Welcome to our new series on Training for Climbing. In this series of blog posts we will aim to de-mystify the seemingly complicated world of training for climbing. Contrary to popular belief, "just going climbing lots" is not the most effective way to train for, and improve your climbing performance.
Of course, we have all read the complicated books and articles on training, and for the vast majority, that is where the process ends, as it never seems to be written in a way that is easy to understand.
By the end of this series, you will understand how to train, and how to write and follow your own training programme.
The first post of this series is about Training Principles. In order to understand how to train, it is important to grasp what works, and why it works.
Specificity: Your training needs to match the needs of the goal for which you are training. You will mostly gain physical adaptations in the systems that are stimulated by training. For example, there is little point in doing a lot of endurance training if your goal is a short, powerful bouldering problem.
Overload: You need to push your body's current capabilities in order to provide a catalyst for physical adaptation.
Essentially, you need to step out of your "comfort zone" and move beyond your routine. For example, if you can perform five pull ups, just doing this will not promote change. You need to increase the training stress by either increasing the number of pull ups, or the resistance.
Recovery: Recovery is an absolutely essential component of any training programme. It is whilst resting that the muscles repair and our energy supplies are topped up.
It is during this recovery period that our body will adapt to the stimulus provided by training.
Conversely, overtraining and under-recovery can lead to injury and a long time off climbing!
Reversibility: Physical adaptations achieved through training are reversible. Essentially, they can be lost if you stop training. As a general rule, the harder they are to get, the longer it takes for them to go. Regular training is required for progression.
Regularity: Training isn't much use it you only do it once or twice and expect dramatic results. Regular training sessions (at least twice a week) are required for progression.
Progression: As you adapt and improve, the overload should increase. This will ensure consistant and ongoing improvement.
Variation: Your training must be constantly varied. Your body will adapt to a new load relatively quickly, and therefore progression will halt. Changing up your training routine regularly "keeps your body guessing" and forces it to keep adapting to new training loads.
Individualisation: Everybody is different and will respond differently to training. Therefore, your training programme should be specific to you. Personalising a training programme can be challenging, and requires observation as to what is working and what is not.
Transfer: Transfer refers to transferring the new found skills and performance to the goal-focused arena. For example, if your project is somewhere very hot, it would make sense to conduct so,e of your training in hot temperatures, so as to prepare yourself to perform in this environment.
Any good progressive training programme should be put together with the above principles in mind. It is incredibly important to understand the underlying principles before embarking on a training phase, in order to ensure that the maximum progression can be achieved.
Next Post Soon!!
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