How to balance boulderig week to keep necessary stamina but avoid junk miles?

Hi everyone. Id like to learn your ideas on structuring your bouldering week with respect to intensity versus volume. By default i`m attracted to projecting and limit bouldering where you really dont get that many moves every session. I think if i always do what i like my diversity of movement and climbing stamina (the ability to recover during rests between hard attempts) will suffer. Currently i know of 2 ways of how to add climbing volume:

  • Over last half a year i experimented with having 2 project days and 1 volume day. During the volume day i`d pick a group of interesting 6-8 move moderates / slightly above flash level and that i have done before and repeat them with 1min rests (boulder triples in CRIMPD app for the interested). I really liked it, but stopped in the end of the summer because we have re-set the gym with all new and very sharp holds and my skin just could not possible recover for a project day after a volume day on a sandpaper.

  • Alternatively, a lot of people in my gym go down in grades after project lvl energy is no long there, and keep climbing until they cant anymore. I don`t personally think its very fun and useful to get down to the level below flash grade, where you can climb mindlessly and my skin is not very happy either. On the other hand, when you’re really tired it is possible to discover nuanced techniques. On the other hand, failing on below flash level boulders really hits the ego, so what people usually do is they speed up and slap holds displaying even worse control and technique than before. Have experienced both of those. I would refer to this method as junk miles.

I dont feel that the stamina or technique holds me back atm, but i want to keep the habbit of investing into them. Glad to hear your ideas.

I’m not really a fan of the term junk miles. Depending on your experience and currency, the type of mileage most helpful to you will differ. There is no one category of mileage that is junk.

That said, once you’ve learned the skills necessary to keep your technical ability and composure together when fatigued, going deep into fatigue often will result in a negative cost:benefit ratio. Until then, the only way to learn those skills is to get fatigued to the point of failure. I’d rather do that in training than on the project on those precious days outside.

This skills will sometimes need brought up to current - so you aren’t “done” once you have them - they can just be put on then back burner for a while.

If you have those skills, then I’ve found a high-low approach works well. It’s what our Boulder Strong plan is built on. For most, one day a week of 50% of max climbing will do the job. I like 15-20 minute blocks of continuous boulders, climbed relaxed and as close to perfectly as possible. You don’t have to stay on the wall - just move at a steady and casual pace from boulder to boulder. Rest 5 minutes, do it again. All angles, all styles. If you are climbing well and the holds aren’t brand new, your skin won’t suffer much but your aerobic climbing ability will thank you.

I’m no expert and can’t really help you, but does your gym have a splash wall or kilterboard or something that you could work on? Also I personally enjoy doing boulders below my flash level because it allows for a wide variety of exercises (from sloth/monkey to climbing with only 1 arm or 1 leg). But to each their own I guess :slight_smile:

Another way to keep some stamina is to do some Boulders on the minute. You can do shorter sets of harder-ish boulder (5 mins or so), or longer sets of more aerobic based boulders (50-60% of max-ish). I think building to 15-20 minutes of work time similar to @Kris 's approach should do the trick.

I think as long as the focus is on super sharp technique, it’s really hard for your mileage to be garbage.