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Training different energy systems (Read 7517 times)

rjtrials

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#50 Re: Training different energy systems
January 25, 2022, 08:43:57 pm
At a guess, a work:rest ratio of 8:1, unless someone can convince me that 7:3 is a better predictor of performance on sections of sustained hard climbing. 🤷🏼‍♂️
I'm guessing that testing would be increasing percentages of max (also 8s?) for time?

Training 8:1 seems like and unreasonable acid bath or the intensity would have to be super low?

Have you trained in these parameters or just musing upon observations?

jwi

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#51 Re: Training different energy systems
January 25, 2022, 09:01:47 pm
I have done some fingerboarding at a 4.5:0.5 ratio. I liked it better than 7:3, but n=1 and a million uncontrolled variables, ymmv

Aussiegav

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#52 Re: Training different energy systems
January 25, 2022, 11:18:23 pm
[
From those four hangs I can estimate your critical force and see if any of the efforts above are under predicted by the CF model.

Offer open to anyone who wants to waste an afternoon...

Warning Stupid question:
What is critical force?
How does it relate to climbing. (Sport climbing I assume).


remus

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#53 Re: Training different energy systems
January 25, 2022, 11:44:58 pm
[
From those four hangs I can estimate your critical force and see if any of the efforts above are under predicted by the CF model.

Offer open to anyone who wants to waste an afternoon...

Warning Stupid question:
What is critical force?
How does it relate to climbing. (Sport climbing I assume).

Critical force is the same as functional threshold power (FTP) that Paul described above, just different terminology. Basically the idea is it's the highest level of force production you can sustain for a long period of time (where long is usually around an hour).

In the literature to date climbing at a given intensity is typically modelled by doing 7:3 repeaters at some percentage of your max. So say you weigh 70 kg and your max 7s hang is +30 kg, for 100 kg total load. Then if you could only just sustain a total load of 40 kg (or bw - 30 kg) for an hour then this would be your critical force.

In practice you'd usually test your max, then at decreasing intensities (e.g. 80%, 70%, 60%, 50% of max) and fit a curve to infer your theoretical critical force because fingerboarding for 15mins+ is awful.

Aussiegav

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#54 Re: Training different energy systems
January 26, 2022, 06:45:04 am
Thanks Remus
How long are the rests between the sets of repeaters?
This looks like fun rainy day activity.  :badidea:


remus

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#55 Re: Training different energy systems
January 26, 2022, 08:21:45 am
The testing protocol Stu described here is pretty sensible https://ukbouldering.com/board/index.php/topic,31719.msg653878.html#msg653878 In an ideal world you'd be completely rested before going on to the next set so rests should be long. If you can be bothered it would even make sense to split the testing over a couple of days (e.g. max, 80% and 50% on day 1 then 60% and 70% on day 2).

Stu Littlefair

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#56 Re: Training different energy systems
January 26, 2022, 11:54:30 am
At a guess, a work:rest ratio of 8:1, unless someone can convince me that 7:3 is a better predictor of performance on sections of sustained hard climbing. 🤷🏼‍♂️

I thought about this overnight because I didn't want to give a rushed response. There's a lot to unpack here! I've split my post into two parts....

Part 1

Firstly, no-one is saying performance at 7:3 repeaters is a predictor of performance. We (I) are claiming they can be used to stress the energy systems in a way that reveals useful facts. Critical force/power tests rely on exhausting the energy systems at different intensities. I'm not aware of any evidence that the work/rest ratio of intermittent efforts matters much; though there's very little study (only https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24492634/ ?)

To be sure I put myself through a CF test with 8:1 work:rest ratio and compared to results I get with 7:3 repeaters. Once you correct for the duty cycle (the online calculators and lattice don't) I get statistically consistent answers for CF from both. Only one test subject, but backs up the statement above.

I don't doubt you're right that 7:3 repeaters replicate the work:rest ratio in climbing poorly, but for these tests I don't see that it matters.

Maybe you have a stronger point when it comes to whether 7:3 repeaters should actually be used in training, but even there I'm not sure it matters. After all, fartlek runs don't replicate a 10 000m race very well at all, but I don't think anyone would deny they are a useful training method?


Stu Littlefair

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#57 Re: Training different energy systems
January 26, 2022, 11:58:05 am
Part 2

I find I have a lot of sympathy with Paul's suggestion that these discussions have a "missing the wood for the trees" effect on people trying to learn about training. I love these threads and find them super interesting, but as an example, a discussion of the ideal work:rest ratio for endurance training on fingerboards could lead to someone missing the main point which is:

Do most of your endurance training by climbing

This will get the work:rest ratio right automatically, plus you'll be working on your pacing, your technique and the mental aspect of handling the pump. Much better

Bradders

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#58 Re: Training different energy systems
January 26, 2022, 05:26:37 pm
Part 2

I find I have a lot of sympathy with Paul's suggestion that these discussions have a "missing the wood for the trees" effect on people trying to learn about training. I love these threads and find them super interesting, but as an example, a discussion of the ideal work:rest ratio for endurance training on fingerboards could lead to someone missing the main point which is:

Do most of your endurance training by climbing

This will get the work:rest ratio right automatically, plus you'll be working on your pacing, your technique and the mental aspect of handling the pump. Much better

100%

In fact, it could be distilled even further for the vast majority of people to "do endurance training, by climbing, consistently".

jwi

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#59 Re: Training different energy systems
January 26, 2022, 08:10:45 pm

To be sure I put myself through a CF test with 8:1 work:rest ratio and compared to results I get with 7:3 repeaters. Once you correct for the duty cycle (the online calculators and lattice don't) I get statistically consistent answers for CF from both. Only one test subject, but backs up the statement above.

I don't doubt you're right that 7:3 repeaters replicate the work:rest ratio in climbing poorly, but for these tests I don't see that it matters.
Fair enough, thanks for taking a lot of time to consider this! And even doing a pilot study!

One of the reasons I am sceptical, is that when I did an experiment with 7:3 s repeaters on me and my better half (n=2), I discovered that 3s rest is basically complete recovery for her (she has absurd levels of endurance in the forearm flexors, never seen the like in anyone else)

Steve Crowe

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#60 Re: Training different energy systems
January 26, 2022, 10:18:43 pm
“ Do most of your endurance training by climbing”

I don’t disagree but finding a route that are sustained enough without shakeouts or easy sections or bloc moves can be difficult.

remus

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#61 Re: Training different energy systems
January 26, 2022, 11:01:49 pm
“ Do most of your endurance training by climbing”

I don’t disagree but finding a route that are sustained enough without shakeouts or easy sections or bloc moves can be difficult.

I assume climbing on a circuit board was included.

MischaHY

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#62 Re: Training different energy systems
January 27, 2022, 07:14:26 am
“ Do most of your endurance training by climbing”

I don’t disagree but finding a route that are sustained enough without shakeouts or easy sections or bloc moves can be difficult.

If you don't have a circuit board then a great way to get around this issue is to find a route that's about the right level but with the inconvenient rest or whatever and just use a hold from another route instead - or choose to use the good hold with less fingers etc.

jwi

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#63 Re: Training different energy systems
January 27, 2022, 10:05:59 am
“ Do most of your endurance training by climbing”

I don’t disagree but finding a route that are sustained enough without shakeouts or easy sections or bloc moves can be difficult.

I usually just choose a route a bit on the easy side, skip the rests and force myself to climb quickly through easier bits.

Of course indoors, I think climbing walls should be obliged to put up a few sustained route at every grade. Wall operators around where I live clearly thinks otherwise, which is why I do not patronise them.


abarro81

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#65 Re: Training different energy systems
January 27, 2022, 10:53:23 am
This may be of interest.

https://journals.biologists.com/jeb/article/224/13/jeb234567/270788/Determinants-of-climbing-energetic-costs-in-humans
I got as far as this quote before making the assumption that it would be totally useless to anyone trying to get better at rock climbing (apart from Simon  ;)). Let me know if there's an interesting bit to it!
Mass-specific cost of transport was negatively correlated with climbing velocity. Increased route difficulty was associated with slower climbing velocities and thus higher costs, but there was no statistically significant effect of route difficulty on energy expenditure independent of velocity.

Hollo

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#66 Re: Training different energy systems
January 27, 2022, 12:08:04 pm
This may be of interest.

https://journals.biologists.com/jeb/article/224/13/jeb234567/270788/Determinants-of-climbing-energetic-costs-in-humans
I got as far as this quote before making the assumption that it would be totally useless to anyone trying to get better at rock climbing (apart from Simon  ;)). Let me know if there's an interesting bit to it!
Mass-specific cost of transport was negatively correlated with climbing velocity. Increased route difficulty was associated with slower climbing velocities and thus higher costs, but there was no statistically significant effect of route difficulty on energy expenditure independent of velocity.

This was an interesting conclusion considering that couple of the test subjects could not finish the most difficult climb (5.10, the others being 5.6 and 5.8 ) due to fatigue. Can't be bothered to go back and find the quote.

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#67 Re: Training different energy systems
January 27, 2022, 03:39:22 pm
I love threads like these - as a very time poor climbing dad I am always looking for the most efficient ways to train even if I sometimes struggle to adopt them.

As motivation: can anyone who has adopted energy systems training over multiple seasons explain how it helped progression? Mischa gave a great example of a sort of 'magic bullet' approach, but how has this worked for people over a number of years? Did you get a boost to your onsight/redpoint grade immediately and then each year building on the past efforts, or did it take a bit of time to work out how to make it work for you? Did it rely on having a clear peaking period where you were able to climb loads or can you make it work as a weekend warrior?

Stu Littlefair

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#68 Re: Training different energy systems
January 27, 2022, 03:47:00 pm
As an N=1 example, as a result of testing on myself I decided that I could entirely ditch anaerobic training, as it was well developed. Eventually (and unsurprisingly) it came back into balance with my aerobic ability (as determined by testing), so I put the ancap back in. Like Mischa, I probably didn't need the testing to know this, but it helped me be sure I wasn't making a mistake.

Case studies can never show if something worked or not, but I did go on an on sighting holiday to Greece with Barrows in the physical shape of my life. I was consistently burning Alex off at the Foundry before we went. Once out there, Alex onsighted multiple 8b's and flashed 8b+. I climbed very badly and didn't onsight anything harder than 8a.

If only there was some underlying moral that could be extracted from this story.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2022, 03:52:40 pm by Stu Littlefair »

teestub

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#69 Re: Training different energy systems
January 27, 2022, 03:49:15 pm

If only there was some underlying moral that could be extracted from this story.

We all need to get taller?

Stu Littlefair

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#70 Re: Training different energy systems
January 27, 2022, 03:52:09 pm
Well, I was going for the fact that onsight climbing depends on a lot more than physical fitness, but sure, let's aim for getting taller instead.

jwi

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#71 Re: Training different energy systems
January 27, 2022, 04:20:27 pm
A comforting thought, as it does not require training!

Paul B

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#72 Re: Training different energy systems
January 27, 2022, 04:22:29 pm
I love threads like these - as a very time poor climbing dad I am always looking for the most efficient ways to train even if I sometimes struggle to adopt them.

My last year in Sheffield was the last time I managed to devote sufficient time to follow something well that was energy systems based. Working at a (fantastic) wall massively helped with this (use of the facilities at quiet times) especially when Barrows and Stu were kicking around for me to pester when I didn't understand what I was doing. I got myself in pretty damn good shape and had a good trip abroad even if the route I was hoping for was totally out of condition (baking). The next season that followed I had a great year getting loads done that I thought would take me several years. This may or may not be as a result of the training/frothing at being so close to my favourite crag.

I think if you're very time poor then you might struggle to commit sufficient time. Watching people that choose to train this way, especially those following a commercial plan, it's often apparent that the sheer volume of training has increased markedly.

abarro81

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#73 Re: Training different energy systems
January 27, 2022, 05:23:42 pm
Mischa gave a great example of a sort of 'magic bullet' approach
First thing I'd say is that magic bullets are a rare thing, so don't go into any kind of training expecting one.

can anyone who has adopted energy systems training over multiple seasons explain how it helped progression? [...]Did you get a boost to your onsight/redpoint grade immediately and then each year building on the past efforts, or did it take a bit of time to work out how to make it work for you?
Anecdotally, my answer depends on what you call "energy systems training", since anything where you get pumped kind of counts, and it's a spectrum from totally unplanned and unstructured to highly regimented, rather than a discrete thing.

I did some kind of PE work at the wall on circuits from back when I started going climbing (6th form) because that's what people seemed to do to get good for routes. No stopwatch or anything though and no "plan" in terms of periodisation or anything. So in that sense I've done it forever and gone steadily through the grades - though obviously rather faster as an 18 yr old newbie than a 30-something guy with a job who's been at it for years and is chronically injured.

Through uni it was a question of gradually learning more, refining and adding structure. I started traving around the wall for 30min to ARC at the end of the session in maybe my first year at uni based on some Gresh articles on planet fear. Then added more structure to circuits sessions; then realised I shouldn't be just getting pumped all the time 2x per week so started to play a bit more with some kind of periodisation/focus etc.. Though that also happened naturally with seasonal focus (more bouldering in the winter). During the course of uni I went from 7c max RP to 8b, then went climbing for a year and did an 8c (6 week siege).

The next year (2012/13) I got lots of info from Tom, started doing An Cap (which was new to me, whereas strength/PE/ARC was all what I already did). I also started structuring and planning my training a notch more, mapping out periods of time between trips and what I would focus on in more detail. That year I made huge gains, did a few 8cs in ok time and did my first 8c+, then wrote that pdf thinking I had it fuckin' sussed.

2013-2017 I improved at a slower pace, but was probably getting steadily better still. I realised I didn't have it as sussed as I thought and that a lot of the early gains were just from trying that approach for the first time in combination with having just had a year off to climb full time. (I've taken an extended period out to climb on 2 occasions - in both instances when I came back and started training again I had 6-12 months where I saw big gains.) Over this period I probably refined what works for me quite a bit but no major changes in approach/philosophy.

Since 2017 I don't really feel like I've improved significantly. If there is improvement it's very slow! I partly blame this on having a job, being more stressed with other "life" stuff etc. Also I guess I'm now just at the stage where you're looking to eek out a 1% gain and not just to jump a level. I take a similar approach to training as before but have to modify a lot around injury and the fact that my body can't do what it could 5-10 years ago because I'm broken and old. I can't do high volume, I can't do pull ups, can't use crimps etc... but I'm surprised how much you can work around these issues. Now it's more like cycling in and out of form and trying to time it right for trips or dry periods!

Did it rely on having a clear peaking period where you were able to climb loads or can you make it work as a weekend warrior?
I think it works most neatly with trips but it's fine with a block where your preferred crag might be in season (just harder to guess timing), and you could apply the principles broadly without even trying to peak that much too.

I think this approach can be done with limited time - some people seem to manage - but perhaps not if you also value down time! It's a lot harder to fit in than just getting strong, and may depend on what "limited time" means to you too! Works with a full time job but might be hard with full time job and kids? At the least you'll need a decent set of ways to train at home.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2022, 05:33:55 pm by abarro81 »

petejh

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#74 Re: Training different energy systems
January 27, 2022, 05:33:41 pm
A comforting thought, as it does not require training!

Just an impressive rack.

 

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