About a month ago, Columbia presented the opportunity to pay for my entry fee into GoPro Vail Mountain Games to compete in the Citizen’s Bouldering Competition.

Bouldering Juggy Warm-UpI love competition.

Of course I said yes.

At that time, my van was still running and the month of constant rain along Colorado’s front range hadn’t started yet. It had been about 2.5 months since I’ve done any gym training, but with a full month in front of me to get ready for the games, I thought, “yeah, I can get back into shape for that.”

And then it started raining for a month. So there was no climbing outside.

And then my van went into the shop for repairs that took two weeks to complete.

Coupled together, that means I was definitely not going to ride my bike 10 miles in the rain (1-way) just to train.

So now, here I am, two weeks away from the competition, and only about 12 possible days to train for it in the gym. It will take all of my training, nutrition, and supplementation knowledge to even come close to my peak shape in that short amount of time…but I think I can get close.


Weighted Pull-upsThis is by far the most important piece of the puzzle. The goal here is to get as much time on the wall as possible without overdoing it so much that I’m too sore to climb the following day.

Some people would freak out over the small time period and just go balls to the walls every single day. Not only does that increase the chance of you skipping a day, but also injury. It can also lead to less efficient workouts if you’ve got DOMS from hell from the day before.

Skill vs. Strength

Under training, you basically have to two main components, which of course can be broken down infinitely small from there. But in this case, no amount of minutiae within those two things would help enough to get me where I need to be by June 7.

Focus on the biggest, simplest components that will give you the most amount of payoff in the shortest amount of time.

For that, we go to KISSkeep it simple, stupid. Because it has been a legitimate 3 months since doing any focused climbing or training (except for 2 days outside in Eldorado and Clear Creek Canyons), my skill component is behind my strength component. And rather than working on individual movement weakness or footwork deficiency, the easiest way to get the most variety of skill training is simply to climb as much as possible. Which of course has a strength component.

Rock climbing South PlatteSo what I’ll do here is only work on my skill component for as long as my strength will allow. That means, instead of working up to maximum intensity and projecting several problems before allowing myself to do lesser grades, I will simply do the highest grade that feels easy for me on that day, do all the problems within that grade, and when I can no longer easily flash problems, I quit; I do not do lesser graded problems.

Depending on how many laps I get, I will head to the regular gym and do some additional assistance work, but nothing climbing specific (hangboarding or pull-ups). You gotta save your hands and forearms and back for the next day so focus on big lifts, opposing climbing movements. Things such as DB bench press, dips, shoulder press, squats, and deadlifts. Again, keep this to about 3-5 lifts maximum and don’t kill yourself.

Skill and strength:


Part of bringing my climbing game back up to where it used to be, will be losing about 5lb. (or more if I can do it in such short time without sacrificing performance). And losing 5lb. is more about nutrition than training, though it goes twice as fast when you couple them together. I follow the 80/20 rule for just about everything in my life and that includes how I eat. 80% real food and 20% fun food. For these next two weeks, I’m going to try hit 90/10 or 95/5. And basically the portions of “fun” food are reserved for drinking beers with friends. That means no cookies, cakes, chips, or cheeseburgers. Just kidding, I’ll still eat the shit out of a bacon cheeseburger if I’ve earned it through training that day. But I’ll mostly focus on getting ass-tons of fruits and veggies, high fat, moderate protein, and low on starchy carbs. In my experience (self, observationally, and with clients), a high fat/moderate protein diet is the best and fastest way to simultaneously lose fat and gain muscle. Using fat as an energy source triggers your body to then continue using your stored fat as an energy source when it’s not available through food. And obviously, high or moderate protein (about 1g of protein per pound of bodyweight) is needed to build and repair the muscle tissue you’re abusing through training. Roasted chicken with fennel and leeks

Intermittent Fasting

Part of my daily routine, every day, not just now, is intermittent fasting. I do this because I have an excessive personality. And that includes how I eat. I don’t want 6 meals per day that are only 350 calories each. I want two meals per day that are about 700 and 1300 calories each. Studies have shown the 6 meal/day diets are slightly better for weight loss but only at a marginal ~ 3% increase in metabolic rate. For that tiny 3%, my mental energy it takes to prepare those foods and constantly worry when I get to eat next are just not worth it. Anecdotally, not only do I experience the stress of preparing and timing my meals, but it also causes me to overeat. Because no 300 calorie meal will ever fill me up so of course I’ll just snack in-between my snacks, exceeding my daily goals. Even if it’s healthy food, it’s still caloric excess. And caloric excess from walnuts is the same as caloric excess from Doritos. #Fat Not to mention, there are other parallel benefits to intermittent fasting such as cellular cleansing and increased insulin sensitivity.


Cafe Mocha Latte Protein ShakeThis is the least important part of this training trifecta, but it is not completely useless. The two supplements I suggest everyone take, regardless of lifestyle or goals, are fish oil and Vitamin D. I also feel like a Vitamin B complex helps me though it’s completely anecdotal and up to you to choose if you want to try it or not. In terms of performance, the only thing I’ll add to that is a quality protein powder and creatine monohydrate. These are the most researched supplements and consistently, alwaysreturn benefits with rare-to-no negative side-effects (assuming your body can tolerate the protein powder you choose). Everything else like Beefcake 2000 or Xtreme Muscle Stack is usually placebo or a lot of caffeine. Stick to researched, proven supplements and all-natural food, and not only will you get 99% of the health benefits of being overly supplemented, but you’ll save a ton of money too.


Training Schedule

Below, you will see the schedule that I will try to maintain. Everything should transfer to something and everything has a purpose. Of course, I am a follower of Biofeedback Training so if what is on my schedule doesn’t match what my body is telling me, I’ll adjust accordingly. However, I’ve designed this schedule based on how well I know my body and how I think I’ll feel on those days.


Benchmark: – moderate intensity – cave wall
Moderate full body 

High intensity – vertical wall
Light upper body / Lower mobility 

Total Annihilation: hangboard and high intensity full body 

Complete rest and recovery. Mobility at the most. 

Splitboard touring 

Super chill outdoor bouldering 

Play time! – whatever feels good – likely high intensity

Complete rest and recovery. Mobility at the most. 

Moderate intensity – vertical wall
Moderate full body 

High intensity – cave wall – work multiple projects at my limit
Full body mobility 

Light full body and mobility 

Moderate intensity – vertical wall
Moderate full body 

Moderate intensity – cave wall
Moderate full body 

Low intensity – high volume
Light full body / Upper mobility 

Moderate intensity – play around

Complete rest and recovery. Mobility at the most. 

GoPro Vail Mountain Games Citizen’s Bouldering Competition   

Day 1 (gym) Day 2 (gym) Day 3 (gym) Day 4 (rest) Day 5 (active rest) Day 6 (active rest) Day 7 (gym) Day 8 (rest) Day 9 (gym) Day 10 (gym) Day 11 (gym) Day 12 (gym) Day 13 (gym) Day 14 (gym) Day 15 (gym) Day 16 (rest) Day 17 (Compete)


Don’t Miss Your Chance

I was stuck in Corporate America for 9 years. I was miserable.

Then I took control.

You can too, and it starts right here.