Round 55

Q: Hey Eric, What do you consider the best multivitamin out there? There is some debate between natural and synthetic. –Kyle (New York)

A: Hi Kyle, Multi-vitamins are all pretty much the same, despite what the labels and advertisements say. Really! I buy the cheapest multi-vit I can find at CVS (usually around $12 for 180 tabs) and I take one each morning, along with several other supplements.

Q: Having just started a full-time job (and now climbing less), I’m wondering how I can best use the company gym to maintain my current standard of climbing? Outdoor climbing and indoor walls are some distance away. –Alley (U.K.)

A: Hi Ally, As you know, climbing hard is a very specific and subtle thing, so general training at the company gym is less beneficial than climbing as a workout. But you have to do the best you can, so I suggest you train a few days per week at work by doing aerobic training for about 30 minutes, followed by several pull-muscle exercises, some general core exercises, and push-muscle training. Doing 5 to 10 sets of pull-ups each workout will keep your big muscles in climbing shape; the problem is the forearms, which really require gripping rock to train most effectively. Perhaps you could buy a fingerboard and have them hang it in the company gym? That way you could do fingertip pull-ups on a 3/4-inch edge, and get somewhat of a grip workout. Try to get to the climbing gym once per week, twice if at all possible. Good luck!

Q: Hi Eric, I’ve just started doing some climbing interval training and I wonder if you could give me any pointers or suggest a specific workout? Thanks, and keep up the great work! –Dominic (Canada)

A: Dom, Here’s a great interval-training scheme I use as part of my larger training cycle. Do these intervals on a bouldering wall area with different angle walls so that you can climb around on the walls for a few minutes before pumping out. You need to use an egg timer or have a partner with a stop watch (who alternates climbing intervals with you). Here’s what to do.

Climb 1 min, Rest 1 min, Climb 2 min, Rest 2 min, Climb 3 min, Rest 3 minute, Climb 4 min, Rest 4 minute, Climb 5 min, Rest 5 min, Climb 4 min, Rest 4 min, Climb 3 min, Rest 3 min, Climb 2 min, Rest 2 min, Climb 1 min, Rest 1 minute.

This is a wicked Anaerobic-Endurance workout, but the key to surviving it is being able to move onto easier terrain when needed to prevent failure before the time is up on each interval. I try to make-up circuits around my wall that alternates hard bouldering sequences with easier sections and a few brief shake outs (and chalking). This way each timed interval is kind of like a route with hard and easy parts. It may take a few workouts to get a feel for how to best execute the intervals; however if you do this workout twice a week for 3 months, you will undoubtedly be climbing harder on long, sustained boulder problems and routes!