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    Notes and advice from Sean McColl.

Transitioning Training

I’d like to start by thanking everyone who watched the campusing movie I posted last weekend. I felt like a lot of people gave me great feedback which will inspire me to make another training one. Thanks for all the comments as well. I’m trying to figure out what I’ll do in my next movie and I’m thinking about a few more conditioning exercises, maybe dead hangs, or maybe a more route setting oriented movie. I’m currently sponsored by HRT and they have these cool white holds where you put dots on the holds to give them colour (replacing the ugly tape some gyms use). The reason it works better than a normally coloured hold is that you can put 2-3 dots on each hold thus specifying it for multiple routes. I’m going to be ordering a bunch of white holds and mixing them in with my existing HRT holds to build some circuits. Route setters know, and I’ll tell you again that creating a good 40-60 move circuits takes a pretty good amount of time, especially without impact drills… I’m still in the planning stage but I think I’m on the right track. A few days after I posted my video, I also did an IAmA on Reddit. An IAmA is basically a live question/answer period. On Reddit, there have been a lot of big names that have done them including President Barrack Obama, Bill Gates, Ken Jennings (Jeopardy Wiz) and as far as a man who is currently in orbit of earth in a space station… You can find my IAmA here and that also went super well. I posted it in the forum where there would be mostly non-climbers so I got some random questions, some climbing questions and some obvious troll questions (which were met by troll answers). Thanks to the people who made the IAmA successful! Next on the agenda and the main part of my week has been thinking about what type of training I’m going to be moving into. I’ve been doing campusing for the better part of 2 months and I’ve finally gotten to the point that I don’t feel like I’m improving much from it anymore. I’ve tried to change up exercises, lengths and how many times a week I do it. I want to move into more power mode and max force boulders. Max force boulders are ones that you create at the gym that take you longer than 2-3 sessions to complete it. It’s usually pretty frustrating because every move on the first day will feel hard. I try to set these problems in the range of 3-6 moves. Once a week, I think I’ll do dead hangs followed by a destroying circuit of abs. The reason I’m moving into this type of training is because I realized that my first world cup is in the first week of April which is only 6 weeks away! I’ll take a good 4-5 days to rest before it which means 5 weeks of hard boulders, dead hangs and abs. I feel like I’m a lot stronger from the campusing I’ve been doing, but I still need to convert all that upwards strength into real bouldering strength. The lateral moves and figuring out how to actually hold the holds will need some work. It’s a long battle, and a constant fight. I’m motivated, and the season is just around the corner.  

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Comments (16)

  • Avatar

    sunny yang

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    What’s your motivation to climb and bouldering? thanks for your time!

    Reply

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      Sean McColl

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      I absolutely love it. I love climbing and bouldering outside as well. To excel in compeition, you must train, and I love the feeling of getting stronger.

      Reply

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    Alexander

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    You said that you are transitioning from campusing to dead hangs. Will you continue to do some finger strength work outs even during route season. If not, what do you do to maintain enough bouldering strength during route season.

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Sean McColl

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      During route season, I still do boulders once a week. If I have a break of 2 or more weeks in my training schedule, the first day I go training I will do a campus board workout to remind my body how hard campusing is. The hard reality is that my bouldering strength over the course of the lead season will probably steadily go down. I hope not too fast, but if at the same time my resistance is going up, you can’t complain. I throw the bouldering and campusing training in so that maybe it goes up just for a few days to keep it where it’s at.

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Chris

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    Can you describe how you do your deadhangs? Which grips? Repeaters or long rest? Progression from session to session?

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Sean McColl

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      I have to think if I’m going to film this first, if I don’t I’ll at least do a big blog post about it, so look out for that one! I’ll try to include pictures to make it very informative.

      Reply

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    Jonathan

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    What about HRT holds, I like the idea to change color dots.
    But when I went on their website, I saw white holds, but the color seems to be “fix”…
    It would be nice to have some colored pins that we can change…

    Six weeks before first WC! It’s soon 😉 Good luck!

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Sean McColl

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      On the white holds section, those dots are just stickers, and you can change them quite easily! You’ll also see that most holds have 2-3 places where you can put the dots, even the feet.

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Aidan Doyle

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    Hi Sean, What do you do for your “destroying circuit of abs”?
    Thanks Aidan

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Eike

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    What does max force bouldering sessions look like? Could you describe them more exactly. Are you trying a single boulder the whole session or do you have a set of boulder? Do you fully rest between every try or do you have a specific rest time? You can do this all day long with enough rest time, so when do you stop?

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Sean McColl

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      I’m basically trying to create boulders that take me a few sessions to unlock. I don’t have a specific rest time, just when my body feels ready. It’s still training, so I’m not resting 10 minutes between attempts, more like 2 or 3 minutes. A big rest will be 5 minutes or something. I normally don’t train more than 2.5 hours in a row, then I do some conditioning and stretch.

      Reply

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    Nikolay

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    Hi Sean,

    First of all, I’d like to say HUGE THANK YOU for your blog. It’s very useful and expiring. Please, keep doing it.

    I have a question regarding your words – “I’ve been doing campusing for the better part of 2 months and I’ve finally gotten to the point that I don’t feel like I’m improving much from it anymore.” Have you climbed during these 2 month? How many times per week? Could you, please, describe very briefly your standart week when you are in the campusing stage?

    My point is that campusing could be a pretty boring workout:). Of course, it’s very useful, very important but not as fun as working on your projects and climbing itself. So, I’m doing the full(2-3 hrs) campus session only once per week and I can’t imagine how to do it 3-5 times per week without climbing.

    Also, it would be very interesting to read about your planning during the competition season, may be in some of your future posts. I mean if you want to get the best perfomance in 6 months, how do you plan your schedule during this period(campusing, max power, power endurance, endurance and etc.)

    Thank you again! Good luck in the competitions! I’ll be rooting for you:)

    P.S. Sorry for my English;)

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Sean McColl

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      Of course I’m still climbing during these months. I climb at the gym 4 days a week and did the campusing on 2 or 3 days of the week. Sometimes i’d do 1 set, others I’d do 2 if my skin could handle it. I also did hard problems and even a circuit or two of 15 moves.

      I don’t think 2-3 hours of campusing in a single is very efficient. I think that after the first hour and a half, you’ll be so tired that it won’t be efficient for your muscles. I’d recommend doing one hour or 90 minutes followed by bouldering. Do this 2-3 days a week for whatever period you’re thinking of.

      Reply

      • Avatar

        Nikolay

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        Thank you, Sean!

        Reply

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    Tom

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    Hi Sean – It seems you do ALOT, I did a few of the world cups last year and will be having a go at a couple of them this year. The one thing it does not look like you do much of is rest. Have you now found your at a point where you just don’t need to rest much because your body has adapted to high levels of training or do you cycle your rest periods, i.e. have a rest week at the end of each training cycle???

    Great website
    Tom

    Reply

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