Changing leaves, cool temperatures and lower humidity–climbing won’t get much better in the northeast than this. It is literally the perfect time of year to be inside working on website info and programming! Also, my grandmother passed away last week which put a lot on our plate in terms of spending time with family, eating out (aaack!!!) and attending services. I have been struggling to maintain what I have gained and am hoping to get back on track soon! This installment of the training blog is about “quick and dirty” methods used to get in a climbing workout when other pressures of daily life begin to encroach on our time to train properly.
A foundational principal in fitness is (surprise, surprise) the FIT principal: increasing fitness comes from increasing Frequency, Intensity or Time of workouts. Sometimes more than one of these categories can be ratcheted up but sometimes you have to shift gears depending on your circumstances. For me, this has meant kicking up the intensity of the workouts since the time available has been limited.
As ALWAYS, please be aware that one of the easiest (and most foolish) mistakes to make is overdoing it out of short term enthusiasm or frustration at having gotten off track. An injury is a sure fire way to keep you sidelined and put you further off course. It is of vital importance that you know your limits and when increasing intensity in your own workouts, that you understand this is all relative!
Cardio workouts have been easy enough to come by, albeit of lower intensity than would be ideal. Hiking approximately 5 miles twice a week, with one or two 45 minute spinning workouts on other days. I am shooting for maintenance at this point–which is not ideal but it is significantly better than backsliding! I would like to increase the intensity of my cardio workouts to mimic the type of output necessary on long uphill approaches and mountaineering objectives. I have been able to sustain pretty intense spinning sessions but the actual hiking I have done of recently has been a little more casual.
Weight training has been pretty non-existent. I have been relegated to body-weight exercises at home which is tough because home workouts are much more difficult to stay mentally focused and engaged with. Maintenance has been the name of the game here!
Climbing workouts have actually been decent. I put up a hangboard and have been able to use it during downtime here at the LivingVertical basecamp!
A few words about hangboards–at the risk of sounding like your mother telling you that you’re certainly going to injure yourself…Start slow and read up on proper training techniques. Your hands are full of delicate connective tissue that cares not how bitchin’ you are! I found this resource that I would recommend HIGHLY–it is a thorough and well informed perspective on training for climbing…I read these articles for information and inspiration. Check them out and stay safe!
Also I have been using a wrist-roller (easy to make, simple to use and good for warm-ups) and ProHands “gripmasters” which work as well during Seinfeld re-runs as they do as part of an actual workout! Again, start slow and go easy-light tension and work your way up. There are other devices that fulfill these same roles, but these are the ones that I currently use.
These modified higher intensity climbing workouts have not been big “sugar-burners” so I would suggest going light on pre-workout snacking. Your mileage may vary!