Blog Post

Fall climbing season is just around the corner!

We have a few changes here at the BRC as we roll into September.  We’re starting our four-week bouldering turnover again.  There was great feedback on it, and it was sorely missed.  This means that we’ll be setting a couple Thursdays a month, which means a few noisy mornings for the usual Thursday AM climbers.

Our kids’ team programs are starting back up, so you may find more kid friendly routes around the gym.  We try to keep them adult friendly as well, so don’t worry!  August 23rd-24th we’re having tryouts for the BRC Team, and we’ll have 3 specific routes and boulder problems in the expansion for them.   Good luck to all the kids on their team placement


And lastly, our saddest news.  Setters come and setters go, some return and some just go the way of the Dodo.  Our very own Stephanie Marvez has decided to move on.  She’s doing a three-month climbing trip and then who knows?  She is definitely welcome and has expressed interest in guest setting here in the future.  Have fun living in La Casita (her trailer) Smarvz!  Also, TJ Sanford has returned to Boulder.  You may see some of his routes popping up here and there in the gym.

We’ve got a great spread of resistance routes up right now, generally more crimpy than slopey.  Fall sending temps are just around the corner, don’t forget to get into the gym and get your training on!

Posted by Brent NG, 0 comments

Post-comp decompression

There are 20 new routes up in the expansion right now.  12 from the SCS kids competition – they will probably feel a lot stouter than our usual grades.  They are all very techy and sequential, and grow progressively more difficult the higher you go.  I’m hoping they’re all fairly adult friendly.

There are also 8 new routes that we slammed up immediately post-comp in the 5.9-5.11- range.  We’re still a few routes shy, but we’ll get them filled in over the next few weeks.  This past week we took two days to reset the small bouldering cave in the old gym.  It’s an easier set than normal, but the problems are all fun… enjoy!

We have a new setter intern from thailand working with us.  He’ll be here for two weeks.  Be sure to look out for Ooan’s tag and give us some feedback.  He’s picking up lots of tips and tricks for his gym back home.

We’re also getting new flooring in the small bouldering cave this wednesday night.  We will be closing that area a little early to start work on it, but the bouldering in the expansion will still be available.

Expansion bouldering is going to be reset this wednesday!

-Brent Ng

Head routesetter

Posted by Brent NG in Blog Post, Route Setting, 0 comments

5/30/12 Margarita Challenge Record Crushed!!

If you had told me, I wouldn’t have believed it. But I was there. I saw it with my own eyes.

As many of you know, we have an ongoing contest in my Cry in the Dojo classes.

The Margarita Challenge.

If all 12 class participants can get their heart rates past 93% of their max at the same time, I will make everyone in class a (award winning, hand crafted) margarita.

In 3 years this challenge has been met only twice. Of those two, the best performance had everyone able to achieve that 93% at the same time twice during the class. Very impressive. A record that stood for 3 years.

Until today. . .

Steph, Kat, Tammy, Beth, Kirk, Sherry, Adam, Chris, Amy, Jackie, Luke, and Josh shattered the record by simultaneously hitting 93% a whopping 7 times during class; once during each of the 4 rounds of tabatas, and then again once during each of the 3 lightning rounds.


Now we just need to settle on a day and time next week to collect their winnings!

Congratulations everyone!

Coach CWall

P.S. The class will be able to collect their margaritas on Wednesday, June 13th at 7:30pm in the Hangdog Lounge at the Boulder Rock Club!

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

CWall Level 1 Test Day Results! 3/2/12

Hey there,

   Here are the results from Monday’s Level 1 Test Day. Remember to reference the heart rate monitor sign out sheet with the results.

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

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

X-Cardio for the Mountains: Week #4


Test Day is next week! Be prepared! Hydrate! Don’t hit the burrito bar 20 minutes before class!

Big change today. The jumprope row didn’t get any breaks. They had to switch between speed rope, lateral hops, and high knees every 30 seconds. For 4.5 minutes. Without stopping.


There were a lot of classics to tackle today as well as some motor skill acquisition with the Goat Flip Lunge.

The Mystery Event is where things got interesting. We started with a typical Greased Lightning Round (30 seconds each, no rest). But after that was over we had some extra time on our hands.

New Game: Quid Pro Quo. Something for Something. So here is how it works. During the Greased Lightning Round you take note of the highest heart rate you’ve achieved. For some this was upwards of around 97-98% of their max. When QPQ starts basically you have to hit that number again doing either high knees or flying chickens. If class had been full today I would have owed some folks a margarita.

See ya next time!

Coach CWall

Posted by Aubrey Wingo in Blog Post, Boulder Rock Club, Chris Wall, Fitness, Training, 4 comments

Strength Promotes Confidence: Finger & Upper Body Power: Week #3


Hey there,

   No new exercises today. In fact there were a lot of things that didn’t change. Same reps, same rests, same same same. . . but different.
   We managed 9 sets of exercise today. Tried for 10, but time didn’t allow for it. Round 1 saw 5 sets and Round 2 saw 4.
   Next week is the last week of this cycle. Everyone needs to be prepared for a lot of heavy sets!

See you there!

Coach CWall

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

CWall Level 1: Week #7


Hey there,

   Two weeks until Test Day! That means we are ramping things up. We’ve dropped from 15 sets per round down to 12 so we have room for a Mystery Event during the 4th quarter.
   There were a high concentration of bodyweight exercises, as well as a 2-1 ratio for the highly metabolic vs. local muscle group exercises. High heart rates all around.

   We did have to have little discussion about starting on time, each and every round. But that is nothing new.

   The Mystery Event was a game of False Summit. Random exercise selection, you don’t know for how long, and just when you think you are at the end, BLAMMO! More work to be done. Today there was a special twist: You weren’t allowed to leave class until you got your heart rate up to 93%!

   See ya next time.

Coach CWall

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

CWall Level 2: Week #6


Hey there,

   Level 2. More like Level 3. Ruthless. We brought back some classics as well as introduced what will hopefully become one. The alternating kettlebell clean is harder than it looks and takes a lot of timing and consistent power output to do correctly. The wobbly wrist roller is a balance problem that knocks everyone down on occasion. The new arrival is the Goat Flip Lunge. Taking a bulgarian bag, snatching it off the floor, flipping it in mid air for the open handed catch, followed by two lunges, placing it back in the rack position before pushing it back down to the floor for a squat thrust. Lots of coordination and power.

   What did we learn today? We learned that CrossFits Fight Gone Wrong done for 3 rounds as our Mystery Event takes everyone down. No one, and I mean no one was able to keep moving the entire time. I guess that’s what a fight gone wrong is supposed to feel like.

   We also had some lively discussion on the do’s and don’ts of Valentines Day, as well as when you should consider not starting a new relationship (October 1st – February 15th).

   See you next time!

Coach CWall

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

X-Cardio for the Mountains: Week #3 & 4

2/14 and 2/15, 2012

Hey there,

   Rough. Both classes. Rough. Especially today’s noon class. Damn. 12 people. All motivated by a single goal. . .

              12 x 93% = Margarita

The two classes that have managed it in the past have been noon classes. One class hit it on Round 2. The other on Round 3.

Today Round 2 looked promising. 11 out of 12 hit 93% at the same time, with #12 at 91%. Not bad. And I barely raised my voice (really!). I thought we might have a winner by the next round. By the 7th set we were 11 out of 12, with #12 at 91%. Same for the 8th set. And on the ninth, as the clock wound down, we had 11 out of 12 at or above 93%, and our 12th at 92%.

DAMMIT! So close. . .

We finished up with a Greased Lightning Round. 30 seconds on each exercise, 7 second transition time (yes, I made it longer). The goal is to get started on the next exercise before the timer says go.

It’s amazing. People are like the atomic clock when it comes to stopping on time. But when it comes to starting on time? Well. . .

See you next time. . .

Coach CWall

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

CWall Strength Promotes Confidence: Finger & Upper Body Power: Week #2


Hey there,

   SPC was a bit of a rush job today due to some technical difficulties with out printer. But everyone handled it in stride, and many stayed after class to get in a few extra sets.

   The Hangboard was the staple of our workout once again, having the marquis spot in each round for a total of 8 sets.

   We added the alternating military press into Round #1 and the Pinch Switch in to Round #2. The alternating military press is easy to wrap the mind around with your hands moving like a seesaw doing a standing military press with kettlebells. The pinch switch is a little harder to grasp (no pun intended;-). Taking the steel 3 inch pinch grip and affixing four 3LB chains to it (4 feet in length), you do a dynamic switch from one hand to the other, like playing catch from hand to hand. The higher you lift the pinch, the more chain there is off of the ground, and thus the heavier the pinch. Very coordinated. Crazy pinching fun.

   A word about tempo. There is no one “correct” tempo for exercise. Depending on what you are trying to cultivate and what variables you are trying to control, there are several. Sometimes super slow. Sometimes super fast. Often somewhere in between. But if you are not considering it in some way, or you think that they are all the same, then you are falling into the trap that many fitness enthusiasts and trainers alike are ensnared in. If you don’t keep track of your variables (i.e. range of motion, reps, sets, load, posture, tempo, etc.) it will be very difficult to determine whether you are actually progressing or whether you are just compensating effectively. Don’t fool yourself into thinking you are getting better if you don’t have good data to back it up. We have to compare apples to apples my friends.

   See you next time!

Coach CWall

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

CWall Level 2 Test Day #2: 2/9/12

Hey there,

   Here we have our first comparative Test Days! The only thing that we will be comparing for these two is the very end of class: Peaks and Valleys. Hopefully everyone has more even and frequent peaks!
Check it out:

The HR monitor sign out sheet for 1/12/12.

Results from 1/12/12:

The HR monitor sign out sheet for 2/9/12.

Results from 2/9/12

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

CWall Strength Promotes Confidence: Feats of Strength Week #2 2/9/12

Hey there,

   Today in SPC we revisited the same plan as last week. A little more “skill building” if you will. We managed a 4 set per exercise workout today with a little extra time during sets one and two to help some of the newcomers get the swing of things and learn the secret handshake. We explored a new tempo for sets 3 and 4. 5 seconds in total per repetition. This meant that the concentric contraction (shortening of the agonist muscles, i.e. the press portion of the military press) took place over 3 seconds, and the eccentric contraction (lengthening of the agonist muscles, i.e. the lowering portion of the military press) over 2 seconds. In general everyone fared pretty well. We’ve got some improvements in technique and some more understanding of what our goals actually are during class. Everyone did a great job. But things are getting heavy, and it’s not going to get easier.

See you next time!

Coach CWall

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

CWall X-Cardio for the Mountains: Week #2

Hey there,

   Here we are already on week #2. Our first workout post Test Day was a very high volume skill building day. We’ve started to incorporate more upper body strength work for the rock and ice climbers, as well as the agility work and lower body work for those tricky approaches and long tours. We managed 5 sets of each exercise in total for a whopping 60 sets in 45 minutes! Lot’s of folks hit and passed the anaerobic threshold today and stayed there for a lot longer than they thought they could. Because of the huge number of sets there was no Mystery Event. But don’t worry. Look for one next week!

See you there!

Coach CWall

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