Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Feeling the power building

For the past month or so I've been working on a new route at the Spider's Web in the Adirondacks. The line is one of the most difficult and inspiring lines I have ever tried and what's more, it's all on gear! I worked the route on toprope for about 6 days before starting to go for it on lead. I'm yet to link it on top-rope and have now fallen from the crux at the top about a dozen times! A couple of weeks ago I decided to take some time away and try and build up a little more fitness to bring to it. After two weeks of training I am feeling stronger than ever and am drooling and the cool temps forecasted for later this week!

I set a long traverse in the gym (about 50 moves) and wired that in for training as well as hitting the campus board hard. I've also been making after-work forays up to the 82 crag in Bolton to get on the amazing sport routes up there and train. Last night I surprised myself by sending Little Red Hen (12d) on pretty much my second go! I had briefly gotten on it last week but bailed right away due to burning skin. So psyched to be feeling strong and ready to give it hard on the project! Yeeaah!


  1. Trippy. Another serious rock climber named Matt McCormick. Looks like you're taking the right approach to training for the route. Eric Horst's books are good for training stuff.

    Have you worked out some ways to do cycles over the season with power, power endurance, and endurance training?

    Matt McCormick

  2. Wow. Another Matt McCormick who climbs! Kind of crazy!

    Staying in peak form throughout the whole year is pretty unrealistic in my opinion. Instead I try to pick a couple of goals/trips to build up to and peak for throughout the year. I spent several months this past winter just training indoors to peak for a long trip to Spain. I felt super strong over there after that cycle of training which focused on Strength, power, and power-endurance in that order. I spent about a 2.5 weeks on each component and used endurance training throughout as a warm-up/cooldown.

    This summer I've been pretty focused on one project and have maintained a pretty steady 3 days a week in the gym focusing on strength and power-endurance. Generally I was trying to maintain and not lose much but yet not be too blown for strong goes on my project. I've also run a lot this summer which has resulted in some really noticeable gains endurance wise on the rock. The last few weeks have been a mini-cycle to try and gain a bit more fitness to finish of a project and will act well as a base to build up for the crisp fall conditions on the way.

    Overall I think it's best to pick a couple of trips or goals to peak for throughout the season and otherwise generally try to maintain by pushing. It's unrealistic, I think, for the average climber to try and climb at their peak level all throughout the year. During a hard training phase I'm pounding my body way too hard to expect to be able to crush it but the reward comes later when you go on your trip and send hard!