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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.…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Charlie Managniello Climbing on a Sunny Day

Brick Programming

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By Steve Bechtel Going bouldering is not training. If you’re one of the lucky few, you can hit the gym a couple of nights a week and continue to get strong, avoid injury, and enjoy the sport. Most of us, though, will reach a plateau where progress is no longer possible on the “whatever” plan,…

Steve Bechtel Bobcat 2003

Get Out of Your Rut

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By Steve Bechtel Do you remember back when you used to get better at climbing? Month after month you could climb harder routes, you could feel yourself get better at jamming, at lock-offs, at edging, and it felt like the sky was the limit. Now you know that the limit is right about 12a, and…

Kevin Wallingford Demonstrating Deadlift B&W

Direction

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By Steve Bechtel Once the fever to train sets in, awareness of one’s body becomes paramount. Buying into the excitement and perhaps difficulty of this or that training fad, an athlete can actually change direction and drift further from his goal by training harder. Unfortunately, in the world of difficult climbing, simply working hard does…

Ben Hanna - Butora - Wastelands Area - Rifle Mountain Park - For Sander

Pre-Climb Rituals

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By Steve Bechtel I like to go to competitions. I like them for many different reasons, but mostly it is to watch people as they prepare to compete. See, the vast majority of pre-event activity is nothing like the way we prepare for training. At bouldering competitions, we see all kinds of craziness, and pre-climb…

Progress

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By Steve Bechtel It happens every year at a hundred different climbing areas. There is a glimmer of talent, a hint of drive, and a motivated climber is born. He cruises up through the grades, doing several 5.10 and 5.11 routes with his friends, he makes progress, and then he starts to pull ahead. Finally,…

Steve Bechtel Airdyne b&w, photo by Mei Ratz

Three Mistakes You Might Be Making in the Gym

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By Steve Bechtel Training is all about progress. Unless you just love to train (I’d rather watch Deadwood), you’d better be seeing some results for the hours you spend flogging yourself. What we see in most climbers, though, is really just slight decreases in fitness throughout the year, and then an occasional return to a…

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