Progress

Route Climbing Performance 1

Why Am I Stuck?

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Oh, the glory days when we used to actually get better at climbing! I remember well doing a 5.6 one weekend, a 5.7 the next, a 5.8 and so on up. That whole first year, things just got easier and easier and the grades rolled by. The next year, progress slowed. The next, I had…

In-Depth: Inverted Row Progressions

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In-Depth: Inverted Row Progressions from Climb Strong on Vimeo.

Notebook with pages of Climbing Notes

Quantifying Bouldering Sessions

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by Steve Bechtel One of the greatest things about climbing, and I think one of the things that attracts many of us to the sport, is that no two moves are ever the same. Even the very same climbs can be executed differently each time you do them. This is endlessly entertaining for the mind,…

Steve Bechtel Overhead KB Press, b&w, Photo by Mei Ratz

So You Started Lifting…Now What?

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by Steve Bechtel Over the years, many climbers have started weight training at my urging, but it doesn’t take long before the questions start rolling in. So you started lifting, now what? How much? How heavy? How many exercises? It always depends on the athlete, but we keep coming back to a few guidelines. The…

Alex Bridgewater Goblet Squat b&w, Photo by Mei Ratz

Strength Session Design Part 2

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by Steve Bechtel I wrote my first article on strength session design 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…

Weighted Pull-Up, Photo by Mei Ratz

Pull-Up Progressions: The Rules

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by Steve Bechtel Sometimes, the simplest movements are the hardest to master. When we look at the value of particular resistance exercises, it’s hard to dispute that a very few movements can make or break a training plan. Working with just a squat, a deadlift, a push-up variant, and pull-ups, you can develop a life-long…

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 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…

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…

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…

Kerry Demo

Training Age

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by Steve Bechtel Want to get good at climbing? Be patient. Every month at our gym, we have a training meeting with the entire coaching staff. These meetings range from exercise technique to invoicing to habit change – basically everything you can imagine when it comes to training athletes. A few years ago, I talked…

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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