Tactical Periodization

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by Steve Bechtel The first time I worked out, I was amazed at how hard repeating a specific move over and over again could feel. I had been in PE class and had played around with other kids my whole life, but when I joined the football team in fifth grade was the first time…

MOVE: Push-up Zip-up Drill


Fundamentals of Endurance

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by Steve Bechtel I couldn’t even close my hands. I clawed at the huge holds, hoping the skin on my palms would tear a bit and give me a few seconds of purchase before I flew off into the sky below. My hips were slack. My footwork sloppy. Once again I flailed at the moves…

Fundamental Skills: Precision, Execution, and Balance

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by Andrew Caraballo, PCC, NSCA-CPT   These days, a simple Google search will bring up every climbing skill drill imaginable, but there lacks a framework for progressing those skills over time. In this article, we’ll discuss three major overarching climbing skills that will build on each other. These are balance, precision, and execution. Some famous…

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…

Second Gear: The Anaerobic Lactic Energy System


by Steve Bechtel   Feel the burn. If you’ve ever worked to a pump that made you feel nauseous, sprinted so hard you had to lie down, or could taste the acid on your breath in a session, you know what maxing out the anaerobic lactic system feels like. In hard climbing, this is the…

In-Depth: Fundamentals of Projecting

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Total Body Power – 6 Weeks – Cycled Volume

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Power training is a harsh mistress, and can destroy you as easily as it can build you up. High loads and high speed make for ample opportunities to make mistakes, and we tend to overdo it in these workouts…especially when we’re jumping from hold to hold. This training plan is built with two firm goals…

Intermittent Hangs for Finger Strength

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I have been opposed to time-driven strength sessions for most of my career. This position is based on the fact that load is the most important factor in gaining strength and taking the time to provide enough load each session is key. This means that worrying about holding rest periods to a specific length should…

The World’s Simplest Hangboard Plan

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TOOLS TIME CYCLE LENGTH 1 medium-sized edge + additional weight as needed 6 minutes after warm-up 8 sessions   As if complicating things made them somehow more effective. If you have not been training at all, the most effective solution is to start easy. On the flip-side, if you are bogged down by timing and…

Go A Hundred – Finger Strength Plan

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Plan Length: 4-12 weeks Weekly Sessions: 3-4 Session Duration: less than 20 minutes Finger strength is indisputably useful in climbing and having more of it usually helps you get better. For many of us, enough finger strength can make up for a lack of technique or power. As much as we’d like to gain this…

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