Training for Bouldering

The Bouldering Warm-Up, In-Depth

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The key to climbing hard comes down to two things, really – holding on to small holds and doing hard moves. We can break these components down into discrete exercises, or we can package them together into the best climbing exercise there is: bouldering. Bouldering, for most of us, should be about going into the…

Alex Bridgewater Demonstrates a 1Arm Hang Lock Off

Logical Progression for Bouldering

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The Logical Progression book details a surprisingly effective program of nonlinear training for rock climbers. The program is simple, flexible, and enjoyable…and follows a simple series of workouts. In general, athletes are asked to do an Integrated Strength workout, followed by a hard bouldering session, followed by a session designed to increase their endurance. Although…

Genetic Drifter Wooden Hang Board

Training Programs for Bouldering – Intermediate

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by Steve Bechtel This is the second article in this series. The first, on training for novice boulderers, should be read before this one, training programs for bouldering-intermediate.   As I wrote in the last article, we often like to think of ourselves as being more advanced that we are. I tend to do this…

Charlie Manganiello spots a child as she climbs in the climbing gym

Revisiting Bouldering Training for Novices

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by Steve Bechtel One of the most powerful tools we can acquire for getting better is to figure out how much getting better there is to be done. I first wrote the Novice Bouldering Program in 2010, re-released it a couple of years back, and am revisiting it again now. Why? Because it is one…

Notebook with pages of Climbing Notes

Quantifying Bouldering Sessions

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by Steve Bechtel One of the greatest things about climbing, and I think one of the things that attracts many of us to the sport, is that no two moves are ever the same. Even the very same climbs can be executed differently each time you do them. This is endlessly entertaining for the mind,…

Cedric Bouldering

Volume-Driven Bouldering Plan

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By Steve Bechtel Here is what a bouldering session looks like for probably 90% of all climbers everywhere. Show up when friends suggest showing up. Warm-Up by doing some “easy” problems. Start working some “hard” problems, rest as needed. Finish up with some more “easy” problems. As silly as this looks when you see it…

A Child Climbs in a Bouldering Gym B&W

Sessions For Any Climbing Gym

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By Steve Bechtel One of the biggest barriers to effective progress as a rock climber, ironically, can be training sessions in a commercial climbing gym. Oh, sure, there are good gyms around, but they’re rare and many lack certain very useful things. These things can range from lacking a good hangboard, to limited hours, to…

Bouldering Toe Hook

Training Programs for Bouldering – Advanced

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By Steve Bechtel I was reluctant to release this training plan, and here’s why: I don’t think more than a handful of the climbers that will read this plan really need this plan. I have released training plans for novices and intermediate level climbers and I believe these plans are better plans for almost every…

Alex Bridgewater on Campus Board, Photo by Mei Ratz

Superpower

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By Steve Bechtel We like to talk about power in climbing, and we like to think of ourselves as training “power” when we boulder, but is that really what we’re doing? The most powerful athletes in the world compete in activities lasting fewer than ten seconds. The athletes I am talking about are Olympic lifters…

power bouldering, image courtesy of Butora USA

Strength and Power Sessions for Bouldering

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By Steve Bechtel Training for bouldering is a little bit different than just bouldering. I submit that just bouldering itself is great for getting good at the sport, just as going running is a good way to get ready for a 5k. As you know, though, top runners don’t “just run.” In order to develop…

Brad Hilbert Bouldering, image courtesy of Butora USA

Introduction to Training for Bouldering

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By Steve Bechtel Bouldering is exactly the same as rock climbing, except that it’s way harder. In an attempt to do this way harder sport, we often employ rock climbing training programs, yet they don’t quite work. This article is intended to highlight these differences, provide an introduction to bouldering training, and suggest an alternative…

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