Motivation and Tactics

Developmental and Maintenance Loads

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by Steve Bechtel We can train to improve or train to hold our ground. This is an important distinction, and one worth keeping in mind when you are training. Most of us think only in terms of trying to get better – to push more weight, to hold smaller crimps, etc. Most of us think…

Accountability Partners

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by Charlie Manganiello You know that obnoxious poster you might see in a telemarketer call station. You know the one. The poster says “TEAMWORK” in blocky letters under a photo of someone being helped to the summit of a mountain by another climber. The sun is setting, their hands are reaching out to one another,…

Justin Iskra, Zach Snavely Demonstrate the Brettzel Stretch in Climb Strong Class, B&W

Recovery Points – Challenging Youth Athletes to Recover Well

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by Steve Bechtel A little while back, I wrote an article about Recovery Training, where I tried to underscore the idea that you should take your recovery as seriously as you do your climbing and training. We all love to add and add and add to our training in hopes that somehow the throttling will…

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….

Math Leading Sport Climbing B&W

Go Medium, Then Go Home.

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by Steve Bechtel There are any number of statements that tell you that you’re not trying hard enough. From “Go Hard or Go Home” to “Compete Every Day”, we are fed the message that in order to progress, we need to set records each and every time we are in the gym. The truth, thank…

Alex Bridgewater Hardstyle Plank b&w, Photo by Mei Ratz

Adaptation

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by Steve Bechtel On an intuitive level, we all understand the basic principles of training. These principles include specificity, individuality, and overload, among others. Most basic of all the principles is the idea of adaptation; we adapt to the demands placed upon us. Sports science has logically followed the lead of Hans Selye, who put…

Jared Hang Chalking Up while Climbing

Problems With Projecting

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By Steve Bechtel Project climbing – trying a very hard route over and over with the goal of eventually climbing it in one push – is one of the most fundamentally rewarding facets of rock climbing. It drives us to higher grades and teaches all sorts of valuable lessons. But like anything beneficial to us,…

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