Podcast: Structuring Off-season & In-season Training for Peak Performance

Climbing is one of the most complex sports on this third rock from the sun, and training for climbing is an extraordinarily complex activity in its own right. While beginners should mainly climb as their training, progressing from the intermediate rank to advanced and elite ability demands an increasingly focused, demanding, and nuanced climbing-specific exercise program. In this podcast I’ll provide an overview of how to best structure your off-season (for many of us, winter season) and in-season (when you most often climb outside for performance) training program. While off-season training should be designed and scheduled to produce significant gains in strength, power, and endurance….your in-season training should be programmed and scheduled in a way to maintain current levels of strength/power/endurance while fostering recovery between weekends (or days) of outdoor climbing…so that you can climb your best when you venture outdoors!

If outdoor climbing performance is really important to you, then it’s essential that you arrive at the boulders or crag 100% fresh and ready to give your project your best possible effort. Obviously, we’re all differentmore different than we are similarso there’s no single “best approach” or “best schedule” for training. Your challenge is to suss out the best program for YOU (and not copy what others are doing), and to actively modify your program and workout schedule to account for fatigue, injury, time availability, shifting goals, and changing strengths & weaknesses. This one-hour podcast will hit you with a lot of important information and ideas on scheduling and executing your off-season and in-season workouts to produce the largest gains, while also helping you to arrive at the crag physically fresh and ready to crush on your performance climbing days!

Podcast rundown:

2:30 – Introduction to structuring annual training program,

4:00 – Philosophy of off-season vs. in-season training,

9:00 – Overview of off-season (for most of us, winter season) training goals and strategy,

14:00 – Benefits of a largely polarized approach to off-season training,

17:00 – Targeting specific energy systems — when best to engage in ultra-pumpy anaerobic lactic energy system training,

20:00 – Addressing injuries in the off-season; Training around bouldering competitions in the winter season,

21:20 – Winter training tips for beginning climbers wanting to improve most quickly…and develop long-term climbing mastery,

23:50 – Intro to scheduling of in-season training,

26:00 – The importance of impulse control and self-awareness to effective in-season training,

34:20 – The best training program for you is….

36:20 – Long-term improvement–how many years can you expect to improve at rock climbing?

40:50 – In-season tips to get your mid-week training “right”…so that you arrive at your project fresh on the weekend….and can climb your best,

42:40 – Importance of targeting each energy system at least once per week during your on-season,

46:30 – General structure of mid-week training for weekend “roped climbing” (sport or trad routes),

52:40 – Structure of mid-week training for weekend bouldering outings,

57:00 – The importance of quality sleep and nutrition in training results and performance outcomes for advanced & elite climbers,

1:00:00 – Wrap up and closing comments

Music: Misty Murphy

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