Kris Peters Athletic Training

Kris Peters Athletic Training

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Team Of 2

Some of you may already know or have heard of the Team Of 2. If you haven't take a look at this slide show and get a quick sense of what it is this program has to offer...

Justen Sjong and I are trying to bring a new element into climbing. A program that allows each athlete to receive the exact coaching and training they need to continue to move forward. Justen's job is to coach the climber and my job is to train the climber. I've realized that if we are to continue to make climbing and our athletes excel in this sport then we need to give them every opportunity possible to succeed! I truly believe our program offers a superior experience and the results are stunning! Watching our athletes develop into improved overall climbers has been such an amazing experience. We've seen them not just increase in strength and power but as individuals. Having someone walk out of a Team Of 2 session having learned something new about themselves is by far the most rewarding part of what we do. It's not always about having every person laying flat on their faces exhausted from the workout. To Justen and I we want the people that come through our program to have a new understanding about what it is they need as an individual athlete.

As we move forward our hope and goal remains the same. To see climbing and climbers move forward and achieve their goals.

Monday, February 11, 2013

2013: Setting A New Standard

As the sport of climbing continues to evolve, so do the ways in which we understand and apply training. For so many climbers out there, personal progression, both physical and mental, acts as the primary source of motivation to log as many plastic hours as possible. Climbing is unique in that it is a sport just as much as it is not, and that allows for a lot of experimental training. Anyone who owns a pair of climbing shoes and has some knowledge of the body has the ability to train themselves as hard or as causally as they wish. However, because climbing is still so new (relatively), there have not been as many clinical studies on how exactly we should train our bodies specifically for climbing. Like all physical activities, climbing demands a very idiosyncratic set of muscles and strengths, and everyone has their own interpretation on how the body should be pushed. Some people like to focus primarily on power by doing copious amounts of one-arm pull-ups and front levers, others like to hone in on finger strength via weight vests and campus boards. It all depends on what you're hoping to gain.

My goal is to set a new standard by offering a different perspective and insight into the world of training in within climbing. The new hybrid training program, Team of 2, founded by myself and Justen Sjong, is a testament to that mission to better our "sport".

Boulder, CO has become the epicenter for climbing in the U.S., and along with that, comes a slew of talented and motivated climbers, all looking to better themselves. The training camps and programs implemented by Team of 2 have helped spread this new approach to training, and we've already begun to see results. With over 100 clients per week and an expanding online program, the excitement surrounding training in general has already grown.

As it is for anyone eager to tackle the new year, I too have made my resolutions, and I look forward to sharing them with anyone interested.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Doctors told Owen that he needs to stop climbing. I'm going to tell you why they're wrong.

There are many ways to describe Owen Graham; 19 years young; a college sophomore; from a good family; raised in Texas. He's the type a daughter would bring home to mom (ladies...), and the type of man who changes people's lives for the better. These are just several of many adjectives and life experiences which have helped shape Owen, though they don't truly tell his story.

Two weeks ago, he contacted me regarding training for the Youth World's Championship in Singapore; he won Youth Nationals this year and had self-awareness enough not to ride on the coattails of his victory. He saw the need for Power. With most pro climbers I train the overall story is largely the same: great people, driven, motivated, and intensely competitive. With Owen, the story began to twist. A little more quiet, a little less intense, and a little quicker to please. He's not only a great competitor, he's polite and kind; if someone approaches him while training, he has the composure to reply with a smile and be courteous. He's easy to befriend. Later he even ridiculed me for "being old" or "an awful belayer" and "a worse trainer". I typically followed weak insults with stoic resolve and professionalism--just kidding, I called him poop names.

I tend to study my athletes. Not in the scientific sense, more, how to connect and understand them as people in order to enrich their individual experience. Knowing how they think, and what they are feeling (yes, I am telepathic) is as much a part of the training as the actual workouts. Owen proved harder to understand. He's laid back and wicked chill; seemingly without a care in the world. That is, until he started talking with me, not at me (as people often do). Owen explained why he was here at Movement Climbing and Fitness training with this 'Kris Peters' who he heard only heard about.

Owen suffers from extreme tendonitis and Carp-Syndrome. It is a debilitating condition that can cause Owen such discomfort that he can barely open his arms. Doctors have told him that he needs his arm cut wide open in order to perform a surgery that has a 40-50% chance of success. One day I was warming Owen up on a 5.11d and his forearms blew up. Naturally I was alarmed, but was sadly ignorant of the cause and ramifications--Owen insisted that we keep climbing, and so we did. When Owen fell on a 5.12d I knew there was a real problem. When I walked up to Owen he was in serious pain. He couldn't untie his rope because he couldn't close his hands properly. He was in more mental pain than physical though. For him, not continuing with the training that day was tantamount to giving up entirely, but the pain in his face was telling, and I made him stop.

Sitting there by the wall, Owen explained his true motivation for representing USA in Singapore. It wasn't for a money, girls, or fame--it was for a son a mother had lost. Owen met a woman who's son was a committed rock climber and was tragically killed in a accident. Owen wanted to help in anyway he could, but what could this 19 year old possibly do to help? He responded by stepping up to the plate by putting the son's initials on his USA jersey. Every time he competes, they're with him, all the way. They've come to mean more than just a few letters, they're the fuel which drives Owen to reach ever higher in competitions and in life. Even if it brings the smallest comfort to a mom knowing that he's remembered, and is making a difference in the sport he loved, it'll be worth it a thousand times over.

It doesn't matter if someone is a Pro football player, basketball player, or rock climber--they all have fans. They all have someone looking up to them for direction. Owen Graham gets it. I just hope the rest of us can too. If you are a sponsored Prana, North Face, or Mountain Hardware athlete there are people out there who look to you as a hero and role model. You have the chance to affect them positively through kindness, success, and self-awareness. Find those people you can help, and do so.

Maybe while climbing in Singapore fighting through the excruciating pain in his arms, he'll remember all those training sessions, those doctors, those initials, and he'll climb just a little higher. Maybe a little higher than any one else. Maybe, just a little higher than he thought was possible...

Wouldn't that be something to see.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Training is growing and it's not going to stop!

Long time since my last post. I want to truly apologize for the long delay. A lot is happening and a lot is changing in my professional career here in Boulder. It seems that in the past 3-4 weeks that my business has skyrocketed. It literally feels that within a blink of an eye that I went from making a few t-shirts, having a couple of clients to what is happening now. Going into work and having at least 2 people approach me about wanting training. Recieving e-mails from members of the Brazilian National Climbing team wanting to move to Boulder for 6 weeks to get training. Getting an email from a new friend in Indonesia talking about how my training has inspired them to push themselves to achieve more in their personal climbing. Athletes driving an hour away to come and train with me, people i've never even met going to the front desk and purchasing training without us even meeting or talking to each other. Current clients talking to everyone they know and telling them that what I am doing is working and that it's good.

The training is catching on in Boulder CO. It's catching on locally, in other states and internationally. I have an athlete moving to Boulder to train for 6 weeks to prepare for the World Cup in Atlanta. The concept of training climbers in a way that is Sports Specific is going to become the new standard. Even for non-pro climbers the idea of training at a climbing gym with a trainer is going to become as normal as it is at 24 hour fitness.

I feel so blessed, fortunate and remain humble for all that is happening. I'm so lucky to have made the friends here that I've made, to work with such an incredible staff at movement, to have incredible clients that make going to work an absolute joy and pleasure. They all do whatever it is I ask of them and they continue to come back! When I see my clients and my athletes give their very all and see them succeed, there is not better feeling for me as their trainer. Just the other day Ian Dory was so tired that he literally crawled across the bouldering mat to grab his chalk bag and attempt the same V6 that just put him flat on his back from 13 feet in the air. As he crawls to chalk back up and stands up to give one more attempt before time runs out I can't help but feel like I'm watching a clip from a movie. It was literally like watching Rocky getting knocked down by the Russian and seeing Rocky get up again and again! Ian wouldn't accept the thought or the feeling of failure. Absolutely incredible to watch. Or to see Jamie Emerson so tired that his push-ups are being done on his knees and he refuses to stop or rest because he's determined to succeed. When Carol Woods is dripping sweat and she looks at me after the set that she just gave her all on and I tell her "Again" and she does it again but this time she does it better!

Training is not always about who is the strongest, who looks the best or who can climb the hardest or lift the heaviest weights. It's about each individual doing their own personal best and understanding that what they just did was incredible! If you climb a V1 four times in a row and that was hard for you there is no difference then the guy next to you who did a V8 four times in a row and yelled just to finish. The V1 was your best and that's what matters! If someone runs faster then you and they are just as tired as you are when you finshed then you just achieved the same outcome as that individual.

If you are a climber, a runner, a swimming class participant, a spinning class enthusiast, a tri-athlete or whatever your sport may be... Always remember that it isn't about what others are doing or how good they are. It's about what you can accomplish within yourself and how hard YOU are willing to work for it. I will never tell someone that they can't be as good as this person or accomplish this or that. I want to train people that prove to themselves that they can do it! That with the right traaining, the right attitude and having the belief within themselves that they can accomplish the ultimate success. Go and get it guys! Don't stop and don't let anyone tell you it's not possible.

For you climbers out there here's a workout that I made for my athletes and clients. You decide how you want to set it up according to your strength and current condition. It's my "Training Camp Conditioning Routine."

Round 1: Bouldering Pyramids
* 8 climbs of V1, 4 climbs of V2, 2 Climbs of V3 this needs to be done within 30 minutes. After Each climb you do 5-10 pullups. You then go back down... 2 Climbs of V3, 4 climbs of V2, 8 climbs of V1. This needs to be done in 30 minutes and after each climb you do 5-10 push-ups.

* 2 minutes of sit-ups, with a 2 minute rest. Repeat 5 times.

* Run 2 miles

Here's some photo's of how this will look...

Here's Ian Dory working hard on his 3rd V6. He has 1 more to do.

Matty Hong working on his 2nd V7. After this he starts his next set of 2 V7's!

Geoff Engle doing a set of 10 pull-ups after his 7th V3. He's a V10 climber. Just to put in perspective how you might want to scale your climbs.

Geoff completed the 1st set in 28 minutes. He gets 2 minutes until the 2nd 30 minutes starts

Kevin killing 10 pull-ups!

Jamie Emerson topping out to head to the pull-up bar!

Olivia Ridgely loves training!

Alex is suprised to see her trainer waiting up top to ensure her pull-ups are done correctly. She crushed them!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Teva World Cup

Vail Colorado. World Cup. Amazing. 

To see some of the greatest athletes in this sport competing along side each other was absolutely breathtaking. Not only are these individuals incredible athletes, they are incredible people as well. I've seen so many world class climbers in films and photos or read about them in articles. To finally have the chance find out who they are and their motivations them was truly enlightening. You know when someone is truly excited about meeting their favorite athlete, like Micheal Phelps, Dwayne Wade, or Tim Tebow? People who are impacting their sport in a big way? That is the experience I had. Excitement from the beginning of the competition to the end, and beyond--incredible.

Now, the competition itself.

If you were unable to be in Vail or didn't get to watch the live stream of the event on then you missed out. This was one of the most intensely competitive sporting events I have ever witnessed. Seeing each athlete try their absolute hardest in each round was mesmerizing. I witnessed the physical fitness of each athlete as they attempted a problem over and over again till they finally got it. As a crowd, we experienced their excitement and psyche when they hit that finish hold, fist pounded their chest, did a one-arm lock off and roared! Whether they were a US athlete or representing another country, you couldn't but help feel some of the extreme excitement each athlete was feeling. It's hard to comprehend just how hard these climbers work to be as physically strong, conditioned and as prepared as they are for these competitions--let alone factor in the grueling international travel.

Here's my breakdown of how my athletes did in the comp. Some athletes haven't been working with me as long or as much as is ideal. This is due mostly to the physical proximity of each climber. The only athlete that I was able to work with 5-6 days a week and for 3 hours each session consistently was Alex Johnson. As much as I wanted to see Nina, Daniel and Matty succeed it was just harder to get on a very consistent program and routine to give them exactly what they needed to be 100% ready. Despite this, they all performed well. However, I felt that Alex was the one that I had the most invested in, and she in me. We started way earlier then anyone else, and we hit it hard 5-6 days a week. I was with her for every single session, able to see her progress and continuously change the routines in order to keep up with her improvements. When you invest so much time into one athlete you have to be tough on them, you understand what's at stake on a very real level. You begin to share not only in their success but also in their failure; their strong days are your good days and when they feel weak you feel responsible. Throughout our training, she handled both encouragement and criticism with the grace you would expect from a world class athlete.

Alex took training seriously and did everything I asked of her. When Vail arrived I knew that she was as ready as she possibly could be. On day one, she showed everyone how hard she had worked when she was the only female athlete to flash all five qualifier problems! She came out, guns blazing and proved that she was a force to be reckoned with. Her performance came as a thrilling surprise to everyone who has watched her over the years. Not at the fact that she qualified for Semi-Finals but rather the confidence and poise she showed during qualifiers as she dominated the field and finished in first. You don't want to go to crazy over a first round performance because you know that your athlete has a long way to go before they achieve their ultimate goal, but I couldn't hold back my excitement. To her credit, Alex is quite modest when it comes to talking about her performance. Her mental toughness proved invaluable in the later semi-final and final rounds.

Semi-finals is where the pressure becomes the greatest as only six of the 20 climbers will advance to finals.  Alex has a lot of talents as a competitor, but her ability to perform well under pressure time after time is something that will never cease to amaze me.

 In Semi-Finals one mistake can mean game over. Alex did exactly what she needed to do. She kept her attempts to a minimum, and she flashed problems she knew she could flash. She even flashed a problem that I thought looked really powerful and thought she might have a problem with it. I watched as she basically told me "watch this" and saw her absolutely crush the problem without even making her "try hard face" (see pictures below).

While Alex was transitioning from semi problem #3 to #4 I saw her shaking her hand. This is often cause for alarm especially during an event.  When a climber is shaking, rubbing and staring at their hand that's never a good thing as it usually means some kind of injuy. After watching her look at her hand she went up to problem #4 and flashed it.

As her trainer I was psyched knowing that she had secured her spot in finals, however, upon congratulating her, she replied "my hand is messed up--the pain is going all down my arm". This was a scary moment for both of us. Injuries are one of the scariest things an athlete can undergo. We got it looked at and it was apparent that there was no torn tendons but a definite strain on the inside of her hand. We only had a few hours to get her ready for finals. Alex received constant attention on her hand from her massage therapist, Kati Peters, while i did my best to keep her stretched out and warm for the big show.

When finals came Alex gave all that she had. She performed absolutely amazing and showed everyone that she had what it took to be a champion once again. Her goal was of course to make podium, but they have many different styles of routes in World Cup events for a reason: you must be the master of all techniques to truly separate yourself. Due to one climb that was in every way her anti style (a super compact problem), she ended up in fourth with only a few falls away from achieving her overall goal of first. This is still an impressive result.

I know how important it was for Alex to make top 3 but if she had gotten that one problem then she would have won the World Cup. Still, she breezed through qualifiers, crushed every problem in semi-finals and killed three of the four problems in finals, clearly displaying the incredible strength and fitness from years of hard work, fine-tuned through only seven weeks of training! This is a girl that just a few short months ago finished 5th at the US National competition. To go from that, to finishing 4th place against the best girls in the world and first for the USA team really is something to be proud of. 

As gifted a climber as Alex naturally is, training is what enabled her to take her talents to the next level. Last year she competed in the World Cup Circuit but unfortunately was unable to reach her goals of finals in any of them. After the circuit ended last August she barely set foot into a climbing gym. She competed at US Nationals in February and in raw talent made finals but had hardly performed at the level she was capable of.

When I approached Alex about training, she was hesitant. Naturally, she had concerns trusting someone she hardly knew to train her at something she was already good at. Not only that but she would be blazing new trails. Currently there are very few, if any, professional climbers in America that actually spend five days a week with a strength and conditioning trainer. Alex took a big leap of faith when she agreed to work with me and is the main reason why I am experiencing the success that I am having in the climbing community. I owe her a great deal for accepting the challenge of training unreservedly. I am honored, and proud. 

The amount of time I dedicated into Alex is what I want to offer all my athletes. For Daniel, Nina, Natasha, Matty, Courtney, Kati, Garret and all the future US athletes I train I want to spend time with them in the gym. I want them to come in, work hard and understand their potential. There is a reason why the Austrian National Anthem played 3 times at Vail. It played for the Women's champion (Anna Stor), the Men's champion (Killian) and it played for the winning overall country (Austria.) I want my athletes to experience having a medal put around their necks, to have an opportunity to hear the US National Anthem play for them. I want to see the US coach receive a medal for winning overall country.

 It's more then taking first place. These athletes have the honor and privilege to represent their country in the World Cup Tour and hopefully, someday soon, the Olympics; the greatest honor a pro athlete can receive. Would it be that I had the opportunity, the experience, the strength and the skill to represent USA not only in World Cups but possibly in future Olympics. As it is, I'll live vicariously through each of my athletes. I want to see the American Climbing dream team! Alex Johnson, Daniel Woods, Alex Puccio, Angie Payne, Carlo Traversi, Paul Robinson, Nina Williams, Matty Hong, and the list goes on. 

Agree or disagree, at the end of the day I'm a competitor and when I see these guys climb I see the competitiveness in them. People can keep saying that they love to climb outside and that it's just a "comp". But when you see these athletes climb, you can see they truly want to win and do well. When they don't they are disappointed. They really, really don't like failure.

For all the climbers out there that want to be a champion. Train like a champion. My goal remains the same: I am currently working on my business plan to send to USA Climbing and hopefully they like it. I've been contacted by The North Face and they are extremely interested in what I am trying to accomplish in the world of climbing and the athletes I am training. I am contacting businesses to get my climbers better sponsors. My intent is not to inflate my name. I am trying to be a difference maker.

Teva World Cup reminded me of what I want to accomplish. Meeting amazing new people and hanging out with friends from Boulder reminded me why I love the climbing community so much. Having the opportunity to see a sporting event like this, with such amazing people accomplishing such incredible feats reminded me much fiction there was in life's so-called 'impossibilities'.

Denver Fox Sports cuducting an interview with me on Alex's training.

Amazing athletes that we have representing the USA. They all did an amazing job and I'm psyched to see them continue.

After Finals I was told of an after party. It definitely lived up the the hype!

See you next year Teva World Cup!

Friday, May 25, 2012

First Competition

I apologize for the length of how long I have gone without a post. With training, coaching, college preparation, school loans and just trying to get completed settled in a new place… Finding time to write has been a little tough. However, a lot is continuing to happen and my approach and dedication to my work is never ending. We just returned back from Richmond VA where my athletes competed in the 2nd annual Dominion River Rock Bouldering Comp. Although I am extremely sick, the trip was in my eye a huge success for my athletes. Regardless of how they finished I truly believe that moving forward we now recognize areas to work on and how to improve.

First competition is now finished since I started training athletes. Gauging increased performance is difficult given the varied amount of training the athletes have had with me. Nevertheless, much was learned.

Courtney Sanders finished in 8th place.

Courtney did a great job! She climbed hard and continued to try hard! I’ve only been working with Courtney for about 2 weeks and in that time we have both seen areas for development. Courtney is extremely motivated and dedicated to improvement as a professional athlete. She’s getting ready to journey this summer to Spain for sport climbing, then bouldering in South Africa’s Rocklands. Upon her return Courtney and I will be working extremely hard to get her ready and focused on Nationals. Courtney is an athlete! She is passionate about performing well and when she doesn’t climb above her standards, she takes it very seriously—focusing her emotions on the next challenge. I love that about her! Some of the greatest athletes to ever play their sports will show emotion and then let that emotion drive them to be better.

Kati Peters Finished in 5th place

Kati finished well but was not excited about her performance. What limited Kati from having more success was her ability to understand the problem’s intricacies. Kati is strong and was more then capable of completing problems she either didn’t complete or struggled on. Kati had a development weekend. She still fought hard and gave it her all. What she needs is climbing coaching. That’s not what I am trying to do with climbing. My job is to make sure Kati can perform moves easily and more efficiently. A coach’s job is to teach Kati how to read a problem and how to execute at a comp! I believe Kati has the potential to make top 3 at comps. She’s incredibly strong and has the skill set to be more competitive. Every athlete has a weakness and Kati’s is pretty significant; these problems are extremely complicated and take a significant amount foresight complete. You can be the strongest but if you mess up a sequence you’ve wasted valuable time and energy. 

Matt Londrey took 10th place

Matt is such an awesome guy! I’ve known Matt for about 5 years now and for someone who is just getting into training for the 1st time in about 4 years, I’m psyched for Matt and his future in climbing competitions. He’s extremely athletic, smart, has confidence and remains calmest when the pressure is the greatest. He’s one of the best overall competitors I’ve ever seen in a sport. I’m so happy and excited Matt has picked me to help him in his journey and quest to become a known and respected competitor.

Daniel Woods took 5th place

Daniel climbed incredible all weekend long. Do not let the 5th place finish make you think otherwise. In finals Daniel as like many other athletes were presented a extremely challenging problem. When you are only given 5 minutes to complete a problem that you have never tried before that’s pretty hard. Especially when it involves a move as show above that requires your entire body to be propelled into the air and having to control your body as it swings out of control. Before this final problem Daniel was in prime position to win the competition; he was one of two climbers to send semi’s and the only one to send the second quarterfinal route. As in many competitions it can all come down to the final problem and how well it suites each athlete. Daniel showed amazing athleticism and strength the entire weekend and he is without a doubt still one of the strongest male climbers in the world. He’s determined to get back into the gym to train and to continue his success as a professional athlete. Next up for Daniel will be the TEVA games.

Alex Johnson took 2nd place

Alex performed very well. She finished in 2nd place and in my opinion showed an amazing display of how hard she has been working for the past 5 ½ weeks. She looked incredibly strong and extremely motivated to show how much she has improved. With TEVA being her main focus through our training, this comp was a great way to see where we were leading up to the World Cup in 12 days. I think we can continue to work on her power and core strength to make sure the hard, powerful moves will be a little easier and not as desperate. The pressure will be even higher come TEVA and I believe Alex is more than ready for it.

Here are some other photos of my amazing athletes competing at the River Rock Comp:

 I want to take this time to congratulate Taylor Nystrom. You always hear about acts of sportsmanship and acts of integrity and honor. If you are fan of sportsmanship and acts of kindness then Taylor's story is just that. After Semi-Finals there was a discrepancy about the scoring of Women's Semi Final's. Upon the challenges Taylor realized that if she challenged that her good friend and fellow competitor Kati Peters would not advance to Finals. Not to discredit Taylor's abilities because she is a fantastic climber, but with her busy school schedule and preparation to begin a highly regarded internship at UVA Taylor's training was not what it could had been. With that fact she knew that strength wise she was not at the level that her friend was at. Realizing the consequences that Kati would have faced she refused to challenge the score. By doing that Kati was able to advance to finals to where she took 5th overall. 

Taylor Nystrom demonstrated how to put aside one's own desires to give back what is best for the sport. She acted selflessly and demonstrated that of what most athletes would not do for others. Well done Taylor! You win the ESPY'S award for sportsmanship in my eyes. You are wonderful and with a heart like yours only good things will continue to happen in your life. :-)

As we continue to train and look toward the future for these athletes, my passion grows. The amount of sacrifice and dedication it takes for them to train, eat right, remain motivated and live daily must not be overlooked. I continue to be motivated to see my athletes win and remain the future of this sport. I want to thank all my athletes that wore my shirts, stickers, spoke my name in interviews and promoted what it is I am trying to accomplish for climbing athletes. I value your friendships, your hard work and your willingness to let me be part of your journey in your amazing lives. You are each extremely important to me and I am thankful every day to call you my friends and the athletes of Kris Peters Athletic Training!