Ask the coach: Passing Plateaus?

Plateaus are no fun.  Gains are the best part of any training regimen, but sometimes you hit that wall and just can’t get past the grade.  Fortunately, Peak has an experienced coaching staff with the answers to your tricky training questions, and they want you to be the best you can be.  Today we’re talking with former Training Team Coach and super-chill spotter Ben Cooper about getting through the flat spots of your training.

Reckless Abandon, Summersville Lake, 5.12a

Reckless Abandon, Summersville Lake, 5.12a

Betty Boulderer asks: I’m a pretty solid climber, but I haven’t seen any gains in a while.  I’m looking for something I can do in the 20-30 minutes either before or after my workout to help me make progress.  What should I do?

Ben says: If you’re already putting plenty of time into your climbing and your fitness is pretty good, a good way to get to the next level is by completing a strength circuit a couple of times per week.  (ed note: if you’re looking for ways to improve your fitness, check out our TRX and yoga classes!) You can do this before your climbing session (but after a warm-up!) or after your session if you aren’t exhausted.   Train your fingers, lock-off strength, and core with the following circuit:

Finger Strength – Repeaters

Choose an edge and hang for 7 seconds, rest for 3 seconds and repeat for 6 total hangs.   If you can’t complete the full cycle, choose a bigger hold, or use your feet to take a bit of weight off.  If it’s too easy, choose a smaller hold or hang a small weight on your harness.  Remember to use an open-hand grip position, and keep your shoulders back (no hunching).

Rest for 2 minutes.

Lock Off Strength – Sloth Bouldering

Choose an easy boulder problem with long reaches on an overhanging wall.  Climb it extra slowly, by counting to four as you reach for each hold.

                Rest for 2 minutes.

Core Strength – Toes to Bar

Hang on a bar and raise your legs above your head, until your toes touch the bar.  Be sure to keep your legs straight, and go slowly on the way down.  Repeat for 5 to 10 reps.

Rest for 2 minutes.

Repeat the cycle once or twice more.

After four to six weeks of training, switch your exercises (this cycle is a good base for Ian’s workout!), or take a break from training to send your projects.  Have fun!

Do you have a training question? Let us know and we’ll ask them!


About Peak Experiences

Love rock climbing? Me too. Peak is a giant box of climbing and fun, located in Midlothian Virginia, and has been around since 1998. Stronger Than Yesterday is our online resource for all things climbing, in Richmond and out in the wider world.
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