Iron, Granite and Rice: 5 Commitments for the Fall 2023 Season

With another esteemed fall season coming to a close, it’s time to tally up the scores, lick our wounds and retreat to our training dens and caves. The conditions here in the Northwest are dwindling in fits and starts, with the extended forecast barely providing enough optimism for me to keep the crash pads loadedContinue reading “Iron, Granite and Rice: 5 Commitments for the Fall 2023 Season”

Progressing vs performing

Determination is highly valued in climbing culture. But is it always good? Swiss legend Martin Keller recently climbed a V16 after another 150+ session siege. Johnny Kydd had an intriguing interview on the Careless Talk podcast about investing over 100 sessions in a V15. Much has been said about Daniel Woods’ winter in Vegas whereContinue reading “Progressing vs performing”

Summer training and eating three crows

The last year of my climbing has been, by any objective standard, excellent. My now-wife and I had the chance to have a bit of a “mid-30s gap year” and we took it with relish. I got to… Move somewhere with more challenging projects Spend 7 weeks in Hueco Tanks Have a spring climbing seasonContinue reading “Summer training and eating three crows”

Getting what we deserve: counterfactuals, four-leaf clovers and V10 flashes

“I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.” In the last few years I’ve fostered a strange obsession with looking for four-leaf clovers. It’s said that finding such a clover is a good omen. But this is a bizarre conclusion to reach, sinceContinue reading “Getting what we deserve: counterfactuals, four-leaf clovers and V10 flashes”

The Siren Song of the Board

Convenience is essential to being good at training. If you want to train hard, you need to make training easy. Living near a decent gym is huge. Most climbers have a hangboard or at least a portable finger training device at home, because it removes a barrier to getting their finger training done. And climbersContinue reading “The Siren Song of the Board”

KISS Training: Intro & April

Lots of climbers can’t afford the time/cost/energy investment of structured training. And lots of climbers make plenty of progress without those things. This doesn’t mean those things aren’t useful. But in many cases, progress is made not because of the structured training, but because of the focus that structured training requires to pursue effectively. AContinue reading “KISS Training: Intro & April”

Managing the beatdown: the long trip performance curve

It’s expected on a long trip that certain performance aspects will change over time. Maximum strength will usually go down due to a lack of focused training. Coordination and speed may improve or plateau depending on the demands of the problems being climbed. Endurance on the wall is one physical factor that can be expectedContinue reading “Managing the beatdown: the long trip performance curve”

You are not your max hang

Intuition is an essential tool for the climbing athlete. As climbing gets more popular, training and coaching inevitably follows that growth. The pressure to organize and record and meticulously obsess over every trackable detail gains momentum each day. But you are not these numbers; and if you let them, they’ll start making your decisions forContinue reading “You are not your max hang”