Tuesday, September 8, 2009
I had a pretty good weekend...I got to boulder at a couple of different spots and also get a few bike rides in. George (one of the blog followers) got in touch and we headed out and around the Bearfields Monday. I hadn't been there but maybe twice in the last year, I've been focusing on Jedi too much when I boulder locally, so it was nice to get back to one of the first boulderfields I started climbing at. George seemed happy to find some good boulders close by and climbed some of the classics with ease...it was nice to hear a new opinion of the boulders and problems. It was a little early in the fall to hit the Bearfields, but the temps were perfect in the morning and we sent plenty of routes before it heated up too much.
I've been taking it a little easier than usual and not trying to climb too hard lately. I usually take the summer off from climbing, but with my honeymoon, I kept climbing most of the summer. So now, after taking a little break for the last month or so, its time to start getting back into good bouldering shape.
Here is my usual recipe for getting ready for bouldering season...
I always like to start by trying to shed unwanted pounds (and I got plenty to shed), and I prefer to bike as much off as possible. I always like to start the climbing season with plenty of road rides and then add in some off road riding to build my core, endurance and legs. After I'm feeling like I'm in a little better shape, I add more outside bouldering to build my climbing base. Indoor climbing is good, but I always feel the benefit of outdoor climbing to be better for me. I cant stand the thought of spending so many hours every week in the gym and barely ever touching real rock...kind of defeats the purpose of rock climbing in the first place. After I feel stronger in the boulderfields, then I start with the training methods I have at my house, especially Rock Rings and HIT training. I like to start out with 2-3 Rock Ring sessions a week and 1 HIT session each week. Rock Rings usually only take 30 minutes or less and are convenient to hang inside the house. I've always thought these were a no brainer training tool, because they are so easy to use, so versatile and you can use them anytime, despite the weather. My HIT system is on my wall that's outside, so I have to have good weather to be able to train on it. HIT training is the one piece of training that has given me giant leaps in climbing ability over only a short period of training. I'd say its the best boulder-specific training method out there. I usually climb about 10-20 boulder problems to warm up and then do 10 sets of the HIT exercises and finish with another 10 boulder routes. You climb up and back down on the different strips for either a total of 24 hand movements or until failure. The first session reminds you how weak you are, but you can tell the gains in each of the future sessions by being able to stay on the strips for the full 24 or by getting farther than you did last session.
I'm starting HIT training this week and hopefully will start to tick off some tougher and tougher routes. For now, my goal is to be able to climb Buddha's Belly V4 at Lilly in a couple of weekends. I don't usually have too much problems with most V4's, but Buddha has eluded me for a few years now. Eventually, I'm setting my goal at a V6 for the fall. I worked really hard in the spring to get into shape and I was able to tick off a few V7's and a V8 (and a wildly misgraded V9 that was easier than most V3's I've done), but it eventually took its toll on me and I had to take a break to allow my tendons and muscles to fully recoup. After my Spring Break Rampage, my forearm tendons felt as tight as piano strings, and I had a geniune worry that I might snap one if I kept climbing. I'd rather take it a little easier and just enjoy the bouldering I get to do, than focus on a project that's going to sap my time, energy and possibly other more fun routes I could of done.
I hope everyone is gearing up for the fall season in their own way and our paths cross on some boulderfield in the South sometime soon!