Maximizing Your Potential

A great article by Pavel ( Click Here )

Here is the summary (backed up by good info and references):

In summary, to maximize your potential productivity you need to, in addition to training right, do whatever it takes to become happy and healthy.

  • Train right.
  • Rest enough.
  • Eat well. Supplement right—or not at all.
  • Get your head in the right place.
  • Take up autogenic training or meditation.
  • Study your body’s natural rhythms and live and train in sync with them.
  • Engage in natural health practices: outdoor activities, tempering, sauna, massage, etc.
  • Learn moderation.

Some key takeaways that I got from reading this article:

  1. Train at a consistent time during the day, optimally at the natural peak of your productivity.  For me, that is around 6 pm, or around 11 am if I’m busy in the evening.
  2. Take a long break once a year (probably in winter).  I have the hardest time with this.  Right now, my body has forced a break on me.  It’ll happen one way or another.
  3. Choose “send” times that work with your natural productivity peaks. For long days, (like big walling), do most of your work in the morning, take a long siesta, then do a shorter session of work in the evening.  Working through lunch will deteriorate your potential productivity.


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Supercharge Your Training By Getting More Sleep

A short article at Sparta Point reinforces the idea that SLEEP IS AS IMPORTANT AS TRAINING.  I’ve been a big fan of sleep ever since I read a quote in Easy Strength that said something like “strength loves rest”.  If you want to get stronger (and healthier, and prevent injury, and…) then take your sleep more seriously.

Here are some of my favorite sleep tips:

  • Get 8-10 hours of quality sleep every night.
  • Use a white noise machine to block out neighborhood or house noise, or wear ear plugs.
  • Get blackout shades or wear a sleep mask.
  • Sleep in a comfortable bed.
  • Turn off TV/Technology 2 hours before bed.
  • Don’t eat or drink 2 hours before bed.
  • Write out your next day’s to-do list before bed.


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I like this one too, but it’s frustrating how little climbing I can fit into 2 hrs at the gym with just a little chatting between exercises.

Warmup about 30-40 mins

  • Rows and Pushups
  • Side bridges
  • Bear crawl and boulders
  • Did a few harder BPs at the end of warmup but nothing harder than V6


  • 10 sec hang, 3 min rests, 6 reps
  • Smallest edge of Metolius
  • 35 lbs x 4
  • 40 lbs x 2
  • Also 3 hangs on Moon fingerboard hold #4, no weight.
  • So 9 hangs total (6 weighted, 3 unweighted) with 90 sec total hangtime

Heavy Abs

  • FCT 25 lbs x 5 & Hang leg raise x 3
  • 3 rounds w 3 min rests between

One Arm Lock-offs (Isos)

  • 6 sec hold, 6 sec rest
  • about 60 sec rest between positions
  • 2 x 120 deg
  • 3 x 90 deg
  • 2 x 50 deg

That’s it. Just under 2 hours.  I didn’t feel tired, but that wasn’t my goal.



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Excellent Review of Hangboarding Literature

I was going to write a post about isometrics, but then I found this:

Steve’s hangboarding recommendations based on his review:

  • Single hangs of 9 – 12 seconds with a 2 – 3 minute rest in between sets.
  • Number of sets per grip  3 – 9 sets.
  • Total amount of time hanging should be between 40 and 120 seconds. 
  • Training weight is determined by total weight that can be hung from the grip being trained for 13 seconds.

I would add the idea that training full crimps (minimally) every hangboard session might be good practice.  I do 3 reps of 10 secs on very small edges, no added weight.  I feel like it’s a good “reminder” for my fingers.



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I like to eat real food, but for efficiency, I sometimes do smoothies.

Here’s my standard recipe:

  1. 1/3 cup Trader Joes mixed berries (frozen)
  2. 2/3 cup water
  3. 1-2 scoops undenatured whey
  4. 1 scoop branch chain amino acids (powdered)

Here’s a great infographic from Precision Nutrition on how to make your own super shake. It has some great ideas:

It reminded me about three whole food options to add to my smoothie, (1) nuts/seeds, (2) leafy greens and (3) yogurt.  I’ve used pumpkin seeds, spinach, and yogurt in my smoothies before, and I like them both.  It doesn’t change the texture or taste much, and I feel better about getting real food in my smoothie instead of just weird supplements.

Here’s my new smoothie:

  1. 1/3 cup Trader Joes mixed berries (frozen)
  2. 2/3 cup Trader Joes soy beverage
  3. 1-2 scoops undenatured whey
  4. 1 scoop branch chain amino acids (powdered)
  5. 2 Tbsp raw pumpkin seeds
  6. 1/3 cup loosely packed spinach
  7. 2 big spoonfuls of plain yogurt
  8. Half a banana

What do you put in your smoothie?


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Protein Powder

As a health nut, I shy away from anything that isn’t “food”.  So my use of protein powders isn’t something that I’m particularly proud of.  That being said, I’ve found that it’s very challenging for me to get a good amount of protein in my day without using supplements.

Note:  I’m mostly a fish eating vegetarian that goes easy on the dairy.  So my food sources of protein are mostly beans, nuts and fish.  Fish is the most concentrated source.  Your options are probably not the same as mine.  If you can get enough protein in your diet without supplements, do it.

Show me the whey

I’ve put a lot of thought and research into protein powders over the years, and the one I’m most comfortable using is undenatured whey protein.  Here are the reasons:

  • It’s relatively cheap (per gram of protein) – That’s compared to vegan sources.
  • It’s easy to digest for most – Even for me who has dairy issues; it doesn’t seem to upset my gut too much.
  • It might help your immune system – This is the big one.  Undenatured whey has been shown to increase your glutathione levels which could keep you from getting sick (and stopping your training).

Other tips:

  • Watch the additives – Try to get the purest undenatured whey protein; it’s still usually sweetened and flavored a bit.
  • Stir it in. – I still blend mine sometimes, but that can screw up the proteins that give you the immune boosting benefit, so it’s best to stir it gently into your smoothie or beverage.
  • Add it to your workout water – I take a big Klean Kanteen, through in a scoop of protein, a scoop of Skratch Labs Hydration mix, and a scoop of powdered BCAA’s.  And I drink this through my workout.
  • Take some before bed – Read more at the Climb Healthy blog.
  • Focus on food sources of protein – Please. It just makes sense.

Hope this helps.

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  • bear crawl x2
  • inchworm/founder x3
  • T-pushups 4/4
  • loaded carries 55/55
  • goblet squat w 55, 5-5
  • turkish getup 1/1 w 45
  • inverted rows w 3 in grips, 8-8


Warmup boulders

All new problems

~ 10 total, VB-V6



  • 3 x 10 secs.
  • 25 lbs on smallest Metolius rung.
  • Open hand.
  • 3 mins between.


V8 project

~ 10 attempts, no send

little rest, just playing around with the crux mostly



  • 25 lb plate pinches.
  • 3-3-3, 3 mins between. PLE 9



Core and shoulder warmup.

Bear crawl and inchworm/founder.

Bouldering / Linked Problems

5+ min rests between

  1. V5 M.
  2. V7/6 M – Fail. Botched sequence at top of V6.
  3. V8 – Fail. Still can’t figure out the beta, but got one move farther than last session.
  4. V8 – Fail. Same problem as #3.
  5. V8 M – Fail. Different problem. Got gassed at the crux.
  6. V8 – Fail. Another different problem.  Got 2 moves from the top, but botched the sequence.
  7. V7 – This is one I fell off of last session going for the top.  Stuck it today.
  8. V8 M – Fail.  Same problem as #5.  Stuck the crux move, but then quickly peeled off.  I think I could finish this M if I work it a few more times.

Lot’s of failure this session.  It was fun to push myself.


Core & shldr warmup

Hard Boulders

5 min rests between

V5 – sent after figuring out start move crux.

V5 – flash.

V6 – flash.

V6 – flash to finish jug, didn’t match.

V7 – flash to finish jug, hit it, didn’t hang.

V8 – about 4 attempts, no send, stumped by the middle crux.

V9 – about 2 attempts, no send, not even close.

V7 – flash.

I was surprised at how hard the V8 and V9 felt.  And surprised that I could still flash a V7 at the end.  I know it’s all subjective, but it still felt weird.  Overall, happy with where I’m at after finishing an endurance block.  Fingers still feel strong, maybe thanks to the maintenance hangboard sessions.  I didn’t feel gassed on any of these problems.


No warmup


Modified Density




Progression is too steep. Back to the drawing board.