What is it? "Auto regulation within training means making some of the decisions about your training with your sessions,." In other words using self awareness to have a more immediate control over the variables within your workouts rather than rigidly sticking to a program, You've probably used autoregulation before whether you realised it or not. - Rested an extra minute so you could push harder on the next climb or set. - Tried a harder climb or added weight in a workout because you felt good . - Down graded from your goal or stopped a workout when your form dropped. - Decide to hangboard instead of bouldering That's auto regulation! That's not to say you make up a workout at the wall/gym, it means you turn up and adapt the planned work out to meet your goals. That's to say you still need to plan, Autoregulation just helps you decide *how* to execute the plan. Autoregulation itself is not a specific program its a concept - a framework - and there are many different versions of autoregulation. Auto regulation can be used with any sport or training, be that indoor climbing, outdoor sessions or going into the gym.
So WHY? Here's some of science in 5 bullet points
- Minimal gains in last rep few reps Auto regulation training showed similar gains to fixed rep schemes.(1) When using velocity there was no significant difference in gains when cutting off with a loss of 10% and 30% speed. - Less neurological fatigue By not going to complete fatigue an athlete had a lower risk of neurological fatigue. -Quicker recovery
Due to the above points athletes were recovered quicker there fore able to repeat training sooner with more effort
throughout the training. -Lower injury risk Due to a the above points athletes are able to train in accordance with energy levels and fatigue meaning a reduction
in injury -More maintainable Athletes who regularly measure and manage their training kept motivated for longer and skipped less training sessions
RPE, A simple method using numbers to measure how hard you pulled, theres a few variations on this. Personalised I like to use a 1 to 10 scale. 1 being resting, 10 being absolute effore, able to perform 1 try or less a 9 is "could've done another rep(move), 8 could've done another couple of reps (moves) 7 could do half a problem or multiple reps.. and so on.
Using this we can de a test set at the start of our session (familiar route or exercise) and adjust training based upon this, through out the session we can adjust rests times or climb attempts based upon how hard we pull. step off feeling like it was a 10, then rest 3 -5 minutes.
Measuring using Velocity, is as simple as it sounds but can be made highly detailed using varying gadgets, but it can be managed very easily. The research says that stopping training when we lose up to 30% loss of speed when performing a movement the gains become the same as performing the last few tired reps.
Using Velocity So a simple way of measuring this would be to perform an exercise and measure how many we can do before the pace drops, from here we can make adjustments to our plan Force measuring Our Max strength changes from day to day, having a way to measure this can help in many ways, one can be to measure progress but for regulating o our sessions we can measure our max strength post warm up and see how it has varied, in turn adapting our workout accordingly.
Using a force measuring method To start with we will need a crane scale or Tindeq, and something to pull on. Our strength can vary from one day to another, our max that day will affect how manage the intensity of things like hang boarding, using weights, or adjust our rests between attempts on problems. See our article on assessments What can we regulate Rest times Reps sets climb style
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References - In progress more added soon. 1)Fisher, Damien. “Velocity-Based Training as a Method of Auto-Regulation in Collegiate Athletes.” (2016).