Project Description

Date: July 25th, 2018

trainingbeta podcast


About Tyler Nelson

Tyler Nelson has a lot of qualifications, so I’m going to let his website sum those up for you:

Tyler is a second generation chiropractor whose father was a leader in chiropractic sports medicine for many years. In graduate school he did a dual doctorate and masters degree program in exercise science with an emphasis on tendon loading. He completed his masters degree at BYU and was a physician for the athletics department for 4 years out of school. He currently is the owner of Camp4 Human Performance where he treats clients through his license as a chiropractic physician. He also teaches anatomy and physiology at a local college in Utah and is an instructor for the Performance Climbing Coach seminar series and a certified instructor for gobstrong. When he’s not working he’s climbing or hiking outside with his family.  

You can find Tyler in Salt Lake City at his clinic, Camp 4 Human Performance, where he creates programs and treats all kinds of athletes.

I met Tyler at Steve Bechtel’s Climbing Training Seminar in Lander in May of 2017, where we were both instructors. Since then I’ve done 2 more seminars with him and 2 other podcast episodes (here and here). He is well-spoken and a wealth of knowledge about how the human body responds to climbing and training.

In our first interview about a year ago, we spent some of our time talking about blood flow restriction (BFR) training and how it applies to climbers. Here’s a description from Tyler’s website about what BFR is:

Blood flow restriction training is a rehabilitation modality that uses a manipulation of the body’s circulatory system in combination with light-weight exercise to achieve training results similar to high intensity strength training (traditional heavy weight lifting).

In this interview, we’re going to go more in-depth about this kind of training, which he has incorporated strongly into his practice over the past year.

Tyler Nelson Interview Details

  • Background on BFR
  • When and why we should use it
  • Best equipment to use
  • Dangers of BFR and how to avoid them
  • How the hormones associated with BFR training help with healing
  • How to hangboard with BFR during performance phase

Climbing Training Seminar with Tyler Nelson, Bechtel, and Me

If you’re interested in being a student at one of Steve Bechtel’s upcoming coaching seminars, there’s one scheduled for October 10th-12th in Minneapolis, Minnesotta and you can find more info on it here.


Tyler Nelson Links

Training Programs for You

Do you want a well-laid-out, easy-to-follow training program that will get you stronger quickly? Here’s what we have to offer on TrainingBeta. Something for everyone…

climbing 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 I haven’t talked to you since before the International Climbers’ Festival which was a couple weeks ago in Lander, Wyoming.

Thank you to everybody who came by our booth and said, “Hi,” and maybe even did our pinch strength competition, and maybe they came to our clinic that we did on redpointing. That was super fun and I really like coaching people and watching them succeed so that was fun. Thank you guys who came to that.

Matt Pincus and I actually sat on the training panel with Charlie Manganiello, Steve Bechtel, and Kris Hampton so we talked to the crowd about training and nutrition.

Then, on Saturday of the festival there’s a competition that’s called The Limestone Rodeo. It’s where you go out and try routes and you try to do as many and as hard of routes as you possibly can. Matt Pincus did it with Sam Elias and they came in second place. I’m super impressed and really proud of him. He did two 5.13s, ten 5.12s, and eight 5.11s in a matter of eight hours. Sam did two 5.13s, seventeen 5.12s, and two 5.11s which, to me, that is really impressive. First of all, it’s a lot of hard climbing but also I know that my skin and everything is just done with climbing after 5-7 pitches so for them to do 20+ pitches in a day? That’s awesome. Congratulations to those guys.

What else? I actually ended up leaving on Saturday so that I could climb on Sunday. I found a really good weather pocket in Boulder and I’ve been working on this project called $oopr kr33m, which is a 5.13a up in the Flatirons. It would be my first 5.13- since my last shoulder surgery and I really, really wanted to send it so I came home early from the festival and I went out on Sunday and I actually sent it.

I bring it up just because it’s a huge milestone for me in my climbing. I feel like maybe I can get back to where I once was before all of this shoulder stuff happened and it gives me a lot of hope that that is possible so I’m psyched and yeah – I hope that anybody out there who has shoulder surgeries or whatever surgeries, you don’t give up. I definitely have been training hard and trying to rehab a lot and I feel like it’s finally paying off.

Anyway, coming up on the podcast today I talked with Tyler Nelson again. Tyler has been on the show a couple of times. We talked about blood flow restriction. We’ve talked about a few different topics and you can check out those episodes and I’ll put links to them in this episode page, but today we wanted to talk again about blood flow restriction training because he’s been doing a lot more research on it and having a lot more formal education on it, and he’s providing courses for coaches and athletes to come take so that they can better understand and safely use blood flow restriction training.

In case you don’t know who he is, Tyler is a physiology teacher at a college. He is a chiropractor. He does physical therapy-type stuff on people and he’s a trainer. He has a clinic near Salt Lake City and he works with a lot of climbers, a lot of really elite climbers, and he does a lot of research on them and basically uses himself and them – I hate to put it like this but – kind of as guinea pigs because he’s sort of on the cutting edge for training for climbing. He takes a lot of modalities from other sports and applies them to climbing and he’s been having really good success.

Today he wanted to talk about blood flow restriction training and how he’s using it to a) help people with any kind of injury, not just finger injuries like we were talking about in the last episode but any kind of injury and why it is so good for that, and then b) how he’s helping people stay in – like, when they’re in a performance mode of their training cycle where they’re trying to send stuff and they still want to maintain finger strength, it’s really hard to do that and train fingers at a high intensity and not feel really tired when you try to go send later. He uses BFR, blood flow restriction, to help them do that and he’ll explain all about that and how he does it.

So, without further adieu, here is Tyler Nelson. If you want to check him out while you’re listening you can go to and check out all his stuff there and also on Instagram because he’s very active on there and he has a bunch of super nerdy videos and photos.

Alright, here he is. Enjoy and I’ll talk to you on the other side.

Neely Quinn: Welcome back to the podcast, Tyler. Thanks very much for talking to me today.

Tyler Nelson: Yeah, you bet.

Neely Quinn: First of all, you’ve been on the show before and some people know who you are but can you just give me an intro to yourself again?

Tyler Nelson: Yeah. I have a clinic in Salt Lake City, or a suburb of Salt Lake City. I have a chiropractic clinic where I do chiropractic stuff but then we do other sports medicine stuff. I was trained during my masters degree with orthopedic surgeons and physical therapists and doing all of that in my masters degree. I do, essentially, physically therapy but I’m not a licensed physical therapist, and then I have a strength and conditioning business that I run out of this office as well, both for clients within the state and I do a lot of remote programming stuff, too.

My real interest right now is in blood flow restriction, which we’re going to talk about, but also new ways to assess climbing athletes and assess things that climbers really care about like maximum finger strength, rates of forced development, ways to quantify and put numbers with power endurance training – so I kind of have my hands in a bunch of different things but really, really interested right now in the assessment stuff and the BFR training. It’s just another way we can train athletes’ fingers without getting athletes injured.

Neely Quinn: Okay, that’s useful.

Tyler Nelson: Which is what we’re going to talk about today. The general application and the theory makes sense and there’s some good science to support the idea, we just need more people to be trying it out to really check it’s effectiveness.

Neely Quinn: Okay, alright. Let’s back up a little bit. You were on the show before talking about blood flow restriction so for anybody who didn’t listen to that I highly recommend that you do so that you have a background for what we’re about to talk about. Can you, Tyler, just explain what it is and how other people have used it and why you thought to use it for climbing? Just a brief background on it.

Tyler Nelson: Yeah, so blood flow restriction was developed in the mid-60’s in Japan. The history is quite interesting. It was by a young – I think he was in his 20’s – bodybuilder who was sitting in a kneeling position called ‘sisa’ I believe. I don’t know if I’m saying that correct. He’s on his knees with his buttock on his heels, sitting for two hours. When he got up from that he was like, ‘Wow. It feels just like when I go workout really aggressively.’ He had the idea that it had to be from the restriction of blood so he was the inventor and had the original idea to do blood flow restriction so he started doing it on himself. It caught on in Japan and the Japanese Olympians were doing it.

In the Olympics in the 80’s and 90’s other countries noticed that these Japanese athletes were training with these things on their arms and it was making their veins stick out. It got people interested in what they were doing and then they found out a little bit more about it. Blood flow restriction training, as the name implies, is really about manipulating the circulatory system and the ability of blood to reach working tissue, and also the ability of blood to leave working tissue and the metabolic response that it creates for the body and the stress response. Essentially, the disruption of homeostasis that it creates with working tissue and as a consequence, your body responds to low intensity exercise as if it’s high intensity exercise.

Neely Quinn: Okay, and in layman’s’ terms.

Tyler Nelson: In layman’s terms that means you can exercise at a much lower intensity than you normally would and you can maximize strength and you can maximize your ability to recruit large muscle fibers with less work, less mechanical strain.

For climbing it makes really good sense. This has been studied quite steadily in the twentieth century. Since 2000 there’s been – I think since 2010, if I’m thinking of my slide right that I have on this, there’s been – over 250 research journals or research papers in peer reviewed journals just since 2010. As soon as other countries understood what they were doing with BFR they started playing with it themselves and making their own methods up.

The individual that was the co-founder of the bands that I use is an orthopedic surgeon in Park City and the applications that he’s used it for is really, really interesting. That’s originally why we decided to do this additional podcast. I’ve spent a bunch of weekends with him training and learning about this so we can use it more effectively but also can use it more specifically for climbing.

Neely Quinn: Okay, and since there’s been so much research done, people really love to know that things work before they try them. Can you describe a few of the findings that they have found in this research about how it’s affected people’s performance?

Tyler Nelson: Yeah, so the one thing that’s been studied a lot is maximum force production. They’ve been able to demonstrate that if you take an athlete and you put them at a 50% of their one-repetition max, and you train them with blood flow restriction, you get a similar response as if you were training at high intensity exercise. High intensity exercise would be the typical three sets, 5-8 repetitions, at 80-90% of your one-rep max or varying ranges. Low intensity exercise would be 50% or lower of that one-repetition max and you would do more volume, though. With the BFR you would do more repetitions.

A lot of the science that’s been done, they will measure high intensity exercise, they will measure low intensity without blood flow restriction, and then they will also measure low intensity with blood flow restriction. They’ve been able to demonstrate multiple times that low intensity with blood flow restriction is generally as good and sometimes superior to high intensity exercise.

Neely Quinn: Okay, so it’s better than sometimes.

Tyler Nelson: I’ve seen that a couple times in research papers and I think, based on my experience and what I’ve seen anecdotally in my clinic, I don’t think it’s better than high intensity training. There’s just something to having to move a really heavy load. People that have experienced blood flow restriction training and high intensity training, the experience is very different so I think it will never be a full replacement for high intensity training. That’s certainly not what I use it for but in terms of using it at particular moments in a training cycle, I think that’s when it becomes really, really valuable for coaches and athletes to understand because there’s always those periods of time in your training cycle where you want to reduce the load, either because someone is injured or someone is peaking and you want them to stay injury free but they still want to train.

It has a lot of promise in a lot of different locations in a training cycle and that’s kind of what I’m interested in using it for.

Neely Quinn: Okay, so when people are injured and when they’re peaking.

Tyler Nelson: When people are injured for sure is one of the best times that you can apply blood flow restriction because the number one concern that we have with athletes when they get injured is they can’t participate in their sport. The psychological response that athletes have, especially if they’ve been working for a really long cycle – you know, most climbers have been climbing for many years and they go through a big training cycle. They feel some tweak or some nagging injury come back and then they immediately feel like their whole training has been wasted, right? If you have a big trip planned out of the country and you’ve been training for months on end to reach some certain goal and you get injured before it, it’s very disheartening to have that happen.

In an attempt to prevent that from happening, there would be certain times in a cycle where we would switch the athletes to blood flow restriction so we can reduce their load and reduce that potential, but also if they do get injured we can switch them over immediately to that.

One of the other really cool responses that the literature has shown with blood flow restriction is that it’s really good at releasing growth hormone and testosterone, both of which are very important for tissue healing.

Neely Quinn: More so than higher intensity, or the same as?

Tyler Nelson: In an injured setting, much better. You don’t want to take an athlete that has an A2 pulley injury and load them really aggressively right away, right? You can do it after, depending on the injury, a couple weeks or a couple months, but right out of the gate – I think we talked about this on the previous podcast. I take finger injuries and I start rehabilitating them the same day or as soon as I get ahold of them. It would be less advantageous, and it would certainly be dangerous, to load those athletes at a higher intensity. We would switch them to a low intensity training, which is really common in physical therapy or sports medicine practice, but now we have enough science to understand that if we’re loading someone at a low intensity we should be loading them with blood flow restriction because we get a much better response.

Neely Quinn: Okay. I’m going to back up again. I’m hoping that everybody knows what it looks like to train blood flow restriction but just in case, tell me what exactly it looks like when you’re training people. I know that you’ve been doing a couple or several different exercises with people, but what do people do and what equipment do they need to do this?

Tyler Nelson: The equipment is really important. There’s a lot of – well, there’s not a lot of but there’s probably 10 or eight products that are on the market that people use for blood flow restriction. Some of them are better than others. The real important piece or the real important difference between those products is the ability to have elasticity in the actual product.

I use the visual, and a lot of the listeners may be younger and they won’t get this but, the Ultimate Warrior who was a WWF wrestler back in the 80’s and 90’s who would tie colorful bands around his arm and his leg. When I say arm and leg I mean below the deltoid and the proximal hip, which is essentially the femur/the thigh, right at the level of the pocket. Those are the two locations that we want to use to apply blood flow restriction.

The tricky thing about understanding this therapy and the reason that this orthopedic surgeon has asked me to participate in and offer certification courses on this is that if you read the science on blood flow restriction it’s so random. Scientists are not using the same product. They’re not applying the same physiological principles when they’re doing blood flow restriction. People are really confused about what blood flow restriction still is and how to apply it safely.

In general we always just want to restrict those two locations. The one on the arm is below the deltoid at a little irregular spot on the humerus called the deltoid tuberosity, so just below the deltoid and above the bicep muscle. Then the locations on the leg are going to be high on the fib, high on the hip, just about the level of the pockets.

What we do is when we have restriction we’re creating tension on the skin, on the fat, on the muscle, and on the connective tissues and the blood vessels of the limb, and then we’re going to exercise. The big concern that we have when people are applying this without a system that’s measurable, so a pneumatic system where you can actually measure the amount of pressure, is without understanding how much pressure you’re applying to the limb you’re going to affect the physiologic response when you’re exercising.

The danger behind doing that is you can over-tighten the limb and you can create arterial restriction or arterial occlusion, which is never a good condition and we never want to use that when we’re applying blood flow restriction. So, people use blood pressure cuffs and there’s a couple of systems sold that are not elastic. When you’re not using an elastic system, every time – let’s say we’re applying it to the arm and we’re doing a bicep curl, every time you flex your bicep if the system is not elastic it increases the pressure at the location where the band is. Whereas if you have an elastic system and you flex your bicep muscle, it will give a little bit and the blood will still get past that restriction.

Neely Quinn: Alright, so give me some brands that you like.

Tyler Nelson: The best brands that are out there is the Kaatsu brand which is the originator. That’s their company created in Japan, the Kaatsu Company, and they have a computer that hooks to their bands and it’s essentially an inner tube with a belt that goes around it. It measures the pressure and you can monitor it. It’s the most expensive product on the market.

Another product that people will commonly use is called the Delphi cuff. This company was created as a surgical tourniquet and they are FDA approved as a surgical tourniquet. That’s been used for blood flow restriction and in maybe the last five or six years they’ve gotten into that market. The problem with the Delphi unit is it’s expensive as well but it’s also not elastic. In order to safely use the Delphi unit they have to hook it up to a doppler, which is just a way to measure your pulse, because it’s not elastic. If you use that unit and you pump it up over 160 you’d completely block the arterial blood supply to your arm, which is never a good condition for exercising muscle or just even for static tissue.

Then the product I use, which is the product that for what it actually is it’s the best on the market and it’s the most affordable, but it’s not cheap by any means, are the B Strong bands. Those are also pneumatic which means you can inflate and measure the pressure, but they also have an elastic system so when you pump them up even maximally, what limits their ability to constrict on the limb is the size of the arm and the size of the band that you’re using. There’s different sizes and they fit based on the individual’s limb size whereas the other products are really – they don’t have different sizes, they just have one size and they assume that pressure is equal when you pump it up to the same amount, which is not the case.

I think those are probably the best three products on the market. There’s a lot of less expensive, kind of random, products on the market which are essentially like a tie-down that you put on your arm and you just cinch it up really tight. I’ve seen people use those. Then there’s one other product that people commonly use which is called the occlusion cuff, which is essentially a really small blood pressure cuff. It’s like a blood pressure cuff only it’s more narrow and it also is not elastic.

Neely Quinn: Yeah, that’s the one that we have, actually. My husband has been training with that.

Tyler Nelson: With those ones you can apply blood flow restriction safely with those but you have to watch the pressure. I get a lot of responses and part of the reason I spurred contacting you to say, “Let’s talk more about this,” is people are sending me all sorts of messages on Instagram with pictures saying, “My arms are discolored. I’m getting a lot of blood vessel ruptures.” I always ask what product they’re using and nine times out of 10 it’s a system that’s not elastic. You just have to watch how much pressure you’re applying to the limb when you’re exercising under those, and they’re not as comfortable to do multi-joint exercises with as well.

When we originally talked on the podcast about it it was maybe over a year ago and I had just learned about blood flow restriction and I was using it for capacity training in the forearms, but since I’ve spent those couple of weekends up in Park City with Doctor Stray-Gundersen, my eyes have been opened to: we have a lot more utilization to sports specific training with these which is something we really want to start using for climbers. The systems that aren’t elastic aren’t comfortable to do multi-joint exercise with. If you were doing seated rows or you were using a rowing machine or a lat pulldown machine, with systems that aren’t elastic it’s not very comfortable to exercise with those on.

Neely Quinn: Okay. I think we may have lost some people when you said that people have been contacting you on Instagram saying that their arms are discolored and they’re having a lot of blood vessel problems. Are these people just using it wrong? Are they using totally inappropriate products? How can people avoid that? I have a feeling a lot of people are like: ‘I’m not doing that. I’m not taking the risk.’

Before we go any further, what do you have to say about that?

Tyler Nelson: Yeah, that’s one of the main reasons we’ve started the certification course. It’s to really educate people. From my opinion, when people contact me and they’re interested in doing blood flow restriction and they say, “I’m interested in this. What do you suggest we do?” I always have them sign up and do an hour consult with me so I can spend an hour really ingraining in them the primary physiologic variables that we’re going for, talk about the safety of it, talk about the products that are out there so they can apply it safely.

You’re always going to get some discoloration. One of the things – the number one reason that people complain or don’t like blood flow restriction is it is just a really pumpy sensation. It can feel very uncomfortable. That’s the number one criticism of the therapy subjectively from participants in the literature. They say they just don’t like the sensation. You’re always going to get some discoloration and the blood vessels and their quantity are very variable, especially the veins, in individuals. You’re going to get a different response for every individual and some people get freaked out by that but you can also get some little capillary bed ruptures.

You’re going to get some discoloration in the arms. I see those, nine times out of 10, from a system that’s not elastic. I’ll say, “Well, what are you doing?” and they’ll say, “I’m just putting some straps on my arm really tight and this is what I’m doing.” A lot of the isometric exercises that are performed, one thing that’s really important with blood flow restriction is making sure that the skeletal pump is functioning and you’re taking muscles through contractions. If you’re doing isometric contractions you want to keep them pretty short but if you’re doing isotonic contractions, those are better for engaging the skeletal muscle pump to push blood past the bands.

Essentially, if you’re using an elastic system like the B Strong bands and you’re doing exercise at the appropriate tempo, you’re not ever inhibiting blood flow. You’re still maintaining your blood flow, you’re just slowing it down quite dramatically. If you have a system that’s not elastic the potential for blocking the blood flow is much greater and that’s definitely not the function or the point of blood flow restriction.

Neely Quinn: Okay, got it. So a) get one that’s elastic, b) do an hour consult with you if you’re really concerned about it.

Tyler Nelson: You can read. I was telling you before we started, I’m a pretty active self learner so when I learned about this therapy in graduate school and when I was doing my master’s degree there was a pair of bands that people were using. I’ve read tons on blood flow restriction and the information that you find in the literature is really random and it’s not always consistent. They apply different ideas and theories behind what blood flow restriction is in terms of how many sets you do, how much rest you do, how long you can keep them on, the types of activities.

Most of the literature says 20-50% of one rep max and then when I spent some time up in Park City, they do box jumps with these on. They’re doing high intensity exercise with these on but the point is to make sure the athletes always go to failure and then get that 30-second rest. We can do a whole section in a little bit, if you want, the physiology and the response that we’re looking for but in general, it’s hard to find really good, consistent information on blood flow restriction to date.

Neely Quinn: Tell us what you’ve been learning these weekends up in Park City with this doctor.

Tyler Nelson: So the primary, fundamental things I really wasn’t picking up on was what we kind of briefly talked about: what you’re doing with blood flow restriction. I was always under the impression that we were blocking blood flow and exercising tissue. I think that’s what most people’s general impression is.

Let’s say we put one of these elastic bands on your arm and you leave your arm at the side and you’re just resting. You’re not doing any exercise. Under those circumstances arterial blood is still going to pump into your arm, right? The blood is still going to pump into your arm because your heart is going to continue to beat. There’s a volume limit in your arm created by the connective tissues.

On the other end of your artery, on the other end of the capillary bed, is your vein and the only way the blood leaves the vein and gets back to your heart is either by force from the artery, which it slows down really dramatically at the capillary bed, or the skeletal muscle pump. When you’re resting when you have a band on your arm, you’re really slowing down – never stopping – and really hindering the blood flow to a working tissue. If you don’t have an elastic system that blood is going to pool in your arm and it’s not going to get past those bands but with an elastic system you can imagine the bands as a dam over a reservoir. They’re going to still get a little blood past the bands because the bands have some elasticity.

Once the connective tissue volume is created full of blood in the arm, it’s going to start pushing the venous blood past the band at a really slow rate. With an elastic system there’s never inhibition or stopping of the blood so then when you start working and you start exercising muscle, the skeletal muscle pump pushes blood past the band at a slower rate. Every time you do a muscle contraction, say a bicep curl, you’re going to push venous blood past the valves and you’re going to push venous blood past the bands and then the arterial blood is always going to fill in that empty space. Essentially, what you’re doing when you’re exercising is we’re slowing down the circulation.

I was also under the impression, and the article that I wrote for TrainingBeta that we talked about last time, too, the recommendation that B Strong gives on their application is they kind of play it on the safe side in terms of the sets and the reps that you do. I was always under the impression that we do three sets of 30 repetitions and if we weren’t hitting 30 repetitions with a certain weight we would drop that weight so we hit 30 repetitions. When I was up talking to Jim he said that we don’t need to be really strict on the reps. You don’t have to do 30 reps and three sets. The goal is to fail every set that you do with the blood flow restriction.

Let’s say that you’re doing forearm wrist curls and you choose 30 pounds to do wrist curls. You’re doing them two arms at a time. You’re doing your wrist curls and you do your first set and you can get 30, then you rest for 30 seconds and you start doing your curls again. Let’s say you can only do 22 the next time because you were too pumped and you were failing. That’s great. Just stop at 22 and start your 30-second rest. Then, on your third set pick it up and if you do 10-15 reps before you get pumped, that’s great.

The primary goal is really what’s fundamentally important for blood flow restriction. The fundamental goal is to fail every set at a particular exercise and make sure the movement quality is maintained. You want the movement quality to be really high, you want the load to be as low as you can get, but you want to make sure that you fail every single set. That failing is the good thing that gets the hormonal system ramped up and the benefits for maintaining muscular strength, but also in a rehabilitation setting it’s getting those hormones released throughout the system.

Neely Quinn: Which hormones?

Tyler Nelson: The hormones that have been shown to have been released during blood flow restriction are growth hormone, which is really important for healing tissue, as well as testosterone. There are some other biomolecules that get released. Emptor is also one of them, the mammalian target of rapamycin, which is really good for your anabolic response, and then also VEGF which is a hormone that’s been demonstrated to increase the endothelial, so your blood vessel walls as well.

The science is pretty broad in terms of the actual healing response that individuals can use when they’re using blood flow restriction. That’s something that I really opened my eyes to as well up in Park City, what they’ve used them for on these Olympic athletes. Things as far as lumbar disc herniations, knee unhappy triads, meniscus tears, people that have had post strokes, there’s been some hip replacement cases that Jim exposed me to and also some fracture cases that people have exposed me to. The things that they’ve used to increase the healing time with blood flow restriction was very eye-opening for me.

Neely Quinn: But when you say healing you’re also talking about muscle growth, too, right?

Tyler Nelson: If you’re talking about an injury – let’s say one of the cases that’s really cool that I talk about in my seminars is a humeral head fracture. One of the ski jumpers on the US team was skiing and he landed with his arm outstretched over his head on his side. He had a fracture in three parts of the head of the humerus. It was six weeks before the Olympics and the surgeon at that time said, “There’s no way that we’re going to do surgery on this right now because you’re not going to compete.” This kid wanted to compete in the Olympics, right? This was the ultimate ‘I’ve been training my whole life for this event’ kind of thing and he’s like, ‘I don’t want to do that. We’re going to try and do something else.’

He sent him over to the US Snowboarding and Ski Center of Excellence with Jim and three days after he was put in a sling, they had an arm band on his right arm and two leg bands on him and they had him exercising at as high an intensity as he could tolerate three times a day.

Neely Quinn: Oh my god. That must have been so painful.

Tyler Nelson: I mean, these sessions are only 20-30 minute sessions and they had him doing the ski racing machine, they had him doing box jumps, they had him doing stability ball squats, they had him working on the skate skiing thing all of the time while his arm was in a sling. They had three of his limbs restricted. The thing that’s really interesting there is the more restriction we get and the more muscle mass we use, the more hormonal response we get.

I’ve done this a couple of times. I’m doing this with an athlete right now who had a dislocated elbow. I’m having him wear four bands because the only thing that really restricts where the placement of the band with an injury is where the incision site is. For that individual, since it was his shoulder, they didn’t put a band around his shoulder because you would get some discomfort potentially with the fracture. With this individual I had with the elbow dislocation, I’m putting a band on his dislocated arm still, the other arm, and both legs and having him do a multi-joint exercise like a rowing machine, an Airdyne bike, seated rows, squat jumps – all types of multi-joint exercise to get his healing time dropped.

The end of the story with that ski jumper is they did this BFR on him three times a day for two weeks and then once they could get a band on his arm they transitioned it to two times a day for three weeks. This individual competed six weeks later in the Olympics and ended up getting like second place.

Neely Quinn: Woah.

Tyler Nelson: With a fracture in three parts of his humeral head.

Neely Quinn: Oh my god. Okay, so I think I just understood what you’re saying. It doesn’t matter that much that you have a restriction site on the affected area, it’s just that you’re getting it through as much of the body as possible to get those hormones flowing.

Tyler Nelson: Yeah, so if the goal is to – this is what I usually suggest to people when they say they have finger injuries. If you have a finger injury it makes sense to just use the arm band because the finger is distal to the arm band but if we were to incorporate the legs as well, we’re going to get more hormonal response because in general, the legs are larger. There’s more muscle mass, there’s more blood flow, so the likelihood that we can create more metabolic stress by using the legs is quite significant. If we use arms and legs at the same time we’re going to get a greater hormonal response.

The twist on that is it’s good to get the hormonal response but our bodies don’t actually know to put the hormones towards the finger so I always emphasize, and that’s kind of where doing it multiple times a day can be pretty helpful, that the only way that we’re going to get those hormones to go to the finger is to exercise the finger a lot during the day and get the hormonal system ramped up and get all that blood to the finger over and over and over.

Neely Quinn: Okay.

Tyler Nelson: In the hopes that we can get the blood vessels to heal that area in the inflamed tissue, but also to get the growth hormone and the testosterone to the finger for dropping the healing time in half.

Neely Quinn: Alright. Can we go through a protocol? Like for a pulley strain or something?

Tyler Nelson: I think we’ve talked about this before.

Neely Quinn: Oh yeah, we did.

Tyler Nelson: We can talk about the elbow. The elbow one where we’re having him restrict both arms and both legs. The arms we’re doing at 200 millimeters of mercury and the legs we’re doing at 300 millimeters of mercury.

Originally I had him wearing a sling so he was in a sling just to immobilize the elbow and then with that, I had him doing one arm rowing machine intervals where we would do 30 seconds of maximum effort rowing speed and intensity until he failed. Then I would have him do 30 seconds of rest. I would have him do that for about 10 minutes. After that we would switch it up and then I would do step-up press so I would have him step up onto a box, so a 30-inch box, one leg at a time and then press overhead with his right arm. I would have him switch. I would have him do probably one set of 20 on the right and then I’d have him switch and do one set of 20 on the left. That’s the left leg lifting and the right arm pressing still. Eventually there, you’re going to get – the overhead things are hard to do with one arm because your one arm is going to get really fatigued. After that would be fatigued I would have him do walking lunges or I would have him use an elliptical machine and again, 30-60 seconds of hard effort followed by 30 seconds of rest.

The 30 seconds of rest is really important for people to understand because that’s when all of the good stuff happens. Selectively with the physiology, during the rest period is when you create hypoxia and you create acidity, a drop in the acidity, and you create the conditions that make you use your larger muscle fibers. That’s where the cool physiology comes in with blood flow restriction. It all happens during the resting period and then when you exercise again, you’re going to start recruiting those larger muscle fibers.

The goal with this individual was to keep him fit, right? He still wants to exercise and do stuff but if you’re going to exercise and do stuff when you’re injured, it makes more sense to maintain your strength with lower intensity and then get a greater hormonal response to hopefully heal your injury faster.

Neely Quinn: Then how many sets of that are they doing three times a day?

Tyler Nelson: If he was doing it – well, it just depends. Three times a day is optimal. It depends on the injury and how acute it is. A lot of people don’t have time for three times a day so I try and get people to do it twice a day. For him I had him do different exercises and different interval training sets just to keep him interested because it gets boring doing the rowing machine a lot. I would have him do a morning session with maybe a rowing machine, step up on a box and box jumps, and then some elliptical machine. Then later in the day maybe we would do a rowing lat pulldown with one arm at a time and then incorporate an Airdyne bike. Then do some stairs like running up the stairs or jumping up the stairs would be another way to get the system moving. Then also some finger stuff. Finger pulls and training for his fingers to keep his fingers engaged.

There’s a lot. The coolest thing about blood flow restriction is for individuals that are coaches or trainers, and this is what I really emphasize in the courses that I teach, you don’t need to learn new exercises and you already know what to do. You just have to understand the physiology a little better and understand what we’re trying to get with the blood flow restriction. No exercise is off necessarily, as long as it doesn’t hurt and as long as the load is dropped. When it comes to body weight exercises it’s hard to drop the load so you’re okay to use body weight, but if you’re doing a deadlift you certainly don’t want to do 80% of your one-rep max. If you’re doing something like a deadlift you certainly want to drop the load to around 20-45 or 50%.

Neely Quinn: Okay, and that’s in general for every exercise? 20-45%?

Tyler Nelson: 20-45% is usually a pretty good range. The whole point, again, is to get failure at a really low intensity. We can really reduce the mechanical stress on joints and the soft tissues.

Neely Quinn: Okay. So how long does this workout take?

Tyler Nelson: You can do a workout in 20 minutes.

Neely Quinn: Okay, so it’s 20 minutes, two times a day-ish.

Tyler Nelson: Twenty minutes, two times a day-ish. For my injury, for people who maybe haven’t listened to the previous episode, when I hurt my pulley I was doing it three times a day but I wasn’t necessarily doing hard exercise three times a day. I would do exercise once a day where I’d do the wrist curls and the wrist extensions and then the finger curls one of those times, and the other time I would just put them on for 20 minutes and walk around at a good pace and use a stress ball to get blood to my fingers. The third time of the day I would put the bands on and I would walk around and just do finger glides, just to get the fluid to my fingers, to increase the temperature of the tissues, and try and push all the hormones to the fingers as best I could.

Neely Quinn: So it was really easy stuff that you were doing.

Tyler Nelson: Yeah, I was doing it really easy. My finger was acute. As soon as it got a little bit better, after a month or so, I started loading it more frequently but right away I don’t suggest athletes that have an acute pulley injury start pulling on the same day. It just depends on the extent of the injury and how much pain they have and the type of injury. With the pulley there’s a bunch of variations but I have them – if you’re doing something like a finger, you want to get blood to the forearms with as much failure as you can. I want the acidic conditions to happen with something that’s not finger related so we don’t injure the finger more. After we do a couple sets of that we’re going to start focusing on moving the finger.

Neely Quinn: Okay. I think we talked a few weeks after your finger injury had happened, or maybe even sooner than that. How did it end up going?

Tyler Nelson: It happened in February. By the middle of May it was 100%. My finger doesn’t hurt at all. I had the A2 pulley pop thing, kind of the classic crimping down, move your feet, pop right over the A2 pulley. One pop, not multiple, swollen, painful, and it’s been my experience anecdotally with athletes that I’ve done this on that I can get some bands to and they can do the rehab as aggressively as I was. Their healing time drops by quite a good degree.

Neely Quinn: Okay. What else have you learned in the past couple months?

Tyler Nelson: The other thing that we’ve really been interested in/that I’ve been interested in is applying more sports-specific stuff with blood flow restriction for climbers. Originally I was under the impression as well that I had to keep my arms at my side when I was doing blood flow restriction. It feels like you get more pump in your arm when your arms are at your side, which is partially true because when you lift your arms overhead gravity pulls a little bit of blood out of your veins. I was always under the impression that hangboarding would be too high of an intensity of an exercise.

Originally I had done, and I think I talked about this, I had done it on myself a few times and my fingers always went numb. It was really based on what I was doing. I think what I was originally doing is I was doing 7/3 repeaters for 30 seconds and then a 30-second rest, which was a pretty high intensity loading on my fingers. By the end of my 20 minutes my fingers would go numb, which I don’t think was a bad thing now that I think about it.

What I’ve been doing now is we’ve been trying some different protocols for finger training. I’m just finishing up now. There’s actually a couple of athletes in my office right now finishing their training where we did 10 sessions at over five weeks, two per session. We’re using the blood flow restriction and we’re attempting to pre-fatigue the finger flexors doing finger flexion exercises – and people that have looked at my Instagram account know that I generally use the Flash board turned upside down with a little pin that holds the weight. We’re pre-fatiguing the fingers with 15 repetitions. I chose 15 repetitions just because that felt like a pretty decent number and it takes about 15-20 seconds. Immediately after we get the fatigue in the fingers I’m having them go hang on the hangboard – the Tension board or the Beastmaker board – on the smallest edge they can for seven seconds.

We’re trying to match general fatiguing exercise to something that’s really specific like climbing in the hopes that we can get large motor unit recruitment with low intensity exercise. Most of the climbers that I know that climb a lot are very fit. Hanging off their body weight is really easy so the goal is to try and make hanging off your body weight feel really hard, like you’re hanging with 50 pounds off of your harness.

Neely Quinn: Right, but without making your fingers or hands go numb.

Tyler Nelson: Yeah. You get less hypoxia when your arms are by your side because you get more pooling of the blood but also the point there is to try and mimic something that’s really sports-specific but keep the volume down low so we’re not squeezing so hard by doing 7/3 repeaters for 30 seconds. Does that make sense?

Neely Quinn: Yeah, that makes sense. What’s the protocol here?

Tyler Nelson: For this we chose 13 sets and then I have them leave the bands on afterwards for five minutes. That equals about 20 minutes worth of time. The 13 sets was really just kind of random. No one has ever done this before. I tried it on myself for around 10 training cycles as well just to see what it felt like. For me, at least, I always got really, really tired and sore at 13 sets. It kind of varies based on the individual. Some of my climbers could certainly go more than that and some could do less than that. There’s a wide range of protocols that you could use on individual athletes.

The other thing that we were doing, and this is kind of what I wanted to talk about and get people interested and get more people trying because the more people that are trying it we’re going to get better information on how effective it is. Next week I’m going to be doing the retesting stuff on them. What we did was a pretest that measured their rate of force development, which is just how quickly they could crank down on a 19-mil and a 13-millimeter edge. I measured all these things in three test trials, each athlete, at two different edge sizes. We’re going to do the retesting next week. That’s one of the protocols with finger flexion.

The other protocol that I played around with was a similar work-to-rest ratio, where we’re doing 15-20 with a hand gripper, like a 60 or 80 pound hand gripper, on both arms at the same time and fatiguing the forearms that way, then having them go do another smallest edge that they can 7-second hang for 13-15 sets as well.

Neely Quinn: Okay. How much rest? No rest in between?

Tyler Nelson: Nope. We’re doing 30 seconds of rest. One thing that’s really important and I want everyone to understand is that rest period is when all the good stuff happens.

Neely Quinn: Yeah.

Tyler Nelson: When you’re exercising with things on you get pumped but you’re maintaining your blood flow. You’re slowing it down really rapidly but you’re still maintaining it. During that rest period is when all of the physiologic good stuff happens with blood flow restriction. Then, when you get back on – when we do these hangboard sets, the first set or two athletes will be like, ‘Oh, that’s no big deal.’ By the fifth set they’ll be like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is really hard to hold onto this edge.’

I might have to make it harder and do it longer because some of my climbers, some of the V13 climbers that I’ve been testing on this, they can do 65-pound finger curls and they can hang off a 10-millimeter edge for 7 seconds for 13 rounds, which is crazy. People that have ever tried this know this is crazy hard to do.

Neely Quinn: Yeah, if that’s 20-45% of their max that’s crazy.

Tyler Nelson: It’s pretty intense. There’s a wide range of uses for this. This is just kind of getting into it and scraping the surface of what we could do with this therapy.

Neely Quinn: Well, do you feel like you’ve gotten some results from this?

Tyler Nelson: The numbers will give us better results. Obviously, I’m way into measuring stuff so the numbers will be more profound of an impact. Anecdotally, that same V13 climber that I was telling you about has kind of had some nagging finger injuries on and off and I’ve treated him a bunch for those finger injuries and kind of like you hear from climbers, injuries just stick around. Since the summer, since we’ve been doing it, he’s close to finishing his training and that’s all he’s been doing for his finger training. Anecdotally he says his fingers have never felt so good and he’s been sending his project. He’s been really, really excited about this training.

Again, the goal that we talked about initially is to try to find a way – I don’t think it’s ever going to be more helpful or more profound a finger strengthening protocol than it would be doing maximum effort isometrics or max weighted hangs. I don’t think it will ever be better than that but the goal, again, is to maintain strength while we’re taking less load off of the fingers, especially the pulleys. Most climbers, now with gyms, they train year round and there’s no, ‘Hey, when’s the last time you took two weeks off?’ Climbers don’t do that. If we can keep climbers training as much as they do but we can reduce the load and keep their fingers strong? There’s a lot of interest in that.

Neely Quinn: Okay. This is exciting.

Tyler Nelson: It’s way exciting. I’m super excited about it. I’ve been pretty pumped and if people look on my Instagram account, my family and my in-laws are like, ‘Are you obsessed with forearms?’ There’s either pictures of my new baby or pictures of people getting swole with their forearms or testing stuff.

I’m excited about it and I think there’s a lot of potential there. It’s just going to require a lot of people getting interested. I have a couple of coaches around the country now that have a pair of bands and have been applying them to their climbing athletes and climbing with them on, climbing routes with them on, doing bouldering sets with them on, doing interval training with them on, so…

Neely Quinn: Bouldering and climbing with them on, isn’t that going to do the same thing and make everything go numb?

Tyler Nelson: Well no. It just depends on how long you’re on the wall. I’ve done 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off protocol when we climbed V1’s on a 45° wall, fairly tall. It takes about 30 seconds if you go at a good tempo to climb up and you’re not trying to hurry. We tried to climb at that pace and it felt pretty good. It was super, super hard. The thing that I didn’t like about it is climbing on big holds just makes your hands hurt. It makes the skin on my fingers hurt. The biggest criticism there is hauling jugs for that long is not that fun unless you’re new to rock climbing. For most of my clients that are really good at climbing, it’s likely better applied to a campus board. If we’re doing rhythm intervals, where you’re just hanging on smaller holds for 30 seconds and moving and then coming off and standing for 30 seconds, or using them on a fingerboard.

Neely Quinn: It seems like the possibilities are sort of endless with what you can do with them.

Tyler Nelson: Yeah, as long as people understand the physiology and what we’re going for and how to apply it safely, there’s lots of variations. One of the things that I learned about, which I would have never thought of, they do with the US Ski Team. They have athletes wear these on their legs. Let’s say someone is a ski racer and they ski the hardest black hills from top to bottom like Bodie Miller would. They have him wear a pair of bands on his legs and ski from top to bottom on the blue run instead of the black run. That’s a pretty long run. It’d definitely longer than 30 seconds. It’s to failure. They’re making sure they find a stimulus that’s to failure then have a rest and do a repeat.

Neely Quinn: Wait. So Bodie Miller is doing this?

Tyler Nelson: This is one of the things that we talk about in the clinic and there’s some slides on it. He has done a lot of this training as well as a lot of the other Olympic skiers. I don’t know about right now exactly but in the past they’ve had him do that.

Athletes get hurt. Olympic athletes get hurt and they want to maintain their strength. This is one really good option that you can keep your strength gains up while reducing the stress to your low back. Now, in my clinic for people with low back pain for people that like to lift weights or are athletes, I almost exclusively have them use this as a training tool. I can say, “Go back to the gym and do your normal routine, we’re just going to add more repetitions to your sets and we’re going to drop the intensity in half.” Most of the response that people get is great. It’s not as scary lifting 50 pounds off the ground as it is lifting 200 pounds off the ground.

Neely Quinn: [laughs] Right, yeah.

Tyler Nelson: They’ll still feel the effects, they’ll still have that delayed-onset muscle soreness, and they’ll still feel like they got a good workout in. They’ll get a good healing time on their injury.

Neely Quinn: Alright. So we’ve talked a lot about injury and you also said that you’re using this with athletes who are peaking. Can we talk about that?

Tyler Nelson: Yeah. With athletes who are peaking, if you have someone who’s going through a max weighted hang program or they’re doing a max isometric program and their fingers are really strong and they maybe are at their upper – it’s very challenging to know when an athlete is at their peak. That’s kind of why I’m so interested in measuring stuff and measuring my athletes that are local on a monthly basis, just to see where they’re at.

When an athlete feels like they’re really strong and really fit, as fit as they ever were, that’s usually when athletes get hurt. Teaching athletes that when they get to that point is a really good time to transition them to something that’s mechanically less stressful but physiologically feels as stressful and hopefully will maintain the same strength benefits. That’s when we would switch an athlete – let’s say they’re doing finger training – to a BFR training program where they’re just doing it twice a week and they’re really reducing the mechanical loads on their pulleys by just hanging on body weight instead of hanging with a bunch of weight off their harness.

Neely Quinn: Right. It seems like it would be safer to do that. If you were to go out bouldering or something and trying really hard and then come back into the gym and do this it would be easier on your pulleys and tendons.

Tyler Nelson: Yeah, absolutely. If your regular routine was you go outside and you climb hard out bouldering and you’re training on a hangboard that day, too, and you’re trying as hard as you can and it’s in season, doing a bunch of max weighted hangs is probably a great way to get hurt. It’s not going to be the best idea, especially if you’re trying at your max effort during your session. Whether you need to do it on that day or not is up to the coach and that varies depending on your age and your training status, but it’s been my experience that sometimes that’s a good thing done later in the day. Adding something that’s a little bit less mechanically challenging makes a whole lot of sense.

The whole point of training with fingers is getting that motor unit recruitment and it’s been shown over and over that BFR is really good at recruiting large threshold motor units, just like high intensity training. If we’re in a season and we’re stressing our tendons by climbing, why would we go back to our gym and train them again? That just doesn’t make as much sense.

Neely Quinn: Yeah, definitely. Anything else that you learned?

Tyler Nelson: Oh jeez, there’s so much that I learned. The other way that people can learn about this is what we decided to do is a certification course. Coaches or interested athletes can apply this therapy and this training tool safely to their clients because, again, one thing that is very concerning up front when I teach coaches about this is it’s just such a novel idea that it seems dangerous. The risks and the danger associated are no more than regular high intensity training, but at face value, when you don’t understand it, it looks like it is.

We’ve decided to make a course that can be two days or one day – this weekend is for 10 hours on Saturday – to really teach them the history behind blood flow restriction training, talk about the products that are on the market, talk about the science behind it, talk about how you would program it, so pretty much cover everything you need to know about blood flow restriction, and then essentially take an exam on demonstrating that you understand the principles behind blood flow restriction.

We’re using that as a way to really teach coaches to safely apply this and be really comfortable talking with other individuals about it. It’s really hard to have a conversation with a healthcare professional if you’re a trainer and you don’t really understand the physiological principles. That’s one of the reasons we created the certification course through Be Strong, the company and product that I use.

This weekend I have three or four professional bodybuilders and coaches, a national level boxer, a local boxer here, a yoga instructor, some other people, but then there’s eight or nine climbing coaches. They had some interest in learning some of the things I’ve been doing for assessment stuff so we’re going to do another day on Sunday morning at my clinic and we’re just going to do a bunch of athlete assessments and finger max strength testing and power endurance testing and rate of force development stuff.

The other course I have set up is in September in Rock Climbing Fairfield or Rock Climb Fairfield? I forget the name of that gym. It’s in Fairfield, Connecticut in September. That’s going to be set up kind of the same way because a lot of the interest, or my athletic niche I guess, is rock climbing obviously so it’s at a rock climbing gym. There’s a couple rock climbing coaches or rock climbers that have signed up already so that will be the next one that will be offered.

The one I’m doing this weekend is the first one offered through Be Strong which is pretty cool. I’m pretty excited about that. That’s a really good way to learn everything there is to know about BFR training because there’s one book out there on BFR training, at least the one that I’ve seen, and the information is just kind of random. There’s not a lot of consistency with information out there.

The reason that Jim is such an important person in understanding BFR, and this is the orthopedic surgeon from Park City, is he spent seven years in Japan with this guy Sato who is the creator of and the inventor of blood flow restriction. He is considered what Kaatsu terms a ‘Kaatsu Master.’ He spent seven years after he was done with medical school in Japan learning how to apply this therapy and what they’re going for. He’s a PhD in cardiorespiratory physiology so this guy – I’m fairly smart with physiology and this guy makes me feel really dumb.

Neely Quinn: Woah.

Tyler Nelson: In terms of understanding what we’re trying to do, he knows more than anyone in the States on this therapy. Having him be a library for the information in the slides we created is really helpful for people to know that they know as much there is to know about this training.

Neely Quinn: Is he doing the presentations and the clinics with you?

Tyler Nelson: No, we’ll potentially do some together at the NFL Combine next March. He’s probably going to fly out there. I was asked to present at the NFL Combine at a chiro conference so I’m probably going to have him come out just to help me because there will probably be a couple hundred people in the room and it’s hard to do any sort of practical application with one person and that many people so we’ll probably bring a team of people out there to help with that conference. The conferences are set up individually so I’m the instructor for the conferences that I set up.

Neely Quinn: Alright, and how do people find about that and sign up for it?

Tyler Nelson: You can look on my new website There’s a ‘courses’ page and a sign up for both of those.

Neely Quinn: Anything that we missed? You’re like the Tim Ferriss of climbing. You’re all about these experiments and n=1. It’s pretty cool.

Tyler Nelson: It’s pretty cool. The only way that climbing is going to change is if we start challenging what we do and see what happens. Maybe this will be a really profound thing and maybe it will suck but we only know if we test it out. I think with all the science backing now and all the information that’s out there it seems pretty promising.

Neely Quinn: It seems pretty promising just by what you have done already, so…

Tyler Nelson: We’ve been pretty excited. People can also look at me on Instagram, too, and I’ll respond back to you if it gets too specific with questions and it’s too hard to text. I’ll say, “Let’s just do a call,” but most of the time I’ll respond pretty quickly and get some information to people.

Neely Quinn: Yeah, you’re pretty good about that. I have one last question. I actually put on our TrainingBeta training group that I was interviewing you and I asked people if they had any questions for you. Somebody asked, “Do you have any tips for finding a local chiropractor or PT with BFR experience?”

Tyler Nelson: That’s one of the things, too, is that there’s not that many out there. I think there’s some athletes in Utah that have used it and I know Natasha has some access to BFR and she’s used it a little bit in San Francisco but in terms of in my profession, chiros, I don’t really know of any that use blood flow restriction. I know some PT clinics do because that company, Delphi, that makes surgical tourniquets, they’ve realized that BFR is very important so they’ve kind of transitioned into doing BFR with their particular product. There are some PT clinics that have it but again, the application is very misunderstood, even in clinics like that. There’s only a couple people in the country who have spent lots of time learning what the BFR is trying to get to.

I say contact me and if you’re in a state that I know someone I will definitely reach out and find them. I’ve had a couple people ask me from Canada and from elsewhere. It’s hard to find. I don’t know that there’s a network system where you can look for people that do this.

One of the things that people will have with this certification course is they’re going to make a website page on Be Strong’s website and I can put it on my website, too, of individuals that have taken the course that would be certified that you could look to as a resource.

If there’s a coach in your state that has been certified they would be a good person to contact. They might not be a PT or a chiro but if they’re a trainer they would be a good person to talk to because they would have a lot of knowledge about it. That network is only going to start building because right now it’s still pretty new in the states.

Neely Quinn: Well, you’re doing a good job spreading the word because Matt Pincus just told me today that three people this week have asked him if he can write programs for BFR training, so it’s definitely spreading.

Tyler Nelson: He’ll be excited. He’ll be able to do it after this weekend. We’re going to spend 10 hours talking about BFR specifically then the next day we’ll chat more about climbing-specific stuff and programming. There’s lots of potential to come.

Neely Quinn: Alright, well thank you very much for your time and your wisdom. I really appreciate it.

Tyler Nelson: Oh yeah, my pleasure. It’s always fun to chat. You bet.

Neely Quinn: We’ll talk sometime soon, hopefully.

Tyler Nelson: Have a nice day.

Neely Quinn: You too.

Alright, I hope you enjoyed that interview with Tyler Nelson. You can find him on Instagram @c4hp standing for Camp 4 Human Performance. Like I said, he puts a lot of good stuff out there so if you’re interested in cutting edge research and information on training for climbing, definitely follow him. His website is

Coming up on the podcast I have two interviews that I have already recorded. The first one is with my friend, Leif Gasch, who if you know him you know he’s really fun, he’s a super good guy, and he’s married to one of my oldest friends, Lindsey. I was hanging out with them in Lander during the festival and we were talking about Leif’s sort of evolution of training and how he used to be a 5.13-, maybe sometimes b/c, climber and he just sent his first 14b. That was after going through four or five formal training cycles with trainers and then figuring out on his own what really worked for his body. I think that that is amazing when people can just figure it out and send and execute. He did so we talked about that and what his process was and it was really enlightening, really educational for me and just cool to hear about somebody going through all of the steps to finally find success. That will be next week.

The week after that I have an interview with Matt Pincus that we just recorded this morning. We’re going to be talking about how to fit everything into your training schedule. The answer to that, in short, is that you can’t ever fit everything in. He talks about how to know exactly what to put into your training schedule and why. That will be coming up in a couple weeks.

Speaking of Matt Pincus, he is our trainer here at TrainingBeta and he’s taking five new clients right now. He has room in his schedule for a few more now that things have settled down a little bit with festivals and stuff. You can find out more about his training and sign up to work with him at

He and I have a mutual client. He’s my nutrition client and Matt’s training client and he was just telling me this morning that this client of ours is on his six week climbing trip and his goal was, after all the training and nutrition stuff that he’s been doing, to do five 5.12s outside during this six weeks. He ended up in his first week and a half doing six 5.12s. His hardest redpoint up to this point was a 12a and now he’s been doing 12b’s and 12a’s really quickly. That kind of success is super exciting to me and again, you can work with Matt if you want to, from anywhere in the world, at

I’m actually taking new nutrition clients, too. I have some openings in my schedule and I generally like to work with people on a monthly basis so that we can have time to experiment and try new things and see how your body responds to different calorie amounts and macronutrients and timing and stuff like that.

What I see success with in my clients is energy levels typically almost always go up with people. If they’re trying to lose fat a lot of times they’ll end up losing fat. That can be tricky if they’re in a heavy training cycle but we talk about that and negotiate, ‘When is a good time to lose fat and when is not?’ Anyway, fat loss is something I see success with, and performance. Climbing performance can be hugely affected just by simple tweaks in diet.

If you want to work with me you can go to If you have any questions for Matt or me you can email us at and we both get those emails.

Thank you very much for listening all the way to the end. I really appreciate it. You can follow us @trainingbeta on Instagram or Facebook and I will talk to you in a week. Thanks again.

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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