I’ve posted before about the value of using onsighting in training. Now that I have finally got bored of bouldering and have decided to prepare for a project in Idaho in June (warpath ☺), I’ve started working anaerobic fitness again. My old onsighting workout is far too hard right now so I’m starting with low range 4x4s… with some differences.
The basic 4×4 workout is 4 boulders, repeated back to back (one set), with a 2-4 min rest between sets. A total of 4 sets: 4(boulders)x4(rest time)x4(sets)!
I’m doing low range 4x4s, this means that each boulder is short (say 4 moves to make: 4x4x4x4 😉 ) but very intense. This gives a better transition from bouldering gains and will suit the length of my project better. To keep it fresh, one of the problems change every session. So every 4 sessions, you should have a completely new set.
A 4×4 is a great workout with many possible variations:
Keep the problems for longer and link into them using jugs without getting off the wall. Good training for on route recovery.
Add another to create a 5×5.
Reduce interval time as you get fitter.
Another good tip is to create the boulders using a weight belt or vest. Most climbers have the tendency to make the problems too hard. Make sure you can do the moves with the weight belt. After taking it off, the set should come together. Setting with a weight belt is also a great strength booster in itself. An option would be to recreate all the problems every second or third session using the weight belt which will help you to hold onto your strength gains.