Energy System

Third Gear: The Aerobic Energy System

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by Steve Bechtel   A few years back, I was asked during an interview how important running is to climbing performance. Somewhat reactively, I said, “Running is as important for climbing as climbing is for running.” Over the years, I’ve received more than a fair number of messages and emails about this statement. Although there…

First Gear: The Anaerobic Alactic Energy System

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by Steve Bechtel Movement is the basis of climbing up rocks, and in order to move, we need to supply our body with energy. Since any and all movement can occur at multiple speeds, in different directions, and over different durations, our bodies have evolved to handle supplying the energy for moving in several ways….

High Load and Low Load Density Training

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by Steve Bechtel In the old days, we trained “endurance” by climbing easy moves until we got pumped and fell off. For me, this usually involved doing routes on toprope at Fremont Canyon, or traversing a long flagstone wall near the interstate in my hometown of Casper, Wyoming. The problem was this: Eventually, you got…

High / Low Training… What To Do and When.

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“In endurance, not only does the magnitude of fatigue matter, but also its nature.” – V. Zatsiorsky, 1966   Endurance – simply the ability to keep doing a task over and over – is something we all feel we need more of from time to time. The problem with gaining endurance is that there are…

Improving Endurance – The Fundamental Factors

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Endurance in climbing comes down to four major objectives: First is the ability to sustain a given level of power output while moving up the wall. Beyond moving up the wall, endurance can mean the ability to recover at stances along the route. Endurance can also mean the ability to recover between efforts, such as…

Max Sport Climbing, Looking for Next Move

Progressing Endurance Training II

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by Steve Bechtel You’ve tried ARC training and you’ve done your share of 4x4s, so why do you still come peeling off the wall just before you reach the anchors? What is it about your energy system development that isn’t working? It might be that you aren’t progressing your sessions, or it might be that…

Angled View of Campus Board, Photo By Mei Ratz

Advances in How We Look at Density Training

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by Steve Bechtel When you look at intensifying training, there are really just a few ways to make it happen, each having a different result. You can increase the volume of training, such as doing more total pitches in a climbing day. You can increase the intensity of the training, such as trying to do…

Close Up Image of Campus Board B&W, Photo by Mei Ratz

Progressing Endurance Training I

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By Steve Bechtel The email subject line read “Help!!” Opening it, I saw no fewer than 20 paragraphs describing how the sender wasn’t sending despite “religiously” following one of the plans I’d put together. There was no doubt, the climber was training. It was clear she was training hard and adding difficulty to her sessions….

Chris’s Climbing Endurance Plan

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By Steve Bechtel It’s hard to write a specific plan for any facet of training, especially if you’re trying to target more than one athlete. There are just too many variables. A few years back, I wrote a short article on endurance training (Endurance 3.0) that explained how we look at training endurance for climbers….

Rob Pizem, working for the first free ascent of the Frank Zappa Appreciation Society, 5.13+, Escalanta Canyon, CO

Running Away From Redpointing

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By Steve Bechtel Since the dawn of time, man has been obsessed with finding an easier way to get past hard work. Wonderful things like the wheel, the incline plane, and the internal combustion engine have helped us get past the drudgery and pain of too much tedium and work for too little reward. Much…

Systems Board Hang b&w, Photo by Mei Ratz

Get Rhythm

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By Steve Bechtel There are a hundred methods of training endurance for climbing. Rather than going on a rant and bashing all the bad ways people use to get some more juice, let me tell you about one good one that even a boulderer can get his head around. If you don’t relish the idea…

TS Strawberry Roan

“Tolerance” Training

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By Steve Bechtel You’re strong, no doubt. You’re way stronger in the gym than most of the guys you climb with at the crag, but they routinely burn you off out there. There’s gotta be something they have figured out that you haven’t. What they have that you don’t is tolerance. “Tolerance” is the ability…

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