Sunday, March 15, 2015

Staying Focused as Spring Approaches

About a month ago I was given an infamous rock climbing training book by the Anderson brothers out of Colorado.  Their publication The Rock Climber's Training Manual:  a guide to continuous improvement has quickly gained notoriety from climbers all over the world; from beginners all the way up to some of the sports most elite competitors.  With that type of positive critique, I was confident that it would have something within its' pages to help me improve my personal climbing ability.

I am only halfway through the book but have already realized that my approach to rock climbing for the past decade or so has been completely flawed (if continuous improvement was the underlying goal).  I have always had the preference for climbing on actual rock and would routinely choose it over labor intensive indoor training sessions.  Heck, in the past ten years or so of rock climbing I had only trained on a hangboard and campus rungs a handful of times but some miracle was still able to tick off dozens of V8's outdoors, 20+ V9's, and a couple of V10's.  I always noticed that these more difficult sends were occurring during periods when I was consistently boulder 3-4 days a week outdoors.  However, a soon as my outdoor climbing volume decreased, so did my climbing ability at those more difficult levels.

Now, with the guidance and insight from the Anderson brothers, I have realized that to become a better climbing and to be improving continuously I need to train smarter, more efficiently and most importantly, I need to track and document my efforts.  This documentation will serve many purposes; it will help me gauge progress, it will help me with goal setting an it will also keep me motivated throughout multiple climbing seasons.  I am super excited to see what the future in Adirondack climbing holds for me.

Here are some of my personal training apparatus that I have been utilizing as part of my redefined training program.  Everything on my home climbing wall is adjustable and removable allowing for multiple uses and maximum versatility.

Media Update:

So yesterdays training session began with +/- 45 min. of ARC boulder traversing and light boulder problem repeats to get the muscles and blood pumping. 

After being properly warmed up but still relatively fresh, I moved on to the campus board to help improve my finger/contract strength.  I always superset campus rungs with hanging leg raises to make one complete rep.  One rep consists of a maximum set of campus ladders followed by 10 hanging leg raises.  For the leg raises I use the ab straps so I do not have to waste any upper body strength and can focus solely on my abdominal muscles.  I will do one set of five complete reps.

After the campus rungs and the hanging leg raises, I did three sets of pull-ups with my PVC pinch columns.  The campus rungs are so specific to the open hand grip that  wanted to get a compete burn in the forearm muscles by forcing them to squeeze the PVC columns during the pull-up evolution.

And as a finishing exercise, I did three sets of ladder climbs on my PVC Bachar ladder.  This device offer a great stretch of the back muscles while helping to improve overall lock off strength.  


  1. Awesome post! The last exercise seems redundant given the previous campusing. Have you noticed any benefit from the second set of campusing?

    Also, are you adding in any free weight training?

    Thanks Jut!

    1. Probably is a bit redundant, but with the Bachar Ladder I can focus more on lock off strength by lowering much slower than on the campus rungs.

      Free weights 4 times a week at the fire house...this volume will be reduced very soon because it has lead to an unnecessary amount of muscle mass gain.