Chris Wall

CWall Level 1: Test Day (again) 2/6/12


I love test day! Especially when the technology doesn’t betray us!

This time it worked! I have the data that I so desperately desire! Here it is. Don’t forget to cross reference your HR monitor sign out with your data.
This was a scorcher of a test day. Class was full, so the Margarita Challenge was in effect. Hard to achieve on a test day. And it seems that my tequila supply is still safe.
If I had to give some advice for how to to better on the next test day I would say find the round (1-4) that had the lowest heart rates. Those are your crux exercises, especially the heart rate driving ones. Each round had one of these. Round 1 was kick thrus, Round 2 was mountain climbers, Round 3 was flying chickens, and Round 4 was split jumps. 
Peaks & Valleys is a bear, no matter who you are. But it is the acme of skill to just barely hit your HR peak of 93% and not go over. Some of our athletes can tell you, to the burpee, how many they have to do to hit 93%. This takes a lot of awareness. Overshooting the mark is not the point here. Accuracy and awareness is. And don’t forget, Peaks & Valleys is not a “pace yourself” kind of thing. Hit the ground running. . . charge right out of the gate. Otherwise you’ll have a hard time hitting that first ALL IMPORTANT peak. 
No peak = no rest = THIS SUCKS.
Here is what we are looking for as improvement over time:
1) more time spent in the yellow and red zones
2) more peaks and valleys at the end of class
Pretty simple.

Posted by BRC in Blog Post, Boulder Rock Club, Chris Wall, Fitness, Training, 3 comments

CWall Level 2: Week #4 2/2/12

Hey all,

   A scorcher. It’s the week before test week, and I wanted to set you up for success. Not a gimme in the bunch. No chance to get it back. Hopefully the hardest thing that everyone had to deal with all week. Because next week is test week.

   The Bag Drag was fun. 80lb Heavy bag. Take it for a drag why don’t you.

   The Burtle Pushup (CWall Laboratories) is a coordination nightmare. Part Turtle Squat, part burpee, part pushup, all spliced together like an calisthenic Frankenstien’s Monster.

   Everything else was par for the course. They are not fun. Not meant to be.

   The Mystery Event was an old school Lightning Round, just like back in the day. 40 sec. on, 20 sec. off. Repeating all 12 exercises. No HR incentive. Just go. As hard as you can. This is often confused with “as hard as I feel like it.” The former is correct. The latter, well not so much. Let’s not get confused and start thinking that you don’t have a choice how hard you go just because you are a little tired. Mostly people start to fold up not because they are too tired, but because THEY ALLOW THEMSELVES TO SUCCUMB TO THE SELF-PITY THAT COMES WITH THE DISCOMFORT THEY ASSOCIATE WITH FATIGUE. Let’s be clear about that.

See you next time!
Coach CWall

Posted by BRC in Blog Post, Boulder Rock Club, Chris Wall, Fitness, Training, 0 comments

CWall Strength Promotes Confidence: Feats of Strength Week #1 2/2/12

Hey all,

   Today was the start of week #1 for Feats of Strength. We’ve moved away from Foundations and are now getting more serious about our acquisition of strength. The exercises are pretty simple, the reps are fewer, we will be upping our sets every week, and the loads are A LOT bigger. 

   3-5 reps was the order of the day, trying to finish feeling like you had a rep or 2 to spare. Remember kids, we are strength training. As in trying to get stronger. As in THAT IS THE GOAL. Not to be confused with other types of conditioning, we are not working on your anaerobic threshold, lactate clearance, aerobic capacity, etc. etc. etc. Maximal tension, minimal muscle damage. You know. . . strength training.

As you can see, the exercises are pretty simple. Amazing how easy it is to compensate with such simple motions. We stuck to a 2:5 tempo and focused on what it means to stop at the right time. A lot of unlearning to do from what I could see. Anyone that ground to a halt in mid rep got barked at.

Next week, well, it just gets heavier. And heavier. And heavier.

   Let’s keep our eyes on the prize folks. Keep your focus clear. Don’t confuse apples for oranges.

See you next time!
Coach CWall

Posted by BRC in Blog Post, Boulder Rock Club, Chris Wall, Fitness, Training, 0 comments

X-Cardio For the Mountains: Test Day 2/1/12

I love test day. 
A nice way to check in. See where we’re at. Clear the cobwebs. And that we did. Don’t forget, this is a new training cycle, and this was Test Day 1 of 3. This is a nine week training cycle for this program. We are intent on keeping everyone fit for their skiing, but also getting a jump start on the late winter and spring mountaineering.
I hate all non-Apple computers. Not sure why, because there are so many other things that I don’t understand and bear no ill will towards. But PC’s. Grrrrr. My animosity this time is due to the fact that the results from this Test Day are NO WHERE TO BE FOUND! Gone. Zoink. Poof.  
Sorry about that. Human error most likely. But I am going to continue to blame Microsoft.

 The class was a pretty standard test day. The Peaks and Valleys portion was a combo of 3 exercises instead of just one. I chose this because of the more varied demands of Mountaineering. There was about a minute of rest between each group of 3. We took another minute before the game of Peaks and Valleys. 10 minutes was a long time to contend with, and by and large everyone managed pretty well.

 If you are feeling game, you should give it a shot on your own. Or show up next Wednesday. I’m gonna do it again. We need some data to make some comparisons. The only way to get it is to collect it. And it’s not like everyone doesn’t need the practice.

See you next time!

Coach CWall

Posted by BRC in Blog Post, Boulder Rock Club, Chris Wall, Fitness, Training, 0 comments

CWall Level 2: Week #3

Hey there,

   I was really excited about tonights class. I not only got to bring back a couple of classic exercises that we haven’t done in a really long time, but I also got to introduce a couple of new things from the CWall laboratory.

 
We haven’t Deadlifted in a while, and there were several options: 12kg, 20kg, 24kg, and 40kg. Sumo style all the way!

The Metronome was a great change up for the core training routine. Keep your shoulders down, your legs straight, and stop holding onto the edge of the mat!

The One Arm Kick Thrus while holding a kettlebell definitely were a crowd pleaser. Keep your eye on the bell!

The Sit Thru’s are combo of a Front Plank and a Seated Pike. You shoot your legs between your arms to move from one position to the next, back and forth, back and forth. Long arms help, but a strong set of abdominals, hip flexors, and shoulders are better.

Tonights Mystery Event was a Fight Gone Way Wrong. 60 seconds at each station with a heart rate incentive set at a whopping 97%. That’s right, if you can’t get up to 97% of your max, you don’t get to take a break. A brutal ass kicking.

   We are two weeks from Test Day! Don’t no time off yet!

See you in class!
Coach CWall

 

Posted by BRC in Blog Post, Boulder Rock Club, Chris Wall, Fitness, Training, 2 comments

Strength Promotes Confidence: Foundations 1/26/12

Hey there,

   Today was the last day of SPC Foundations. We added some more hip work to help everyone’s range of motion and stability, whether it be for indoor climbing and bouldering, skiing, or mountaineering. We got in a lot of sets today: 5! Everyone was a shade of crimson darker by set 4, and set 5 was a pressure cooker. Nice war face everyone!

The Hip Extension and the Hip Abduction were the new kids on the block this week. Not too complicated. Remember, everyone should be able to crush a walnut with their butt by the end of the winter. There will be a test. . .

Next week we are changing things up: SPC: Feats of Strength! We are going to reduce our number of exercises, drop the reps, up the weights, and add some other format changes to help get everyone solid and resilient. This will be a 4 week cycle, so don’t miss out.

And by the way, I put the workouts up so that you can do them on your own. No more of this once a week crap. It’s time everyone put in some more personal time in the weight room!

See you soon!

Coach CWall

Posted by BRC in Blog Post, Boulder Rock Club, Chris Wall, Fitness, Training, 0 comments

Competition Strategy at the BCS

The Boulder Climbing Series is a very social and user friendly competition series.  It is a great way to get into sport climbing competition, test yourself to see how your winter training is going, or just get a great workout and hang out with friends.  But make no mistake, it is a competiton.  There are rules, scorecards, and prizes.  And let’s face it; there is something about the word “competition” that puts a little edge on things.  Often enough, the pressure from even the most casual of events is enough to frustrate our efforts.  Here are four things to think about that will help make your BCS experience more fun.
#1 Understand the rules.  Sounds like a no-brainer, but not knowing the rules is a very common, very frustrating mistake.  Fortunately this pitfall is totally avoidable.  Make sure that you are there for the Rules Meeting at the beginning of every competiton.  Don’t be shy about asking questions.  
#2 Get enough scores on your card.  Sounds simple, but you would be surprised at how many people miss this one.  At the BCS we usually take your top 3 routes and add those points together for your final competition score.  If you only have 2 routes completed by the end of the event, one of those three scores will be a ZERO! 
It is amazing how quickly 3 hours can zip by.  I usually tell my athletes to be ready to go as soon as the competiton starts.  That way they can get points on their score card sooner rather than later.
#3 Warming up on competiton routes and non-competition routes.  This is a biggie.  Time and comp routes are limited.  Should you warm up on competition routes or on the other routes scattered throughout the gym?  The advantage of warming up on comp routes is that you help to ensure #1, getting enough scores on your card.  The disadvantage is that you will have to wait in line for your turn, which may take a while.  
If you want to really play it well, put your score card in the queue and do a little bit of timing math.  It takes 4-5 minutes for one competitor’s turn at bat.  If there are 5 people ahead of you in line, and they are all successful on the route (a big if sometimes) we are talking about 20-25 minutes of waiting.  While your score card is in line, you can be off warming up on a route that is not part of the competition.  Just make sure that you make it back in time.  
#4 Watch other climbers.  This is a REDPOINT format competition.  That means that not only do you get to try routes more than once, but you also get to watch other people climb them.  Other than climbing it yourself, watching other climbers is the most valuable source of information about a route that you will get.  Use it.  
There are always several BRC staff around to help you get the most out of your competition experience at the Boulder Climbing Series.  Please don’t hesitate to ask if you have questions or if you need something.  This competition series is for you, and we are here to help.
Posted by BRC in Blog Post, Boulder Rock Club, Chris Wall, Competitions, Team BRC, Training, 0 comments

Ski Conditioning 1/24 and 1/25

Hey there all,

   Our ski conditioning program only has one week left, which means that this is going to be one tough week. All of our exercises now have very high heart rate potential to help you with your focus when things start to get uncomfortable. We did the exact same thing on Tuesday night as we did on Wednesday at noon, so if you missed them here it is:

We finished things up with a Mystery Event called Sissyphus. 4 exercises back to back with a set number or reps. When you get through all 4 you start again. The goal is to pace yourself and keep moving for the whole 7 minute round. It’s pretty tough and your goal is to keep your heart rate as low as possible while maintaining constant motion and perfect form.

Ouch.

Next week is our last Ski Conditioning class. We will be switching to another sport specific topic: CWall: X-Cardio for the mountains. Check the BRC calendar for more detail descriptions of the new class topics.

See you soon!
Coach CWall

Posted by BRC in Boulder Rock Club, Chris Wall, Training, 0 comments

CWall Level 2: 1/19/12

Hey all,

   I never said I was going to be nice. And sometimes that means a Level 3 when you expect Level 2. I admit it. It was a throw down. And everyone did a great job rolling with the punches. Class consisted of all the exercises having high heart rate potential, and everyone definitely felt it. At one point everyone was over 94%. If class had been full the Margarita Challenge would have been met. But it was good practice for next time;-)

   The Mystery Event was not a heart rate incentive game for a change. A time based game of Hard and Fast was our closeout event. We played for 7.5 minutes with 45 seconds on Flying Chickens and 30 seconds off with Front Planks. Ouch.

   For all you self motivated folks out there here is what we did just in case you want to re-create this monster on your own:

Watch out with the heavy rope. Face plant potential.

The step swing definitely put the zap on people psyche. Just remember that it’s feet apart when the kettlebell comes down!

The turtle burpee was a new hybrid. If we could get everyone to keep from stopping on that one, as well as the box jump, then we’d be getting somewhere. Don’t stop and take a picture after every rep. You’re not a tourist.

The frogger burpee is definitely a new favorite of mine. And just like the video game, you need to keep moving or you’ll get squished!

All in all it was a great class, and everyone tolerated my ranting about warming up with great patience. But they were a bit of a captive audience. . .

See you next time.
Coach CWall

Posted by BRC in Chris Wall, Fitness, Training, 0 comments

Strength Promotes Confidence: Foundations 1/19/12

Hey all,

   Today SPC class was an exploration of cadence. This is probably the most overlooked variable when it comes to strength training. And it is kind of a big deal. Most of the time people are only concentrating on the obvious variables, like weight, reps, sets, etc. Some may go the extra mile and think about posture and range of motion. But if you do repetition 1 at twice the speed of rep 6, are they really the same thing? I would say. . . well. . . duh?! Of course not. Enter the metronome. Tic tok tic tok. . . More accurate and consistent than counting in your head. 5 seconds of concentric, and 2 of eccentric. 7 seconds per rep. Nice and measurable, just the way I like it.

   Here is todays workout. I added seated military press today. You can expect more additions next week. Each exercise has a pretty predictable way of messing up the posture or cadence or range of motion. Once you know what those are it is a lot easier to prevent them. We managed to get 4 sets of everything in today: 2 warmup sets and 2 heavy sets. Next week I expect the same, but with a little more work and a new exercise or two.

Everyone did a great job today and I think that the transition to our next training phase is going to go pretty smoothly. As long as everyone stays consistent!

See you soon.
Coach CWall

Posted by BRC in Chris Wall, Fitness, Training, 0 comments

Ski Conditioning 1/18/12

Hey all,

   Today’s ski conditioning was mostly a repeat of last night’s event. Like last night it was full, so the Margarita Challenge was in effect. And like last night, close but no cigar. The box jumps really put the zap on a couple of people today. But with a little encouragement everyone got it in gear eventually. The “heavy” rope almost took out a couple of people. Watch out for that thing. It’s heavy.
 
   The Mystery Event today was a game of Hard & Fast. The idea with this one is to do one exercise to 93% of your max, and then switch to the other until your heart rate drops to 85%. Kind of an “active” recovery game of Peaks & Valleys. Flying Chickens made up the Fast portion, and sitting in Pike Position was the hard portion.

   Much like with the overhead squats during the warmup, the pikes seem to require a little lesson in anatomy and the definition of certain words. For those of you who were in class, the “knee” is the joint between your ankle and your hip. And for our purposes “straight” means “not bent.” That should help next time I say “Keep your knees straight!”

   Life is full of lessons.

See you next time.

Coach CWall

Posted by BRC in Chris Wall, Fitness, Training, 0 comments

Ski Conditioning 1/17/12

Hey all,

   I was feeling pretty chipper tonight, and everyone got to experience the full effect of my enthusiasm. We had a full class which means that the Margarita Challenge was in play. Also I unveiled a new exercise and changed a bunch of stuff around from last week. We even had some new recruits testing their fortitude along side the veterans. All in all it was a great class with a Peaks and Valleys Mystery Event. Burpees and Flying Chickens were on the menu and I didn’t give any slack on the 93% peaks. Here was the plan for your collection:

 
   The Double Mountain Pushup was today’s new creation. A combo of the double mountain climber and a pushup. The pushup can be done from the feet or the knees. Whichever you prefer.

   The addition of the heavy rope definitely was a crowd pleaser. And folks, one hop per revolution please. This isn’t a playground.

   Next week we are going to be throwing in a lot of agility work, so make sure you’ve rested up. There is no prize for “1st One to Fall Down” or “Best Faceplant.”

 

See you soon!

Coach CWall

 

Posted by BRC in Chris Wall, Fitness, Training, 0 comments

Strength Promotes Confidence: Grip & Upper Body 1/17/12

Hey all,

   Today’s SPC class was another full one with a more pointed repeat of last Tuesday. As you know we are in a strength building phase, and this was week #2. Everyone is showing more affinity for the exercises and are really starting to move their “fighting” weight around. But damn, that whole tempo thing is a killer. When I say 5 Mississippi, I mean ALL 4 SYLLABLES please. We’ve been focusing on concentric contractions over 5 seconds and eccentric contractions over 2. That way we can minimize muscle damage and recovery time between workouts. But it’s not like it’s that easy. Everyone needs to get super comfortable leaving their egos outside the weight room and not lifting as much weight as they think they “should.” Everyone is stronger than they think, but it’s the numbers that they’ve got all wrong!

   Here is todays workout incase you wanted to do it on your own. Remember, this whole lifting to “failure” thing is kind of a gooey mess. I like to remind people that if they aren’t maintaining the proper posture for the exercise, the prescribed range of motion, or maintaining their cadence IT IS OVER! DONE! FINITO! Some may disagree, and I’m okay with that. The weight room is one of the single most stupid places to get hurt (other than the bathtub).

   Next week we are going to add an exercise or two. Show up to class and you’ll find out first. Or you can wait for me to write another blog. But showing up is more fun.

See ya next time.
Coach CWall

Posted by BRC in Boulder Rock Club, Chris Wall, Fitness, 2 comments

Strength Promotes Confidence: Foundations 1/12/2012

Hey all,
   Today was the first day of our three week Foundations training cycle. As you can see we started out with several of the basics, with a lot of rest in between so everyone could concentrate on their form. 4 sets of each trying to fail between 6-8 reps. These weights got pretty heavy, but everyone did a great job. Next week we’ll add another exercise, take out a rest, and make a couple of other changes to spice things up. 
Posted by BRC in Boulder Rock Club, Chris Wall, Fitness, Training, 0 comments

Ski Conditioning: Bombproof! 1/11/12

Hey all,

   Today was another good day for the skiers as we made it through our 3rd week of this training cycle. It was high heart rates all the way with the same exercises that we used last night during our Tuesday night CWall Ski Conditioning program.
 
   We had a full class today, and that means that the Margarita Challenge was in full effect. As many of you know The Margarita Challenge is only for full classes that can get everyone on the room to get their heart rate past 93% of their personal max at the same time. If they pull it off, I will make EVERYONE in class the best margarita in the state. Hand crafted by yours truly. Obviously we will meet on a different day for this celebration of exertion, otherwise we’d have a lot of cheap dates on our hands. The Margarita Challenge has only been met twice in the last two years. Today everyone made a great bid for the title, but unfortunately fell a bit short in the heart rate department. Close, but no margarita.

   The big difference in today’s class is that we tuned it down a little bit with a more traditional Lightning Round at the end. Instead of 40 seconds on and 5 seconds off between exercises, we bumped it down to 30 seconds on. This didn’t really make a difference for the Margarita challenge however, seeing as the only real chance for success is in the first 3 rounds of class. After that, people generally don’t have the gas left.

Too bad:-(

Sincerely,

Coach CWall

Posted by BRC in Boulder Rock Club, Chris Wall, Fitness, Training, 0 comments

Ski Conditioning: Bombproof! 1/10/12

Hey all,

   Last night’s ski condition was pretty ruthless, and everyone definitely showed up to give it their best. As many of you know we have moved from a strength focus to more of a anaerobic conditioning focus, while still maintaining your strength gains from last month. It was a rough circuit with a closing Mystery Event that is among the most challenging in the arsenal: The Greased Lightning Round. Here’s what everyone went through:

As you can see this is a pretty rough ride, with the Greased Lightning Round taking up the last 10 minutes of class. 40 seconds at each exercise, with a 5 second transition time where everyone is trying to beat the clock to start the next exercise.

Everyone gave it their all, even though many limped to the finish line.

Great work everyone! Just 3 weeks left in this training cycle!

Sincerely,

Coach CWall

Posted by BRC in Boulder Rock Club, Chris Wall, Fitness, Training, 1 comment

Training Blog – First Edition! Test Day Results!

1/11/12
Results from Monday’s CWall Level 1 Test Day!
   So here we are at the first addition of Coach CWall’s Training Blog. We started this week by introducing the new periodized formats for the Group Training Programs here at the BRC. What better way to start than with a CWall Level 1 Class on Monday, January 9th. We had the first of 3 Test Days using only bodyweight exercises. These test days are to determine your starting level and then to measure your progress throughout the 9 week program. If you missed the test day, that’s ok. Anyone can join in when their schedule allows. We’ll do it all again in a few weeks.
I admit, the Test Day may have been a little harder than I originally let on. Well, um. . . that’s too bad. I never said it would be easy. If you want to see what we did, here is the list of exercises and the order in which we did them, as well as the HR list by person so you can check your results:


   As you can see everyone worked really hard. Just keep showing up and 4 weeks from now everyone should be doing a lot better.
   Remember, if you don’t show up consistently there is not going to be a lasting training benefit. . . just a sound ass kicking. 
Hard to believe, but it’s true! 
Sincerely,
Coach CWall
 

Posted by BRC in Boulder Rock Club, Chris Wall, Fitness, Training, 0 comments

1/9/2012

The first week of our new fitness programming has begun, and here are some of the details. As many of you know we have changed all of the group fitness to a more periodized program, each from 4-9 weeks in length. We will be exploring general fitness and strength topics as well as seasonal topics. Check out the programing calendar for more information.




CWall Level 1: TEST DAY, Monday January 9th 12pm 


We are going to be going with a bodyweight exercise theme for the test days this cycle. I know, I know. . . it was a little harder than I let on. Well, tough. Here are the results from Test Day. Here is the list of exercises that we did and the order in which we did them, in case you want to put yourself through the same test.

For those of you that were there, find your name on the signup list and use that to find your test results during the Peaks and Valleys:

Posted by BRC in Chris Wall, Fitness, Training, 0 comments

Cry in the Dojo Warmup

Hey all,

Check out the warmup that we do in the Cry in the Dojo series of classes here at the BRC. It is pretty general and works well for the classes as well as a general warmup for climbing. I do about 20-30 repetitions (about a minute) for each exercise.
—-WARNING!—-ATTENTION!—-HEADS UP!!!!!—-
This is exercise. Exercise, much like leaving your bed in the morning is NOT SAFE! Please take responsibility for your well being and think before you act. And if you want to play it safe, consult with a health professional before you start ANY new exercise program.
Posted by CWall in Chris Wall, Fitness, Training, 0 comments