3 Crucial Principles of Training for Bouldering + CXC Reader Discount!

This article was kindly written for us by Dan Mirsky over at TrainingBeta.com, where you’ll find training programs, training articles, training videos, and a training podcast. They offer an online subscription program dedicated to training for boulderers of all abilities, the Bouldering Strength and Power Program, and in this article they’ll explain what you need to do to properly train for bouldering, whether you’re following their program or not.

Enter TrainingBeta…

Although summer is just getting started, shorter days and cooler temps will be here before you know it, so soon it’ll be time to get trained up to crush your bouldering projects. So what does that mean? Well, most hard boulder problems…

a) have bad holds that are far apart and

b) require the ability to do a continuous series of hard moves before you can stand on top and high five your buddies or scream your head off in Spanish.

The 3 Things You Need In Order To Send Harder

Sounds like you need the combination of finger strength, dynamic power, contact strength and power endurance. Here’s how you get that.

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10 Things You Do Up on the Wall That You Would Never Do Down on the Ground

We're 99% sure that Adam Ondra only screams like this while on the wall...

We’re 93% sure that Adam Ondra only screams like this while on the wall…

We morph as we climb a seemingly blank face of rock, reaching new heights, conquering new challenges. However, there are some things climbing opens us to that once untied from the sharp end, we would cringe, laugh at, or straight up deny as having happened. Today we share the top ten things you do up on the wall climbing, that you would never do down on the ground. 

1. Swear like a pirate, phrases that make absolutely no sense and are truly just a long stream of grammatically incorrect expletives.

2. Fart. TMI? Let’s be honest, we’ve all done it. You’re alone on the wall, contracting your core tighter than a boa constrictor and it just slips out. Besides, gas floats up, not down, right?

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Quickdraw Comparison: Petzl, DMM, Black Diamond

Making sense of quickdraws can be messy. We're here to help.

Making sense of quickdraws can be messy. We’re here to help.

There’s a lot to choose from when it comes to quickdraws, so today we’re gonna give you the beta on a few of our favorites from Petzl, DMM, and Black Diamond. While the basic components are the same across these draws (1 dogbone + 2 carabiners), the specifics vary. Each draw has its own special features and options, so let’s take a look at each one in turn:

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How Yoga Will Make You A Better Climber: An Interview with Olivia Hsu

Check out that downward facing dog.

Check out climber Olivia Hsu’s downward facing dog!

Climbing & yoga. Like campfires & s’mores, chips & salsa and Brain & Stewie, they just go together. I recently caught up with Olivia Hsu, a “black belt” climber and yogi. She climbs hard while embodying the essence of yoga. And I’m not just referencing her killer downward dog, but also the mindfulness and qualities that have become core to her personality. Bitten with the climbing bug 13 years ago, Olivia’s psych led her to begin climbing almost daily, which resulted in a finger injury and a forced break from climbing. While recovering, Olivia was on the look-out for a new activity to keep her moving while rehabbing the finger injury. Enter yoga. From her first Ashtanga practice, she was hooked. Once her finger injury healed, her love triangle with climbing and yoga began.

After chatting with Olivia there were five lessons that crystallized for applying the practices of yoga to climbing — whether you’ve never stepped foot on a yoga mat or practice daily.

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Building Big Muscles for Sending

baby muscles

Baby muscles before starting training.

Do you ever feel like your progress in climbing has stalled or hit a plateau? Well that’s exactly how I was feeling this past winter. I was climbing about 3-4 times a week in the gym or outside, bouldering and leading, but I felt I had lost the initial progression that I had first experienced when I started climbing. Luckily for me, my friend Keith Hengen has some awesome strategies and training plans that help even adolescent climbers like myself reach new heights in their climbing. His wealth of knowledge was developed from research literature as well as climbing specific workouts outlined by Steve Bechtel on his site Climb Strong. Today I share a few strength training exercises you can do to build up big muscles for big sending.

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Climbing Destination: Piedra Parada

Piedra Parada is Spanish for "Standing Rock"

Piedra Parada is Spanish for “Standing Rock”

Today’s post comes from guest contributor, Sarah Williams.

Piedra Parada, which translates to “standing rock”, is an iconic rock feature that marks the entrance to a canyon once home to ancient people, now known for its beauty and endless climbing possibilities. It’s located in the Patagonian region of Argentina. Climbing here is a magical experience. It feels like you’ve been transported back in time to a more adventurous age, where there’s still so much to discover. Cell phones don’t work out here so you can forget about Internet access. This place is isolated. And that makes it even more amazing. You can climb all day and only see a handful of other climbers—mostly Argentinians or Chileans. It became more widely recognized and more fully developed after the 2012 Petzl Roc Trip, which brought in hundreds of world-class climbers to establish world-class routes. But even after gaining all this attention, Piedra Parada remains remote, natural, and full of adventure waiting to be discovered.

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Girl Crush of the Month: Barbara Raudner

Barbara climbing in Montsant, Spain. Photo by

Barbara on Hidrofobia (8b/5.13d) in Montsant, Spain. Photo by HRH Photography.

Unlike most climbers these days, our girl crush this month has not been climbing since she was 8 and was never on the competition circuit. Instead, 42-year-old Austrian and 5.14 crusher, Barbara Raudner was introduced to climbing at the age of 28 when she and her husband spontaneously booked a climbing course in Arco, Italy. Like so many of us climbing addicts, Barbara fell in love with climbing immediately and knew she had found her sport.

3 years ago, after a 17 year career in Public Relations for the European Commission, Barbara decided to switch paths and work as a free-lance climbing instructor and foreign language teacher. Not only did this decision reduce her stress levels, but also allowed her far more time to train and climb. Over this time she’s bagged a number of 5.14s including Mind Control (5.14c), El Gran Blau (5.14a/b), and Terence Hill (5.14a), to name a few.

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Watch Ashima Send Her First 9a/+

Last month Ashima Shiraishi became the youngest person yet and one of just two females to have ever sent 9a/+ (5.14d/5.15a). Want to know what it looks like to send 9a/+? Check out Petzl’s just released video of the thirteen-year-old sending Open Your Mind Direct in Catalunya. As for her final words on the climb? “Finally… That was so, like, surreal.”

Climb on!

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5 Ways to Enhance Your Climbing

Nina Williams, sending Predator, 5.13a/b last week, recommends Whey Protein supplements.

Nina Williams recommends whey protein supplements. (Photo credit: @sheneenagins)

Performance enhancing drugs in climbing? Never! The idea seems somehow opposed to the core of climbing, doesn’t it? Yet we’ve all seen climbers go to great lengths to “enhance” their performance. Today we discuss five (totally legal) ways to step up your climbing game. Because, let’s be real, if there’s something that will help me crush my project after a season of feeling oh-so-close to the send, I’m all ears. Am I about to reveal the secret for going from 5.10 to crushing 5.12 in 30 days? Nope, sorry, that’s called steroids (totally illegal). However, I will discuss five performance enhancers that have the potential to provide the 5% gain that is often the difference between sending and hang-dogging. Sometimes, all it takes is being smart, careful, and leveraging your climbing conditions, body, and nutritional intake to see noticeable results. As Mike Doyle said, “You can’t always control everything; control the things you can and if you can’t control something just let it go.”

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How to Send the Ultimate: Grade 5.FUN


What’s the first word you think of when pondering your project? Hard? Inspiring? Frustrating? How about fun?!

I’ve been climbing for about a year and a half now. True to my nature, I went climbing at a local gym, got hooked and dove head first into all that is climbing. I’m fortunate to have a circle of climbing friends who have mentored me and shown me the ropes (pun intended). These friends took me climbing outside early on and would describe routes as ‘delicate’, ‘burly’, ‘balance-y’, ‘spicy’. With my limited knowledge at the time, this made no sense what-so-ever. When I was asked about the climb, I could only answer as my genuine, psyched outta my mind newb self, “fun!” or “super fun!” with the occasional “really effin fun!”

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