Through many conversations about training with friends and other climbers, I've discovered one common thread... you can almost always find a reason to continue training the short-sighted way that you have been.
What I mean, is that if you get attached to your method of training, the method that has worked for years and gotten you to where you are (and where you've been for 5 seasons), then you're probably missing out on some great advice. That is, of course, unless your method is to constantly look for new methods and target new weak areas in your climbing. If that's you, you can just skip this post. If you're the one who has done exactly the same workout for years, and have been stuck at the same grades for years, then you may want to read on.
Just be advised that you might not read exactly what you hope to.
I understand the draw to this style of "learning". You pick up a training book, you flip through until you find a passage or a chapter that echoes what you've based all your training on, and you latch on to it.
"That's me! I KNEW I was doing this the right way!"
It's true, you are doing THAT the right way. Thing is, there are hundreds of other facets to your training that you're not paying attention to at all. Not to mention, they are all listed right there in that book... you're just looking past them.
You see someone stronger than you, maybe even a pro, doing exactly what you've been doing.
"YES! Sean McColl trains this way, so it MUST be right!"
Absolutely it's right... for him... in that specific moment. I'm betting Sean trains more than just the one thing you've latched onto. You can look at his climbing and see that it's far more complex than just a circuit on an adjustable wall, but you choose to look past that. It must be that one thing that's elevated him to those heights. Of course it is.
In the immortal words of Joe Kinder, "C'mon, son!"
Here's what I urge you to do: Reread your training books. Reread this blog. Reread the other training blogs that you frequent. Completely ignore all the things you already know, and really take a deeper look at the things that make you uncomfortable. The things you say you don't need. The things you say won't help you. Look past your fears, your hangups, and your preconceived notions. Chances are, you know what you're missing. You know because you've argued with yourself about it, and you always win. Let the other you win this time, or at least give him a chance.
He just may suprise you and climb harder than you ever have.
In this episode, Nate, Paul, Blake, and I discuss the Top 2 ways we break through plateaus. Whether it's mental or physical, unless you're a mutant, you've gotten stuck. Well, we have some advice.
If there is a polar opposite of "nutritionist," I'm it. I blank out immediately when talking the details of nutrition. Not so with our guest today, Neely Quinn.
Jon Glassberg recently wrote a blog for La Sportiva in which he states that, “Climbing double digits is an attainable goal for any serious climber.” We agree.
Honorary Cohost Steve Bechtel has a new book out: "Logical Progression: Using Non Linear Periodization for Year Round Climbing Performance." If you write your own training plans, and still have a hard time sticking to your plan, this is the book for you.
Today we're officially releasing our new "Proven Plans," an option that lands between our simple eBooks and our completely individual customized plans. Coach Blake Cash and I discuss the plans, how they came about, where their value lies, and what we've learned from them.
In this Board Meeting, Nate and I discuss strategies and tactics for redpointing. Some you may know, many you may not. Most you've probably forgotten or ignored when you needed them.
LEGEND! Not much more needs to be said about this week's guest, Stevie Haston, but I'll say a few more things anyway. Simply put, Stevie Haston is a machine. A simple, hard working, sensible machine.
In this episode, I sit down with strength coach, climber, and multisport athlete Charlie Manganiello, from ClimbStrong, to find out how we can all perform in multiple sports. Even if you're only switching from sport climbing to bouldering, Charlie's philosophies are applicable.
For quite some time I've toyed with the idea of "in-between" episodes. So while on our recent workshop tour, Nate and I sat down and figured out a rough format for a new concept. And thus "The Board Meetings" were born.
It's that time again. Soon we'll be 14 or so weeks out from the best temps at climbing areas all over the world, which means that if you want to be better prepared this season, the time to start planning your training is NOW.
Fact is, I train hard. I train smart. Most of the people I work with do the same, and I'm not shy about telling them that if they are taking shortcuts, they are only hurting themselves. But here's where it goes wrong...
I've gotten several questions about my schedule during my High/Low training, and to those I've answered, "I'll be posting it soon," and then never posted it. Before I divulge my top secret schedule, let's talk a little about how I created it.
If you're cross-training for fun - because you like it or want to excel at it - or because it simply makes you feel good, then by all means keep doing it. If, however, you do it because you believe that you'll become a better climber, keep reading.
Simple question, right? Well, the simple answer is that yes, in my opinion, it worked wonderfully. But, the question you all want to know: Being as I trained no power endurance, how did it affect my power endurance for the season?
The High/Low Approach to training for climbing sounds incredibly simple. The problem is that it's much more challenging than first meets the eye, particularly when you are training for something as complex and hard to measure as rock climbing.
I’ve been getting tons of questions and comments about the High/Low approach to training that I’ve been exploring and writing about. I figured that it might be prudent to let people know whether or not this style of training is for you.
I've completely scrapped the old model of periodization training that I've followed for the last several years in favor of something new, known as High/Low Training.
You've done the moves, or can at least come close to the hardest ones, and have made some of the obvious, easier links. You've made the tough decision to commit. Now, to help you break this thing down to an inevitable send.
You've picked your project, and now find yourself unsure of what on earth to do next. If you exercise a little patience, along with a few tricks and the right tactics, projecting something hard can be a rewarding process.
For those that have never undertaken a project, it can be intimidating just to decide on the right route. It's easy to get in over your head, and even easier to not shoot high enough. There are a couple of questions you can ask yourself to help make this decision.
One comment I often get is that a client wants to train hard and be dedicated to climbing while remaining healthy and injury free. While I echo this optimistic sentiment, I know that it just isn't always possible, particularly when you're reaching into the upper limits of your abilities.
Arthur Cammers writes: I'm a month away from a climbing trip at which I want to perform well. What is the optimal program for overall climbing fitness?
More important than your coffee in the morning - ok, maybe not quite that important - is how you warm up. And if you do it wrong, it can result in absolute disaster.
My friend Nate Drolet, asked his belayer if she wanted half of his banana. Of course she did - who wouldn't? Rather than peel it and break it off with his chalky, dirty fingers, or dig in his pack for a knife, Nate snapped the banana in half. Clean break, right through the middle. Like a ninja.
You can almost always find a reason to continue training the short-sighted way: if you get attached to your method of training, the method that has worked for years and gotten you to where you are (and where you've been for 5 seasons), then you're probably missing out on some great advice.
There is NO single workout that any group of people can follow to get the optimum results for each of them. If your goal is to get stronger, then your workouts MUST reflect your own individual needs. Not mine. Not your partner's.
I made brief mention that I most often get the question "How do I get better faster?" from beginners. Then I answered the question for pretty much every one but beginners. Well, newbs, rejoice! You get a whole post. A short one, but your very own set of training wheels.
So how do you get better faster? There's a simple answer. You don't. That is, not unless you make some drastic changes and stop doing what you're doing, which essentially boils down to caring about climbing BETTER.
Professional setter Chris Danielson is the absolute go-to guy for any big comp or gym consulting project. In my research about Chris, I found several instances of other professional setters naming him as their hero and inspiration. In short, the guy is talented.