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Thread: Climber training and PBF page

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    mkowske's Avatar
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    Climber training and PBF

    Primal Fuel
    Hello!

    I am new to the whole primal blueprint thing, but am loving it so far. So far I have only transformed my diet and now want to practice fitness the PB way, but am concerned about how to go about this...

    I am a climber and I climb often. During the winter months I will be in the climbing gym on average 4 times per week for 2 hours each. As a mid 5.11 climber right now I have a goal to be climbing 5.12s by spring. I do intense back to back boulder problems, endurance route climbing, hang board stuff, etc etc... after reading PBF I'm wondering how I can continue to train (and get maximal gains) but also adapt to the PBF way. Do any other climbers have experience with this? Do the same principles apply to climbing where there are some very specific muscle groups that need to be targeted? Should I expect to make MORE gains if I only climb 2x a week? Has anyone else changed their training based on primal fitness techniques?

    Advice appreciated! Thanks!

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    i'm not sure what your concern is, specifically... i don't think that climbing counts as 'chronic cardio.' if you do it because you love it, and you're not rocking a 160 bpm heart rate, you're doing fine.

    are you concerned about nutrition supporting this activity? if you're really low-carb adapted, you should be set. but feel free to add in some starch as many here do. i don't, but that's me (and i'm very active).

    when you talk about gains & recovery time... you sound like you're doing this for muscle building, almost like a bodybuilding thing. do you mean gains in terms of your ability to climb, or in terms of your ability to build muscle? building muscle requires lots of recovery time, and lots of time, period.

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    Ahh sorry I could have been more clear.. I wasn't concerned about the cardio, but it seems to me that PBF emphasizes short strength exercises that do not go to failure. That is somewhat opposite of how I climb regularly. A normal gym session often means sustained muscle workouts to failure (especially forearms, grip, fingers). By gains I mean climbing progression... which is partly technique for for this purpose I meant muscle strength.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mkowske View Post
    Ahh sorry I could have been more clear.. I wasn't concerned about the cardio, but it seems to me that PBF emphasizes short strength exercises that do not go to failure. That is somewhat opposite of how I climb regularly. A normal gym session often means sustained muscle workouts to failure (especially forearms, grip, fingers). By gains I mean climbing progression... which is partly technique for for this purpose I meant muscle strength.
    I find that PB gives me more energy to climb...and by that I mean the nutrition. I boulder mostly, so I suppose that fits in with the short strength routines, but if you're climbing sport or whatever and your current training is resulting in progress, I wouldn't worry about it. You could always try getting more rest and seeing what your gains are like that way. How long have you been primal? How long have you been climbing?

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    The heavy weight work will be a problem. I climb as well but only twice a week and still like my strength training. You are getting a good strength training with climbing but you may want to add some body weight squats and pushups for balance. You will not want to start heavy squats.

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    mkowske, welcome to the forum!

    It sounds like you're already a strong climber. There gets to be a point where getting stronger becomes more and more of a challenge. At a certain point it's likely that you'll need to focus on intensity in order to see continued strength progression -- and yes, generally speaking, as intensity increases more rest time is required between workouts.

    First off though, go climbing as often as you can. If you're projecting at your limit (trying to get to that 5.12 level) then you'll be exerting maximal effort for sure, and it'll be just as good (or better) than any home workout. Trying to climb hard lines will always be the most fun and most effective way to become a better climber.

    As for training though... are you progressing with your current routine? As Clymb said, if you're already progressing then just keep it up! If not, then what do you consider your weak link? What's keeping you from sending 5.12 right now? If you want to train as effectively as possible, I'd suggest identifying exactly where you need to improve, working out toward that end very specifically, having a few different workouts that you can rotate to keep things fresh, and focusing on intensity (pushing your limits). If your workouts are significantly intense then you probably won't be doing them 4x a week like you are now (unless you're doing some sort of crazy endurance training or something).

    Oh, and as for going to failure... I haven't looked into PBF but from what I understand it's a very effective program for general fitness. This discussion however is about training to break through very specific strength plateaus. I think there's a difference. When it comes to climbing, training to absolute failure has always been an effective method -- that's literally what projecting is after all!

    Good luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ciep View Post
    mkowske, welcome to the forum!

    It sounds like you're already a strong climber. There gets to be a point where getting stronger becomes more and more of a challenge. At a certain point it's likely that you'll need to focus on intensity in order to see continued strength progression -- and yes, generally speaking, as intensity increases more rest time is required between workouts.

    First off though, go climbing as often as you can. If you're projecting at your limit (trying to get to that 5.12 level) then you'll be exerting maximal effort for sure, and it'll be just as good (or better) than any home workout. Trying to climb hard lines will always be the most fun and most effective way to become a better climber.

    As for training though... are you progressing with your current routine? As Clymb said, if you're already progressing then just keep it up! If not, then what do you consider your weak link? What's keeping you from sending 5.12 right now? If you want to train as effectively as possible, I'd suggest identifying exactly where you need to improve, working out toward that end very specifically, having a few different workouts that you can rotate to keep things fresh, and focusing on intensity (pushing your limits). If your workouts are significantly intense then you probably won't be doing them 4x a week like you are now (unless you're doing some sort of crazy endurance training or something).

    Oh, and as for going to failure... I haven't looked into PBF but from what I understand it's a very effective program for general fitness. This discussion however is about training to break through very specific strength plateaus. I think there's a difference. When it comes to climbing, training to absolute failure has always been an effective method -- that's literally what projecting is after all!

    Good luck.

    Oh Ciep, you are wise.

    And P.S.--I love how many climbers are on the PB forums, so many more than anywhere else I've been. I feel so at home!

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    Hello, I climb at around 6a to 6b at the moment and also go to the gym. I don't think you'll have any problems with just climbing and not going to the gym. You're climbing is varied and you do a lot of bouldering problems. Body weight exercise are among the best you can do for all body fitness so don't feel pressurised to have to go to the gym.

    You could try climbing with a weighted vest on to increase stength.

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    there's nothing more primal than calisthenics. and climbing is just that, i wouldn't worry about adapting your climbing training for the PBF. just make sure you aren't focusing solely on your main climbing muscles as you will develop muscle imbalances. ie: work on your pushing muscles and legs regularly

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    Primal Blueprint Expert Certification
    Hey thanks for the replies! The fact of it is that I am NOT seeing the progress that I would like to see. I suppose I am progressing... very very slowly. I am going to try working in some of the PBF exercises and spend less time at the rock gym. I REALLY like the idea of being more of an "all around" athlete like Mark explains it. I consider myself a decent climber but I mostly suck at other sports! And I'm sure my legs are pretty weak.. and I don't get much cardio currently

    In addition to less time climbing I'll try to make the time I am at the gym more intensive. I found a really great swedish climbing site with a lot of good training advice 8a.nu - GLOBAL -- check it out

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