I will attempt to cheat a little by getting a head start on the 5 year plan through the rest of 2009. There is hopefully some time left of the outdoor season, and combined with intense bouldering, and certain key strength exercises, I hope to tackle grades 5.9 and if the weather gets good for an extended period, maybe even 5.10.

After the outdoor season is properly over, I will focus all my energy on building strength in my upper body, and losing weight. That hopefully means a lot of pull ups (I say hopefully because I can’t do one at present), dead hangs, lock-offs, heavy bouldering and cross country skiing. Might toss in some frenchies towards the end of the year just for the hell of it. ;)

Bouldering is a great activity, because it will serve no less than 3 purposes, who are equally important to my plan. One: It is so intense that it burns fat. Two: It makes you stronger. A lot stronger. Three: It develops technique.

By the end of 2009 I should be ready for some light campus work.

The goal is to be a lean, mean, and most importantly, strong climbing machine come spring. And the grades should fly by. I will it so.

After doing a lot of research and reading about climbing related training, I see no campus work for me in the near future. This winter I will focus on only 3 things to maximize the effects of my training and keep me injury free: Climbing, aerobic training and antagonist workouts.

I will start a ten week training cycle as outlined in “Climbing 5.12” in week 41. The cycle will end with a rest week during week 50. I will do no training that week, and no climbing or strength training for the following 2 weeks as it is the toughest part of the year at my job, and I need all my strength to get through it. I will start the second cycle in week 1 of 2010.

Before week 41  I will be looking to squeeze out every last drop of the outdoor season.

The cycle will consist of 4 weeks of climbing training focused on technique (mainly footwork), followed by 3 weeks of climbing focused on building finger and contact strength. The first 7 weeks of the cycle I will do 3-4 climbing session per week. The last 2 weeks of training in the cycle focuses on anaerobic endurance and I will use intense bouldering until muscular failure towards that end. This training will be so intense I will limit myself to 2 sessions per week.

Throughout the cycle I will have 2 sessions per week dedicated to antagonists. One session in the gym at work with light weights for shoulder, chest and triceps work, the second session at home with push ups, dips and sit ups. I will also do 3 sessions of aerobic training per week to get rid of some body fat. Hopefully it will be jogging (if I can’t run I will probably swim) until snow comes, and then it will be skiing.

All in all a pretty hard cycle, but necessary to achieve the gains in climbing performance I am looking for in addition to dropping the amount of body fat I need to get rid of to perform well on the rock come spring.

Towards the end of my second cycle I am planning to take a climbing trip to Greece (Kalymnos), finances allowing. It will be the carrot to get me through these long and hard cycles. Going down there and being able to climb really hard will be a huge motivational factor through the winter darkness.

Wish me luck.

Edit april 2010: Preparations went to shit because of elbow injury. Disregard all of the above (except part about weight loss, which has gone well)… But all is not lost… I am still determined.

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