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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…

View of Climb Strong Classroom, Airdynes, Rowers, Systems Boad, Campus Board, Photo by Mei Ratz

Cycling Your Training

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by Steve Bechtel We all love a good story, especially the ones we want to be true. One of my favorites is that of Milo of Croton, a Greek wrestler who lived in the 6th century BC. Milo, was, by all descriptions a very strong and talented athlete, so much so that his legend outlived…

Organizing Your Cragging Program

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by Steve Bechtel Training is more popular than it’s ever been in the sport of climbing, and it warms my heart to see people actually training in the gym rather than just hitting another bouldering session. The word is out that a focused attention to improvement really works. At the crags, though, it’s another matter:…

Steve Bechtel on Campus Board, Back View, Photo by Mei Ratz

Training Considerations for Older Climbers

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By Steve Bechtel Climbing is a lifetime sport. Unlike, say, gymnastics or football, you can expect to climb and climb well for many many years. Due to the multifaceted nature of the sport and training considerations for older climbers, you can improve factors such as technique and endurance even with the natural decline in strength…

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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