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Gym Climbing

Never Get Pumped Again | A Three-Part Training Series from Steve Bechtel

This three-part article and hundreds more by expert climbing coaches and trainers are now just $24 a year—Half Off—a year. For $2 a month you’ll get unlimited online access to climbing.com PLUS four print issues of Climbing in print and our special annual edition of Ascent delivered to your door. 

 

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While it might go against common sense, its actually easy—and way more time-effective—to build power-endurance and endurance on a bouldering or spray wall, whether at home in your garage or at your local climbing gym. Top climbing coach Steve Bechtel, a lifelong climber who’s been coaching climbers for most of his adult life and who is also the cofounder of the coaching company Climb Strong and the education director for the Performance Climbing Coach seminars, gets into the nitty gritty of why this works—and how—in this exclusive three part training series at Climbing.com

Ross Fulkerson Monkey House Carbondale
Ross Fulkerson training on the spray wall at the Monkey House gym in Carbondale, Colorado. (Photo: @monkeyhousecarbondale)

Part One: Endurance Is “Fatigue Management”

Across the globe, climbers figured out the same things over and over: that they didnt need multi-million-dollar gyms to get good (and in fact these might be a liability to getting good), that being able to do hard moves over and over again was what we really needed, and that it was discipline and drive that created success. Importantly, we learned that this could happen in a garage—no autobelay needed.

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Shauna Coxsey home bouldering wall
Shauna Coxsey performs in Sheffield, United Kingdom (Photo: Matthew Bird/Red Bull Content Pool)

Part 2: The Secret Is…A Bouldering Wall?!

“Endurance” is a big target. For most of us, deciding what, precisely, we need to improve will help a lot. There are three main ways in which training can help improve our fatigue management:

  1. We can get better at managing several hard moves in a row, being able to do the same duration at a higher power output.

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Shauna Coxsey bouldering
Shauna Coxsey bouldering at The Climbing Hangar Matchworks in Liverpool, United Kingdom on January 4, 2021. (Photo: Matthew Bird/Red Bull Content Pool)

Part 3: Steve Bechtel’s 6 Fail-Proof Bouldering-Wall Workouts

In this session, we are looking to increase power-endurance for a specific route or boulder style. Some routes or problems, especially near your limit, will require more than just “endurance.” Say you want to do the Right Martini(V12) at Hueco Tanks. By checking out some videos online, you can easily figure out the duration it might take you, the movement, and more. For such a problem, you won’t need to be able to climb five minutes nonstop on jugs, so your training time would be better spent working on big moves between crimps, and doing work intervals closer to two minutes.

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