Your Questions

Round 27

How to enhance training to break plateau?

Q: I haven’t improved since 2002, and I want to increase my training. I will begin adding HIT to my hard bouldering route. How often can I do this? – Tobbe (Sweden)

A: Hi Tobbe, HIT only addresses maximum strength, and what’s holding you back could be lack of power, poor technique, or other subtle factors. Keep an open mind! It’s hard for me to say without seeing you climb. If you are an advanced climber, you may be ready to add some Complex Training to the mix. Here’s a link to a recent Training Center article:

http://www.nicros.com/New%20Training%20Center/complex_training.shtml

As for schedule, if you are training/climbing hard, I advise you limit yourself to just 3 days per week (4 rest days!). Training Monday and Wednesday, and climbing Saturday is a good schedule (or something similar). Also, consider hiring a climbing coach to help guide your training and provide quality input. Good luck!

How can I best train my technique?

Q: How can I best train technique? — Luka (Slovenia)

A: Hello Luka, Developing climbing skills and effective technique takes a deliberate effort. Climbing 4 days per week (3 rest days is a must!) with a conscious effort to think about feet, and not just muscle up climbs, is key. Experiment on toprope with new moves and model advanced climber’s movements. Remember that climbing is a complex sport, so you will continue to learn and improve for many years to come. Here are three Training Center articles to read for further instruction:

Focus On Your Feet

Gym Training Drills Part 1

Gym Training Drills Part 2

How to return to training and climbing after an injury?

Q: Many thanks for providing a resource such as this! To many time have I searched the Internet only to come up empty handed. Now my question: I am wondering what is the best way to get back into climbing after a lengthy “vacation” due to a persistent tendon injury. – Dave (Vancouver, Canada)

A: Hi Dave, You didn’t mention whether your tendon injury was elbow or finger. If finger, it should be fully healed after your long “vacation” from climbing. The key now is to avoid injurious holds and wildly dynamic moves, which are the most likely to cause a recurrence. And, never climb more than 3 or 4 days per week. Work back into climbing gradually and increase the total stress on your fingers only slightly week over week.

If elbow tendonitis was your problem, then it will likely return if you don’t correct the underlying muscular imbalance: weak pronator or wrist extensor muscles. Check out the following Training Center links for must-do exercises.

http://www.nicros.com/New%20Training%20Center/medial_epicondylitis.shtml

http://www.nicros.com/New%20Training%20Center/elbow_training.shtml

Good luck, and let me know how it goes!

How to train while rehabbing an injury?

Q: I’m a 5.13d redpoint climber and I train on both a hangboard and systems wall at home. I have recently injured my right shoulder and strained a biceps. Any tips on training exercises to do, so that I can stay strong while rehabbing my shoulder? – Andy (Australia)

A: Hi Andy, Sorry to hear about your injury. I’m not a doctor, so I hesitate to give medical advice. Of course it’s wise to stop climbing and continue your rehab until painfree. I do not advise any climbing-specific training until the biceps and shoulder are better. Since you are such an advanced climber, your strength and ability on the rock will return quickly even after a layoff of a few months. So, don’t worry about this–just get healthy!

How can I develop more pull-ups strength?

Q: I’ve improved with my finger strength simply by climbing, however, I’m still very weak at pull-ups and lock-offs. In fact, I can’t even do a complete pull-up. How can I best train to improve my pull-up strength? Thanks heaps!! – Marc (Paris, France)

A: Hello Marc, The best training strategy for you is to place a chair below your fingerboard and step up onto it to achieve the top position (lock-off) of a pull-up. Now step off the chair and hold yourself there for as long as possible, then lower yourself slowly to the bottom of the pull-up. Immediately step back up on the chair to gain the top lock-off position again, and repeat. Do this five times in a row, if possible. Rest for five minutes and do a second set. This exercise will result in remarkable strength gains and in a few weeks you should be able to do a few pull-ups.

How to enhance training to break plateau?

Q: I haven’t improved since 2002, and I want to increase my training. I will begin adding HIT to my hard bouldering route. How often can I do this? – Tobbe (Sweden)

A: Hi Tobbe, HIT only addresses maximum strength, and what’s holding you back could be lack of power, poor technique, or other subtle factors. Keep an open mind! It’s hard for me to say without seeing you climb. If you are an advanced climber, you may be ready to add some Complex Training to the mix. Here’s a link to a recent Training Center article:

http://www.nicros.com/New%20Training%20Center/complex_training.shtml

As for schedule, if you are training/climbing hard, I advise you limit yourself to just 3 days per week (4 rest days!). Training Monday and Wednesday, and climbing Saturday is a good schedule (or something similar). Also, consider hiring a climbing coach to help guide your training and provide quality input. Good luck!

How can I best train my technique?

Q: How can I best train technique? — Luka (Slovenia)

A: Hello Luka, Developing climbing skills and effective technique takes a deliberate effort. Climbing 4 days per week (3 rest days is a must!) with a conscious effort to think about feet, and not just muscle up climbs, is key. Experiment on toprope with new moves and model advanced climber’s movements. Remember that climbing is a complex sport, so you will continue to learn and improve for many years to come. Here are three Training Center articles to read for further instruction:

Focus On Your Feet

Gym Training Drills Part 1

Gym Training Drills Part 2

How to return to training and climbing after an injury?

Q: Many thanks for providing a resource such as this! To many time have I searched the Internet only to come up empty handed. Now my question: I am wondering what is the best way to get back into climbing after a lengthy “vacation” due to a persistent tendon injury. – Dave (Vancouver, Canada)

A: Hi Dave, You didn’t mention whether your tendon injury was elbow or finger. If finger, it should be fully healed after your long “vacation” from climbing. The key now is to avoid injurious holds and wildly dynamic moves, which are the most likely to cause a recurrence. And, never climb more than 3 or 4 days per week. Work back into climbing gradually and increase the total stress on your fingers only slightly week over week.

If elbow tendonitis was your problem, then it will likely return if you don’t correct the underlying muscular imbalance: weak pronator or wrist extensor muscles. Check out the following Training Center links for must-do exercises.

http://www.nicros.com/New%20Training%20Center/medial_epicondylitis.shtml

http://www.nicros.com/New%20Training%20Center/elbow_training.shtml

Good luck, and let me know how it goes!

How to train while rehabbing an injury?

Q: I’m a 5.13d redpoint climber and I train on both a hangboard and systems wall at home. I have recently injured my right shoulder and strained a biceps. Any tips on training exercises to do, so that I can stay strong while rehabbing my shoulder? – Andy (Australia)

A: Hi Andy, Sorry to hear about your injury. I’m not a doctor, so I hesitate to give medical advice. Of course it’s wise to stop climbing and continue your rehab until painfree. I do not advise any climbing-specific training until the biceps and shoulder are better. Since you are such an advanced climber, your strength and ability on the rock will return quickly even after a layoff of a few months. So, don’t worry about this–just get healthy.

How can I develop more pull-ups strength?

Q: I’ve improved with my finger strength simply by climbing, however, I’m still very weak at pull-ups and lock-offs. In fact, I can’t even do a complete pull-up. How can I best train to improve my pull-up strength? Thanks heaps!! – Marc (Paris, France)

A: Hello Marc, The best training strategy for you is to place a chair below your fingerboard and step up onto it to achieve the top position (lock-off) of a pull-up. Now step off the chair and hold yourself there for as long as possible, then lower yourself slowly to the bottom of the pull-up. Immediately step back up on the chair to gain the top lock-off position again, and repeat. Do this five times in a row, if possible. Rest for five minutes and do a second set. This exercise will result in remarkable strength gains and in a few weeks you should be able to do a few pull-ups.