• Coming Back From Injury
  • Get Trip-Fit Fast
  • Systems Wall and Symmetrical Training
  • Coaching Climbing - How To Train Juniors with Care and Caution
  • Grip Trainers - Gimmicks, or Worth the Money?
  • Hangboarding for Endurance: Not Just for Power
  • Simulation Training: How to Do a Move You Can't Do
  • Planning a Year's Climbing
  • Portable Training Rigs - How to Stay Fit on the Go
  • How to Keep Your Job and Family and Still Climb at Your Limit
  • Suspension Training for Rock Climbing
  • Eat Fat, Climb Harder - The Ketogenic Diet
  • Witness the Mental Fitness: Set Thought Aside to Improve Performance
  • Mental Training Made Simple
  • Counterintuitive Climbing Tips to Change Your Game - Part 2
  • Endurance Training Tips for Winter
  • Five Counterintuitive Climbing Tips to Change Your Game - Part 1
  • Staying Power - How to Last All Day at the Crag
  • Attack and Defend - Tips for Effective Resting
  • Change Up - Plug the Gaps In Your Strength Training This Winter
  • Training While Injured
  • The Hard Way, Easier: How to Cope with Redpoint Nerves
  • Climbing Literacy - Get Better Instantly by Reading Routes
  • The Numbers Game - How to Use Your Age to Your Advantage
  • Injury-Free Bouldering: 15 Tips to Keep You Healthy and Strong
  • Injury-Free Boarding: 14 Training Tips to Save Your Fingers
  • The Truth About Caffeine and Climbing
  • Pushing Past Your Training Plateau
  • Five Strategies to Sharpen Concentration and Climb Better
  • Five Ways to Get Better Without Training
  • Beat the Burnout: Only Ondra Should Train Like Ondra
  • Effective Gym Training Strategies (for Route Climbing)
  • Should You Add Weight or Use Smaller Holds on a Hangboard?
  • Map Out a Plan with the Radar System
  • Managing the Fear of Falling
  • Projecting 101 – 6 Tips For Sending
  • Slowing the Pump Clock - Three Strategies to Prevent the Pump
  • Training on the Go
  • How to Train for Compression
  • Nutrition: Eating Your Way to Better Climbing
  • How to Dyno
  • General Conditioning for Climbers
  • Transitioning from Gym to Crag
  • Staying Strong to Perform Your Best All Season
  • How to Lose Weight for Climbing
  • Building a Better Climber: Final Phase - Peaking
  • Building a Better Climber: Phase 7 - Power Endurance Training
  • Building a Better Climber: Phase 6 - Endurance II
  • Building a Better Climber: Phase 5 - Strength and Power II
  • The Training Effect - Steve House and Scott Johnston
  • Training for Climbing: Injured? Train Your Core!
  • Building a Better Climber: Phase 4 - Power Endurance
  • Building a Better Climber: Phase 3 - Strength Training
  • Building a Better Climber: Phase 2 - Low-Intensity Endurance
  • Building a Better Climber: Phase 1 - Conditioning Phase
  • Gain Confidence by Learning Not to Fear Falling
  • Get Better When You Are Scared and Pumped
  • Never Get Pumped Again
  • Gutbusters - Core Exercises for Rock Climbing
  • Rest ... or Else
  • The Intuitive Approach to Training
  • Free Climbing Tips: Why Get Stronger When You Can Get Better?
  • Crank Like a Russian - How to Power Train for Climbing
  • How to Mentally Train
  • Boost Power With Eccentric Training
  • Tips for Better Onsighting
  • Should You Lose Weight or Get Stronger?
  • Is Protein Important?
  • Getting Strong After a Layoff
  • Does Running or Biking Improve Your Climbing?
  • Training While Hungry
  • How To Use Microcycles
  • How to Improve Slab Technique
  • How to Unlock a Crux
  • How to Use a Hangboard
  • Using a Weight Belt For Training
  • Training During Pregnancy
  • Maximizing a Small Home Wall
  • How to Stay Psyched
  • How to Prevent Bonking
  • Best Ratio of Resting to Bouldering
  • The Importance of Finger Strength
  • Regaining Confidence After a Fall
  • Overcome Anxiety and Send!
  • Maximum Training in Minimum Time
  • Dynamic vs. Static Stretching
  • Do Forearm Trainers Work?
  • Ultimate Strength
  • The Secrets of Warming Up
  • Periodized Training For the Year-round Approach
  • Resting the Perfect Amount
  • How To Recover On Route
  • Does Creatine Work?
  • Recovery Supplement Truths
  • Euro Training Secrets
  • Can Old Guys Get Stronger?
  • Training With an Injury
  • How to Beat Fear
  • How Often Should You Rest?
  • Warming Up Without Warm-Ups
  • How to Develop Sloper Strength
  • Beating the Lactic Acid Pump
  • Video Spotlight
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    Beat the Burnout: Only Ondra Should Train Like Ondra

    01-Sep-2015
    By Neil Gresham

    Only Ondra Should Train Like Ondra. Photo: Claudia Ziegler.One of the oldest axioms in the training book is that under-resting is the athlete’s worst enemy, yet the best climbers in the world seem to burn the candle at both ends. Adam Ondra’s recent program, for example, was a two-month stint of two hard sessions a day for six days a week.

    Be careful. It’s tempting when we hear about Ondra to think that we’re not training enough, and to jack up the volume. Fact is, few people can cope with his absurd workload, and resting can do more good than adding to your training—a tenet that can be particularly frustrating for climbers with limited spare time.

    The million-dollar question that has remained on the lips of climbers for decades is: “How much should you train?” Here, I’ll approach training and resting from the perspective of the average climber whose training is guided by feel and instinct as opposed to a detailed plan.

     


    WATCH: Training with Adam Ondra


    1. How Hard/Often to Train Endurance 

    Endurance training is complicated, as there is justification for training hard on numerous consecutive days when working on long endurance, also called stamina. However, with power endurance, a different sort of endurance requirement, you must preserve a reasonable degree of quality (and not get carried away). If you aspire to train hard on two or three consecutive days, always train power endurance first and long endurance the following session. Alternatively, if you wish to train power endurance two days in a row, change the angle and style of climbing.

    Most climbers gain more and are less susceptible to burnout if they vary overall effort levels when training on consecutive days; for example, by following a hard session with a lighter recovery session the next day, then undertaking a medium-hard session next. In the real world this is the only way it is possible to train for multiple days at a time. A final factor is whether you go to failure in endurance sessions; if so, you will need far more rest between sessions. You can actually benefit from both approaches (going to failure and resting longer between sessions or stopping before failure and resting less between sessions). Experiment with both and select whichever combination suits your daily constraints.

     

    2. How Hard/Often to Train Strength 

    Quality of effort is the hallmark of strength training. It may not matter if you turn up at an endurance session feeling subpar, but do this for a strength session and you’re setting your training back. Not that it’s impossible to train strength on numerous consecutive days; it is possible, but make your sessions shorter and higher quality, with long rests, and always stop while you still feel fresh and strong. An alternative is to use split routines where you switch between different muscle groups; for example, training fingers one session and arms and core the next. Similarly, to get the most from a bouldering trip, switch problem styles if you want to do hard stuff on consecutive days, or follow a project day with a volume day. It is impossible to generalize about whether it’s better to go for this approach or to do a longer, harder comprehensive session, then take a rest day or two. Both approaches are important, if nothing else but to add crucial variety to your training. In other words, try a period where you do lots of short sessions consecutively, then move onto a phase where you do longer, more taxing sessions, followed by rest days.

     

    3. Mixing Strength and Endurance 

    This approach has now become the most common for the modern climber, with sessions commencing with strength and moving on to endurance. The same philosophy applies here. If in the same day you do a really long, hard strength session followed immediately by a long, hard endurance session, the only thing you can hope for during the following two or three days is rest or some lighter endurance training. So if you want to train more frequently, you need to do the minimum amount of both in the sessions. Avoid going to failure in endurance training.

     

    4. Testing Recovery 

     

    Usually the only way you’ll know if you’ve recovered fully from a training session is when you’re in the middle of the next one. Grip strength, however, works as a crude indicator of recovery, and you can use a dynamometer (grip-measuring device) for a pre-training assessment. Note your score when at peak recovery, and use it as a reference point. I advise warming up by squeezing several times and then taking two minutes rest before going for your maximum.

    Gauging the ratio of recovery to training will always be an imprecise science, and most climbers find it a constant struggle to maintain the right formula. Don’t get frustrated if things don’t go your way. Understand the underlying principles, factor in the many different variables, and develop a nose for what works.

     

    5. Recovery Strategy 

    The point when you wish to start really pushing the intensity and frequency of your training is also the time to be particularly careful to warm up and cool down, perform antagonist training and supportive conditioning sessions, and eat and sleep well. And finally, regardless of the fine details, if you train hard for long periods, you will need at least one and preferably two rest phases during the year when you do not climb at all for a week or two. During that time, maintain your general fitness with some light cardio, stretching and gym work.

      

    This article appeared in Rock and Ice 229 (October 2015).




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