1. 21 days of yoga

    We've spent a long time improving various strengths. Finger, forearm, shoulder, back, and all the rest. It's been fun and productive, which is why we kept polishing. Unfortunately, our climbing coach has made it painfully obvious that our problem is no longer the strenght, it's how we can apply it. We primarily are limited by technique, and secondarily by range of motion. Time to reset and try something else. Enter yoga.

  2. Here's to staying strong

    Well, we're still locked down. It'll be a while before climbing gyms re-open, let alone that we can travel to pull on some real rock or ice. So in lieu of that, we've updated our training program again. More shoulder work, more core work! Just how we like our climbs: long, hard, and miserable 😂. Happy new year!

  3. Second COVID lockdown

    The Netherlands has had to shut down all its gyms again. It was very necessary and frankly overdue, to be honest. But we're still sad about not being able to climb. We're now reworking our home workouts to be longer. That way we can still get that forearm-pump while not being able to climb.

  4. Another 6 week plan

    We haven't done an Alpine Fitness Test this time. Our focus has been mostly about increasing leg strenght, and just climbing more. We did find out some new weaknesses so we had to adjust our training plan! After the previous published set of training plans we did a lighter load for 6 weeks. We're now ready to ramp back up, so here it goes!

  5. Footwork is afoot

    Since getting a trainer to improve our climbing skills we've been confronted with some hard truths. One of those is that while we're reasonably strong, our basic technique is trash. That means we can progress up to 6A-6C level, but no further. We're, for lack of a better word, stuck. And one of the biggest things we need to fix is our footwork.

  6. First time climbing with a trainer

    We're not particularly good climbers. That doesn't matter, because we can fix that. With some time, some effort, and some help from a trainer. And practice. Lots and lots of practice.

  7. The 5C Pump Challenge

    We all love some stupid climbing games, right? Here's a new one we've been enjoying to help improve our endurance.

  8. The risk pyramid

    Climbing is a scary sport at times. We're no longer terrified of heights, we still get a little flustered by sketchy moves. How do we manage this fear? How can we progress in our climbing without being held back by these anxieties?

  9. Ardennes Multipitch Course

    We spent a week in the Ardennes learning new climbing techniques! Our home gym Mountain Network organised a week-long excursion to the rocky outcrops in Namur province to teach us how to safely scale longer (and shorter) rock climbing routes.

  10. In defense of Black Diamond Circuit approach shoes

    We may have been a little harsh on these sneakers. Using them on actual rock, they performed pretty well.

  11. Zlagboard Pro 2.0

    Our endurance and lockoff strength sucks. We have a small hangboard, and been doing pretty much the same few minutes of hangboard exercise for months. We have zero gains. As with all exercise, you need a plan. Unfortunately we know nothing about training fingers or forearms for endurance. Enter: the Zlagboard Pro 2.0 with Pro plans. Because we're lazy bums.

  12. Mammut Gym Workhorse Classic rope

    Time to move on from grubby climbing gym rental ropes and get our own, nicer, cleaner gear. Let's talk about how that worked out.

  13. Updated 6w plan

    After our second Alpine Fitness Test, we had to adjust our training plans! We've updated them to focus more on explosive leg power. They're ready for download here!

  14. Lead Climbing Course Done

    We made it! We're now certified for indoor lead climbing. Many thanks to Anders at Grip Nijmegen for the chill, informative course. On to outdoor lead climbing and multi-pitch climbing!

  15. Beta spraying

    Beta spraying (telling people how to do a climb without their asking for that info) is a huge pain. It's even worse when you're a woman trying to enjoy the puzzle of a new boulder problem.

  16. Second alpine fitness test

    There's no point in doing a test only once. The first was the benchmark. The second is to see what the past 6 weeks have been all about. On to the next!

  17. Marking gear

    All climbing gear looks the same. If you're ever sharing a carabiner, a few nuts and cams, or even just quickdraws — you'll lose some. Time to make it easy to recognize what's yours.

  18. New grade FTW 💪💪💪

    We're not too far along on our climbing journey, but all our training has paid off! We're climbing harder stuff now, and it feels a lot "easier".

  19. That climbing shoe smell

    Climbing shoes can stiiiiiiiiink. No climbing shoe is immune to it, but luckily, there's a few things you can do to make it at least tolerable.

  20. Training without climbing

    We’ve been working hard for the past months to get our strength and endurance up. It’s been a fun (and hard) experience, and we learned a lot about our strengths (and our abundance of weakness 😀). Where do we go from here?

  21. Problemsolver Triangle

    When COVID-19 shut down all the gyms, we had to find other ways to keep our fingers in shape. We also wanted to do some strengthening while we’re at it. Enter the Problemsolver Triangles!

  22. Ardennes ⛰ part deux

    We’re headed back to Belgium in August, folks! Vacations are cancelled this year anyway, so we’ll keep it short and close to home. And we get to pull on some rocks, learn new skills, and live in a tent for a while.

  23. Theragun, updated

    We’re now a few weeks into using this slick torture device and our verdict is in: it's good, and we like it! Percussion therapy (whatever that is) is not magical, but it does help.

  24. Lead climbing class

    After a few hiccups (COVID, damn you), we started lead climbing! It's very exciting to do "proper" climbing now. We had to find a different gym, but now we can also go outdoor later this year. Unless we get locked down again, that is …

  25. A thought

    Not to be a fatalist or whatever, but it does keep things in perspective. Climbing is dangerous and involves high risks at times. To enjoy it, we have to weigh our decisions carefully.

  26. Petzl Spirit Express Quickdraws

    Baby's very first set of quickdraws. Too much research narrowed it down to pretty much all the options. Wiregates, solid gates, lighter, heavier, thinner, thicker …. In the end we picked what the internet recommended to us, and we think we picked well.

  27. Petzl Connect Adjust

    Outdoor lead climbing requires some anchor building. One of our instructors in the Ardennes had one of these. Adjustable anchors makes it a while lot more comfortable, and makes it a more versatile tool in your kit.

  28. First day back on the ropes

    We can finally go back to the gym! That's exciting, even if we've forgotten how to actually climb.

  29. Theragun

    There are also no physical therapists now, so we have to work with what we can access at home. The Theragun is here to fill the gap between therapist and foamrollers.

  30. Black Diamond Circuit approach shoes

    WTF are approach shoes anyway? It’s a hiking shoe that you can also climb with? C'mon now. That seems like a shoe that does neither of those things very well.

  31. Climbing gyms are reopening!

    Our local Mountain Network bouldering and rope climbing facilities are reopening on 1. July!

  32. Ardennes

    Last weekend we climbed rocks in the Ardennnes, Belgium. Breathe that fresh air, get some outdoor climbing experience. What they don't tell you: all the holds are the same damn colour!

  33. New 6w training program

    The alpine fitness test brutally highlighted some of our shortcomings (*cough* box jumps *cough*). We have changed our training program so we can work on our shortcomings. Always train the things you suck at!

  34. Alpine fitness test

    We did the Training For The New Alpinism (Steve House, Scott Johnston — Patagonia) alpine fitness test to get a feel for where we are. Set a baseline, if you will.

  35. A plyo box arrives

    Oh. Dear. Lord. We’re so screwed.

  36. The COVID Wall

    Climbing gyms are still shut in the Netherlands. Luckily we have access to a toprope climbing wall that’s built on the side of a building.