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Stamina vs. PE
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By Eric Heiden
From Derry, NH
Jan 19, 2012
So I believe I understand how ARC, HYP, MAXR, and PE work into climbing and when to schedule each individual phase in preperation for an upcoming season but I have a question regarding stamina:

1) Where do stamina workouts (i.e. boulder pyramids) fit into this model? Would that be considered a Power endurance routine? If so, what kind of gains could one expect from doing boulder periods vs. 4x4s?

(For reference: a bouldering pyramid = if your max *redpoint* (i.e. the grade you can usually do in 3-4 tries) bouldering level is v5, then you'd climb 4xv2, 3xv3, 2xv4, 1xv5, 2xv4, 3xv3, 4xv2. Ideally all boulder problems you've done before so you don't mess around learning the moves or missing holds/beta, although I guess this would be good onsight training.)

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By Brian S
Jan 19, 2012
It depends on who you are and what your goals are.

If you are a solely a boulder, there is no need to train PE. Typically people don't fall off boulders because they are pumped. Limited training time and energy is better spent on stamina. Increasing the number of sends, or attempts, will have greater impact in the upcoming season.

Personally, I alternative between periods of intensity (i.e., projecting and threshold climbing) and volume (i.e., pyraminds, diamonds, hourglasses, CIR, and VIR) during my off season. I chase one rabbit until I catch it (stop seeing gains) then go chase the other rabbit.

I have better success with stamina training by repeating problems, over 1st goes. I typically onsight or flash outside while I'm fresh so my training reflects that.

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By Will S
From Joshua Tree
Jan 19, 2012
Sheldon Deeny wrote:
I've found that limiting factors for stamina during a day at the crag are more likely to be your nutrition strategy before and during the day, how good your skin is, how well rested you are before climbing


+1.

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By Mike Anderson
From Colorado Springs, CO
Jan 19, 2012
Frankly, I don't think a bouldering pyramid, as you have described it makes much sense.

If your goal is to increase your ability to tolerate a high volume of climbing in a day, I think you would be better suited to do a "plateau" rather than a pyramid. I.e., why only one V5...why not 6-10 V4's. I suspect this more closely approximates what most climbers do on a bouldering day.

If your goal is to develop strength or power, you would warm up on easier problems (say 3xV2, 2xV3) then climb several V5's (4-6?).

Of course the trouble with all of these "plans" is the inability to quantify the physical difficulty of a boulder problem. V5 doesn't equate to any quantifiable level of load on your fingers, or biceps, lats, etc. There are slabby V5's, vertical, overhanging, etc. There are V2's that would put more stress on your fingers than some V5's, so what does the pyramid protocol do for you?

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By Aerili
From Salt Lake City, UT
Jan 19, 2012
The West Desert...it's not just for climbing, suck...
Eric Heiden wrote:
So I believe I understand how ARC, HYP, MAXR, and PE work into climbing and when to schedule each individual phase in preperation for an upcoming season but I have a question regarding stamina: 1) Where do stamina workouts (i.e. boulder pyramids) fit into this model? Would that be considered a Power endurance routine?


I feel the term "power endurance" is so misused and abused by climbers.

I disagree with the poster who said that boulderers have no need to develop power endurance. If you wish to climb multiple powerful problems (or work a single one multiple times) without a lot of down time, good power endurance could be useful for you.

As for bouldering pyramid sets, here is what I think: pyramid sets can be manipulated to train all three (muscular endurance, strength and power) simultaneously--but perhaps none masterfully? I think you will mostly find pyramid sets will target muscular endurance and strength. Especially if you have not specifically created your exercises to be based on power.

Remember that power is about SPEED OF A MOVEMENT. Reps, sets, and loads do not quantify power development alone. So you can climb numerous problems, but if you have a lot of static movements and "hanging out" moments, you aren't doing anything for power.


Mike Anderson wrote:
Of course the trouble with all of these "plans" is the inability to quantify the physical difficulty of a boulder problem. V5 doesn't equate to any quantifiable level of load on your fingers, or biceps, lats, etc.

This is a good point.

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By slim
Administrator
Jan 20, 2012
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.
a lot of good points brought up so far. mike had a good point about using a plateau instead of a pyramid for stamina. i try to build stamina into my overall plan, primarily to give me extra chances at sending a route in a single day. for me, when my stamina is in decent shape, i know that i have about 4 chances to throw the coal to to it on a typical route in one day, or 2 chances if it is a really long endurance route. or if i get lucky and send quickly, i can get a good start or possibly send another one.

i often butcher my first attempt at a route, but i am pretty good at figuring out what i did wrong, and usually have a good shot at getting it in the next try or two. i think the stamina helps my odds a bit.

here's how i incorporate the stamina workout. if my tuesday hangboard workout was brutal and i don't feel fully recovered for thursday night climbing (usually PE or routes at my limit) i will drop back and do a CIR workout, usually trying to do 10 to 15 routes at 2 letter grades easier than my comfortable onsite level. sometimes i adjust up or down a bit, based on how i am feeling. i'll do the same thing on sunday if my saturday climbing/workout has me feeling rough.

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