Your Questions

Round 30

How to reconcile contradictory information on the web?

Q: Hi Eric, I’ve read a lot of contradictory information on training on the web. For example, is it good to train to failure or is this a training mistake? Your clarifying thoughts would be very much appreciated. – Mark (Paris)

A: Hi Marc, You will always find contradictory information if you simply compare articles found on the Internet. There’s a lot of junk out there, but also some good stuff if you can find and identify it. The key is locate (and apply) articles written for your discipline, which is climbing (and even there you will find conflicting information…so be discerning). As for training to failure, it depends on what exactly you are training. In training for max strength and power, you do indeed need to train with high loads that produce rapid failure. In training anaerobic endurance and stamina, however, it’s best to avoid complete muscular failure and train the muscle to sustain function despite growing fatigue…so your goal is to evade failure. You can learn more on these training strategies on other Training Center articles.

What exactly is the 4-3-2-1 program?

Q: Can you explain the principal of your 4-3-2-1 training program? – Joe (Houston, TX)

A: 4-3-2-1 is a periodization scheme. 4 weeks of climbing for volume (stamina and technique training), 3 weeks of maximum strength/power (hard bouldering and hypergravity training), and 2 weeks of Anaerobic endurance (long boulder problems, sport route redpoints, and interval training with 1 to 4 minute climbing burns). The last, but equally important, phase is a week of rest. Hope this helps out. You can learn more on this in my book Training For Climbing.

How to install a campus board in a small home gym?

Q: I’m interesting of buying the campus rungs and building a training board. How can I install those rungs if I only have an 8-foot high wall? – Jean (Quebec)

A: Hello, Yes, you can build an effective campus board given an eight-foot ceiling. The key is to have a 4-foot high campus board that extends to the ceiling AND it must overhang at 10 – 15 degrees (no more, or less). Below the board will be space for leg swing as you campus up the board. The 5 rungs will be spaced about 8 inches apart. You can see a few photos and exercises on these TC pages:

How to schedule weekday workouts for weekend climbing?

Q: If I climb on the weekends can I fit two campus/bouldering sessions in during the week? What is enough rest between the two? – Johann (South Africa)

A: Great question, Johann. For most people, the popular Tuesday and Thursday schedule will leave them less than 100% for the weekend, unless the Thursday workout is kept relative easy. I prefer to train Tuesday and Wednesday. This way, you could work max strength and power (Campus and HIT) on Tuesday, then train anaerobic endurance climbing (intervals) on Wednesday. This gives you 72 hours rest before you send on the weekend

How to install a hangboard in an apartment?

Q: I am interested in implementing a hangboard/pumprocks workout once or twice a week, however I live in an apartment and I’m unsure how to go about hanging them. How do people usually mount these things in this type of situation? –Tim (Mass)

A: Hi Tim, This is a common problem for people living in an apartment. Your best bet may be to carefully mount a hangboard above a doorway. Screw it into the wall studs with a piece of thick cardboard between the back of the hangboard and the drywall. This will protect the dry wall and you’ll only have a few small holes in the dry wall to patch when you move. And, since the “damage” will be above the door, they may never notice what you’ve done.