Wednesday, 22 August 2012

LESS IS MORE, MORE IS MORE

It took me almost twenty years to get it, but yes, it looks like I made it.
Being 40, I am certain that I am at the peak of both my physical and mental form.
I have never been so strong in my life: I can do more one armers, I can hang worse holds, or with more added weight, than never before. Also, my core tension is at its best.
I can concentrate so well, I can block out of my mind all that surrounds me and put all my body and mind just to climb something.
Shame I'm getting bald.

Less is more.
For years and years I've tried to pack in as much training as I could in every session, both in terms of intensity AND volume. Whoever knows the simplest basics of training can tell that mine was a wrong approach. This happened because I had too much time and I could dedicate hours to training every day. While younger, and without a climbing wall, it was hundreds of pull ups on 1 cm edges or less, and tons of weights in the gym, that propelled me up to weighing 10 kilos more than now. It took a lot to ditch this for a more specific training, made of... campusboarding.
When finally I moved to another town and had a wall, 4 hours daily sessions were the norm.
The problem is that this kind of training pays, but not as much as it should. You sow 10 and reap 5. When I found myself with more work, more commitments and less time, the situation became tricky. I had to start compressing my sessions.
And here. We. Go.
I really started progressing. When I cut by half my fingerboard routines, my finger strength went through the roof. When I stopped doing 14 excercises in the gym and stuck to 6 or 7, barbells and dumbbells really started to get heavy. The same happened at the board: serious pulling for one hour and half is more than enough to push your power and deliver some serious testosterone to your family jewels.
Less is more.
Shorter, very specific sessions, allow you to train more often, while being fresh each time because each session can be different, being more specific. In the past, I could get to some point at which I would need four days off to recover from two sessions, and then I'd plummet. Now I train 22 or 25 days a month, sometimes with double sessions, and often I have to impose myself a rest day even though I'd like to train.

More is more.
More power is more power. No matter how you get it, more power is more power. Beware, I'm talking power, not muscle. There's a big difference. Especially for bouldering, power is a must: not everyone has Paul Robinson's fingers... So we have to cope, with a bonus: put me and P-Rob on a beach, and look who gets the senoritas. This is very personal. I am sure that if I wanted, I could drop a lot of kilos by losing muscle mass, gaining a new level or RELATIVE finger strength. I don't want to, though, not only because it's not healthy, but also because I want to look at myself and at least HAVE AN IDEA OF POWER, not an idea of P.O.W.
Moreover, I want to be able to give my girl a strong hug in the love.
So, power.
I found particularly important, as of late, to have a full body power. Not just the ability to pull down, but the ability to pull down without cutting loose, for example, or to cheat a move by squeezing the rock, and so on. This kind of training gives big gains to any other training that you do, it maximize its effects. Sadly I live in a place in which gyms close for the whole August month, so real heavy lifts are out of question, but surfing the net I found some good ideas, like the two excercises that are shown in the video below.
Just a few sets of those lifts and pulls, gave me a proper bashing: legs, hamstrings, gluteos, lower back, upper back, shoulders and abs. The following days all muscles ached. Only my triceps and biceps were quite fresh, but that issue was easily soveld with ten sets of pushing and curling.
As usual, nihil sub sole novum, Big Malc could dead lift 200 kg and clean 100 twenty years ago...
I really like this transversal approach to power training. The normal approach is far too specific for the many issues of climbing, and given that one excercise trains only itself, being able to pull vertically on a bar or fingerboard, doesn't transfer perfectly onto the rock. So, the more power we have in many different ways, the better.
Moreover, having all these different possibilities broadens the training opportunities.

Less is more.
For years I have followed many different training plans, some bad ones, some crazy ones and some very good ones. I am still very proud that I managed to boulder 8a by training with only a fingerboard and a campus board.
In all these years I progressively learnt to understand my body and be ready to change. Now I go with my feelings, and although I am not quite able to peak in a specific moment (a roadtrip for example), my average form is at its highest, and if I push it for three weeks I know that after one or two days off I can crush (relatively to my level, obviously). Being free from plans makes for less stress, more fun and again better training.

For the moment, as I've written before, I keep training and training with no specific deadline, because it's the only thing to do.

1 comment:

Benito Santos Varela said...

Muy motivante Lore, enhorabuena ANIMAL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!