Lattice Training Log Part 8: Week 2 of Cycle 2. Motivation, perfectionism, climbing vs training.

This was the week of Sept 26, and was the second week of cycle 2.


The details are in the spreadsheet, but the highlights are:
  • 30s L-sit hang for the first time!
  • 54 → 58 total pull ups.
  • completed 2 sets of 6 w/ +45lb on the wide pull ups (previously only managed 5.5 and 4.5 reps).
  • all 4 bench sets at 135, despite doing it after bouldering this week.


Last week I wrote about trying to make training more enjoyable. This week I tried to remove the biggest sources of stress surrounding my training and make the process more fun.
I’m an over-achiever and perfectionist. In my training, I tend to focus on the things that I don’t do perfectly. This can make me feel like I’m not being successful or putting in a good effort, even though I am actually doing all the important stuff (showing up consistently, putting in quality efforts, making progress).
For example:
  • Picking a slightly too-easy or slightly too-hard problem for boulder triplets.
  • Doing the last couple of pull ups in a set with a bit of momentum.
  • Trying a problem that looks fun even though it’s below my flash grade when doing my moderate circuit.
  • Stopping my 40 min max effort session at 35 minutes if I’m not really feeling like I can try hard any more. Or doing an extra 5 minutes if I feel close to unlocking a move.
I think this can be really dangerous. If you show up at the gym every day and feel like all you’re doing is coming short of your standards, on some level you’re going to develop an aversion to that experience. On the other hand, if you often feel success, then it’s a lot more likely that you will find the experience rewarding and want to do it again.
This week I tried to “let myself off the hook” and let my training be more messy. I’m also trying to recognize the big, important things that I’m doing well, and feel proud of the progress I’m making week to week.
Changing your mindset isn’t easy, however, and I often find myself slipping back into being critical. It’s something that I will need to keep returning to in weeks to come.

What gets Measured

I’m finding a benefit in the repetitive structure of my program, and in having a record of everything in this blog. Just like I did in week 2 of my first cycle, this week was a real struggle.
The boulder circuit at the end of this week felt especially bad. I took an additional rest day because I just did not feel up for it on the initially planned day. Even with the extra rest, I felt like I couldn’t really engage my fingers or find tension in my feet and core. However, I was still able to make a slight improvement over the previous week in my pressing workout later that day.
It’s making me a bit worried, because I think while I am making progress in all of my easily-measurable conditioning metrics, I may be sacrificing the quality of my climbing sessions.
It’s tempting to squeeze out that last rep on the bench press or hold out the last few seconds of your isometric core routine, and turn what was supposed to be an 8/10 effort into a 10/10. But then 2 days later I’m still fatigued and can’t execute a move that would typically be within my ability during my climbing session.
My main concern is that I don't feel like I'm climbing well. I had to try a problem a few times because it took me a few attempts to actually get myself to *apply* my strength and really grip the crap out of a hold. On another problem, I got stuck a few times because I didn't think of doing a big and powerful move past a crappy hold (I defaulted to trying to make the moves small and static, moving my feet up too high instead).
Should I dial back the intensity of my off-the-wall training, so that my climbing time feels higher quality? Or is this the sort of thing people talk about when they say that practice is not performance?
I think that since next week is the last week before de-load, I’ll keep doing what I’m doing, but will reach out to my coach to see if this is something I should experiment with for the next cycle.