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Wooden Boxes and Dumbbells B&W

The 2014 Survey

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By Steve Bechtel When I was in college, I got interested in which physical traits and abilities were consistent among high-performing climbers. At that time, in the mid-1990s, there were some basic assumptions and many things we considered common sense. It was clear that climbers had to be relatively thin, relatively strong, and somewhat flexible.…

Max Sport Climbing, Looking for Next Move

Factors Affecting Training Outcomes

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By Steve Bechtel Imagine, if you will, two friends that are the same age, same height, weight, etc. Imagine they both start climbing at the same time, both follow the same training program, and both show steady progress. They climb at the same crags, usually together, and start projecting the same route. You might think…

Jared Hang Chalking Up while Climbing

Problems With Projecting

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By Steve Bechtel Project climbing – trying a very hard route over and over with the goal of eventually climbing it in one push – is one of the most fundamentally rewarding facets of rock climbing. It drives us to higher grades and teaches all sorts of valuable lessons. But like anything beneficial to us,…

Charlie Manganiello kettlebell swing

Don’t Train – Practice, part 2.

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by Steve Bechtel The first article on practice covered the general idea that you should consider your climbing practice, and some general ideas on what that meant. In this follow up, I’ll answer questions that the first article raised, and give some specifics on how to re-structure your training sessions to include a focus on…

Alex Bridgewater Toes to Bar, Photo by Mei Ratz

Good Training

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By Steve Bechtel If you’ve ever had breakfast at a Las Vegas buffet, you know that quantity doesn’t always mean quality. At first glance, more seems to be better…but the lackluster experience and the ensuing gut ache will remind you that getting a lot means nothing more than getting a lot. My brother-in-law, Matt, is…

Get It Exactly Right

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by Steve Bechtel You’ve heard it many times – when someone sends their hardest it feels effortless. We talk about it as the “flow” state or as having an out-of-body experience. No matter what you call it, it’s a performance state you’d like to recreate as often as possible. We usually see ourselves get to…

Steve Bechtel Dead Lift with Barbell, Photo by Mei Ratz

“Two set of two?” and Other Questions

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by Steve Bechtel It’s funny the questions you get after an interview. At the end of 2015, I had the great honor of talking to Neely Quinn at Training Beta for a second time, and had a good chat with Kris Hampton for his new podcast that summer. The format is challenging and I felt…

Alex Bridgewater Box Jump, Photo by Mei Ratz

Do Less

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by Steve Bechtel It’s a great honor for me to be asked training advice, but it’s also a circle of frustration. The only thing that keeps me from strangling the climbers that contact me, receive advice, and ignore the advice is the fact that I do the same thing myself. Most of us inherently understand…

Alex Bridgewater Demonstrates Kettlebell Deadlift, Photo by Mei Ratz

8 Things To Do Before You Open Your Wallet

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by Steve Bechtel I wrote a newsletter a few months back where I discussed the idea of “big rocks first.” The general gist is to take care of the most important things in your life before you obsess about the minutiae. People, not just climbers, tend to fixate on the wrong things. We obsess over…

Golden

Getting Back to Top Form Quickly

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By Steve Bechtel In a perfect world, we’d redpoint hard routes every weekend, all year long. We’d always feel recovered, and we’d be able to boulder at our limit one day and free big walls the next. But in this world, we have obligations, injuries, and seasons that keep us from climbing well for large…

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…

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.…

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