Tuesday, June 26, 2012

This Workout Will Destroy You

In a good way! However, if it destroys you in a bad way or you get hurt in the process I assume no responsibility. Train smart and tailor this sample workout to your ability.

Target Areas: Finger strength/core/power endurance/cardiovascular fitness

Duration: 3.5-4.5 hours

What you'll need:
Pen and paper
Stopwatch (preferable wristwatch with timer built in)
Access to a campus board
Access to a hang board
A flat non-padded surface for core work (a yoga mat on hardwood works well)

The Workout:
Here's a sample breakdown from my workout yesterday. Individual stations/exercises will be explained in further detail below.

1. 30 min warm up
     -5 min rest
2. 100 points in 1 hour or less, V7 and harder (My time: 37:40)
     -5 min rest
3. 100 points in 1 hour or less, V7 and under (My time: 44:15)
     -5 min rest
4. Campus board, 15 minutes. 3 sets of 5 min with 1 min rest between.
     -2.5min rest
5. 10 min abs
     -2.5min rest
6. 25x4 rapid fire
     -2.5min rest
7. 10 min abs
     -2.5min rest
8. 25x4 rapid fire
     -2.5min rest
9. 10 min abs
10. 5 min stretching

As you can see there is very little resting, keeping a constantly elevated heart rate and muscle fatigue throughout the routine which helps train both power and power endurance.

Exercises Explained:

1. 30 min warm up - Try to stay on the wall for the entire 30 minutes. at around the 15 minute mark use gradually smaller holds until switching back to jugs for the last five minutes to avoid a flash pump.

2. 100 points in 1 hour or less, V7 and harder - This grade guideline can obviously change. As a rule of thumb set your bar 2-4 grades below the hardest climb you can finish in the gym. Keep track of your time as well. Did you finish early or not at all? This will help you maximize your output. For instance I finished the first hundred in under 40 minutes, so next time I will probably up my bar to V8.

3. 100 points in 1 hour or less, V7 and under - try to challenge yourself here. Only dip down to V1s and 2s if you are really struggling.

4. Campus board, 15 minutes. 3 sets of 5 min with 1 min rest between - This is all power training. No doubt you'll be fatigued at this point, but stick with it and remember to keep your muscles confused. Your goal is to recruit more fast twitch muscle fibers. In a typical 5 minute set I'll do everything from double campus, max bumps, one arm lock offs, and up-downs. Keep it fresh and remember to shake out and breath during your 1 minute rests.

5. 10 minute abs - This one is a little hard to explain and I may end up making a video in the future because this is without a doubt the best core workout I've developed. Especially if used in conjunction with front levers. It breaks down to 10 different types of sit ups that you execute consecutively for 50 seconds with 10 seconds of rest before you start the next sit up. It may not seems like much but it adds up quickly.

You can choose whatever sit ups in any order, but here's what I use.
1. Regular crunches
2. Right side obliques
3. Left side obliques
4. Rows
5. Bicycles
6. Leg lifts
7. Diamonds
8. Right side Boxers (full sit up with a twist)
9. Left side Boxers
10. Double Jack knife (leg lift with a full sit up/fingertips reach for toes)

6. 25x4 Rapid fire - I like to call these the ''Hundreds from Hell.'' Your goal is to complete 25 front levers, 25 push ups, 25 pull ups and 25 seconds hanging on bad edges as fast as you possibly can. Unless your climbing V13/14 you will probably fall at some point. The important thing is to challenge yourself. Hang off the worst possible edges you can hold, front lever off crimps, try fingertips pushups. If you don't fail then you're not getting stronger.

9. Stretch - Budget this time into your workout! I cant stress enough how important this is to your muscles after something like this.

Post Work Out Care: Drink a mixture with at least 20-25 grams of protein WITHIN 30 MINUTES of completing this workout. After intense muscled fatigue your body reacts by prioritizing the absorption of nutrients into your muscle tissue. This window lasts between 30-40 minutes so take advantage of it. Subsequently you should plan a full meal no later than 90 minutes after your workout. Drink plenty of water and prepare to be sore the next morning.

DO NOT engage in this workout more than once a week.

I hope this workout helps get you motivated this summer. As always I check my comments regularly so if you have a workout that you'd like to share or a question about anything above please don't hesitate to get in touch with me



  1. Haha, 25 front levers. I did supplemental abs training to my climbing routine for about 7 months once as part of a small goal to:

    a) complete a one arm pullup
    b) campus 1-5-9
    c) do a front lever (the abs were for this goal).

    I completed the one arm pullup goal no problem and could do about 5 or 6 in a row alternating arms.

    I managed to campus 1-5-9 on gullich-standard rungs which were spaced at 20cm apart. The school room in sheffied england sets another standard at 22cm apart. We built a second campus board to these school room standards but I didn't complete the new goal before my travels began. I was close!

    I also managed to complete the front lever, but it was the hardest of my goals to achieve. I only completed it once or twice perfectly flat / straight holding it for 10 seconds.

    I do not know why the front lever was so hard for me. Of course height has something to do with it but I also feel that my body does not build abdominal strength / mass as quickly as other people.

    Either way, a long story just to say I'm super envious of you being able to just crank out 25 front levers like piss.

  2. Those are burly goals! Good job completing them. I have to be clear that I don't hold them for 10 seconds each. At the beginning maybe 5 and then it all goes downhill from there. That sparks a curiosity though about training the perfect single lever. Thanks for the comment Dave! Always look forward to your updates.

    1. Also, it was almost impossible for me to just pull straight into the front lever. I'm pretty sure when I did do one or two perfectly that I did it from my knees up in a ball, then extending one leg, then the other out to meet it. I couldn't just bring both legs from straight down to straight out like other guys could so easily. So jealous.

      I'm sure you've heard of Yves Gravelle, fellow Ottawa climber. I've seen him do feats that I wish I never did :)

      I'm sure you've seen his training video, but you gotta watch it again: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4flpvzzgzy0&feature=plcp

      He does 1-6-10 legit on middle metolius rungs spaced at 20cm at 1:20 in: http://youtu.be/4flpvzzgzy0?t=1m20s

      Check out the crazy ab workout at 3:28. You got the body for that Max and I totally wouldn't be surprised to hear you can do that already.

    2. I love that video! Yves is a monster! Some inspiring training ideas as well.

  3. Well I don't know about the campusing bit. I usually do WPUs for my recruitment since the "campus board" at the Circuit is basically garbage.

    Regardless, second day on today, but this actually got me pretty psyched to climb in the gym. For the climbing part, anyway. We'll see how it goes!

    I assume you'll be in Hueco for most of next season? I'm making some arrangements for a.. "slightly" longer trip than last year. Pretty stoked! February was rad.

    Oh, and.. 1-5-9s are ridiculous, I've been able to do 1-5-8 for a couple years and can't even come close to that next rung.. I blame the readily available Portland junk food carts.

    1. Glad you're psyched and still crushing up there. Let me know how the workout goes. I've already been thinking of a couple ways to switch it up. I'll post them once I try it out.

      As for Hueco we're definitely headed down there, not sure when as of yet. I'll keep you posted!