Programming

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….

Scale

Fat Loss and Weight Management for Climbing (Part 1)

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By Steve Bechtel Your fat roll is killing you. OK, as a climber, and especially one who is reading an article about training, I’ll bet your body fat percentage is pretty low. On the flip side, though, you are reading an article about weight management. Chances are you’re holding the same weight you usually hold,…

Max Sport Climbing, Looking for Next Move

Factors Affecting Training Outcomes

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By Steve Bechtel Imagine, if you will, two friends that are the same age, same height, weight, etc. Imagine they both start climbing at the same time, both follow the same training program, and both show steady progress. They climb at the same crags, usually together, and start projecting the same route. You might think…

Kerry Demo

Understanding the Lactic Energy System

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by Steve Bechtel If you’ve ever climbed to the top of a strenuous route, you’ve felt the burn. If you’ve ever trained super-hard, you’ve felt the debilitating soreness the day after the session. Undoubtedly, you’ve also read or been told that one or both of these is due to lactic acid buildup in your muscles….

Wooden Boxes and Dumbbells B&W

The 2014 Survey

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By Steve Bechtel When I was in college, I got interested in which physical traits and abilities were consistent among high-performing climbers. At that time, in the mid-1990s, there were some basic assumptions and many things we considered common sense. It was clear that climbers had to be relatively thin, relatively strong, and somewhat flexible….

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…

Climbing Notes in Notebook with Pen

Write It Down – The Value of a Training Log

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by Steve Bechtel When I first sit down with a new athlete, the first thing I ask them is where they want to go. The question usually goes like this: “In six months, what do you want to have accomplished?” That part is easy for most of us – the dreaming is not hard to…

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…

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