October 28, 2009 posted by


Yesterday I tossed balance aside to have a Patxi day—2,500 moves in the gym. This was inspired by the film Progression. In particular, the segment of World Cup champion Patxi Usobiaga’s training, which appears anything but balanced.

I was actually referring to muscular balance, not lifestyle. As some my friends enjoyed pointed out, balanced lifestyles ain’t exactly my thing. I’m still testing out the Kevin Brown training system, daily yoga sessions, barefoot running, a new time trial position, and a chia and pinole laced diet. Now I’m adding 2,500 move climbing days and, I suppose, there’s nothing really balanced about that. If there were, my standing Beachbody’s lab rat might be endangered.

2,500 moves is a lot, especially in a gym. And since I have almost no idea what Usobiaga actually does I was making stuff up based on my experience with climbing specific training, knowledge of training in general, my years of specific training for other sports, and a five minute segment of him doing movements in the film. At some point it all started to click, and now I’m fairly certain that I’ve found a missing link for me when it comes to how to train for climbing. It’s going to take some time but, for a test run, it was one of the best climbing workouts I’ve had.

Obviously it’s not a missing link for everyone but, as Patxi’s livelihood depends on his training, I’m guessing he’s sharing his secrets along a similar vain as “The Lance Armstrong Training Method” book, which was/is a complete joke. The Texan’s training is no more revealed in that book than the history of the Bible in Monty Python’s Life of Brian. I’ll hit him up, for sure, but am expecting to do a lot of my own research on this one.

Besides, I’ve got my copy of Progression. All you really need to train hard is motivation, and not many climbing films are inspiring as the latest film from Big Up Productions. Progression is a string of vignette’s showing climbers that are pushing the standards in various disciplines. It claims no lame ethical stance on the various pursuits, nor is it your standard sprayfest of climbing porn. It’s a well crafted, beautifully shot, story about the cutting edge of sport and where it could be headed in the future. Basically, it shows a bunch of people who’ve dedicated their life to pushing the boundaries of their sport and the limits of human performance. If you can’t get psyched about that, you’re not an athlete.

Download Progression here.


  • That workout sounds like a prefect page out of Phil's book. To me it sounds like a monotony project.But you have spewed enough about Progression that I ordered a DVD. It's been a long time since I've bought a climbing DVD. Actually I'm not 100% sure that I ever have before. So I hope it's as good as you think it is.Now I just need to order some yoga videos and I'll be on my way.

  • If you don't remember watching a climbing video than you had more bourbon than I did, because I distintly remember Arnould limiting us to "one viewing" of The Real Thing before vacating his house so we wouldn't keep he and Karen up all night, again, while we watched it over and over. If you don't like it just sign Chris' name and sell it on ebay. Actually, you probably have some stuff around still that Chris actually did sign (or used). You might want to cash in on his superstardom and auction that stuff.

  • No Doug Robinson? No Largo? How could it possibly be worth watching.Slack? On the black?-Josh

  • No Russ"the fish"Walling either! It can't be any good.The potlicker. All he needed was a couple of these.

  • This is VEry inspiring! Bouldering is on my list this week! going for a 5.9 course measured on the V scale this week! hope it goes well! If you dont have balance in your workouts! dont you get muscle imbalance? are'nt there any negative affects of testing ur body with great limitations? Take care Hassan (aka insanexer from teambeachbody).

  • Steve,I was saying "bought" not "watched." I've watched a shit ton of videos, i'm just not sure I have paid for one. Kind of like you now and fitness stuff I used to have pretty good connections for climbing and kayaking videos. And I agree with Josh. Without Largo it's going to have to have a lot of other stuff going for it in order to be that good.I'm going Bigwall climbing…

  • What about the Crackmaster? We'll howwwwwdy.Hassan, your going to need some work on your climbing vernacular. I'm sure the folks at the gym will enlighten you. 5.9 isn't on the V scale but, as fit as you are, you'll probably be climbing V9 before long.

  • Limitations? Hmm. Well, the goal is 99.9% efficiency. The problem is that at 100.1% you're injured. Walking that line always leads to some injury but if you never test your boundaries how are you going to find out where they are?

  • Yea, I was thinking about that old Moving Over Stone stuff. I might have bought that. Or, maybe it was just left over in the office when I started at 5.10. Either way it's been a long time since I had a new climbing video in the house and a long time since I paid cash money for one.I'm psyched to see Progression. You'll know when I have it because my campus board will be up and I'll be training.-R

  • Thanks for the comment steve! yeah sorry I am learning as much as I can about bouldering, picking up books from the libraries to learn about the climbing scales and levels!what are some books you reccomend for people like me?thanks Hassan!

  • My buddy Paul Dusatko made two vids: Sport Climbing and Bouldering 101. I'd start here. John Long's How to Rock Climb is still probably the best intro book on the sport, though I think learning the history is a good way to start, too. I began by heading to the mountaineering section of my library. I'll bet you'll find a lot of fun stuff to read. If you can find it, the Power of Climbing (from England) is pretty fun. Jerry Moffat's new Biography, Revelations, is also an inspring read.

  • Thanks a tons! yes John Long's How to Rock climb is available at my library I will be sure to check it out!How often do you use chalk?My palms tend to sweat a lot during climbing and I have to use a lot of it which then bothers my calluses on my hands I think they are peeling!sorry I ask many questions!Hassan.

  • Have you seen Patxi's blog? He mentions his training on it. Well a bit of it. Here's one of the quotes "After two weeks in Oliana, I returned home on monday, just for training again for the last two world cups. After two weeks in Oliana, I Returned home on monday, just for training again for the last two world cups."Around 7000 moves and 1500 pull-ups during the week. Around 7000 moves and 1500 pull-ups During the week. Other things like Phisiterapist and and official things to do had been during the week the others that I have to make. and Others That I Have to make".Pretty cool stuff. Maybe make a challenge like that? what do you think?

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