• Coming Back From Injury
  • Get Trip-Fit Fast
  • Systems Wall and Symmetrical Training
  • Coaching Climbing - How To Train Juniors with Care and Caution
  • Grip Trainers - Gimmicks, or Worth the Money?
  • Hangboarding for Endurance: Not Just for Power
  • Simulation Training: How to Do a Move You Can't Do
  • Planning a Year's Climbing
  • Portable Training Rigs - How to Stay Fit on the Go
  • How to Keep Your Job and Family and Still Climb at Your Limit
  • Suspension Training for Rock Climbing
  • Eat Fat, Climb Harder - The Ketogenic Diet
  • Witness the Mental Fitness: Set Thought Aside to Improve Performance
  • Mental Training Made Simple
  • Counterintuitive Climbing Tips to Change Your Game - Part 2
  • Endurance Training Tips for Winter
  • Five Counterintuitive Climbing Tips to Change Your Game - Part 1
  • Staying Power - How to Last All Day at the Crag
  • Attack and Defend - Tips for Effective Resting
  • Change Up - Plug the Gaps In Your Strength Training This Winter
  • Training While Injured
  • The Hard Way, Easier: How to Cope with Redpoint Nerves
  • Climbing Literacy - Get Better Instantly by Reading Routes
  • The Numbers Game - How to Use Your Age to Your Advantage
  • Injury-Free Bouldering: 15 Tips to Keep You Healthy and Strong
  • Injury-Free Boarding: 14 Training Tips to Save Your Fingers
  • The Truth About Caffeine and Climbing
  • Pushing Past Your Training Plateau
  • Five Strategies to Sharpen Concentration and Climb Better
  • Five Ways to Get Better Without Training
  • Beat the Burnout: Only Ondra Should Train Like Ondra
  • Effective Gym Training Strategies (for Route Climbing)
  • Should You Add Weight or Use Smaller Holds on a Hangboard?
  • Map Out a Plan with the Radar System
  • Managing the Fear of Falling
  • Projecting 101 – 6 Tips For Sending
  • Slowing the Pump Clock - Three Strategies to Prevent the Pump
  • Training on the Go
  • How to Train for Compression
  • Nutrition: Eating Your Way to Better Climbing
  • How to Dyno
  • General Conditioning for Climbers
  • Transitioning from Gym to Crag
  • Staying Strong to Perform Your Best All Season
  • How to Lose Weight for Climbing
  • Building a Better Climber: Final Phase - Peaking
  • Building a Better Climber: Phase 7 - Power Endurance Training
  • Building a Better Climber: Phase 6 - Endurance II
  • Building a Better Climber: Phase 5 - Strength and Power II
  • The Training Effect - Steve House and Scott Johnston
  • Training for Climbing: Injured? Train Your Core!
  • Building a Better Climber: Phase 4 - Power Endurance
  • Building a Better Climber: Phase 3 - Strength Training
  • Building a Better Climber: Phase 2 - Low-Intensity Endurance
  • Building a Better Climber: Phase 1 - Conditioning Phase
  • Gain Confidence by Learning Not to Fear Falling
  • Get Better When You Are Scared and Pumped
  • Never Get Pumped Again
  • Gutbusters - Core Exercises for Rock Climbing
  • Rest ... or Else
  • The Intuitive Approach to Training
  • Free Climbing Tips: Why Get Stronger When You Can Get Better?
  • Crank Like a Russian - How to Power Train for Climbing
  • How to Mentally Train
  • Boost Power With Eccentric Training
  • Tips for Better Onsighting
  • Should You Lose Weight or Get Stronger?
  • Is Protein Important?
  • Getting Strong After a Layoff
  • Does Running or Biking Improve Your Climbing?
  • Training While Hungry
  • How To Use Microcycles
  • How to Improve Slab Technique
  • How to Unlock a Crux
  • How to Use a Hangboard
  • Using a Weight Belt For Training
  • Training During Pregnancy
  • Maximizing a Small Home Wall
  • How to Stay Psyched
  • How to Prevent Bonking
  • Best Ratio of Resting to Bouldering
  • The Importance of Finger Strength
  • Regaining Confidence After a Fall
  • Overcome Anxiety and Send!
  • Maximum Training in Minimum Time
  • Dynamic vs. Static Stretching
  • Do Forearm Trainers Work?
  • Ultimate Strength
  • The Secrets of Warming Up
  • Periodized Training For the Year-round Approach
  • Resting the Perfect Amount
  • How To Recover On Route
  • Does Creatine Work?
  • Recovery Supplement Truths
  • Euro Training Secrets
  • Can Old Guys Get Stronger?
  • Training With an Injury
  • How to Beat Fear
  • How Often Should You Rest?
  • Warming Up Without Warm-Ups
  • How to Develop Sloper Strength
  • Beating the Lactic Acid Pump
  • Video Spotlight
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    Building a Better Climber: Phase 7 - Power Endurance Training


    The Building a Better Climber training-plan has been running for the previous six issues and has included the following phases:

    Phase 1: Conditioning
    Phase 2: Low-Intensity Endurance
    Phase 3: Strength Training
    Phase 4: Power Endurance
    Phase 5: Strength/Power
    Phase 6: Endurance II


    Phase 7: Power Endurance Training 
    Lauren Lee McCormick working her power endurance on <em>Return to Sender</em> (5.12a), Rifle, Colorado. Photo by Chris Noble.

    Six weeks

    If you’ve stuck with the series so far, you ought to be feeling pretty fit by now, especially after the low-intensity endurance phase outlined last issue. If you’ve only just joined in, simply start with two weeks of low-intensity training, and then continue with the power-endurance training given below.

    As always, try to climb outside as much as possible and for best results, tie your crag sessions in with the program. For example, for power endurance do boulder intervals, hard onsights or redpoints, and for strength, simply boulder or work a hard project. If you go away on a major climbing trip (for longer than five days), you should take at least three full rest days before and after the trip before resuming training. 



    Power-endurance conditioning will give you the fitness required for sustained climbing sequences of between 15 and 40 moves, typically encountered on sport routes. This is the main focus of the phase, although it includes a small amount of bouldering to keep your strength topped up. After finishing the previous phase (No. 214), take four full rest days and then commence. At the end of the phase, take another four rest days and see the next issue for the final phase in the series. Those of you who have limited access to a climbing gym should simply swap the bouldering sessions with a home hangboard session.

    Weekly Microcycles

    Select the appropriate weekly plan for your level. If you are required to train on two consecutive days, then go bouldering or use a hangboard on day one and do power endurance on day two. It’s up to you how to fit the sessions into your weekly schedule.

     Number of sessions per week

      Intermediate  Advanced / Elite 
    1. Power Endurance 2 3
    2. Bouldering  1 1
    3. Conditioning & Flexibility  1 1
    4. Antagonists & Core  2 1


    Session-Plan Details

    Power Endurance

    Four different structure options are given, two for the lead wall and two for the bouldering wall. Do not attempt more than one per session and the best approach is to alternate between them.

    [ Routes ]

    OPTION 1: Redpointing / Warm up then work the moves on a redpoint project that you would hope to complete in two or three visits to the gym. Rest 20 minutes, then have a go where you attempt to do the route in two or three sections. Rest 20 minutes again and then have two more redpoint attempts. Next session, repeat the process and try to send the route. Allow yourself one more session on the route before moving on to a different project, one that affords a slightly different climbing style (for example, if the first project was crimpy, then move onto something on rounded holds, or a steeper angle). 

    OPTION 2: Doubles - 6x2s / Warm up then select two different routes of the same grade that you can climb consecutively. See guidelines for optimum wall angle. For intermediates, the grade should be approximately one below your current maximum onsight level (and two or three below for elites). Lower off, pull the rope and move to the next route as quickly as possible. Do this six times with rests equal to climbing time. Aim to complete the first four sets and fail on the fifth or sixth. It is better to use a selection of different routes than sticking to one or two, and to try climbing them in different combinations or a different order for variety. Make the training slightly harder each session, first by making the first route a grade harder, and then by making the second route harder. 


    [ Bouldering Wall ]

    OPTION 1: Boulder intervals - 7x3s / Select three different boulder problems of approximately the same grade that you can climb consecutively. See guidelines for optimum wall angle. The grade for intermediates will be approximately one below the level you can flash at your limit (two or three below for elites). Move from problem to problem as quickly as possible. Take an eight-minute rest and attempt this seven times. Aim to complete the first five sets and to fail on the sixth or seventh set. If you start training and realize that the problems are too hard or too easy, adjust the grades accordingly. Make the sessions slightly harder by gradually adding more difficult problems.

    OPTION 2: Circuits - 6 x 40 moves / To warm up, work out the moves of a sustained 40-move circuit on the bouldering wall. This circuit should include upward, downward and diagonal climbing as well as traversing. Always finish by climbing up for the last few moves. One option is to link together some of the set, color-coded boulder problems, but down-climbs will need to be easier than ups. Avoid hard single cruxes or good rest positions. Go for six repeats with 10 minutes rest. If you fail on the fifth or sixth, then you've judged perfectly. If you start training and realize that the circuit is too hard or too easy, tweak it. You can train on the same circuit the next session, but after that, scrap it and set a new and slightly harder one.


    Strength & Power Sessions

    Use boulder and hangboard sessions similar to those in the strength-training phases. To summarize: For bouldering, advanced/elite level climbers should work hard projects, and beginner/intermediates should go for problems that they can do within three or four tries. Projects should be overhanging but don't forget slabs and vertical problems during the warmup. Vary the holds and style of projects and emphasize your weaknesses.


    [ Hangboard Session ]

    Rest two to three minutes between all exercises. Calibrate exercises using a weight belt or selecting a smaller hold, or switching from two arms to one arm.

    1. DEADHANGS One or both arms, subject to ability. Do single hangs and aim to reach the failure point before 10 seconds. (Intermediates) do three sets per grip and (Advanced/Elites) do four sets. 1. Half crimp. 2. Hang/open-hand. 3. Full crimp (two sets only).

    2. CAMPUS LADDERS (Advanced/Elites only) Use medium/first-joint campus rungs with a half-crimp grip. Warm-up/ submaximal set (one rung spacing below your limit). Maximal sets x4 (farthest possible rung spacing).

    3. FINGERTIP PULL-UPS (Intermediates) OR campus offset pull-ups (Elites) with a half-crimp grip on a campus rung or a first-joint, flat finger hold. All sets to failure, using a pyramid structure.

    > Set 1:  Approx 6 to 8 reps

    > Set 2: Approx 3 to 4 reps

    > Set 3: Approx 1 to 2 reps

    > Repeat in reverse.

    4. 90-DEGREE LOCK-OFFS (on bar or hangboard jugs). Two arms (Intermediates). One arm (Elites). Do four sets, aiming to reach failure before eight seconds.

    5. PULL-UPS (on bar or jugs). Four sets of approximately 6 to 8 reps to failure. Two arms (Intermediates). One are with assistance (Elites).


    Conditioning & Flexibility

    See Conditioning Phase for more information.

    1) Run (20 to 30 minutes)–include three or four intervals. 2) Conditioning circuit (10 minutes)–Burpees or rope skipping, e.g.; one minute on/one minute off x5. 3) Flexibility (15 minutes)–holds stretches for 20 seconds, twice each.


    Antagonists & Core

    See Conditioning Phase for more information.

    Do three sets of 20 reps of the following exercise, with two minutes rest between sets. Only go to failure on last set. 1) Push-ups (kneeling if required). 2) Reverse wrist curls. 3) Finger extensions (with rubber band).

    1) Extreme Plank–10 reps x3 sets with two-minute rest. 2) Iron cross–10 reps x3 sets with two-minute rest. Do an extra rep each session. 3) Leg paddles–50 reps x3 with two-minute rest. Do an extra five reps each session


    Go to Building a Better Climber: Final Phase - Peaking
    Revisit Building a Better Climber: Phase 6 - Endurance II


    This article was published in Rock and Ice issue 215

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