My current home wall is just WAY too hard for me to ARC on (40 degrees with skin friendly holds but not many easy jugs to arc with). I can last a good 2 minutes before I get into the nasty pump range. So to get my base fitness training I have instead switched to a volume bouldering plan. Basically once I am warmed up I try and do 20+ moderate problems I can complete in the 1-3 try range. For me this means mostly problems in the V3-5 range, the hardest problem I have ever completed is a V8. My wall is a mirrored set up so once a problem is completed I do the "mirrored" version, rest, and then repeat both sides one more time in quick succession followed by a rest before I do my next one. This way I end up doing each problem 4 times but in two directions if that makes sense and I only do 5 different problems during the core of my workout.
So far this seems to really be a fantastic way for me to work on skill development and I can progress the exercise by reducing the rest time to "stress proof". I can also tell that this amount of volume on a steep wall has extra training benefits for my core, shoulders, and back. But I am not sure that this is achieving the same training goals as ARCing would for capillarity development. What do you all think of this approach, what would you do differently to get a better "base fitness" workout in this situation?
Post by climbnkev on Sept 21, 2017 18:33:45 GMT -7
Hi Eric, I do a similar session except with about 2x the problems and achieve this by downclimbing each problem up to V3. The workout is 45 in 45 (because I am 45 I guess, used to be "climb your age"). Start with 10 V2 up and down, then 10 V3 then 5 V4 all in 45 minutes. This is done at a commercial gym with problems averaging 10 moves each shooting for a 45 min time to complete all problems.
If doing this on a home wall with only 12' height I would do EMOM ( every minute on the minute) for up to 45 minutes which would let you up the difficulty a bit.
Over a 6 week build I have seen some big improvements in on the wall endurance while sport climbing and also some power endurance improvement as well. I'm not sure I would want to do this more than 1x per week as it feels a lot higher intensity than ARCing. I personally find it much better training than ARCing as you have to stay focused, conserve energy, and things don't get easy when you need them to...:just like real climbing.
Out of curiosity, how many ARC sessions have you tried where you've flamed out after 2 mins?
The reason I ask is that often at the beginning of an ARC phase (esp when I first started training), my fitness would be so poor that even on relatively vert to slightly overhanging terrain, I would pump out after 5 mins of continuous climbing. But after a few sessions, I'd steadily increase the TUT to the point where I could climb continuously for 20 mins and actually seek out more difficult moves to maintain the desired pump level.
I have a strong suspicion that the gains would be slower and more challenging on a steeper wall with no true rests, but I wonder if it's worth trying to get that 2 mins up to 5, 7, or even 10 mins over the course of a cycle?
If you can handle 2 minutes on your wall, you might be able to do 20x(30s on/30s off). This comes recommended both from other climbing cognoscenti and from other sports. Intensity is of course a bit higher than traditional ARC, but if you do it right, you won't get pumped; the rest should be just enough time to keep the allow your aerobic system to mop up from the anaerobic effort. Has the benefit that you get to train your anaerobic system to some degree at the same time. Only downside would be the technical differences between 40 degree climbing and your likely target climbs.
Thanks for all the suggestions. I really have not tried to do many ARC workouts, instead favoring the approach I listed before. I would be willing to try the ARC again but dont think I would get the skill practice benefits I get by following the other approach. I am well practiced ARCing on walls 30 degrees or less and find that the 10-15 degree angle is the sweet spot for getting the physical benefit of the ARC as well as the skill practice benefit since it closely corresponds to regular climbing terrain. I will keep playing around with different ideas for till I move into strength next week. Thanks for your thoughts.
My walls pretty small so soon gets pretty boring if arcing- I sometimes warm up with one or both feet on a basketball (on the floor) going up / down and round on the handholds. The loading's about right for a warm up (as a guess about 50% compared to if my feet were on the wall). The instability of the ball seems to awaken the nervous system and I always do better with foot on campussing with this drill first.