FAQ-3: About the workouts of the physical capacities proposed by the App in the dynamics, do I have to do them at the same time or consecutively?
The R-Evolution Training App offers you a training dynamic after finishing each self-test (more info about the dynamics here).
These dynamics do translate in 3 physical capacities which would be recommended to be mainly trained, because of two possible scenarios, whether it has been observed that they are less developed in your case (normal on unbalanced profiles), or you should enhanced them in the indicated order so you will ensure an improvement on your performance in the medium term (more likely on balanced profiles) (learn more about the profiles here).
As you could be guessing of what I mentioned above, it is important indeed to follow the order given by the App, so effectively the 1st physical capacity indicated in the dynamic will be the main one to be trained during the 1st training cycle, during the 2nd cycle we will train the 2nd one and idem on the 3rd one.
Having said all this, I’ll add three clue points:
- Prevalent means PRIOR, not EXCLUSIVE, so you should also develop other related or complementary physical capacities during each cycle, as appropriate (learn more about how to combine these capacities here).
- All the capacities indicated on the dynamic can be trained using dead hangs, but also applying other methods though, which in most of the cases it will be recommended by the way (learn more about the benefits of each method in order to develop each of the capacities here).
- If the same prevalent capacity is repeated in the same dynamic, either consecutively (as in the example below) or alternatively with a different one, it means that the development of that capacity is very important in that particular case; however, the duration of the cycles will have to be adapted so we do not abuse of the adaptation potential of that capacity in particular (more about all this here).
FAQ-4: How many sessions overall and how often per week shall I do each dead hang training session proposed in the dynamics of the App?
If you decide to follow the approach proposed by the App in any of its dynamics, you should be clear that this does not mean that you have to develop the capacities suggested there using only dead hangs.
On the table above you can see a table where I do summarize the appropriateness of each training method in order to develop each of the physical capacities that you can find in the dynamics (table extracted from the Text 6 of “Science and more”: link here)
Consequently, given that the approach can/should combine different methods of training, it is complex (and also it would be inappropriate) to give a specific guidance in this sense.
In the App, you will find information about the weekly sessions that are usually done to achieve positive adaptations in general (on the table above you can see some of the info that you will find in further detail here), and also more detailed information about the normal duration of the training cycles for the development of each one of the capacities that you can find in the dynamics (on the table below, you can also see a review taken from the texts 18, 20, 22, 24 and 26 of the “App User Guide”).
The App offers you information about the timing that will take you to gain adaptations for each of the capacities, BUT it does not set a closed duration for each of these cycles, since the pace of adaptation is different for each individual.
The App does not require you to follow a specific distribution of weekly workouts of any kind, neither it is a must to make them in a given time. It just tells you the order in which you should be developing each of the main capacities per cycle to gain the adaptations in synergy and therefore to optimise the results.
This approach gives you the flexibility to adapt any of the dynamics to your actual pace and needs (more on how to make workouts compatible here).
FAQ-6: I’ve never done dead hangs, is this really the time?
Training using dead hangs is not compulsory or necessary to climb. Some people has never used them, and they have achieved great results.
This is because climbing performance depends on many factors and dead hangs only work on some of those.
In a previous post (FAQ nº4 -see above-) you will find a table where I explain which are the capacities that could be developed effectively with the appropriate training methods.
But then… why so many people is using them?
Very simple: they are user-friendly, and they do not require a lot of time or a large space (almost everyone has a hang board at home) and specially because they are an effective training method (and we have enough scientific evidence about it: López et al., 2012-2019; Medernach et al., 2015; Levernier & Laffaye, 2017).
The key element of that level of effectiveness and what sets them apart from the rest of the contents: the control of the intensity.
To learn more about this concept, carry on reading
Dead hangs allow you to measure precisely the intensity, and also working and resting times… or what we call external load. But the most interesting thing is that they also allow you to control the internal load, and that is the fatigue generated or how well you may assimilate the training day after day (example about this in my previous post, here).
The “inconvenience” or why they are not the only thing to be trained (or why perhaps you should not do them in your case) is that they do not allow to work efficiency factors, which could be the technique, tactics, or the phycology.
Consequently… and summing up:
- If you have enough climbing experience and have developed your mental skills, tactics, and technique to a reasonable standard, you have great chances that training with dead hangs will only bring you benefits.
- If you have experience but you are not clear about your level in the previous skills, assessing your physiological profile and knowing your Average Level Indicators (ALI) can help you in this way too (more about the ALI here).
If you do not know if dead hangs are for you, you have more info here.
FAQ-10: The INITIAL self-test lasts 4 days! Can I make it quicker by any chance?
Well, IT DEPENDS (which is the most recurrent and accurate answer that we can give you to almost any question about training) and this case it is not an exception.
As you know, the self-tests are giving you information about the degree of development on certain physiological adaptations at a local level (forearm), in particular those that have been proved to be more determinant in climbing performance.
These adaptations are measured INDIRECTLY with these tests (find more info in the “App usage guide”: link here). Indirect measurements are very common in sports because of their simplicity and accessibility.
However, if these measurements are not taken to the limit of your real physical ability, the values obtained will not be as reliable as they should (because they will be underestimated), therefore the information provided will be of little use.
To avoid this, it is also important not to present local fatigue. This fatigue could be happening due to the activity performed prior to the tests but can also be generated by the tests themselves and this is the main reason why the self-tests are distributed over several days, to minimize any possible interference.
However, climbers with sufficient training background and also performing to a higher standard (from 8a RP or 7b+ FB or higher), could be undertaking the whole self-testing process in less time without decreasing their reliability. In fact, in the text 4 of “Science and more” (link here) you can find all the details about this, or how to do a FOLLOW-UP self-test in just one day (instead of 2 days). If your case is that you are doing an INITIAL self-test, do check-out the post “Self-tests for advanced climbers: advantages and considerations” (link here). There you will find a diverse menu of options with different practical sections, depending on the discipline you would like to train for (lead climbing or bouldering).
FAQ-12: The sessions that the App is suggesting (after a Self-test) are very different than the routine I was following before.. would they really work?
Honestly, you won’t know this until you’ll do a self-test again.
Just then, you will find out realistically if there have been improvements (REMEMBER you can compare these values easily and quickly, download the FREE form where you can compare your self-test evolution, on this link).
Well, bear in mind that after reading this it might look pretty simple, but gaining improvements is super complex.
For example, having done workouts at a certain intensity or using certain types hand grips or even adjusted grip sizes, does not mean that training at lower intensities or in larger grip sizes you will not improve. In fact, if your dead hang training experience is not high enough, this will be the most likely case, low intensity training on larger hold sizes.
Another case scenario could be if you already have a lot of experience, and you’ll see CLEARLY that the intensity of the workout or/and the training load and the grip types suggested by the App in the workout of a dynamic will generate an insufficient stimulus for you. If this is the case:
If the difference it really is that big, the recommendation is to select a workout of the same type, but one level (or even more) more advanced.
If the difference is not that big, the easiest thing to do it will be to adapt the parameters of the load that you’ll find necessary on the same type of training suggested by the App (something very easy thanks to the Training Editor).
Ultimately, to achieve improvements you will have to perform on a load that involves a stimulus that exceeds the minimum threshold of adaptation you need (see the picture above) and to achieve this, you will not always need to do something harder (intense) or use a smaller grip size (it will depend on that particular case, so you should assess if that is the case or not on the daily re-test).
Finally, keep in mind that the self-tests will reflect the effect of everything you’ve done in your training sessions (which will include more than just dead hangs). Learn more about dynamics and how to make them compatible with other contents here and here.
FAQ-17: According to my ALI I should be climbing 8b, but I can’t climb harder than 7c though!
The Average Level of Indicators (ALI) has been shaped up differently depending on the climbing discipline you have chosen on your personal profile (sport climbing or bouldering), taking into account the most determining indicators on each discipline: strength and anaerobic component in the case of the bouldering, and these 2 plus the aerobic component in the case of sport climbing.
The ALI/Performance ratio is based on records that have been taken over the last 8 years with hundreds of Spanish climbers of different levels. This ratio (as you can see on the picture above – find the extended explanation of each indicator here) will have a bias because nowadays we are not hundreds but millions of climbers worldwide.
So, considering that you have done the self-test correctly (see “App tips an tricks” – link here), and your ALI result is higher or lower than your redpoint grade (within the exposed relationship) It does not necessarily mean than you climb very badly or really well, respectively. Climbing performance is determined by a multitude of factors, and the physical ones are only a part.
The indicators obtained on the self-test do represent your POTENTIAL to climb (because they measure physical performance factors) but the ALI/Performance ratio may not be exactly adjusted for those that climb in different rock types/styles than the predominant ones in Spain (vertical-overhang limestone). Therefore, just take it as a guideline (although it may give you a few “clues” about where you should focus on).
Summing up: beyond the ALI (which is also used to organize your training -more info here and here) what is really important is to objectify at what level is each of the indicators and to be able to compare them in the short, medium or long term (to facilitate this comparison, remember that you can DONWLOAD the FREE FORM to compare self-test – link here).
All this information will allow you to DECIDE what is best to prioritize on your sessions, and thanks to the dynamics suggested by the App after each self-test it will be super straight forward (more info here).
FAQ-18: I have trained according to the dynamic proposed by the App, but my indicators are not improving… this invention is a rip-off!
Right, that’s the matter of this invention, to assess objectively if there is any improvement and to quantify it with each of the indicators of your physiological profile. This is exactly what will allow you to judge and assess if your training sessions have really worked or not.
Hold on! Keep in mind that the self-test measures the capacities of your physiological profile in an INDIRECT manner, therefore they will be affected by fatigue and environmental conditions.
Ideally these conditions should always be the same or quite similar (remember that to compare more easily the self-test you have a form that you can download FREE form right here).
Having said this, whether or not the dynamics suggested by the App are better will depend on many things (not only that they are well modelled).
Certainly, your adaptations will be determined on how you adjust the training load of each of the main capacities on each cycle (more info on how to adjust the load of the suspended workouts here).
Parallelly, it will also be decisive the training load that you will direct towards other capacities (whether they are complementary or supplementary in respect to the main one of each cycle).
Example: if maximum strength is the main capacity in a cycle, you can also train complementary capabilities such as contact strength (which you can develop doing bouldering, VERY hard moves by sections, certain exercises on the campus board, or in the hang board itself) or supplementary (such as the various manifestations of endurance in this case). The proportion of work for each of the capacities will depend on your level and experience (you have a proposal related to what we just mentioned and based on your ALI here).
To know how to manage/combine the different capacities to be trained based on your physiological profile and which are contents that you will need to train them (beyond dead hang training), you will soon have an on-line course with a very simple tool to plan your own sessions in a functional way (more info about trainings I am preparing here).
Author: Pedro Bergua