Beast Mode

As someone who resides in Colorado and lives to boulder, summer is my time of year. My favorite climbing areas in Rocky Mountain National Park (henceforth RMNP) and Mt. Evans shed their snowy winter blankets and reveal the splendid granite and gneiss boulders I adore so much.

To capitalize on the short alpine window, I need to make sure I am in the best shape possible before the season begins. This means doin’ work on the campus board, lifting weights, riding bicycles, and the dreaded core routine. All of these exercises and techniques I’ve picked up from various sources and are linked below, for your training pleasure (or suffering, depending on how you look at it).

Campus: I’ve tried various routines over the years but my favorite comes from the legendary School Room  and the folks at Moon Climbing. RJ now has Moon-standard rung spacing and wall angle on our campus boards, which helps a lot. I try to campus every Monday and Thursday but if my week is too busy or I feel run down I’ll campus on Wednesday instead. On campus days I climb for twenty minutes to warm up, doing one or two harder problems but no more.

Core: there’s an app for this. Seriously, it’s free and it kicks your ass (or abs, whatever) hard. Do this three times a week, usually after lifting weights.

Conditioning: alpine climbing zones have alpine approaches, and it is important to get the legs and lungs up to speed so the hikes don’t sap too much energy. My method is simple: bike + hill + maximum effort. I came up with a loop around my neighborhood that is roughly a mile long and features a long straightaway and an intense hill. I cruise downhill to the straightaway, sprint the straightaway, cruise a gentle incline to recover then mash up the hill as hard as I can. Rinse and repeat four to six times three or four times a week. Granny gears are cheating…