that we’ve started to fine tune your legs and lungs for the stamina for the uphill we need to build a reserve of strength and power for the down hill. Here are a few example works for gym training, all workouts can be accomplished in an hour, with a few minutes extra for cool down. All the movements in these workouts have been covered in past training tips aside from two movements with videos at the end.

Check out the training section of our YouTube Channel.

 

WO#1 for ski legs
Warm up 10:00 row, run, ski erg.
2 x 8 Shoulder openers
2 x 5 Cuban press
3 x 5 Wall squat
2 x 8 Goblet squat
2 x 5 Squat jumpThen:

Work up to 3RM Front Squat

Then:

3x FS + 8x Box Jump @ 18 – 24”

6 rounds reciting as necessary keep all movements quality. if no box available you can substitute jump with a heavy KB swing.

Then:

60 sec wall sit with a weight in your lap, medicine balls or slam ball work well followed by
30 secs split jumps and
20x Good morning or back extensions.

x 5 rounds

Then:

10x push up
10x leg lower
5 rounds
Cool Down

 

WO#2 for ski legs
Warm up 10:00 row, run, ski erg.
2 x 8 Shoulder openers
2 x 5 Cuban press
3 x 5 Wall squat
2 x 8 Goblet squat

2 x 5 Squat jump

Then:

Dynamic-Isometric Back Squat with 5-sec pause in each position, 4 stops (Hold at top, three stops to bottom, after last hold jump out of bottom of squat, complete six rounds of these efforts. Followed immediately by 8 burpees + rest 60 secs.
5 total rounds.
Use a reasonable weight on your back squat so you can actually jump and you can finish all six reps per round without reduced quality on hold and jump.
Then:
30 sec box jump
30 sec jump on and off a bosu ball on the floor, laterally round side up.
30 secs squat hold
30 secs rest

x 5

Finish with:

10x KTE
5x Pull Up
x 5
Cool Down

 

WO#3 for ski legs
Warm up 10:00 row, run, ski erg.
2 x 8 Shoulder openers
2 x 5 Cuban press
3 x 5 Wall squat
2 x 8 Goblet squat

2 x 5 Squat jump

Then:

10x Headcutter with KB
10x Back extension
10x Split jump
60 secs rest

5 rounds

Then:

1 – 10

Squat Ladder with partner. Begin reps from the bottom of the squat, each partner holds a squat while the other works.

Player one does one squat then holds at the bottom. Player two then does their first squat. Player One then performs two squats while player two is holding. Then player two does two squats while player one holds at the bottom of the squat. Players alternate reps and holds up to 10. Challenge yourself and try to go back down the ladder.

Finish with:
60 secs mtn climbers + 60 secs sit ups + 30 sec ring support or plank if no rings available.
5 rounds

Cool Down

There are videos of all movements in previous Chicks Newsletters on our YouTube Channel, and I’ve added videos of movements that are new in the above workouts:

Headcounters

Back Extensions

As always if you are unsure how to perform any of these movements get professional instruction.

If you need information on building your ski leg strength for a specific trip of any nature you can contact me via email.

Carolyn Parker

The key to getting stronger and avoiding injury

key to getting strongerWhat is the key to getting stronger and avoiding injury?

The answer may surprise you, but before we give up the secret, let’s do a quick check-in. rock climbing season is in full swing and if you’ve been following the newsletter training tips, training and climbing hard, it’s time to stop and assess things.

Recently I had a young strong athlete come in to the gym for a training session, I always check with my athletes before we start our session to make sure they aren’t working around pain or discomfort. I do this because athletes are notorious for just pushing through rather than listening. She sheepishly said that her shoulder was flared up again and was irritated like her old injury was coming back. She admitted tripling up on strength training, a finger board workout and rock climbing. She had just “sent” her first 5.12 and was pushing hard. I sent her home, told her to take a week off, get a massage and to begin to learn to “listen” to what her body was telling her so she could continue to improve. She did. And we are back on track pain free.
It’s fun getting stronger, progressing, and climbing well. However, our bodies will start to send us messages we like to ignore when it’s time to rest and recover. If you haven’t taken appropriate rest, gotten a massage, spent time on deeper recovery now is the time. Schedule some you time and attend to any ache or pain that’s been hanging around just under the surface.

Maintain Balance

Even if you’ve been following the programming I’ve given you over the course of weeks and months, you will still develop imbalances due to the nature of climbing. We pull so much in the world of climbing we can develop major strength imbalances, so these exercises work your pushing muscles. It’s time to add in oppositional movements to your training program. Each time you climb or on a recovery day,  add in the following pushing exercises to your  routine to help keep your body in balance.
    • 20 push ups toes or knees between routes at the gym.
    • Practice handstands at home against a wall is fine, work up to holding them for a minute. Rest some between and try a few rounds.
    • Do Assisted dips on the rings. 4 sets of 8 – 10.

    • My favorite movement of all time the Turkish Get Up, (TGU). It incorporates core strength, overhead strength and single leg strength.

Ready to step it up?
If you want to try handstand push ups, here’s a simple way to learn the movement and gain strength with an assist from a strap or against a wall

Lastly, remember the key to getting stronger and avoiding injury is intelligent training and adequate rest and recovery. You’ll see more progression and have more fun if you take the time to check in and create balance where needed.
Until the next newsletter.
All my best,
Carolyn 
Contact me for further training information and programming @
Carolyn Parker
970-773-3317
Carolyn Parker
Founder, Instructor, Athlete, Mountain Guide
970-773-3317 cell
Founder Ripple Effect Training

Lock Off Strength

I’d like to address a common issue women often face: Lock off strength. Typically, not always, women initially rely on solid technique and great foot work to climb and they climb well. But so often I hear “Carolyn, I need to be stronger.” “Steep climbing is so hard for me.” There are times where just going climbing can make us better and stronger but at some point we have to train weaknesses and that’s where lock off strength training will help you the most.

Why do you need to lock off strength in the first place?

A lock off is most commonly called for when you have to reach an arms length (or slightly longer) to the next possible hand hold. In this case you will need to perform a “lock off” to reach the next handhold. You’ll find this type of move most commonly on steep sport climbs, boulder problems and even crack climbs. Lock offs require a certain amount of strength from any given climber. Most lock off strength is generated from your shoulder and latisimus dorsi, so training these muscles is a good idea to prevent injury while performing a lock off.

What is a lock off?

A lock off is a static move, meaning there is no jumping or dynamic movement involved when you move to the next handhold. You start off by grabbing a handhold with one hand, and pull that hold down as far as necessary to reach the next hold with your free hand. Generally when this move is done, the hand you are holding on with is level with your shoulder as you reach for the next handhold.

How do you lock off?

1. No matter what level of climber you are, establish good footholds and make sure you are balanced over your feet as best as possible.
2. Pick two good starting holds and identify the target hold you will reach to. Typically this target hold will be a full arm length away.
3. Grab onto your two starting holds and stand up on your feet until your arm is in a bent position with your hand level with your shoulder.
4. Reach with your free hand and grab the target hold identified in step two, keeping eye contact with the target hold.
Now that you have an understanding of why, what and how you lock off, it’s time to do some practice drills. Here’s a fun way to break through the lock off strength barrier.

The Three Second Lock Off Strength Drill: aka The Hover

You can do this inside at the climbing or outside at the crag, top rope or bouldering is usually the most effective. Find a route or boulder problem that you can do that is comfortable for you and slightly overhanging. Instead of climbing the route as you normally would here’s your challenge: For every hand movement on the climb, as you reach to the next hold, you have stop with your hand just hovering over the hold you want to grab next then count to three before you grab it. And I mean a real one thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand three, three second count. Repeat this for every hand movement up the entire climb or boulder problem.

This will require you to lock off with the arm/hand holding on as well as focus on foot placement and complex core strength. The route that used to be reasonable for you just got hard. Possibly really hard. Try this drill at least once a week when you climb after a warm up. Use it as what it is, training, its a drill designed specifically to train lock off strength applicable to climbing. 

 

We can train lock offs in the gym (e.g. pull ups, bent over row, type-writers), but as I’ve mentioned in past training tips, lock off strength tends to be fairly linear. It will help, however having a tool to transition that strength to the complex multi-planar sport of rock climbing will be the icing on the cake!

 

One to two times a week for 4 – 6 weeks, try this on multiple routes or boulder problems each session, and not always the same route. 
2 – 3 routes/4- 6 boulder problems per session. 
Try this and let me know how it goes. If you want to put this technique to practice on the rock in one of Chicks’ programs, consider Maple Canyon, Rifle and Red Rock. They all offer great single pitch sport and crack climbs that you can apply your new lock off strength upon.
Until next time!
Carolyn Parker,

The Importance of Rest and Recovery

Rest and Recovery is the secret to improving your climbing performance:
Training Tip #22

rest and recovery
I hope you’ve all been having a blast training hard and pulling down. Now it’s time to talk about rest and recovery. We all want to climb harder, run faster, feel stronger and better at everything we do athletically. The number one mistake most athletes make is doing too much of a “good” thing. By that I mean… the idea that more is better right? Not exactly.
Having adequate rest and recovery is the most important piece to improved performance and often overlooked. If one of my athletes is tired, under performing or gets injured (aside from an actually impact trauma) it’s usually because she is “under” recovered, not over trained.
Even though we love our sports and training for them we need to keep in mind that even the things we love athletically are also stressors and take from our bodies. To stay healthy and balanced take an honest look at your life and try and correct imbalances in your recovery plan where you can. Here are some guidelines.
Recovery:
  • One full rest day a week.
  • 8 – 10 hours of sleep a night depending on how hard you are training.
  • Balanced training week and long term rest schedule (I will elaborate).
  • Honor outside stressors, take more rest and get more sleep if you have elevated life stress; in a relationship or at work for example. 
  • Hydrate properly.
  • Eat quality foods and plenty of food, balanced with healthy fats, proteins and carbohydrates.
  • Practice Yoga or other balancing muscle elongating or stretching modalities weekly.
  • Massage and/or Chiropractic, Acupuncture or other body work 1- 2 x a month minimum, weekly would be ideal.
  • If you are not following these guidelines some where along the way we will have breakdown in the athlete. Injury, illness, decreased performance, and/or burn out.
How to further balance your training program with rest and recovery:
We’ve discussed this in prior training tips on a weekly format and a monthly format.
Need a reminder on how to get started? Or perhaps you’ve moved on to the next step of strength training
WEEKLY: Your week can look like this or something similar that fits into your life and work schedule.
  • Monday – Yoga or active recovery
  • Tuesday – Strength session gym and power climbing
  • Wednesday  – Strength session gym and Strength Endurance for climbing
  • Thursday PE session gym/Cardio vascular output
  • Friday – Rest and recovery day
  • Saturday – Climb
  • Sunday Climb or Rest if overly tired, listen to your body this is a lot of volume. Climb  2 – 4 days a week to the best of your ability.
MONTHLY:
  • Week 1 – 3 hard weeks push yourself
  • Week 4 – easy week- take three rest days and just have fun, don’t train with any structure or you’ll burn out or worse break.
  • Week 5 – 7 hard weeks push yourself again.
  • Week 8 easy week – take three rest days and just have fun, don’t train with any structure or you’ll burn out or worse break.
BIG PICTURE:
If you have been following these tips through out, have built your training program and are following these guidelines, eventually you need to take a more extended break. Often many of us are forced out of a sport due to the change of seasons however now we have so many indoor facilities, I’ll use climbing as an example, we can continue training through the winter.
If you have been training in a focused manner for 8 weeks or longer you have been making gains and are psyched and don’t want to stop. However you should. By stop I mean take a break, take that training time to do deeper recovery. 1- 2 weeks based on age and length of training cycle.
In your 20s:
12 week intensive training cycles are usually fine, following this cycle of Week 1 – 3 hard weeks push yourself Week 4 – easy week- take three rest days and just have fun, don’t train with any structure or you’ll burn out or worse break.
Then take a one to two week break, off from climbing.
Then start up again ((: 
In your 30s:
10 week intensive training cycles are usually fine, following this cycle of Week 1 – 3 hard weeks push yourself Week 4 – easy week- take three rest days and just have fun, don’t train with any structure or you’ll burn out or worse break.
Then take a one to two week break, off from climbing.
Then start up again ((: 
In your 40s:
8 week intensive training cycles are usually fine, following this cycle of Week 1 – 3 hard weeks push yourself Week 4 – easy week- take three rest days and just have fun, don’t train with any structure or you’ll burn out or worse break.
Then take a one to two week break, off from climbing.
Then start up again ((: 
In you 50 – 70s:
6 week intensive training cycles are usually fine, following this cycle of Week 1 – 3 hard weeks push yourself Week 4 – easy week- take three rest days and just have fun, don’t train with any structure or you’ll burn out or worse break.
Then take a one to two week break, off from climbing.
Then start up again ((: 
80 and older: you rock keep doing what you’re doing! (((:
Summary:
Now you’ve established a weekly, monthly and long term training schedule. I always recommend for people to write this down and make a plan. Random disorganized training will lead to decreased potential and frustration in most athletes. Remember, set a goal, make a plan, write it down, execute! And most of all have fun.
Until the next newsletter…
carolyn Parker knows how to rest and recover during trainingCarolyn Parker
970-773-3317

Sport Climbing Strength Training

sport climbing strength trainingChicks Training Tip #21
Advance Rock Climbing Training Part II: Sport Climbing Strength Training
It’s here already gals the next newsletter and training tip. Hopefully you were able to practice most if not all of the movements I recommended in Part I of Advanced Rock Climbing Training featured in last months newsletter.
Now we need to discuss how to implement them into a structured sport climbing strength training cycle. 
Step 1. Pick a 6-8 week Training Window
Look at your calendar and make a commitment to yourself and your training and pick a 6 – 8 week window to train consistently.
Step 2. Pick exercises to train your weaknesses
The week before that start date choose 8 – 10 movements from the list below that you can do and you want to get better/stronger at (some may be too difficult still). Pick movements that are challenging for you, do not just train your strengths, train your weaknesses. Make sure to select two to three pushing movements, as well as pulling, one to two core movements, and a leg movement or two. The TGU (Turkish Get Up) counts as all three. After you’ve selected the movements you’d like to train we can build workouts based those movements. Here’s the full list to choose from:
  • Single arm body row 
  • HSPU 
  • Floor Wiper
  • Anchored Med ball raise lower between rounds
  • Bent Over Row with lock off in three positions
  • Archer
  • Static holds
  • DB PP or KB HEAVY
  • SLSLDL
  • KB Swing
  • Superman
  • Weighted sit up
  • Toes to bar 
  • TGU – Turkish Get Up 
  • Hanging Windshield Wiper
  • Single arm offset pull up with lock off use band for assistance if necessary 
  • KB Chest Press on Bosu 
  • AB Wheel 
  • Weighted pull up
  • L-seat pull up
Step 3. Establish a Baseline
The week before you begin structured training, and on two separate days, warm up and test all movements selected to see how many reps you can do or how much weight you can move, for 1 – 5 repetitions. If you can do up to 10 reps on any movement its too easy and we need to make it more difficult. Write your numbers and weights down and use these as a reference for difficulty when you do your workouts, try to increase weights and or reps each week or every couple of weeks depending on how you feel.
Step 4. Put together your workout
I’ve selected a group of movements from the list above and created a few WOs (workouts) based on these movements as an example:
  • Single arm body row
  • Single Arm Pull up
  • Weighted Pull Up
  • KB Bosu Chest Press
  • HS holds  or HSPU
  • Archers and Supermans toes
  • Anchored leg lowers
  • Hanging Windshield Wiper or Floor Wiper
  • SLSLDL
The following workouts are templates and examples to guide you in the process of setting up your own workouts during your strength for climbing training cycle. Depending time available you’ll want to add one to two strength workouts a week and keep track of those workouts, weights used, and reps completed:
Example Work Out #1 
10:00 warm up light aerobic work
2 x 8 shoulder opener
2 x 5 cuban press
3 x 5 wall squat
and any mobility work you need to work on.
Then:
3x Single arm body row 
3x KB Bosu Chest Press
10x – Floor Wiper, 5 complete cycles
x 5 Rounds
Rest as necessary
Then:
HSPU Ladder  (5 – 1) x 2
rest as necessary
** The first number is sets, the second number is reps
Example Work Out #2
10:00 warm up light aerobic work
2 x 8 shoulder opener
2 x 5 cuban press
3 x 5 wall squat
Any mobility work you need to work on
Then:
2x Single arm offset pull up per arm
8 – 10x Anchored leg lower add weight if appropriate, hold med ball between feet.
x 6 rounds – rest as necessary
Then:
5x Bent Over Row with lock off in three positions
10x Archers (5 per arm)
10x Hanging Windshield Wiper (5 per side) legs straight keep hips high
x 5 rounds
** The first number is sets, the second number is reps
Example Work Out #3
10:00 warm up light aerobic work
2 x 8 shoulder opener
2 x 5 cuban press
3 x 5 wall squat
Any mobility work you need to work on.
Then:
3x weighted pull up
3 x 5 Supermans
5 x 5 HSPU
Then:
2 SLSLDL per leg with Heavy KB or Barbell
x6
5 Dip or Ring Dip
x6
** The first number is sets, the second number is reps
You’ll notice the set and rep structure calls for more sets of fewer reps. This is because we want to focus on building sport climbing strength. Once the athlete understands the lift, the movement, the skill to be performed and the athlete is properly warmed up; you will want to focus on a total rep count for that movement of (12 – 25 reps) this can be done in sets and reps as such: 5 x 5, 5 x 3, 8 x 3, 6 x 2.
The goal is to find a body weight movement, and external object movement or lift that requires a high muscle output from the athlete where finishing this low number of reps causes near failure (but not failure) on the last rep or two. Failure is that of strength NOT form, do not let your form go! This is the basis for the set and rep structure above, the first number is sets, second reps.
Your training Week may look like the following:
  • Monday – full rest and recovery day, light movement, easy aerobic and stretching or mobility work.
  • Tuesday – climbing and strength day: Focus is bouldering and a strength workout.
  • Wednesday – recovery, light aerobic work and/or yoga
  • Thursday – climbing and strength day: Focus is route climbing and strength workout
  • Friday – full rest and recovery day, light movement, easy aerobic and stretching or mobility work.
  • Sat and Sun – outdoor fun climbing days!!
On training days try to increase reps or weight as mentioned before each week or every few weeks depending how you feel, keep track of these numbers. This invaluable information to track your performance and provide motivation for continued hard work and focused training.
As always, I highly encourage you to seek professional help to make sure you have the best form possible on all movements and you understand the formula to put together a well structured training plan.
Please feel free to contact me with training needs at:
Carolyn Parker