Project Description

Date: October 19th, 2016

trainingbeta podcast


About Dan Mirsky

Dan Mirsky is an understated crusher. I’ve been watching him gracefully take down rock climbs all over the country for the last 10 years. In 2013, we witnessed his fitness (literally) in The Red when we were next door neighbors at Lago Linda’s. And then a few months later he was kind enough to show us around The Cathedral/Wailing Wall, giving Seth and me encyclopedic beta on the entire crag from the ground. He chucked a couple laps on Golden (14b) that day right after sending Route of All Evil (14a) in the Virgin River Gorge that morning.

Mirsky is PSYCHED to climb and psyched to see others succeed. He’s a bright-eyed, happy, almost boyish guy with a sneaky sense of humor and a willingness to get a little crazy with friends. He knows everything about the places he climbs because he’s obsessed with all things climbing. He’s sent 30+ 5.14’s up to 5.14c, having taken down The Crew (14c), 50 Words for Pump (14b), Bad Girls Club (14c), Lungfish (14b), and lots of other hard stuff, including an FA of Solid Gold (14c), the direct line to Golden (read his “The Day I Sent Solid Gold” from

Dan Mirsky Interview Details

Last year, Dan did the Black Diamond Bootcamp with Joe Kinder and Sam Elias, and he experienced some serious gains on actual rock because of it. Because of that success and his newfound psych for training in a structured way, he took a job as a trainer in Salt Lake City at The Training Room at The Front.

In this second interview with Dan Mirsky we talk about his BD Bootcamp success and the novel concept that is The Training Room.

  • How the BD Bootcamp changed him
  • Sending spree followed by plateau
  • Started training other people
  • The Training Room – what is it?
  • Cardio now?
  • Diet is super important to him
  • Current projects and city life

Dan Mirsky Links

My First Interview with Dan Mirsky

I interviewed Dan a while back before the bootcamp, and you can find out more about this episode here.

Training Programs for You

Please Review The Podcast on iTunes!

  • Link to the TrainingBeta Podcast on iTunes is HERE.
  • Please give the podcast an honest review on iTunes here to help the show reach more curious climbers around the world 😉

Photo Credit

Screenshot from Jon Glassberg at


Neely Quinn: Welcome to the Training Beta Podcast, where I talk with climbers and trainers about how we can all get a little better at our favorite sport. I’m your host, Neely Quinn, and today we are on Episode 64.

Today I’m talking with Dan Mirsky for the second time on the podcast. I’m keeping up with this trend of talking to the athletes who’ve gone through the Black Diamond bootcamps. I talked with Sam Elias, I talked with Joe Kinder, I talked with Colette McInerney, and Dan Mirsky also did the bootcamp. I know it was last year, but I wanted to see how that bootcamp changed him and also what it did for his career, which is pretty exciting because since then he’s gotten super psyched on training and actually has become a trainer himself officially. He was seeing clients a little bit through us online, but now he’s doing it in person and online at the Front gym in Salt Lake City and what’s called the Training Room. This is the other reason I wanted to interview him, because the training room is basically a space at The Front that is dedicated to their personal clients, their personal training clients. It’s private, it has all of the training equipment that they would need, and they train their people there privately. I think that if gyms have this space, this seems like a really amazing idea. We talk about that and just what he’s been up to, what his projects are, things like that.

Dan’s a friend, it was really nice to talk to him and catch up on what he’s been doing so I hope you enjoy this interview and get something out of it. I’m just gonna jump right in, here’s Dan Mirsky. Enjoy.

Alright, welcome back to the show Dan, thanks for being with me today.

Dan Mirsky: Thanks for having me Neely, it’s great to be back on the podcast.

Neely Quinn: There’s a lot to talk about, one of the things I want tot all to you about is your success with the BD bootcamp, and then you have some really exciting news about how that changed your career path sort of, and so why don’t we start with- actually for anybody who doesn’t know who are, I just assumed everyone does- why don’t you tell us a little bit about who you are.

Dan Mirsky: That’s fair, I don’t think everyone knows who I am

[laughs]. My name is Dan Mirsky, I am a 34 year old rock climber and now also rock climbing coach/trainer. I’m currently living in Salt Lake City, and that’s where I’m talking to you guys from now. As a climber I’m mostly a sport climber, and in the last couple years, kind of starting with the BD bootcamp, which I am an alum of the original bootcamp, I have definitely started spending a lot more of my time focusing on training for climbing and training other people for climbing.

Neely Quinn: Cool. That’s a nutshell. So let’s go back. The bootcamp was the spring of 2015? Or was it 14?

Dan Mirsky: Summer of 2015- June, July and August.

Neely Quinn: God, it seems like so long ago. So it’s been about a year and three months. Tell me what happened after the bootcamp and what you got out of it.

Dan Mirsky: Bootcamp was a really cool, new and different experience for me. I had never really committed to full time training for rock climbing. Kind of working backwards a little bit further, going into it, I was actually a little bit injured and not in tip top shape. But through the bootcamp I was actually kind of rehabilitating a finger injury, and developed a lot of new and different strengths that I had never had before through doing different weight training stuff and came out of it as a much, I think, different and stronger and more powerful rock climber. That was a really, really, kind of eye opening experience for me.

Neely Quinn: So how did that come about, what kinds of things were you doing differently than you had before?

Dan Mirsky: Really, before my approach to training for climbing was about climbing and doing things that I thought were extremely climbing specific that would help me rock climb, like hangboarding, or campusing, or if I was sport climbing maybe I would go to the gym and do some bouldering to help with my power. But it was all about pulling and finger strength and doing things that were just climbing or climbing specific. And then in bootcamp, we spent almost as much time working in a weight room as we did climbing on a climbing wall. So that was a really big kind of paradigm shift for me.

Neely Quinn: What do think changed about your body and your climbing after that?

Dan Mirsky: I think that one of the big things I kind of learned in boot camp and developed in that whole process was a way of using weightlifting and other non climbing specific activities to develop strength that I otherwise wouldn’t just through climbing. So whether that’s same muscle groups that I would use in climbing, but developing strength in a different direction to create a more functional balanced muscle, or developing other muscles that don’t get utilized at all while you’re climbing, but then recognizing how I could use them while I’m climbing.

Neely Quinn: Okay.

Dan Mirsky: As well, I think a big part of it was just learning how to try really hard in a non climbing sport specific way. Just trying hard in the weight room, where you weren’t going to fall off of the boulder problem. There’s no fail aspect to it, you just try as hard as you can, and learning what real trying hard kind of looks like.

Neely Quinn: So you don’t think that you tried super hard before that?

Dan Mirsky: No, no, I do think I have tried really hard before that. But I think that there’s a skill component to rock climbing, so you try and maybe a move is really hard, and you want to try as hard as you can, but you maybe just don’t do the move right and you fall off. Or the move involves a combination of technique and power, and in a weight room you can just take away everything else besides just eliciting a power response or strength response, and I think it can be a more effective place to develop this idea of what real trying hard looks like. And then you can take that back and apply it to climbing and feel like “Whoa, I really know how to dig down deep and try hard”. And maybe more I mean in a singular effort, than in the course of a hundred foot rock climb.

Neely Quinn: Right.

Dan Mirsky: I think I was pretty good at that before. And maybe you know, for me, I’m someone who’s more naturally an enduring athlete than a powerful one, so learning how to becoming more powerful was a really cool thing for me.

Neely Quinn: Right, so I’m assuming you guys were deadlifting in there?

Dan Mirsky: We didn’t do a ton of deadlifting, it’s something I pursued subsequently to the boot camp. We actually did more circuiting interval kind of work in the gym. A little bit more higher intensity stuff. But it was basically Kris asking us for a high level of output over and over and over again, to the point where we thought we were done and had given everything I had to give, and I then was told I was only half way through what I needed to do.


And so it’s like “Oh well okay, I guess I have to try even harder now”. And then you realize oh, when my mind was telling me “I’m toast, I’m done”, my body was capable still of continuing to push harder.

Neely Quinn: Yeah, because when you were saying trying hard I was imaging one rep max on deadlifts or something, in one single push. But it’s totally different that doing circuits and trying super hard throughout the circuit.

Dan Mirsky: Totally, and I think there was a combination of both. We were doing really heavy weighted pull ups, and that was a one rep max kind of thing. And also doing that in climbing specific ways, like on the hangboard. Just ten second max effort on an edge. It was a combination of both of those things that opened, I think my eyes, to my capacity more.

Neely Quinn: And you guys were training three days a week, was it?

Dan Mirsky: Yeah, initially we were really only training three days a week, but you know, when we were going to the gym it was like a 9-5 job kind of thing. Maybe the hours were slightly different than that, but we were training 6-8 hours at the gym. So a rest day was pretty important after each session. And then we were kind of leaving the weekends open to do a little bit of climbing, and at first, for me honestly, it was not even possible. I was just smoked when we weren’t in the gym. As we got through the second and third cycle, there was mix of three days a week or four days a week. I think we all kind of got a little more accustomed and attuned to being able to deal with the volume, and so we were having some weeks where we had pretty productive four day training weeks.

Neely Quinn: Yeah, that’s intense.

Dan Mirsky: Yeah, intense but still, I mean, a lot of people climb or train five days a week and the  number of days we were doing was definitely what I would still think of as on the light side of what I had been doing as far as my climbing life before that.

Neely Quinn: Yeah, except that most people go in and train for two or three hours, and you guys were there for double that. So it was kind of like…six.

Dan Mirsky: Yeah double that or triple that. Exactly.

Neely Quinn: So it’s a little different. What did you take away from it, what did you go out and do after those sessions were over?

Dan Mirsky: I basically drove- like the last day I trained, I think I got in my truck after having one more session with Justin where we probably did as much mental training as we did climbing training, and then I just drove straight to Rifle. I had a couple days there to climb, and then I actually had built in a week long break, so that I could give my body a chance to recover and just regroup from the training. But I went straight to Rifle and even though I was tired from the training, I could just tell how much stronger I was. I was able to do a new route there called Homunculus, which went really quickly for me and was a really good confidence boost, because we hadn’t even been climbing on a rope that much all summer. And I did a hard, awesome, challenging route in just a handful of tries, that required not only strength and power, but endurance too. So it kind of really encouraged “Alright, I’m gonna take a rest, let the body regroup”, and then I had some projects that I really wanted to get after.

After a week long rest I came back and I got straight back to work on The Crew, which was a route that I had tried the year before and thought I could do, was close to doing, but felt pretty darn close to what my max was at that point. I needed all the stars to align, the wind had to blow in the right direction, the five degrees temperature window that was perfect for me had to be there. Then I started climbing on it again, and within a couple of weeks I just did it. It kind of just sort of came together really quickly, and you know it wasn’t easy, but it didn’t feel as close to what my maximum effort was.

Neely Quinn: That’s awesome.

Dan Mirsky: That was kind of, like, the big win for me after boot camp. That was a really awesome one.

Neely Quinn: A couple of weeks of effort for The Crew is not a lot though.

Dan Mirsky: I had been there before, but yeah I was a psyched. I was really psyched.

Neely Quinn: And then what? Where did you go after that?

Dan Mirsky: Then I was really motivated to get to Salt Lake City because I had half moved there before bootcamp started, then I was gone most of the summer and I wanted to get there and start sort of being a part of that community and climbing there. So I moved on to Salt Lake, and I continued just trying to get after hard routes, and I went back to this area called The Poptire Cave, which is a smaller climbing area out west of Salt Lake City, a really rad place out on the Salt Flats. It’s kind of a smaller limestone cave that has a handful of really, really cool rock climbs and I had a project in mind there, another route I had tried in the past and didn’t really make much headway on at all despite a couple weeks of effort on it, so I was psyched to go back and see how that would feel. That one’s called Apex Predator. I spent a couple weeks trying that, and I got really, really close pretty quickly again. I was just so psyched on the progress I was making on it, and sadly schedule stuff, weather stuff, prohibited me from finishing that one off which was a bummer. But I definitely could tell that the strength improvements and just my confidence as a climber was really high at that point, so I climbed really well on it which I was psyched about.

Neely Quinn: Nice.

Dan Mirsky: Yeah.

Neely Quinn: And then since then have you mostly been in Salt Lake?

Dan Mirsky: The schedule stuff that I was talking about, I had a trip to the Red scheduled, and so I left and flew to the Red in November. I spent a couple weeks there, and at that point I actually kind of had the experience of maybe feeling like that peak, top end performance that I had achieved through the bootcamp, I was maybe on the other side of that bell curve a little bit. All of that was a new experience for me, I was kind of like “Oh, I’ve trained, I’m strong, now I’m going to be this strong forever, I’m just going to crush everything all the time”, and then I kind of found myself in Kentucky and I was like man, I’m kind of tired, I’ve been training for three months and climbing for two straight months non-stop, I took a week off, that was it. I mean, we took breaks in between our cycles, but it just felt like I had been continuing and pushing for a long time, and so I didn’t actually have that successful of a trip in the Red, but that was an important lesson too, because you can’t just go ballistic all the time, or at least I can’t at my ripe old age.

Neely Quinn: So then what did you do?

Dan Mirsky: I was in Kentucky with some good friends and I just had a good time and climbed, and I climbed some new routes at not my total top end maximum, but some amazing rock climbs nonetheless. I always wanted to do this thing Nagypapa, I think that’s how you pronounce it?

Neely Quinn: I have no idea how you pronounce it.

Dan Mirsky: Yeah me either.  Noogy-papy-ya? Something something? And I had never gone to climb that thing and I did that, and I did this thing called Take That, Katie Brown, and that took me more tries that most of the routes at the Madness Cave.


And I don’t think that was from being tired, I just think it’s a really hard rock climb. But yeah, I just sort of enjoyed fall in Kentucky a little bit, and recognized that it wasn’t the right time for me to push as hard as I can. From there the next thing on the docket, we had a Black Diamond trip to Spain, so I didn’t really have the time to just take a break and go home, I kind of had to dial it back while I was climbing in the Red. As a Black Diamond team we went to Siurana, and we did some work projects there where we helped build some bathrooms at the crag, which was really sorely needed there. We did some trail work, and really tried to connect with the community in Siurana and help in ways we could to make that a more useable crag for the large numbers of people that are traveling there at this point. And as well, we got to do some climbing and enjoy Spain.

Somewhere in there I started to feel like, yeah okay you know I’m not totally tuned up form training, but I’m feeling kind of better and fresh again. I had a cool opportunity to go to Oliana at the end of that trip, and I spent a couple of weeks there climbing with Joe, which was awesome. We became really close through the bootcamp thing and it was great for us to team up and do some climbing together, and his girlfriend Lindsey was there, and Sam Elias was also there, and Jonathan Siegrist was also there, so we kind of had this American posse in Oliana for a couple of weeks, which was a really fun time. I had never been there before, and I started feeling like I was climbing a little bit better again and I had just about two weeks to climb there, and was able to do Mind Control, which was definitely an all time hit list route. That wound up the season of climbing life after bootcamp.

Neely Quinn: Nice.

Dan Mirsky: For me it was a big success for sure.

Neely Quinn: Good.

Dan Mirsky: Yeah.

Neely Quinn: So Mind Control, is that a c? A 14c or d?

Dan Mirsky: I’m gonna say that for me it was 8c or 14b.

Neely Quinn: Okay, b.

Dan Mirsky: Yeah that was the level of effort I thought I put forth to do it.

Neely Quinn: Nice. Yeah, that’s a really great season of sending and climbing after the training. So then you went home and started training again, or what did you learn from all that and what did you incorporate into your daily life?

Dan Mirsky: The sending was great, but I also think the experience of recognizing that you train and you have a peak, and you’re not always gonna be on that peak, was a really valuable take away for me that I’ve applied to my training- and the way I train other people since then. When I got back to the states, I definitely was like, okay, I saw the benefit of what effective and efficient training can do for my climbing, now here’s the part where I start figuring out how I do that on my own, because I don’t always just get to go to BD bootcamp every couple of months [laughter]. And have Kris Peters and Justen Sjong crack the whip on me.

That’s what this most recent year personally has been about for me, is figuring out how to incorporate a cycle of training and then spending time where I have an objective and I try to climb that route or that boulder or whatever, then finding another time to do some training. You know, that balance of training and climbing is kind of what this year’s been about for me for sure, on a personal level.

Neely Quinn: So illuminate me, what is your schedule now because of that?

Dan Mirsky: Well, the other really cool thing that’s happened for me is that I’ve started a new career job where I’m training other people at a new business at The Front climbing gym called The Training room at the Front. We can talk about that a little bit more, for me that means that I actually kind of work in the gym pretty regularly during the week, and now I’m getting out climbing more just on the weekends. So I definitely spend more time with some organized training during the week, and then get out on the weekends. I usually have project goal in mind, and yeah, so that’s kind of what my weekly schedule looks a little bit more like, depending on if I’m preparing for a project or kind of in project mode, I adjust the volume of what I do in the gym. For example, when I got back from Spain, I really wanted to try the route Necessary Evil down in the VRG, but I knew from my past experience climbing in the VRG it’s really small holds, finger strength oriented rock climb.

When I got back from Spain in January, I tried to spend a solid month doing a fingerboard program, or just a training plan that was focused around improving finger strength, so I felt like I would have the finger strength to try Necessary Evil. I kind of had a little bit of a fail there because I started trying the route and then coming back to the gym during the week and trying to train for the route, and I wound up trying to train fingers too much, and I initially had some really good progress on the route. Then through some scheduling unluck [sic], it got really hot in the VRG in February when I thought it was going to be awesome. And I think more as a result of a little bit of too much finger work during the week followed by finger intensive climbing during the weekend, I just started feeling a little bit of overreached, or overtrained if you want to call it, and ultimately I threw in the towel on that one.

Neely Quinn: Yeah. So how many days a week were you training in the gym as well as climbing on Necessary Evil?

Dan Mirsky: At that point, I figure I was doing three days a week in the gym and probably getting on Necessary Evil two days a week?

Neely Quinn: Whoa.

Dan Mirsky: Yeah it was probably too much, for sure.

Neely Quinn: Wait so you were training Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and then going on the weekend?

Dan Mirsky: Yeah, I mean at that point my schedule was a little bit more flexible, so maybe I would be.. yeah no that seems about right. Something like that. It was a little bit more sporadic, but I was trying to figure out how to get in three good training sessions in between trips down to St. George where I was climbing on the route.

Neely Quinn: So what do you think now? What would you differently now?

Dan Mirsky: Now what the way I would approach it is I would spend a month to six weeks before I saw the season for the route starting ,and I would build out a training plan focused around what I see as the priorities for the route, as well as my current weaknesses and things I want to work on to be ready for the route. Then I would probably train three days a week and have an outside climbing day in there, so maybe four days a week total. One of those gym training days would probably be completely non-climbing specific, so maybe I would have two climbing specific days, one climbing day, one gym day let’s say. And then once I finished that cycle, or maybe two mini cycles, when I went into trying the route I would make the decision that I was now in season. And I would completely scale back the training and maybe have one maintenance training day during the week where I was still trying to maintain finger strength or power gains that I had been working on, but reducing my volume dramatically, so I was really just kind of trying to top myself off, trying to maintain and not try to be like.. maybe I can do my personal best on a 12mm edge this week, but just sort of like, here’s the progress I’ve made, let me see if I can just keep that going a little bit to extend my peak essentially.

I’d still do some work in the gym with body tension, and other functional strengths in different directions, but again reducing the volume quite a bit so that I was really only focused on preserving my fresh efforts on the route, and being more confident in the success of the program that I had just done and relying on that past six weeks or four weeks of training to prepare me for the route and leave my really good efforts for trying my project.

Neely Quinn: Okay. And so say you were a normal person, and you sort of are right now, climbing on the weekends.

Dan Mirsky: Yeah, I’m kind of normal.

Neely Quinn: You would do just one major training day and then would you climb any other day during the week?

Dan Mirsky: Yeah, so I’m actually back trying Apex Predator again. I’m getting pretty close to doing it I think, and right now I am climbing on that route two time a week, and so lets say I climb on the route Saturday and Sunday, then on Monday I just have a rest recovery day. Maybe I would so some stretching, yoga, or light cardio, but moderate, light. Then on Tuesday I see as much best opportunity to do a strength or power maintenance day, because I know those things can take a little bit longer to recover from, and this way I have the biggest window to recover before my next efforts out on the route. As well, I have the biggest margin of error, if I get a little bit too excited and go a little too hard, to have the opportunity to get back to feeling good and fresh again. So that would be that day. Wednesday would maybe be a good day for some oppositional work in the gym, as well as core strength and body tension work, but again, I keep that day is a lot lighter than it would look like during a full training plan.

Neely Quinn: And you wouldn’t climb on that day?

Dan Mirsky: No, I wouldn’t climb on that day. And then Thursday I have actually been doing a little bit more on a rope climbing in the gym, because now I’m considering this my “in season” time, and I’m climbing outside on a rope, so I want to keep my skill set really high for that. So I’d go into the gym and I’ll climb some pitches, I’ll not be afraid to try hard routes in the gym, but I actually try to consider what’s the style of Apex Predator, let me find some routes that are different. That route’s really consistent, it doesn’t have one particularly hard crux, it just has every move that’s pretty hard, and no easy ones. So maybe I’d try some more shorter, powerful routes in the gym, or maybe a little bit of rope climbing and little bit of bouldering.

I’ve been trying to look at it as this idea of practice, versus training. If you’re a soccer player, you have times when you’re training and then you have times where you scrimmage and practice, you simulate what real game time is like. I see that as definitely having value for me, so that when a week later I get back to the route, I feel like I’ve done a little strength and power training, I’ve practiced my skill set, tuned up, I’ve made sure I did some kind of pumpy climbing and remembered how to rest and recover on the wall, and then go back out and try the route again after a rest day on Friday, for sure.

Neely Quinn: Okay so thats still three days of climbing training during the week.

Dan Mirsky: Yeah, two of climbing training and one of oppositional work or different muscles that I would be using in the rock climbing gym, or you know, different muscles than I would be using rock climbing.

Neely Quinn: As opposed to when you were trying Necessary, you were just doing finger training three days a week?

Dan Mirsky: Yeah, it was like bouldering- or there was bouldering, hangboarding or campusing in some combination three days a week.

Neely Quinn: Jeez. [laughs] God.

Dan Mirsky: It’s a process, you know [laughs]? You figure out what works for and what doesn’t work for you. I think some people are totally capable of that kind of volume, but I realized for me as much as it created muscular fatigue I also created some, kind of like, overall central feverous system fatigue. I was just accumulating tiredness, I lost that feeling of snap and pop, and also psyche too. I think that’s a big part of it. If you go really hard during the week training, it’s hard to be super motivated to just go really hard again on the weekend, trying you project.  I think you have to be honest with yourself sometimes, just about like “What am I stoked for?”. And have one to two really good sessions, and then enough rest that you get out there at the cliff on the weekend, chomping at the bit, not “Oh man, here we go again”.

Neely Quinn: Do you ever give yourself more than one day off?

Dan Mirsky: Yeah, definitely. And I should probably be better at- I will say that I’m a much better coach of others than I am of myself, and I should be better at scheduling multiple days of rest periodically. Instead, what I do is if I feel like I’m starting to not recover during the regular resting intervals I give myself, I just say “Okay, today’s another day for resting, and I’m gonna rest and eat some food more, and drink some more water, get some extra sleep”, and do all the good things I can do to feel recovered for more rock climbing. I just try to be really honest with myself about when those times are needed and just not feel guilty that I’m not I’m the gym training.

Neely Quinn: So that could be any one of the Monday through Thursday during the week, you could train one day, and the next day would be your rest day?

Dan Mirsky: Yeah, or maybe if I come back in from the weekend and “I’m like, dude, I’m crushed, my skin’s crushed, my fingers are feeling a little achey”, I’ll take two days off and then maybe adjust a little bit and do some lighter two days of climbing training Wednesday and Thursday, but make sure those days are both lighter days than they would otherwise be. Or maybe just do that gym day on Wednesday and one climbing day on Thursday, and consider that good.

Neely Quinn: And you’re doing your project two days on the weekend? Both days?

Dan Mirsky: Yeah, actually right now I’m at least lucky enough to have the scheduling flexibility where what I’m trying to do is climb on my project either Friday and Sunday, or Saturday and Monday.

Neely Quinn: Ohh, okay.

Dan Mirsky: I was trying to make my description of what a week would look like be a little bit more for the average person who only has the weekend- the weekend warrior. But yeah, and the reason I’m doing that is just the nature of the route. It’s so continuous, when I put forth a couple really good efforts on it, I’m just trying hard on the wall, a lot. And I find that the second day on the route is generally not as productive as the first, so if I have the opportunity to have two fresh days instead of one fresh day and one not as good of an effort day, then I’m able to prioritize my schedule that way. That’s been successful I think.

Neely Quinn: So one question and then I want to talk about how you’re coaching people. You’ve kind of made this transition into being, like I said, sort of more normal, instead of being on the road all the time and just climbing whenever you want basically, and how do you feel that’s changed your climbing or your motivation or anything, and how have you adapted?

Dan Mirsky: I think it’s ultimately- and it’s all a process and who knows how it’s all going to play out- but what I have seen as kind of the great opportunity for me personally, is with more time in a gym and less time on the rock, I have gotten really honest with myself about what are my strengths as a climber and what are my weaknesses as a climber. If I’m going to be in the gym, sure, I could go and climb in the gym and play to my strengths the whole time- that really isn’t going to get me anywhere. So I’ve been really trying to target what I see as my weaknesses as a climber, during the week in the gym, or through the training cycles I’ve been doing, one in the spring, one in the summer. For me that’s really about explosive dynamic power, and maximum finger strength.

I’ve definitely succeeded more on longer, more endurance oriented routes, and so I’ve definitely let go a little bit of being concerned about maintaining top end fitness, and instead being focused on increasing power and strength. I definitely can tell that I am stronger and more powerful, and perhaps a little less fit than I have been in the past years. When I say fit, I mean on route endurance. But I think I also can tell that having an increase in strength and power can make it so I can nearly climb at the same fitness level I would normally be able to, without having to have such high end route climbing endurance.

Neely Quinn: Right, because the moves feel easier for you now.

Dan Mirsky: Yeah, the holds feel bigger, the moves feel easier, they feel like less of a percentage of my hundred percent max effort, and therefore I’m taxing myself less by doing them.

Neely Quinn: Yeah, that’s like Adam Ondra’s whole thing.

Dan Mirsky: I mean, I definitely think strength and power are kind, for sure, when you’re training.

Neely Quinn: Last time we talked, you were doing a lot of cardio.  Not a lot, in your mind, but you were still running quite a bit. Are you still doing that, or has that changed?

Dan Mirsky: No, that’s definitely changed. I think that with the increase of actual weightlifting that I do, I don’t have all the bandwidth and all the energy in the world, and so I’ve had to cut some things out a little bit. I still think there’s some value to cardio, and I know that’s a great ongoing debate in the climbing podcast sphere. I think the point that a few folks have made is that is if you like going out running and it makes you feel good, or it’s your time to reflect on all the bigger things in life, then go running. But if you’re under the illusion that that’s what’s going to make you a better rock climber, it’s probably not. But I’m still someone who just enjoys being out on the trail and clearing my head that way, and getting out of the city. I definitely still run, but it probably looks like one to two, three to maybe five mile runs a week at most. And sometimes even less than that.

Neely Quinn: Which is a big change, you were doing how much before, would you say?

Dan Mirsky: Before I definitely was getting out and running, doing between six and ten mile runs, a couple times a week.

Neely Quinn: So it’s half.

Dan Mirsky: Half, at least half. Maybe even less than half.

Neely Quinn: Okay, got it. I want to talk about your clients, the people who you’re working with, and the situation at the Front, I think is super interesting, and I’ve never heard of anything like it. So tell us about the Front, and what’s called the Training Room.

Dan Mirsky: The Training Room is a business that I was really fortunate to get to be a part of. It’s like inception, and formulating the whole thing and the way it looks. I work with a head coach, Nate Ando, who has a really strong strength and conditioning coaching background. He’s also a climber, snowboarder, mountain biker, slackliner, he’s kind of that do-it-all kind of dude. As well as he was a Navy Seal, or something like that.

Neely Quinn: No big deal.

Dan Mirsky: Yeah, no big deal.


Dan Mirsky: He can crush anything. And I work with Jackie Russel, who is our office manager and who is also a really awesome athlete, big runner in her own right. The three of us go to develop this idea of creating what we call a “center for athlete development”. We’re writing individualized training plans for all of our athletes. And yes, we exist in a rock climbing gym, so in a lot of ways we’re rock climbing focused, or at least I am. That was sort of what I brought to the table, was thousands of hours of anecdotal rock climbing experience, training, getting trained, figuring out what works and doesn’t work. As well though, we train people who are more focused on mountain biking, or just general fitness. It’s a mix, it can be whatever you want it to be, and based on who the athletes are, they’ll work with either Nate or myself. We’ve since hired on a third coach, who is a really accomplished ultrarunner, Zac Marion, and he’s going to start coaching athletes who are more interested in endurance sports.

So really what’s at the heart of the training room is that everything is individualized. Every athlete that comes in there, we start by assessing that athlete, from their physical readiness to train, as well as just sitting down talking with them about what their goals are for training- whether those are climbing specific goals or non-climbing specific goals. And if they’re climbing specific goals, do they look like routes or boulders, or just I want to be able to lead 5.12, I want to do this boulder problem at Joe’s Valley. From there we go through testing, development sessions with them, and build out a training plan that is designed to be effective, efficient, and to progress them along to achieve their goals once we’ve identified their “in season time”.

The main set up we have there is- what’s really cool about the training room besides the individualized component- is that we have not only the programming, but we have the facility too. Most of our athletes live here in Salt Lake City, and their membership includes their training plan, their access to their coach, as well as the access to our space within the Front, where we have a full gym set up, as well as a Moon board- which we didn’t really talk about the Moon board yet, but that’s become a really big part of my training, as I’m sure it’s kind of come up a bit in other conversations you’ve had with other folks. We have a systems wall, we have hangboards- we don’t have lead climbing, we don’t have a treadwall, but we’re set up for almost full training, just within our space. We keep that in mind too, when we’re programming for our athletes, so they can come and be able to do everything that’s on their program in the Training Room space.

Then we have established times during the day where one of the three coaches will be there just to coach movement, to answer questions for any of the athletes. So if I’m there, it’s my athletes, or Nate’s athletes, anyone that’s there, I’m going to be familiar with your program and the exercises you’re doing, and I’ll be able to help you, encourage you, figure out what weight is appropriate for you. So we kind of create this kind of holistic- where you have a program, the space, the coach, and it then makes it really easy for the athlete to just show up every Tuesday at six and Thursday at five, and do the workout that I’ve scheduled for them.

It’s been really cool, and it’s been really cool for me to add this new component into what rock climbing is for me. Now it’s about these other people too, and that’s been really cool change. It’s almost as exciting and as rewarding for me to succeeded in my own climbing as is for me to see my athletes progress, and them come in from the weekend and tell me about the boulder problems that they just crushed in Joe’s Valley. I think I’, genuinely more enthused about that then whatever it is that I did in my own climbing right now.

Neely Quinn: That’s awesome. I think that means you’re doing the right thing with your career.

Dan Mirsky: Well yeah, I’m really psyched on it. I was always a restaurant guy before, which was great, and I actually definitely had a passion for that, but I think I’m finding a lot bigger fulfillment in being more involved in the climbing community, and other people’s rock climbing. I always kind of found myself at the crag trying to coach people anyway.

Neely Quinn: Yeah, you did that with me.

Dan Mirsky: Yeah, I’m always- maybe it’s just in me there somewhere. My dad was a teacher, maybe there’s a teacher thing in me somehow, I don’t know. But yeah, it’s been really cool. It’s been a really great new experience.

Neely Quinn: Good. So I want to back up for just a second, because I think that one of the most interesting parts about the Training Room is that it’s in the gym, but it’s it’s own thing. A lot of gyms have weight rooms- does the Front have a weight room and the Training Room?

Dan Mirsky: Yeah.

Neely Quinn: Okay. And so you guy just lease the space from the gym, and it’s just for you guys- normal members can’t go in there?

Dan Mirsky: I don’t want to be quoted on the exact business arrangements, but the Training Room is owned by the Front, so we don’t lease the space in that regard. It’s owned by Dustin Buckthal who owns the Front, he’s also the person who owns the Training Room. Ultimately he’s part of our team as well. But the Training Room space is just for the Training Room athletes.

The Front rock climbing gym has an awesome weight training facility. They built this huge expansion so it’s got all the bouldering it always did have, and an enormous route climbing area. Then in the new building, where the route climbing is, they built a big weight room up on the second floor, and that area also has systems boards, has a moon board.

Everything that’s in the training room is definitely also in the Front, but what’s awesome for our athletes is that they know when they show up at Tuesday at 7, where it’s literally crunked in every other corner in the gym, they can come into the Training Room, and we cap those closed sessions, the coached sessions, at eight people. So they’re at most going to be working out, training alongside seven other people. At this point, all of which they probably know, they’ve seen in there training together before, they’re psyched to go in there and see their friends, and be encouraged and train, but also be on their individualized training plan- and know that when I’ve programmed for them to climb on the woody two minutes on, two minutes off times five, that they’re actually going to be able to do that without ten other rock climbers trying to climb on the same wall that they are.

Neely Quinn: Yeah, and ten kids [laughs].

Dan Mirsky: Yeah [laughs].

Neely Quinn: No offense kids.

Dan Mirsky: Ten of everything.  No offense kids.

Neely Quinn: So, yeah I think that that’s really useful, and I’m focusing on it a little bit here because I think that more gyms should do something like this. I think it’s a great idea, and then they get- we talked about this a little bit before- they get four weeks of programming with you guys, access to you guys a couple times a week, and that’s above and beyond their gym membership. Do you mind saying how much it is, just to give people an idea of what they’re looking at?

Dan Mirsky: Yeah sure. Right now we offer a few different kinds of set ups as far as memberships go. As far as the main membership arrangement that we have with the majority of our athletes, that we think is the best situation where you take the most advantage of all the Training Room has to offer, is what we call our All Access Membership. That is $180 a month, and that gets you a coach, so me or Nate, a month worth of completely individualized programming- we don’t have any pre-set programs. Everything is built out organically, starting with that assessment process and what the athlete’s goals and priorities are, and time availability, and energy that they have to put towards their training. Then you get full access to the Training Room space, so you can use it whenever, whether we’re there or not. And then at multiple times during the day, Monday through Friday, we offer coached sessions- those are only available to our all access members. Those are the times where they come in, know that there’s going to be a coach there, whose sole job is at that point is to be there for them, to coach on the floor, to support them in their training, and those times are going to be capped at eight people.

So you get the facility, you get the coach, you get the program, and you get the guarantee that you come in and you can execute your training in that environment. Even within that, I check in with my athletes at least once a month, but the program that we use to build out the workouts and develop the workouts is really interactive. As soon as my athletes- and they have their smartphone, or if they don’t have that, then they go and enter it on the computer later- what they did during their workout. As soon as they enter that in, then I can see on my end, through my computer or my smartphone, how my athletes did in their work out. If anything came up question wise, or they are ready for a progression faster than I thought or slower than they thought, then I go in and adjust the program. If someone missed a workout because they were out of town or sick, then we adjust and move forward as life evolves and goes on.

I actually feel like I’m basically in constant contact with my athletes, which is really rad. Some of them come in and train at 7 in the morning with Nate, and I coach in the evening. So I don’t really see them as much, but I know exactly what they’ve been up to training-wise through the program.

Neely Quinn: That’s great. It’s a super great service, and I really think that more gyms could do something like this. Or there could just be free standing facilities that are just this, in really popular climbing areas.

Dan Mirsky: Totally.

Neely Quinn: Like Salt Lake, or Boulder or something. Okay, so I’d love to hear a case study of somebody who you’re working with. I want to know how you’re training these people, what you’re doing with them, and what your philosophies are.

Dan Mirsky: I think right now the majority of the athletes I have are what I would call intermediate to advanced level climbers, who are trying to find a way to improve to that next level in their climbing.  I don’t have a bunch of people who have very specific rock climbing goal, some of us are definitely like “Here’s the project. This is it.” But there’s a vast majority of people who just want to improve from v5 to v7. I think without being overly specific, on a more general level, I feel like those are the kind of athletes I’m working with the most right now, which is kind of, in a way, really awesome. I love when people have specific goals, but this kind of athlete is someone who’s likely not spent that much time thinking about training or climbing. It’s kind of a new experience for them, and maybe they haven’t been super analytical with their climbing so far, and what they’re good and and not good at.

It’s this really cool process of opening people’s eyes to “Here’s an outside perspective as to what I see as your strengths and weaknesses”. I have some folks who have been climbing for a pretty long period of time, but really don’t have a lot of strength and power that would correlate to the ability that they climb at. Like, “You’re actually quite a good climber, but you’ve really never put any energy towards developing your finger strength, or your pull power”. I see a lot with people, a lack of core tension, and when I say that I don’t mean six pack abs, but really the whole trunk of your body we think of as your core, right? I think a lot of use particularly neglect what I call your posterior chain, those lower back core muscles. So then, what I try to do with folks like that, especially over this past summer where we had a really good chunk of time to do some strength and power progressions, is not stop them climbing and doing what they’re doing, but support that so they’re practicing their skills, and really start building in fingerboard training. To me, as long as your ready for it in your ability, it’s one of our most effective tools that we have to train for climbing.

Then, some power training is often really valuable for people, especially for a lot of my female athletes, whether that’s weighted pull-ups, if that’s accessible, or campus board work, if that’s accessible, or even finding other ways to work on that same sort of pull power in the gym in a different direction if those things aren’t accessible.

Neely Quinn: What do you mean accessible, like if they can’t do pull-ups?

Dan Mirsky: Yeah, if you can’t do three bodyweight pull-ups, then you aren’t going to do any weight pull-ups. But you could do a single arm bent over dumbbell row with as much weight as you could pull, and progress that out to develop pull strength and pull power. Or work on a ring row- I really like doing a lot of work on the gymnastics rings with people. That’s kind of the fun part of being a coach, right? You find, like, “Okay what can we work with, what are the tools we have to work with, what are the exercises that are going to help develop the things that we want?”.  That’s a big part of the learning process for me right now. I try to have there be a very climbing specific component for my athletes, and then I really like to introduce the value of working in the gym in different directions, and showing people how that even though it doesn’t look at all like training for climbing, it is going to be really valuable for that.

For a lot of folks, I have definitely seen a lot of people who have complaints about shoulders. That seems to be a really common issue for climbers right now, is shoulder injuries, whether that’s because we’re trying hard plastic rock climbs in the gym, or just… I don’t know exactly where that comes from.

Neely Quinn: Sitting at a computer.

Dan Mirsky: Yeah, hunched over all day. So we add a shoulder strengthening component. If I have people doing weighted pull-ups, then I superset that with them doing something like a strict press. So instead of just pulling, you pull and you push using that same muscle group, and create a muscle that works well in both directions- a full range of motion.

Neely Quinn: Wait, what is this?

Dan Mirsky: So, let’s say in a part of someone’s program there’s going to be five weighted pull-ups at sixty percent of their one rep max. Then I would have them finish those pull-ups, take a short rest, and then go up to the weight rack or the barbell rack and do a strict press. So just a really basic overhead press with a barbell.

Neely Quinn: Oh, overhead. Yeah- just opposition.

Dan Mirsky: Exactly, so you just pulled, and now you’re going to press using that same muscle group. That will help us develop those pull muscles that we need for climbing in a healthier more functional way, if they can also press and work in a different direction. Really trying to work in full ranges of motion is a big, important part of the programs I build out, as well as getting people to do hip hinging kinds of exercises. Whether that’s swinging the kettlebell- I really like having people work with kettlebells, for sure- to create explosive hip movement. I think that’s something that’s really valuable in our climbing, especially if you’re climbing on a steep wall, to access you lower back strength, and to use you lower body drive to bring you up the wall, so you’re not just pulling with you arms over and over again. I try to get people to gain some awareness of that and develop strength in your lower body and that lower back area.

And as well for people who are ready for it, something like the deadlift I think is really awesome for climbers- kind of getting back to my own thing of learning how to develop that full body power, of what trying really hard is all about.

Neely Quinn: Yeah.

Dan Mirsky: And as well that’s a hip hinging exercise. Although you don’t think of a deadlift as a core strengthening exercise, it is very much that. You’re using the whole center of your body and having to make a ton of body tension to pick up something that heavy off the ground properly. I think the kettlebells are great too, for sure, as I was saying. Turkish get-ups, I’m a big fan of those. I like doing things that make people use their whole body, you know? Certain times are really great for isolating, doing really light weights and particular movements to help develop small moving muscles in shoulder capsules for sure. Working on our scapular strength, it’s great to get really specific and isolate there, but then also doing things where we’re moving heavier weights around with our whole body, and keeping tension through a whole range of motion I think is really valuable for climbers- to then learn how to keep tension on that compression boulder problem they’re trying, or on that overhanging sport route that requires you to be on it for eighty feet of continuous climbing or whatever.

Neely Quinn: I just want to say that a couple of years ago we talked about you training people and you were a little bit tentative about it and thought that you didn’t know enough and all that. But listening to you talk now, you’ve learned so much, and your confidence is so much higher, and it just seems like you’re thriving in this. It’s really cool to listen to.

Dan Mirsky: Well, thanks, I appreciate that. Yeah, and I think I do know a lot more now than I did then.


Neely Quinn: Yeah, obviously.

Dan Mirsky: And I definitely have a much different approach to my own training, and training other people, and I attribute that a lot to this experience that I’ve had at the Training Room. Getting to work with people who’ve had a much more traditional education background, and getting to hang out with them and pick their brains, as well as listening to your podcast, has been super useful for me. I definitely got to work with folks that you’ve had on the podcast, people that you’ve had programming for TrainingBeta… I think Kris Hampton’s podcast is also a really great source of information.

What I think is really awesome, is that it’s still just happening right now, and that’s what I think is so cool about the Training Room. Just like we were talking about, it would be great to see more facilities like this. We’re just now amassing some knowledge, some basic knowledge, about what training for climbing is, and what effective training for climbing looks like. What works, what doesn’t work, and to have a community, that’s sort of a burgeoning community, where we’re sharing that information. Eric Hörst’s new Training for Climbing book is awesome, I don’t know if you’ve picked that up, is awesome.  There’s so much good information in that book. And the Anderson Brothers, and all of these people who are contributing to the pool of information, I have to pay thanks to them because it’s things that I’ve been drawing on and then trying them myself and seeing if they work or not. And taking the things that I have found that work, and working on them with my athletes, and seeing the different response there. Folding that all back on itself and reevaluating what we’re doing and progressing it out from there. It’s been a cool process, for sure. It’s a good journey.

Neely Quinn: I have one question and then we’ll wrap up. In your experience, it sounds like mostly you’re working with people who are around the v5, 5.11, 5.12 range. Is that correct?

Dan Mirsky: Yeah, I mean I have athletes who are climbing 5.14, and I have athletes who are climbing v2. But I’d say the majority of people I’m working with are in the middle of that.

Neely Quinn: I’m just wondering if you’ve found- are there things that you will absolutely not do with your v5 climbers that you would do with your 5.14 climbers, and vice versa?

Dan Mirsky: Definitely. With a lot of people who are more intermediate with there climbing, the training doesn’t have to be as specific, and in some ways it’s better if it’s not. Spending a lot of time climbing when you’re a 5.11 climber is still one of the best things you can do. Working on one-four-seven on the campus board is not going to be a) available to you, or b) the most efficient use of your time. As athletes progress further along in their sport and become more advanced, generally I think training has to be more specific to that sport.

For people who are earlier on in their path of being a rock climber, the training doesn’t have to be so specific. I think it’s when people’s tendons, ligaments, muscles, are ready for hangboarding… I think it can be super valuable for a lot of people when you’re really far down that road on you path of climbing, then it becomes, I think, a really integral part of your training plan. So I think again I would say more general to more specific with the climbing specific component of the training as the athletes go from intermediate to advanced. I definitely don’t see 5.11 climbers needing to be doing full on ballistic campus board programs.

Neely Quinn: Right, yeah.

Dan Mirsky: It’s likely going to hurt you more than it’s going to help you.

Neely Quinn: And then contrary to that, it seems like even super high-end climbers can use some weight room work- everyone can use shoulder work, everyone can use opposition, and everyone can be a fitter person.

Dan Mirsky: For sure. Yup. Definitely. I mean for some people, again, and it’s just person by person, working on some body composition stuff and doing high intensity interval circuit kind of training, is really valuable. For some people who are really dialed in with their health and nutrition, that becomes less important. Every athlete that I have- and I think this is the biggest thing that’s shifted in my perspective on things- does not only work that looks like rock climbing and training for rock climbing, but also works in the gym where it doesn’t necessarily look like training for climbing. But I see both of those place to be almost as equally valuable, whether that’s “prehab” for an injury, rehabbing an injury, developing strength that can be applied to climbing, as well as just functional full body strength for being a healthy person.

Neely Quinn: Yeah. Okay, what’s your biggest success story so far with your clients? I’m putting you on the spot again [laughs]. Or one of your favorite ones.

Dan Mirsky: Well right now most of the athletes I just started coaching, we started in the summertime which was a bigger training phase, and now we are just kind of getting into season right now. People are out working on their projects. I don’t know if anyone has done the Big Mega Goal yet, but I got to go climbing with one of my athletes just the other weekend, as a friend, we went out and climbed and camped together, and watched him just basically crush a 13a in two tries.

Neely Quinn: Whoa.

Dan Mirsky:And he had never done a 13a in a day before. So not only did he do that, but I got to actually watch it happen and belay him while he was doing it. That was really super rewarding.

I coach a guy and his girlfriend is coached by Nate, our other coach at the gym, and they’re really psyched on bouldering and Joe’s Valley, and basically they come back every weekend and it’s just like, you know, the next thing they sent. So every week I wait to see what they were up to and what they did.

I have two athletes who are super good friends, who are a little bit further along int heir climbing paths, who have the specific route goal. I see both of them getting really close on their routes, I know they could both do them at any time now. Once we actually get some really nice fall conditions, I think sending will be happening.  Maybe this weekend I’ll have an update, but I have a feeling it’s going to go down soon.

Neely Quinn: That sounds really gratifying, for them and for you.

Dan Mirsky: It is! And then just reading through people’s Fitbot workouts where they have some females who weren’t able to do body weight pull-ups and are now adding 5, 10, 15 pounds to their pull-ups.

Neely Quinn: That’s awesome.

Dan Mirsky: That’s awesome, and again, that sort of exercise would be way more valuable for them as developing power that they’re going to be able to apply to climbing than having them go try to campus on the campus board when it’s just really not the appropriate thing yet. But they make some progression there, and that can be applied on the climbing wall, and as well they feel stoked and confident that “Hey, I just added 10 pounds and did three pull-ups, that’s pretty rad”.

Neely Quinn: Yeah, that is pretty rad. So what’s next for you? What’s your plan here?

Dan Mirsky: Man, yeah. Life is a little up in the air for me right now. I think I’m here in Salt Lake City for the time being. In the short term though, I am headed to Kentucky for a month of climbing in the Red. I’m going to continue programming for my athletes, but I’ll be out of the gym. I’ll be coaching remotely a little bit, which I’m excited for, and to return to the climbing life, but in a new and different way for me, where I’m kind of working and climbing at the same time.

Neely Quinn: Yeah, good luck with that. I lived in the Red and tried to work and it was nearly impossible, so let me know if you need some beta [laughs].

Dan Mirsky: Alright [laughs]. I think I’ve got a good plan, but best laid plans, of course. And yeah, right now I am back on that route that I was trying last fall, out at the Poptire Cave called Apex Predator, and I’m really motivated to try and send it. I’m a little sick right now, which is a bummer, because I want to go out tomorrow and really try and crush the route, but we’ll have to see if the my health allows for that. Might have to take one of those extra rest days just like we were talking about.

Neely Quinn: Yeah, exactly, because I want to make a point of this- because before we started you said that you were sick- and then you decided to go in and train anyway, and then what happened?

Dan Mirsky: I got sicker!

Neely Quinn: Yeah!


Dan Mirsky: Did I know that was going to happen in advance? Yup! Could I contain myself? Nope! Am I better coach to other people than I am to myself? Definitely [laughter]. I’m going to try to be super honest with myself, and if tomorrow doesn’t seem like the day, I’m going sit in my bathrobe and drink tea and eat snacks and watch sports and read books and live to fight another day.

Neely Quinn: Alright. Cool, well it’s been really really good talking to you.

Dan Mirsky: Yeah you too.

Neely Quinn: Yeah it’s been cool to see what you’re up to.

Dan Mirsky: Ah, we didn’t talk about nutrition.

Neely Quinn: No, and we don’t really have time!

Dan Mirsky: I just want to say one thing if we have thirty seconds, which is that we got to work with you during our BD bootcamp, and we had some really valuable nutrition talks and the biggest take away from those talks for me that I’ve incorporated into my life in climbing, in training, in general health and well being, was that I was not getting enough protein.

I look at the first meal of the day, breakfast, as the first and best opportunity to get a really solid protein based meal in, these days. I was the yogurt and granola guy for five years, every morning, except for maybe if I had, you know, a little too much to drink the night before and went out for a greasy breakfast. Now every day, for me, is a savory breakfast that’s eggs, sweet potatoes, and cooked vegetables as well as some sort of meat that goes along with that. I’m a big fan of bacon. But choose your own adventure here.

I genuinely believe that sets me off on a trajectory of sustained, even energy with less sugar spiking on the course of my day. Then I try to sustain that with continued protein intake throughout the course of my day, whether that’s supplements when I’m training- I use a lot of the Gnarly products, I like their whey protein and BCAAs- and then as well as other protein oriented meals, definitely post training. A mix of good carbs and vegetables and protein. I wanted to thank you for that.

Neely Quinn: Oh, you’re welcome. Thank you for listening to me.

Dan Mirsky: Yeah! I listen.

Neely Quinn: So you feel like you have better energy throughout the day. Do you think it helps you recover better?

Dan Mirsky: Yes, definitely.  I definitely know that it’s almost impossible for me to eat enough when I’m training or when I’m out climbing, and that’s when the supplements for me are super valuable, like the whey protein or the BCAAs, really being focused on that good meal before training and that good meal after climbing is I think really helpful in my recovery.

Neely Quinn: Yeah, you were interesting. When you were training you were eating a lot of calories, and you guys were taking supplemental drinks while you were training, and then doing big meals afterwards though, right?

Dan Mirsky:Yeah, for sure. I mean, I literally couldn’t consume enough calories while we were doing the bootcamp thing.

Neely Quinn: Yeah, and I think that people really need to hear that, that it’s okay to eat, because a lot of people are just afraid of eating. But you can’t make gains without it.

Dan Mirsky: Totally. I mean, that rest and recovery time is when we get stronger. And you support that through proper nutrition. And if you’re an athlete, a big part of that is proper protein intake and necessary calories. And you know, mix carbs and protein based on what you digest well, what you enjoy eating, but I definitely see too many people not taking in what I think of as enough calories, and I think you’re just kind of doing yourself a disservice ultimately.

Neely Quinn: Are you coaching people at all with their nutrition in your programs?

Dan Mirsky: We actually have a nutritionist that we work with, and we offer than service for our athletes if they want it. That’s sort of something separate that they pay for additionally, but I have a basic nutrition conversation with all of my athletes, and encourage them to just consider their pre, during, and post training nutrition. I don’t have enough education and experience that I would feel comfortable offering a full nutritional program, but as another athlete I feel totally comfortable and confident to encourage them to be considerate with that pre training, getting some calories in the you have to burn for energy, during training to sustain your workout, and then post training, as soon as you’re done training that’s when your recovery starts, so you have to make the most of it.

Neely Quinn: Well, look at you. You’re like a vault of knowledge.

Dan Mirsky: I don’t know about that [laughter]. But thanks, I’m learning from people like you, who have all the knowledge.

Neely Quinn: Yeah, cool. Well good luck on Apex Predator.

Dan Mirsky: Thanks.

Neely Quinn: And I think that’s it, unless you want to give a little shoutout to any sponsors.

Dan Mirsky: Yeah, you know I definitely some awesome companies that I work with that I’m really excited to be involved with. Black Diamond and LaSportiva for sure. Here in Salt Lake I work with Gnarly Nutrition, as I mentioned, and I think those guys are awesome. Friction Labs, as you mention frequently on your podcast, is the best chalk company in the world and I love those guys. We didn’t talk about skin care, but I think that is super important, and I’ve become recently really involved with Rhino Skin Solutions, which is a company that’s new, started up in Bend, Oregon by a good friend of mine, Justin Brown. I genuinely believe that that has been revolutionary for my skin woes. So check out Rhino Skins, if you haven’t heard of it. And Bluewater Ropes, and I think that’s pretty much it. Avery Brewing Company, too, they’re my number one original sponsor.

Neely Quinn: Shoutout to Adam. Yup.

Dan Mirsky: Yup. That’s all.

Thank you Dan, I really appreciate and I’ll talk to you soon, I’m sure.

Dan Mirsky: Yeah, sounds good Neely, I hope we see each other sooner than later.

Mhm. Alright, talk to you later.

Dan Mirsky: Alright, ciao.

Neely Quinn: Alright, I hope you liked that intervie with Dan Mirsky. If you want to hear more from him you can go to instagram and he’s @danmirsky over there. That’s M-I-R-S-K-Y. Or, if you’re in the Salt Lake region, you can always train with him in person.

So, coming up on the podcast, I have Beth Rodden. I just did an interview with her yesterday, which was really cool to see what she’s been up to, and what it’s like being a mom and training and combing.  That’s coming up next week, and other than that I’m still seeing nutrition clients and I’m still loving it. I’m having really great success with some of my people who are trying to lose weight and have more energy- that seems to be the most common complaints, and those are the things that are really not easy but definitely you can address them with diet and that’s what I’m doing with these people. If you want help with your own diet, you can email me at and we’ll see what we can do together.

If you want help with your training and you’re a route climber or boulderer, you can go to and we have subscription programs for boulderers and for route climbers. Both of them give you three workouts every week, they’re about two hours long, each workout, and you’ll be doing climbing drills, and you’ll go up to the weight room,and do core stuff and finger strength stuff. So you get those three workouts every week, and it follows six week cycles of power endurance, power, or finger strength, or whatever it is that you need to become a better climber. So again, you can go to and we have our training programs tab at the top and click there and you can see everything that we have.

So, we have a little bit of an announcement. Kris Peters was doing online personal training, and he’s no longer going to be doing that with us- he’s just too busy. So we are kind of on the lookout for a new trainer that can give people online personal training. I’ve been reaching out to some coaches and trainers out there, but I would love your input on who you would want to train with through TrainingBeta.  Who should I partner with to give you guys online personal training? You can email me that, again, at, and as always, I love hearing your feedback. So that’s it, I’ll talk to you guys next week. Have a great week, happy training, happy climbing, thanks for listening to the end, and I’ll talk to you soon.

TrainingBeta is a site dedicated to training for rock climbing. We provide resources and information about training for routes, bouldering, finger strength, mental training, nutrition for climbers, and everything in between. We offer climbing training programs, a blog, interviews on the TrainingBeta Podcast, personal training for climbing, and nutrition for climbers.

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