Tuesday, February 02, 2010

One Louder

Power training is a delicate balance between rational and irrational. Yesterday’s harebrained scheme pushed it too far but, hopefully, not so far as to interfere with my program. As Nigel wrote on my Facebook last night, “it’s such a fine line between stupid and clever.”

I mentioned the dangers of power training the other day. Whenever I’m at my limit I’m always trying to gauge whether or not it’s too much and attempting to back off before I hit the inevitable “one move too many”. Until Sunday, each successive workout was building on the prior workout fairly substantially. But my program isn’t for one sport. It’s a hybrid with the aim of concurrently building different energy system fitness for different sports at the same time. Friday I’d done a hard 2.5 hours of running on the trails. Saturday Romney and I did an easy six. Easy, but still six hours on uneven snow with probably 4,000’ of elevation gain. Sunday I was a little tired.

In all training for climbing I used to have a rule that if I warmed up and didn’t feel right I bagged the workout. (I still have it, though I haven’t seriously trained for climbing in ages so used to seemed more appropriate). So after 30 minutes or so of easy climbing I stopped.

Yesterday I completed my warm-up. I wasn’t feeling strong but proceeded anyway because I felt fine, just not strong. I’ve been upped the resistance I use on the simulation I’ve set of my project each workout. Day one it was everything I could do to just do the moves, and then complete the three individual sections. Subsequent workouts added weight (using a vest) until I could hike each move first today. Today the plan was to add ankle weights.

Then I got a bright idea (these inevitably go wrong). Instead of using my small ankle weights on my ankles I opted for the larger ones and put the small weights on my wrist. I did a few easy moves on big holds and then cranked up Big Bottom and went for my project.

And wrong it went. I tweaked a finger. Not bad, but definitely a tweak. Feeling that it might be minor enough to finish the workout as long as I stopped climbing I rested and then began my hangboard session. It lasted two sets or so before I became certain it was at least some kind of injury and was off to ice. This morning it feels good. Almost 100%, but still, almost. Time will tell. Certainly shutting the workout down was the right choice .Whether I stopped early enough remains to be seen. If I did I’ve dodged a shit sandwich.

The crazy thing, really, is that can’t stop thinking about whether I can do the moves weighted down as I was. I think that I can, in fact, if my joints remain intact. And that is the crazy drug of power training. Our bodies only go to 10. We’re always trying to push them to 11.

video:ben's i-phone captures an attempt on the delicate slab climb, 'lick my love pump.'


Micah said...

There's this feeling i get right before I injure myself. Almost everytime. It's equal parts invincible, casual, and anxious. It always directly follows some rational thought like "I don't feel like I should right now". And as soon as I break I'm almost not even surprised. It's like "oh yeah, I remember this"

bob banks said...

I think I speak for all of us who have known you long....this posting is entirely not surprising.
Pushing the volume to 11 is the stuff for younger folks.

~Derek Smalls

Steve Edwards said...

My Back From The Dead tour's not dead yet. Someone's got to carry the torch for the elderly. I've got the patron Saint of Hubbins looking over me. I've never been more certain of anything in my life.


Ted said...

Steve, quit trying for 11 and start thinking about 12. I love to read stuff about you, Hans, Phil... and feel major triumph when we can score one for the old guys (or die tryin'). I got sucked into a hockey league over my head and was getting used as a doormat. Now I am 4 weeks into P90X feeling good (maybe even a little powerful) and have delusions about making these kids (some of who are half my age) show some respect for their elders.

Hassan90X said...

Similar thing happened to my middle finger. During the 1 finger dead hang on the hangboard. But I kinda ignored it and today I found it was healed (sunday session). I should be more careful. Thanks for the article. What do you think of the weighed vests? I know for me it could be extreme...
Also read somewhere that you shouldnt hangboard until you can climb V5 routes for bouldering. I would probably do around V3 maybe 4. Is this true?

Steve Edwards said...

I was just talking with Hans about our plans for this coming year. We're planning some kind of big day (or two) this summer.

Steve Edwards said...


I would say that hangboarding isn't necessary at your stage. However, if you can't climb it's a good way to get strong. Just be careful with it and don't do more than two sessions per week for a while. I also don't recommend hangboarding and climbing. I climb to "warm-up" for my sessions but it's calculated. Hangboarding is pretty focused and you don't want to be in a weakened state when you begin. I'm doing weighted moves as part of my training but only a couple of moves at a time, and not much volume in total at all. The board is the focus of my workouts right now. This will change as the weather improves.

Hassan90X said...

Usually its only 1-2 sessions per week. 20-30 minutes per session. Its still cold here so I cant climb and hangboarding and campus boarding (4 sessions a month) are the only option. Of course they aren't as fun as climbing but they give you a good substitute.
I wanted to know how the weighed vest distributes the weight? Maybe use it in one of the chest routines. It takes long to max out since you can't do more than 45 reps in a minute. And usually it takes longer to max out on each move.
Your routine sounds fun and painful. Nice climbing wall by the way.

Steve Edwards said...

Vests distribute weight very evenly. Distal weights not so much!

Hassan90X said...

Sounds good. I might invest in one. Not for hangboarding though.