Tuesday, 14 June 2011


A few things changed recently, but I kept sticking to the plan. I should have gone sport climbing to start trying a certain route before the full Summer, but I find myself going bouldering instead, and doing not one but two competitions.
You all know how much I dislike competitions, how poorly I climb on plastic and the likes; despite this all, I am happy to be
going to do these two. One is the first one ever hosted in my hometown, on our recently built wall; the other is organized in the central square of Lerici, a wonderful city at the sea in Liguria, by my friend Toni from Toscoclimb, who also happens to be one of the main developers of Wild Climb climbing shoes. He gave me many pairs of shoes, and also sponsored the new wall. The least I can do to thank him is to go and show off at the comps.
The current training regime revolves around power endurance. I always thought I was only good at power climbing, I have no idea about my power endurance level, and I know I am shit at endurance climbing. It would be very interesting to do the guinea pig and go under scrutiny like Stu did (but he onsights 8a and climbs 8c...).
In time, though, I have put up some longer problem and traverses, and I have often found myself setting 10 moves long problems at the wall. That isn't pure power for sure.
Anyway this kind of training is a change from usual sessions, and I am very confident that it will pay off not only on my specific projects but also on "normal" bouldering; only, I have to tailor it to fit in a longer training plan, given that it was originally meant as a three weeks long period, a brief introduction to the anaerobic-lactic world, to make me a bit fitter in order to at least get to the route and put the clips to the top in one day!!! I want to keep this training for the summer, probably putting in a bit more power sessions as I did last week with a session of assisted one armers on the Beastmaker.
Last Sunday I went back to my own private Parisella's Cave, the Chiesina roof. I am spending there all my outdoor climbing time and it makes me happy. It's the best I can do right here and now. Especially when I also tick a new problem, like I did last time.
It's the variation I dismissed as "too easy to even bother" when I first started trying the big project. One friend of mine told me to do that one first, but I thought it could have distracted me from the main target. For sure its difficulty is not even remotely close to the project's one, but still it took me two sessions to do it. It's twelve moves long and quite burly to be honest, especially in this heat wave. Great fun though, I am psyched I did it!
After the reliefing success, it was time to do some homework: laps on the classic line. As I said before, I cut down the reps, from 4 to 3, to keep power levels high; it's a very hard training for me, because I am not light and because my forearms stick to their task quite well for a certain amount of time, but then they suddenly explode and they take forever to recover. I think it's due to my style of climbing (I always squeeze too much, but hey it's a roof), also.
The first two sets of three laps are in this video: it's a bit boring to watch someone repeat the same moves for minutes, but to me it's very motivating. I can recall the feelings of each lap, the growing fatigue, the bulk in my back muscles, my forearms as heavy as iron, the moves growing in difficulty with each lap. I can still hear the voice telling me "Let go. Give up. Go home. Take a rest." and to be honest I don't know how or why I didn't listen to her.
I only know that when I got back home I was happy and proud of myself, and that I can't wait to go back there again.

Saturday, 11 June 2011


In this video, one set from the recent power endurance sessions: 15 consecutive maximal dead hangs and pull ups, with as little rest as possible, all for six sets. I fear my next session as hell.
More than four minutes of suffering boiled down to just over 60 seconds for your sadic voyeuristic pleasure.