My Current Training- Late Fitness Friday post

While I'm still finishing up the first article on testing for the "Off the Wall" series, I figured I'd post the general outline to my training. Then, for mini articles in between the larger Off the Wall articles, we can come back and dissect some of the choices that I've made for my training.

First a little backstory about me, my history, and my goals for this season.

First, yes I am training for speed climbing. No I don't have access to a speed wall. I need to travel a minimum 90 minutes each way to get to a 15m wall. It's not ideal, but I've had to plan training programs around worse set ups and have created great results.

Second, my other goal is that I am training for the USA track and field masters championship in late winter of 2022 for the 60m dash.

Wait, masters? Yeah, that's the third thing. I'm old seasoned. I'm 36 currently (the same age as Bassa)

I competed in NCAA track and field where I was a 4x all-american in the sprints, qualified for the championships every year, and routinely got injured from overtraining/competing.

Post college I went to grad school loaded up on coaching certs, and learned how to train properly for speed/power. I ran semi-pro and competed at the USA indoor championships in the 60m dash.

After that, I started gym bouldering and worked up to gym grade v8s. But not slab. Dear God not slab. I also spent a lot time on the random speed wall the gym would set. Never the specific route, but random juggy 30ft routes with a timer. My best time was a 3.5, but since it wasn't the route I'm not trying to make any correlations. Speed and power is my thing though.

Then three years ago I had my first child. He had a few heart defects (multiple atrial septal defects, ventricular septal defects, leaky and malformed valves, and an coarctation of the aorta that needed to be completely repaired) and raising him has been my main focus now that the worst is behind him for now. He may need a transplant in the future. We don't know how his heart will grow post surgeries.

2018 was the last time I trained in any sort of a dedicated fashion.

2015 was the last time I trained for an entire season. So this is the year of the comeback (or I'll crash and burn. We'll see)

However I don't think I'll crash and burn, because I also have my Masters of Science in coaching, 15 years of coaching experience, and handfuls of certifications in strength and conditioning, speed training, jump training, and misc other coaching skills that should mean I have some sort of a chance to create a workable training plan for this crazy life.

Also, I have time constraints. My workout schedule is Wednesday- Sunday, with an optional Monday and a Tuesday entirely off. Wed-Fri I workout 830pm until appx 1030pm. Sat and Sun are during nap times for the kiddo.

I also take care of my mom who is battling stage 4 cancer. It's a lot on my plate, but I've worked up to being able to handle the life stress. Thankfully I have a very understanding and helpful wife.

It's also a little hard for me to keep in context that I will never return to where I was at physically. But that's ok. Here's a reference from peak fitness (2013) to current dad level fitness


Back to the training plan.

I'm currently in the very early phases of training. In basic planning and periodization terms, I'm in my general prep phase (GPP). 

For future reference, the phases are usually referred to as

  • GPP- general prep phase
  • SPP- specific prep phase
  • Precompetition phase
  • Competition phase 

Training for these phases will gradually increase in intensity in order to adequately prepare for the demands of the event, create the adaptations needed to exceed current levels, and provide time to normalize the new abilities in time for them to be used during high stress environments, aka the competitions phases.

That being said, I'm in early GPP. My GPP will be broken up into two 4 week blocks. The first week in the first block is below.


The block is split into three neural/high intensity days and 2 low intensity days focusing on body balance and endocrine support.

The three high intensity days have a similar theme. I am focusing on simple movements that drive neural development. The goal is to increase motor unit recruitment and rate coding to increase speed and power. This is a goal that will never leave my training. A high intensity sport demands high intensity training year round. What will change is exercise selection and density of the high intensity days during the different phases. Since we are early in training, we are using conservative loads and simple exercises paired with high intensity in effort of execution. 

Rather than repeat exercises throughout the week, we use similar exercises to prevent overuse injuries. Variety in training is the one of the major factors in bulletproofing yourself against injury.

The only exercise that is continually repeated are the power cleans. These are one of the primary neural drivers of my training for this phase. After this phase, hang cleans will join in as well in order to provide more variety.

My low intensity days are designed to hit ranges of motion and motor patterns that aren't focused on during the neural days. They are also meant to set the ground work for the endocrine support that we will need as we progress into much higher intensities later in the season. We will hit moderate levels of lactate during these workouts by playing with the work:rest rations which will facilitate recovery for the next neural day. 

Endocrine support via strength and conditioning is a heavy topic for another post, however.

The next two weeks of training will be identical to week 1, with the exception of sprint volume increasing up to 250m per session, if needed. Most people assume that during a training phase you need to progress with either increased load/intensity, increased volume, or decreased rest. Progression isn't just in the numbers however. Progression can come from mastery of the movements. Since I have had quite a few years away from dedicated training the intensity of my exercises will increase simply because my body is becoming more in tune with itself. I will be applying more power throughout the phase as my central nervous system wakes up and my neuromuscular efficiency increases. That will provide the increased demands of training each week for the initial phase of GPP.

The second phase of GPP will focus on a little more hypertrophy. Not much, and it won't be traditional hypertophy. It will be my favorite hell- density training.

That's enough general training talk for now.

Leave a message with any questions or comments on the training block!


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