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TS Strawberry Roan

Unlearning “Endurance” Training

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By Steve Bechtel I think I’ve been to a dozen different crags where I’ve seen some dude doing toprope laps on a route he’s got totally wired to “train endurance” at the end of the day. The thing is, this guy has been doing the same thing for years, and getting nowhere. It’s not that…

Alex Bridgewater Demonstrates a 1Arm Hang Lock Off

Introduction to Density Training

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By Steve Bechtel You either boulder or do routes, right? So what happens when you want to get ready for routes by bouldering? You end up feeling like you’re not quite training right, and you’re correct. We have several good ways of training beyond the boulder problem, but training with a repeatable workout and definable…

Cowboy Up

4x4s and Other Variants for Training

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By Steve Bechtel It was probably about 25 years ago – we were mid-session in the bouldering gym and someone suggested we do some “4x4s.” At first I thought this had something to do with the lumber of the same name, but in climbing, this is simply four sets of four boulder problems done back-to-back.…

Scale

Fat Loss and Weight Management for Climbing (Part 1)

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By Steve Bechtel Your fat roll is killing you. OK, as a climber, and especially one who is reading an article about training, I’ll bet your body fat percentage is pretty low. On the flip side, though, you are reading an article about weight management. Chances are you’re holding the same weight you usually hold,…

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

Strength Session Design 2

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

Leg Strength as a Limiting Factor, Revisited

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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?…

Ab Wheel, Photo by Mei Ratz

Strength Training for Rock Climbing (Part 3)

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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

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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

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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…

Scale

Fat Loss and Weight Management for Climbing (Part 2)

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By Steve Bechtel There is a war going on, and it’s not the one you think. The war is not between the right way to eat and the wrong way to eat, it’s between what’s right and what’s “righter.” Should we go low carb? Low fat? Paleo? Vegan? In the end, it doesn’t really matter…

Kerry Demo

Understanding the Lactic Energy System

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by Steve Bechtel If you’ve ever climbed to the top of a strenuous route, you’ve felt the burn. If you’ve ever trained super-hard, you’ve felt the debilitating soreness the day after the session. Undoubtedly, you’ve also read or been told that one or both of these is due to lactic acid buildup in your muscles.…

TS Wheaties

The Todd Skinner Workout

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By Steve Bechtel Once upon a time, there were no climbing gyms. There were good climbers, among them my friend Todd Skinner, who did a fair amount of hard training off the rock. During the late 1980s, Todd and some friends developed a freestanding “box” of slats with several different sizes of wooden edges attached…

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