Planning Articles

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….

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…

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…

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…

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,…

Ouray Ice Climbing Location Unknown

Advanced Strategies for Progress: Volume Variability

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by Steve Bechtel All you have to do is read the title to know that this isn’t one of those lovely “simplify it” articles. It’s no secret that I’m a fan of simple plans – yet sometimes, at the very tippy top of your ability, things need to get complicated when you try to move…

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…

Charlie Managniello Climbing on a Sunny Day

Brick Programming

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By Steve Bechtel Going bouldering is not training. If you’re one of the lucky few, you can hit the gym a couple of nights a week and continue to get strong, avoid injury, and enjoy the sport. Most of us, though, will reach a plateau where progress is no longer possible on the “whatever” plan,…

Organizing Your Cragging Program

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by Steve Bechtel Training is more popular than it’s ever been in the sport of climbing, and it warms my heart to see people actually training in the gym rather than just hitting another bouldering session. The word is out that a focused attention to improvement really works. At the crags, though, it’s another matter:…

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”…

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…

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…

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