Wednesday, October 28, 2009

When Numbers Lie...

During the past six months I’ve organized my training into a periodization scheme. I’ve consistently worked out for the past three/four years and have always made gains in times/weights/grades. However, my scheme has always been random and not focused on any goal per se.

Since, I’ve changed to a periodization scheme I have seen some incredible gains. These gains have are especially evident within any given period (i.e., strength, power, power/endurance, endurance). During each phase I have had dramatic improvement in my benchmark workout.
• Strength Phase – Increased dead lift 1 RM by 20%
• Power Phase – Increase output in benchmark WOD by 14%
• Power Endurance Phase – Decreased time in benchmark WOD by 22%
• Endurance Phase – Decreased time in benchmark WOD by 10%

These numbers are too good to be true. There is no way I am 10% stronger, powerful, faster, etc. in any one-month period. To what extent do these numbers represent habitulization, familiarization, and practice?

Currently, I’m working on the second cycle of periodization (i.e., I’m on my second power/endurance phase). I repeated my benchmark WOD from the original power/endurance phase. I was 13% quicker than my original effort during the first power/endurance phase. However, I was 10% slower than the final effort of the power/endurance phase. Does this mean I am 13% stronger or 10% weaker?

Since I am doing this for climbing maybe I should let my climbing do the talking… right? I’m still working on breaking through the plateau… maybe I need another cycle… maybe I need more climbing time?

For now, I’m just working on crushing my one-month phases and hopefully that will break me through plateaus and make me stronger/fitter over all.

Anybody have some ideas?

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Hungry Like a Wolf

Mighty Wolf Rock.

Low on route looking up at the roofs.

Looking down the scary fourth pitch.

Rodney earning full style points on the 10d traverse.

Nothing but exposure and run out traverses.

Given the solid high pressure and cool temperatures, Rodney and I were able to work on our tick-list a little bit. Barad Dur has always been touted as a serious hardman' climb, I think both of us had probably thought it was a bit over our heads. However, with sending temps we thought better of it and gave it a go.

I know that Wolf Rock is a volcanic plug but the rock seemed to range from junky basalt to almost a sandstone-esque type rock. There is really a good variety of cracks, slabs, incuts, open hands, etc.

It’s kind of hard to describe how big and rotten those roofs look from the ground. But I assure you they are huge and oh so rotten. In general the rock is solid and protectable when you really need it. Be prepared to solo or essentially solo 5.10.

Rodney took the sharp end linking the first two pitches. Really excellent run out open handed climbing. I got the next two pitches. The first was excellent quality but that’s where things changed. The fourth pitch was scary. I felt like I was playing one of the Super Mario Bros. levels where the blocks will fall away if you stay on them too long. Probably the worst pitch of the climb. Rodney got the 10d traverse and earned full style points. This pitch was pretty junky as well, but only after the crux. I gave it a go on the 11b pitch but had a take at the crux after botching the sequence. The traverse out right looks completely improbable and it took me a while to commit. Finally I took of the blinders, found the key features and protection and was able to mantle up. An incredibly exposed handrail leads right. I placed a nest of flared gear to protect from a 50 ft. swing into the wall… ouch.

It was an incredible climb. I can see why people will come back and repeat it time and time again.

It ain't always easy...