Inspired by my trainer to write up more of my workouts, which I will probably rename “training sessions”.

Today was a park bench day

My training partner is having some low back troubles, so I’ve decided to take a break from climbing training for a bit, until he’s ready to get back to work.  It feels kind of nice to have a forced break from the gym, because my tendency is to keep pushing until I’m housed.

My park bench workout, inspired by my trainer and my climbing partner:

You are nothing without your back – 4×3 of low back pre-hab, correctives, endurance, etc. = 12 different exercises that focus on front, sides, and back of core (always breathing and activating core).  All to fatigue, rest as needed.

Presses from 1/4 getup 12 kg – 8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 on right, 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 on left (36 total reps).  Rest as needed.  I did opposite ladders just to see the different challenge. It felt harder on the last set on the left, but overall easier going from few to many.  The 3rd and 4th set on the right felt difficult.  I think I would choose a shorter ladder next time, going from 1 rep to 5 reps, and do that twice (30 total reps).

Double KB squats – 5 min rests between: 2×5 16+20kg, 2×3 20+24kg.


Bang for Your Buck Weight Training

Remember the 80/20 rule.  80% of your training time (aka “almost all of it”) should be spent on climbing practice and maybe climbing specific strength training (depending on your training age). Only 20%  of your training time (aka “not very much”) should be spent with a good general weight program.

That means if you have 8 hours a week to train, you should only be under the iron for about 1.5 hours, maybe even less.  That’s only 3 weight sessions if you’re doing 1/2 hour sessions.  BETTER KEEP IT SIMPLE AND EFFICIENT!

Here’s a good article by Dan John that lists a few of his” Bang for the Buck” exercises for each tool (kettlebell, barbell, etc.)  http://danjohn.net/2013/12/the-forty-day-workout-again/

The article is a great read.  Dan gives away many of his secrets for free, but I’d encourage you to buy his book, Easy Strength.  Why would you want to work harder than you have to?  Anyways, here’s the snippet for you lazies out there:

For the kettlebell, it’s the swing, the goblet squat, and the get-up. The TRX and various rings give us the horizontal pull, the one-arm pull, and the various T, Y and I’s for the upper back. For the Mini-Band, those five-dollar small rubber wraps, the Lateral Walk will teach you more about your butt than an anatomy class. Simply, wrap the band around both of your socks and walk sideways (laterally) like a shuffle step in basketball. Too easy? Just keep going…

For the barbell, it’s the deadlift and the press (all varieties). Mastery of this simple list will give any athlete all they need from the weightroom and any person the body of their dreams. Mastery walks hand in hand with simplicity.


I don’t agree with all of his recommendations, but you get the point.  Here it is in case you don’t get the point:  You don’t have much time so make it count.

Also, always think about how your weight training crosses over to your climbing.  If there are two great squat movements, but one of them is more helpful for climbing, ditch the less specific one immediately, no matter how fun it is.  Save your fun for climbing.  Find other ways to have fun in the weight room.

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Work Your Squat Depth

Squats are powerful medicine, but they can also tighten up the hips pretty bad if you’re not careful.  Tight hips = bad climbing technique = you don’t climb so good.

If squatting is part of your training program, make sure you focus on the depth of your squat (your range of motion).  Do drills, correctives, foam rolling, and stretches that help you squat deeper.  And unload the bar enough so that you’re always (or almost always) squatting with your full range of motion. As a climber, your squat depth is far more important than how much weight you have on the bar.

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07/31/13 Hangboard Build

Fingers have never felt more confident on the hangboard.  I’m up to 20% of bodyweight.  Maybe I’ll shoot for 33 lbs (25% of BW).

  • warmup 5 rounds double KB swings 16+20 kg on the 2 min
  • hangboard 1 w 26 lbs
  • TGU press, inverted rows, KB clean & squat
    • 1st round – 3 reps: 16 kg press, one arm assisted rows, double KB c&s 16+20 kg
    • 2nd round – 8 reps 18 lb press, 8 reps inv rows, 4 reps/side single KB c&s w 16 kg
    • 3rd round – 5 reps: 16 kg press, one arm assisted rows, double KB c&s 16+20 kg

07/29/13 Hangboard Build

  • warmup 5 rounds double KB swings w 16+20 kg
    • on the 2 min
  • hangboard 1 w 25 lbs  (try 26 next)
  • 16 kg TGU press, one arm assisted invert rows, double KB clean & squat w 16+20 kg
    • 2-3-5
    • rest as needed

07/26/13 Hangboard Build

  • warmup 5 rounds of double KB swings 16+20 kg on the 2 min
  • hangboard 1 w 23 lbs
  • 16 kgTGU press + one arm assisted inverted rows
    • 2-3-3-2
    • on the 4 min
  • double KB clean and squat w 16+20 kg
    • 1-2-3-4-5
    • rest as needed

07/24/13 Hangboard Build

  • warmup
    • 5 rounds double KB swings w 16+20 kg.
    • 20 swings on the 2 min
  • Hangboard 1 20 lbs (try 22 lbs next)
  • double KB clean and squat 16+20 kg.
    • 1-2-3-4-5 rest as needed.
  • TGU press 16 kg + assisted one arm invert rows
    • 1-2-3-4 rest as needed

07/22/13 Hangboard Build

After about a 4 week break from the hangboard, I’m back at it.   I started at 75% of my previous max, because I didn’t do a lot of climbing during my break, and because I just wasn’t feeling that strong.  I was also planning on building my swings during this phase, but I didn’t realize how much that would tax my grips, so I dropped that idea after this 1st workout.  I’ll just be focusing on building my hangboard strength over the next 9-12 workouts (3-4 weeks).  Goal is still 30 lbs by the end.

  • 20 swings on the 2 mins
    • 10 rounds
    • doubles 16+20 kg
  • Hangboard 1 – 18lbs  (do 20 lbs next)
  • TGU press from elbow and hand 18 lbs
    • 2 rounds
    • 8 (each) – 6 (each)  = 28 total reps
  • 2 rounds inverted rows x 5
  • 2 x 6 KB squat singles 16 kg

06/28/13 Hangboard Build

  • easy finger warmup
    • heavy rolls with 20kg KB
    • progressive half crimp and full crimp 8-10 sec holds
  • hangboard 1 with 24 lbs. ple6
  • 1 easy set of rows, pushups, one leg DL, swings, single KB clean/squat, upside-down KB press, and arm bars