Planning Articles

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…

Charlie Manganiello kettlebell swing

40 Workouts, 8 Weeks

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by Charlie Manganiello SFG II Is Your Strength Glass Half-Full or Half-Empty? 40 Workouts – 8 Weeks… It’s so easy you won’t do it. Disclaimer:  I did not invent this. I plucked this gem out of a book called Easy Strength written by Dan John and Pavel Tsatsouline. I know, they sound like strong dudes,…

Hand Pulling on Resistance Band B&W, Photo by Mei Ratz

More On Periodization

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By Steve Bechtel I remember the first time I learned about classical periodization plans. The whole idea of planning out my training according to easily defined phases which would lead to spectacular results appealed to the eternally plateaued climber in me much the way x-ray specs appealed to me as a nine-year-old. I tried a…

Climbing Shoes and Backpack, Photo by Mei Ratz

Call it What You Want, Periodized Training Works

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By Steve Bechtel I get a ton of questions about whether periodization is effective. The answer, unequivocally, is yes, periodized training works. The confusion comes in that many climbers don’t really know what periodization is. In fact, many climbing coaches read an article or two about classic periodization models (i.e. Bompa or Matveyev) and they…

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