If you take your climbing training seriously (or your clients’) and you feel like you just can’t get enough information about it by reading and watching videos, then it might be time for you to invest in more hands-on learning. Steve Bechtel created the Performance Climbing Coach Seminar, a 2-day live event where several instructors teach climbers and climbing trainers about the fundamentals of training for climbing and program design.

I’m going to let Steve Bechtel of ClimbStrong.com take over this post so he can tell you about the upcoming live Performance Climbing Coach seminar we’ll be doing together in Minneapolis, MN this October 10-12th, 2018.

If you’re more of a listener than a reader, here’s a 15-min chat I recorded with Steve before our last seminar in Columbia, MD:


steve bechtel performance climbing coach

Steve Bechtel: The Performance Climbing Coach Seminars

I have been coaching climbers for nearly 20 years and have been studying the craft for longer than that. Over the years, more and more people started contacting me not for training advice, but for advice on how to train others.

About two years ago, the majority of my consultations switched from athlete-focused to coach-focused. These coaches wanted input on how to market themselves, how to charge for their services, how to build programs for groups, and exactly what to do to get their athletes stronger in a real-world environment.

The Problem with Climbing Training Education

In every other sport with which I’ve been involved there is a clear educational path, from classes to conferences to certifications. I found the system of education for climbing coaches in the US to be focused on youth team management and not on developing athletes’ potential. I talked with other successful coaches, with elite-level climbers, and with coaches trying to figure out how to make a living…and we waited for something to happen. Surely our national-level associations would follow the lead of France or Japan or Canada.

Nothing happened.

The Birth of Performance Climbing Coach Seminars

In 2016, my friend Zahan Billimoria suggested he and a friend come to my gym in Lander for a full weekend to learn about our programs at Climb Strong. I teamed up with Tyler Nelson of Camp 4 Human Performance and we sketched out what we thought a good curriculum would be for a weekend-long intensive course. Zahan suggested we open it up to a few others to share the cost, and the moment we did, the first event sold out.

We scheduled another weekend for later in 2017 in Salt Lake, and again, it sold out.


tyler nelson teaching

Tyler Nelson presenting on musculoskeletal physiology at the first seminar in Lander, WY.


“The Performance Climbing Coaching Seminar gave me the tools I needed to take my personal program design, as well as my athletes’ programs to the next level. I left feeling psyched on coaching, and confident in my ability to prescribe an effective yet concise training program for an athlete of any level.”

– Nicole C.


The Curriculum

Our lineup includes Tyler Nelson, Charlie Manganiello, Neely Quinn, Kris Hampton, Kevin Perrone, and me. (See bios at performanceclimbingcoach.com)

Cultivating the Growth Mindset
Changing the way athletes think of effort and ability

Nutritional Strategies for Performance
Fueling for optimal performance and overall energy levels

Session Design
How to design sessions that work with groups or individuals and how to adapt effective sessions to almost any facility

Movement Prep, Warming Up, Mobility
Getting the most out of your training time

Methods of Practice / Coaching Movement
How to help your athletes be better, not just stronger, climbers

Athlete Management and Compliance
How to change habits, track progress, and effectively run a coaching business

Progressing and Regressing Exercises
How to assure athletes are training at the appropriate level and seeing progress

Testing Athletes
How do you know if the training is working?

Program Design
Building roadmaps to progress, and how group programming differs from that of individuals

Fundamentals of Strength Training
What does it take to make stronger athletes?

Purposeful Nutrition
Weight management and meal/snack planning

Bouldering Coaching and Cueing
Feedback and self assessment methods in practice.

Hands-on Program Design and Session Planning
Practice and group discussion on your own programming.

Coaching Scenarios and Group Discussion
Real-world examples of athletes and how to troubleshoot their programs.

NOTE: Although we designed the seminar to address the needs of coaches, nearly half of our attendees are just climbers looking to get better.


Learn More About The Seminar

Register by August 22nd and save $200.

Use code: Neely50 for $50 off


steve bechtel teaching

Steve Bechtel talking about creating strength sessions at second seminar.


“I really enjoyed the seminar and I stand by my original comment that you don’t charge enough. I thought that the pace of all of the presentations and the timing was very good. I particularly liked that you allocated time for us to actually climb and put into practice what was covered in the classroom. I have attended too many coaching seminars where all we do is sit in a room all day. I get it, we are there to learn but the majority of us are in this game because we really like to do the activity and those times when you are actually doing the activity (climbing in this case or on a ride or run or whatever) – that is when a lot of the barriers come down and you really have the opportunity to just talk and get to know the other students and teachers and come to understand better what was covered in the classroom.”

Joe H.


What is getting better worth to you?

Is it worth a plane ticket and a weekend focused on mastering your craft? No book, no video, and no series of articles can give you the learning experience that a live presentation and interaction with other coaches can. I believe that the Performance Climbing Coach seminar is the most information-packed climbing training experience ever created. If you’re serious about getting better – as a coach or as a climber – you owe it to yourself to join us in Minneapolis.

Please visit the Performance Climbing Coach website for more information.

Register by August 22nd and save $200.



“Bechtel and team strike again with the Performance Climbing Coach Training Seminar. With the ever-expanding world of climbing training, this seminar cut through the BS and focused on what works. Through it, I learned how to implement simple but effective training programs that have helped myself and my clients get stronger and improve our climbing all while remaining injury free. I would recommend any coach, trainer or climber of all abilities looking to expand their training knowledge in a comfortable and fun setting to attend this seminar.”

-Ken K.


Learn More About Seminar

Register by August 22nd and save $200.

Use code: Neely50 for $50 off

This is Neely again, and I just want to close by saying I’m super excited to be teaching nutrition at this upcoming seminar, and I hope to see you there! If you have any questions about the seminar, you email me at neely@trainingbeta.com or Steve at steve@climbstrong.com or go to this page.

Here’s a 15-min chat I recorded with Steve about our last seminar in Columbia, MD:



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, climbing training classes, nutrition classes, regular blog posts, interviews on The TrainingBeta Podcast, personal coaching for climbing, and nutrition for climbers.

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