Saturday, 21 December 2013

Ben Moon's Evolution...

Ben Moon
Ben Moon...
"Those of you who follow my Twitter/Facebook feed might be wondering how the Evolution story ended.  Unfortunately there was no happy ending but the story isn’t over yet and all being well, a new chapter will begin again in the spring.
I’ve not climbed now for about 3 weeks but up until that point all my climbing days over the previous 6 weeks were spent on Evolution. That’s about 2 days a week with no training days in between. It’s amazing how quickly you can rack up the days when fully committed and Evolution in terms of days invested is now probably number 2 on my all time list behind a certain route at Kilnsey. Hopefully the outcome will be different this time around!
After getting bogged down on Evolution’s second crux for several days but still doing big links I finally got the breakthrough I had hoped for and during 1 session red-pointed all the way through to the last move 3 times. Unfortunately the last hold was seeping and I got spat of while setting up for the last big move. Although frustrating I was really very happy because I was sure I could do the route, maybe even this autumn. Unfortunately, as is often the case in sport-climbing this wasn’t to be and 2 days later I popped my left knee on the crucial heel and toe lock on the lower crux. It made a sickening sound as the ligaments tore and my body suddenly felt very vulnerable. I knew immediately that was it for the year.
It’s so strange being back into redpointing after so many years away. It’s so much more high pressure than bouldering, basically because you invest so much more time and energy, both mental and physical. I guess that’s why I gave it up in the first place. The flip side of this is that the rewards are huge if you do succeed. One of the most inspiring bits of news this year was Paul Reeves eventual success on Cry Freedom after many days effort over many years at the age of 51. When I bumped into him at Ravens Tor several months after his successful red-point and asked him how it felt to finally clip the belay he told me he was still basking in the glow of his success. That feeling is a big part of what’s driving me on.
I know it’s not for everyone this single-minded focus but I do love to be working towards a goal in my life and I am sure Paul Reeve feels the same. Since getting back into sport climbing I have really enjoyed the mental and physical challenge of working and redpointing a hard route.  It’s a rollercoaster of a ride but you’ve just got to roll with the punches, embrace the failures, hang in there and hopefully you will get the outcome you desire. I don’t say that flippantly because I know how hard it is to do that. Another major factor driving me on is my age and not knowing how many more years of pulling on small crimps my body can take. Hopefully many more but I am not taking anything for granted.
I hope you all had a good 2013 and I wish you good health and happiness for 2014."
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Friday, 20 December 2013


Detraining with mi amiga during elbow rehab in 2012 in Spain
 It has been nice returning to the campus board after nearly a year off any intensive training since the Pyrenees and I was intrigued as to how long it would take to shift the sessions towards a level of intensity that felt close to previous levels. Completing campus session 4 already feels like it may only need a couple more sessions to get to last years level. It's weird how the body remembers, even after a longish break. The key now, is not to get too greedy on the board and mix it up with route climbing to allow enough recovery as the campus board is deep man! Profundo hombre!

Some interesting research below for those that have been on a break...

With complete cessation of exercise training, a significant reduction in V ˙O2max and a decrease in plasma volume occur within 2 weeks; all prior functional gains are dissipated within 2 to 8 months, even if routine low- to moderate-intensity physical activity has taken the place of training (Shephard 1994). 

Muscular strength and power are reduced at a much slower rate than V˙O2max, particularly during the first few months after an athlete discontinues resistance training (Fleck and Kraemer 1987). 
In fact, no decrement in either strength or power may occur for the first 4 to 6 weeks after training ends (Neufer et al.1987). 

After 12 months, almost half of the strength gained might still be retained if the athlete remains moderately active (Wilmore and Costill 1994).

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

A campus strategy for power...

Campus rungs
I have began again, campus board for power and blob campusing to improve grip strength. The blobs seem to increase contact finger strength from what I can feel... like power pinching I suppose.

Blobs and rungs from Spain
None of this is worth a jot unless you go and do it, or get yourself conditioned to begin it. So It got me thinking that I should do a campus training strategy for those that have just looked but never dared!

I dare you!

contact  if you would like a programme...

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)