Category Archives: Get Strong

Up Your Game with an Online Climbing Coach

kris peters

Thanks to the power of the internet, trainers with years of climbing coaching experience will create a plan just for you. Photo by TrainingBeta.

If you’ve been climbing for a few years, then it’s likely that you have (or soon will) reach a plateau in your climbing ability. Answering the question “How can I improve at climbing?” is a difficult one.

Climbing is a relatively new sport, and theories around training are still being developed. It can seem like everyone you talk to has radically different ideas about what works best, making it hard to sort out the good advice from the bad. Furthermore, a training regimen that works for a certain type of climber, say a boulderer climbing V11, will not work for a sport climber projecting 5.13 or even another boulderer climbing V5. So how do you make sense of it all? A few years ago, your only option was buying a training book and sorting through the theories to design your own plan. However, recently, personal coaches for climbing have been using the Internet as a tool to reach a wider audience.

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The Value of Non-Climbing Training

climbing training

The pros doing some non-climbing “training”. Photo credit: Rock + Run

I used to think that climbing was enough training for climbing. And for a while, it was. A few years ago though, I reached a point where I decided that climbing alone was not enough to reach my climbing goals. I needed to change it up if I was going to get to “the next level”.

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A Nutritionist’s Approach to Weight Loss for Climbing

Photo credit: Trail Mavens

Photo credit: Trail Mavens

In my experience as a chef and a nutritionist, I’ve found there are a few simple components to a successful weight loss regimen:

  1. Eat Real Food
  2. Train More
  3. Cardio
  4. Time
  5. A Positive Mindset

No one element will work perfectly if adopted on its own.  Personally, I combine all of these tactics, with slight modifications.  Each individual and each body will respond to these components differently, so it’s important to see what you like and what is working at that time. 

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Deadlifting for Climbing

Deadlifts will strengthen your posterior chain to keep your hips closer to the wall. Photo credit: Merrick Ales

Deadlifts strengthen your posterior chain which helps keep your hips closer to the wall. Photo by Merrick Ales

With winter training season in full swing, today’s post presents a reason to hit the weight room in order to make climbing gains. Deadlifts strengthen the lower back muscles which will have a secondary benefit of improving overall lifting form in daily life! While I am a proponent of using all the compound lifts (bench press, press, deadlift, and even squat) as conditioning for climbing, I have found that deadlifts translate the most to climbing. Today, I’ll take you through the how and why of deadlifting for climbing.

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How to Conquer Roof Climbing

Dani Andrada roof climb

Dani Andrada climbs the Great Arch in Getu Valley, China. Photo credit: Sam Bié.

Roof routes can be a lot of fun and more importantly, they make you look super cool. But for many of us, they are confusing, difficult and intimidating. We’re left cursing our weenie arms. Climbing roofs, however, may be more simple than you think! You might not even need those beefy biceps. Here are three tips to help you conquer the upside-down world:

1.  Practice. I used to fall the minute I started a roof. Embarrassed, I avoided them entirely. The result was that I couldn’t climb roofs! Make sure you’ve got a cushy pad below you and don’t fret about falling. If you’re embarrassed, go to the gym at a less busy time when there are fewer bodies and eyes. Roof climbing requires unique movement, endurance and technique. Increasing your core and arm strength will certainly help, but the best way to familiarize yourself with this type of movement and build these skills is to just do it.

Recognize that climbing upside down may also bump your grade down. Start with easier routes. These will have bigger hand holds, and allow you to log time on the roof, which is the goal. If roof routes are too challenging in general, begin with steeper routes and overhangs, and work towards the full 90-degree roof.

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New Year’s Resolutions: Climber Edition

Here's to a happy 2016!

As climbers, we often talk a big game. I think I’ve “started training” approximately ten times in the last 6 months. But with the New Year, the slate is clean and we can once again declare our resolve to be a better climber! Here are the top ten resolutions you might hear from a climber:

  1. I will dust off the ol’ hangboard and actually use it.
  2. I will stop making excuses and do more abs!
  3. I will pay it forward and mentor a newbie.
  4. I will wash my rope before spring.
  5. I will actually follow a training plan.
  6. I will do more dynos!
  7. I will remember my beta.
  8. I will resist inventing a parking spot and hike the extra 1/8th of the mile to the crag.
  9. I will bury my poop (and my dog’s poop, too!)
  10. I will always wear my helmet while climbing and belaying. It’s a no-brainer!

What resolutions did you make this year?

Climb on and Happy New Year! ~Crux Crush


Pull-Ups: The DIY Manual

pull ups cate

One of the most commonly asked questions by those who have just gotten into climbing and want to improve is, “How do I work up to doing a pull-up?” Today on Crux Crush, Galina Parfenov, professional climber and climbing trainer shares her step by step manual to working up to doing a pull-up.

This is probably the number one question I get asked by clients, YouTubers, climbing and fitness fanatics alike.  Actually, it’s a question I never considered until recently. I started gymnastics when I was about eight, and prior to that I had spent a majority of my life hanging from and doing pull-ups on a contraption called a Sports Complex. In other words, pull-ups had always been a part of the repertoire, hence I never had to go through the process of learning to do one as an adult.

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The Truth About Rest Days

Rest Days? Ain't nobody got time for that!

Rest Days? Ain’t nobody got time for that!

Today’s post comes from Galina Parfenov, who recently launched her own training site, Parfenov training. Her site focuses on online training programs, private coaching and training posts. If you’ve ever watched any of Galina’s Training for Climbing Youtube videos, you know she takes climbing and training seriously. Keeping that in mind, when Galina tells you that rest days are important, you should listen.

In the time I have been coaching climbers, I have discovered one common link: all of my clients hate rest days. The truth of the matter is, I hate them too. You can’t climb, you can’t throw weights around, and you can’t cardio too much…essentially all you can do is go to work and school, eat, and sleep. Yup, rest days are the worst.

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Get Stronger by Keeping a Climbing Tick List

The Crusher, 5.11d, at Rumney. Check.

The Crusher (5.11d) at Rumney. Check.

Some free-spirited climber types just don’t care about keeping track of the climbs they’ve on-sighted, flashed, or red pointed. While I love and admire these types, I for one, cannot relate. As a more quantitative, let’s look at the data type, I’ve come to appreciate tracking my progress, taking notes on climbs, and setting goals for new projects. Today we’ll explore how tracking your progress can make you a better climber and the best ways to do it online or on paper.

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The Hangboard Workout That Works for Us


I can’t tell you how many people I know who have hangboards but don’t really use them. Even I had mine for over a year before I really started reaping benefits from it. Then I was introduced to a hangboard routine that stuck. Taken largely from The Anderson Brothers (thank you!), this workout is great for intermediate to pro climbers who want to increase their finger strength. If you’ve been climbing for less than 2 or so years you may want to hold off on handboarding and let your fingers build up strength from climbing alone. Before beginning this workout warm up well by stretching your shoulders, forearms, and fingers and doing some pull ups. And as with any workout, listen to your body and know the difference between pushing it and pushing it too far.

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