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Anderson Brothers, please help me program my training!
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By Tavis Ricksecker
From Bishop, ca
Dec 16, 2011
Church of the Lost and Found, Left. Summer 2013

Reading through Monomaniac and Mike Anderson's writings on hangboard training, I am pondering how to program it into my training. Mono says that he hangboards exclusively for 4-6 weeks several times a year. Mike says do similar but can be integrated with climbing.

My goals are all pebbles, so I am mainly aiming for maximal strength and power. I don't do much endurance or power endurance oriented climbing activity.

I certainly do not want to give up climbing, not now during bouldering season, not really at any time during the year really. Is it possible to boulder 2x/week and hangboard 1x/week? For instance, boulder on Sat, rest Sun, boulder Mon, rest Tue, hangboard Wed, rest Thu+Fri. Will this result in gains?

I'm planning to do 7x7sec repeaters on the hangboard with weight added or subtracted as necessary on ~5 different holds, increasing volume to 2-3 sets of this as tolerated.

During bouldering I plan to warmup slow integrating technique drills, then work new problems or moves be it submaximal problems, projects (v6-v9), or single maximal moves on problems harder than my projects.

Also, how to integrate pull training? IE - front lever progressions, one arm pull up progressions, etc. I was initially thinking once per week after the hangboard workout.

And opposition training? I've been playing with other bodyweight progressions: handstands, press handstands, handstand pushups, pushups, dips, planche.. Also rotator cuff exercise and shoulder stabilization and mobilization exercises. How many times a week to integrate this routine?

I'm still brainstorming, so sorry if this is a bit scattered. Thanks for any input!


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By slim
Administrator
Dec 16, 2011
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.

hey, get in line buddy. you gotta schedule an appointment!


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By Tavis Ricksecker
From Bishop, ca
Dec 16, 2011
Church of the Lost and Found, Left. Summer 2013

Hey a guy can try, can't he? :) Anyone else who cares feel free to comment on the above notes, thanks!


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By Jon Clark
From Philadelphia, PA
Dec 16, 2011
onsight soloing Atman

David Sahalie wrote:
others will say differently, but I have found it best to do strength and fingerboard sets immediately post bouldering session. if you boulder twice a week, you get 2 days rest, important because you should be trashed. you should absolutely do antagonist training if you are doing v5+. i use rings. also, i do barefoot sprints (1 minute) on a treadmill and track. trains the system for the intensity of bouldering.


This statement isn't supported by anything I've ever read from Hauge/Hunter, Macleod, or the brothers Anderson. Some cardio work isn't a bad thing, but will do nothing to improve your climbing.


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By Tavis Ricksecker
From Bishop, ca
Dec 16, 2011
Church of the Lost and Found, Left. Summer 2013

Jonathan Clark wrote:
This statement isn't supported by anything I've ever read from Hauge/Hunter, Macleod, or the brothers Anderson. Some cardio work isn't a bad thing, but will do nothing to improve your climbing.


Word. I like running but I regard it as largely irrelevant to climbing outside of it's positive effect on body composition and potential negative effect if you overdo it.

Other opinions? It is interesting, many training resources (horst etc) recommend supplemental training on the same day as climbing, like David also recommends. While this is attractive and would be easy to schedule, it is not what the Anderson brothers recommend. Opinions?


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By slim
Administrator
Dec 16, 2011
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.

cuz god knows your target heart rate is relevant to climbing.....


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By Tavis Ricksecker
From Bishop, ca
Dec 16, 2011
Church of the Lost and Found, Left. Summer 2013

I'm on board with sprinting/HIIT/etc, but not as a way to directly improve climbing. Maybe indirectly. At any rate I am more interested in ways to program both hangboard and bouldering into the same cycle. I would like to hear more theories on the matter. Anyone?


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By Mike Anderson
From Dayton, OH
Dec 16, 2011

Travis, first, good job of recognizing that appealing to my ego is the best way to solicit a response.

I think it is possible to mix bouldering with training, but there are consequences. Most "pros" don't do anything that I would call "training"...of course most "pros" don't really improve very much either. They work really had to get to the "pro" level, then just ride the wave.

You should recognize that there is a fundamental difference between "training" and "climbing". In training, the goal is to push your body until failure (or nearly). In climbing, the goal is to NOT fail. That said, of all the climbing activities, bouldering has the best training benefit IMO...assuming you have access to a wide variety of bouldering. Along those lines...where are you bouldering?

The benefits to "actual climbing" are primarily technique. It's very unlikely your fingers will be worked as thoroughly as with a hangboard workout. So, the question comes down to your strengths and weaknesses. What needs more improvement for you? Technique or finger strength? For me, it is, and always has been finger strength.

Personally, I'm a fan of "actual climbing" to a point, but too much can be counterproductive, and lack of access to good/varied climbing is also a problem. I.e., climbing nothing but slabs would make you really good at slabs and terrible at everything else. I think one fingerboard workout per week is better than nothing, but would be hard to make gains. Maybe you could do 2 workouts one week, and one workout the next, alternating so that you did 3 workouts every two weeks.

So I recently moved to the deep south which has fine winter weather, horrible summers, and loads of great bouldering. Therefore, this winter training season, during my hangboard phase, I plan to spend one day/week (or thereabouts) bouldering on real rock in place of a hangboard workout. Since I have to drive pretty far to go bouldering, I want to make the most of it, so the second day on, I'll do easier ARC-like bouldering. I also need to work with the weekender schedule. Here's a three week reapatable schedule that might work:

Sa: Boulder Hard (HYP)
Su: Boulder Easy (ARC)
Mo: Rest
Tu: Hangboard
We: ARC on Treadwall
Th: Rest
Fr: Hangboard
Sa: ARC on Treadwall
Su: Rest
Mo: Hangboard
Tu: ARC on Treadwall
We: Rest
Th: Hangboard
Fr: ARC Twall
Sa: Rest
Su: Boulder hard
Mo: ARC Twall
Tu: Rest
We: Hangboard
Th: ARC
Fr: Rest
Sa: Boulder Hard
Su: Boulder Easy
Repeat....

In reality, I probably wouldn't do this because there are a couple three day weekends in there with New Year's and MLK day.

You probably don't need two days rest after outdoor bouldering because, like I said, it's mostly technique dependent, not so physical. Here's a more realistic schedule that I will probably follow with the first Monday corresponding to Dec 26th, which will be the start of my season:

Mo: Hangboard
Tu: Rest
We: Hangboard
Th: ARC Twall
Fr: Rest
Sa: Boulder Hard (HP 40?)
Su: Rest
Mo: Boulder Hard (Little Rock City?) - New Yr's Holiday
Tu: Rest
We: Rest
Th: Hangboard
Fr: ARC
Sa: Rest
Su: Hangboard
Mo: ARC
Tu: Rest
We: Hangboard
Th: ARC
Fr: Rest
Sa: Boulder Hard (Rocktown?)
Su: Rest
Mo: Boulder Hard (HP40?) - MLK holiday
Tu: Rest
We: Hangboard
Th: ARC
Fr: Rest
Sa: Hangboard or Boulder Hard....

This gets me 4-5 days of high quality bouldering work mixed in with 6-7 good fingerboard workouts.

For the ancillary exercises you describe, I usually perform those types of things immediately after finishing the hangboard workouts, and on the same schedule. If doing so, it's important to stay fueled up throughout the workout because by the end of the last set on the hboard, I'm going on about 2 hours of continuous effort.

Oh, and with all due respect to David, who I thin is a great contributor to MP, max heart rate has almost nothing to do with rock climbing.


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By slim
Administrator
Dec 16, 2011
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.

David Sahalie wrote:
i am not running for aerobic purposes, but for anaerobic. sprinting is a very similiar system load as hard bouldering, heart rate 180+
- particularly if you are sprinting up 5 flights of stairs to the base of the bouldering problem...?

mike, one thing i noticed with your schedule - it seems like you waste a bunch of weekend days resting. i would struggle with that as i view my weekend days as being worth their weight in ultraminium. could you do away with some of the ARCing on the treadwall so that you could get both hangboard workouts on tues and thurs? or are you keeping it because you will mostly be climbing at the red and need the higher end aerobic limit?


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By slim
Administrator
Dec 16, 2011
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.

i'm thinking there might be a slight difference between the OP's climbing goals and sjong's ascent of MM. that being said, i still can't imagine sjong running wind sprints in prep for el cap. for emotional response training? hell, just carry a couple xanax, its pretty light weight.


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By slim
Administrator
Dec 16, 2011
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.

do you mean what's the difference between a 15 foot V8 and 2000 foot 13d? if so, my calculator tells me 1985 feet.... for starters.

does your heart rate REALLY go 180+ on a boulder problem? REALLY? i'm thinking probably not.

reminds me of an interview with stevie haston, where somebody asked him if he planned on climbing everest, and he replied that if he were he would be in the weight room doing pressups with a plastic bag over his head with the rest of the sheep.


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By slim
Administrator
Dec 16, 2011
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.

David Sahalie wrote:
others will say differently, but I have found it best to do strength and fingerboard sets immediately post bouldering session. if you boulder twice a week, you get 2 days rest, important because you should be trashed. you should absolutely do antagonist training if you are doing v5+. i use rings. also, i do barefoot sprints (1 minute) on a treadmill and track. trains the system for the intensity of bouldering.


gotta disagree with this one too. doing a hangboard workout after doing some real bouldering is low quality at best and a highway to injury at worst.


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By slim
Administrator
Dec 16, 2011
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.

David Sahalie wrote:
calm down Slim, you shooting up testosterone or something? it's just a discussion about training. i could really care less if ppl want to do HRT or not. just a suggestion I learned from years training with MMA. that and muscle confusion have been very beneficial for me and others I train with. don't think climbers know everything about how to train, even for their own sport. ... i'll be back in the general section trolling noobs if anyone needs me


no worries, my heart rate is still sub 180 :) didn't mean to come off as riled up. just giving you a hard time.


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By camhead
From Vandalia, Appalachia
Dec 16, 2011
You stay away from mah pig!

David Sahalie wrote:
others will say differently, but I have found it best to do strength and fingerboard sets immediately post bouldering session.


I've never heard of that being productive before, and it definitely hasn't worked for me. My best hangboard sessions are after I do maybe 20 mins of low level warmup (traversing or something like that), followed by cool down. Hard bouldering and hard hangboard in the same night are mutually exclusive for me.


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By slim
Administrator
Dec 16, 2011
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.

so, does he take a peak at his cardio monitor mid crux? i'm still having a hard time believing a person's heartrate is going to be THAT high on a route, except maybe a brutally hard, sustained OW that is drawing a lot on big muscles. and even then i am doubtful.

most of the climbing that i set goals on is sustained enduro type climbing, and i am pretty sure my heart rate has never been close to being that high. also, looking back at my performance on these types of routes over the last 10 to 15 years it is obvious (to me) that my cardio shape has had no correlation with my performance on these routes. i would almost say it has an inverse correlation. my theory is that if you are spending a lot of time getting in cardio shape (and recovering from these workouts), then you are probably wasting valuable resources and time spent on more important muscles.


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By J. Albers
From Colorado
Dec 16, 2011
Bucky

Mike Anderson wrote:
The benefits to "actual climbing" are primarily technique. It's very unlikely your fingers will be worked as thoroughly as with a hangboard workout. So, the question comes down to your strengths and weaknesses. What needs more improvement for you? Technique or finger strength? For me, it is, and always has been finger strength.


An therein lies the problem for most people. Most people have sh*tty climbing technique, but they don't know it (I know this next statement sounds dickish, but I don't mean it that way...I just think its the truth). If you talk to most folks, it becomes pretty clear that they think they are good climbers with good technique and therefore they think the best thing they can do is "get stronger". The "getting stronger is the most efficient way to climb harder" paradigm probably applies to a minor percentage of climbers. Who are the climbers that will truly benefit from the type of program that Mr. Anderson is promoting? IMHO, it is useful for people who already climb upwards of 5.13. Why? I think that if you are "strong", you will be able to climb through most of the 5.12 grade. Right around 5.12+, however, seems to be a glass ceiling for a lot of people. I think this is precisely because once you start to climb above 5.12+ it becomes increasingly hard to make up for a lack of technique with pure brawn. Thus if you are like Mr. Anderson and you already have your actual climbing technique dialed enough to climb 5.12 without needing to use much strength, then a training plan like Mike's will allow you to proceed up into the 5.13+ to 14'ish grade arena. However, for almost everyone else, their time would be better spent on the wall really focusing on how to become a more efficient climber (and this is not as simple as it sounds....it blows me away how people spend hours a week climbing but never seem to pay close enough attention to what they are doing to improve much).

What's my proof for my belief system? Well, I will admit I have no evidence other than what I observe. And what I observe is that I know a ton of younger "kids" that are strong as all hell, but can't climb at the grade that a lot of the "old guys" I know climb at. The old guys I know have work and family obligations that prohibit them from climbing more than 2-3 times a week and yet they climb upwards of 5.13+. The old guys aren't that strong, they just climb way better than a lot of the kids....but that sure doesn't stop the younger kids (who are WAY stronger than the old guys) from decrying "If I was only as strong Old Guy X, I could climb the grades he climbs....gotta hit the hangboard!!"

I have no idea where the first poster is with regards to his needs of technique versus strength, but for most people who are reading this post and are thinking about incorporating Mike's workout regime into their regime, I think they should consider other ways to improve their climbing.


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By Brendan N. (grayhghost)
From Salt Lake City, Utah
Dec 16, 2011

David Sahalie wrote:
i am not running for aerobic purposes, but for anaerobic. sprinting is a very similiar system load as hard bouldering, heart rate 180+


I'm not sure what kind of bouldering you do, but my forearms tend to go anaerobic before my quads. Are you maybe referring to hopping between boulders while approaching a climb? If so, then yes, sprinting is very good training for 'bouldering.'


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By slim
Administrator
Dec 16, 2011
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.

J. Albers wrote:
An therein lies the problem for most people. Most people have sh*tty climbing technique, but they don't know it (I know this next statement sounds dickish, but I don't mean it that way...I just think its the truth). If you talk to most folks, it becomes pretty clear that they think they are good climbers with good technique and therefore they think the best thing they can do is "get stronger". The "getting stronger is the most efficient way to climb harder" paradigm probably applies to a minor percentage of climbers. Who are the climbers that will truly benefit from the type of program that Mr. Anderson is promoting? IMHO, it is useful for people who already climb upwards of 5.13. Why? I think that if you are "strong", you will be able to climb through most of the 5.12 grade. Right around 5.12+, however, seems to be a glass ceiling for a lot of people. I think this is precisely because once you start to climb above 5.12+ it becomes increasingly hard to make up for a lack of technique with pure brawn. Thus if you are like Mr. Anderson and you already have your actual climbing technique dialed enough to climb 5.12 without needing to use much strength, then a training plan like Mike's will allow you to proceed up into the 5.13+ to 14'ish grade arena. However, for almost everyone else, their time would be better spent on the wall really focusing on how to become a more efficient climber (and this is not as simple as it sounds....it blows me away how people spend hours a week climbing but never seem to pay close enough attention to what they are doing to improve much). What's my proof for my belief system. Well, I will admit I have no evidence other than what I observe. And what I observe is that I know a ton of younger "kids" that are strong as all hell, but can't climb at the grade that a lot of the "old guys" I know climb at. The old guys I know have work and family obligations that prohibit them from climbing more than 2-3 times a week and yet they climb upwards of 5.13+. The old guys aren't that strong, they just climb way better than a lot of the kids....but that sure doesn't stop the younger kids (who are WAY stronger than the old guys) from decrying "If I was only as strong Old Guy X, I could climb the grades he climbs....gotta hit the hangboard!!" I have no idea where the first poster is with regards to his needs of technique versus strength, but for most people who are reading this post and are thinking about incorporating Mike's workout regime into their regime, I think they should consider other ways to improve their climbing.


i wish i could say i agree with anything in here, but i can't. for most people, climbing 'more' would entail climbing at the gym more, which doesn't do much for technique.

i also disagree in that i think technique will get you up to 12a or so, but to get past that you're going to need some strength.

your comment about old guys climbing harder than the young guys is crazy. i climb in a gym where there are a lot of old dudes killing it, sure. but there are a ton of youg dudes killing it too. i think a lot of the old dudes are stronger than you think, and the young dudes might not have 'classical' technique, but rather 'different technique'. saying steve hong isn't strong would be like saying the pope doesn't wear a funny hat - straight up false. the old dudes that crank hard have technique - sure, but they are also strong as balls. the kids? i've never heard one of them say that they can't do something the old dudes can, period. these kids are climbing 5.13 slab/face/crack and pissing on them, regardless if they have the 'technique' or not.


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By Tavis Ricksecker
From Bishop, ca
Dec 16, 2011
Church of the Lost and Found, Left. Summer 2013

J. Albers wrote:
An therein lies the problem for most people. Most people have sh*tty climbing technique, but they don't know it

I live in Bishop and I climb on real rock 3-4 days per week. Yet I cannot keep up with the many young hotshots who come from gyms in the city and crush at the boulders here. Therefore, I believe that my strength and power are lacking, rather than my technique. I aim to correct this deficit.


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By Brendan N. (grayhghost)
From Salt Lake City, Utah
Dec 16, 2011

J. Albers wrote:
I have no idea where the first poster is with regards to his needs of technique versus strength, but for most people who are reading this post and are thinking about incorporating Mike's workout regime into their regime, I think they should consider other ways to improve their climbing.


I agree, with Tavis projecting in the V-6 to V-9 range I think he could improve with a single hangboard workout per week and some structured bouldering sessions.


JLP wrote:
if pump and stamina are factors, ie - grade V, or those 12's and 13's with nothing but V2, V3 on them - you most definitely will stand at a significant disadvantage by not being aerobically fit. It's pretty much exercise and training 101, really.


Pump has nothing to do with being aerobically fit, it's an anaerobic issue. You can pick out the Eurotrash who is going to crush your project simply by following the cigarette butts.


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By slim
Administrator
Dec 16, 2011
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.

i sheet on your project american peeg dog!!!

(sorry, ultra slow day at work and i gotta take it out on somebody...)


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By slim
Administrator
Dec 16, 2011
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.

JLP wrote:
Why are you and Mike spending numerous hours per week on the Treadwall? Is not the point of this to condition yourself below your anaerobic threshold? Are you not therefore spending by far the vast majority of your "on the wall time" training below the anaerobic threshold? Running helps this even more, IMO. It's not sport specific and too much will definitely be a waste of time and bring you negative results - but it definitely helps.


running isn't going to do much for your forearm aerobic performance, unless maybe you are pinch gripping a moderately light weight and swinging your arms excessively like a middle aged woman on her morning walk.


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By Tavis Ricksecker
From Bishop, ca
Dec 16, 2011
Church of the Lost and Found, Left. Summer 2013

Mike, thanks so much for your response. There is a lot for me to think about here.

Mike Anderson wrote:
In climbing, the goal is to NOT fail..


Generally yes, however not necessarily. Especially with bouldering, goals can vary. Perhaps the goal is only to complete a single move which might take dozens of tries of multiple sessions. But I understand, the fingerboard is systematic exercise to failure over multiple grips in a controlled environment, obviously different than falling off one move repeatedly, with associated benefits and drawbacks.

Mike Anderson wrote:
That said, of all the climbing activities, bouldering has the best training benefit IMO...assuming you have access to a wide variety of bouldering. Along those lines...where are you bouldering?..


Bishop, CA

Mike Anderson wrote:
So, the question comes down to your strengths and weaknesses. What needs more improvement for you? Technique or finger strength?


I believe strength needs more improvement, in my core as well as my fingers. BUT... I know that unless I climb regularly, I won't be psyched. Thus I want to train AND climb, perhaps even in equal amounts, but not MORE training than climbing.

Mike Anderson wrote:
lack of access to good/varied climbing is also a problem.


Not a problem here.

Mike Anderson wrote:
I think one fingerboard workout per week is better than nothing, but would be hard to make gains. Maybe you could do 2 workouts one week, and one workout the next, alternating so that you did 3 workouts every two weeks.


I like this idea a lot, it sounds very solid. It would work well with my schedule too.

Mike Anderson wrote:
Since I have to drive pretty far to go bouldering, I want to make the most of it, so the second day on, I'll do easier ARC-like bouldering.


I know ARC has been a staple of your program, but I am not sure how specific it is to goals of simply bouldering hard. Is there a big disadvantage to eliminating this, especially if say you get plenty of time climbing outside at a higher intensity? Also, can this type of climbing be integrated into the warmup and cooldown instead of devoting a separate day for it?

Mike, what do you think of a schedule like this?

day 1 boulder hard
day 2 rest
day 3 hangboard/pull muscles/antagonists
day 4 rest
day 5 boulder hard
day 6 rest
day 7 rest

day 8 hangboard/pull muscles/antagonists
day 9 rest
day 10 boulder hard
day 11 rest
day 12 hangboard/pull muscles/antagonists
day 13 rest
day 14 rest

Also, how much can you add other activities on your rest days, like things that are not intense on the upper body. IE, snowboarding, or a mellow hike or run, or yoga..?


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By Brendan N. (grayhghost)
From Salt Lake City, Utah
Dec 16, 2011

JLP wrote:
Why are you and Mike spending numerous hours per week on the Treadwall? Is not the point of this to condition yourself below your anaerobic threshold?


Aerobic Treadwall training increases vascularization of the muscles in the forearms. Running increases vascularization of the muscles in the legs.

JLP wrote:
Running helps this even more, IMO. It's not sport specific and too much will definitely be a waste of time and bring you negative results - but it definitely helps.

This is simply not true on a basic physiological level.


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By Tavis Ricksecker
From Bishop, ca
Dec 16, 2011
Church of the Lost and Found, Left. Summer 2013

Well, I have access to running but no access to treadwall, therefore for me this question is irrelevant. I lack the patience to do proper ARC anyway. I have only real rock to train on, and endless circumnavigation of the same boulder kills my psyche. Besides, isn't there research to show that training the same muscles for endurance and strength concurrently is detrimental to your gains in strength?


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By Will S
From Joshua Tree
Dec 16, 2011

For the OP: You might try doing dedicated hangboard phases during times of the year when the weather is usually sub-optimal.

I schedule mine so there is one late Dec-late Jan, one in Apr, one in Aug. For me it would be hard to progress and even to get the load/weights correct for the workout if I were trying to mix it with other things.


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