Planning Articles

“Rolling Focus” Strength Sessions

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by Steve Bechtel One of the most exciting times for me as an athlete was way back in college, training in the weight room. There were always new exercises to learn and it seemed like I got stronger pretty quickly. This is especially true when compared to my training these days, where is is weeks…

Should I Train Today?

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by Steve Bechtel Well, the obvious answer is, “yes,” but that would make a short article. Let’s go deeper.  You love climbing and you desperately want to do it better. Your tendency is to go hard every session because somehow you think that you could give just a little more and something magical will happen…

The Gift of Isolation

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by Steve Bechtel   In the spring of 2020 disaster struck the climbing gym industry when COVID-19 swept across the globe. Almost all gyms closed or at the very least had to restrict access. Although some could stay open, most operated at a huge loss. Even with government grants and loan assistance, the gym scene…

Fundamentals of Energy Expenditure

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Taylor Carr, MS Sports Nutrition, MS Strength and Conditioning Energy is something I never seem to have enough of. After I rush to work each morning, I spend 8 hours pushing others to get stronger. Then I come home to make dinner with little motivation. And where does that leave me for my evening training…

Controlled Intensity

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By Jacob Carr – NSCA CPT, MS Strength and Conditioning, MS Sports Nutrition   When you workout or climb do you always go for that next grade? Do you always try and get that extra rep? That probably means you have grit, determination, and goals to progress. These are great qualities to have, especially as…

Skills and Cues in the Gym

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by Steve Bechtel We prescribe training. We write down a list of exercises, hand them off to climbers, and the climbers go off to the gym and follow the instructions. Some of them come back and are pleased, some are underwhelmed. Some of them get great results, and some stay flat. It’s not necessarily that…

What Does it Mean to Hire a Coach?

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By Steve Bechtel –  I never wanted to be a coach, I only wanted to be better. I wanted so badly to get rid of the fat around my middle and get past the feeling of not being able to hold on any longer, that as a high school student I read every book I…

Pendulum Plans

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By Steve Bechtel Program design is complex. Figuring out how to arrive at the weekend fresh for climbing is tough enough, let alone building a high peak for a trip or competition. For years, climbers have tested out different versions of periodized programs, mostly stolen from track and field or weightlifting. In typical periodized plans,…

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…

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