PHASE 1: Strength Training/Power
Because of my career as a full time firefighter I thought that incorporating some power and strength training into my long range climbing goal training was not a bad idea. So phase 1 was pretty straight forward and simple. The main goal was to get as strong as possible in 10-11 weeks while not worrying too much about my body weight or my outdoor rock climbing performance. With strength and power gains inevitably comes some muscle and size gains so my thoughts were to embrace these increases while allowing my body to adapt to climbing at a heavier weight. Projecting difficult rock climbs became obsolete because of the heavier weight load but I was more focused on high volume climbing sessions when I had time to climb outdoors.
Here is what the strength training split entailed each week:
- Weight training 4 times a week
- Campus Board session once a week
- Hangboard Repeaters once a week
- Outdoor climbing (high volume sessions) once a week
- Weighted Pullups once a week
- High calorie and protein diet (somewhere around 3,000-3,500 calories a day and 200 g protein)
Here is what was achieved during the strength training split:
(it is important to note that during this training split I could not perform squats or deadlifts due to a herniated L5/S1 disk in my lower back...more to come on this subject later and a recent surgery that I just had on Friday July 15, 2016)
- I gained roughly 13 lbs of muscle (167.2 lb. to 180.2 lb)
- Starting measurements: Bicep R= 14 3/4", L= 14 1/2"
- Forearm R= 12 1/8", L= 11 7/8"
- Belly Button = 32 1/2"
- Waist = 31 1/2"
- Finishing measurements: Bicep R= 15 1/2", L= 15 1/2"
- Forearm R= 12 1/2", L= 12 1/4"
- Belly Button = 33"
- Waist = 31 3/4"
- My crimp strength outdoors saw a noticeable decrease
- My outdoor climbing endurance actually increased
- I was still able to boulder indoors and outdoors at a reasonable level (difficulty-wise) despite the increase in overall bodyweight
- Overall, my strength and power never reached a plateau during the strength program
- All of my lifting exercises saw significant improvement
- Bench Press went from 205lb. max to 250lb. max
- Weighted Pullup went from 70lb. max to 100lb. max
- Reverse Grip Pullup went from 75lb. max to 110lb. max
- Barbell Military Press went from 110lb. max to 150lb. max
Before and After Photos