Lattice Training Log Part 6: De-load week 1.

This was the week of Sept 12, and was the fourth week of my first cycle, which was also my first de-load week.


I was curious how the de-load would be structured, and it seems that generally Billy cut my exercises by about 50%.
Climbing: I kept the 40min sending session on the Tension board and 2x30min boulder experimentation sessions, and skipped the boulder triplets and boulder circuit session.
Fingerboard: I kept the repeaters workout while dropping the front-3/back-3 workout.
Core: I did the floor core session, but not the bar core session.
Pulling: I did an easier wide pull-ups session (going up to 4 reps on a load I would typically do 6 reps with), and dropped the hypertrophy pullups.
Pushing: I did an easier bench session (going up to 4 reps on a load I would typically do 6 reps with), and dropped the arnold press.


In the spirit of de-load week, I didn’t try pushing too hard on anything, but I did manage to do the entire set of floor core exercises (30s dolphin pose on each leg, 8 pushups, 30s boat pose, 20 crunches, 30s side plank on each side) without rest in both sets. Last week I had to rest half-way through the crunches.
I also finally managed the move up to H11 on Zeldawave, which I started trying all the way back in Week 1. The trick for me was to apply a stupid amount of pressure on my foot on K4. I felt really awkward toeing in on that foot in previous weeks, but I was able to find that tension this week.

Stress and Relaxation

I took Monday and Tuesday completely off. I had a pretty stressful weekend and beginning of the week due to work. I wasn’t sleeping particularly well, and I slacked a bit on doing the mobility sessions. Even worse, on Wednesday I spent the whole day working from the couch rather than my office chair.
During my warm up on Wednesday I reached down to pick up a kettle bell one-handed and, unsurprisingly, “lit up” the right side of my back, from the iliac crest up through the shoulder blade and up into my neck.
I ended up warming up for a while longer and taking some time to work it out (cow/cat pose, gentle jefferson curls, etc…). Eventually it let go and I was able to do my tension board session without it troubling me too much.
Later in that session I planned to do some comp-style bouldering. I ended up working a dynamic mantle move, where I would swing up around a big hold and land on top of it in a press. A bit into working that problem my chest started aching really bad, around where my left collar bone meets my sternum. I guess the impact of landing on that press really pissed it off.
I stopped the session there and tried to move on to wide pull ups, but couldn’t since it was too painful. I also had floor core scheduled for that day which didn’t seem to bother my chest too much so I completed that.
I worked that area a few times a day on Thursday, mostly trying to mobilize it lightly and finding the shoulder movements that felt tender and stiff, and trying to gently load them with a light rubber band. By Friday it felt a lot better and I went to the gym to do my ARC session (and repeaters). I hoped that light climbing would help it feel better.
By Saturday it wasn’t really hurting any more so I did another comp-style bouldering session, and managed OK, though I still avoided pressing moves.

Lessons Learned

I think in the future I need to be really careful about being too sedentary during days off, especially if the rest of my life is very stressful. Had I done a warmup or my ARC session on Monday or Tuesday, just to get my body moving a bit, I probably wouldn’t have hurt myself so easily on Wednesday. Heck, probably even just doing an extra session of the daily mobility would have helped.
I definitely need to stop coding on the couch, and take more breaks from sitting during work. It has gotten me in trouble many times but it’s just so hard to be consistent about that, especially when work is stressful.
Finally, I really need to be careful about comp-style bouldering and especially slapping holds / landing in presses. The impact is really rough on my shoulders. I think I’ll try and explore some easier variations of these movements in my boulder play time. Maybe it’s a matter of technique? I also need to figure out a good way to warm up for that (something like clapping pushups maybe?).

The Pain Log

I’ve been gradually writing an extra post about the various tweaks and injuries that I experience during training, and this week seemed like a good time to post that.
Before linking to it, I just want to state that my goal in writing these posts is something akin to a case study. “Here’s a detailed account of how one climber trained and what happened”. I am consciously trying to avoid “You should do these things like me” when writing this. In other words, I am trying to be descriptive, rather than prescriptive.
If you’re interested, you can read the post here: The Lattice Training Log 6.5 - The Pain Log. I’m curious to see how it compares to reader’s experiences.

Looking ahead to Cycle 2

I’ve been surprised by how sore and generally tired I felt this week. I guess work and managing pain probably contributed a lot to that, though it’s a good reminder that even a 40 minute tension board session is actually a significant amount of stress on the body.
Next week is the beginning of cycle 2. It looks very similar to cycle 1, and continues to ramp up in intensity. I’m trying to rest up so I’m ready to dive back in on Monday.
I’m excited to get back to all my sessions and apply what I’ve learned over the previous four weeks. During my first cycle I’ve dialed in the difficulty on tension board climbs, tweaked the intensity and duration of moves to find the right feeling on the boulder triplets, and expanded my comp-style move repertoire, as well as found a way to squeeze in some extra technique work in my warmup. I feel like each session is its own skill, with depth and subtlety that I’m looking forward to exploring further in the weeks to come.