Climbing training takes time. Unfortunately, most of us have schedules that are anything but full of extra time we can devote to our training. However, being low on time doesn’t mean you can’t have quality training sessions and progress your climbing. There are no shortcuts, but if you are smart with your training and efficient with your time a busy schedule doesn’t need to be the reason you don’t reach your climbing goals.

Luckily for all of us, Neely had Tom Randall and Ollie Torr of Lattice Training on the TrainingBeta Podcast to outline five tips for the time-poor climber. Today, we want to highlight what Tom and Ollie consider a great one-hour workout that will give the physical stimulus you need to improve in an extremely short period of time. This workout may not be the most fun you’ve ever had at the climbing gym and it certainly doesn’t have any time for chatting or being social, but for climber’s short on time it’s hard to beat this kind of efficiency.

If you like what you see here, be sure to check out the full episode/transcript for more of Tom and Ollie’s tips about how to be more efficient with your training time!

Lattice Training on the Perfect 1-Hour Session:

Neely Quinn: Okay. The next thing I want to talk about is: what if somebody just has one hour? They have one hour, three days a week. What do they do in that hour?

Tom Randall: So this is a block of time that I think most people can find in their day, even if they are quite limited. I wanted to run through a one hour session that a mid-level climber who has a reasonable level of climbing and training experience could do in just one hour. It would be a really nice physiological stimulus in that one hour. This can also be done in relatively limited facilities. If we were to break it down, this is the kind of session where you’ve got to go at it with quality and you’ve really got to not sit around and talk and chat. You’ve got to get on with the training.

There’s basically four parts to a one hour session that you can do. First of all, you’ve got to get warmed-up. I’ve seen this before where people say, “Hey, you can do this really great session in one hour,” but actually it doesn’t even include the warm-up. I’m going to say that warm-up is in there.

In my experience, and I do this with my own climbing as well, if you’re very focused and really, really get on with it, you can do a good quality warm-up in just 15 minutes if you really go for it. That then leaves you 45 minutes in your session. From there I’m playing this ‘stacking the intensities’ game.

I’ll aim for doing a fingerboard session right at the start which will be a recruitment, max strength/max hang-style session. That can be something like five times for 10-second hangs. You might be taking around one and a half minutes of rest between those hangs and doing a 10-second max hang. That’s going to take the next 10 minutes up so that’s your fingerboard recruitment, max hang work.

You move straight from that after a couple minutes rest and go on to a bouldering wall, whether that’s a normal bouldering wall or a system board, and you do some limit bouldering which is going to be highly skillful, high enough in intensity that it’s going to provide a stimulus, and just enough volume to also help find that physiological stimulus. I recommend something like a 3×2 session. That’s doing three problems but doing them twice each and putting just two and a half minutes rest between each of those attempts on the boulder problem. That’s going to take six minutes to do each boulder problem twice and of course if you’re doing three boulder problems, that’s 18 minutes.

Your session so far is warm-up 15 minutes, fingerboard 10 minutes, 18 minutes of limit bouldering, and I’m now left with around 15 minutes or so in my session. You can do a clever little way of training some basic endurance training in with a conditioning exercise. I’m going to choose core, for example, in this one. You can do a 1 on/1 off, so one minute on, one minute off during this exercise. You would pick a medium intensity climbing circuit or perhaps a medium intensity top roping section at your wall and you’ll do one minute of climbing on it, lower down to the ground or jump off the wall, and then do a conditioning exercise. In this case I say it’s pretty simple to do core work on the floor for one minute, so that’s your rest period. Go back on and repeat that for eight cycles to create 16 minutes of training. That would be one minute of endurance, one minute of core, one minute endurance, one minute of core.

You get to the end of that and you’ve taken up an hour and you’re going to be hot and sweaty, you’ve had a decent workout, you’ve worked a number of different energy systems, and that’s a really nice session which I feel like I could give to literally thousands of climbers around the world. If they stuck to that and they were consistent with it, even if we were doing this two times a week and they were truly consistent with it and put good quality into those sessions, they would make pretty significant gains.

Neely Quinn: After you were done with that your body would be like, ‘What just happened?’ [laughs]

Ollie Torr: It’s amazing what you can do with one hour.

Neely Quinn: No, that’s incredible. You have to be so efficient with your time and be on top of it, like you’re saying.

Tom Randall: Yeah, and I kind of really speak from the voice of experience with this. I’ve become super efficient with my time on this kind of stuff and I never ever look at a one hour session like this anymore and go, ‘Oh, this sucks. I’ve only got one hour to train.’ I’m actually thinking, ‘Woah. This is going to be an intense one hour and when I’m done with my one hour I’m going to be very happy to sit down and relax.’

Full Episode/Transcript: TBP 114:: Lattice Training – 5 Training Hacks for The Time-Poor Climber


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