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!
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!
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Check out Eric’s YouTube channel.
Music by: Misty Murphy
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!
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!
Follow Eric on Twitter @Train4Climbing
Check out Eric’s YouTube channel.
Music by: Misty Murphy