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Eric Hörst's Training For Climbing Podcast

Training and performance podcasts by Eric Hörst, the internationally renowned author, climbing coach, researcher, inventor, and accomplished climber of more than 40 years. Founder of TrainingForClimbing.com and PhysiVāntage. With his unique combination of veteran climbing and coaching experience and knowledge of the latest climbing research, Eric presents practical, effective guidelines to climb harder, reduce injury risk, and maximize the experience of moving over stone. Eric is one of the world's most knowledgeable climbing coaches and his eight books (and many foreign translations) have sold more than 400,000 copies worldwide. His latest book release is the 3rd edition of Training For Climbing. Learn more at: http://www.trainingforclimbing.com
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Now displaying: 2018
Dec 7, 2018

This episode provides critical framework and guidelines for effective hangboard training. Based on 30+ years of hangboard training experience--and the latest research--you'll learn the importance of a proper warm up, why you must train different finger grip positions, how to maintain forearm muscle balance and lower injury risk, as well as valuable tips on organizing your hangboard training for optimal results and continued gains in the long-term!

Rundown

0:22 - Introduction

2:00 - Detailed description of the new ULTIMATE BOARD, designed by Hörst and manufactured by Nicros. Purchase here >>

11:20 - Who should hangboard train? Guidelines for beginner, intermediate, advanced, and elite climbers.

17:30 - The value of hangboard training for intermittent year-round...and the importance of finding your "best" personalized program.

18:45 - Get compliant! Learn the "120-move" rule for warming up.

24:45 - Why elite level climbers need to do some two-a-day workouts.

25:55 - Beginner guidelines. To hang or not to hang?

26:35 - How proper training (and rest) can make your tendons stronger, stiffer, and slightly thicker given long-term, prudent hangboard training.

27:10 - Which grip positions you should train? How grip position effects forces placed on the flexor tendons and pulleys. Important stuff!

30:00 - Biomechanics of the full crimp grip.

31:12 - Biomechanics of the open-hand grip.

32:18 - What about the "open-crimp" grip?

34:15 - Importance of targeting a specific grip position.

35:50 - Research findings on the forces places on the FDP and FDS flexor tendons with different grip positions.

40:50 - Forces placed on A2 and A4 pulleys...and how to train around a minor annular pulley injury.

42:32 - Finger extensor muscle imbalances...and how to train to combat them.

48:45 - Pinch grip training--Eric's "two birds with one stone" training recommendation.

51:08 - Why every serious climbing much do two brief antagonist exercise sessions per week.

51:55 - Reminder that specific hangboard training protocols are detailed in Podcast #10.

54:08 - Tips on exercise programming.

55:50 - Tips for advanced climbers.

57:00 - Elite climber advice: The importance of doing periods of high volume training for Central Governor recalibration--one of the keys to breaking new performance barriers! Learn more on this in my book, Training for Climbing.

59:30 - Keys to long-term gains over decades. Yes, you can do it with dedicated & smart training--if you stay uninjured!

1:00:35 - Teaser on the next few podcasts...which will break some new ground. Don't miss them!

1:01:40 - Closing comments about the transcending spirit of climbing...and Eric's good wishes to you for the holidays and New Year!

If you enjoy this podcast, PLEASE SHARE it with your friends via Social Media or an embed on your climbing blog. Thank you!

Follow Eric on Twitter @Train4Climbing

Check out Eric’s YouTube channel.

Follow Eric on Facebook!

Music by: Misty Murphy

Subscribe on iTunes (or other podcast player) to "Eric Hörst's Training For Climbing" podcast. You can also listen to the T4C podcast on Spotify! Please write a review on iTunes!

Photo: Training on the Ultimate Board, available from NICROS.com

Nov 3, 2018

0:25 – Preview of this and upcoming podcasts.

5:55 - Overview of this summer's International Rock Climbing Researchers Association 4th Congress in Chamonix, France.

10:40 - Research highlight #1: 3-D motion analysis of speed climbing performance, and interpretation of hip mechanical energy in official speed climbing route. (Lionel Reveret - France).

14:45 - Research highlight #2: Effect of climbing hold depth on biomechanical arm action during pull-ups. (Laurent Vigouroux - France)

22:55 - Research highlight #3: PIP joint contact incongruency in different grip positions as a trigger for epiphyseal fatigue fracture in adolescent climbers. (Andreas Schweizer - Switzerland)

31:20 - Research highlights #4 & 5: Association between different Rate of Force Development-measurements and climbing performance (Vegard Vereide - Norway),  and the Rate of Force Development: a new biomechanical key factor in climbing (Guillaume Levernier - France).

40:45 - Research highlight #6: The effects of weighted dead-hang training program on grip strength and endurance in experienced climbers with different levels of strength (Eva Lopez-Rivera - Spain).

52:52 - Research highlight #7: Qualitative analysis of two of 2017's greatest ascents and a proposed conceptual model for maximum-difficulty sport climbing and energy system requirements (Eric Hörst - USA)

1:05:08 - The ultimate lesson from Hayes' and Ondra's ascentsclimb quickly, accurately, and efficiently, and pause to rest only at effective rest positions. In short, the Hörst rule for lead climbing peak performance: Climb fast and rest well!

1:07:24 - My shout out to a few of the numerous coaches now bringing climbing science to their work as trainers!

If you enjoy this podcast, PLEASE SHARE it with your friends via Social Media or an embed on your climbing blog. Thank you!

Follow Eric on Twitter @Train4Climbing

Check out Eric’s YouTube channel.

Follow Eric on Facebook!

Music by: Misty Murphy

Subscribe on iTunes (or other podcast player) to "Eric Hörst's Training For Climbing" podcast. You can also listen to the T4C podcast on Spotify! Please write a review on iTunes!

Photo: Eric Hörst presenting at the IRCRA conference in Chamonix, France, July 2018.

Oct 2, 2018

In this episode of Ask Coach Hörst...Eric answers 7 wide-ranging questions from listeners, including in-depth coverage of effective hangboard training, the importance of developing a climbing "talent stack", details on Threshold training for climbing-specific aerobic development, training while recovering from a lower-leg injury, training for middle-aged climbers, and more!

Podcast Rundown

1:35 - Question #1 - A two-part question on effective hangboard training...with a long, detailed answer offering rich guidance on developing strength and endurance using a hangboard. Part 1: Is it better to train on small edges with body weight or larger holds with added weight? Part 2: How does the length of rest between hangboard reps and sets effect the training adaptation?

19:15 - Question #2 - How can I find the proper training intensity when doing Threshold Intervals…to best develop my climbing-specific aerobic energy system? Consider listening to podcast #26 for a complete study of aerobic system training for climbing.

26:20 - Question #3 - I'm out of climbing for several months due to lower leg surgery...so, Eric, what kind of training do you suggest for me during this forced withdrawal from climbing?

32:37 - Question #4 - Why don't you recommend any low-rep hypertrophy training for antagonist and core muscles?

38:01 - Question #5 - I get so incredibly pump—and quickly!—on steep routes. How can I assess my energy systems and determine which energy system (Aerobic or Anaerobic) I need to train? Can you give me some training advice? For a super detailed study of anaerobic lactic training, listen to podcasts #23 and #24.

44:32 - Question #6 - Climbing is now my passion, however I previously was a serious rugby player. How might I train to reduce the size (weight) of my rather large leg muscle? Eric also explains the importance of developing a climbing “talent stack”.

51:55 - Question #7 - I'm 47 years old (been climbing 28 years) and very experienced at hard multi-pitch routes...but I have also climbed 5.13a sport and V7 boulders. My goal is to climb some multi-pitch 5.12 routes, and I'd like to improve my physical fitness. What training do you recommend for someone my age?

NOTE: If you'd like to submit a question for the next, please leave it as a comment to the Ask Coach Horst post on my Twitter @Train4Climbing -- include your first name, location, climbing ability level, and years climbing.

Music by Misty Murphy

Follow Eric on Twitter @Train4Climbing

Check out Eric’s YouTube channel.

Follow Eric on Facebook!

And on Instagram at: Training4Climbing

Aug 28, 2018

This is the fifth and final episode in our study of Energy System Training theory and application. In this 90-minute tour de force, Eric presents the art of the science via 8 key ideas and distinctions to make your energy system training optimally effective. This is powerful material—understanding and applying this cutting-edge sports science will empower you to elevate your training outcomes...and climb harder!

Podcast Rundown

2:50 – Recap of the genesis of my study of energy systems more than 5 years ago. After a two-year review of the latest research and sports science, I discovered that some aspect of the old school sports science—and even some physiology textbooks—were outdated and even wrong on some important details. Therefore, what I’m trying to do with my book Training for Climbing and these podcasts is apply the latest sports science, research, and training technology to climbing. Only this way will we optimize training programs and advance the sport!

5:20 – What I’m presenting in this series of 5 podcasts is the cutting edge of training for climbing…that may open the door to 5.16a in the next 5 to 10 years...and help the mass of climbers achieve their climbing goals and beyond!

8:15 – Eric shares a brief anecdote from his week at the International Rock Climbing Researchers congress in Chamonix, France...about meeting the Japan National Climbing Team head coach Hiroshi Yasui.

10:58 – The focus of this podcast is the art of the science…via 8 key ideas and distinctions to make energy system training optimally effective. This is important and powerful summary material that will pull together the key concepts from the 4 previous podcasts…and empower you to get the most out of your training both in the short and long term.

13:08 – How advanced training is like playing 3-D chess.

14:20 – Key Idea #1: Though we talk about (and train) them separately, all 3 energy systems contribute toward power in almost every climbing move and training exercise. It's vitally important to understand how the three energy pathways influence, support, and even inhibit each other.

17:10 – Key Idea #2: Effective energy system training must target a specific pathway as much as possible. To optimally trigger training adaptations, the goal is to maximize the flux through a single energy pathway. You can’t train intuitively…or go to the gym and “just climb”—this approach is too imprecise for an advanced climber to make meaning gains.

21:30 – Key Idea #3: Working on your project is not effective energy system training. Listen and learn why…

24:55 – A quick side story about Alex Megos working on the "Bibliography" project at Céüse…quite possibly a 9c/5.15d route.

27:54 - Key Idea #4: Energy system training for short-term adaptations and long-term gains are two very different things. While the former may help you send your current project, it's a commitment to the latter that will help you reach your genetic potential.

31:54 – Learn the secrets to long-term gains—which energy system(s) will advance your climbing…and what novel training adaptations you are after. This is brand new material to the climbing world—listen closely! (I first introduced this cutting-edge sport science in the first energy system training podcast in March 2018.)

36:40 – A brief, but important tangent on long-term development and mastery. As exemplified by Chris Sharma and Tommy Caldwell, you too can build-up strength, power, and endurance for 15 or 20 years (perhaps longer)….if you stay uninjured!

43:00 – Key Idea #5: Genetics do play a roll in determining your training gains and absolute climbing potential. Like it or not, genetics does play a role in training adaptations and how hard you may someday climb. That said, you can exert significant influence over your gene expression via the epigenetic effects of your day-to-day diet, training, and lifestyle. Energy System Training is one way to exert influence over your genes!

54:06 – Key Idea #6: A two-a-day workout schedule can be very beneficial for advanced/elite climbers, but the two sessions should be separated by 6 to 8 hours to optimize workout quality and minimize interference (of adaptation signaling). Intense strength/power workouts are best done in the afternoon or evening, so other forms of training—aerobic climbing, generalized aerobic activity, and similar—are best done early in the day (based on science). Of course, everyone is different (genetics, time available, other life issues)...and so your "best schedule" might require a different approach. #Nuance

1:00:30 – Bonus tip: Reduce or eliminate your antagonist training during your climbing performance season. Learn why this will help a well-trained, non-injured climber perform a bit better.

1:03:00 – Key Idea #7: You can learn and benefit a lot by keeping records of your workouts, subjective feelings, key performance indicators, and your climbing achievements. Digital and other online records, like 8a.nu and Vertical-Life.info, are a good place to start; but written records have great value, too. Learn why.

1:06:35 – Key Idea #8: Energy system programming is the ultimate "art of the science". Getting long term results requires a knowledgable coach, accurate testing, and progression program design that is artfully crafted around periods of performance climbing and/or competition. Personalized training is essential—nuance is key.

1:08:47 – Eric offers training program advice for beginners.

1:11:55 – Some programming tips for intermediate/accomplished climbers.

1:14:45 – Short- and long-term training program advice for advanced weekend warriors and professional/elite climbers.

1:22:27 – Summary comments about energy system training and the future of training for climbing. How high quality information and coaching is like a power tool that, through leverage, multiplies your current strength, talent, and climbing ability. Seek out the best information and coaches available—and become the best climber you can be!

1:24:00 - My thoughts on how becoming a better climber can make you a better human being...and empower you to positively impact other people (and perhaps change the world!) in small, but meaningful ways.

PLEASE SHARE THIS PODCAST with your friends via Social Media or an embed on your climbing blog. Thank you!

  • For more on energy system training (and a myriad other training tips and techniques) pick up a copy of the latest edition of the best-selling Training for Climbing.

Follow Eric on Twitter @Train4Climbing

Check out Eric’s YouTube channel.

Follow Eric on Facebook!

Music by: Misty Murphy

Subscribe on iTunes (or other podcast player) to "Eric Hörst's Training For Climbing" podcast. You can also listen to the T4C podcast on Spotify! Please write a review on iTunes!

Photo: Cameron Horst lowering after the send at Tetto di Sarre, Italy.

Jul 28, 2018

Welcome to Round #3 of "Ask Coach Hörst"...where I will answer 6 listener questions that I believe you will find interesting and informative. This episode covers wide-ranging topics from the pros/cons of calorie restriction vs. surplus, the possible unintended consequences of a vegan diet or vegetarianism, training while on business trips, training during long spells between climbing trips, the type of training program that's best for an intermediate (~5.10 climber), and more!

4:58 - Question #1 - How can I train effectively given my business travel (as a pilot) that typically lasts 8 days...followed by 6 days at home?

12:28 - Question #2 - My girlfriend and I are avid climbers of 5.10 ability...and we're wondering what the best training program is for us to progress into the higher grades?

17:54 - Question #3 - My outdoor "climbing season" comes down to a 2-week trips in the summer and winter. How can I best train as an indoor climber during the 5+ months between trips? Also, given my schedule, how often should I train the anaerobic lactic energy system?

24:18 - Question #4 - I seem to have reached a plateau at my current ability level of V8 boulders and 5.12d (sport climbs)...and I'm wonder which of your books would be best to guide me in training effectively for further improvement?

28:44 - Question #5 - I struggle with undercling and side-pull moves on steep terrain. How can I train to improve on these moves?

34:09 - Question #6 - I have a 3-part question relating to diet and specifically my vegan diet. 

  1. Is there an advantage to consuming a calorie surplus while training?
  2. [42:00] As a hard-training climber (V10/5.13+), what are the possible cons of being a vegetarian or vegan?
  3. [46:50] How much difference does a few pounds of bodyweight make in climbing performance?

 

NOTE: If you'd like to submit a question for the next, please leave it as a comment to the Ask Coach Horst post on my Twitter @Train4Climbing -- include your first name, location, climbing ability level, and years climbing.

Music by Misty Murphy

Follow Eric on Twitter @Train4Climbing

Check out Eric’s YouTube channel.

Follow Eric on Facebook!

And on Instagram at: Training4Climbing

Jun 21, 2018

This is the fourth in a series on using bioenergetic energy systems  as a guiding model to train more effectively. This epic 90-minute episode breaks down the nuance of properly training both the climbing-specific and generalized aerobic energy system—a critical and often-overlooked metabolic pathway that contributes significantly to power production in climbing and, importantly, drives most of the recovery process between moves, crux sequences, climbing, and even boulder problems. There's lots of gold to mine from this podcast, especially for already highly training intermediate to elite climbers.

Podcast Rundown

00:15 – Eric’s Intro to training the aerobic energy system…and its high importance to rock climbers. How the energy system conceptual model can empower you to train smarter and get more out of your training investment.

4:45 – If you think these podcasts are gold, then why not share it with your friends….and please leave a review on iTunes!

5:15 – All about the aerobic energy system and how it differs from the other two energy systems. Of course, all three energy systems contribute to ATP production, but there are certain climbing situations that call heavily on the aerobic energy system.

9:15 – A quick review of the three energy systems, when each dominates, and how the aerobic system comes into play for climbers. Learn why and when the anaerobic energy systems power down and eventually fail you…and how the aerobic energy system can only provide a sustained “critical power” of only about one-third of your peak power.

15:35 – How the aerobic energy system supports the ATP-CP energy system. Important stuff, especially for rope climbers…but really for all climbers.

18:20 – How the aerobic system supports the anaerobic lactic energy system. Yes, a stronger aerobic system can help you control the “pump”; but it’s also important that you strive to improve climbing economy and reduce the ATP cost of a given move or sequence—this is a hugely powerful distinction!

21:55 – A quick reminder on the importance of increasing maximum strength and power, season over season, because this sets the ceiling for your peak power output and anaerobic capacity.

23:50 – A detail discussion of the bioenergetics of finger flexor muscles and how finger grip intensity determines the energy system most used. Occlusion of blood flow is the critical factor, and maintaining blood flow as much as possible is one of the secrets of elite climbers.

28:45 – The physical prowess of Adam Ondra is both his large anaerobic reserve (capacity) AND high aerobic power!

30:35 – What climbing researchers have measured in the lab with regarding to the bioenergetics of climbing. (A truly climbing-specific VO2 test has yet to be developed and validated for testing at the gym.)  The importance of not conflating generalized aerobic fitness (and VO2) with climbing-specific aerobic development (and VO2).

32:34 – Moving from theory to practice…here we begin to look into targeted training of the finger flexors and pulling muscles (the rock climbing agonists).

34:09 - What adaptations take places in the climbing muscles that improve aerobic power? Adaptation #1 in an increase in capillary density which results in a decrease in diffusion distance—importantly, this contributes to increasing O2 kinetics. Simon Fryer’s research showed that elite climbers have higher O2 kinetics than lesser climbers.

37:50 – Adaptation #2 is an increase in aerobic enzymes…which can upregulate in just a matter of days to a week or two of aerobic-centric training/climbing.

40:15 – Adaptation #3 is mitochondria adaptations—critical for long-term development year over year…and for maintaining climbing-specific VO2 into middle age and beyond.

43:30 – Important point: Intracellular acidosis negatively impacts mitochondria function. This explains why a vicious flash pump (due to a poor warm up) can hurt same-day climbing performance…and why chronic acidosis (too much time spent anaerobic lactic training/climbing per week) can decrease aerobic power and contribute toward onset of overtraining syndrome.

45:15 – The difference between “aerobic power” and “aerobic capacity”. Which matters more for you?

47:10 – Exercises for developing aerobic power and capacity for climbers...

48:32 – ARC climbing. This involves easy, long, very submaximal (3 or 4 number grades below your limit) climbing for 30 to 60 minutes. It must be fairly low in intensity with no complete occlusion of forearm blood flow—you mustn’t succumb to the “pump lust”. Learn the pros and cons of ARC training.

53:10 – Threshold Intervals—perhaps the best approach to aerobic development for the mass of climbers. Unfortunately, getting the intensity right can be difficult—it can’t be too hard (too anaerobic) or too easy (too far below the aerobic threshold). For most people the target intensity is an 8 out of 10 as the end-of-set physical intensity and perceived exertion. A light pump and small increase in breathing rate is fine, but not a deep pump or heavy breathing (which signals anaerobic metabolism dominates).

59:36 – Alactic-aerobic intervals. For elite climbers, this is a go-to strategy for increasing aerobic power for high-level bouldering and sport climbing. This is NOT a training method for beginner or intermediate climbers, however, because it requires a high base level of strength and power. This is a tricky exercise protocol to get right—nuance, self-awareness, and discipline are essential to do it right and get the desired training adaptations. Listen closely for the critical details!

1:09:48 – How to train the climbing-specific aerobic system if you don’t have access to a climbing wall. Here, I describe two exercises using a hangboard or campus board: “moving hangs” and “low-intensity repeaters”. As with the previous exercises, getting the training nuance right is essential to gain aerobic system adaptations—specifically, your finger grip force must be only 20% - 30% of maximum so as to not completely occlude blood flow and go deeply anaerobic.

1:13:20 – A quick look at generalized aerobic training…running, bicycling, rowing, swimming, trail running, etc.

1:15:00 – What climbing researchers have determined with regarding to the VO2 max of climbers…and the need and benefits of generalized aerobic fitness and training.

 1:18:00 - Does generalized aerobic training really help performance? Might it hurt climbing performance? Is it a priority or a secondary need? How often should you do it? Learn all these details and more here!

1:23:20 – What days and time of days should you do your aerobic training? Tips and tricks for getting the most out of your aerobic system training…and how to integrate it with your other training for best results.

1:26:16 – Wrap up, closing comments, and final tips on energy system training. This stuff IS the future of training for climbing!

1:27:10 – Comments about the International Rock Climbing Researchers Association (IRCRA) meeting in Chamonix, France where I’ll speaking in July…and Eric’s closing comments.

PLEASE SHARE THIS PODCAST with your friends via Social Media or an embed on your climbing blog. Thank you!

Follow Eric on Twitter @Train4Climbing

Check out Eric’s YouTube channel.

Follow Eric on Facebook!

Music by: Misty Murphy

Photo: Andy Raether on the first ascent of Manphibian (5.14d), Mt. Charleston, NV. Courtesy of Lacey Jones.

Jun 1, 2018

Welcome to the second round of "Ask Coach Hörst"...where I answer 10 listener questions. This episode covers vast terrain from fingerboard training to climbing nutrition to youth training to elbow tendonosis and more! Each question & answer runs about 5 minutes.

1:12 - Question #1 - When fingerboard training with weighted hangs...what's the weight-added difference when doing 10" x 1 max-weight hangs compared with doing the 7"/53" x 3 protocol?

5:17 - Question #2 - Is training individual fingers by suspending a light  free weight from a sling a useful technique?

10:40 - Question #3 - What days should I do supplemental training if climbing four days per week (combined outside and indoors)?

14:47 - Question #4 - Belaying and rehab advice for recovering for a climber returning from a broken wrist?

17:37 - Question #5 - Training recommendations for a 50-something climber with extensive background in weight lifting and running?

26:30 - Question #6 - Advice on dealing with...and hopefully recovering from medial elbow tendinopathy?

31:00 - Question #7 - My anaerobic endurance (power output) drops sharply at 40 to 45 seconds into hard, sustained climbing--how can I train to improve my anaerobic capacity?

37:51 - Question #8 - Can you recommend some pre-workout foods and give advice on what to eat at the crags? Also, how much protein should I eat each day?

44:20 - Question #9 - Mother asks Eric's training advice for her 12-year-old daughter...a nationally-ranked boulderer. What's the best training approach?

49:35 - Question #10 - How to organize training when you have a hangboard at home, but your access to a training/bouldering wall is at a gym without a hangboard?

52:10 - Wrap up...How YOU can submit a question for the next episode of "Ask Coach Horst". Visit my Twitter @Train4Climbing and leave a comment to the pinned "Ask Coach Horst" podcast.

NOTE: I'll record the next episode of Ask Coach Horst in late July for release in early August. If you'd like to submit a question for the next, please leave it as a comment to the Ask Coach Horst post on my Twitter @Train4Climbing -- include your first name, location, and years climbing.

Music by Misty Murphy

Follow Eric on Twitter @Train4Climbing

Check out Eric’s YouTube channel.

Follow Eric on Facebook!

And on Instagram at: Training4Climbing

May 11, 2018

This is the third in a four-part series on energy system training as a conceptual model for organizing your workouts for improved training results and climbing performance. This episode is the conclusion of podcast #23 (on training the Anaerobic Lactic energy system) and it details specific training protocols for improving short, intermediate, and long power endurance. Combined, episodes #23 and #24 make for a super-sized (2+ hours!) brain-bursting, muscle-pumping training for climbing podcast!

Podcast Rundown

0:20 – Intro about how this podcast is actually the second half of Podcast #23—combined they make for 2 hours of instruction on energy system training. A super-sized podcast!

1:50 – The energy system focus remains how to best train up the anaerobic lactic energy system that “bridges” the ATP-CP and aerobic energy systems.

3:25 – A quick recap of the first part (episode #23) on how the anaerobic lactic system works...and the specific adaptations that we’re after.

8:00 – Important: How occlusion of forearm blood flow (during gripping of holds) accelerates intracellular acidification and hastens drop in power output. Thus, the importance of keeping blood flowing to “flush” metabolic byproducts and sustain some degree of aerobic power contribution.

9:25 – Rate of adaptation to training: Anaerobic lactic specific adaptations are relatively fast, whereas many aerobic system specific adaptations take months and years. A quick intro to the aerobic energy system adaptations that enable long-term training adaptations and improved endurance/capacity.

12:30 – A reminder of difference between “anaerobic power” and “anaerobic capacity”…and how you can test yourself for each.

21:00 – A quick disclosure on the variability, flaws, limitations, and validity of many current climbing tests of common performance indicators, such as finger flexor strength, lactic endurance, and aerobic power.

23:55 – Anaerobic capacity training (lactic system specific) protocols—I break into three categories: 1. “high-end” or “short” power endurance (peak power output for 15 to 30 seconds), 2. “intermediate power endurance” (sustained near-maximal power output for 40 to 60 seconds), and 3. “transitional” or “long power endurance” (1 to 3 minutes of moderately-high power climbing/exercise).

25:55 – The importance of the energy system “crossover” that occurs between 45 and 90 seconds, depending on the strength of your anaerobic lactic and aerobic energy systems. For most climbers, this anaerobic-aerobic crossover is likely between 60 and 75 seconds of sustained, high-intensity (no rest, no shake) climbing.

28:45 – How to train “high-end power endurance”. Brief all-out bursts of exercise/climbing with a work-to-rest ratio of at least 1:10. For example, 15 to 30 seconds of very hard exercise/climbing (9.5 to 10 out of 10 effort) followed by 3 to 5 minutes of rest.

33:26 – How to train “intermediate power endurance” for improved mid-range anaerobic capacity (up to one minute of sustained, no-rest, no-shake climbing). The goal is high-intensity exercise/climbing sustained for 40 to 60 seconds at a perceived exertion/intensity of 9 to 9.5 out of 10. This class of anaerobic training is commonly missing from climbers’ training programs—don’t let that be you!

41:50 – Train “long power endurance” (1 to 3 minute anaerobic capacity) with up to 3 minutes of sustained moderately high-intensity exercise or climbing. Perceived exertion should be 8.5 to 9 out of 10 with significant forearm muscle pump/pain and breathlessness. This is classic lactic “tolerance” training—it builds both mental and physical tolerance to the fatiguing byproducts of long-duration power climbing.

45:30 – A word of caution about training “long power endurance” too often or at too high a volume. Especially in-season, this type of training can lead to diminished performance among route climbers who climb outside for performance a few days per week. Overtraining syndrome warning: If you sense you’re getting weaker or losing power, despite immense training/climbing effort, this may be why.

52:35 – Final tips for applying this powerful information. Learn how to prioritize and schedule your training. And always remember that “the best training program for you is one you’re not doing!”

57:20 – Listen to this and the previous podcast several times—there’s a lot of powerful information to assimilate and learn to apply correctly.

58:05 – PLEASE WRITE A REVIEW of this podcast on iTunes…and SHARE with your friends!

58:40 - Visit TrainingForClimbing.com to sign-up for a monthly training newsletter and to get a FREE training-for-climbing eBOOK! Leave a question for the upcoming “Ask Coach Horst” podcast at my Twitter account @Train4Climbing

59:20 – Learn about the new ULTIMATE Hangboard! Need a fingerboard for home training? Consider this one, which I designed for optimal finger flexor crimp and pocket training. Learn more at TrainingForClimbing.com or Nicros.com

PLEASE SHARE THIS PODCAST with your friends via Social Media or an embed on your climbing blog. Thank you!

Follow Eric on Twitter @Train4Climbing

Check out Eric’s YouTube channel.

Follow Eric on Facebook!

Music by: Misty Murphy

May 6, 2018

This is the second in a five-part series on energy system training as a conceptual model for organizing your workouts to obtain better results in the long-term. This episode (and the next) focus specifically on the Anaerobic Lactic energy system and how to best train for adaptations that will increase your anaerobic capacity.

This is a cutting-edge topic with huge potential, especially for advanced and elite climbers, to open up new levels of strength, power, and endurance. By thoughtfully and accurately applying my energy system training guidelines, you will be able to train more effectively and, hopefully, obtain gradual training gains for seasons and years to come!

Podcast Rundown

0:20 – Introduction & comments on why the energy system training conceptual model is valuable...especially to advance and elite climbers.

3:17 – "Thank yous" for all the feedback on the first Energy System podcast. My offer to answer YOUR questions via the next “Ask Coach Hörst” podcast…coming in late May. Submit your question on Twitter @Train4climbing and please include your name, home town, and years climbing. Keep your question short and focused.

5:40 – A first look at the anaerobic lactate energy system...and what we're going drill down into over the next 50+ minutes.

8:00 - Warning about old information and bad advice (and questionable training protocols) that are widespread in the public domain, regarding energy system training. Climbing is a novel activity and in this podcast I am presenting a climbing-specific breakdown of energy system training that may be much different than what you've read or heard for other sports...or other coaches. The science has changed somewhat in recent years...

9:37 - Example: "Lactic acid"...a commonly used term by many laypersons, as well as many athletes, coaches, and even some academics not on top of the latest research on bioenergetics. Listen and learn! Lactate anions and protons (H+) are 99% dissociated at human physiological pH...so talk about "lactate" and "proton" (or acidosis), but NOT "lactic acid"!

13:20 - The 3 parts of this podcast: 1. a review of the three energy systems, 2. an in-depth look at the strengths & weaknesses of the Anaerobic Lactic energy system, 3. a detailed presentation of numerous training strategies & protocols for increasing anaerobic capacity (due to length, this third section is in a separate podcast (#24).

14:50 - Part 1: Overview of the 3 energy systems..and how they overlap and interact.

15:48 - It's all about synthesizing and breaking down ATP to power muscle contraction (and relaxation). Did you know you breakdown your body weight in ATP each day? True story!

18:40 - Review of the ATP-CP system...the source of anaerobic power (highest rate of ATP production & splitting).

21:25 - Teaser on the Anaerobic Lactic energy system.

26:16 - Teaser on the Aerobic energy energy system...the pathway by which ATP can be generated for sustained exercise beyond ~2 minutes, although only at about one-third the power output of the Anaerobic Lactic energy pathway.

29:10 - The unique nature of climbing makes understanding the constant interplay of the 3 energy systems difficult to grasp...and even harder to properly train.

30:10 - For example, frequent occlusion of blood flow to the finger flexor muscles forces a high dependence on anaerobic energy production...and, thus, makes rapid fatigue (drop in power output) a common problem. You can help reduce this dependence by climbing faster and reducing the length of time you grip small/difficult hand holds.

33:00 - A bit on developing climbing research...and about this summer's International Rock Climbing Researches Association (IRCRA) conference in Chamonix France this summer.

34:02 - Drill down into how the Anaerobic Lactic system works. The three energy systems overlap, but it's the Lactic system dominates in sustained near-all-out exercise lasting 15 seconds to about 1 or 2 minutes.

36:25 - About the byproducts of anaerobic glycolysis...and how the limit this energy pathway and your capacity to produce ATP via the anaerobic pathway. Details on the source of fatigue and the training adaptations that you are after.

40:10 - Learn how lactate forms...and how lactate is actually a good thing (NOT a bad thing, per the common belief).

42:45 - Learn one of the secrets of Adam Ondra's climbing prowess. Details on my IRCRA conference presentation...breaking down Adam Ondra's ascent of Silence (5.15d) and Margo Hayes' ascent of Biography (5.15a).

44:20 - The drop in power output from 45 seconds to 75 seconds of sustained difficult climbing is profound...as the lactic system begins to fail and the oxidative system becomes the primary source of ATP production around 60 to 75 seconds into near-all-out activity.

46:30 - The importance of lactate, anaerobic enzymes, and lactate transporters to enable continued anaerobic lactic energy system production...and increase anaerobic capacity.

49:20 - Learn what happens to all the lactate created in your climbing muscles.

51:30 - Importance of training up all 3 energy systems...and trying to "keep all 3 balls in the air" from a performance perspective.

53:00 - Why it's helpful to learn about bioenergetics and sports science--it will empower you to train smarter!

54:45 - Final point: Think of anaerobic power as maximum rate of ATP product (in a 5 second burst)...and view anaerobic capacity as the volume of ATP you can generate in a given period of high-power anaerobic exercise/climbing (say, in 45 seconds or a minute of all-out climbing).

55:28 - Wrap of this part of the Anaerobic Lactic system podcast--breaking this stemwinder of a podcast into two Parts...the next will be released just a few days after this one and it will cover training protocols for developing a greater anaerobic capacity. So tune into Podcast #24 for that important information!

56:00 – Final send off - PLEASE SHARE the T4C Podcast!

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Music by: Misty Murphy

Apr 12, 2018

As a change-up to my typical long-format, single-topic drill down podcast, I present to you the first episode of "Ask Coach Hörst"! Listen in as I answer 10 listener questions covering a wide range of topics from in-season fingerboard training, training for big wall stamina, training to excel at climbing AND another sport, and much more. Each question & answer runs about 5 minutes.

If you'd like to submit a question for the next, please leave it as a comment the pinned post on my Twitter @Train4Climbing -- include your first name, location, and years climbing.

1:06 - Question #1. A student climber (5.13b) with access to a small university gym (45 degree wall & campus board only) wants to know about doing weighted hangboard training on a portable hangboard...and the pros/cons of training two consecutive days?

6:29 - Question #2. SoCal climber asks how to do hangboard training for "gains" when there's year-round outdoor climbing...that is, no poor-weather off-season to do targeted training.

13:07 - Question #3. A climber with no access to a commercial climbing gym inquires how to train route endurance while only having a hangboard and campus board for home training?

19:20 - Question #4. How to best ramp up training for big wall stamina this summer season?

22:20 - Question #5. How to integrate a progressive overload hangboard training program with outdoor climbing for performance?

24:24 - Question #6. How much aerobic cross-training is too much...that is, what volume of aerobic training would it take to begin hindering climbing performance?

31:15 - Question #7. What to do during rest breaks between fingerboard or pull-up sets? Also, what about during rest periods between redpoint attempts?

37:47 - Question #8. How long does the "just go climbing approach" to improving climbing performance apply? At what point should a climber delve more deeply into intensive strength and power training?

42:00 - Question #9. How to best train for both rock climbing and mountain climbing?

45:42 - Question #10: Advice on how to advance from 6c to 7a and, hopefully, 7a+ (5.12a) while also playing (and training for) rugby? How to best train for both sports at a body weight of 80kg?

52:10 - Wrap up...How YOU can submit a question for the next episode of "Ask Coach Horst". Visit my Twitter @Train4Climbing and leave a comment to the pinned "Ask Coach Horst" podcast.

53:00 - Teaser on the next episode of the T4C podcast on...Energy System Training Part #2. Don't miss this episode on how to train more effectively!

Music by Misty Murphy

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Mar 26, 2018

This is the first of a two-part FIVE-part in-depth look at energy system training as a conceptual model for organizing your workouts to obtain better results in the long-term. This is a cutting-edge topic with huge potential, especially for advanced and elite climbers, to open up new levels of strength, power, and endurance. By thoughtfully and accurately applying my energy system training guidelines, you will better target individual energy systems to improve cellular signaling and reduce inferring/conflicting signals. This episode focuses on the alactic system that fuels high-powers and the important--and novel--adaptations in the muscle cells, extracellular matrix & fascia, nervous system, tendons, and cardiovascular system. It’s a rich topic that will take a couple podcasts (or more) to unwind and learn to effectively apply to climbing. Let's get started!

Podcast Rundown

0:20 – Introduction

1:15 – Mission statement of the Training For Climbing Podcast

7:40 – Request for you to SHARE this podcast!

8:20 – Introducing the “Ask Coach Hörst” special edition of the Training For Climbing podcast…coming in April. Submit your question on Twitter @Train4climbing and please include your name, home town, and years climbing.

9:55 – Overview of the 3 energy system: Anaerobic Alactic (ATP-CP), Anaerobic Lactic, Aerobic

14:20 – Anaerobic Alactic (ATP-CP) System

16:00 – How the Aerobic energy system supports the Alactic system

17:52 – Anaerobic Lactic System (Anaerobic Glycolysis)

20:37 – Aerobic/Oxidative energy system

21:50 – Bertuzzi study of climbers’ relative energy system utilization

24:02 - A deep drill down look at the Alactic energy system

26:30 – Biochemistry of the ATP-CP system. The Löhmann Reaction.

33:22 – Is consuming supplemental creatine (to load intracellular CP) a good thing for climbers?

40:50 – Adaptations of Alactic Training

45:00 – 1. Neural adaptations – What are they? How do you trigger then with training?

48:20 – 2. Architectural adaptations - What are they? How do you properly train them?

54:25 – 3. Tendon remodeling – What is it…and how it can increase force output and power?

59:15 – Alactic system exercise training protocols. How often should you specifically train this energy system?

1:01:00 – Four climbing-specific exercises that can produce Alactic system-related adaptations and increase muscle efficiency.

1:09:22 – Learn the 1st Rule of Eric’s “Train Club”

1:10:42 – Suggested work-to-rest ratio for Alactic training

1:14:00 – Programming alactic focused workouts

1:15:20 – Special Announcement! “The Ultimate Hangboard”

1:16:54 – Final send off - PLEASE SHARE the T4C Podcast!

Follow Eric on Twitter @Train4Climbing

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Music by: Misty Murphy

Feb 18, 2018

This episode covers a lot of territory…beginning with a look at the very unique Hörst family winter training program. Next up, is a deep look into using autoregulation to adjust your daily training for optimal results. The podcast wraps up with a look at the benefits (or not?) of running as part of a training-for-climbing program.

Podcast Rundown

0:15 Podcast introduction on the 3 main topics: Horst training, autoregulation, and running.

2:00 Eric’s announces winners of T4C raffle…the winners are Mike Ramos (USA) and Harry Crews (South Africa)

3:32 Details on how to get a free download of the eBook “10 Must-Do Exercises for Climbers”, and what you can learn from this free book.

6:18 Part 1 – How does the Horst family train in the winter? It’s a question I’m often asked…and so I’ll give you an indepth description of our home gym, our winter workouts, and how we prepare for the outdoor climbing Spring and Summer seasons.

11:00 Disclaimer….your training program should not be modeled after ours--but you certainly can gain lots of useful insight and ideas.

12:15 About the Hörst boys as multi-sport athletes, and how that effects our training for climbing.

18:15 Our winter Mesocycle details for December, January, and February. We employ a very polarized approach for December and January—the focus is maximum strength/power and aerobic development. Listen in for details…

25:12 Then in February we shift gears to a pre-season focus on strength/power endurance training.

30:30 Important considerations for teenagers—and the rest of us—on sleep and nutrition!

32:48 Part 2 - Autoregulation. What it is, and what are the benefits? Learn how to use it to optimize your training and get better results.

38:20 Details of our standard warm-up protocol…which also provides the basis for our autoregulation.

45:00 How you can employ autoregulation in the gym—what adjustments to make and when.

52:15 Part 3 – Running as training for climbing—Is it a good thing, a bad thing, or an “it depends” kind of thing?

54:30 Definition of VO2…and how important a high VO2max is for hard climbing. What does the research stay?

1:00:40 – Learn the important difference between climbing-specific aerobic training and generalized aerobic training.

1:02:00 – In terms of running…how often should you run? What speed and distance is best for a climber—sprints, tempo, race pace, or long slow distance runs?

1:08:00 Research on the benefits of a strong generalized aerobic system on climbing performance. If you climb roped routes or participate in bouldering comps, this is must-know stuff!

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Music by: Misty Murphy

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