Strength

Melding Strength and Power

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by Steve Bechtel Too frequently, we try to over-categorize our training. Long-time athletes and coaches learned about training for climbing by reading about and practicing training that came from other sports. We all understood that strength and power and endurance were different entities, some of us going so far as to train all of these…

Weight Training: What it is and is not.

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As humans, we all tend to use categories and observations about groups of things to understand the world.Puppies are cute. Fruits are sweet. Scarpa shoes are awesome. Categories. It gets dangerous. Women are crazy. People with dark skin are dangerous. Liberals are weak. We learn through our culture, our parents, our schools that individual observation…

Foundational Bouldering (or Why Being a Novice is a Good Thing)

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One of the great blunders of training is over-complication. It goes like this: You get interested in getting better so you go to the gym a bit and you get a little stronger and you get psyched and so you read about training and you get inspired to try some more stuff and you keep…

Foundation Strength: What You Do All The Time

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When people train, they generally fall into two categories: The ones who get in shape a month or two before “the season.” The ones who “train” all the time at about the same intensity. It’s likely the most effective program is in some sweet spot in between. We are learning that there are certain things…

Alex Bridgewater Pinch Block Hang, Photo by Mei Ratz

Developing General Grip Strength

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In the old days, training “specifically” for climbing was almost unheard of. You either just climbed or you were one of the few climbers who trained in the weight room and did some door jamb pull-ups. Over the years, things changed. As climbs got hard and more physically challenging we sought out ways to beat…

Integrated Strength

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Combining Hangboard and Weight Training for Maximum Climbing Strength   Introduction Everything about training for climbing is complicated. It is an exercise in compromise – focus on power and you lose endurance, too much time getting your fingers strong, and your redpoint grade drops. Over the years, there have been many creative solutions proposed to…

Dragon Flag B&W Movement in Climb Strong Class

Advances in Core Training

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This is not the first article on “core” training I have written, but I felt the need to expand on the previous ones and to highlight what we are doing in our current programs. In general, the way we look at training the midsection has not changed, but over the past couple of years we’ve…

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

Variations on Integrated Strength

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We’ve been training strength for a long time. For years, I struggled with just how to fit all the hangboard training, general strength training, and supporting exercises in a normal climber’s week. Many of us try to get by without the extra work, opting to just go climbing instead. A look at the big picture,…

Example of Mono Systems Board Hang, Photo by Mei Ratz

Hangboard Training for Finger Strength – A Primer

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By Steve Bechtel The hangboard is perhaps the best tool for developing finger strength in climbers. Unfortunately, it is too often “over-sold” by manufacturers as a one-stop training device for all climbing movement. When your desire is stronger fingers, let that be your goal; don’t be fooled into trying to get a pump or do…

Alex Bridgewater Demonstrates a 1Arm Hang Lock Off

Hangboard Ladder Training 1

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By Steve Bechtel Over the past few years, we’ve seen some incredible climbing gyms opening around the world. We’re talking multi-million-dollar indoor crags here, some so diverse and huge that you might never want to wander outside again. Strangely, though, the gyms aren’t cranking out superstars as fast as you’d think. I had a great…

Pinch Block with Kettlebell, Photo by Mei Ratz

Making Sense of Hangboard Programs

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by Steve Bechtel I’ve been asked to weigh in more than a few times on various discussions on which was the “best” method of hangboard training. Although this is much like deciding which is the best dumbbell workout, it got me thinking. To truly decide what the best hangboard program for you is, you’ve got…

Alex Bridgewater Demonstrates a Mono Systems Board Hang, B&W, Photo by Mei Ratz

Training Contact Strength

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By Steve Bechtel Contact Strength is a term unique to climbing. It refers to one’s ability to grasp a hold with maximum strength “on contact.” The ability for different climbers to do this varies widely, and many climbers have to “ramp” their strength a bit each time they grab a new hold. Although we see…

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