Saturday, June 7, 2008

Back in the Gym

After about a month of doing a lot of courses and climbing and skiing in the mountains, I just got back in the gym to start getting at it in the weight room. It's always a rude reminder that no matter how fit you are in the mountains, the weight room exposes some holes in your overall level of conditioning.

I wanted an overall body workout with a bit of emphasis on my legs. Later in the day I planned on going to the indoor climbing gym to do climbing specific strength endurance work.

The weight room workout looked like this:
  • warm-up with cross trainer, about 10 minutes (easy)
  • bar bell complex, 6 sets of 6 reps of dead lift/row/power clean/front squat/overhead press/back squat/push up - 20 to 50kg
  • squat complex of overhead squat/front squat/back squat on bench (legs below 90 degrees) super set of 10 reps each, 20-80kg, five rounds (first round is ohs @ 20kg, fs @ 40kg, bs @ 60kg) with a focus on form, movement and flexibility
  • cool down with an easy 1000m row

The source for all my training in the weight room is from Gym Jones and the Mountain Athlete. Mark Twight and Rob Shaul have both done so much work in the area of applying training principals to people who are working out to improve themselves for mountain activities.

I had a few hours of personal training work in the indoor climbing gym later in the afternoon. Afterwards, I did my climbing workout which involved strength training with pull-ups and boulder intervals, and then technique work with roped climbing easy warm-up routes plus on-sight climbing and then finishing off with three laps on a 5c to cool down.

A training day like this is really efficient in regards to getting the most training effect for your time. It is also something that I have come to realize brings me more benefits than always spending day after day in the mountains.

As I mentioned, this was the first time I have done a training day like this for about a month. In that month interval, I have climbed a lot of multi-pitch routes, ski touring, ski mountaineering and sport climbing. I felt really fit hiking or skinning on the approaches. I lost about a kilo over the month too. However, the workout day described above stressed my body and wore me out more than any of the days spent in the mountains during the previous month.

Intensity and its effects are very interesting.

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