Power endurance can be defined as the ability of your muscles to
contract at or near maximum for a greater amount of time. The more power
endurance you have the longer you will be able to pull hard
moves. Excellent power endurance is the ultimate goal of a difficulty
competition climber, the ability to pull hard moves after already
pulling numerous hard moves. Unfortunately it is also the hardest thing
to train properly. It requires the correct blend between strength/power
training and endurance training.
Generally power endurance can be described as climbing for 15-40 moves, or 3-8
minutes on the wall. Power endurance can be closely linked with
redpointing routes. Especially indoors routes tend to be more consistent
meaning that a 5.12 will have lots of 5.12 moves stacked on top of each
other so that provides the perfect opportunity for power endurance
There are several keys to training power endurance:
Consistent routes - the routes should be consistent without the
opportunity for large rests.
Power and Strength - the routes should have a mix of powerful
moves and smaller moves on bad holds.
Desire - power training is mentally hard. You've got to want
to get better. Getting tired is not a bad thing.
Goal - getting to the top without falling. It helps when you
are trying to redpoint a route to remind yourself of the goal. It can
get boring trying the same route over and over, but as a part of a
workout it will make you stronger.
4.1 Power Endurance Drills
The following are some drills that you can do on your own or with a
partner to increase your power endurance.
Increase the number (volume) of boulder problems that you are attempting
in a workout. Decrease the rest time between problems and always start
each attempt from the first move (don't work individual moves). This
allows you to pull lots of hard moves in a short period of time. Try and
do three or four boulder problems in 5 minutes then a short rest 3-5
minutes, and repeat 3-4 times.
Linked Boulder Problems
Linking together two or three boulder problems is a very effective way
of extending the number of moves that you are doing. Start with a hard
problem that you can barely do, move to one that you can do quite easily
but can't stop and rest/recover on, and then move on to a problem that
is again quite hard for you. You will have to take this drill into
account when you are setting problems or else it will be too hard to
link them together. Two things can be accomplished with this drill; one
you are climbing lots of hard moves; and two you are climbing routes
that you have already done so you should be determined and will yourself
not to fall.
With this drill you can partner up with one or two people and rotate
through. Attempt each link up 3 times with 3-5 minutes for rest in
between attempts. If you are not completing 20 moves then try and change
up the boulder problems that you are doing, if you are always completing
the linkup then make the boulder problems harder.
This drill is especially effective when you are starting the transition
between bouldering and power endurance training. The problems should
still be very hard and chances are you will not be on the wall for more
than 3 minutes per attempt.
Redpointing routes can be a great way of training power endurance if you
are making it at least 15 moves into the route each time and the route
does not provide lots of areas for resting. If you do not have long
routes available to you then you can link routes together in a similar
fashion to the linked boulder problems, or try and be tired by the time
you go to start redpointing.
Make your own climbing circuit of between 20 and 40 moves. The moves
should be powerful, consistent and not provide holds for resting. Try to
vary the terrain that the circuit crosses and try and distribute the
move/hold types evenly for both arms. The great thing about circuit
training is that you can tailor it to your needs. You set the circuit
for yourself and if it is too easy you can make the holds harder or take
away footholds. If it is too hard then add a foothold or make the holds
slightly easier. Once again you should try and be on the wall for
between 3-6 minutes and attempt the same circuit 3 times in a row with a
5 minute rest in between attempts. On the first attempt you should
complete the circuit and on the third attempt you should get very near
the end. If you complete it all three times then make it harder, and if
you can't complete it the first time make it easier.