Steve Bechtel, Kris Hampton, and Tom Randall on Best Practices for Training at Home
Date: April 9th, 2020
About Steve Bechtel, Kris Hampton, and Tom Randall
In this interview, I talked with trainers Steve Bechtel, Kris Hampton, and Tom Randall about how they’re guiding their clients to train at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Times are really weird right now! Most of us have been ordered to shelter in place, and our gyms and many climbing areas are closed, leaving us scrambling to even maintain our strength and skills.
The reason I asked these guys to all be on the podcast at the same time is that first of all, I like them all quite a bit. They give clear, concise answers in interviews, they’re funny, and very experienced in the art and science of training for climbing. They are three of the most well-known trainers in climbing, and having them all sit for the same interview and answer the same questions created a wealth of knowledge and wisdom for us all. I enjoyed each moment of this interview, and learned quite a bit. I hope you do, too.
Steve is the owner of a gym called Elemental Performance and Fitness in Lander, Wyoming, as well as the training website, www.climbstrong.com. He also heads the Performance Climbing Coach seminars that teach climbers and coaches how to be and create better athletes. He’s been on the show numerous times before, and a lot of our personal philosophies at TrainingBeta stem from his teachings. Steve has written a prolific number of books on the topic of climbing training, even while running a gym and a website, raising a family, and climbing outside regularly at an elite level. Having spent a bit of time with him, I can confidently say that he makes efficient use of each of the 24 hours of all of his days.
Tom found fame as one of the WideBoyz with Pete Whittaker (recently on the show) when they came to the United States and took down the hardest wide cracks in the world. He went on to co-create Lattice Training with Ollie Torr (who also has been on the show), where he and a team of coaches use data driven tools to help climbers around the world get stronger. He lives in Sheffield, England, and still regularly crushes hard rock climbs while raising a family and running a business.
Kris is the owner and head coach at Power Company Climbing, which is a climbing training company that offers online coaching and coaching clinics around the world. He also hosts the Power Company Podcast, and was behind the mic for different reasons as a rapper in a former life. Kris is an instructor at the Performance Climbing Coach seminars where he focuses on movement skills, coaching, and mindset, drawing on wisdom from his former sports of gymnastics and skateboarding. He’s become well-known for his ability to pick apart climbing movement and find ways to effectively improve those elusive skills. He recently finished his first book, The Hard Truth: Simple Ways to Become A Better Climber.
- How quarantine is affecting each of them
- What we should be doing while training at home
- How much training to do right now vs how much we normally do
- How to deal with low motivation levels
- How much it takes to maintain strength
- How they’ve fit new homeschooling in with work and training
- What to do if you have minimal equipment
- Does it matter which finger protocol you do?
- Is it possible to still train skills or climbing movement?
- How much is too much in general
- How to be motivated without current performance goal
- Instagram: @climbstrong
- Website: www.climbstrong.com
- Performance Climbing Coach Seminars (next one rescheduled for late summer in Colorado Springs)
Training Programs from TrainingBeta
The following programs are the ones that we think are most helpful during this time of at-home training.
- New At-Home Training Program ebook
- Finger Training Programs (code: “home” for 25% off)
- Injury Protocols
- All of our training programs
Please Review The Podcast on iTunes
Please give the podcast an honest review on iTunes here to help the show reach more curious climbers around the world.
Neely Quinn: Welcome to the TrainingBeta podcast where I talk with climbers and trainers about how we can get a little better at our favorite sport. I’m your host, Neely Quinn, and unfortunately right now a lot of us are not able to take part in our favorite sport because unfortunately COVID-19 is still a pandemic in our world and a lot of us are on lockdown, including myself. We’re not really supposed to be leaving our houses to go anywhere. The gyms are closed. A lot of climbing areas are closed. You guys know the drill.
We’re left here trying to train at home and maintain the strength and fitness that we’ve gained from training this year and beyond. We’ve tried to provide you guys with a lot of resources on the site at TrainingBeta. Last week we actually created an ebook and Matt Pincus created a program for at-home training. He is a trainer for TrainingBeta and he sees a lot of clients and many of them don’t have all that much equipment to use. He’s also been somebody who has trained out of his home or at a home wall and used one kettlebell for his main training. He’s a really strong climber so he knows his way around home training, for sure.
What we did in the ebook is provide you with a bunch of different exercises depending on what equipment you have available, whether that’s just your bodyweight or a TRX system or something similar, or just a single weight or a single kettlebell. We have a template for you to create your own strength circuit workout and some sample workouts depending on which equipment pieces you have. We lay it all out very clearly: what kinds of exercises you need, we give you videos to show you how to do those exercises, and then we talk about three different finger protocols that you can incorporate into your training if you don’t already have a finger protocol that you’re doing.
We think that finger training is pretty important so we describe in detail three different programs and talk about how you should incorporate this into your training, how often you should be training each kind of thing, how many sessions a week, and why you should be doing the things that we talk about.
That program is an ebook and you can find it on TrainingBeta at trainingbeta.com/covid.
We hope that you’re staying safe and healthy and that we’re hopefully seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, maybe, and that we can all get back to normal lives soon. In the meantime, we’re going to keep training at home.
Today on the podcast I have three of my very favorite trainers in the world. One is Steve Bechtel, one is Kris Hampton, and one is Tom Randall. I thought it would be really timely to have these three great and pretty well-known trainers on all at one time, sort of like a panel, answering the most common questions that I’m seeing and that they’re seeing from our audiences about how to train at home right now.
I got them all together. They’re all super smart, really funny, and I had a really good time with them as always. They’ve all been on the show several times before and they’ll tell you all about themselves in the intro of the podcast and then we’re going to get into the questions.
The questions are like: how much training should we be doing right now? Should we be doing as many hours as we normally do when we are at a climbing gym or outside climbing? How much does it take to maintain the strength that we already have? How to fit in homeschooling your children with work and training and how to stay motivated. When to know that this is too much and training just needs to take a backseat.
We also talk about if it matters what finger protocol you do and which ones are best, and if there’s any way to train movement, skills, or tension without an actual climbing wall. Just a bunch of questions. Hopefully, these will help you steer yourself in the right direction with how you’re training at home.
Without further adieu, here are Steve, Kris, and Tom. I hope you enjoy it. I’ll talk to you on the other side.
Neely Quinn: Welcome back to the show everybody.
Steve Bechtel, Kris Hampton, Tom Randall: Thank you, Neely. Psyched to be here.
Neely Quinn: So this is a little bit different. I have three guests and I have never had three guests before so we’re going to try to be as organized about this as possible. I know that you guys have all been on the show before and most people know who you are but we’re going to go through and have you introduce yourselves. We’ll start with Steve Bechtel. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Steve Bechtel: My name is Steve Bechtel. I live in Lander, Wyoming and I have a climbing gym, fitness center, and I also do climbing coaching through a company called ClimbStrong.
Neely Quinn: Cool. How has this pandemic affected you and your business?
Steve Bechtel: We were ordered to close the gym a couple of weeks ago and I thought that would free up a bunch of time for me but weirdly enough it’s made me more busy with different weird jobs and trying to keep up on the digital end of things. Also, I have my kids at home now so we’re trying to do homeschooling with them and it’s giving me a whole new respect for teachers.
Neely Quinn: I’m going to ask about how that’s affecting your training and how other people in the same situation can go about continuing to train through that.
Tom Randall, can you tell us about yourself?
Tom Randall: My name is Tom Randall and I’m one of the cofounders of Lattice Training which is a coaching and profiling company in the UK. We work with climbers, mostly online, all over the world from juniors all the way to adults.
In terms of how it’s kind of affected us, it’s just kind of changed the way we work with our athletes and clients. It feels like the world has changed quite a bit in the last few weeks so it’s just ended up with this mad scrabble trying to work out how everyone trains what they’re doing, how we communicate, how we work with the team ourselves, just as a staff. It’s just kind of like a giant whirlpool of every day being a bit different than the previous.
Neely Quinn: Even though a lot of your training has been online and from afar to begin with, right?
Tom Randall: Yeah, it’s very definitely an online and remote-focused work that we do but because it’s a fairly sizable team, it affects the dynamics of how you work. We have a location just outside of Sheffield where everyone is on a daily basis and now that place is quiet. It’s shut down. No one turns up there anymore. It’s just a dead office and we’re all just now working off our computers from home. It’s really weird. It went from this amazing family where I felt so connected to everyone that I worked with to this really strange distant thing, which we’re used to with clients but interpersonally with the team it’s really weird.
Neely Quinn: Yeah, I bet a lot of people can probably relate with that.
Kris Hampton, how about you? Who are you?
Kris Hampton: I am Kris Hampton. I’m with Power Company Climbing. Like Tom and Lattice, we’re also a mostly remote, mostly online company that works with climbers. For me, it really hasn’t changed what we do all that much but it did send me into: ‘make sure all my coaches are okay, make sure everybody’s still making money but also safe and their families are good.’ We all kind of went into overdrive trying to get our clients set up with whatever they had at home to make sure everybody was going to make it through this and try to stay sane through it.
Personally, it hasn’t affected me all that much. I’ve got a home wall so I work from home, I’m mostly at home, and I train at home. It hasn’t affected me all that much other than my daughter just had a baby two days ago and I wasn’t able to go there and be there for that. Other than that, I haven’t been all that affected.
Neely Quinn: Well congrats! That’s exciting, grandpa.
Kris Hampton: Papaw is what I’m taking.
Neely Quinn: Papaw? That’s a very southeastern thing, right?
Kris Hampton: Yes, it is.
Neely Quinn: So I’m going to start throwing questions out there. We received some questions on our Facebook group and I’m going to use some of those and you guys also have some common questions that are coming through. I’m just going to try to talk about how people should be training at home, what to focus on, how to keep motivated, those kinds of things. We’re just going to try to help you as much as possible.
I’m going to start with Steve and we’re going to go through everybody. The first question I’m going to pose is: how, in general, should people be training at home if they’re going to keep training, or should we keep training?
Steve Bechtel: I think lots and lots of days of max hangs on a hangboard in a row is a great idea. [laughs] No, that’s kind of where everybody is going. If we look at our home setups, most people may have a little set of dumbbells and a hangboard, and some of them are actually in a shelter in place order where they aren’t supposed to be leaving the house except to go shopping. We’re really limited in that way.
I think the most important thing is for people to think in the long term, not like, ‘I need the world’s strongest fingers in the next three weeks.’ They need to be thinking about the fact that now is an opportunity to work on things that they might not normally be able to address.
Yeah, hangboarding is fine but it can be really, really too much, especially if it’s the only thing you’re doing. One of the things that is widely available right now are at-home bodyweight circuits or workouts or whatever. Not to say that one person’s version of those is better than the others but I think within a few weeks’ time frame, most people are going to be very, very tired of doing push-ups and squats and burpees. Coming up with something that is a progressive plan and something that changes the overloads throughout the week or day-by-day is going to be really important. We need to look at a 3-week or a 4-week phase rather than, ‘What am I going to do every single day to try to improve?’
I think if you can still get outside and do something, getting out and getting general activity is very useful. Most of us, if you look at the amount you’ve been training, maybe it’s eight hours a week and now you’re in your house and you’re thinking, ‘I’m just going to hangboard.’ That’s not going to get you the capacity that you need. Continuing to get outside and going for a walk or a bike ride or a hike or a run, and trying to maintain that level of capacity is probably the closest thing you can do to support your climbing. Then, do some specific strength training in the house.
You can come up with a pretty good cycle of two days a week hangboard, two days a week of bodyweight training, and five days a week of general aerobic capacity training. I think if people can kind of design that out and be conservative with how hard they want to go on that, that’s how we’re going to progress the best through this. It’s real hard to go, ‘Oh yeah, I’m going to get better at my footwork or whatever while I’m locked in my apartment.’ We need to look in terms of just keeping the general athlete in good enough fitness.
Neely Quinn: Okay, so what I took from that is we should think that running is good for climbing now.
Steve Bechtel: Yep.
Neely Quinn: Okay. [laughs]
Steve Bechtel: We know it’s not specific. We know it’s not going to give you specific, local forearm muscular endurance, but activity on any level that promotes the ability to uptake oxygen and keep your heart conditioned well, keep your muscles good at processing oxygen and utilizing fat is very, very useful. Many of us are used to getting cardiovascular activity in terms of walking up to the crag with a backpack on. Those adaptations are expensive for your body to maintain so if we let even our general capacity for exercise drop off, that’s very hard to nail back when we start getting back in shape for climbing.
So yeah, going for a walk around your town, any amount of physical activity, is going to be really useful, especially emotionally and health-wise. Those are two things that we don’t really think about. We’re always training, training, training but I think maintaining cardiorespiratory fitness and mental health is just as important at this point.
Neely Quinn: Cool. I was totally joking but that was a really great answer to my dumb joke.
Tom, what do you think about that? In general, what do you think people should be doing at home?
Tom Randall: I think, as Steve said, one of the things that’s really important to realize is that most people go from this balance where they put aside a certain part of their week where they might do some quite focused work where they’re trying to make improvements, so what we put in the ‘training’ envelope, and then another part of the week will just be in the ‘general practice/having fun/unstructured work’ and that will go on that side of things.
What a lot of people are finding themselves in now is they have all of that space now and it’s suddenly in this ‘training’ envelope. They feel like they can fit all of that activity in that time that they put aside previously in that split and balanced way, just into training. I think this is a really big mistake, especially as people might tend to do it very quickly and kind of jump into it too fast and too hard.
I think it’s really good to try and break down and look at what you have previously done over the last three months or six months or last couple of years. Look at your history of what you put into your body and try and replicate that as much as possible in this home environment. If you were someone who did 1-2 days of training and this was focused work, previously to the situation we’re in now, do not suddenly try to put it up to 3-4-5 days of focused training. Try and mimic that. Keep that balance of focused training in your time at home.
If you then went out two days a week for fun, just try and look at other activities which mimic that as much as possible. That might be working large muscle groups, doing generalized strength and conditioning, circuit training, going for a walk, a bike ride, a run, any of those things that we can do that keeps that balance. Ultimately, your body won’t be very happy if you flip things too quickly and suddenly and secondly, it’s really hard motivation to do that. You can kind of pull it out of the bag for one week or two weeks when you really make massive changes but some of us might be down there for four weeks, eight weeks, maybe even longer in some countries. It’s difficult to say.
I think we’ve got to take a little bit of a longer-term view on this and actually build something that is realistic that we can do for a certain amount of time and still come out of it motivated for the thing that we ultimately love, which is a bit of training, a bit of climbing, and a nice balanced mix.
Neely Quinn: Thanks.
Kris, what do you have to say about it?
Kris Hampton: I would say number one, I think bouldering on your kitchen cabinets is a great alternative but make sure you get video when those fail and post it on Instagram.
Neely Quinn: Lots of injuries there, lots of injuries.
Kris Hampton: Yeah, no, don’t do that at all. I agree with Tom totally that you should try to take what you were doing before and keep that same level, that same frequency, and not ramp it up massively. If you find yourself with all this free time and you’re filling all that free time with extra training, maybe consider finding a hobby that you’re going to enjoy. Try to find something fun to do. Play with your kids. Even watch Tiger King, even though everyone already has.
Neely Quinn: I kind of want to go into this ‘training too much’ thing because I think you guys are right. It’s definitely peoples’ tendencies to be like, ‘Well, normally I climb for a couple hours 3-4 days a week and sometimes a couple times a week I do a half hour to an hour of training on top of that.’ It might be more or less than that. People are trying to fill all of that time with exercise or training. Can you guys tell me the cons of that? Tell us why, if we’re normally climbing for two hours 3-4 days a week, hanging on the hangboard is not a good direct substitution for that.
Steve, do you want to start?
Steve Bechtel: I think it’s really important to take a good look at what the loading cycle of your training is and how much time you spend at each of these intensities. Yeah, if you go to the climbing gym for two hours normally then you’re like, ‘Oh, I climbed for two hours.’ Actually, you’re climbing for five minutes every 25 minutes or five minutes every 15 minutes and it’s probably at a fairly low load. If we look at it as a percentage of your maximum finger strength, you’re not real close to that, even on hard climbs.
What happens when we try to replace it minute-for-minute with hangboard training is hangboard training is, by its very essence, super high intensity. Even just hanging bodyweight is quite hard on the fingers and it’s the exact same loading direction if you’re just hanging on a board. It’s always arms above the head, fingers in however many positions, so it’s really easy to overload the tissues.
We’re not going to overload your lungs, we’re not going to overload your muscles probably, but we are probably going to overload your finger joints and your tendons and then we’re going to end up with an injury, which is a really, really stupid thing to come out of this time at home with. ‘Oh yeah, that’s when I really hurt my finger.’ You want to hurt your finger sending your hardest route ever, not sitting in your kitchen.
I think going back, like Tom said, and look at the last 3-6 months and go: ‘This is how much I did of focused training,’ and then break it down and say, ‘How much time did I really spend hanging by my fingers? How much time did I spend doing maximal antagonistic training?’
That other thing there is maximal antagonistic training. People are going to go, ‘I’m going to get really good at push-ups now or I’m going to get really super, mobile shoulders.’ You can only adapt so much. Once we’ve hit that adaptation threshold, anything over that point is just moving into that area of injury so let’s do a variety of things that might help us but then we’ve got to stop at a reasonable amount of time. Then we start progressing that but you’ve got to have an all new plan, like Tom was saying, to go from where we are now to increased volume and intensity in the new style of training that you’re doing. You have to do it progressively and slowly.
The other thing you can do is work on other aspects of your game. Your mental game, your strategies and tactics. You can watch videos, learn beta, do all kinds of that sort of preparation as well but definitely not trying to replace minute-for-minute climbing with the hangboard.
Neely Quinn: Okay cool.
Tom Randall: I think the best example I can think of, like an actual scenario where someone was asking this directly was they said to me, “Right. I’m stuck. I really love climbing on a system board, like a 40-50° system board. What I want to do is I want to replace my system board training with a deadhanging session. I want to just swap that out.” I was like, ‘Okay, well what are you thinking?’
They said, “I want to just do the exercise and mimic the amounts of load I’m putting my forearms under and I want to do it super high intensity and just do it on the fingerboard. What I was thinking is if I look at my system board session I might spend 6-8 minutes of contact time on my system board and that’s my session. What I was going to do is a 6-8 minute max hang session on my fingerboard and replicate that out.”
I was like, ‘6-8 minutes at 90-100%?’ “Yeah, that’s what I’m going to do.” Straightaway that rang the alarm bells. This is exactly what you cannot do, or you’re not going to get particular results from doing it. If you really look at it and analyze it, what you’re doing on a system board – if you’re trying to replace that, for example – is you’re not operating those 6-8 minutes in that 90-100% range. Actually, if you really look at it, you might only do 1-2 moves each time you get on that system board that are at really high intensity. A lot of it is actually quite submaximal and down at maybe 70%, 75%, 80%.
If you’re going to try to take things out and replicate them on a fingerboard you’ve got to really try to break it down a bit more and be realistic about the kind of intensities that you’re operating at when you do that climbing activity. Don’t swap out eight minutes of system board training for eight minutes of max hangs. Go maybe one minute of max hang work in total, in terms of those intervals and time under tension, but break the other part down and do some repeaters, so some lower intensity work. Combine those and add those together and that might be a more appropriate replica or substitution for that session.
Of course, you also have to bear in mind the body positions and where your arms are above your head as well. As Steve said, depending on how long this goes on for, I think some people are going to find that if they spend huge amounts of time with their arms above their head doing this high intensity work they may need to look at different arm and shoulder positions, body positions, and work out ways to train in a more balanced and appropriate way. I think things like farmers’ lifts, pinch block lifts, kettlebell work, and dumbbell work in with hangboarding. You can do a lot of intense and moderately intense work, which I think is more balanced and will work better for you in the long run.
Neely Quinn: And Kris, what do you think about this?
Kris Hampton: I mean, I think these guys have pretty much covered it. The one thing I would add is that if all you have is a hangboard and you’re trying to add all of this extra time and extra training, you’re going to burn out and lose motivation much faster, most likely, than your normal training would have. While it’s not a good idea physically to do it, I think it’s not a good idea mentally and motivationally as well. Keeping it to that norm you were on previously, before all of this lockdown happened, I think is a much better idea.
Neely Quinn: Okay. You mentioned motivationally and I want to pivot to motivation because it seems to be on a lot of peoples’ minds. I’ve actually even been looking for ways to stay motivated. It’s really easy to just be like, ‘I’m exhausted emotionally from this pandemic and work and all the things. All I want to do is watch TV.’
You guys work with people all the time. Please tell us how you are recommending that people stay motivated. We can start with you, Steve.
Steve Bechtel: You know, it’s real interesting. I understand there’s a certain level of emotional cost to this whole thing but this is so easy compared to any other eventuality. Like you have to stay home and have phone and internet access and you can order food. If you have some amount of perspective, the thing I would remind people is we have been living in very, very easy times. Most people don’t have to work very much for as much money as they make, or as they did in the past. Everything in our lives is very, very easy. We can have anything sent to our house on a moment’s notice. To have things a little bit more difficult is, I think, good developmentally for all of us.
The thing I would say about staying motivated to train is you should stay motivated to have that continuity of training, meaning getting your heart rate up, breathing hard, making your fingers feel like you’re a climber still. In general, just trying to get something going that is going to build a basic capacity for you fitness-wise. Then, you can go ahead and plan out some hard workouts and things like that.
The main thing is to just make it a new habit. We had the old habit of going down the street to the climbing gym, going to the crag on the weekend, visiting Whole Foods, whatever it was. Your new habit is going to involve new things and you need to start enforcing those because habit becomes an anchor on which you can reduce your stress. The more habits you have, the less energy you have to spend maintaining all these other things.
If you always say, “Yeah, I’m going to get out of bed at 7:00 in the morning and I’m going to exercise for an hour,” it’s very, very critical that you put that into your day. Otherwise it ends up being this eternal sick day of, ‘Eh, I guess I’ll eat a little something. I guess I’ll go over here and watch some TV.’ Our tendency is to be less active. Some of the reports are that people are ¼-⅓ as active as they were pre-quarantine and they tend to eat badly.
One of the great things you could do now and it’s very, very easy, is to dial in your eating. Build a habit of eating well, build a habit of training, and then you can build all the rest of the habits in your life around those things. You’re not going to have your highest performance levels the day you get back to the crag after this but you want to come out of this being somewhat fit and somewhat healthy, rather than being someone that has been kept in a room for the last eight months.
Neely Quinn: Yeah, I know for me one of my biggest motivators is I don’t want to suck really bad when I come out of this. I want to at least be able to get back to peak performance pretty quickly.
So Tom, what do you think about that? How are you telling your clients to stay motivated?
Tom Randall: There’s a few different things we’re trying to look at. One is I think it’s really useful for most people to do a sort of reality check and realize – and this is a conversation you have to just get going – that if things like their personal safety, their health, or their uncertainty of life are really affected by anything at the moment, and everyone is kind of on a different part of the spectrum, it’s a good conversation to have to say if any of those three factors or all three in combination are significantly affected, you are going to struggle with motivation. It’s really going to affect that so be a little bit realistic about how much you’re trying to go after those high-end goals to do with climbing if you can’t deal with your own health or you can’t deal with the money that you normally bring in every month.
You kind of have to just get people into that self care kindness cycle a little bit, just to be realistic. There’s no point in doing some amazing fingerboarding regime, whatever it might be, if you can’t deal with money coming in the door. You have to be realistic about that, first of all.
Secondly, get people to sit back and go: ‘What were the core things that really motivated you as a climber? What got you going a year ago? What got you going five years ago?’ Do a check-in on that and really find out what’s right in the heart and what kind of gets you up every morning and kind of keeps that fire burning. If you can check in on that it really keeps the stoke going and it’s nice to do that on occasions like this. Sometimes you can drift and there’s so much noise going on and everything is so different every day and it’s really hard to focus.
Lastly, the other thing on top of that that I would do is say, “What tools do you have? Let’s not just battle against not having a gym or not having access to this or not having your partner that you normally climb with. Make a list of things you do have and build your regime on what you can do around those things.” Be realistic because otherwise you’re just making your life a lot harder and you will get demotivated by that.
Neely Quinn: Great. Thanks, Tom.
Kris, what do you think about that?
Kris Hampton: I’ll give you one of the specific things that I think has helped a lot of people. It’s something I’ve used to motivate myself and I see a lot of my clients and my friends and partners doing the same. We’re all able to talk to each other and see each other’s faces during this whole thing, it’s just sort of a Jetsons idea. Fifteen years ago we never imagined it. You can still be at home and go through the guidebooks, talk to your partners, plan your next season. What projects do you have that line up with someone else’s projects? Pay attention to the aspect of when they’re in the sun, when it’s good for you to be on your project, when it’s good for your partner to be on their project, and plan out the season as best as you can. I think a lot of people miss that to begin with and that gets me really psyched. It gets a lot of people really motivated.
Like Tom alluded to, you don’t necessarily have to be motivated, you know? We’re not going to totally suck after this. You’re not going to lose nearly as much as you think you are. A little bit of training goes a long way so if you’re not super motivated, that’s totally okay, too.
Neely Quinn: Okay. I think it’s really good for people to kind of be given permission to not need to achieve huge things right now. Kind of on the same topic of motivation is some people have new responsibilities at home, if they have children especially. You guys, Tom and Steve, have young kids. Kris, obviously you have a child but she’s older and doesn’t live with you anymore. For people out there who are now faced with homeschooling and possibly working from home, what advice do you have for them about time management and anything else about motivation to keep training?
Steve Bechtel: We always have had a lot of structure, my wife Ellen and I, with our coaching and training. I’ll have a phone call at this time, I have to do programming at this time, so we each had a calendar that we worked from anyway. It just took a couple of weeks of working to try to fit the kids’ calendars in there, too. The kids have assignments from their teachers, they have Zoom meetings with their teachers, so finding a schedule and sharing one big calendar between our whole family has been really helpful. Like, to look at what Sam’s got to do and at what our daughter Annabelle has to do, and then try to fit our work around that.
Most of the things I’m doing right now are somewhat flexible. I have some scheduled meetings but a lot of my work is I do it when I can. Once you get a look at all the calendar pieces, then we can start plugging that kind of stuff in.
One of the things that I’ve been doing for the last couple weeks is getting up an hour earlier than I normally do and trying to hammer a lot of that work during that period. One of the things I’m real keen on is trying to continue to learn so I spend some time each day doing developmental stuff, so I’ll spend maybe a half hour to an hour in the morning reading or taking courses then start into that work.
Really, we’re fighting to make sure the kids have the time they need and that we’re nurturing them in that same way. It’s sort of crazy for them. Sam is a sixth grader and half of his normal day is spent with all of his friends so it’s a really socially developmental time for him. We’re trying to make sure he gets an hour or two a day, just like we are, in some Zoom meeting with a friend just talking about nothing. Structuring all of that stuff is very much like planning your training or planning your work but it now involves, for us, four people rather than just one or two.
Neely Quinn: And Steve, when are you fitting training in? Or are you?
Steve Bechtel: I’m just too busy so I’m not exercising at this time. [laughs] No, that’s actually interesting because that’s part of getting up early. I’ll do that and like I was telling Tom earlier, Ellen and I are the only two people who are coming to our gym right now so unlike most other people, I have way more than just a hangboard to train on. I’ll come down here and workout on the bouldering wall or on the campus board and I’ll usually just do that on a somewhat regular schedule, about three days a week. Then Ellen will do that on the opposite days and I’ll be at home with the kids.
Like I had told you last week when we talked, Neely, we just have the world’s most expensive home gym right now so we do get access to that. We make time for it every day.
Neely Quinn: [laughs] Okay, cool. That’s good to hear.
Tom Randall: I have two daughters, one who is five and one who is eight. They’re both off school and they now get homeschooled. I’d say for the first two weeks it was total – well, that’s probably doing my wife a misservice – havoc in my head but kind of quite organized in Kim’s head. Timing was really, really tricky.
I tend to work quite a long week. I do a lot of hours and I also mix in a lot of climbing and training with that. I don’t really watch TV. I don’t think I’ve watched a film for years or anything like that, so even at that point I found that those two weeks my time so was significantly impacted because I was just kind of putting everything down and doing some homeschooling stuff like an English lesson and a science lesson, which was comedy in itself because I failed at one of my five-year old’s math questions. I couldn’t believe it. It was way harder than you think! They’ve really advanced these days.
Neely Quinn: [laughs] Nice.
Tom Randall: I couldn’t believe it. So basically, for the first two weeks I actually did, for once, what I would tell my clients to do which is: if your life is in that much disarray and everything is too hard and you don’t actually have the time, just go easy on yourself. Don’t try and train. I did zero for two weeks. I don’t ever really do that even when I get injured, really, and when I get injured I’ll be training some other part of my body. I did nothing for two weeks. I didn’t enjoy it but I did go, ‘You know what? If I’m going to try and train at 2:30 in the morning that’s going to suck. I’m just not going to do that to myself,’ so I went, ‘It’s not realistic. I’m just going to write it off and I’m just not going to do anything for two weeks. It is what it is.’
I just got back into it this last week as things have eased up a little bit. I’ve just made sure that I do what I think a lot of people should do and just take whatever tools and things you want to do in the home and make them super accessible. If you need to do this kind of shuffle in and out of childcare and things like that, make your fingerboard in a really, really easy place. I don’t have my fingerboard in the cellar, for example, where all of the cracks are, I have it next to the kitchen. If you’re going to do some weights stuff just make it really easy to get hold of. Don’t make your life harder. That’s what I tend to do.
Neely Quinn: That’s good practical advice.
Kris, do you have anything to add to that?
Kris Hampton: The only thing I would add is a lot of us are stuck in a new situation with our spouses or housemates or whatever it might be. In my situation I work from home and I’m usually here by myself all day and now I have my wife, who is a social worker at the schools here in Lander, at home and doing Zoom meetings with her colleagues as well as with students. Our schedules have clashed a little bit and I’ve found myself getting frustrated that my normal schedule has been totally disrupted in that way.
I also have my office manager who was here staying with us for a little while and has gotten locked in with us as well. I’m just driving her crazy trying to work 15 hours a day. You have to also just pay attention to what’s going on with your housemates, your spouses, whoever it is, and give them the space and the time that they need as well.
Neely Quinn: Yeah, I think people are having to get real creative about space. I see my next door neighbor taking calls in his car in his driveway. [laughs]
Kris Hampton: [laughs] That’s great.
Neely Quinn: Okay, so I feel like we’ve covered a lot of the emotional parts of this. I want to get to some of the nuts and bolts of this. I had asked all of you guys to give me some common questions from your audience and Tom, one of them that you gave me was, ‘What to do at home if you’re faced with scenarios where you have very little weight; dumbbells, discs, or kettlebells.’ Do you want to talk about that for the people who have very little equipment? What are you having them do?
Tom Randall: Was that my question?
Neely Quinn: Yeah. Was it not? Maybe I’m just giving you credit for something.
Tom Randall: Damn. Why did I give myself such a hard question. Kris? [laughs] No, I’ve got it. That question was one that I think is quite relevant to lots of people. I’ve been hearing about people who can’t even get weights on eBay and is it called Craigslist in the US?
Neely Quinn: Yeah.
Kris Hampton: Yep.
Tom Randall: I think we have Gumtree in the UK. I’ve been explaining to people that if you still want to do some work which you can’t do heavily weighted and you still want to have a strength stimulus, one trick up your sleeve that I think a lot of people forget about is massively increasing the duration of each rep so slowing the movement down. You can still have a really good strength stimulus by massively slowing down that movement.
An example of that would be a pull-up. If you can do a pull-up really easily and you can do 20 of them in a row, just try doing 3 pull-ups in a row and taking 15 seconds to do each of those pull-ups. It’s really freakin’ hard. You can do exactly the same with any of these planes of movement that we use in training. It’s just a really nice tool to use if you have no weights. I’ve been telling quite a few people that to use if they get really stuck.
Neely Quinn: Can you give me an example of some of the workouts that you’re having people do with very little equipment available?
Tom Randall: With the generalized home workouts, what we try and do is a split of upper and lower body general conditioning work, so large muscle groups exploring a full range of movements. Then we’ll also do a certain amount of weighted mobility work as well. I’m keen to do a mixture of flexibility and mobility work but I think it’s really good to do some weighted work as well for the higher end climbers. It just works the muscles in a different manner. It’s a bit more motivating for some of the more elite climbers as well.
Lastly, we do a fair amount of fingerboard work down at the lower end of the spectrum in terms of lower intensity. Stuff that’s more akin to regeneration work, ARC, aero-cap work, down at 30, 35, 40% work. Sessions where you might be doing a very low intensity fingerboard session might be 25-kilos, so about 50-pounds of assistance, on a rope and pulley setup attached to your harness with the pulley going just underneath the fingerboard. This kind of intensity is low enough where if you hang on your fingerboard, you can typically take one hand off so you can hang one-arm quite easily. It’s really a lot of assistance.
Then, doing a repeaters exercise on anything like 5 on/5 off, 7 on/3 off, 10 on/2 off. Any kind of variety of that and using that within a range of grip positions as well so not just half-crimping. Use open-three, open-four, half-crimp, pocket positions, and just creating plenty of variety.
Neely Quinn: Okay. That’s great. Thank you.
Steve, same question. What are you telling your clients, in general, to do that have minimal equipment and what are some of the workouts, specifically?
Steve Bechtel: I think the first thing we should start with is what that person has available. Like Tom mentioned a little bit earlier, we don’t want to start from a place of lack, like all of the things we don’t have. We should start with the things that we do. You might have a backpack that you can fill with books. You might have a milk jug. All of these different implements you can use to add load but we don’t necessarily need to do that.
I really do like the tempo-style, slow pace like Tom was mentioning. Also, isometrics are great. To hold an isometric, like whether it’s holding a pull-up position at 90° elbow, push-ups held halfway, full squat holding the bottom position, all of those things give a good strength stimulus and many of us are very weak in those positions so we get great gains from those without too much work, so playing with the speed of the movement.
The other end of the spectrum is to take your bodyweight movements and to add explosiveness. I really like explosive push-ups and explosive pull-ups to throw in some speed movement there. You might not do all of these in the same session, you may not even do them in the same phase, but you have a whole bunch of tools. Most of us are used to doing a 1 second down/1 second up push-up or the same thing with our pull-ups. When we start broadening the loading spectrum there it opens up a lot of worlds to us. We can do a whole lot there.
Integrated core work, too, like hanging on the hangboard or hanging onto some jugs and doing leg raises or front levers are fabulous works to do. It depends on really what that athlete is capable of but we can progress all of those things at any athlete’s level. No matter where you are strength-wise, you should be able to look at your push-up ability and say, “Oh, this would make this more difficult. This would make this easier,” and you can mess with those progressions and regressions.
We do a fair amount of strength training but 2-3 days a week with pretty short sessions, no more than about 30 minutes. Then on the hangboards I think the lower intensity stuff is the ticket and we’re right in the same parameters that Tom suggested, unloading things or going for very short sessions.
I’m a big fan, also, of varying the volume of hangboard training throughout the week. I would do maybe two rounds of a big circuit of repeaters on Monday, then more rounds on Wednesday like three rounds of it, then on Friday we would drop down to a very low volume of that so there’s some amount of variability in there. The main thing is to make sure that we’re keeping that athlete uninjured and progressing slightly in their strength, in whatever particular facet of strength that we’re working in.
To circle back around, it’s really like: start with what you’ve got and understand that the tools you have are going to be sufficient. You don’t have to sit around and go, ‘Well, I would workout if I had a campus board in my living room.’ It’s more important to say, “Oh yeah. I have this thing. Here I go.”
Neely Quinn: Okay. Do you think it matters what finger protocols people choose to do? You just mentioned repeaters. Is that generally what you’re having people do? Or are you putting in max hangs?
Steve Bechtel: We use a lot of different loading protocols. It really depends on what the athlete is trying to get done, though repeaters are pretty good. They’re pretty broad-based and so you can use those for a lot of things, even though it’s primarily what you would call a strength endurance stimulus, like the classic 7 seconds on/3 seconds off, they’re still good strength gains there.
The thing that is really important for people to understand is that with isometrics, anything over about 70% of your maximum is still going to provide a strength stimulus. I think that banging your head against the max hang over and over and over and always trying to work above 95% is a recipe for injury and it’s also a recipe for staleness. Cycling down to that 70% load and understanding that that, too, is increasing your strength is really a positive there. The 7 seconds on/3 seconds off is fine. 10 seconds on/50 seconds off is also fine.
The main thing I would say is whatever that athlete chooses, they should go through an entire cycle of that. Do 8-12 progressed hangboard sessions in that mode and then switch to a different stimulus. We’re still in this world of, ‘What’s the best hangboard protocol?’ It would be like saying, ‘What’s the best weight training routine?’ There just isn’t one. There’s a ton of them and it all depends on work-to-rest ratios and intensity of the loading.
Neely Quinn: Okay, thanks.
Kris, going back to the original question, what are you generally recommending for people who have very little equipment, and what kind of workouts?
Kris Hampton: Again, I think these guys have really hit on it but as a former gymnastics coach and gymnast, it was really rare that gymnasts back then used weight in their training at all. It’s pretty clear if you look at a gymnast and the way they can move their body and how explosive they are that you don’t have to have heavy weights to get a good workout, to get a good strength or power stimulus.
There’s almost always a progression of a bodyweight exercise that’s going to be really hard for you and there’s a lot of ways to make those progressions harder. Tom and Steve have both talked about manipulating the time spent in certain positions or adding a cycled breath to the tough position of that bodyweight exercise. Narrowing your base – there’s all sorts of ways to make things harder so explore those things. You can look all over the Internet at gymnastic-type movement or calisthenics and find really easy ways to come up with a hard bodyweight exercise.
We’re programming really similar to what these guys are doing. Varying the protocols every few weeks or when it looks like someone is plateauing in what they’re doing, and just switching it up to keep people interested, to keep people as motivated as we can, and to continue seeing gains.
Neely Quinn: Okay. I’m actually going to stay on you because I don’t want you to feel like you’re last every time.
Kris Hampton: I’m just here learning so it’s fine.
Neely Quinn: Okay. I think a lot of people are out there wondering, ‘How am I supposed to maintain my endurance through all of this?’ Kris, what do you think about that?
Kris Hampton: Well, I think number one I would say, “When is the next time you’re going to need to access it?” We know that endurance is a quality that is really easy to get back once you’ve lost a little. Steve mentioned that just general fitness is going to be really helpful and if that’s all you’ve got available right now then we should be doing some of that.
If you’re not going to get back to the route that you’re excited about that you need that endurance for until the fall, then maybe you don’t need to be so concerned about hanging onto that endurance right now. You can do really small amounts of it with a much lower intensity ARC style or just really low intensity hangboarding, taking a lot of weight off. You can do a session of that a week, or once every other week, and have plenty of base for your endurance when you need to pick it back up down the road.
I would suggest to people to examine whether you really even need the endurance right now. If you don’t, just be okay with not holding onto it at its peak.
Neely Quinn: Alright.
Steve, would you like to comment on endurance?
Steve Bechtel: I think that maintaining a general aerobic or cardiorespiratory capacity is the base of it and the honed-up anaerobic power stuff that people really think of as their endurance for climbing is hard to hold onto anyway. So yeah, general activity and looking at it in terms of doing a small calisthenic circuit that keeps your heart rate at a certain level to maintain some upper body endurance in that way.
One of the main things we lose is the capillary beds in the muscles. Those are expensive to maintain so when we stop doing endurance activity with a certain muscle group, like our forearms, that tends to de-train pretty quickly. Tom’s got some great endurance workouts, all the way from basic aerobic capacity all the way up, that are very simple.
One of the things I learned a few years ago is the campus board ladder. Just going up and down with your feet on something. You can do that on a hangboard, too. It’s tedious but having a little stimulus there would be really good. You can put your feet on a chair and just move your hands around your hangboard to where you’re unloading a lot of your bodyweight onto the chair and you can climb for maybe two minutes, then take a break for recovery, climb for two minutes, take a break for recovery. The idea there is just getting some amount of low, low, low intensity loading onto those hands but you’re not going to want to do that for a super long time.
At a very, very reasonable level of maybe once every week or once every 10 days you can add this into your training just to try to maintain a little bit of that. Like Kris said, it’s going to come back and you’re going to have more fun training stamina when you actually get to climb. That can be really demotivating to spend way too much time, especially working on stamina, on the hangboard.
Neely Quinn: Yeah, for sure.
Tom, anything to add?
Tom Randall: I think these guys have covered most of it, really. I think the only thing I’d probably add into it is if you look at your endurance or aerobic fitness in a localized sense you can, in a broad sense, break out three parts. You’ve got enzyme activity, mitochondrial function, and capillarization, so delivery of oxygenated blood at a localized level in the muscle. You have those three factors that you’re essentially working when you’re doing any kind of endurance workout.
The half-life, so the training loss or the detraining that you have, which occurs in both the enzyme activity and the mitochondrial function in a muscle, is really fast. That will go quickly but it will also come back quickly.
The capillarization is the thing which I think has more value in trying to maintain. It takes a bit more time but can also be maintained with very little detriment to other parts of your climbing training activity and your time use within the home environment. I would say that if I was going to put my time into one thing in this environment, it would be doing some kind of work that was going to maintain that capillary density/accessibility of oxygenated blood to both the fast-twitch and slow-twitch muscle fibers, so doing some work at a high intensity interval training and some lower intensity work. That’s what I put my money on in terms of endurance stuff, if you’re going to do that.
Neely Quinn: Okay, great. I think that was a pretty thorough answer to that question. I’m going to move on to one of the last questions. I don’t want to take up too much of your time but I think a lot of people are wondering if there is any way to train skills or movement or even body tension. I’m going to start with you, Kris, on this. Do you think there is any way to do that at home?
Kris Hampton: Yeah, actually I do. There are a lot of components to skill and becoming better at any skill that don’t involve necessarily doing that exact skill. We can really build body awareness by doing lots of different things. There’s movement flows and all sorts of calisthenic things that you can practice and really spend time being intentional in those things, instead of just going through the motions. You can do this with just general strength exercises as well if you’re really intentional and trying to be really aware of how your body is moving, what your tension is like, what muscles seem to be working the most in different parts of the movement. That’s just going to build awareness that you can then apply later on onto the wall while you’re climbing. Those things speed up your process quite a bit.
If you’re having a hard time with a move, if you’ve spent time in this place where you’re really intentional and really aware, then you’re going to be able to pick apart the tiny parts of that movement faster and be able to put them back together in the right way faster as well.
I think that as long as we’re intentional and aware in whatever our training is, it’s going to be helpful for skill down the road.
Neely Quinn: Okay.
Steve, do you want to add anything to that?
Steve Bechtel: Yeah, I think that trying to go like, ‘Oh man, I really want to keep this particular skill honed-up,’ is just going to end up in frustration. You can develop core tension really well through bodyweight progressions and things like that. You can also, like Kris was saying, keep the ability to move well by doing different floor-based movements. There’s the whole ground-based martial arts practice that they do. There’s several movements in any martial arts, like in Taekwondo or Karate, they’ll do movement-based things where they’ll tumble or they’ll crawl or all kinds of things to keep the motor pathways moving.
One of the things that happens to people as they become adults is they don’t train multi-directionally anymore. They don’t play, is really what is happening. We’re always about like, ‘I’m going to go run or go ride my bike, I’m going to do eight sets of this,’ instead of moving somewhat randomly, which is kind of what climbing is like. Doing things like going out and playing soccer with your kids or walking on a balance beam or if you can still go to the park, doing those sorts of things is going to hold on to that a little bit.
The other side of that is you’re not going to lose that ability. Once you’ve learned the basic way to move your feet and do that sort of thing, like move on rock or move on an artificial wall, that ability won’t degrade as quickly as you think. I think most of our getting out of shape and getting away and sucking at climbing is more mental and emotional than it is physical. You’re going to ramp right back up into it and I think the main thing to keep in mind is, ‘Yeah, I need to keep strong and keep fit and whatever else but it’s all going to come back.’
People that have had a long term injury or a long term illness know this. You can be away from climbing for six months or eight months and then all of a sudden you’re right back into it. I had elbow surgery maybe 12-14 years ago and I thought, ‘Oh man, this is going to suck. It’s all over for me. I’m going to be a road biker from here on out,’ but the elbow got better and I was able to climb harder post-surgery than I ever did before it. Even though I was off for maybe a year I still came right back into it. I think that getting wrapped up in that is a little short-sighted.
Neely Quinn: Okay, that’s helpful.
Tom, anything to add to that?
Tom Randall: I think as Steve said, this stuff does come back. If you’ve got the skill set there originally developed you will feel rusty when you come back and sure, some people seem to settle back into things really, really quickly and others take longer. It just seems to be the way that we’re made and it’s going to be a function of our history and how long we’ve been climbing for, whether it’s 5 years, 10 years, 20 years, so first of all don’t panic. It will come back as soon as you get back into it.
As much as Kris said earlier about the dumb videos we see of people climbing around their houses and doing all those sorts of things, I actually think that basically playing around in your house and doing silly challenges and things that involve climbing muscles – like, I love where you see people climbing around their partner and climbing under tables. I’ve seen people traversing around the outside of their houses on brick edges and things. That’s great stuff to do because it maintains that skill set. It’s really motivating as well because it’s really hard coming back from an injury of 3-6 months. You come back into the game and you feel awful. You feel so wooden. It is hard to deal with that and a lot of people struggle with it in terms of motivation so perhaps just setting yourself up in a motivational sense. If you can, do a little bit of maintenance.
Lastly I would say that any exercises that you do do at home in terms of a training sense, once you’ve mastered them think about dropping the intensity on them but making the skill required to execute them really, well, quite tricky. It’s good to put challenges within exercises themselves because it challenges you mentally and I think it’s good to not end up becoming that climber who is just the wooden plank that is really good at hanging off an edge but literally moves like a metal fork. It’s no good for anyone. You do want to actually still be quite a skillful, supple, athlete human.
Neely Quinn: Can you give me an example of an exercise you can put a lot of skill into?
Tom Randall: An example of that would be – I don’t know if you guys have ever tried this. It’s got me into trouble a few times, depending on what type of Therabands you use. You attach two Therabands to your fingerboard and put them pretty low down so they’re maybe around knee level. Then you put a foot in each Theraband so it takes a load of assistance but it has some give in it. You’re almost in one of those baby bouncers that you put your kids in in a doorway when they’re really young. When you weight it with your feet you sort of move your body almost into a position like you’re on a steep board, so depending on where you place it maybe 20-45°. It feels like you’re on a board. Then you can move your hands around that fingerboard and it sort of slightly mimics climbing movement. There is an element to it that should feel familiar.
It’s quite interesting if you drop one foot out and you just do it with one foot on, that’s a way that suddenly makes a very, very standard fingerboard endurance workout where you put your feet on a solid object like a chair, if you do it on a moveable object where things move around, it adds a skill level into it. I’ve not tried it so I don’t know if I want to recommend it but you could maybe do it on a yoga ball that’s moving around as well. Anyone else tried that?
Neely Quinn: [laughs] Sounds dangerous.
Kris Hampton: No. I’m interested in trying it now, though.
Tom Randall: You post the video first and I’ll watch.
Kris Hampton: [laughs]
Neely Quinn: I have one last question for you guys and this is more of a cautionary question. I want to know what you guys think is too much for people to be doing right now, in terms of how many hangboard sessions and how many strength workouts per week. I know this is very different for everybody but in general, do you have any recommendations on that just to keep people from totally messing themselves up? Kris?
Kris Hampton: Like you said, it’s going to be very different depending on your training history and what level you were at prior to this. I think we’ve said this already but the level that I think is too much is going over what you were doing previously. I think that if what you were doing before was working, then there is no reason to try to ramp it up. For many of the reasons we’ve already covered, you’re just setting yourself up for injury if you try to ramp up. I would say anything beyond what you were doing before is likely too much at this point.
Neely Quinn: Steve?
Steve Bechtel: I think very often we get into a mindset of, ‘How much can I take? How much can I possibly do and not quite get injured?’ I think if the athlete can get into the mindset of, ‘What’s the least I can do and still see a positive adaptation from this training?’ they’re going to be a lot less likely to get injured and a lot more likely to be able to continue the cycle for a longer period. It’s a hard transition to make emotionally.
Figure out about how strong your fingers are. There’s a great assessment of how to test your fingers. Go test and see how strong your fingers are on a certain edge then do your training for 2-3 weeks. Did your fingers get stronger? Did they maintain? What was your goal? If you were able to see a gain in finger strength on a particular protocol you should never ever ever add more volume to that until you’re flat again. The thing is, adding more is very rarely the secret formula. Usually it’s having better recovery and timing things better or being smarter about your work-to-rest ratio within the workout.
I would say again go back to, ‘Can I get my fingers stronger in two days on the fingerboard rather than three? Can I do it at a slightly less load than I was doing before?’ We are looking at a long term training cycle here and the last thing you want to do is peak your finger strength at the end of April and still have nothing to do and then you have to go to an online Zumba class or something.
Neely Quinn: [laughs] Okay.
Tom, anything to add?
Tom Randall: I’ve always fancied one of those online Zumba classes.
Kris Hampton: Steve is doing them through his gym.
Tom Randall: Sign me up.
Steve Bechtel: Tuesday and Thursday from 6:00AM-midnight.
Tom Randall: I guess I can go on the fingerboard at the same time, yeah?
Steve Bechtel: Sure.
Tom Randall: [laughs] In answer to the question, number one would be to use your training history to inform what you do when you’re back at home. Don’t try and overload it. I think it’s quite a good way of looking at this, like thinking, ‘What can I get away with?’ and it’s a good way to baseline what you would put into your training regime back at home. From the conversations I’ve had with lots of people I think they’ve tended to go, ‘Oh, I’ve got to do so much now. I’ve lost everything so now I need to be even more focused than before.’
The reality is that you’ve got time. You can’t just win the battle in two weeks of suddenly changing what you’re doing at home. Just take it easy, sit back, and at least get a couple of weeks under your belt, first of all, in this new regime of what you’re doing. Be a little conservative, at least for the start, and if you’re recovering and you’re making improvements in those exercises over your time at home that’s one good indication that you’re recovering adequately. You’re training but you’re resting adequately.
Lastly, one other thing that I say is always too much is: just at it hard all of the time and never taking a break. Again, when you come to this training change where you’re doing all these things at home, don’t break away from your previous habits where you might have done two hard weeks of training and then had a rest week or three hard weeks and then had a rest week. Mimic that at home at well. Just because you’re bored and you’re going off the walls, don’t break from that. Your body really loved that before so copy it because it works. Stick to your rules.
Neely Quinn: Great.
You guys are amazing at what you do. I think I covered all the questions that I wanted to get answered. Is there any burning question that you guys have that you want everybody to answer?
Kris Hampton: I saw a question on your Facebook post, Neely, that I think deserves a point. I think Lee Smith asked it. Everybody was all trained up and then this thing happened and we got sidelined. I think that’s a good time, if you have a home wall, if you have a fingerboard, whatever it is, come up with some performance challenges for yourself rather than continuing to train. Treat it like performance time and get yourself motivated with a couple of boulder projects or a couple of moving around your fingerboard projects, or just some movement flow project that you can get psyched about. Use that time to be tactical and to perform and to feel like a climber or someone who is performing again. I think that’s good for our psyche as well as for our bodies.
Neely Quinn: Cool. Basically just find new performance goals within the circumstances.
Kris Hampton: Yeah.
Neely Quinn: Great.
Where can everybody find you guys? Tom, can you tell us where people can find you?
Tom Randall: I don’t want to give away my home address.
Neely Quinn: [laughs]
Tom Randall: You can find me on Google and @latticetraining on Instagram, or something.
Neely Quinn: Oh my god, you’re the worst. Never mind. I’ll tell people where they can find you.
Steve Bechtel: I’m @stevebechtel on Instagram and you can find all of our training information at climbstrong.com.
Neely Quinn: And Kris?
Kris Hampton: First, I’ll say that I asked Tom the other day for a voice note for an episode I’m going to do and it came with his home address attached to it, so I’ll send that out to everybody.
Neely Quinn: [laughs] Please give that out.
Kris Hampton: You can find me @powercompanyclimbing on all the social medias and at powercompanyclimbing.com on the interwebs.
Neely Quinn: Thank you guys so much. Stay healthy and safe and hopefully I’ll see you under different circumstances soon.
Kris Hampton, Steve Bechtel, Tom Randall: Thanks Neely.
Neely Quinn: Alright, I hope you enjoyed that interview with Steve Bechtel, Kris Hampton, and Tom Randall. I really appreciate them sitting down and giving us a bunch of wisdom for free and doing it all together. I really love that about our community. We can work so collaboratively with each other even though we’re all technically competing with each other. I just think it’s awesome. I love it.
All of those guys have created really great resources for you through this time. Kris has this quaranteam area of his website. I’ll also plug his new book. He just put out a new book, his first book, called The Hard Truth. Kris is a very good teacher and he has a lot of important and useful things to say so definitely check out his website.
Steve just put out a new bodyweight program. His guys over at Elemental and ClimbStrong are superb trainers. All of the things they put out are great. They’re also doing classes for free online right now.
Tom Randall always has great information and blog posts and podcast episodes and information for everybody to use right now.
Again, I have a lot of respect for all of those guys and I really appreciate them being on the show together.
Just to remind you, we do have that ebook for you if you want help with your training at home beyond what they just told you. If you want somebody to tell you, ‘Do this exercise then this exercise and then this one for this long, and then rest, and then do it again, then put your fingers on this grip of the hangboard and hold on for this long,’ that’s what the ebook is all about. That’s personally what I like. I need somebody to just tell me what to do with training because I don’t like thinking about it. You can find that at trainingbeta.com/covid.
That’s all I’ve got for you today. I really appreciate you listening all the way to the end. You can find us on social media @trainingbeta, you can find us on our Facebook training group at trainingbeta.com/community, you can donate to us if you want to support us by going to trainingbeta.com/donate, and if you want to wear our stuff you can go to trainingbeta.com/shop and we have all kinds of apparel.
Okay, that is actually it. Thanks for listening all the way to the end. Talk to you soon.