View Full Version : The workout from hell...

Rick Deckart
04-13-2007, 12:18 AM
Anyone heard about it or did it? I think I first heard about it over ten years ago but until recently I could never imagine to do it...


James Evans
04-13-2007, 03:25 AM
I think I'd get really bored quite quickly which could equally be a reflection of poor self discipline.

Very of its time in terms of exercise selection don't you think?

I've got a weights programme for canoists at home somewhere which I think is quite tough. I'll dig it out over the weekend.

Rick Deckart
04-13-2007, 03:32 AM
I think I'd get really bored quite quickly which could equally be a reflection of poor self discipline.

Very of its time in terms of exercise selection don't you think?

I've got a weights programme for canoists at home somewhere which I think is quite tough. I'll dig it out over the weekend.

The first phase certainly sounds most boring and very against the usual precribed rep range...

I agree on the exercise selection too but, I would use the rep/set scheme with different exercises anyway. But nonetheless 15% strength increase and 30% strength endurance increase (whatever that means...) for a professional athlete seems quite a bit in that time frame. Part of my question was if anybody tried this and what the outcome of it was.

I would appreciate if you could dig that out.

James Evans
04-13-2007, 03:39 AM
Peter I'm totally with you on that, it would be interesting to hear some testament to the impact of the schedule. I'd like to hear Mark Twight comment on it too.

I'll find that stuff and post it next week.

Steve Shafley
04-13-2007, 05:16 AM
Very optimistic to think it's the "best" kind of workout for a climber.

It's basically just a bodybuilding routine. Without leg work

It might be hard as hell, but it's just a linearly periodized plan that probably works despite of itself.

A very old issue of Muscle Media 2000 had one of the original "transformation" contests in it, and I remember a guy who did a workout that looked like this:

A 12 day cycle.

Days 1-2: 100 rep sets
Days 5-6: Basically a low rep powerlifting routine, squat bench dead.
Days 9-10: A "pumping" or volume based bodybuilding routine (think about doing as much work as possible, with as many sets and reps as possible, and as little rest as possible.within a certain timeframe...like 2 hours).

I thought it was interesting, but never did anything like it. Unlike most of these contests today, I remember the guy who did it really did look fat and out of shape in his before, and was lean and fit (and a bit bigger looking) in his after.

I think XF, in general, would be a better choice, with a specific emphasis on grip strength, flexibility, and arm/back strength...easy modifications.

Rick Deckart
04-13-2007, 09:30 AM
John Long is not a nobody in the climbing scene. He did quite something and is the editor of a very successfull and good climbing book series. I more am inclined to believe his report than not, besides the routine is dated, say early 80s? (EDIT: it's from 1990) Climber train very different nowadays... But forget about the exercise selection and look at the following:

Phase I: 4 weeks, 8 exercises, 3 sets, 30 reps, hypothetical average load 20kg

total number of reps per day: 720
tonnage per day: 720 x 20kg = 14400kg
tonnage per week: 4 x 14400kg = 57600kg
tonnage per Phase I: 4 x 57600kg = 230400kg

Phase II: 3 weeks, 8 exercises, 3 sets, 15 reps, hypothetical average load 20kg + 30% = 27.5kg

total number of reps per day: 360
tonnage per day: 360 x 27.5kg = 9900kg
tonnage per week: 4 x 9900kg = 39600kg
tonnage per Phase II: 3 x 39600kg = 118800kg

Phase III: 3 weeks, 8 exercises, 3 sets, 5 reps, hypothetical average load 27.5kg + 50% ~ 41kg

total number of reps per day: 120
tonnage per day: 120 x 41kg = 4920kg
tonnage per week: 4 x 4920kg = 19680kg
tonnage per Phase III: 3 x 19680kg = 59040kg

total tonnage Phase I --- Phase III: 408240kg

Well the average load is purely hypothetical, but there is a pattern, don't you think. My question is can this work, and if the answer is yes, why? If the your answer is no, then why not? Have you heard of a similar rep schedule, I haven't. 5 reps is certainly strength work, 15 reps is surely strength endurance work with perhaps some transfer into max strength, 30 reps? That is surely not really strength endurance more endurance training...

I am very carefull about text book knowledge, it is sometimes plain wrong or if it is correct not applicable if you belong to a certain sub population (it is of course more often correct than not...). That's the reason I try these rep/set schemes anyway, regardless what others say, I am not a competiteve athlete, not even much of a sports, so I can allow myself the luxury of these experiments. The worst that can happen is that it doesn't work, so I will report that and even that is probably not a big deal as at least I learned something, which in itself is of high value to me.

BTW Steve a question for you, let's assume somebody would like to use that set/rep scheme and lets assume he is open for a different exercise selections and not necessarily set to eight exercises, what kind of exercises would you recommend? The goal would be to increase overall strength, strength endurance and general work capacity.

Steve Shafley
04-13-2007, 06:38 PM
I don't know.

I didn't say it wouldn't work, did I? I just don't think it's optimal.

I'll have to think about how I'd set it up.

I'm not a climber, but I do know they need high relative strength, good flexiblity and good strength levels in extreme ROMs, grip strength, and arm and back strength.

-Ross Hunt
04-13-2007, 07:49 PM
I'd try this routine out for y'all, but I don't think my liver could handle a colossal 40 grams of protein a day. :eek:

Rick Deckart
04-13-2007, 11:56 PM
Here are parts of a workout log from a climber who did it:


And here is a 'modernised version' reportedly developed under the influence of the spirit of Pavel T.


Steve, I don't have time this year but may give this a whirl next spring. Not sure about the excercises but perhaps day one Javorek complex 1 and day KBs and some bodyweight exercises, like pullups, pushups...

If you like you can set me something up, but of course that would be with a big please and absolutely without any obligation on your part.

Steve Shafley
04-14-2007, 10:33 AM
I'd be happy to dabble in it, but I'm going to have to go over the stuff you posted to get a feel for it.

Remind me if I forget.

Pierre Auge
04-14-2007, 01:35 PM
Steve don't get ahead of yourself here - you still owe me 5 workouts ;)

Steve Shafley
04-14-2007, 01:46 PM
I know. I'll have them out this week. I am scared of the chipper + back squats!

Rick Deckart
04-15-2007, 01:00 AM
I'd be happy to dabble in it, but I'm going to have to go over the stuff you posted to get a feel for it.

Remind me if I forget.

I would appreciate that. I did a little test yesterday, Javorek complex 1 with 20.0kg for 30 reps each exercise. While I had difficulties holding the bar, I had to regrip several times as my forearms did hurt like hell, I think I could start such a cycle with 25.0kg or maybe even 27.5--30.0kg if I use straps. I would try to get to 40.0kg in the first phase (I know very optimistic), perhaps 50--60kg in the second phase (I know even more optimistic, or to put it another way likely not realistic) and try to see were I can land in phase III. The more I think about it, the more I am inclined to postpone the sots press/pullup cycle and do the WFH first...

That would mean day 1: Javorek complex 1

I wouldn't do sets across, more likely something like 20.0kg, 25.0kg, 30.0kg for sets 1--3, to get some sort of warmup, perhaps even adding some mini bands into the equation. Sounds horrible...

I would need something to round that off for day 2...

The first 4 weeks sound absolutely masochistic, but we shall see.

BTW Pierre I don't think Steve want's to try that himself.

The homepage of Javorek:


And a video of one of his proteges doing complex 1


Don't know why but I like the way he comments with his foreign accent through the video : "...on your toes Brandon..." in one of the other vids.

Thinking about it again, I might do only three workouts a week, alternating day 1 and day 2 like in SS. And I would probably do the excercises with 90sec rest inbetween to cope with detoriation of form and to allow independent weight progress...

Rick Deckart
04-18-2007, 12:29 PM
Hi James, your still around?

James Evans
04-19-2007, 03:04 AM
Peter been away from work (and therefore the pc) for a few days. Have that schedule for you but need to type it up. There are some similarities.