The fall climbing season is fast approaching. One of the ways to get a jump start on the upcoming climbing season is to meet with a personal trainer. Last week, I got the chance to meet with NASM trainer and hardman boulderer Justin Alarcon at Berkeley Ironworks.
One of my major climbing goals this fall is to send a long, hard free route in Yosemite. Alarcon ran me through a circuit of exercises which required technique as well as strength. Between rowing, planks, bridges, and a medicine ball throw, I performed jumping pull ups. As I fatigued, the pull ups became harder and I needed to focus more on using the power of my legs to get my chin above the bar.
The hardest part on the route I want to climb is a difficult boulder problem. Alarcon showed me how to use the hangboard to my advantage, to strengthen my fingers. By using counterweights, I could deadhang holds that are similar to the ones I'd be climbing on on my project. Alarcon provided me with a regiment of hangs as well as other exercises that I could use to increase my crack climbing strength and my bouldering power.
The hour long training session left me tired but Alarcon's tips about using my legs more helped immensely. After the training session, I accomplished a long time goal of mine, sending a 5.13 lead climb in the gym!
"He has a genuine interest in figuring out what goals you have and tailoring a program to help you achieve them," said Kim Groebner, a Berkeley climber who trained with Alarcon. Groebner's goal include crack climbing in Yosemite as well as bouldering this winter in Hueco. Alarcon provided her with core exercises tailored to meet both goals.
This fall, in addition to private training sessions, Alarcon will be teaching a 6 week clinic. "Over the course of 6 weeks we will meet as a group twice a week for an intense 2 hours of training. Participants will be introduced to key training concepts used by elite athletes around the world and enjoy the benefits of having motivated training partners and a coach to help guide you through this rigorous process," said Alarcon.
The training begins Mondays and Wednesdays from 7:30-9:30pm on September 10th. The program costs $250 for members and $325 for non-members.
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Tags: Justin Alarcon, climbing training
Past blog entries can be found at http://touchstoneclimbing.blogspot.com/