Monday, 13 September 2010

Power Endurance

Climbers must produce powerful movements and repeat them several times with little or no rest. In order to maintain the same amount of power with each effort, a certain level of power endurance is required.

Power endurance is typically characterized by intense, repeated efforts for a relatively short period of time.

Once maximal strength has been developed (earlier on in the strength program) it can be converted into explosive power through various methods of power training (bouldering, campusing etc). Power endurance training can be used to train the fast twitch fibres to resist fatgiue allowing explosive power to be maintained for longer.

Power endurance training uses moderate loading of 50-70% of max for 15 to 30 moves. Because this can lead to a significant build up of lactic acid, rest periods between sets are long (7-10 minutes). Exercises are also completed in a circuit training format i.e. one set of one exercise is completed, then one set of the next exercise and so on (The Vertical Sequence): Alternating exercises allows maximum recovery and sufficient time for lactic acid to disperse.

This is a critical rule to follow. If rest intervals are too short and sets are completed while the climber is fatigued the result will be hypertrophy (increase muscle mass) rather than power endurance. Sets should not be completed to failure but should end when repetitions are no longer powerful and rhythmic.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Programs For Building Maximum Strength

In order to develop maximal strength for climbing, heavy loads must be exercised, greater than 85% one repetition maximum. This permits only a small number of repetitions, between 1 and 5, per set. Maximal effort is required on each activity and as such this type of training is very taxing.

Long rest intervals to allow recovery are required between sets and only a small number of exercises should make up the sessions .

To further aid recovery and allow maximal effort to be performed a vertical session design is preferable to a horizontal session design. In other words, one set of each exercise should be performed in sequence and repeated rather than completing all the sets for one exercise before moving on to the next.

Bodybuilders tend to isolate a muscle group and work it to exhaustion. climbers on the other hand should train movements rather than muscles.

Unlike bodybuilding, where the only aim is to increase the size and appearance of muscles, strength training programs for sport ultimately must develop either explosive power or muscular endurance. However, rather than immediately embarking on a program to improve either or both of these components, a more effective approach is to first build a solid foundation...

Basic Strength
Basic strength training programs adapt the body for more strenuous resistance training later on. It's objective is to prepare the body by targeting all of the major muscle groups, tendons, ligaments and joints helping to prevent injury.

The less experienced a climber is, the more time they will need to spend developing foundational strength before progressing onto more advanced forms of resistance training. But even experienced climbers should set aside some time during the year to complete a phase of basic strength training. It can help to redress some of the muscle imbalances that inherently occur within intense climbing activity.

Strength Phase for 2 Peaks

Referrals from clients:

"...This training season I decided to get all the help I can to speed up my improvement. I needed guidance to work towards my goals in long term. I also needed more vision and opinions about my exercises and weak links. I am glad I can share my training with Mark..." (Ville Mustonen, Finland)

" I met Mark in Glen Nevis on his return to climbing to check out some lines he had in mind for me, I wasn't really training at this point but after a day or two talking and training with him I had a much more structured idea of what to do to improve and I did" (Kev Shields)