Sunday, February 19, 2012

Ping, Ping, Ping, Thud...

Well, the last two weeks have been great. I have been training really hard, been having a lot of fun with the boulder leagues and been feeling really strong in general. Went to Boven this weekend and got on Pit Fighter and Lab Rat on Saturday before the rain came, Pit Fighter was grimy and damp so I left it alone and went over to Lab Rat. With the help of Warren, I figured out some awesome beta for the first part of the route and managed a new highpoint in the rain. Fantastic

So the idea for Sunday was to go and do some of the easier trad lines in Hallucinogen and then get back on Lab Rat to see if I couldn't do some more good links. Warren and I jumped on Captain Hook (18) to trad it and have some fun, it was great fun. I decided that next I was going for the onsight of Witless (25). We walked over to the base, started discussing what gear I should take up, unfolded the rope and I was off. I placed two nuts, then moved to a good slot where I placed a DMM Dragon 1, then moves a little higher and placed a Wild Country Z5, I then did what I thought was the crux and was pretty happy to reach the next slot and put in a Wild Country Helium 2. Each placement seemed like it was good. I knew the cracks were flared a little but I tested each cam and each cam seemed to be good. I kept on climbing and then I was about a meter above my last cam only to realize I was in a bit of a bind. I tried to do a move, it didn't work and I was airborne.

I figured I'd go about 2m, but when I heard the first ping I knew there was trouble; when I heard the second ping, I knew I was in dire straights; when I heard the third, I knew what was next: THUD. I was on the ground. First thing I noticed were the pins and needles in my hands and feet. I thought I had broken my back. They went away in a few seconds. Next thing I was thinking was: is anything else wrong? No blurred vision. Can I move? I sat up, Warren says, "dude are you alright, don't move! Just take it easy." I was about to stand up, but thought better of it. Instead I rolled over and was getting tangled in my rope and gear. It was really uncomfortable but I knew that I was alright. Warren pointed to the big rock I landed on with my head and shoulders and I said "well at least my head isn't bleeding" his response was "Yes it is dude." I laid back down. Warren determined I was alright, we were chatting and I was in good spirits. Warren then pulled out the phone and snapped a pic telling me that I'd be grateful later. I was grateful then, just very quiet.

Warren: There's nothing worse than the pinging sound of gear ripping.
Brian: What about the deafening thud of the person hitting the ground?
Warren: Yeah that one is a bit worse...

A little worse for wear but anything you can walk away from is a victory in my mind...
After this, he headed off to grab some coke for me to get some sugar in my system. I was in a bit of shock for sure. I was feeling dizzy and light-headed, typical Brian response to the sigh of blood (I'm such a pansy)! Hector came along before Warren got back, we started chatting, he gave me a sip of his tea. I was starting to feel better but still light-headed for sure. After a little while we decided to head down to roc 'n rope to see Alex and get my head wound looked at. I slowly made my way to my feet after Warren finished packing my bag. I walked out. I was joking and laughing a lot and realized that the worst injury had been my ego, but I still needed to make sure that this was the case, you don't usually fall 8m and just get to walk away.

When we got to roc 'n rope I found a stern-looking Alex at the gate, she was not impressed with the situation. She cleaned my head with savlon and it made me all woozy again, so I laid back down on the concrete. I tied to call Yvette but my phone wasn't working, so I sent her the message:
My phone isn't working... I had a bit of a fall. I'm just a little bruised on my shoulder and a cmall cut on the back of my head. I gave her Alex's number and a few seconds later I was explaining the whole story.We went through the checks to see if I was fine. I was.

Hector offered to drive me to the hospital in Pretoria so I could meet Yvette. The drive home was long, my shoulder was getting really stiff, but the music was good. Jimmy Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Coldplay, Audio Slave. I had to watch Hector demolish a bag of chips, a pie and a big bar one. I was ravenous at this point. Perhaps the worst part of the injury! We made it to the hospital, Hector was a legend in his own rights. Somehow he is always involved in rescues, fortunately this one didn't rank very high in terms of severity.

Thanks to Warren, Hector and Andrew for the weekend and the support. I'm gonna get this one second go, you watch!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Give me more power!

The last few weeks have definitely been interesting... I have been focusing solely on power training. For the most of it, this has involved doing 2-4 move boulder problems. The first 3 weeks of my program have been spent at the Barn, but this week I've managed to get in some training time at St Peter's. I also managed to do the first round of NBLs there...

I think the easier thing would be for me to show a breakdown of my program for the last three weeks as well as the plan I've created for the year. My year plan is based around completing certain routes and is my wishlist for the year along with how I hope to get there.

Dangling in the void... Where is this year taking me?

Get stronger
·         Climb 8b+
o   Lab Rat
§  Brute power
·         Maximum pulls / Repeaters
·         Core training
§  Power Endurance
·         Ultra stamina program
o   Shadowfax
§  Brute power
·         Maximum pulls / Repeaters
·         Core training
§  Power endurance
·         Ultra stamina
§  Pinch strength
·         Boulder problems/routes with pinches in roof
o   Rodan
§  Pure endurance training.
§  60 move boulder problems with weight
·         Small holds with minimal feet
·         25 moves with no shakes or chalking climbed fast
§  Open hand training
§  Long term campusing
·         Up and down the boards
·         45 seconds per set
§  Ultra Stamina
·         Trad 8a+
o   Boa Rodeo
§  Pure Endurance
§  60 move boulder problems with weight
§  Finger locks and jams
§  Ultra Stamina
§  Stamina
·         Boulder 8A
o   Blindside Extension
§  Core training
§  Maximum pulls
§  Contact strength
·         Dynos to crimps
·         Precision movements with no repositioning
·         Campusing
·         Lockoff
o   Rope ladder with weight
o   One arm pull up (New Year’s Resolution à Needs special attention :-D)

Weekly Training Sessions while climbing on Rock
·         Max 4
Power Training
·         15 minute silent feet
·         15 minutes stretch
·         Maximum effort
o   4 move boulder with weight
§  Repeat till fail, then again without weight
§  5 problems
o   Program A
§  Minimal Weight
·         Program D / Core
o   End of every session
Power Endurance Training
·         15 minute silent feet
·         15 minutes stretch
·         Program B
o   20 move boulder problems with weight
§  2 min rest
§  When fail, drop weight
§  10 sets
·         Program C
o   Ultra Stamina
§  3 minutes 30 seconds of hell
§  With weight till fail then drop to continue
§  Repeat 4-5 times
·         Laps
o   Climb routes 26 and harder in the barn
§  Linkups
§  Reverse
§  Don’t touch the ground for 10 minutes, no long rests
·         Program D / Core
o   End of every session

So far I have a program designed that will work on building power and power endurance in two month cycles.
·         6 weeks of power training
·         6 weeks of power endurance
·         2 weeks of pure endurance
·         1 week of rest
·         Begin again
These are for training during the week. I like to climb on rock on Saturday and Sunday, then train Monday, Wednesday and Thursday so I can have 3 days on, then two days on with rest before hitting rock. If I have an intense session on a Wednesday then I will often take it easy on a Thursday to allow me to feel strong for Saturday.

Pyramid training
1 week of introduction
8 Jan – 14 Jan

6 weeks of power 
15 Jan-25 February
6 weeks of power endurance
26 February -
Break for Cape Town Trip:
16-25 March
14 April

2 weeks of endurance
15-28 April

1 week of rest

 Well, as you can see, I have a lot of ideas of about where I should be going... Here is where I've been:

Date Week 1 Program Location Notes
15-Jan Sunday Beast/Monster Boven
16-Jan Monday Rope Ladder x 5,1 single 4xskipping rungs/5 moves, campus session on large rungs. Barn Sliced finger from Saturday. Opened a new boulder problem with a very dynamic sideways move. Worked pinch problem and sloper problem
17-Jan Tuesday Rest
18-Jan Wednesday 5 move problems, open hand/pinch Barn focused on open hand problems and sent my pinch route. Had trouble with the dynamic move to open hand slopey jug. Had a hard time with 3rd problem which involved matching and crossing over to a big round pinch. The footwork was very hard, toe-hook release and then moving the RF to next hold was very hard. Cannot cutloose on the pinch.
19-Jan Thursday 5 move problems, crimps/dynos Barn Easy session. Worked underclings and crimps as well as open hand pockets in preparation for Harrismith.
20-Jan Friday Rest
21-Jan Saturday 23 OS, 21 OS, 4 goes to Cosmic girl Rp, Swiss Cheese x 2 Harrismith Nearly flashed CG (28) fell off on dynamic move to pocket. Sent second time I reached that move, 4 goes. Fell off above crux on Swiss Cheese 2nd go, didn't remember to concentrate on my feet so I grabbed the wrong hand holds. WORK OUT YOUR OWN BETA.

Week 2
22-Jan Sunday 2 x Bird Brain, 2 x Swiss Cheese, 1 x FSOM Harrismith Dorked the onsight of Bird Brain (25), could see either of the hidden jugs. Sent Swiss Cheese (29) easily, arms were aching. Worked out all the sequences on FSOM (29) and did the moves as good links. Send BB effortlessly at the end of the day. Felt very strong on open hands and even dynamic moves. KEEP IT UP!
23-Jan Monday Silent Feet, 15 min; Power bouldering, 5 moves. Pinches, 2-pockets and swings. Tuks Worked heavily on drop knees and on long moves between poor holds, as powerful as I could make it. 4.4kgs for some of the session. 
24-Jan Tuesday REST
25-Jan Wednesday 2 hours of hard 2-4 move boulders; campusing; boulder with 1 min rest Barn split two fingers and cut the session short
26-Jan Thursday 4 move problems tuks good results, showed good progression
27-Jan Friday REST
28-Jan Saturday REST

Week 3
29-Jan Sunday squaw play x4 RBx7 tries on first move Wigwam
30-Jan Monday Contact strength, 2 move problems, core Barn
31-Jan Tuesday
01-Feb Wednesday 2 Move problems. Sent Yvette's projects for me from Monday on poor holds with big reaches. Barn 35 Pushups; 7-1-7-1; lock offs
02-Feb Thursday
03-Feb Friday Routes for comp. 10 routes in 2 hours, all flashes except for men's final route. Climbed several routes back to back. Barn
04-Feb Saturday Moving houses
Week 4

06-Feb Sunday Squaw Play, 3 goes then rain. Wigwam Warm up: linked from undercling to chains.
2nd go: linked from pocket/sloper to chains.
3rd go: popped on sloper, rain. Linked from crimp/sloper to chains with wet holds.
Last of Mo. Till left sidepull effortlessly.
07-Feb Monday NBL at St Peter's. 10-12 Boulder problems, 5 attempts max. 2 hours. St Peter's Afterward: Repeated problems with 4.4kg. Could do 1-7. I couldn't send 9,11,12 at all, fell off finish hold of 9 about 10 times! Very core intensive.
08-Feb Tuesday NBL problems again. Will try to do 9,11,12. Longer problems to gain some power endurance. St Peter's Sent 9th problem with the bad sloper, did all the moves on 11 to bad sloping pinch and topped out. Did all the problems except 9, 11 &12 with 4.4kg.
slow climbing up and down, max reach with weight
7-1-7-1, 25 push ups, 5 leg lifts to bar, 5 1-arm levers L&R; plank pose L&R 5secx3
1 arm dead hangs on small crimp rail, closed crimp, 3-4 sec max. 1 arm pull ups, opposite hand low on rope, open hand small crimp. 1 arm lower offs on holds on problems, campus climbing and downclimbing problems.
09-Feb Wednesday Barn for Hangboarding Barn
Well, as you can see, been training super hard. 

It hasn't just been physical though, I have been working really hard at the office and I've on a pretty strict diet to make all the training worth it. I still have the occasional pizza but I've been trying to avoid junk food on a regular basis, 3-4 small meals a day and sometimes replacing a meal with a protein shake if I get home too late to eat after training.

I have been really psyched about getting out to Wigwam, been feeling really strong on the rock and I'm hoping to get my first decent send of the year this weekend... Squaw Play is a benchmark 30, very bouldery and powerful, but also very condition-dependent. I find that I cruise all the moves consistently, but my fingers are sweating on the rock which prohibits me from hanging on to the slippery sloper during the crux. I'd recommend it as a winter route, but I suppose it will make me feel a lot better about the send if I do it in poor conditions. I'll do Two Dollar Navaho afterwards, don't think that one will take too long since I've been training for power and contact strength recently. 

Running it out and sticking the crux...

Fighting the pump to place the pro...

And EXPLODE to the jug...


Got it!

Big throw...

The toughest piece to place: a horrid flared crack...

Almost done...
I have some amazing photos of my traditional en devours on Monster thanks to Brendon Salzer. Check these out!