Lattice Training Log Part 13: Week 3 of Cycle 3. Candy + Sends. 3-cycle feedback.

This was the week of Oct 31, the third week of cycle 3.


The details are in the spreadsheet. The highlights are:
  • I start my floor core routine with 10 crunches, 10 dish tucks, and then I’m supposed to do a 30s hollow hold. Up until this week, I did the hollow hold for maybe 5 seconds, and then intermittently tried to hold it for a few seconds more, but probably ended up spending a good half of the remaining time resting. This week I found myself able to hold it for a solid 15s. Then, after a 5s breather, I held for the remaining 10s. The rest of the set doesn’t give me too much trouble, so I can actually almost do the whole routine now!
  • 12 11 7 7 6 5 → 12 12 12 9 8 7 pull ups.
  • Added a set at 155lb / 4RM to my bench workout
  • Added a rep to my max pull ups at 62lb.
  • Added a rep to windshield wipers (+5 ankle weight), and 1-leg levers in my bar core routine.


Since this was week 3, I was supposed to switch my max effort session to a sending session. So instead of focusing on maximal moves, I instead focused on finishing climbs where I had worked out the movements.
I had an incredibly satisfying tension board session this week. I sent Punch Pinch, which I had been trying since cycle 1. It was my first V6 on the tension board, and it felt absolutely effortless.
I was sharing the board with some other folks who were working on Rose Thorn, and I figured it out within like 3-4 attempts. I remember trying this problem during my first cycle as well, and being completely stumped by the twisting move to F12 (you’re not supposed to match).
I then hopped on HEY HAY (V6) and fell on the last move twice. I have no doubt I will send it next session.
Aside from just getting the sends, it was interesting to see other climbers work it. I could see the places where they were struggling to control the holds and cutting feet, and I felt in control and absolutely rooted. The climbs felt comfortably within my ability level, and I’m excited to throw myself at more challenging moves next cycle.
As you may recall, I had a pretty good boulder circuit last week, and that continued this week. I flashed two V7s, and then completed two more (as well as repeating a challenging V6 from the previous week). When I first started this process, I wrote that I could do 75% of V7s in 1-5 tries. After working on boulder circuits for the past few months, I think that was an over-estimate, and I probably started somewhere around the 50% mark. Now I feel very confident on them, and I think it’s more like 90%.
So, my first Tension V6 and V7 go down in the same session, and I make some solid progress on another Tension V6. And then I have an awesome boulder circuit session. I think there are some things that helped me this week:
  • reduced load in the previous 2 weeks from being sick and nursing my finger injury.
  • taking 2 full days off (Sunday and Monday) before this session.
  • spending the previous day stuffing myself with Halloween candy.
And I feel pretty convinced that I am actually getting better. More on that later.


On that last point, I think I might not be eating enough. I started bringing some leftover Halloween candy with me to the gym. I eat some before and half way through my session, and I feel a lot more energetic.
I’m not someone who gets particularly hungry, so I’ve always had to be intentional about eating more to support training. I think this is a signal that I could eat even more.

Feedback to Lattice

Lattice arranges things in 3-cycle chunks, and as the end of cycle 3 approaches, my coach asked me to do an evaluation of training so far, to see what’s working well and where I feel like I need some changes. He will take this feedback and use it to update my training program for the next 3 months.

What’s working

I think my sends over the past couple of weeks are compelling evidence that what I’m doing is working. I definitely feel like I’m climbing better on the Tension board, and also transferring that to my boulder circuits on the set climbs at the gym. Considering it took me several weeks to send my first Tension V5, I gained something like a grade in 3 months.
I’ve really enjoyed how boulder triplets on the tension board make me feel. It feels like I’m targeting a significant weakness, riding beginner gains, and making rapid progress. I feel similarly about the strength and conditioning workouts I’m doing.
With boulder circuits, sending sessions, boulder triplets and boulder play, I also feel like I’m doing a lot more moderate climbing volume, which has been feeling great for my body. This is probably one of the biggest things I will take away from this training. I’m only working truly maximal moves for 40 minutes a week, for 2 out of every 4 weeks. Before this training plan, I would probably spend most of my climbing time in this zone (unsuccessfully).

What’s kind of working


I still enjoy the mobility and flexibility work, and I do think it helps with recovery and makes my body feel better. Though, at this point I’m definitely past the zeal with which I initially pursued it. I do my mandated 3 mobility sessions on my non-training days, and occasionally an extra session here or there.
However, I don’t really know how well it’s translating to actually being able to climb better. Maybe this is something that just takes longer to make progress in, and 3 months is not sufficient time to really feel it.
Either way, I don’t think this really needs to change.

Boulder Play

I’ve definitely gotten better at this session, but it’s still not completely clicking. I’m supposed to do relatively easy climbing focused on coordination rather than physicality.
I’ve developed a repertoire of moves that I can find on the wall and practice consistently. Dynamic step ups and rock-overs on smaller feet, as well as run-and-jumps and side-shuffles on larger feet. Most of these I feel like I can do on slab or vertical terrain.
I’ve also experimented some with karate kicks, pogos and movement where I am generating a lot of upward or lateral momentum by swinging my hips or a leg. I’m still struggling to find these on the wall and often they end up too easy or really contrived.
However, other stuff - presses, slaps, toe-catches, anything on overhanging terrain, I really struggle. It becomes really easy to venture into territory where I’m exerting myself a ton and I usually don’t have the energy for that due to the other overhanging training I’m doing.
I think that something like eliminates or 1-limb-removed climbing might serve me well here. Maybe I just need to continue experimenting with it. Still, I am finding myself working on set stemming problems and balance slab during this time, which is drifting away from the goal of the session. I think I could use some guidance here.

What’s not working


Training is taking up way too much time. I used to spend 7-8 hours at the gym over 3 days on an average week. Now I’m at the gym 4 days a week, and most days it’s at least 3 hours. And that’s not counting the mobility work I do at home.
On paper my total training schedule should only take 8 hours or so. In practice, I spend a considerable amount of time warming up my sedentary software-engineer body after sitting around all day, and trying to empty my head of work stress so that I’m in the right mindset to train. I have to wait for my turn to climb, or for equipment to become available. I like taking a bit of extra rest to prepare myself to try really hard. Plus, every day at the gym means time driving to the gym and back, and coordinating dog walks and dinner with my wife.
I managed it for these 3 months, but I don’t think it’s sustainable. So I’m asking my coach to cut down my training to where I can fit it in 3 days at the gym, and really holding it to 8 hours of gym time (warmup, etc… included).


If you look at my spreadsheet from week to week, you’ll probably notice that nothing much is happening with my finger training. I’m not changing the load or the volume. The only thing I have to go by is how desperate the repeaters feel (and I guess they feel not quite as desperate as when I started?). That doesn’t necessarily mean I’m not getting stronger - I guess only a re-test would tell for sure. This is of course complicated by the fact that I hurt my finger.
The hangboarding is causing some stress for me. Am I really half-crimping or am I slipping out into a 4-finger open hand? Should my MCP joint be straight or slightly bent/engaged? Am I favoring my back 3 fingers when I hang (why didn’t my repeaters feel any different when I stopped engaging my injured finger?)
I have a suspicion that I’m doing my hangboarding at too high of an intensity, so my half-crimp form is breaking down and feels inconsistent. Sometimes a 7s repeater hang will feel super hard, then on the next one my grip position is slightly different and feels really easy.
And of course, I ended up injuring myself somehow, so that’s probably not a good sign.
I think I definitely need some guidance on this.
So, next week is the de-load week for cycle 3. I’m hoping to have some more satisfying climbing sessions, and push myself on some V8s on the set climbs. I’ll try repeating some Tension board sends from this week so I can get some footage.