The V13 Workout

  • SumoMe

Hello everyone!  Today I will post a Wednesday Workout.  Wednesday posts are all about the physical aspect of climbing, and each Wednesday I will post some type of PT (physical training) session for you to do.  I have been experimenting for some time with PT workouts, trying to find the workout that is right for me.  I measure all my workouts against this one rule: did it make me sore?  If it didn’t, then I need to up the difficulty or try a new method; if it did, then it’s a success!  Once I’ve found something, I normally continue using it, but I try to change it up a little every time I workout, although the principle may remain the same.

Recently, I discovered a training program on Andy Cutler’s blog, acutclimbing.blogspot.com, and I have changed it to fit my schedule and training needs.  This workout, the V13 workout by Brian Antheunisse, is an amazing way to thoroughly push the muscles in your arms to the limit.  Although he recommends doing this workout for three hours, one hour of nonstop training has been more than enough for me.  Here is the article from Andy’s site by Brian:

Tri-sets – the most effective training tool I have ever used.

This old workout, first constructed by the champion American competitor Timy Fairfield, passed down to an equally successful Jon Cardwell, and taught to Dallas, TX native crusher Ryan Roden, has turned everyone who uses it into a V13+ rock climber. The workout is similar in concept to the new popular mainstream workout program P90X, both of which utilize a phenomenon called ‘muscle confusion.’ Throughout the span of a tri-set, you do three different sets of workouts working out three different muscle groups. This variety of workouts ‘confuse’ the muscles, and seems to prevent the body from adapting to the same exercises over time, resulting in continual improvement without any plateau-ing. These three workouts that compose a tri-set include a push exercise, a pull exercise, and a hang exercise. Once finished with this single tri-set, you start over using a new push, pull, and hang exercise. A good complete tri-set workout should take you about three hours, where you do four to six tri-sets.

Here is how a tri-set workout is laid out:

  • 5-10 minutes Push: A fairly difficult workout involving your opposition muscles like triceps and pectorals. This workout should be intense enough that it should last 5-10 minutes, and you should have a hard time completing it without resting. I, for instance, choose something like muscle-ups, or flies (both done on gymnast rings).
  • No more rest than a short water break.
  • 5-10 minutes Pull: Again, choose a difficult workout that is quite a feat for you to finish without much rest. This workout should revolve around your lock off and/or explosive pull muscles. My pull workout would include campus laps on a boulder problem, typewriter pull-ups on some gaston crimps, or one arm pull-ups/one arm negatives.
  • No more rest than a short water break.
  • 5-10 minutes Hang: These are a little more straight-forward. Again, pick a exercise that you can barely continue to do for 10 minutes without someone yelling and screaming at you to not let go. A hang here can involve anything from repeating two hand hangs on crimps for a little while, or one hand deadhangs on slopers, etc. Hangboards obviously help this exercise run smoothly. My favorite hang exercise is one handed deadhangs on crimps just good enough to where you can open hand crimp for about 5 seconds before failure. Then maniacally repeat until 10 minutes is up.
  • Rest about 10 minutes, then repeat using new workouts that are similar, but still working slightly different muscle groups. Do this continuously until you have completed about six tri-sets.

If done properly, this workout should take you about three hours to complete. Afterwards, your fingers should feel permanently stuck in the crimp position, you shouldn’t be able to lift your arms over your head, and you should be trying to hide the tears you just shed in the bathroom during one of your 10 minute “rest” periods.

I strongly advise doing this with a friend, because if the motivation is not there, it’s very improbable that you will have had the motivation to successfully complete this workout. You may want to plan out all four to six different push, pull, and hangs prior to starting the workout so it runs smoothly with no time delays. Also, I strongly advise you to do this workout no more than one time per week. This probably won’t be difficult to accept seeing as how most people are sore for three to four days following their tri-set workout.

Like I said, I personally can’t do this for three hours, and this guy really takes this workout to the extreme.  But after being tailored for your own use, tri-sets are the perfect PT session for training pure power.  Although Brian says to only perform this workout once a week, if you are only training for one hour and are really serious about this, then I think twice a week is doable.  The only other thing I have to add to this workout, it that I like to work my core every time I workout, just because I have terrible abs.  So if you like, after you do this workout, follow up with this PT session I made up:

  • 50 bicycle crunches.  Bicycle crunches are quite simple; do a sit-up, but do not tuck your feet under anything.  Instead of just sitting up, you will make your right elbow touch your left knee.  Then lay back down and touch your left elbow to your right knee next time you sit up.  This counts as one; you are really doing 50 for each side.
  • 100 knee raises.  Hang on a pull-up bar or jugs on a hangboard and raise your knees till they are parallel to your waist.  Then lower.  Try not to swing back and forth as you do this because it will make it much harder.
  • 50 V-ups.  Some people call them jack knives.  Lay down with your arms stretched over your head, then crunch up and touch your toes without bending your knees.
  • 100 side crunches (50 each side).  Lay on your left side and touch your hands to your head.  Then crunch up so that your left elbow touches your left knee.  That’s one, and after you have done 50 switch to your other side.  Do not bend your legs during this exercise.

Well, there you have it, today’s Wednesday Workout!  The challenge for today: complete either (1) one tri-set, which is equal to a 30 min workout, or (2) the ab workout.  If you do more, let me know!

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