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Neely Quinn interviews pro rock climbers, climbing trainers, and other insightful members of the climbing community about how we can get a little better at rock climbing. Subjects include how to train for certain aspects of the sport, how to rehab injuries, the best diet for climbing, and personal stories about climbing.

Apr 11, 2014

This interview is with one of my really good friends, Jonathan Siegrist, aka J-Star. I met Jonathan about 4 or 5 years ago and for some reason we just clicked and have stayed tight ever since. He's one of my favorite people, and you'll understand why that is if you listen to this interview :)

The interview was actually done at the house we just shared with him for a few months in Las Vegas, where we spent a lot of time up at the Promised Land and some other awesome areas with Jonathan. I got to belay him on his recent first ascent of the 5.14c he put up, Spectrum, and I can say that no matter how many times I watch him climb, it’s always incredible. I mean, besides the fact that he warms up on my epic projects, it’s incredible ;)

He always tries hard, he’s psyched to be climbing, he doesn’t toss wobblers – or at least I’ve never seen him do it – and I think it’s because he’s truly grateful for every opportunity he gets to be on rock outside. He’s also really into training indoors, especially because he’s got some big goals for this year. We’ll talk about his goals and his training in the interview.

He's done something like 140 routes rated 5.14a and above, including 19 5.14c's and 6 5.14d's. He won a Golden Piton Award for Breakaway Success in 2009 after his groundbreaking trip to the Red River Gorge, where his highlights included quick sends of the 5.14c’s Lucifer, Southern Smoke, and Fifty Words for Pump, three 5.14a flashes, three 5.13c onsights, and onsights of 10 routes graded either 5.13a or 5.13b, among other things. You can see his full climbing resumé here.

Jonathan and I sat down in my closet in Vegas (it was a big closet and the only place that didn't echo in our house - ha ha!) and talked about all things J-Star, including how he trains now compared to how he used to train, what he eats, his love life (he's taken for now, ladies), and his dreams.

What We Talked About

  • His favorite kind of climbing
  • His biggest achievements and biggest failures
  • Whether he'll try to be a pro climber forever
  • How traveling so much affects his relationships with the ladies
  • Where he'd like to call home someday
  • 5.15?
  • What it takes to climb 5.14+
  • How he keeps his skin in shape for sharp crimpy routes
  • How he trains now and who he's coached by
  • How that compares with how he used to train
  • What he eats and why (he's a pescatarian)
  • What he thinks body weight's role is in sending hard
  • How often he parties

Related Links

  • Jonathan's website is
  • Jonathan interviewed me on his site here.
  • He helped me create a training plan for myself (that worked!) and I blogged about it here.


  • The podcast is made possible by the training programs on TrainingBeta here. Check 'em out if you need some help sending!
  • If you'd like to sponsor the podcast, just email us at

Listen on iTunes

  • Link to the TrainingBeta Podcast on iTunes is HERE.
  • Please give the podcast an honest review on iTunes here to help the show reach more curious climbers around the world ;)


Intro and outro song: Yesterday by Build Buildings 

Thanks for listening!