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,…

Alex Bridgewater Goblet Squat b&w, Photo by Mei Ratz

Strength Session Design Part 2

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by Steve Bechtel I wrote my first article on strength session design a few years back, and I thought it might be useful to update that article with the changes we’ve made to our programs over the past few seasons. In general, climbers agree on the need for climbing – sport specific movement – to…

Weighted Pull-Up, Photo by Mei Ratz

Pull-Up Progressions: The Rules

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by Steve Bechtel Sometimes, the simplest movements are the hardest to master. When we look at the value of particular resistance exercises, it’s hard to dispute that a very few movements can make or break a training plan. Working with just a squat, a deadlift, a push-up variant, and pull-ups, you can develop a life-long…

Close up of Systems Board, Photo by Mei Ratz

Introduction to System Board Training

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By Steve Bechtel The System Board is simply a small climbing wall outfitted with regularly spaced matched pair of holds. Although anything from 2 pair to 10 pairs are common, most companies providing packages of these holds sell them in sets of 6-8. More critical than cool tiles, however, is to set them up with…

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…

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