Strength

Close up of Systems Board, Photo by Mei Ratz

Introduction to System Board Training

Tags: , , , ,

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

Tags: , , , , , , ,

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

Tags: , , , , , ,

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

Tags: , , , , , , ,

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

Tags: , , , , , , ,

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…

Ab Wheel, Photo by Mei Ratz

Strength Training for Rock Climbing (Part 3)

Tags: , , ,

By Steve Bechtel There was never supposed to be a third part to this article, but I’ve received a few good questions about what was in the first two parts, and I’d like to elaborate. One of the biggest misconceptions about resistance training is the belief that it can directly ¬†improve your sport performance. Resistance…

Charlie Manganiello Inverted Row TRX b&w, Photo by Mei Ratz

Improving Arm and Back Strength

Tags: , , , , ,

By Steve Bechtel Fingers aren’t the only part of a climber that can be weak. On hard routes and particularly in bouldering, we often see arm and back strength as a limiting factor. The ability to move between holds effectively, to lock off on holds, and the ability to keep your body close to the…

Charlie Manganiello Weighted Pull-Up b&w, Photo by Mei Ratz

Pull-Ups Are a Waste of Time

Tags: , , , ,

By Steve Bechtel There’s nothing like a title almost everyone disagrees with. It’s a sure-fire way to make people at least look at the article. So, now that you’re looking, I’ll be more clear. If you’re interested in actually improving your climbing ability, you’d be wasting your time if pull-ups were a major part of…

Charlie Manganiello Pistol Squat with Kettlebell B&W, Photo by Mei Ratz

Leg Strength as a Limiting Factor, Revisited

Tags: , , , ,

By Steve Bechtel This is a re-post of my article “Leg Strength as a Limiting Factor” published in 2009. I’ve updated it with a few more ideas and a couple of videos that better illustrate the exercises. — Sure, your fingers peel off the hold and you fall, but is it always the fingers’ fault?…

Charlie Manganiello Ab Wheel b&w, Photo By Mei Ratz

Strength Session Design 2

Tags: , , , , ,

by Steve Bechtel I wrote my first article on designing strength sessions 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…

Charlie Manganiello deadlift set-up

Strength Training for Rock Climbing (Part 2)

Tags: , , , ,

By Steve Bechtel In part one of this article, I talked about why many climbers should consider supplementing their climbing-specific training with resistance training. In this article, I’ll talk about how. First, let me say that I think resistance training is terribly misunderstood and misused by climbers. When we talk about strength training with weights…

KB Wall b&w

Strength Training for Rock Climbing (Part 1)

Tags: , , ,

By Steve Bechtel   Although rock climbing is my favorite sport, my day job is that of a strength coach. At our facility, we train athletes of all walks of life, and the majority of what we do is strength training with weights. We also have a climbing gym at our facility, and we often…

Site Search

Categories