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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.

May 14, 2015


About Alex Barrows

I met Alex Barrows in Rodellar in 2011 when he introduced himself as the Duke of Barrows, which we believed for several hours. It would've been so cool if that had been true, but alas. He's just a British PhD student at Sheffield University with a hilarious sense of humor. He's also really strong, despite his rigorous school schedule and lack of good weather where he lives.

When I met Alex, he was trying really hard on a 14a for weeks. Then I saw him a couple years later in the Red River Gorge, where I immediately noticed he'd improved dramatically. He was onsighting 13+ and sending 14s like it was his job. Then I heard he sent Era Vella (5.14d in Spain) this spring, '15, and I had to know how he was improving so much.

This interview is an extremely detailed account of his training plan and philosophies, with some charming British humor thrown in there.

What we talked about:

  • Exactly how and when he trained for Era Vella
  • How his training has evolved over the years, and how he learned so much about it
  • How he stays so psyched to train 6 days a week
  • What he does to avoid injuries, and whether or not he climbs through them when he has them
  • All about circuit training
  • How he finds time and money to project things in different countries, despite being a full-time student
  • How he reached his sending weight, and whether or not climbers should always be thin

Things We Mentioned

Fix Your Own Arms with ArmAid

armAid1If you haven't heard of the ArmAid yet, definitely give it a look-see. It's a nutcracker-type self-massage tool for your poor, overused arms, and it actually works.

We wrote a glowing review about it here.  You can learn more on their website at


Training Programs for You

Please Review Us 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!