One-on-one training

Photo by Charlie Egan

My training philosophy

I’ve been fortunate to have many mentors and coaches during my climbing career. One of the best pieces of advice I ever got from a coach was this: many amateur athletes succeed despite their training, not because of it. What’s most important for you to work on right now to get closer to your goals? How much of it should you do? If you can’t answer those two questions, your training might be holding you back instead of pushing you forward.

Sets and reps don’t make the climber, but they can break one. Great climbers are made by thoughtful, intentional climbing. And when climbers fail, it’s usually due to tactical errors. I believe my role is to educate you, and help you make the best decisions you can for yourself. I help clients identify their physical, technical, tactical, and emotional weaknesses, and think about their climbing in the big picture.

Here’s what I believe matters in a training plan:

  1. Climbing with intent to improve (focused by drills)
  2. Basic, compound strength in the off-season; maintenance during performance time
  3. Growing confidence and tactical skills (continuous learning)

You can work with me on a monthly basis one-on-one, with an initial commitment of three months. This gets you:

  • Training for the month, broken into sessions to do each week
  • One-on-one video call (or in-person meeting if possible) by request, about once a month
  • Updates to the plan when things change
  • Help planning out the big picture of your climbing – peaking for trips, planning training cycles for the year, or working towards life goals
  • Support via email/instagram/Slack
  • Feedback on videos, including helping with beta/tactics for projects

Remote one-on-one training

Every climber is different, and everyone needs a different approach. I use a combination of strength training and technical drills to help you work on multiple facets of your climbing. These are delivered in weekly packages, with as much room for social or outdoor climbing as you desire.

One-on-one meetings: We will meet over Zoom (or in person, if you’re near Bend, Oregon) to talk about your climbing, training, and goals. I believe that face to face communication is essential for forming a good coach-climber relationship. A PDF cannot coach you.

Ongoing feedback: Because climbing is eminently technical, video feedback is a core part of my job. As your coach, I am available to you to evaluate your performance, help probe for weaknesses, or discuss beta on your projects! I DM with most of my clients several times a week. My 1-1 clients are all invited to a Slack instance.

Technical drills: Climbing is a skill-based sport. If you’re not working on your technique, you are waiting for tiny, slow strength gains to account for all your progress. It’s hard to get better on accident. I prescribe technical drills to all my clients, based on their style, preferences, available facilities, and weaknesses

Strength training: Off-the-wall training should account for a small percentage of your overall workload, but it is essential. I focus on the basics, try to help you make gains during your off-season, and provide simple maintenance workouts you can use during trips or performance peaks

Updates to the plan: Let’s face it, life happens. You shouldn’t be stuck with a training plan that can’t accommodate changes to your work schedule, life’s little surprises, or (knock on wood) injuries. Regardless of what happens, I work with my clients to figure out what they can do to keep their climbing progressing, even if it’s on the back burner.

The process

First, I will have you fill out a thorough assessment of your climbing. The more I learn about you as a climber, the better of a job I can do advising you on where to focus your efforts! This assessment results in a “training brief” where I will go through what I think you should focus on to keep progressing and achieve your goals. The assessment is included with the plan.

After that, we’ll meet one-on-one so we can get to know each other, talk about your goals, and go deeper on topics from the assessment.

Your first month of training will be exploratory, including physical tests, new movements to learn, and getting used to the training schedule. I ask that climbers commit to 3 months for two reasons: first, because we need time to get to know each other. A climber/coach relationship is like any other relationship – the more we invest in it, the better it gets. And second, because science: studies show that it generally takes 8-12 weeks to see physical adaptations to training stimulus. [1][2]

Other options

Since I can only take on so many 1-1 clients at a time, there are a few other ways to work with me.

First is to get a one-time assessment and training brief. The assessment is a thorough technical, tactical and emotional evaluation of you as a climber. This results in a brief including strength training and technical recommendations. See more about training briefs here.

Second is to schedule a one-time consult. This would be a more thorough version of the above option, where we meet one and one to talk about your climbing. I can use this time to come up with a training brief, provide feedback on a training plan you made for yourself, or talk about whatever else you want to talk about. See more here.

Get started

If you have questions, or you’re ready to get on the wait list, just email me!