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By Casey Ryback
Jul 11, 2012
Chief Petty Officer and former Navy Seal turned chef

I'd love to hear some critique/feedback on this plan. I don't necessarily know what I'm doing, so any help and ideas would be appreciated. I got this plan from a book, and modified it a bit. The goal is to improve fitness for redpointing and onsighting steep endurancey limestone sport routes. In the past I have had really bad session endurance, where I can only get 1 good go on a hard project then I'm shot for the day and my grade really drops off a cliff. So, the plan focuses a lot on general fitness and endurance. Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear suggestions.



Month 1- Base Phase-beginning after a break of 1-3 weeks with no climbing at all

Week1

Mon- 10x6 pushups 30”rec, 10x7 pullups(on fingerboard jugs) 1’rest, 8x30 stomach crunches(4x30 30”rec, 3’rec, then another 4x30 30”rec but this time twisting to hit obliques. 20’ running around 145-150bpm, stretching 15’
Tue-500m(moves) at 75%(maybe 4 letters below your current max, which is lower than usual after 2 weeks off). When vertical or slightly past, you can do up to 30m, when on a steep wall, do sets of 10m or so. Rest 2’ after each set, and each time you do another 100 moves rest 10’
Wed-as Mon
Thur-as Tue
Fri- rest
Sat- Climb routes outside and have fun. Get back the feeling you might have lost, dont get on your max grade. Mainly onsight if you can, do all the routes you can. Shooting for 6-7 routes.
Sun- same as Sat
end of week should feel- really tired on a general level

Week 2- same structure and idea as last week, more moves
Mon- 10x8pushups 25”rec, 10x8 pullups 1’rec, crunches 8x35 same 2 exercises, this time only 1’30” in between, 25’ running 150-155bpm, stretch 15’
Tue- 700m @75%. Up the length of each set to minimum 15m, maximum-40m. Each 100m 9’rec, 1’50” between sets. Work in some smaller holds here and there. Do the sets with a little more pump than last week. stretch.
Wed- as Mon
Thur- as Tue, but 800m
Fri- rest
Sat- Routes outside, onsight if you can. Try to do more routes than last weekend. Inch the grade up, but dont try stuff at your limit. Mainly just keep climbing. Shooting for 8-10 routes each day.
Sun- As Sat
end of week should feel- adapted, and recovering much better

Week 3- same structure, more volume, less rest
Mon- 10x9 pushups 20”rec, 10x9 pullups 45”rec, crunches 8x35 15”btw sets and 1’btw exercises, 30’ running 155bpm, stretch
Tue- 900m @75%. Sets are between 20m-40m. Each 100m 8’rec, 1’45” between sets. Work in bad holds. stretch
Wed as Mon
Thur- as Tue, but 1000m
Fri rest
Sat Routes outside. Try to do 8-10 routes/day like last weekend, but slightly harder grades. Try a route at your limit to see what happens. You should maybe be at 85% of your potential on rock.
Sun as Sat
end of week should feel- like 2nd week. If back to fatigued like 1st week, do easier moves and perhaps less volume.

Week 4- reducing volume and adding some intensity
Mon 30’ running
Tue Do 100m the same way as the last weeks. Find/make 3 max boulders of 6m. Give each 4 tries, 2’rec btw attempt. If you fall on an attempt, finish it from there. Then 4’rec btw boulders. Now, do 200m the same way as last weeks. 10x7 Pullups 45”rec,
Wed 30’ running
Thur same as Tue, but 5x10 pushups 20”rec instead of pullups
Fri rest
Sat Routes outside. Start trying to onsight routes at your limit, and do what you can. If they dont go down, give a 2nd try before moving on to another route. After, try some other easier routes(preferably onsight)
Sun as Sat

Month 2- less volume, more intensity(sort of like 4th week of last month)

Week 1-

Mon 30’ running
Tue 100m warm up(like last month, progressively harder sets). Rec5’. Still for warm up, pick 3 boulders 6m(progressively harder). Do each 3 times, 2’ btw attempts, 3-4’btw boulders. Now set 3 hard boulders of 6m. Try each 5 times 2’btw tries, 5’btw boulders. Now design a 20m short resistance circuit. All moves same difficulty instead of broken with cruxes. If you fall, one hang it. Climb in a good pace, no rests allowed(shouldnt be any opportunities anyway). 3 burns 5’rec, you should send at least one of those tries. 10x9 pullups 1 set per minute, so rest the remainder of the minute.
Wed 30’ running
Thur 100m and 3 warmup boulders, 30m long resistance circuit 85%. 4 tries 6’rec. You should send at least 2 of the 4 tries. One hang it when you fall. Pullups as Tue
Fri- rest
Sat routes outside. Try max routes onsight at your limit. Finish day with 3-4 laps on stuff below your limit
Sun- as Sat

Week 2
Mon- 30’ running
Tue- same warm up. 4 boulders instead of 3. 4 goes on circuit instead of 3. 10x9 pullups 1 set per minute.
Wed 30’ running
Thur- warm up. Take same 30m circuit, add 10m, try 5 times instead of 4. 6’rec. pullups same as Tue.
Fri rest
Sat same
Sun same

Week 3
Mon 30’ running
Tue warm up. 5 boulders. 5 goes on the circuit. Pullups 10x10, 1 set each minute
Wed 30’ running
Thur warm up. Add 10 more moves(now 50), and try the circuit 6 times. 6’rec. pullups same as Tue
Fri rest
Sat same
Sun same

Week 4
Mon 30’ running
Tue warm up. 5 boulders. No resistance today. Pullups 10x10, 1 set each minute
Wed30’ running
Thur warm up. Set new circuit, much harder than first 3 weeks but only 30m. 4 tries hard with 10’rec. No pullups.
Fri rest
Sat same. and if it goes according to plan, you will climb hard this weekend
Sun same

Next month is performance. Get out and climb your best outside. 1-2 times/week do an intense session with several max deadhangs on fingerboard, a little campus work, max boulder problems, and short resistance and long resistance circuits similar to ones from last several weeks. Not necessarily all those in 1 session, but work them in during this month. Keep volume low for these workouts and don’t destroy yourself. Save the juice for sending. Perhaps alternate each week climbing 3 or 4 days to stay feeling fresh.


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By Brendan N. (grayhghost)
From Salt Lake City, Utah
Jul 11, 2012

I may not be reading it correctly, but it seems your longest set of moves in a row is 40. If you want to increase endurance your longest sets should be 300-400 moves (20-25 minutes of continuous climbing).
The running, pull-ups, push-ups and crunches are too non-specific to be much help.
It would help to know the grade and style of your project routes and your current:
1.) Max boulder grade
2.) Max 4x4 grade
3.) 20 minute continuous climbing grade


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By Casey Ryback
Jul 11, 2012
Chief Petty Officer and former Navy Seal turned chef

You read it correctly, the longest sets are 40 moves except for the 3rd wk of the 2nd month where you're doing a 50 move circuit.

I've done ARC before. Perhaps I did something wrong, but I didn't get very good results from it. I was doing 30'-45' sets. When I got outside, I didn't feel fit, and it didn't translate to the rock very well for me. I could have had the intensity all wrong.

As far as the specificity of the general exercises, I think general fitness and recovery between burns in a climbing day is my greatest weakness. So, I'm hoping these will improve that.

style/grade of rp goal routes- Steep endurance routes where the moves are fairly easy for me around 13c-14a

1. When I bouldered a lot one season(and my endurance suffered heavily and I sucked on routes) I did 1 v10 in 3-4 sessions or so. During sport climbing season, maybe I can get up a v9 after 3-4 sessions, maybe v8 in a session or 2, and I could flash v7 or do it in a day if things go well. Those are best case scenario- good conditions, good style for me, relatively fresh. I get bouted on problems much easier than those grades all the time.

With all of these, Im talking about problems 8-10 moves or less, aka real boulder problems. I could probably do a bit better on 15-20 move mini route type problems.

2. I'm not sure. I haven't done them much. The short pause between problems always felt like it through things off, so I've tried to stick to numbered circuits like the ones described in the plan. If I had to guess, maybe in the v4 range?

3. I assume you mean 20 minute indoor ARC kind of grade? If so, I have no idea. Probably pretty easy. I understood the exercise as something where you're trying not to get very pumped. So, my grade not getting pumped for 20'(15 gym routes in a row?) maybe 5.9-5.10 if that, I don't know? If we're talking about max grade I can complete regardless of level of fatigue/pump, that would be a different story.


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By Brendan N. (grayhghost)
From Salt Lake City, Utah
Jul 11, 2012

Nico Toscani wrote:
I think general fitness and recovery between burns in a climbing day is my greatest weakness. So, I'm hoping these will improve that.

Recovery between routes comes down to how well your climbing muscles can flush the byproducts of exertion. This depends on how well vascularized your climbing muscles are. Vascularization is increased when you do long bouts of aerobic activity with the muscle group. ARCing is the best way to increase vascularization in climbing muscles.
Push-ups, pull-ups, crunches and running will increase vascularization of the muscles used in push-ups, pull-ups, crunches and running, not climbing.

Nico Toscani wrote:
During sport climbing season, maybe I can get up a v9 after 3-4 sessions, maybe v8 in a session or 2, and I could flash v7 or do it in a day.

You are plenty strong to climb enduro 5.14a. You don't need to increase your bouldering grade.

Nico Toscani wrote:
If I had to guess, maybe in the v4 range?

4x4ing on V5 or V6 will give you more latitude if you want to climb more power-endurance 13+/14- routes, or if your project has a sustained (3 bolt) crux.

Nico Toscani wrote:
I understood the exercise as something where you're trying not to get very pumped.

Yes, that's the idea. Keep it aerobic.

Nico Toscani wrote:
So, my grade not getting pumped for 20'(15 gym routes in a row?) maybe 5.9-5.10 if that, I don't know?

Your ARCing needs to be in the 5.12a/b area if you want to have any chance on enduro 5.13+ or 5.14- routes. These routes rarely have a move easier than 5.12a, so if you are going anaerobic on the non-crux section, you will have a really difficult time when the crux comes.


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By Casey Ryback
Jul 11, 2012
Chief Petty Officer and former Navy Seal turned chef

Brendan N. (grayhghost) wrote:
Your ARCing needs to be in the 5.12a/b area if you want to have any chance on enduro 5.13+ or 5.14- routes.


To be clear, if we are talking about a 20 minute 300 move arc session, lets say that consists of about 15 20 move routes in a row(fairly typical number of moves in a gym route). 300 moves is about what you would have on a 500 foot pitch. When you say it needs to be in the 12a/b range, are you referring to each 20 move section being 12ab? Each 100 moves adding up to a 12ab? Or the whole "route" weighing in at 12ab? For the whole route to be 12a/b, each individual 20 move section or route I would think would need to be about 5.9 or 10a or something. 15 straight gym 12as would be outrageously hard.


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By Casey Ryback
Jul 11, 2012
Chief Petty Officer and former Navy Seal turned chef

JLP wrote:
Macia?


Yeah, its David Macia's book 'Planificacion Del Entrenamiento En Escalada Deportiva'

The way I'm looking at 75% is if Im lapping a route in the gym I have already done 10 times then the route can be 4 letters below my redpoint level(that week! After taking a couple weeks off my redpoint level is way way lower than it hopefully will be at the end of the plan). If I havent done the route or problem, Im looking for it to be 4 letters below onsight level. Sometimes Ill do half a 12a and finish with easier holds to get used to the route, then work the route in when I have it a bit dialed.


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By Jorde
From Barcelona
Jul 11, 2012
Mega butt shot!  <br />Aitzol, Margalef

Definitely Macia. I followed that exact plan about 2 years ago and it worked quite well for me. Having said that I think it worked well for my level at the time (going from 12+ to 13-), which is the level I think the plan is designed for. Afterwards I hit a bit of a plateau when I came back to Colorado and realized I could hold on forever but had no power. I started including some deadhangs, campusing, and a lot more bouldering which has helped. The plan worked very well for increasing my power endurance (or what he calls short and long endurance), and so I think it is a good plan if that's what you're going for.

My last thought is that if you're trying 13+/14- routes then the volume is a little low. For example the thursday session on the peak week (week 3, month 2) has you only doing 6 long endurance laps which will only take about an hour. I think you could probably start with 6 or 7 and build from there. In Macia's other Q+A book he recommends including a long-bouldering session on wednesday, or on thursday before doing long-endurance which is a good way to add in some extra work.


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By Casey Ryback
Jul 11, 2012
Chief Petty Officer and former Navy Seal turned chef

JLP wrote:
Good point about having a route wired vs not knowing the moves - makes a difference. The thing that took me awhile to "get" about ARCing is that it's not actually pump-free and easy - it's just a pump at a level I can maintain for ~30 mins or more. After ~30 mins at this level, I kind of want and need a rest. I think Brendon's and Mike's suggestions are in line with SCC and others I've talked to as well as my own experience. I assume everyone is talking about gym routes - the rating for 20-30 moves or so - but I can see your point and it's probably valid. I think 1 number below onsight, 2 below redpoint, is in the ballpark to actually get something out it. Any more is PE training, any less is warmup/cooldown - or possibly a waste of time. Curious to get thoughts from others on how ARCing at this level really feels to them.


Yeah, the 75% climbing in the plan is what I'm doing instead of ARC. I think its geared towards the same goal, but attacks it in more of an interval fashion. From the book and other sources, it seems like this is how a lot of Spanish(and perhaps other European world cup climbers? I dont know...) climbers train for continuous, or aerobic climbing. One of my main gripes with ARC last time I tried it was that it ruined my power. By the end of that phase I was really really weak. I'm hoping this different approach will spare some of my power while still improving work capacity and climbing fitness.

An example Macia provides is an elite climber doing 10 sets of 20 moves at 75% with 45" rest. So, I could be wrong but it sounds like that's how guys like Ramon, Edu, and Patxi train for aerobic capacity. And, what I'm doing is a scaled down bush league version of that with 100 move in a series instead of 200, and 1'45"-2' rest instead of 45".


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By Brendan N. (grayhghost)
From Salt Lake City, Utah
Jul 11, 2012

Nico Toscani wrote:
When you say it needs to be in the 12a/b range, are you referring to each 20 move section being 12ab? 15 straight gym 12as would be outrageously hard.


Yes, the individual routes need to be 5.12a. That would get you solidly into 5.14a. ARCing at 5.11b would be a good start towards the 5.13+ range. Start in the 5.9 range and bump the difficulty up each session. We strive for a mild pump that we can shake off if we camp out on a jug.
Training intervals is a great way to climb interval-style routes, but it will not transfer very well into aerobic climbing.


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By LeeAB
Administrator
From ABQ, NM
Jul 11, 2012
Once we landed we headed to Font to find a place to stay for the night before doing a day of wine tasting and heading to Buoux.

Nico Toscani wrote:
An example Macia provides is an elite climber doing 10 sets of 20 moves at 75% with 45" rest. So, I could be wrong but it sounds like that's how guys like Ramon, Edu, and Patxi train for aerobic capacity. And, what I'm doing is a scaled down bush league version of that with 100 move in a series instead of 200, and 1'45"-2' rest instead of 45".


What you are failing to recognize in the above example is that the 75% of ability level provides the scale down. You are just reducing the volume and increasing the rest which completely changes the workout.


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By Casey Ryback
Jul 11, 2012
Chief Petty Officer and former Navy Seal turned chef

LeeAB wrote:
What you are failing to recognize in the above example is that the 75% of ability level provides the scale down. You are just reducing the volume and increasing the rest which completely changes the workout.


The plan has the workout Macia suggested for more mortal climbers. He just gives a few examples of how elite comp climbers train. Im providing that example for reference to illustrate that Macia recommends training aerobic climbing fitness in interval form for super elite climbers and climbers of more modest level.

Either way, they're both quite different from ARC.


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By LeeAB
Administrator
From ABQ, NM
Jul 11, 2012
Once we landed we headed to Font to find a place to stay for the night before doing a day of wine tasting and heading to Buoux.

Question, what exactly is 75%? I mean, how do you come up with it? Is it 5.1, 5.2, 5.3 ....5.11, 5.12, 5.13 or do you separate out a, b, c, d or go on "feeling"?


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By Casey Ryback
Jul 11, 2012
Chief Petty Officer and former Navy Seal turned chef

Roughly 4 letters below your rp or onsight limit. Also, you can track your heart rate, and after completing several workouts at the intensity you want(an intensity that allows you to complete the work prescribed for the day, but just barely), next time you should have a decent guide of where your heart should be while performing the sets. So, yeah, a lot of it is by feeling.

The tricky thing about estimating by "4 letters below your limit" I guess is that your limit should be changing(improving) throughout the training plan.


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By Mike Anderson
From Dayton, OH
Jul 12, 2012

Assigning numbers to this is difficult/pointless, and all depends on route composition, setting, your climbing style, etc.

Nevertheless...Take for example some routes at the RRG -- the Undertow Wall at the Lode. I'm RP'ing at a 14- level, and I can ARC continuously for 30+ minutes on routes up to 12d on that wall, if they are the pure enduro routes...Tuna Town, Leave it To Beavis. These are rated 12d, but probably have no move harder than V2...maybe even V1. At a place like Wild Iris, I would probably have to stay below 11- to be in "ARC'ing" territory because there are 11a's there with tweaky V3 and V4 moves. Clearly, RRG style climbs (whether they are outdoors or in a gym) are the best for ARC training--that is, consistent, sustained difficulty with no discernable cruxes.

ARC'ing must be done by "feel", and the best way I can describe it is this: After you are warmed up, climb hard enough to build up a pump as quickly as possible, and maintain that pump for the duration of the workout...30-45 minutes. Therefore, the pump can't be so severe that you can't complete the workout, but it should be as severe as you can without falling off, or flailing. This takes some practice to figure out, but isn't too hard. If you have varied terrain and an assortment of holds it is easy to modulate the grip-size/angle/movement-difficulty as needed to control the pump.

Once you've got that down, throw in things like movement practice, breathing, weighting your feet, leading, and down-leading, etc. to create a workout that is both parts quality training and quality practice. When done this way, I think there is nothing better for progressing at endurance sport climbing.

To the OP: Please describe your warm up routine at the crag, and what you mean by a "go" on a hard project. If you're only getting one good go, I suspect you could make some adjustments to these to fix that.


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By Casey Ryback
Jul 13, 2012
Chief Petty Officer and former Navy Seal turned chef

I guess it depends. But, on days where I'm trying a hard project, Ill probably do 1 5.11 and 1 5.12. Or, if Im at a crag where I have a few routes really really dialed, maybe a 13a or a 12d and a 13a.

By a "go" I mean a redpoint attempt where I get pretty high on a route close to my limit(as in 50-60 feet up a 90 foot route). That would have me cooked enough that if I rested for 3 hours and re-warmed up, I probably wouldn't be able to get back to the same high point that day. Another example- if I tried really hard to flash a 12d in the morning, I might be blown out enough that my attempt on a project in the afternoon would be useless.


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By LeeAB
Administrator
From ABQ, NM
Jul 13, 2012
Once we landed we headed to Font to find a place to stay for the night before doing a day of wine tasting and heading to Buoux.

Mike or Mono, how often, if at all to you ARC on routes at a gym. What I'm curious about is down climbing. Most often on harder routes it is pretty awkward, you know, since they are set to be climbed up not down. So, would you down climb on the same routes, easier, any feet and keep moving, lower (unlikely)?

And, no I don't have access to a tread wall.


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By Brendan N. (grayhghost)
From Salt Lake City, Utah
Jul 13, 2012

LeeAB wrote:
So, would you down climb on the same routes, easier, any feet and keep moving, lower (unlikely)?

I downclimb an easier route using any feet. This is where the gym shines, a 5.11+ can be set right on top of a 5.9 downclimb.


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By Mike Anderson
From Dayton, OH
Jul 13, 2012

Brendan N. (grayhghost) wrote:
I downclimb an easier route using any feet. This is where the gym shines, a 5.11+ can be set right on top of a 5.9 downclimb.


This, for the most part. Sometimes I'm able to down climb the same route...maybe add some feet our shake longer at the rests. Even outside you can often down climb an adjacent route.


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By Mike Anderson
From Dayton, OH
Jul 13, 2012

Nico Toscani wrote:
I guess it depends. But, on days where I'm trying a hard project, Ill probably do 1 5.11 and 1 5.12. Or, if Im at a crag where I have a few routes really really dialed, maybe a 13a or a 12d and a 13a. By a "go" I mean a redpoint attempt where I get pretty high on a route close to my limit(as in 50-60 feet up a 90 foot route). That would have me cooked enough that if I rested for 3 hours and re-warmed up, I probably wouldn't be able to get back to the same high point that day. Another example- if I tried really hard to flash a 12d in the morning, I might be blown out enough that my attempt on a project in the afternoon would be useless.


So are you saying that one five to fifteen minute burn saps you for the rest of the day? That is crazy. Maybe you are resting too long between burns. I rest between 45 and 90 minutes, no more.


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By austin luper
From Fayetteville
Jul 13, 2012
shes a beaut

do a bunch of hard top roping....that'll get you stronger no matter what


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By LeeAB
Administrator
From ABQ, NM
Jul 13, 2012
Once we landed we headed to Font to find a place to stay for the night before doing a day of wine tasting and heading to Buoux.

Brendan N. (grayhghost) wrote:
I downclimb an easier route using any feet. This is where the gym shines, a 5.11+ can be set right on top of a 5.9 downclimb.


Just double checking, it is what I do as well if I don't traverse.

austin luper wrote:
do a bunch of hard top roping....that'll get you stronger no matter what


The A.M.T.R.


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By Casey Ryback
Jul 14, 2012
Chief Petty Officer and former Navy Seal turned chef

Yeah, more or less one truly max effort can wreck me for the rest of the day. It has happened a lot where I'll fall at the top trying to onsight or flash a route, then after 45min rest I fall much lower 2nd go due to pump/fatigue, not because of a foot slip or error or something.

I still continue to climb after that, I just don't send much!


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By Brendan N. (grayhghost)
From Salt Lake City, Utah
Jul 14, 2012

Nico Toscani wrote:
Yeah, more or less one truly max effort can wreck me for the rest of the day.

This is classic 'Over-Strong' syndrome. You are in the bouldering mindset of trying to tear the holds off the wall and not in the route mindset of doing everything as weakly as possible. This is why you are getting wrecked.
Do some serious ARCing, then 4x4 and 6x8s and you will feel fit.


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By Keyan P
From Burlington, VT
Jul 19, 2012
View from top of Standard Route on Whitehorse, NH

Does anyone know if Macia has any materials in English? Or does anyone have access to anymore of his training plans?


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By Casey Ryback
Jul 20, 2012
Chief Petty Officer and former Navy Seal turned chef

I don't think he has anything written in English, but I'm not sure. I know he has written a lot of articles in Desnivel and other places. They might have specific training plans geared towards different levels.


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