Motivation and Tactics

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…

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.…

Alex Bridgewater Demonstrates Kettlebell Deadlift, Photo by Mei Ratz

8 Things To Do Before You Open Your Wallet

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by Steve Bechtel I wrote a newsletter a few months back where I discussed the idea of “big rocks first.” The general gist is to take care of the most important things in your life before you obsess about the minutiae. People, not just climbers, tend to fixate on the wrong things. We obsess over…

Alex Bridgewater Toes to Bar, Photo by Mei Ratz

Good Training

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By Steve Bechtel If you’ve ever had breakfast at a Las Vegas buffet, you know that quantity doesn’t always mean quality. At first glance, more seems to be better…but the lackluster experience and the ensuing gut ache will remind you that getting a lot means nothing more than getting a lot. My brother-in-law, Matt, is…

Charlie Manganiello kettlebell swing

Don’t Train – Practice, part 2.

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by Steve Bechtel The first article on practice covered the general idea that you should consider your climbing practice, and some general ideas on what that meant. In this follow up, I’ll answer questions that the first article raised, and give some specifics on how to re-structure your training sessions to include a focus on…

Charlie Manganiello Kettlebell Swing, Photo by Mei Ratz

Don’t Train – Practice.

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by Steve Bechtel “You can practice shooting eight hours a day, but if your technique is wrong, then all you become is very good at shooting the wrong way.” – Michael Jordan The term “training” is over-used. People refer to any and everything they do in climbing as training, yet training is a very specific…

Alex Bridgewater Box Jump, Photo by Mei Ratz

Do Less

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by Steve Bechtel It’s a great honor for me to be asked training advice, but it’s also a circle of frustration. The only thing that keeps me from strangling the climbers that contact me, receive advice, and ignore the advice is the fact that I do the same thing myself. Most of us inherently understand…

Kerry Demo

Training Age

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by Steve Bechtel Want to get good at climbing? Be patient. Every month at our gym, we have a training meeting with the entire coaching staff. These meetings range from exercise technique to invoicing to habit change – basically everything you can imagine when it comes to training athletes. A few years ago, I talked…

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