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Rock Climbing on The Bridge

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  • Rock Climbing on The Bridge

    Hi there,

    I'm an advanced rock climber (7 years of training) and am writing with a question about programming climbing sessions while running The Bridge. In short: I want to climb for about two hours, three times per week as sport-specific practice. Is there benefit to climbing in the mornings of my lifting days and nixing GPP days vs. climbing on the GPP days as well as one morning during a day on which I also lift? My goal is to increase general strength, muscle size, and finger strength while maintaining consistent climbing practice.

    For some context: I'm an intermediate lifter (10 years with the powerlifts and oly lifts; large periods of time without doing either) and have done The Bridge once before (in 2019) while climbing three days/week; during that go-around, I climbed on both GPP days throughout the program, as well as a third time on the morning of the weekend lifting session.

    My climbing sessions often last about two hours (including a 30 minute warmup) and consist of highly technical, difficult bouldering on very steep terrain; typically, the work-rest ration looks like 30 seconds/a minute of high effort to 3-5 minutes of rest. The only additional training I currently do besides climbing and unstructured powerlifting sessions (~45 minutes of benching and deadlifting light loads done maybe once ore twice per week) are one-arm pull-ups (sets of 1-2 per arm with full rest between efforts) and one-arm isometric hangs from a fingerboard (hanging with one arm off of a ~20mm-deep edge).

    I'm also curious about when it might be best to program the above climbing-specific strength exercises; I perform them twice/week, and my instinct is to include during lifting sessions rather than climbing sessions so as to optimize rest between climbing and training my fingers.

    When last I ran The Bridge while climbing, generally it was a good experience and I wound up with stronger fingers and a 3x-bw deadlift. The only issue was feeling more fatigued during climbing sessions than I'd have liked, which affected my quality of movement and I think resulted in less-beneficial sport practice than could maybe be achieved by including climbing and lifting days, spread out across a given day with ~8 hours of rest in between.

    Any help or thoughts on this stuff are greatly appreciated. Please let me know if I can clarify anything so as to be more useful.

  • #2
    I would just climb on your GPP days and one of your rest days. If you've already been climbing for a long time, this is unlikely to make a huge difference.
    Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
    ///Website /// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///

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    • #3
      Thanks for that. Do you think there's benefit to running a different program (General S&C, etc.) given that I'll be adding additional strength exercises (one arm stuff, sport-specific drills, hangboarding, etc.) to either my climbing sessions or lifting sessions?

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      • #4
        Not necessarily, especially if you've been doing that stuff for awhile as an advanced climber.
        Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
        ///Website /// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///

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