Well….I’m slacking, I know I was supposed to write a little training blog post. But the reality of it is that I don’t think I want to, at least not right now. Here is why…
I AM WREKED! I can’t figure out how to balance routesetting full-time as well as training to climb at my limit. What I will say is that I think I have learned that those two subjects tend to clash with each other, at least at the point I’m currently at. As I’ve said before; I’ve been trying to figure out how to make my body better cope with the demands of my life. As I find progress, it seems to come after points of total regression. I’ll reach a point where everything seems to be falling apart, every fiber of my body aches and I don’t want to move. At about this time resting usually comes into my thoughts, so I oblige and typically I come back and day-flash or quickly send most climbs that had been giving me issues.Like most eager athletes trying to progress I always fall into a cycle of utter destruction. I know that once I reach this point there’s no point in continuing to push it, I’ve been here before it always leads to injury and frustration. Lately I’ve been trying to listen more to my body.
The work I do can by no means be a suitable substitute for a rest day. A day of routesetting can be exhausting, constantly moving around running up and down ladders or jugging up fixed lines hauling buckets full of plastic holds (that let’s be real, most hold companies do not have a well designed hollowback to offset a majority of the weight while keeping the holds integrity) , continuously lifting things above your head, and then forerunning climbs when you’re usually not fully warmed up. A culmination of all of the above, over the course of a given work week can lead to sore and possibly slightly tweaked extremities. Not a rest day at all, pretty damn taxing actually.
Trying to follow all that up with a dedicated training plan leaves me destroyed and wanting to die before work the next day. Your body doesn’t get stronger by constant stress, it needs rest to grow stronger after being hit that hard. The act of over stressing your body followed by rest is called super compensation (to keep it simple). If you keeping moving forward with over stressing your body without rest, it will almost certainly lead to injury. Which is why following someone’s dedicated training plan will almost definitely not work for you. Everyone’s needs to progress in their pursuits are different. You need to evaluate yourself and from that point be true to yourself about where you are lacking and how far you can take it before it become too much.
Going from setting 4 days a week every other week, to setting 4 or sometimes 5 days a week every week is something my body just isn’t used to. I’ve been doing it for almost 3 months now, and it’s starting to feel better. I’m not getting anywhere near as wreaked as I was before and my climbing has been improving. For right now my training is my routesetting. I’ve been able to become much more consistent in my sub-maximal grade ranges, the volume of climbing I’m able to put in has gone up. As eager as I am to keep pushing it as hard past routesetting, at this current point it’s just not realistic.
Over the holiday I did something that I mentioned earlier in the post, I rested. I rested so hard it was driving me crazy. Up until that point I don’t think I had had a rest period longer than 1 or 2 days in over 6-7 months. Having 8 days of no climbing or anything physical really helped my body recover. Leading up to it my shoulder hurt worse than it ever had, my fingers were all aching as if they could break at a moments notice. After that rest period all my little nagging ailments were either gone or had been significantly reduced. What followed was probably one of the best stints of climbing I’ve had. We went to red rocks and I was able to take down climbs I had planned on projecting, I ALMOST PUT DOWN PROGRESSIVE GUY IN DAY!!! (I went stupid and punted off the top move) While we were in Phoenix I had planned on going up to the superstitions to try a project I’ve had siting there for over a year now. But the more I thought about it, rest was the smarter choice. And in the long run it definitely was.
Resting is an important part of progression, often overlooked as a “waste of time” it’s really the only way you will progress if you are actually pushing yourself. I read an article that described the “equation to progression” in terms that really made sense to me. By increasing your work rate at the expense of your rest and recovery, you’ll never end up in the positive end of progression.
Progression is a process that takes time and can’t be rushed for any sort of lasting gain. Right now I have been scaling the training after work back and little bit to supplement it with exercises and stretches to aid in recovery and add balance and function to my otherwise “lopsided ” body.
So I will be posting what I will be doing for all of this in the coming weeks but a full scaled “training regimen” will be waiting until I decide the time is right. For now it’s time to recovery from a cold…