Tuesday, June 22, 2010
WFH: Shoulders & Arms
Hell hath no fury like a climber who can’t go outside on the longest day of the year. So instead of climbing the largest limestone wall in North America I’ve been hitting the WFH like a man possessed. I’ll go through each workout I do day by day. The first workout in the series is for shoulders and arms.
Each training block consists of a three day rotation, done twice per week with a day off after the second round, done for three weeks. The goal is to improve significantly each week. There is no recovery or transition week between each block because they are each so different it’s not necessary. Other than the workouts listed I hike daily and am doing a little (careful) climbing.
By far the hardest block is the first. It’s difficult for most people used to traditional weight training that generally consists of doing 15 repetitions or less. 30 reps shifts the energy systems stressed from phosphate to gycolytic. This transition is difficult and painful, like the difference between running the 100 and the 400. Doing 30 reps forces you to breathe in order to recharge your Kreb’s Cycle using oxygen. Theoretically you could do less than 15 reps holding your breath (though you would not want to). This is why Largo says “the difference between 20 and 30 reps is the difference between 5.8 and 5.12.”
Day 1: This is my hardest day. It's very climbing specific and takes a lot of focus, which is why it has top billing on the schedule.
You can get away with a lesser warm-up during this block than the others because the top end stresses are very low. However, I begin each arm day with a fingerboard workout that is climbing specific, so I warm-up thoroughly.
The workout I’m doing for the first three weeks is described in detail here. It will transition during each block.
I take a short break after this part of the workout, maybe 5 minutes.
3 sets of 30 reps for 4 different exercises. Whereas Largo’s version of the WFH stresses doing simple isolation movements I’m doing more climbing specific movements when applicable.
I rest of approximately one minute between each set.
Front delt pull-downs – This is very climbing specific. I use an exercise band and do a front straight armed pull-down from full extension up all the way down to my waist. Feel this in your front deltoid area. Keep your core very rigid.
Standing dumbbell military press, elbows in
I won’t describe traditional exercises. Look them up if you don’t know what they are.
3 sets of 30 reps of 3 exercises. I do tris before bis because I think the exercises are harder.
Overhead tri extension w/ band (cable) – forward
Switch-grip kickbacks – rotate hand position every other rep
Overhead tri extension with weight – straight up
Reverse grip curls – works forearm extensors
I do this workout.
pic: more back in the day: wolfie, the late german powerhouse, training his famous shoulders and arms in the valley