How to climb 5.12 before turning 40. Step one. Find time machine. Just kidding. Although, I am starting to feel like I’m tearing off the pages of this countdown calendar fast.
Incase you are a new reader to my How to Climb 5.12 Before 40 series, let me catch you up!
- I am not a professional rock climber in any way shape or form
- I am a 39 year old high school English teacher living in Delaware
- As of fall 2020, outside I am an 11a/b climber
- I am recovering from tendinosis
- I want to climb 5.12 outside at the RRG or NRG before I turn 40
In my region of the Mid-Atlantic, February was punctuated with snow storms. Consequently, many lost a climbing sesh or three due to gym closures. Even though February will end up being about 3 climbing sessions short of what it “should” have been, it was a month of gains:
- I can do 8 pull ups, which is a big deal for me.
- I flashed a 12- on TR 😀
How to Climb 5.12: Climb Less?
After a month of less frequent climbing in February, all lingering feeling of my tendinosis is gone. In January, I steadily climbed twice a week, increasing the difficulty of grades little by little left my elbow tendinosis was feeling 98% fine. Now, it is 100.
Climbing less will stay on as a strategic part of my plan. I can’t climb 5.12 if I am injured, and I can’t climb 5.12 if I don’t do climbing specific training. Doing this 3 days a week, like I often used to, will likely cause overuse injuries for me. So, 2 days of climbing and climbing specific training per week is the plan.
How to climb 5.12: Integrate Climbing Specific Training in Your Gym Sesh
Going to the climbing gym is not about sending. That is what we do outside. The gym is for training. Gym climbs are benchmarks. Breadcrumbs that tell us our training is or isn’t working.
It makes sense to do all of your climbing specific muscle training on the same day for maximum rest (gains) between sessions. You can do this by integrating climbing specific training into your gym warm-up with:
- Hang board training
- Pullup training
After warming up with IYT exercises, my warm up moves to the training area for supersets of hang-boarding and pull-ups. For me, I start with 8 reps of 6 second hangs/10 second rest on the 25mm rung. Then I do 2 sets of the same on the 20mm rung. It gets ugly at the end. Pull up sets at the end of February went 8, 6, 6. Which is a lot for me.
Does this maybe make me a little more fatigued for the climbing sesh that follows? Yeah, probably. However, the gains of a hang board sesh and training pullups is greater than the gains of being a wee bit more fresh on a gym climb. IMO.
After that, a few warm up climbs, 3 maximum effort climbs, and a cooldown climb. That is it: hangboard, pull-ups, 7 climbs. Anything more is simply overkill for me.
February Climbing Breakdown
I only made it to the climbing gym 5 times in the month of February. Nonetheless, I started the month unable to finish a 12- and ended the month nearly sending a 12 on top rope.
I attribute these gains to climbing less and training more. Every day I climbed, or should have climbed, I trained hanged board and pull ups.
- Week 10 Sesh 1: Snow! (Hang-board and pullups at home)
- Week 10 Sesh 2: Bouldered! Almost finished a couple of overhanging V4. Laid off any dead-point moves.
- Week 11 Sesh 1: Tried a vertical 12- on TR. Didn’t top! First 12 since early December.
- Week 11 Sesh 2: Snow! (Hang-board and pullups at home)
- Week 12 Sesh 1: Nearly died on an 11! Aggressively high gravity day. lol.
- Week 12 Sesh 2: Sent a slightly overhanging 12- and near top on a 12 TR!
- Week 12 Sesh 1: Canceled for Snowboarding 😀
- Week 12 Sesh 2: Sent a 12- on TR and sent an overhanging 11 on Lead!
Core Stuff: February Training Breakdown
The greatest ‘fail’ of my February training was my core workouts. I started off with the best intentions: weighted leg raises and side plank hip dips. Awesome! However, on each and every core day, when it came time to strap on the ankle weights, I was like “mmm nah.” LOL. Instead, I did “core stuff.”
Core stuff! LOL!
In an effort to improve my “core training,” if you can call it that, is to simply dedicate a day for core training in the month of March. Hopefully can handle that. LOL! We will find out in a month!
Giving Myself the Tendinosis “All Clear”
Lucky week 13 of tendinosis recovery marks the ending of my ‘rehab’ for tendinosis and the beginning of my ‘prehab’ for tendinosis. I am going to keep doing all of my rehab exercises in an effort to never have tendinosis again. Hopefully by the end of March I will be a little stronger than I was pre-injury!