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Training tips from Jorg Verhoeven

How do you train inside for an outdoor project ? If I’m going to use gym training as specific preparation for an outdoor project, first I will figure out what I actually need to get stronger in. Think of the number of moves, the style of climbing (steepness and type of holds), rests etc. As soon as I know the answers to these questions, I can adjust my training to maximum efficiency. No need for training mini-crimps, if your project is a big roof, or a slopey boulder, right?

October 15 2018

Rock climbing

Jorg Verhoeve/ © Marc Daviet

What would be the training program on a trimester adapted to the goal?

If you have about four months by roughly splitting it into three programs for five-six weeks you can put emphases on :
  • overall fitness (i.e. getting used to the training load),
  • maximum power,
  • and finally endurance .

The emphasis is key here: don't stop training power if you’re trying to gain endurance and the other way round. Three-four sessions a week should be just fine, you can vary a lot with rest days. Try to be fit at the start of each training !

Description of a typical session

A typical session has a duration of two-three hours, out of which the warm-up counts for about half an hour. Warming up is key to a good training, it should contain more than cardio and stretching, and get everything ready for maximum strain during training. After the warm-up, try to complete the training exercises you decided to do for that day while taking care to rest enough in between. On the other hand, if you stop and chat with friends every five minutes, your training is going to take a little longer...

Jorg Verhoeven/ © Jon Glassberg/ LT11

How to specifically workout for endurance, resistance and pure force?

Try to do specific exercises that target the goal you want to achieve. If your project has two times 20 hard moves with a rest in between, focus on power, endurance, and the ability to rest (e.g. intervals training!). Never train only endurance without training power (or the other way round) for a long period, or you will lose one or the other.

A few lines to testify about your experience, how a specific training program helped you to reach your goal and tick your project ?

My goal of climbing 9b taught me a lot about specific training for one or two routes that I chose as multi-year projects. So many aspects come along that you never thought could be important. For me, the main importance is to stay positive and motivated. Don't let defeat get you down !

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