Programming

Quality Over Quantity

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by Charlie Manganiello   Where were you when you first heard the phrase “quality over quantity?”  I was in Mrs. Joyce’s art class. I must have been in 7th or 8th grade. The classroom was tucked away down along a hallway that was dark except for a few flickering fluorescent lights. I remember actually being…

Advancing Training Load

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If you haven’t heard by now, the way you get better at doing harder things is to do harder things. If you are constantly playing it safe, building volume, and avoiding discomfort, well guess what – you’d better get used to doing the same routes over and over again. For those who want to advance,…

Fundamentals of Program Design

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It has never been a better time to be a performance-oriented rock climber. In the past few years there has been an explosion of good information on training, and a huge number of great tools to help you train. From better handhold designs, to improved hangboards, to ingenious tools such as the Tension Block, we…

Sequencing of Training

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By Steve Bechtel It’s easy to get stuck in a week-to-week rut of doing the same training over and over again, with very little purposeful structure aimed at actually progressing our ability. In truth, progress can and does happen somewhat accidentally – you keep going out to the crag and spend a whole day, so…

Breaking Plateaus in Bouldering

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by Steve Bechtel As much as we like to think we are training when we hit the bouldering gym, most of us are performing or even just exercising. Remember that training is planned and progressed and controlled carefully in order to achieve desired results. Performance is all about showing what your training has produced. In…

7 Habits of Highly Successful Climbers

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The last few years have seen a big focus on training for climbing and a great interest in the specific methods top athletes use to improve their strength and conditioning. Although this has been good overall, I still go back to the belief that strength and endurance should be the last thing you worry about…

Triangle of Constraints

The 90 Percent That Matters

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By Steve Bechtel You wouldn’t read this if you didn’t want to get better at climbing. Many of us are on a constant search for a new training program, a new tool, a secret formula that somehow someone figured out that makes it all easy. Getting better isn’t complex, it’s simple. It’s simple, not easy.…

Route Climbing Performance 1

Why Am I Stuck?

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Oh, the glory days when we used to actually get better at climbing! I remember well doing a 5.6 one weekend, a 5.7 the next, a 5.8 and so on up. That whole first year, things just got easier and easier and the grades rolled by. The next year, progress slowed. The next, I had…

Understanding Training Notation

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As a young climber, I would frequently talk to my parents about climbing. They were genuinely interested, and my father even did a few climbs with me early on. They wanted to know enough to be sure I was safe and careful, but didn’t need to know more. As I improved, I started to talk…

Recovery Training

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We get good at pushing hard into training. We all have been in that super-pumped zone or so sore we can barely move the next day, or so exhausted from a week’s training that we stay on the couch the whole weekend. As good as learning to go hard is, there is a critical Yang…

Hacking the Zlagboard Contest

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If you’ve never done a 20mm edge static hang to absolute failure, you’re missing out. This pleasure cruise of forearm endurance is not to be missed. I had the chance to try out the Zlagboard Contest a couple of years ago. The contest involves one simple test: grab the “medium” sized edges on the board…

Minimalist training, 3 Kettlebells on the floor, B&W, Photo by Mei Ratz

Effective Warm-Ups

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Training is the thing that makes you stronger. Warming up right is the thing that makes training work. For most of us, warming up has an intuitive “feel” to it – we start easy, and after a few minutes of gentle activity we feel ready to go. Younger athletes do, and need, less warming up.…

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