Month: March 2012

Coach CWall Episode 2: Shortcuts to Thinking


This has been a great week for training at the BRC, even though Spring Break is in session. Sean, our trusty coaching and training intern has been hard at work coming up with class designs and teaching all of the classes on his own (with a little feedback from me). If you were or are planning on coming to class this week we could use your feedback on Sean’s performance. This is supposed to be an educational experience for him after all.

This weeks YouTube Episode of Coach CWall: Shortcuts to Thinking deals with a topic that I see all the time in our athletic community. It deals with something called Inductive Reasoning, which basically means drawing a false conclusion from a set of facts. For example, Tom runs fast on Tuesdays. Today is Tuesday. Therefore Tom will run fast. You see where I am going?

Let’s take two athletes, Alpha and Beta. Alpha is good at something (pick the athletic endeavor du jour). Beta is new to the game and wants to be good at the same thing. Alpha does/eats/drinks X as part of their training regimen. Beta thinks that if Alpha does it then it must be the right thing because Alpha is oh so good. Obviously this is not necessarily true, as I point out in the video with a rather graphic example.

It is true that many good athletes have a lot of sound advice to dispense to the general public, but this is rare. It is the athletes job to perform, not teach. Very few top level athletes that have become effective coaches. This is mostly due to the fact that it is their job to perform, not to figure out what works for most people. There are of course some notable exceptions, but like I said, they are exceptions, not the norm.

Don’t be in too much of a hurry to follow the training regimen of the great ones, or expect to become world class after you read a training article in Outside Magazine. It takes years to make a high level athlete, and chances are there is a lot more to what gets there than you or they think.

Just because someone is successful, it is not safe to assume that everything they do or say contributes to that success, no matter how much they may believe it.

Let these great athletes inspire you. Look at their advice and cross reference it with other research. Short cuts to thinking can get you into trouble, especially with training. Be careful and thoughtful, or the next place you might be seeking advice may be your doctor or physical therapist.

Until next time!

Coach CWall

Posted by CWall in Blog Post, Boulder Rock Club, Chris Wall, Fitness, Training, 0 comments

X-Cardio for the Mountains: Week 8


Hey there,

   One week until test week, and I wanted to make sure that everyone was going to be ready with a class that would be harder than test day. We’ve started introducing deadlifts and assisted pull-ups to our regimen, as well as some more complicated core work on the swiss balls.

   We had a near success on the Margarita Challenge today. 11 out of 12 at 93% of their max heart rate or higher, with the 12th person at 92% when the timer went off. It doesn’t get much closer. But alas, no 93, no marg.

   I have had a lot of people ask me to do max heart rate tests on the treadmill since I posted protocol. That is awesome! Some of you still need to test yourselves or have me do it!

   Until next time!

Coach CWall

Posted by CWall in Blog Post, Boulder Rock Club, Chris Wall, Fitness, Training, 0 comments

Max Heart Rate Test: Not for the Faint of Heart!

Hey there,

   I would like to start off by stating something:


This is exercise. Exercise, much like leaving your bed in the morning is NOT SAFE! Please take responsibility for your well being and think before you act. And if you want to play it safe, consult with a health professional before you start ANY new exercise program.

The following is the treadmill max heart rate test that I use with my clients and teams. It is dangerous. You will be putting yourself in harm’s way. This is a “stress” test, and if you choose to do it, you do so at your own risk. 

I recommend doing a test of this nature under the direct supervision of a qualified health professional (someone like me). 

In my opinion, you should avoid a running max heart rate test if you have any physical or  psychological condition that would limit your ability to run on a treadmill under duress (i.e. heart condition, knee injury, bad judgement, etc.)

Here are a couple of considerations that I like to remind people about when they get on a treadmill:

#1) Remember that you can fall off this thing ala George Jetson, and get thrown down pretty hard and belt sanded. It hurts when this happens. Don’t let it happen to you.

#2) Remember to clip into the Emergency Stop clip. That way if you fall the treadmill will stop sooner and the belt will sand you less. PLEASE DO NOT THINK THAT THIS WILL MAKE CONSIDERATION #1 LESS LIKELY OR TRAUMATIC.

#3) This is not going to feel good. It is a “stress” test and is only meant to be performed once in a while (I like to say no more than once a quarter). Don’t let yourself get so tired and goofy that you cannot stop the machine.

#4) Have an escape plan. I like to use the Emergency Stop Clip like a parachute rip cord. I makes the machine stop and I find it easier than hitting stop button.

#5) Strongly consider doing this with a partner who can adjust the machine’s settings for you. It is easier and safer, and they can call 911 if you truly blow it.

#6) Most importantly, stop the test immediately if you feel faint, dizzy, or feel pain outside the discomfort we associate with fatigue. The test has to end sometime you know.

Now that I have said all that, here is the test that I administer. Aside from the situations described in Consideration #6, the test is over when you increase to the next stage of the test and there is no corresponding increase in heart rate. Record the highest heart rate you achieved. That is your max heart rate. 

– Start at 2mph at a 2% grade for 3 minutes.
– 3mph at 4% for 3 minutes
– 4mph at 6% for 3 minutes
– 5mph at 8% for 3 minutes
– 5mph at 10% for 3 minutes
* 5mph at 12% or 6mph at 10% for 3 minutes
* 5mph at 14% or 6mph at 12 % for 3 minutes
* 5mph at 15% until heart rate tops out or 6mph at 14% for 3 minutes
* 6mph at 15% until heart rate tops out.
The stages marked with – are ones that happen with all the people that I test. There is individual variation with the * stages depending upon what speed a subject can “handle.” You will have to decide for yourself. I recommend deciding in advance and sticking to it on the test. Having to improvise when you are doing a test like this is not advisable.
Be careful! Good luck! Don’t puke or get blood on my treadmill!
Coach CWall

Posted by CWall in Blog Post, Boulder Rock Club, Chris Wall, Fitness, Training, 0 comments

Enter the Vlog!

It’s done! Episode 1 of Coach CWall’s weekly video blog (vlog). This episode is more of an introduction to what the general plan is for the future. 
Please subscribe to my channel on YouTube (coachcwall) and follow me on Twitter (coachchriswall). We can even hang out on Facebook (Chris Wall).
Coach CWall: Episode 1: What’s the Point?
Let me know what you think!
Coach CWall
Posted by CWall in Blog Post, Boulder Rock Club, Chris Wall, Fitness, Team BRC, Training, 2 comments

CWall: SPC – Coordinated Climbing Strength


Hey all,

   After 4 weeks of prep work with our SPC: Finger & Upper Body Power, we have kicked off week #1 of Coordinated Climbing Strength! Archer Rows, Turkish Situps, Overhead Squats, Assisted One Arms on a 1cm edge, and Alternating Twisting Knee Raises. We’ve honed things down to the essentials and are ready to enter this final phase of upper body strength work.

   We’re going to keep things pretty simple here without a whole lot of rest stations, which means that as the weeks go by we will see more and more heavy sets. After all, it’s not like anyone is going to get strong doing easy stuff.

   For those of you that were there today, and those of you doing this at home, consider throwing in an additional day after this first round of soreness passes. Here was today’s workout:

See you next time!
Coach CWall

Posted by Aubrey Wingo in Blog Post, Boulder Rock Club, Chris Wall, Fitness, Training, 1 comment

Level 1: Test Day!


Oh my god. Another test day. But I am happy to say that everyone killed it today! Devna was a champion after her 10 day vacation, and Chris V. got to sport his new found (and much more accurate) max heart rate. Sheri found another gear that she can drop to when things get ugly. Hopefully she will keep up the good work.

Here are the results from today. Remember, the only things that you need to compare to your last test day are:
1) Average Heart Rate
2) Time spent in Hard, Very Hard, and Maximal training zones.
3) The number of peaks at the end of the class time.

Most of the other parameters won’t mean much because we don’t enter in any of your other information (weight, height, gender, etc.). We just put in your projected max heart rate or your tested max heart rate.


Posted by Aubrey Wingo in Blog Post, Boulder Rock Club, Chris Wall, Fitness, Training, 0 comments

X-Cardio for the Mountains: Test Day

Hey there,

   Today’s blog is all about results from Test Day for X-Cardio for the Mountains. We are comparing the results from the Tuesday and Wednesday classes (Feb. 7th , 28th, and 29th). Don’t forget to look at the heart rate monitor sign out sheets so that you look at the correct results. They are the 1st image before the actual results from that class.

Tuesday, 2/7/2012

Tuesday, 2/28/2012

Wednesday, 2/29/2012

Posted by Aubrey Wingo in Blog Post, Boulder Rock Club, Chris Wall, Fitness, Training, 1 comment