5/3/1 Conclusion and Team of 2

That’s a wrap! I finished the second cycle of the 5/3/1 hangboard experiment and the 10 week cycle of Team of 2 training, and I have to say both were quite a success. First let’s run through the 5/3/1. For the second cycle I focused only on hanging on an 18 mm edge (using lowest outermost edges on a Beastmaker 1000). For a 7 sec hang my previous max was +95 lbs, and honestly it was more like 6 seconds… Yesterday after feeling sluggish during my warm up I was debating even bothering retesting and saving it for a stronger day, but Team of 2 demanded hangboard so hangboard I must! I made the bold assumption that I improved (even on a crappy day) and strapped 100 lbs to my harness. It was easy. I felt like the harness was going to crush my pelvis but my fingers felt amazing. I rested 5 minutes and added 5 lbs more. Perfect; failed right at 7 seconds. New max is +105 lbs. That’s a 10% increase in added weight! Spectacular results in my book.

Now that I can deem this a success I’ll reiterate the protocol.

  • Choose appropriate edge size. It’s better to choose a larger edge and add extra weight than a smaller edge with less weight.
  • Reps are based on a single 7-10 second hang with maximum weight added.
  • Rest between reps: 10-15 sec. Rest between sets: 3-5 min.
  • Once actual max is determined, all calculations use training max: 90% of actual max
WEEK 1 WEEK 2 WEEK 3 WEEK 4
 65% x 5 70% x 3 75% x 5  40% x 5
 75% x 5  80% x 3  85% x 3  50% x 5
 85% x 5  90% x 3  95% x 1+  60% x 5

So for example my actual max was 105 lbs, so my training max is ~95 lbs. Using available weight increments my plan would look like:

WEEK 1 WEEK 2 WEEK 3 WEEK 4
 6o# x 5 65# x 3 70# x 5  40# x 5
 70# x 5  75# x 3  80# x 3  47.5# x 5
 80# x 5  85# x 3  90# x 1+  57.5# x 5

Now I’m debating continuing with this protocol or experimenting with Eva Lopez style single rep hangs. I like trying new things and her study showed similar results (10% increase) so I’m leaning towards trying that.

Part 2: Team of 2.

The focus of this 10 week plan was hangboarding (as per my request) so nothing monumental to report really. It mostly consisted of hangboarding, projecting (which apparently some people interpret what I mean by that incorrectly so I should say limit bouldering and not performance climbing), injury prevention, and fitness. My week typically looked like:

Mon Tues Wed Thurs Thurs Thurs Thurs
Hangboard Project Rest  Hangboard  Project  Fitness  Project

Projecting days weren’t always actually limit bouldering, sometimes they were 4×4’s or other similar drills. I should note that these are not typical 4×4’s in which you do 4 problems 4 times in 16 minutes. Team of 2’s has a full explanation on their site, but the general idea is you only climb 4 problems one time each in a 20 minute period. This allows you to pick much higher intensity problems than you would be able to with a normal 4×4. After hangboarding or climbing, each session concluded with either some fitness (e.g. rows, weighted pull ups, core, shoulders, etc.) or injury prevention (e.g. forearms, shoulders, posterior chain, etc.). Fitness day was weight lifting and typically included some cardio, chest, deadlifts, shoulders, and back.

One big change from the last review I did is a huge upgrade in the online app Addaero. It now has a mobile app for android and iphone! It still can be slow as dirty sometimes but it’s definitely gotten a lot better.

As always, working with Team of 2 was a very positive experience and I definitely recommend working with them if you’re looking to take your climbing to the next level.

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