Programming

Pendulum Plans

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By Steve Bechtel Program design is complex. Figuring out how to arrive at the weekend fresh for climbing is tough enough, let alone building a high peak for a trip or competition. For years, climbers have tested out different versions of periodized programs, mostly stolen from track and field or weightlifting. In typical periodized plans,…

In-Depth: 13 x 4-Week Cycles

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Fundamentals of Program Design

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It has never been a better time to be a performance-oriented rock climber. In the past few years there has been an explosion of good information on training, and a huge number of great tools to help you train. From better handhold designs, to improved hangboards, to ingenious tools such as the Tension Block, we…

Q+A: What Training Plan Should I Do After PITCH ONE?

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Q: Hello, I just finished the 4 week Pitch One training plan. What do you suggest as the next plan? Thanks, Joel   A: Hi Joel, It really depends on what you are aiming for. With our CS Team athletes, we generally follow a general strength program by a more specific program aimed at their…

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Q+A: Triphasic Training in Climbing?

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Q: Do you think there is value to incorporating triphasic training principles in climbing? Forearm curls seem to be a place where they could be applied. If yes, when would you add it. I am on a non-linear program with s strength day, power day and power endurance day. I also have bar campus rings…

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More Block Periodization Explanation

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There was a thread comparing different periodization strategies over at Mountain Project (http://www.mountainproject.com/v/block-periodization-linear-periodization–non-linear-periodization/108438729 ). I wrote this explanation to contrast this model with the classical model. Not sure if it’s necessary here or not…   I remember when I first read about periodization. It was revelatory in an almost religious sense. Finally there was a clear…

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Climbing Notes in Notebook with Pen

Write It Down – The Value of a Training Log

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by Steve Bechtel When I first sit down with a new athlete, the first thing I ask them is where they want to go. The question usually goes like this: “In six months, what do you want to have accomplished?” That part is easy for most of us – the dreaming is not hard 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…

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,…

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,…

Rob Pizem, working for the first free ascent of the Frank Zappa Appreciation Society, 5.13+, Escalanta Canyon, CO

In-Season Strength – Program Minimum

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These days, climbers are well aware of the need to gain strength in the off-season. Many climbers I hear from spend much of the winter allocating time to the weight room and the hangboard. Where the system can break down is when someone quits strength training cold-turkey to switch to climbing full-time. There’s no arguing…

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