The Rock Climber’s Training Manual: Review and Reflections

If you’re a climber, especially one psyched about training, there is a good chance you have heard about Mark and Mike Andersons’ The Rock Climber’s Traning Manual. rctm-cover-spread_finalThere is no shortage of positive reviews out there on the interwebs. However, only a few of the reviews are from people who in addition to reading the book also followed one of the training plan all the way through before writing the review.

Currently it seems like training for rock climbing is becoming much more popular for climbers of all levels. The amount of available information on training for climbing is increasing. I am certainly riding the wave of training excitement and was incredibly excited to get my hands on a copy of the Andersons’ book back in July.

Although I have been climbing for about 1o years at this point (seriously!?!), I had never really trained. Living in NC the climbing season is nearly year-round so, I never really developed a climbing season vs. training season mindset. I’ve always  been a climb outside as much as possible and go to the gym when you can’t climb outside sort of person. This set-up has allowed me to slowly progress over many years, develop decent movement, gain valuable rock reading abilities, and love the shit out of climbing. But it has also allowed me to develop some serious deficits and over the last 2 years I have really struggled to continue to improve. Hence a new plan: TRAINING!

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Midweek Motivation: Visual Psych

Many different things make a bouldering video psych inducing. For short videos, most of the time I just want good footage of hard captivating problems. You can leave the story line at home for the short flicks…

Above is a great video from Euro power couple Katha Saurwein and Jorg Verhoven in RMNP.


Everything and More: Bouldering Kit Part 2 (Tactics)

Sure, I want to be stronger, but that takes long hours and hard work.

Most of the time I just want the climb I’m working on to feel better.

That is where tactics come in…. climbing smarter when climbing harder just isn’t possible.

There a lots of things tactically that climbers do intrinsically or with practice (ex: RESTING between attempts?!?) to improve their chances of sending the proj but most of them just involve using their brain rather than an actual tool out of the bouldering kit. However, there is one tactical implement I want to highlight:

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Everything and More: Bouldering Kit Part 1 (Basics)

Bouldering is rad.


So, the quote above might be misattributed, I’ll look into that later. Regardless bouldering is gymnastic, powerful, and simple in its complexity: rock, shoes, chalk, movement, and focus.

But this post isn’t about that side of bouldering; it’s about all the cool shit you can bring with you into the woods to be an ultimate bouldering geek and (maybe?!?) improve your climbing.

Now understand, this isn’t trad climbing or some big wall ascent. There are no cams, nuts, slings, or haul bags full of who know what else. It’s not about safety, it’s about decreasing your chuffer status and using tactics to send boulders!

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