Total training for climbing is the philosophy of training from the fundamentals toward the specifics. This methodology is a complete integration of skills for climbing. As the sport grows, many climbers decide to go hyper-specialized, boulderers-only, gym goers, crack climbers, speed climbers, competition gurus or rock warriors, but what about training to be an all-around climber? Total training embraces a holistic, more Olympic climbing spirit: Integrating difficulty, endurance, speed with agility. Using the technical foundation of efficient movement. Total climbing explores a diversity of climbing methodologies with sports training science backing up these concepts:
Total FINGER STRENGTH
The approach to this training program is to perform a combination of exercises to train raw finger strength while also being able to apply it in real movement while climbing. The program gives you a variety of exercises so you will gain practical finger strength without getting bored. Your goals for strength should be based on your projects, but you can also define a grade that you want to accomplish. A goal can be to hold on a 10 mm edge for 10 seconds. Goals should be measurable, testable and applicable to different parts of your climbing: projects, a new onsight grade or competition. The chart below shows the energy types targeted as the main objective.
Total POWER STAMINA
In the context of fitness, the technical definition of power is the time rate of doing work, which is basically the speed at which you can apply force. It’s all about explosive movement, and there are many ways to go about increasing it, but two of the most common are circuits and route climbing. To increase power by circuit training, the typical advice is to perform multiple sets of 12-24 explosive reps using 75 to 90 percent of your 1RM (repetition to max). You’ll need to rest for 2 to 3 minutes between sets to allow for sufficient power recovery. You must periodize your sessions so you don’t burn out, over train or risk injury.
This training manual will present a variety of exercises and routines that you can follow to get an increase in endurance. In this manual, we define endurance as any climb that takes longer than 5 minutes on the wall, or approximately, 40 to 100 moves. These types of routes push your anaerobic lactic threshold and you feel a long lasting pump that builds up slowly. This training approach uses a combination of exercises that ensure you stay on the wall for extended periods of time but also for a greater number of moves. You will be given the tools to create your own training routes and circuits targeting various types of movements and forcing you to go from one style into the other within the same session. This approach is appropriate for any climbing season of the year.
Veteran climbers will tell you that climbing technique is all about footwork, this is not far from true. Climbers often think that climbing is all about upper body strength but as you aim to send harder routes and prevent injury, a strong upper body isn’t enough. Strong footwork can increase the efficiency of your climbing so you can do more hard moves in a row for a longer time and take the stress off your fingers and biceps.
Following the core training program is simple, all you have to do is understand the key training concepts, the exercises, and follow along. Each core exercise workout a specific climbing skill or movement. The core training system is based in you picking up the drills and exercises that are more suited to your goals. You may decide in putting together a core-exclusive training program, or use what you learn here to create your own specific multi-day training program for the core.
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