Programming

Progress

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By Steve Bechtel It happens every year at a hundred different climbing areas. There is a glimmer of talent, a hint of drive, and a motivated climber is born. He cruises up through the grades, doing several 5.10 and 5.11 routes with his friends, he makes progress, and then he starts to pull ahead. Finally,…

Jordan Jack Demonstrates a Push Up in Climb Strong Class B&W

The Hierarchy of Training Programming

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by Steve Bechtel LEVEL 1: Anything Goes I remember working out out in the huge weight room in the basement of my high school. It was dimly lit, had a track around the outside, pegboards on the wall, and dozens of machines designed to help make us “better.” We’d go down there for “weight training”…

ESTIM Equipment

E-Stim Might Make You Weaker

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By Steve Bechtel I am as excited about the next big thing in training as the next guy. When Electronic Muscle Stimulation (E-Stim) came on the scene, I could almost feel my forearms getting stronger just thinking about it. It was a great idea for climbers; a way to train the forearm muscles when you…

Charlie Manganiello Kettlebell Rack Hold b&w, photo by Mei Ratz

Concentrated Loading

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by Steve Bechtel It doesn’t really matter what I write. It seems that within two hours of putting an article up, I get a “yeah, but…” email explaining how whatever I wrote just won’t work in x program and could I please explain how one might do y… Clearly, most of us have all the…

Steve Bechtel on Campus Board, Back View, Photo by Mei Ratz

Training Considerations for Older Climbers

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By Steve Bechtel Climbing is a lifetime sport. Unlike, say, gymnastics or football, you can expect to climb and climb well for many many years. Due to the multifaceted nature of the sport and training considerations for older climbers, you can improve factors such as technique and endurance even with the natural decline in strength…

Max Sport Climbing, Looking for Next Move

How Hard Do You Try?

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By Steve Bechtel Why is it that some people just keep getting better while the rest of us are stuck? Further, why can I follow the same program as another climber and watch him rack up the grades while I still fail at the same level year after year? As hard as it is to…

View of Climb Strong Classroom, Airdynes, Rowers, Systems Boad, Campus Board, Photo by Mei Ratz

Cycling Your Training

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by Steve Bechtel We all love a good story, especially the ones we want to be true. One of my favorites is that of Milo of Croton, a Greek wrestler who lived in the 6th century BC. Milo, was, by all descriptions a very strong and talented athlete, so much so that his legend outlived…

Change

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by Steve Bechtel This site is filled with our best training ideas and advice. There are dozens of books on systems for improving your climbing. You could watch quality training videos online for a whole day and get ten lifetimes worth of good advice. So why do so few climbers reach their goals each year?…

Alex Bridgewater, Steve Bechtel, Charlie Manganiello Discuss B&W, Photo by Mei Ratz

Breaking Free of the 7-Day Week

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By Steve Bechtel The structure of time, of the calendar, and of months is incredibly useful in society, but is often more a problem than a solution for athletes. Even though we live on a 24-hour schedule, and most of us work or go to school for five days followed by two days off, our…

Steve Bechtel Airdyne b&w, photo by Mei Ratz

Three Mistakes You Might Be Making in the Gym

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By Steve Bechtel Training is all about progress. Unless you just love to train (I’d rather watch Deadwood), you’d better be seeing some results for the hours you spend flogging yourself. What we see in most climbers, though, is really just slight decreases in fitness throughout the year, and then an occasional return to a…

Ben Hanna - Butora - Wastelands Area - Rifle Mountain Park - For Sander

Pre-Climb Rituals

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By Steve Bechtel I like to go to competitions. I like them for many different reasons, but mostly it is to watch people as they prepare to compete. See, the vast majority of pre-event activity is nothing like the way we prepare for training. At bouldering competitions, we see all kinds of craziness, and pre-climb…

Kevin Wallingford Demonstrating Deadlift B&W

Direction

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By Steve Bechtel Once the fever to train sets in, awareness of one’s body becomes paramount. Buying into the excitement and perhaps difficulty of this or that training fad, an athlete can actually change direction and drift further from his goal by training harder. Unfortunately, in the world of difficult climbing, simply working hard does…

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