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Training with Christian Core – Part One

What was once a way to keep the family busy during the holidays has grown into almost every facet of my life. I love climbing. It is a challenge, a never-ending project, a respite from every-day life. Like many climbers, I push myself to my limits. After half a decade, I feel just as far away from completing my climbing goals as I always have. I still feel weak.

The other day I was climbing with Kaito Watanabe and Lucas Uchida, a couple of gods that represent their countries in climbing competitions all around the world. After working our way through the competition set, we moved to the Systems Board, spending an hour and half on boulders ranging from outdoor V9 to V12. Where they were able to send in a try or two, I would take multiple attempts before even coming close. On V11 and up, I was never close. I thought about my training. It was time to try something I had never considered: coaching.

Just over a year ago, a friend of mine began to feel similarly. Marina Inoue is a strong climber, but her background is almost entirely in outdoor climbing. Her psych was devoted to climbing outside, and something I related to. She wanted to get stronger, and she needed a training plan to do it.

Inoue decided to approach Kris Hampton, the owner of Power Company Climbing. “He created a comprehensive program and was very supportive and helpful throughout the process. By following it diligently, I ended up sending my hardest boulder to date: ‘Dark Age’ (V11).” Inoue’s article discusses the fact that training works, and I got to thinking. Maybe I could benefit from coaching as well.

Inspired, I sought out Coach and West Coast climber, Christian Core. A legend in his own right, Core has taken the skills learned in establishing the world’s first V16, and tailored them to fit training plans for his athletes. The Core Climber business was derived from Core’s team of motivated coaches, offering a unique service to accelerate the progress of almost any climber with two years experience. Whether you climb V2 or V12, there is something here for you.

Though it will certainly be difficult to complete, I am excited to begin. At this point I have climbed up to V11, but this has provided somewhat of a ceiling for me. I climb outside frequently, at least once a week, and it has proven to me that I have one major weakness: finger power.

This does not come as any surprise, I weigh 180 pounds, but to strengthen my hands will take time and diligence. Over the next eight weeks, I will describe the process, and the changes undergone throughout the workout. It is time to become stronger.