Variety and Periodization“The hardest part of training is making the decision to start”- Wolfgang Gullich -My quote of today
Motivation plays a huge part in training, and many stop training or never begin due to boredom or the fear of becoming bored. It’s simply not exciting enough. Training is often viewed as monotonous and perhaps a bit more grueling than most of us climbers are willing to commit to.
Inroducing “Spaz Training”
It’s not the most inspiring title, but it sums things up well. When it comes to training, I’ve discovered that I’m a bit of a spaz… I get bored with my training frequently and it seems that I have a new plan every week, which has led to starts, stops, and mixed results from my training program.
But now that’s about to change.
It finally occurred to me to use my “spaz” tendencies to my training advantage, and so I created a new training cycle that incorporates both periodization and a ton of variety to keep my training mentally stimulating. Instead of performing 3 weeks of strength training, 3 weeks endurance, and 1 week of rest I’ve scheduled each week for a different form of training. Each of the first 3 weeks are focused on a different strength training exercise, and each of the second 3 weeks are focused on a different endurance exercise.
So now I can have my cake and eat it too! I have a strong focus on my targeted goals and objectives while still managing to have a little bit of fun with it too. Since each week is a different form of training, I find myself looking forward to each session and eagerly anticipating my next workout far more than when I simply scheduled 3 week blocks, or had no schedule at all. The key to this type of cycle is creativity. If you pick exercises that you find interesting (or which simply make you feel awesome) and perform the same cycle of exercises for each cycle, you’ll be rewarded with an easy set of benchmarks to use for tracking progress.
I still never schedule workout days, preferring to feel it out day by day, but my program still has strong structure! And the best part… I’m feeling stronger, more confident, and (most importantly…) more psyched than ever!
Did you spot the head-fake? This isn’t just a way to get strong fast, it’s a way to make you a more solid climber. With a different exercise each week, you’re far more likely to train up all of the muscles in your drive-train, and reduces the likelihood of having specific targeted weaknesses.
Did you spot the second Head-Fake? This is not just a good way to train and get stronger, it’s also a great way to avoid injury. Most climbing injuries fall in the “repetitive stress” category. We perform the same super stressful actions over and over again until something blows out. If your training style changes completely from week to week, it reduces the risk for Repetitive Stress injuries by avoiding Repetitive Stress! A different exercise each week means you’re less likely to create those explosively destructive tweaks.