Round 155

Hi Eric, I’m loving your short training video’s on Epic TV–great work! One aspect I find difficult though, is how to integrate these five important components into a feasible training scheme for the middle age (32) man with a full-time job? Even though I have the time to train five nights a week, I feel that I get insufficient rest in doing so to recover. How might I schedule all this into my week? –Martin

Hello Martin! Glad you like the videos! You question is common…and important, in terms of programming all you need to do into 5 sessions per week. Here’s a link to some training program templates I’ve created for readers of my books–you can look at these and get some good ideas how to integrate it all into a weekly program:

Dear Eric, First of all, thank you for sharing your knowledge over the Internet. Second, while reading your book and looking at your periodization schemes I’m wondering if it might be more efficient to train the alactic and lactic energy system into the same workout or all of the systems, for that matter?

Hi Guillem, Great questions. Please listen to the podcasts I’ve done with Kris Hampton and my training for climbing podcast posted on January 1st….and I get into some of these matters. The bottom line: you do NOT want to train the alactic and lactic systems intensively in the same session…as the cellular acidosis, lactate, and resultant signaling may interfere with what you’re trying to achieve with the alactic (strength/power) workout. Thus, it’s best to target these in separate workouts or training blocks. But if you really want to train them both on the same week, then do them on separate days….or as split workouts on the same day–separating these two very different workouts by 6 hours will reduce the “interference”. It’s a complex topic to unwind in a short email….so I hope you can learn more from my podcasts.

Hello Eric, Your new book is terrific! My partner and I are using it to improve our training for climbing. Thank you! I would ask you to consider your nutrition chapter however. There is now extensive research on the benefits of a low carbohydrate/high fat diet. Most of it is based on data for endurance and ultra-endurance athletes. There are some diabetic climbers vlogging the benefits for them in terms of their condition, but not much scientific data on climbing performance, etc. My partner and I are currently using Jason Sieb’s AltShift protocol, and quite honestly, we feel terrific.  I’m really excited to see how this diet affects my training, recovery, and performance over the next 6 – 12 months. Just wondering if you are coming across any information for or against the LCHF diet for bouldering, sport-climbing, etc. As well, what are your thoughts on this topic?

Thanks for the feedback and kind remarks on the book! Yes, I’m very aware of low carb high, fat diet…and the benefits of ketosis for some individuals. You are right–some endurance athletes find it works, if they stay with the program long term…their slow twitch fibers become very good at burning fat and performing at a high level in sustained efforts of moderate intensity activity. I think this diet approach could work for a mountaineer, but I’m skeptical of its utility for a rock climber desiring to climb at a very high level (unless the have a specific health condition). The glycolytic pathway is extremely important for producing the high rates of ATP production needed for sustained, pumpy climbing sequences lasting 15 seconds to 2 minutes. The aerobic pathway, while extremely important for climbing (and during recovery periods), just can’t generate enough ATP to produce the high power output needed when a person is pushing their limits in the steep.

Of course, we are all different…and I’m sure there are some individuals who can come to climb very well using a LCHF diet. I’m never one to say never! 🙂 But for the masses (which is who I must craft a training book for), I believe a more balanced diet with adequate carbs is important for high intensity training/climbing. Although, perhaps periods of ketogenic dieting–“nutritional periodization”, if you will–might be useful during the endurance phase of a training cycle? It’s something to experiment with. I welcome your thoughts and experiences as you experiment with the LCHF approach!

Eric,  Hi, I just recently purchased the 3rd edition of your book, which I really enjoyed. I have just a few simple questions that I was hoping you could help me with. I have never hangboarded in a systematic way before, so I wanted to start out with some minimum-edge hangs to build up finger strength. In your book you recommend 3 minutes of rest after 12 seconds of hanging, and I’ve been sticking to that. However, I’m finding that if I want to do 3 sets or more this takes up a lot of time!!! Is it possible to reduce the rest time to 1 or 2 minutes, or is it crucial to give my body/neurological system that much rest? If the 3 minutes is necessary, can I do core work / antagonist training during that time? Or, will I get better results by just resting?

Last question: in only my second day of hangboarding I have found that I can get through a set of minimum edge hangs using the smallest edges available at my gym (we don’t have a ton of equipment) although it takes some effort. Should I already progress to max weight hangs? I haven’t trained much in the past, but have been climbing for a while. If it helps: I’ve been climbing for ~7 years, and have sent V6 and 5.12+. –Nik

Hi Nik, Glad you like the book! First, I would not add weight yet–do body weight hangs for at least a few months before going this route. If you’re using the smallest holds already, then switch to the 7″/53″ protocal….in which you do THREE 7 sec hangs, each followed by a 53 sec rest. After these 3 hangs, take a 3 minute rest….and then do another set (or two). This should work well for you. And, yes, you can use your rest breaks to do core exercises….and even other antagonist training (as I do this). Effective and time efficient!