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Adventure Training

How does Trent Train?

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How does Trent Train?

I train like a lot..like 5-7 days a week usually, if there were an 8th day I'd be training on it, that's how much. I'm not like epic strong or anything, but I can walk up to 5.12a and get it in 1-2 tries most the time (most). I've also been known to climb anywhere between 30-50 routes in an hour or two if I really push. I've had a slight dip in training during 2016 because of a weird relationship thing that made me re-prioritize what I wanted to do, and now we're back grinding in the gym. Despite that I've kept pretty good fitness for 2ish years now, and climbing is my main tool. 

I used to get asked a bunch, "How did you get so strong so quick" and I would say "Black Magic...aka Mario's stripper name". Mario is my coach, he's my homie, my bro, my mentor, and the dude who makes me feel the pain 2-4 days out of the week. Mario runs a training program called ClimbFit, and it's basically what the name sounds like; Climbing and Fitness. Mario's been climbing like since forever and is well known in Dallas and every other southern climbing area, he is the climbing dude of Dallas. I met Mario my first day rock climbing and was in ClimbFit on my second day of rock climbing, So my secret to how I got so strong is that I started off my climbing training right off the bat. 

One of the most important parts of climbing is CORE!!!! we all love a good core burn and we focus 40-50% of our workout time to our core training. Crunches, Bicycles, 6 inches, "L" sits, Kings chair, Toe touches, you name it, we do ALL the core, and we do sometimes 2-3 sets of it. It's one of the main reasons everyone in the climbing gym has a six pack. 

The second thing we focus on is upper body strength. Before I started climbing it was laughable if you asked me if I could do a pull up, now I can bust out 50 in 5 min. We focus on what's called "Push-Pull" meaning Pushing and Pulling. We'll do Pushups, Spiderman push-ups, Burpees, Battle Ropes, Plate pushers, Pull ups, Chin Ups, One arm lock offs, Negatives, Frenchies, Dips, and the list can go on and on. 

Climbers usually have to hike to their climbing destination, for example last spring we had to hike 3000 vertical feet up a cliff side back up to our camp site in New Mexico every day, I was dying. Because of this we don't skip leg day. We focus primarily on a lot of squats with weights, but some of our other workouts segue into legs as well, like Burpees & Jumpees. We'll also do Box Jumps, Power Jumps, In-out squats, and a variation of other type of squats. 

Those are the big 3 we train every day, but as a climber you also have to strengthen your fingers. This is a delicate process as you're not actually adding finger muscle (Fingers don't have muscles), but rather strengthening your tendons. Tendons are delicate and amazing at the same time, they can hold your whole body weight off of a few finger tips, but can tear if you over work them. Because of this we train finger strength once a week and sometimes two times if we're feeling good. This usually involves a small wooden board called a "Beast Maker" they're specifically made for making your fingers stronger and they're awesome. The workout varies on the strength of the climber, but i'll usually use the "Beast maker 2000". I'll get all 4 of my fingers on the smallest crimp and do 7 seconds on with 3 seconds of rest in between for a minute and then repeat for 3-5 sets. 

Climbing is one of the those sports that you just get fit no matter what, as long as you climb. It's great because it provides my brain with constant stimulation and new problems to figure out. It's pretty much just play time fitness, and I think that's awesome. 

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Trent's California Trip

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Trent's California Trip

It's a crazy coincidence that Chris and I are both in California within 2 weeks of each other. I’ve been to California before when I was younger to San Francisco and Santa Cruz, but this was long before I started Climbing. I don’t know how it is for other climbers, but California is like my dream location for climbing. It’s really my ideal place for everything, You can Snowboard in the winter, Surf and Climbing in the summer...it’s my dream land. Anyways We flew into San Diego around 4pm and grabbed dinner at this cool little Asian place called East Village Asian Diner. On the walk in I see Thunder Cat action figures in the window and they had Anime playing on the TV, so I already knew the place would be awesome. Something always amazing about leaving Texas is the temperature difference compared to literally ANYWHERE else. It’s a cool 70 degrees when the sun sets and I have to wear a jacket since I'm used to a climate similar to Hell. We walked down the street and the city of Del Mar had a vintage car meet. Super cool way to end the first night for sure. 

One of my dad’s friends is a Navy Chaplain and stationed on the Coronado Naval base, and he gets access to the entire base, Including the Navy SEAL section. So we met up with him at Panera in Coronado and he goes over what we’re doing for the day. We start on the larger of the bases and go past 2 Gigantic air craft carriers, 1 of which is under refitting and covered in white plastic. Drove past tons of black hawk helicopters and gigantic cargo planes.

After that we head to the way smaller SEAL training base. It’s pretty much an entry gate, a gate to the beach/ocean, and a big green field where we saw about 50ish young men in their 4th week in SEAL Training..Lets rewind a little bit, as a climber I have a fairly decent upper body strength since I pull my body weight up large walls for a hobby, so I can do a decent amount of pull ups as a result of that. So I was thinking about challenging these men to a pull up competition...Fast forward again, we’re driving by the field where all the guys are training and I quickly realize that these dudes' job is literally to work out ALL day while under extreme stress, most of them my age. Made me super appreciative to our United States armed forces for the amount of training and stress that these guys go through so they can protect us against any harm that would come our way. Also I spotted the group of them who were on pull-ups and it’s about 1pm at this point and I also realized that they’ve probably been working out since 6am and they were not doing these pull-ups slowly. So I reconsidered my challenge pretty quickly....Also they don’t really appreciate you interrupting the Navy SEALs. Over all SUPER cool day, saw some really cool stuff and got some cool Navy gear. 

 

Saturday I got a pretty late start; left the Hotel at 10ish and got some breakfast at a local place, and headed into San Diego to check out the Mesa Rim climbing gym. I’ve only climbed at a few gyms (Dallas, Tx & Durango, CO). Dallas, being my home gym, we are 4 hours from the nearest outdoor rock, so our setting is DRASTICALLY different from climbing gyms that are less than an hour from real rock. That being said Mesa Rim is incredible, 50-70 foot walls, excellent routes, and an overall great gym. I’ll go into real quick what I consider a great route; I like on a 5.11 to have a little bit of difficulty but not impossible, I like it to have technical moves with high feet, rather than huge reach moves with really no skill involved. I prefer technique to sheer brute strength. I didn’t walk in with a climb partner but the gym called overhead “If anyone needs a belay partner please come to the front desk” within like 10 minutes of me being there (probably one of the cooler features i’ve seen in a gym). The guy was super cool, and was even from Lubbock, Texas. We warmed up on a 5.8, hopped on a few 5.11s, two 5.12s and even got on a 5.13 that was super awesome. It was also awesome training for my 12 hour comp on the 27th since the walls are 70ft tall, the pump was real! Got a sick Nalgene from the gym too. 

 

I woke up on Sunday and started packing my bag for Joshua Tree; 70m rope, harness, quick draws, runners, chalk bag, and I grab for my shoes in the bottom of the bag and they’re not in there. A quick panic sesh led to realizing that I had left my only pair of climbing shoes at the climbing gym from Saturday. This is also happening at 6am because we were leaving early to J-Tree so we could get there early, so that plan was out the window. Luckily for me the gym still had them so we scooped them at around 9am and headed to Joshua Tree. If you have no previous knowledge about Joshua Tree, it’s basically a trad climbing paradise (Traditional Climbing). Sadly I only own sport climbing gear, and the ratio of Trad to Sport climbs in Joshua tree is about 10 to 1. A few days before I bought the Joshua Tree guide book at REI and I thought that would be sufficient, but I really didn’t grasp how large the entire park is. If you’ve ever been to Hueco Tanks in Texas it’s basically that park but 10 times bigger. All the rocks look the same, they’re these big bulbous brown rolling mountains, and the only way I was able to distinguish the areas that we went to was where the mountain in the background was. The guide book I purchased was less than amazing, and made it super hard to figure out where climbs were located and even finding a Sport route in the book was difficult. Made for a very stressful time, being surrounded by amazing trad climbs, but looking for small silver bolts in a sea of brown rock. The climbs I actually got on seemed like someone was bored and threw up random bolts into a climb.. some didn’t even have anchors and I had to rappel off the bolt. Regardless of how stressful it was to find climbs, I was with my family, in a beautiful place, on a vacation in California..my life isn’t bad. At the end of the day I learned the meaning of “Sometimes you win, Sometimes you learn.” I know next time I’m in Joshua Tree it’ll be with a gigantic trad rack slung across my chest, blazing routes all day. 

 

I think my favorite part of the trip has been the general attitude of California. Things just don’t seem so rushed here. Stuff just gets done, people enjoy life, and it’s just generally stress free. I spent Monday sitting in a Starbucks writing this post and watching the cars and bikers go by. It’s nice to just sit and do nothing sometimes and just watch people go about their days. It was a nice break from the constant training i’ve been doing for the last 2 months (Though I did train in the gym here, in case my climb partner reads this). I can’t wait for the next time i’m in California, I hope it’s not too long.

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Knowing & Growing

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Knowing & Growing

I was sitting next to my friend and mentor Mario Stanley the other night and thought to myself, I didn’t know this person even existed last year, and now he’s one of the most influential people in my life. And that led to further thought of how much I’ve changed and how much my life has changed in a year. For one thing I wasn’t as fit as I am now. My hands would shake when I would hold my phone for too long. I was super self conscious about how unfit I was, and it’s embarrassing being a guy and not being strong enough to do certain things. I think I had maybe 3 friends that I kept in touch with out of all the ones I had in high school, and even then I would barely hang out with them. I was infatuated with the idea of being rich enough to do whatever I wanted. Wealth seemed like the only thing that mattered in life. And perhaps the worst of all of that, I had no idea what I wanted. 

    Knowing what you want seems so simple, but I’d wager that most college kids have no idea. I don’t even know what I would want as an end goal, but I do know what I want right now. I have a few puzzle pieces to puzzle that takes a lifetime to finish. I don’t think you can accurately know what you will want 10 years in the future. We all change, especially in youth. All I can hope for right now is that I can set a solid base for what my 30 year old self might want. 

    I’ve never thought of myself as an impressive person. I get asked now by new friends that I climb with about how I’ve progressed so quickly with my climbing. I tell them it’s “Mario Magic”, meaning I owe it all to my coach Mario to put it simply. Inside my head i’m thinking how in the world am I impressive to someone? Even friends I haven’t seen since high school have commented on how much stronger I’ve gotten. I’ve never been in a situation before where I’ve been impressive to someone else, and it’s really weird.

    It’s also really strange finding out what I want. Even though I don’t have an exact vision of what I want 10 years from now, I know I want it to involve climbing and the outdoors, and that’s 100% more than I knew last year. The funny thing is that, what I think I know now will be 100% less than I’ll know next year. I suppose it’s just part of growing to be constantly changing who you are. I just hope 10 years from now I can be good enough to inspire others to be great.

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Climbing, the sport for those who try

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Climbing, the sport for those who try

I started rock climbing in the Fall of 2014 during a depressing time in my life. My last semester of school was pretty horrible, I was working a job that I didn't like at all, and a relationship with a girl that I had been seeing for a while ended. It was looking like nothing was going my way and that It wouldn't be going my way for a long while. On top of all of that I wasn't sleeping well, I had all my energy at night and none in the mornings. It all came to a head when I was sitting in my dad's office asking for advise about what I should do about not being able to sleep well and being so unhappy all the time. Luckily I have a father who can give it to me straight and he told me to stop feeling sorry for myself and to find something to throw myself at. He had been telling me for a few weeks to start rock climbing because it's a good way to work out without feeling like you're working out, and with my personality I usually have to trick myself into doing something that's hard but benefits me in the long run. That night after work I went to the closest climbing gym alone and in my mind I knew that I was going to make this work no matter what. Luckily enough the gym I went to has a training program called "Climb Fit" ran by a very charismatic coach, Mario Stanley, and I really think that if it weren't for Mario I would not still be climbing today, he really made climbing a do-able thing for me when it seemed like everyone who climbs is already good at it, which is the complete opposite of what climbing really is. 

A year later I'm still in Climb Fit with Mario working hard on becoming the best rock climber I can be, but I've learned a lot in a year. I've met new people who are also trying to better themselves which is an incredible thing when you think about it, these people could be spending their time at home watching TV and eating a microwave dinner, but instead they're in this loud gym, ripping their fingers on plastic holds training to either get in physical shape or to get in climbing shape to get outdoors on real rocks. Climbing may be one of the few sports that anyone can be good at. It really all depends on the route but if you train enough, and put enough effort into it anyone can climb what they want, it doesn't even really matter how tall you are. If you've ever seen a youth climbing team then you know that being tiny is almost better than being tall in climbing. There are even amputee's that climb, even professional climbers that are missing fingers like Tommy Caldwell who just climbed the Dawn wall in Yosemite. Climbing is a sport for people who have passion, who have mental discipline, and that try hard for the things they want. ANYONE can be a rock climber, it just takes the want to do it. I think that's why I love it so much, it's because everyone that's in the gym wants to be the best climber they can be. 

You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to to great.
— Zig Ziglar

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