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

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