Longtucky Showdown 2020 Wrap-up

That’s a wrap! The 2020 Longtucky Showdown is over and we can’t stop reminiscing (and rewatching the Finals livestream video, available here). It was a unique and exciting new take on our annual bouldering competition, with each competitor climbing in one of five 90-minute windows to ensure social distancing. Masks didn’t seem to hold our competitors back one bit, as they floated all the hard moves we could throw at them. Women’s Open finalist Stephanie Celommi even paused in a kneebar during finals to fix her mask before climbing on!

Men's Open

Congratulations to Hank Gaylord for winning our Men’s Open category. Hank took ample time to brush the huge, pink slopers before cruising through our steep Men’s Open finals problem. Toe hooks, insane core tension, and pure accuracy when completing big moves earned Hank the flash. Hank won a $250 cash prize and a lifetime membership to the Longmont Climbing Collective. Derek New took second place, winning a $200 cash prize and a 5-punch pass. Everett Sloane took third place, winning a $100 cash prize and a 5-punch pass. Jack Martinus took fourth place, winning a pair of Butora climbing shoes and a 5-punch pass.

Women's Open

Congratulations to Emily Herdic for winning our Women’s Open category. Emily rolled through shouldery moves and wrestled massive purple slopers before locking into a right kneebar and controlling a slick, undercling finish. She and Kylie both flashed our Women’s Open finals problem, sending them into overtime to battle for a highpoint on the Men’s Open finals problem. After already crushing hard boulder problems for hours on end, Kylie and Emily fought on more huge slopers until Emily reached the roof section (about halfway through our Men’s problem), securing first place in her category. Emily won a $250 cash prize and a lifetime membership to the Longmont Climbing Collective. Kylie Szilagyi took second place, winning a $200 cash prize and a 5-punch pass. Stephanie Celommi took third place, winning a $100 cash prize and a 5-punch pass. Melissa Caid took fourth place, winning a pair of Butora climbing shoes and a 5-punch pass.

Youth Competition

Congratulations to Lukas Davis for winning our Male Youth category. After taking a large portion of his limited finals time to brush holds and strategize, Lukas floated through bubble wrap slopers, kicked into the volume (a dynamic move that he turned static), and took a moment to rest before making the huge jump move to the finish hold, flashing our Male Youth finals problem. Lukas won a 5-punch pass, an 8BPlus chalk bag, and 100G of 8BPlus chalk. Calvin Meymaris took second place, winning a 5-punch pass. Reed Garfein took third place, winning a 5-punch pass.

Congratulations to Klara Meymaris for winning our Female Youth category. Klara utilized an impressive mix of flexibility, creativity, and pure strength to take down the yellow balance testpiece. She avoided glossy footholds by setting her feet high and rocking over her hips, and then employed a muscle-y toe-hook/heel-hook combo to float right past the last few crimps, flashing our Female Youth finals problem. Klara won a 5-punch pass, an 8BPlus chalk bag, and 100G of 8BPlus chalk. Kestrel Pikiewicz took second place, winning a 5-punch pass. Ava Walsh took third place, winning a 5-punch pass.

Thank you to our sponsors!

Thank you to our headline sponsors Butora, 8BPlus, Maxim, Grossenbart, and The Roost for providing amazing prizes for our competitors, as well as refreshing beer and good eats (parents of competitors and adult finalists alike celebrated with hummus and cold pints once all the climbing was finished). Thank you to our amazing community for supporting the Longtucky Showdown and the Longmont Climbing Collective, even as we adjust the typical competition format and adapt to new realities. We can’t wait to do it all again and see who takes home the championship next year!

Men's Open Finalists
Women's Open Finalists
Youth Champions Klara Meymaris and Lukas Davis
Stephanie Celommi Fixing Mask
Emily Herdic Flashing Women's Final Problem
Hank Gaylord Flashing Men's Final Problem

Longtucky Showdown 2020

Live Results: UPDATED 3:43pm – 4 waves completed. Last Wave has been completed…we are adding them as we go, all top scores have been added, we are simply doing final check now,  finalists please make your way to the LCC!

Men’s Open – Finals begin at 5pm – Top 4 are Finalists – Complete!

  1. Hank Gaylord – 9400
  2. Everett Sloan – 9400
  3. Jack Martinus – 9400
  4. Derek New – 9400
  5. Sam Rothstein – 9000
  6. Tanner Baver – 9000
  7. Andrey Lototskiy – 8700
  8. Simon Hibbeler – 8700
  9. Chris Deuto – 8100
  10. Rick Gentry – 8100
  11. Danny Montalvo – 7000
  12. Zach Mattias – 6800
  13. Alexander Dornemann – 6600
  14. Douglas Sabe – 6600
  15. Jackson Cloud – 6400
  16. Levi Hernandez – 6300
  17. Greg James – 6100
  18. Matt King – 5900
  19. Ryan Kelley 5300
  20. Justin Discar – 5100
  21. Josh Garfein – 4400
  22. Joran Seigal – 4300
  23. Max McElhiney – 4300
  24. Ashwath Gundepally – 2800
  25. Madison Sharps – 2800
  26. Ryan Schmitz – 2600
  27. Thomas Milam – 2400
  28. Thor Horberg – 2300
  29. Karuna Abe – 2100
  30. Henry Benzing – 800

Women’s Open – Finals begin at 5pm – Top 4 are Finalists – Completed

  1. Stephanie Celomni – 7000
  2. Melissa Caid – 7000
  3. Kylie Szilagyi – 7000
  4. Emily Herdic – 6900
  5. Maya Rudd – 6300
  6. Grace Ryan – 6200
  7. Nicole Miswell – 4100
  8. Riley Crawford – 3400
  9. Alyssa Castaneda – 1400
  10. Alexandra Gladleova – 1000
  11. Holly Humphries – 800
  12. Alisha Humphries – 300

Female Youth – Finals begin at 4pm – Top 3 are finalists – COmpleted

  1. Klara Meymaris – 6800
  2. Kestrel Pikiewicz – 5200
  3. Ava Walsh – 4400
  4. Mackenzie Sargent – 4000
  5. Eliza Graybill – 2600
  6. Amelia Christy – 1400
  7. Lilly Fable – 700
  8. Macy Graybill – 300
  9. Kajsa Horgberg – 300

Male Youth – Finals begin at 4pm – Top 3 are finalists – Completed

  1. Lukas Davis – 6800
  2. Reed Garfein – 6100
  3. Calvin Meymaris – 6000
  4. Leif Sundem – 4800
  5. Evan Bates -4700 
  6. Ben Reinhold – 3800
  7. Milo Ruiz – 3800
  8. Quinn Kimmett – 3400
  9. Noah Thompson – 2600
  10. Camden Fligg – 2600
  11. Cayden Hajek – 1800
  12. Austin Holse – 1400
  13. Donovan Bosley – 1200
  14. Cole Walsh – 1100
  15. Milo Garfein – 900

 

On Saturday, November 14th take your shot at Longmont’s top climbing crown during Longmont Climbing Collective’s 3rd Annual Longtucky Showdown. Winners will earn prizes, a valuable LIFETIME MEMBERSHIP and join Daniel Woods and Isabelle Faus on the wall of fame!

There will be two divisions – Youth (ages 8-16) and Open (age 16+). Youth will compete for products and prizes and Open Division participants will compete for a $1,000 cash purse. In addition to these prizes, the top 4 Open Division male and female finalists will qualify for Paul Robinson’s “Battle of the Boards” in February 2021 to face the top pros in a fun bracket game of Pig, hosted by the LCC!

  • The competition will run from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm on Saturday, November 14th.
  • Each competitor must sign up below for a 90 minute slot to enter the LCC facility. Competitors may bring one guest/parent.
  • Finals will be:
    • Youth Division (ages 8-16) – 5:00 pm to 5:30 pm
    • Open Division (age 16+) – 5:30 pm to 6:00 pm
  • All competitors will receive a complementary dinner from one of Longmont’s favorite restaurants – The Roost.
  • Youth Division: $15
  • Open Division: $30 members / $40 non-members.
  • Sign up before November 10th and receive 10% off your registration fee.
  • Finals will be live streamed on Instagram starting at 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm
  • Happy Hour at the LCC, sponsored by GrossenBart Brewery and the TopOut Taproom, will be held from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm outside on our patio and upstairs in the Taproom!

If your looking for another challenge, check out our neighbor’s Saturday Ninja event – The Colorado Ninja league! Use the code “longtuckyninja” at checkout and get 20% off on registration for BOTH Events. You must register by Noon on Friday, November 13th, FOR BOTH EVENTS, or your discount will be removed.

Got questions? Please stop by the front desk, call us at 720-340-3640 or email us at [email protected]

How to Buy Your First Pair of Climbing Shoes

How to Buy Your First Pair of Climbing Shoes
By: Patrick Bodnar

Let’s face it. Buying a pair of climbing shoes is intimidating. There’s a wide range of prices, shapes, and styles (as well as some very strong-yet-conflicting opinions that friends will have about what you should get). Here are some tips so you can stop worrying and start climbing.

Set a Realistic Budget

It’s no myth; climbing shoes are expensive. You can expect to find a range of about $80 - $200 when shopping around (not including rad deals!). However, if you’re buying your first pair, you probably don’t need to spend any more than $100. The bells and whistles of $200 shoes are gonna be uncomfortable for starting out and ultimately an unnecessary expenditure (save that extra dough for some chalk or a harness!).

Make Sure They’re Tight

Climbing shoes should fit tight. Too much room and you’ll feel the toe fold when you step on it. Not enough room and you’ll be fighting blisters more than you’re actually climbing. Here’s a good rule of thumb: your toes should hit the end of the shoe, but they should not curl.

Look for Beginner-Friendly Styles

There are lots of very different-looking climbing shoes out there, but there are three key features that you should focus on when buying your first pair:

  1. Aggressiveness: Have you ever noticed that some climbing shoes are curved down like ballerina shoes? These are called aggressive climbing shoes. Avoid aggressive shoes! While they do a great job of molding your foot into a single stepping point for steep climbing, they’re extremely uncomfortable for beginners. Find something semi-flat (or with a subtle curve) that more naturally fits the shape of your foot.
  2. Stiffness: Some shoes are very stiff, while others easily fold between your hands when you squeeze them. Avoid stiff shoes! These are usually intended for wedging your feet in outdoor cracks. In any other setting, ultra stiff shoes will make your feet sore, and make it more difficult to mold around larger shapes in the gym. The choice between super soft and kind of soft is less important; try them both on and see what feels better on your feet!
  3. Laces and Velcro: The choice between lace-up and velcro strap climbing shoes is almost entirely personal preference, but there are a few arguments for each. Laces allow you to control the tightness of your shoe a little better and remove air pockets across the top of your foot. However, we recommend that beginners start with velcro because they’re easier to get in and out of. If you’re planning to boulder more than climb on a rope, especially, you’ll be able to quickly take a break and pop your shoes off between climbs.

Try Some Shoes On and Go with Your Gut!

Online shopping is easier and more convenient than ever before, but it creates one major hurdle for buying climbing shoes: you can’t try them on! Sizing varies between brands and you’re preparing to place the majority of your weight on the shoes that you choose, so take the time to visit us at the Longmont Climbing Collective. We've got a great selection of shoes in our retail store that you can try on in person.

Once you’ve tried some shoes on, go with your gut! Choose a shoe that feels comfortable on your foot, and don’t let a friend or macho man pro climber try to sell you on a fancy shoe that doesn’t feel right.

If you have any questions or want to try some shoes on, come by the Longmont Climbing Collective and talk to a member of our team! We’ll make sure you get a good, comfy pair of shoes so you can get to the fun part: climbing!

Mindful Breathing

Breathing Mindfully Can Change Your Life

We all do it, every moment of every day. Inhaling and exhaling, we are all pros right? You may not be as good a breather as you think you are. A relatively healthy person at maximum exercise intensity only uses 70 percent of their possible lung capacity. What about the other 30%? The good news is that with a few simple breathing exercises you can increase your maximum lung capacity as well as calm your nervous system and even increase focus.

It has been long believed in Eastern traditions that breathing is crucial for balancing the body-mind connection and promoting overall well being. The control of the breath has been shown to increase the ability to focus, calm the nervous system and bring about an attitude of mindfulness. Western studies on breathing techniques were developed independently from any religious or spiritual belief or purpose, and are mainly used for therapeutic purposes such as biofeedback and progressive relaxation. These breathing techniques are based on slowing down your breath frequency. This style of ‘Paced” breathing has been associated with relaxation and well-being while fast breathing has been often mutually linked to anxiety and stress (Homma and Masaoka, 2008).

So everyone agrees, mindful breathing increases relaxation, health and wellbeing; so now what. Well, it’s time to designate some time and space for mindful breathing practices. One place where you can experience your breath fully is in a yoga practice. Yoga skillfully integrates your breath with your movement. This practice gives us a sense of what mindful breathing in our day to day life might be like. Our bodies are moving, we are paying attention to our teacher who is guiding us all the while our breath keeps a slow and guiding rhythm. If that all feels like a tap your head, pat your belly situation; try just focusing on your breathing first to lay a foundation of understanding and awareness. Try these two mindful breathing practices accompanied by video guides to begin your journey towards discovering the calming, centering and healing effects of your breath.

Belly Breathing or Diaphragmatic Breathing

Of the muscles used for normal breathing, the diaphragm is one of the most important. Often, people use accessory muscles in their neck, shoulders and back to breathe more than they use their diaphragm. Belly breathing or diaphragmatic breathing helps you to retrain the diaphragm to work better, so you can breathe more efficiently. Here’s how to perform belly breathing:

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent or resting on a pillow.
  • Place one hand on your upper chest and the other hand on your belly.
  • Inhale slowly through your nose.
  • As you inhale, focus on feeling the hand on your belly rise and the hand on your chest remaining as still as possible.
  • Exhale slowly through your nose. As you exhale, focus on feeling the hand on your belly go down first. If you are unable to exhale through your nose, purse your lips and exhale through your mouth slowly.
  • Repeat this same sequence sitting and incorporate the awareness of this breath multiple times throughout the day.
  • Watch this video tutorial of Diaphragmatic Breath.

Balanced Breath (Equal inhale and Exhale)

Once you have begun the retraining of your diaphragm with belly breathing, you can add the exercise of balancing your breath. The process of increasing your breath capacity can be challenging at first, so begin slowly and only increase the count of your breath as you feel comfortable.

  • Comfortable seated or standing position. Ensure that your spine is extended to support the fullness of your breath.
  • Repeat the process of the belly breath
  • Begin counting the duration of your inhales and exhales, noting the difference
  • Next, bring a balance to the duration of your inhales and exhales starting with a comfortable count for each.
  • Gradually and with practice you can begin to expand the length of your breaths while keeping them in balance and staying relaxed and comfortable.
  • Log into our Yoga Video Library to watch breath practice videos.

Now is the time to begin a mindful breathing practice. There is no better time to give your immune and respiratory system the most resiliency possible. Join us for one of our weekly classes or tune into the yoga video library for breathing tutorials.

Shoutout Colorado – Shauna

Have you ever heard of Shoutout Colorado? It's an online magazine that asks questions about life, work, love, parenting, finances, and more. They believe, as we do, that meaningful conversations are at the heart of community building. They also think every voice matters and that these conversations shouldn’t be led by billionaires, media elites, or celebrities. So when Shoutout Colorado wanted to feature Shauna we were happy and proud. The full article is here, but we thought you'd enjoy hearing Shauna's answer to this question -

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.

Longmont Climbing Collective – of course!
Cheese Importers
Pump House Restaurant
Longs Peak Pub
The Roost
La Vita Bella – Coffee Shop and More
Quarters for retro video games + beer
Grossenbart – favorite Micro Brewery
Wibby’s – Has a pool and outdoor music venue in the summer

Meet Shauna Hylenski | LCC Founder, Program Director & Yoga Teacher

Indoor to Outdoor Climbing

By: Mack Maier

Climbing gyms are tough to beat: the camaraderie, the fun way to get your fitness goals, and the never-ending challenge that no doubt makes you a better person. But what if you feel like you are ready to take all your knowledge from the gym and take it outside to the boulder field?

Sending that red V8 in the gym feels great… but will it feel that good outside, in the sun with the wind blowing at your back; especially when the holds do not conveniently resemble the colors of the rainbow? I think so. I love climbing at the gym, it allows you to climb in all weather conditions, stay super fit, have fun with friends (and meet new ones) and best of all, get in a bunch of climbing in a short time, but sometimes you just gotta get outside, ya know?!

Alright, so you are ready to go, you’ve got your climbing shoes, chalk, and maybe if you are super hardcore, some finger tape. So, what next? Bouldering differs from rope climbing in that it’s already a very ‘minimalist’ style of climbing. One that requires little more than climbing shoes and some gumption. There are however a few things to consider if you want to stay safe and make the most of your time outside:

For starters, you are going to need a crash pad. In the climbing gym, the floors are the pads, but outside you’ve got rocks and dirt and they don’t feel that nice when you land on them from nine feet off the deck. So yes, you’re definitely going to need a crash pad. These can be pricey, so it might be best to meet up with some friends that are going bouldering or try to rent a pad from your local climbing gym, which is a great way to test out the waters and make sure you like climbing outside before you lay down your hard earned cash for a pad.

After you obtain your crash pad (the more the merrier), you are going to need a guidebook. Many gyms carry guidebooks, but you can also find them online. A great free alternative, is www.mountainproject.com, you can download all the routes for a given area or even for a given state, straight to your phone to be used offline, if you are way back in the woods. Make sure to pay special attention to what climbing areas are open and to always ensure that if climbing is on private property, that you are welcome.

Once you’ve found the perfect cleaning location; you have your pad and your guidebook and now you are ready to get after it. There are a couple things to keep in mind on your first outdoor climbing day that will ensure you have a safe, fun, outing:

  • Remember, in most cases, grades in climbing gyms are slightly, to significantly easier than outdoor grades. If you feel comfortable on that V4 at the gym, it would be best to start with a V0 or V1 and work your way up. Getting yourself up high on a boulder right off the bat can really put a hamper on the day.
    • Warming up is harder outside! In a gym setting, it’s very easy to get in a significant amount of movement in a very short time. But outside this is tough to do, boulders are often spread far apart and you simply can’t get as much movement in. To avoid getting hurt either bring a training board solution or get created by hanging from a tree climbing around on any easy boulders you can find or even doing jumping jacks and push-ups as an alternative.
  • Climbing gyms are very controlled environments. For the most part when you fall you can rest assured that the only danger is falling on another person. Outside however the landing zones can often be compromised, or even downright scary. Make sure that you’re landing zone is free of branches and rocks or other dangerous items (even a friends pair of shoes or a chalkbag can lead to a nasty sprained ankle). It’s also imperative to use pads correctly. Try not to overlap pads, this can cause instability and lead to injuries.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and in particular where you are. It’s also a good idea if you were going somewhere remote to tell someone else about your intentions. In the climbing gym if you get hurt an ambulance is a simple phone call away. However, outside you could be miles from the nearest road up a steep trail, and walking out on a broken ankle is not the way you want to spend your afternoon.
  • Have good ethics. Bouldering is an ever increasing sport, and the chances of running into other climbers outside is very good. It is common courtesy to ask other climbers outdoors if you can use their pads rather than just assuming that you can. Climbers are some of the nicest, most generous people in all of sport, but it’s still good practice to be friendly and not assume you can use other’s equipment.
  • If you tick marks with chalk, erase them. Your goal should be to leave the climbing area just like you found it, or better. No one likes coming to a boulder only to find that it already has chalk marks all over it. Chalk marks are great and can be helpful, just rub them off when you are done.

Near Longmont, some great beginner level boulders can be found at Flagstaff in Boulder, at Carter Lake near Berthoud, and in Rocky Mountain National Park at both Emerald Lake and in Lower Chaos Canyon. These last two options require more of a hike, but still offer great quality stone at lower grades.

If you’ve done all of the above, you are ready for a great time. Just remember, climbing is about the experience and the personal challenge, just as in the gym, climbing outside is not about achieving the highest grade or beating your friends. It’s a pursuit of movement in its purest form, and outside it’s a connection with nature. As the old saying goes, the best climber is the one having the most fun! So get out there, be respectful and experience all that climbing has to offer… and when you get tired of the sunburn and mosquitos, come back to the air conditioned, perfectly padded gym 🙂

Birthday Party Ideas During COVID

How to Celebrate your Child’s Birthday in the time of COVID-19

by: Shauna Hylenski

These last few months it feels as if all of our favorite things have been cancelled.  Graduations, Proms—heck, even 4th of July was cancelled.  Birthdays continue on whether the world is in chaos or not.  For our kids, this tradition is one that we should not put off until we get a vaccine.

So, how do we celebrate?  How do we mark this important milestone in a way that is relatively safe, yet fun and carefree?  Here are a few ideas of how to make your child’s birthday memorable, in a good way.

We have ranked the birthday themes below from 1-3 in the COVID friendly scale.

♦= If you haven’t left your house in 6 months this one isn’t for you

♦♦= Middle of the road

♦♦♦= Best choice for those who need to be cautious

Outdoor Enthusiast

Party in the Park: ♦♦ Open air and lots of space for social distancing.  City parks have always been a great option for birthday parties and now more than ever.  You can use the city parks without a reservation, but it would be advised to reserve the shelter just in case.  Some of our favorite parks in Longmont: Thompson Park, Roosevelt Park and Roger’s Grove.

Backyard camping: ♦♦♦ Pitch a tent in the living room or in the backyard. If you’re indoors, light a few candles and tell stories with flashlights while eating microwaved s’more’s. If the weather is nice and you are outside, build a fire and roast marshmallows. Reminisce about favorite birthday memories and talk about future memories you want to make together as a family.

Budding Artists

Painting Pottery: ♦♦ This can be a wonderful way for a small group of friends to let their creativity flow.  Our favorite place in Longmont is Crackpots.  You can rent one of their party rooms for a larger group or walk-ins are welcome too.  Each person can paint something for the birthday girl or boy as well as something for themselves.

Chalk the Driveway: ♦♦♦ This is a super easy way for neighborhood friends to write birthday wishes and messages all over your driveway and sidewalk with sidewalk chalk. This is a great way for friends and family to share their messages and express their creativity .

Athlete Super Star

Climbing and Ninja Warrior: ♦♦ This is the perfect birthday party for your “little monkey” who can’t get enough climbing and ninja.  Small groups of friends and family can climb and traverse the obstacles together all while wearing masks and taking precautions.  Longmont Climbing Collective and Warrior Playground offer parties where your kids can live out their climbing ninja dreams and rent one of their private party rooms for your group.

Trampoline Park: ♦ Let’s get this party Jumpin' Jumpin'.  A great spot to burn some serious energy and have a ton of fun on the obstacle courses, dodge ball room and basketball hoops.  Keep in mind that masks are not required in all facilities while jumping.

Home Body

Host a Laser Tag Party at Home: ♦♦♦ That’s right: you can rent your own laser tag gear and turn your home into an adventure laser tag course.  Our favorite is the Commando Laser Tag.  This awesome company not only delivers the gear but also helps you set up the course.  Perfect for a birthday party where a little more yard space is available.

Host a Birthday Drive By Parade: ♦♦♦ Ask friends and family to drive by your home waving, honking, blowing bubbles. They can even toss birthday gifts onto the lawn. Coordinate a time with friends and family locally to parade by and celebrate from a safe distance.

Decorations All Over the House: ♦♦♦ Make huge poster board signs (or use cardboard boxes), banners, streamers, balloons, whatever you have on hand that’s festive. Leave everything up for a couple of days to keep the party going.

No matter which birthday theme you choose or whether you are at a climbing gym or a tent in your living room; what is most important is the time.  Spending time with those you love and ensuring they feel special and celebrated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lifting Weights for Better Climbing

Climbers often ask me if lifting weights will make them better at climbing. The answer is no. As Steve Bechtel reminds us, “Climbing is a skill sport,” and the only way to improve a skill is to practice the skill. Sure, you’ll eventually need to employ climbing-specific training methods, but even those will still look a lot like climbing (hangboards, systems boards, and the like).

So it’s simple: climbers should only climb to get better at climbing, and avoid the weight room at all costs, unless they want to get bulky and slow. Right?

Not quite.

Here’s the thing. If you do one thing (rock climbing) over and over, you will eventually earn muscle imbalances and injuries. You think you’re the exception to the rule. In that case, please email me in a decade so that I can know what it’s like to receive an email from one of the genetic elites. Simply put, training with weights is the quickest, safest way to incrementally increase your total-body strength and guard against imbalances.

That said, you are a rock climber, and rock climbing is a skill sport. So you don’t want to waste any time in the weight room. You need the minimum effective dose of weight training, and you should spend the rest of your time practicing climbing.

As it turns out, you are in luck. It doesn’t take hours upon hours in the gym to gain strength. You don’t need to think about Leg Day, Back & Biceps, or Chest & Triceps. These are leftovers from the bodybuilding era that your high school coaches most likely lived through. And I’m not hating on bodybuilding, here. I’m a Schwarzenegger and Stallone fan from way back. I’m just saying that the bodybuilding methodology is not the best fit for rock climbers (among other athletes).

It’s time that climbers learned that there is more to lifting weight than getting big. You can build strength without size. You can build a balanced physique that can endure the rigors of hard climbing. Here’s how.

3 Rules

  1. Use compound movements. This means that more than one joint moves when you’re doing the exercise.
  2. Keep the reps at 5 or less. Any more than this and you will likely build non-functional muscle mass. If you’ve ever been told that “low reps + heavy weight build mass,” then please know that whoever told you that was wrong.
  3. Never go to failure. Always leave a rep or two in the tank. For many of you, this will be the hardest rule to follow, but try to be mature in the weight room. Remember, Hemingway always stopped writing for the day when he knew what would happen next. Take the same approach. Leave some ink in the well.

Below is an example of how a climber might set up a strength training program. All of the fundamental movement patterns are covered. The sessions will take less than an hour each. It’s going to take a few months, but you will get strong. If you don’t believe me, try it out and let me know what happens. Come to one of my fitness classes and we can talk more.

Starting Weights
Goblet Squat / Halo Press Weighted Pull-up Deadlift
12-20kg Kettlebell 6 Rep Max 6 Rep Max 6 Rep Max

 

Warmup
Goblet Squat x 5 x 3
Halo x 5 Left / 5 Right

 

The Program
Week Press Weighted Pull-up Deadlift
1 5 x 3 5 x 3 10 x 1
2 5 x 4 5 x 4 5 x 2
3 5 x 5 5 x 5 3 x 3
4 Add 5 pounds and start over Add 5 pounds and start over Add 10 pounds and start over
  • Do this two days per week, always with at least one rest day in between. Day 2 each week will be exactly the same as Day 1. Enjoy it.
  • If you climb outside on the weekends, then Tuesday/Thursday would be the ideal days for these sessions.
  • If you’re climbing in the gym on the same day as lifting, always climb first.
  • Once the weight starts to get feel like it’s near max, decrease the weight by 15% and start a new cycle.
  • If you stall at the same weight more than once, switch to a different program.

This program is dead simple. It’s absolutely effective. And it will leave you plenty of time for climbing. If you enjoyed this, you may also be interested in my article on progressive overload training.

If you’re unsure of how to execute any of these lifts or if anything above is unclear, please ask for Taylor at the front desk. I’ll probably be around.

Taylor


Influences

Power To The People. Pavel Tsatsouline, 1999.

Logical Progression. Steve Bechtel, 2017.

Easy Strength. Dan John & Pavel Tsatsouline, 2011.

Intervention. Dan John, 2013.

Rent part of LCC for your “COVID bubble”

We want our facility to be a resource for groups and families in Longmont. The facility is normally available for events, but during COVID we’re not able to host large groups for obvious reasons. But we can help family and friends climb together in a space all their own. So we’re offering two hour sessions where you can climb, unwind and have fun within your COVID-bubble.

YOUR RENTAL SESSION INCLUDES:
Access to our auto-belay climbing area for a family or group (up to 4 people)
Climbing shoes for everyone
Climbing harness for auto-belays
Use of one of our private party rooms
Access to the ninja course (weekends only)

FEES:
Climbing (weekdays and weekends) – $65.  Plus $10 per person up to a maximum of 8.
Climbing + Ninja (weekends only) – $85.  Plus $12 per person up to a maximum of 8.

Optional add-ons:
$50 for 2 hours of climbing coaching coaching / $65 for climbing and ninja coaching (weekends only)
Access to our full facility for climbing, training and fitness $25 for a group of 4

Call 720-340-3640 or email [email protected] to schedule your private climbing session.

Your First Pull-up: Simple, Not Easy

Your First Pull-up: Simple, Not Easy

I love pull-ups. All types of pull-ups. The pull-up is a wonderful drill to improve the strength of your vertical pulling pattern (back & biceps for those who still speak the lingo of Frankenstein training), but having the strength to do pull-ups is also indicative of a favorable strength-to-bodyweight
ratio in the athlete. But what if you can’t do a pull-up yet? Should you do crappy half-reps in the hopes that you’ll one day magically hit a full rep? Nope. You should use progressive overload. Here’s how:

Fundamental Concepts

  • Never train to failure. All of your reps should look as good as the reps I’m doing in the videos. This is both for safety and to make sure that you effectively training the neurological “groove” of the movement. You DO NOT need to train to failure to get stronger.
  • Train 2-3 times per week, with 1 rest day in between. You can add these drills into whatever day you’re working upper body pulling in your training plan. You do have a training plan, right?
  • Don’t forget to do pushing exercises as well (we’ll cover this in the future)—don’t just train one side of the body!

TRX Row (Bent Knee)

This is where we start everyone for bodyweight pulling exercises. The angle is different than the pullup, but you’ll be able to work your pulling muscles with enough volume (reps) to make progress.

  • Start with 3 sets of 5-10 reps.
  • Add a 4th set the next training session.
  • Add a 5th set the training session after that.
  • Then go back to 3 sets, and see if you can do more quality reps than before (spoiler: you probably will).
  • Carry on with this cycle—3 sets, 4 sets, 5 sets—until you can reliably do 5 x 10. Then repeat the same process with your legs.

Watch Video: TRX Row - Bent Knee

TRX Row (Feet Elevated)

Same story, just elevate your feet on a plyo box (not a bench — they’re expensive).

  • Start with 3 sets of 5-10 reps.
  • Add a 4th set the next training session.
  • Add a 5th set the training session after that.
  • Then go back to 3 sets, and see if you can do more quality reps than before.
  • Carry on with this cycle—3 sets, 4 sets, 5 sets — until you can reliably do 5 x 10. Then progress to the next level.

Watch Video: TRX Row - Feet Elevated

Negative Chin-up

Time to hit up the bar! Do not skip to this step until you’ve completed the requirements for the previous level. At this point you should start alternating sessions of Negative Chin-ups with sessions of TRX Rows. Don’t stop doing the rows!

  • Make sure to use a chin-up grip (palms facing you)—it’s easier on the elbows.
  • Start with 3 sets of 1-5 reps.
  • Add a 4th set the next training session.
  • Add a 5th set the training session after that.
  • Then go back to 3 sets, and see if you can do more quality reps than before.
  • Carry on with this cycle—3 sets, 4 sets, 5 sets —until you can reliably do 5 x 5. Then progress to the next level.

Watch Video: Negative Chinup

Negative Partial Chin-up

Same as negative chinup, but once you’ve lowered a little, pull yourself back up. The distance you’ll be able to lower before pulling back up will be different for everyone; find yours. Keep alternating sessions of Negative Chin-ups with sessions of TRX Rows.

  • DO NOT let your shoulders come out of the socket at the bottom of the rep.
  • Start with 3 sets of 1-5 reps.
  • Add a 4th set the next training session.
  • Add a 5th set the training session after that.
  • Then go back to 3 sets, and see if you can do more quality reps than before.
  • Carry on with this cycle—3 sets, 4 sets, 5 sets—until you can reliably do 5 x 5. Then progress to the next level.

Watch Video: Negative Partial Chinup

Negative Partial Chin-up (Extended Range of Motion)

Same as the previous drill. Increase the range of motion a little at a time. Keep the reps clean.

  • Start with 3 sets of 1-5 reps.
  • Add a 4th set the next training session.
  • Add a 5th set the training session after that.
  • Then go back to 3 sets, and see if you can do more quality reps than before.
  • Carry on with this cycle—3 sets, 4 sets, 5 sets—until you can reliably do 5 x 5. Then progress to the next level.

Watch Video: Negative Partial Chinup Extended ROM

Chin-up (palms facing you) or Pull-up (palms facing away from you)

  • Finally! Once you get your first pull-up, it’s time to start “greasing the groove.”
  • Do 1 pull-up in between every set of every exercise you do. Just 1!
  • If you have a pull-up bar at home, do 1 pull-up every time you walk by.
  • When 1 feels pretty easy, try doing 2.
  • Repeat until you can do 5 reps.

Watch Video: Pullup

Assistance Exercises

Do these at the end of the session to practice the proper body position and core strength necessary to do a proper pull-up.

Hollow Hold: this is the same body position held during the pull-up. Build up to 30 second holds. Keep your shoulder blades off the ground and drive your low.

Watch Video: Hollow Hold

 

Hollow Hang: same as hollow rock, but hanging from a bar. Build up to 30 second holds. Keep your shoulders DOWN.

Watch Video: Hollow Hang

 

The above progression might take awhile to get through. It might be boring—that’s fine. Training is not here for your entertainment. It’s here to make you stronger. If you want entertainment, check out The Mandalorian (after your training session). Update me on your progress in the comments! Email [email protected] with any questions (really, I like to talk about this stuff).