Her er en omtale av et styrketreningsprogram som jeg (og mange med meg) har hatt stor glede av!

Til det originale programmet er det her lagt til noen gode kommentarer fra folk som har gjort sine egne varianter av treningsopplegget. Særlig opplegget til Jeff Elison (nederst) har vært nyttig.

Det hele ble i sin tid sakset fra et newsforum (rec.climbing) en gang tidlig på 1990-tallet.

The Workout From Hell

By John Long

The "Workout from Hell" (WFH), is not my invention (though the name is), nor was it designed for climbers; but having struggled through it, I'm confident the training will work like magic for any climber. Be forewarned: it is time-consuming and arduous.

Some months ago when I began competitive flatwater kayaking, a professional trainer -sort of an iron guru- was assigned to me, with direct orders to whip me into race shape. As I've done my time in the gym, the notion of a special weight geek shadowing me seemed absurd. Just type up the routine and I'll do it myself! WRONG. My "trainer" was no geek, and whatever he was doing worked, because pound for pound, he was the strongest fellow I'd ever seen. More that just an "iron rat", he had recently run a 2:37 marathon. I never would have made it through the workout's first phase had he not been on my case. On occasion, I wanted to kill that man. Now I'd buy him the moon if I could afford it.

I was the first guinea pig my trainer put through the WFH, a cruel experiment combining various strategies and philosophies, proven and otherwise.

The routine is strictly a weight program designed to significantly increase both strength and endurance, with no increase in body weight (providing you watch your diet). High strength to weight ratio is the ideal for flatwater kayaking, as well as climbing. No doubt someone, somewhere, has gone through a similar "progressive" program, but was considerate enough to keep it a relative secret!

This routine assumes certain physiological laws and techniques which are often ignored by climbers, though they are followed religiously by serious lifters. And the "WFH" is dead serious.

First Law:
You train the WHOLE physique, not just the muscles associated with climbing or kayaking movements. If you neglect training the antagonistic muscles, an imbalanced, injury-prone machine results. It's fine to center on sport specific muscles, but not to the exclusion of the rest of your body!

Second Law:
Pick a muscle group, do exercises which best isolate those muscles, then trash them.

Third Law:
Allow the muscles at least 48 hours to recover before blasting them again.

Ignore any of these precepts and you'll get something less than the maximum results. No one of flesh and blood can avoid it.

Phase I

2 days on, 1 day off, 2 days on, 2 days off. That means 4 days a week in the gym. Day 1 you work back and chest; Day 2, shoulders and arms. Then take a day off. Repeat the process before enjoying 2 days off.

DAY ONE: (Back and Chest) Crank 3 sets of 4 back exercises, equaling a total of 12 sets. Of the many back exercises, concentrate on the primary ones: Pull-downs, cable rows, T-bar rows, and maybe 1 final set on a machine (or wide-grip chins).
3 sets of 4 exercises applies to the chest as well. Again, go with free-weight exercises, which tend to be more effective than machines. I usually did flys, flat-back and incline dumbbell presses and finished on the pec-deck. You can consider the last exercises a bonus and change it weekly to add variety.

DAY TWO: (Shoulders and Arms) 3 sets of 4 exercises for shoulders, (12 total). 3 sets of 3 exercises for both biceps and triceps, (9 sets for both). Again, concentrate on the grueling, primary exercises: Seated military presses, standing cable rows, and lateral dumbbell raises for the shoulders (plus you bonus machine exercise); preacher E-Z bar curls, seated dumbbell curls, etc... for the guns; close-grip presses, standing (with bar or rope) and flat back extensions for the triceps.

A Note: "Primary" simply refers to the motions which bomb the muscles most effectively - the basic, fundamental movements. The refining exercises (like concentration curls and cable cross-overs) are not part of this routine. Fact is, no one short of the bionic man would have enough gas to bother with anything beyond the recommended sets.

"The crux": You must do 30 reps per set! Yes.. you read that correctly. It's an insane amount of reps and will absolutely trash you for the first few weeks. You'll definitely need a training partner. Otherwise, once you get to around 20 reps, you'll quit. It's also important to load the weights so you can do 30 reps but no more. Expect to fail miserably and have to stop for short breathers at first. After a few weeks you should manage to pump off 30 reps, if just barely. After that, increase the poundage ASAP.

More important that weight is form, which must be correct. This is very hard after 20 reps. Your training partner should watch closely and correct you form when it gets loose.

A couple important things: The initial weeks of this first phase are devastating. I slogged through this routine after paddling for 1.5 hours in the morning and spent much of the first 2 weeks taking naps and bluffing my way through work. You must get adequate rest and eat ample amounts of complex carbs -spuds and brown rice in particular- to fuel the effort. Also eat enough protein. You certainly don't need the 150 grams body builders consume to create those freaky builds; but you'll probably need somewhere around 40 grams to avoid lassitude and zero drive. About 3 weeks into the first phase I got dead lazy and couldn't figure out why. A blood test determined I had mild sports anemia, easily rectified by eating a can of tuna or several pieces of chicken daily. I'm not sure what a vegetarian would have to do -soybeans, frijoles, whatever. Skip the protein, you'll go down HARD.

Don't get discouraged by the fact that initially you'll probably have to use baby weights to accomplish 30 reps. (You know, those funky little chrome dumbbells with 15 lbs. stamped on the end. If you're in an honest to god iron gym, you might have to blow the dust off of em') the difference between 20 and 30 reps is the difference between 5.8 and 5.12 (providing you maintain perfect form). If you are in reasonable overall shape, getting adequate rest and nutrition, you will adjust in a matter of weeks.

The remarkable burn you'll feel at around 20 reps is nothing more than lactic acid build-up. The best way to limit this is to make sure you continue breathing as you pump out the reps - particularly important after 20. You will never get totally used to it, but you can get to where working through the burn is at least possible. And remember..., stretch between sets.

After you can finish the workout without stopping mid-set to rest, continue the 30 rep routine for 1 month. It may well be the longest month of your life (It was for me), though there's some insane satisfaction in simply surviving such a grueling program. It's no fun, but one doesn't embark on this purely for fun!


Phase II

This involves exactly the same routine, 2 days on 1 off, 2 on, 2 off. Now reduce the reps to 14. You'll savor going to the gym because you don't have to crank off 30 reps on every exercise. Adjust you poundage so that when you hit 15 reps on a given exercise, you have nothing left -absolutely nothing! You will not be able to double the poundage, but should be able to increase it considerably, perhaps by 30%. Remarkably, you can continue adding weight and cutting down rests between sets, which signals that you are coming into you own. Once you've dialed into it, continue with the 15-rep cycle for 3 weeks.

Phase III

Same routine, but cut reps down to 5-6 and go for the max. weight you can possibly heft on every last set. Don't worry about how long you rest between, just go after the big-time iron. Do this for 3 weeks, adding more weight every session. This is the least tortuous phase in terms of pain, but requires the most concentrated effort. Always remember to maintain your form... perfect form!

Phase IV

Still pump 3 sets of every exercise but now do 30, 15 and 5 reps for each. This is a tapering or "peaking" phase and after 2 weeks, you cut down to every other day and finally 2 days on and 3 days off. At the end, both your strength and endurance have increased dramatically and you're ready to third-class the Salathe'!


Phase 1 is a conditioning cycle which increases you vascularity and endurance, tones, and kicks your ass something terrible. Phase 2 maintains endurance and builds strength commensurate to how much weight you stack on. Phase 3 goes after "raw-power", which is easily summoned after the tremendous conditioning you have received from the previous 2 cycles. The last phase blends everything together.

I supplemented the weight bit with heavy aerobic conditioning during the off days (bicycling and jump rope), though I was getting a wicked aerobic pump from a 6 day/week paddling routine. At the end of the whole cycle, my strength increased about 15%, my endurance about 30%, my body fat decreased 5%, my resting heartrate dropped to 50 bpm and I stayed exactly the same weight. The routine is a polecat to perform, but the results are amazing. During that first phase I wanted to quit many times. I just couldn't believe how hard it was!

One my "off" days I would usually do some leg presses and extensions, plus a little calf work after jumping rope. At the end of my "on" days I would crank some sit-ups and hyperextensions for 15 min. or so, long enough to cool down a little. If you need greater lower body strength, not obtainable via running or jump-rope work, you wont "enjoy" the off days and will instead spend them doing squats or whatever. If you do choose this route, bear in mind you are tackling a workload greater than that of most professional athletes. But, however you shake it, the important thing is the cycle of 30, 15, and 5 reps, followed by the peaking phase.

I personally don't go for supplements and amino acids and such, feeling the bulk of them end up in the toilet or shrubs. Good balanced vitals, a basic multi-vitamin, plus a little extra C seems to do the trick. I also tried to drink a couple of light beers an evening for no apparent reason at all!

The "WFH" is ideally suited for a climber as an off-season routine and will insure some big-league artillery once the clouds part and it's time to jump back on the crags.....Go after It !!!



BY RON WATKINS (Denne e-postadressen er beskyttet mot programmer som samler e-postadresser. Du må aktivere javaskript for å kunne se den.)

If you're not getting the type of gains you're expecting from WFH, you may want to try this: workout daily...and use more synergistic principles to design your workout for max strength/endurance gains (whereas size is less important to competitive level climbers i would think)
day 1: chest/triceps (heavy) more sets - less reps
day 2: back/biceps (light) less sets - high reps
day 3: shoulders/legs (heavy)
day 4: chest/triceps (light)
day 5: back/biceps (heavy)
day 6: shoulders/legs (light) (or a rock gym day)
day 7: (for me, my alpine climbing day...rock/snow/ice...all day)

Most importantly (for me) is that my weight routine is after 45-60 min of either nordic track or bicycling at a training pulse rate (covert bailey formula...220-age=A, A - resting pulse rate = B, B * .65 = C, C + rpr = training rate....), my diet _also_ follows covert baileys "target diet"... my weight routine really only takes 15-20 min and I do the the pulls (back biceps days using metolius rock rings, buckets on heavy days, fingers on light days) light days: go for the "pump"/lactic acid balancing...heavy days: muscle strain i try to hit the rock gym 2 evenings/week, 1 of those evenings i have a "project"...and the other evening i'm on the tred-wall for 1000' feet non-stop, verticle, 5.7 ish. its made a "big" difference in my climbing (the goal) and i'm not "religious" about the weights...if the weathers good, i'll skip the weights and go bouldering... i crave, buffalo wings, beer, italian subs...tuna fish ??? nahhhhh thats for 5.13 climbers ! ;-) Ron Watkins


BY JEFF ELISON (Denne e-postadressen er beskyttet mot programmer som samler e-postadresser. Du må aktivere javaskript for å kunne se den.)

Here's a summary of how we did the Workout From Hell. This doesn't allow for much time on the rock (or walls), but it is an off-season workout. For the first couple of weeks, we felt blasted all the time. You can't imagine how hard it is to do that many sets of 30. Now in phase III, I have little trouble bouldering on Tuesday and Saturday.

I've included the weights I used because it was too much trouble to edit them out. You will have to figure them out for yourself. That will take a few workouts and then they will start to increase. The weights are very light in the first phase because you are doing 3 sets of 30. Using these weights causes you to hurt from lactic acid, not so much from muscle strain. I was constantly amazed by being able to finish a set even when the painstarted at 15 and was intense by 25. Lift on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday. Boulder or climb on Saturday.

On Sunday, Wednesday do stuff from (1) below as follows:
  • 4 exercises (3 sets each) BACK; 12 sets total
  • 3 exercises (3 sets each) CHEST; 9 sets total
  • 3 sets Abdominals

On Monday, Thursday do stuff from (2) below as follows:
  • 3 exercises (3 sets each) SHOULDERS; 9 sets total
  • 3 exercises (3 sets each) BICEPS; 9 sets total
  • 2 exercises (3 sets each) TRICEPS; 6 sets total
  • 4 sets wrist curls, alternate back and front

Key: * - Preferred exercises 3 x 30 @ 35 ====> 3 sets of 30 reps at 35 lbs.

4 weeks, 90 second rests

Part (1): Sunday & Wednesday:

  • *Pull-ups 15 x 7-8 on 1 minute interval from start to start
  • OR 3 x MAX (20,18,16,14) BACK
  • *DB Rows 3 x 30 @ 35 BACK
  • *Lat Pull-down 3 x 30 @ 90 BACK
  • *Close grip P-d 3 x 30 @ 90 (Ved bruk av nedtrekksapp: len deg 45 grader mot gulvet)
  • Hangcleans 3 x 30 @ 44 BACK

  • *Incline Press 3 x 30 @ 55 BAR or DB CHEST
  • DB Flyes 3 x 30 @ 14-15 or Machine CHEST
  • *Bench Press 3 x 30 @ 60 BAR or DB CHEST
  • *Dips 3 x MAX (16,16,16) CHEST

  • *Abdominals 3 x 30


Part (2) : Monday & Thursday:

  • *Military Press 3 x 30 @ 28 SHOULDERS
  • *DB Raise 3 x 30 @ 8 Front and/or Side SHOULDERS
  • *DB Press 3 x 30 @ 12 SHOULDERS
  • Shrugs 3 x 30 @ 28 SHOULDERS

  • *Rev Curls 3 x 30 @ 37 BICEPS
  • *DB Curls 3 x 30 @ 18 BICEPS
  • "30"s 3 x 30 @ 42 BICEPS
  • *Bar Curls 3 x 30 @ 47 BICEPS

  • *Tri extension 3 x 30 @ 28 TRICEPS
  • DB back tris 3 x 30 @ 17 TRICEPS
  • *Pressdowns 3 x 30 @ 70 TRICEPS

  • *Wristcurls Rev 2 x 30 @ 22
  • *Wristcurls Front 2 x 30 @ 32

3 weeks, 90 second rests, same exercises, increase weight for 2 sets of 15, then use phase 1 weight for 1 set of 30. Pull-ups done with weight.

3 weeks, 120 second rests, same exercises, increase weight for 2 sets of 5-6, then use phase 1 weight for 1 set of 30. Pull-ups done with alot of weight (50 lbs).