Many athletes have asked me how to design a program that actually fits my schedule. Not me as in Rob Pizem’s schedule, but me as in their own schedule. It turns out that what is suggested by many is very effective, but it also turns out that for many it is not practical. For any number of reasons the 12-16 week program won’t work: work, vacation time, holidays, family, the season. The 12-16 week plan may not fit into those times off that cannot be changed. Here is what I do to solve that problem.
As a school teacher I know that I want to peak at times when I am not going to be working. That would be summer time, fall break, winter break, spring break and so on. When you begin looking at a calendar you will quickly find that unless you want to train through a break and miss peaking, that this 12-16 week program just doesn’t fit in. So I choose a smaller number of non-negotiable peak times for my year of climbing. Let’s say that is thanksgiving break and spring break. Once I have narrowed down when climbing really well is the priority based on my chosen objectives/routes, then I can organize the years worth of training to fit the plan.
It may seem complex and way to far off but it is the only way that I get to the fitness level that I want to be in at the time that I want to in an orderly fashion. That means that I will avoid the big nasty 12-16 week plans and fill them in with mini 4 week plans that are very focused on either power, endurance or strength. I align them with some of those smaller breaks so that I can see progress and keep motivated. So if I am working for a power route in the fall, I will try to just get my volume in during the spring(and sneak in a fingerboard and power endurance program after the spring) then in the summer I will work on strength for about 4-5 weeks and climb more routes (while pushing my grades), then before the fall I will do another short power specific program to get me ready for the project. I recognize that
As I get older and older I find that the serious multiday training programs are very tough to keep up with and feel rested on so I make sure to keep the rest and recovery as a priority!
I hope this helps a little in figuring out how you can maximize your efforts within your schedule! It can be done you just have to stay focused and listen to your body.