Periodisation

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Equipment

  • Climbing wall

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Description

Everyone that has been climbing for a couple of years has experienced a "plateau", the feeling that you are no longer improving even thou you are pushing yourself 3 times a week.

This is mainly because the body will eventually stop responding if you keep training it in the same way.

If you want to keep improving you have to “fool” the body, by changing the exercises, intensity and volume of your training.

With periodisation, you "cycle" through a certain type of training to force adaptation. Just as the body is no longer responding to that type of training, you shift to another type.

These are the main types of training:

  1. Aerobic endurance (AE): trains slow twitch fiber and stimulates the growth of capillaries in the arms. (climbing long 40 meter routes on good holds). This means you ensure free blood flow in your arms during training (climbing at 20-30% of your maximum).
  2. Anaerobic power endurance (APE):  trains the muscles' ability to create  and cope with lactic acid build up . (climbing sustained 15+ moves on intermediate holds). This means you train while the muscles in your arms are tight so the blood can no longer flow freely and you push your lactic threshold (climbing at 50- 60% of your maximum).
  3. Maximum strength (MS) : trains fast twitch fiber, to allow for maximum recruitment of muscle fiber to create maximum force output in a short space of time. (3 to 8 boulder moves on small holds).  This means you train muscle recruitment, trying to activate more muscle fiber to work  simultaneously  (training above 80% of your maximum)

The 3 main types of periodisation:

  • Linear: this means the athlete will be switching between the 3 types of training in blocks of 2-4 weeks.

example:

2 weeks of AE

4 weeks of APE

4 weeks of MS

  • Concurrent: this means the athlete will be switching between the 3 types of training in one week.

example:

Monday AE

Wednesday APE

Saturday MS

  • Conjugate: this means the athlete will be "emphasizing" one of the 3 types of training every other week.

example:

week 1:  2 days AE, 1 day APE, 1 day MS

week 2: 2 days APE, 1 day AE, 1 day MS

week 3: 2 days MS, 1 day APE, 1 day AE

 

How you "cycle", depends on specific goals and should be set out by a personal trainer or coach.