Written by Lucy Stirling
For the past few months I’ve gone full throttle into off-season training, focusing entirely on strength and explosive power gains. It’s smack-bang in the heat of the Queensland summer which has made recovery and escaping dehydration one of the greatest challenges. Every morning I’ve woken up at 5:00 A.M. to begin my three-plus hour training session before the rest of my day begins. By this stage its already ridiculously muggy and humid and each training session I can lose one or more kilos in sweat. I do my best to keep up my water and electrolytes throughout the day but even during the night I sweat in the heat that three pedestal fans just don’t seem to let me escape from. If I get any time free during the week I’ll be passed out on the couch napping my sore muscles and mild dehydration away… this makes it difficult to get anything done other than work, eat and train.
I’ve been super lucky to have the help of Q.A.S. (Queensland Academy of Sport) behind me helping every step of the way. I can confidently say that seeing the dietitian there fairly regularly has been one of the primary reasons for my recent strength gains. In just three weeks I managed to gain 1kg of climbing-specific lean body mass and over the course of about three months have become significantly more explosive and powerful on the climbing wall. I must give a huge thanks to Frank Petsch for his creative and intense weekly strength and conditioning sessions. During strength training, he's helped me push my body through pain and past what I originally felt possible for myself. I feel stronger than ever before and my weaknesses seem to have turned into my strengths. I’ve also had regular physio or massage appointments at Revive Ashgrove, which has kept my body in check. Every week I seem to emerge with a different complaining, strained muscle and each week, Revive have fixed me up and pulled my body back together with some fancy new strapping artwork.
I made the tricky decision to extend this strength and power training block further into the 2018 lead season so I can get the most gains possible. It means I wont be attending many of the interstate lead comps (which began last weekend) and my endurance/resistance phase will be cut down to about six weeks, but I feel that should be enough time to prepare my poor forearms for Lead Nationals. It’s now time to transition over to endurance but I will continue to train strength and power each week between the pumpy circuits and lead laps.
I’m excited to begin comps again for the year and with a touch of nervousness I look forward to seeing how all my training pays off. It’s a big year ahead of me with many exciting new adventures around the world. Bring it on!
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