Trainer to the JStars: Part 1 – New Post on!

Check out my new post on “Trainer to the JStars – Part 1” over at

“Over the past six months we’ve been extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to train one of America’s most accomplished sport climbers. I can say unequivocally that the experience has been one of the highlights of my varied climbing career. It’s every coach’s dream to work with the very best athletes within a given sport, and we are no different. While we have tremendous confidence in our program, and its long track-record of producing results for mortals like us, we’ve long ‘fantasized’ about recruiting an elite-level guinea pig for some next-level experimentation. Would it work for a top-level athlete? Can it be adapted to the full-time climbing schedule of a legit pro? There was only one way to find out, but we needed a strong climber with an open mind….”  Continue Reading


Announcements! – New Post on!

 Check out my new post on “Annoucements!”  over at

“We are very pleased to announce a new feature of — a user forum! This will be a great tool for interacting with each other, and will hopefully facilitate the development of a vibrant international “Community of Interest” in rock climbing training. For now, the forum is hosted on Pro, which is a great forum site with lots of functionality. We have a link to it in the menu bar at the top of the page (or you can click here)…” Continue Reading

Bonus Climbing – New Post on!

Check out my new post on “Bonus Climbing”  over at

“…Lately it seems like my eyes are generally too big for my forearms; I’m continually selecting objectives that turn out to be harder than I expect, and take longer to send than I’d hoped. More often than not I have to extend the length of my seasons to send my projects, if I send at all. This season has been a nice exception from that trend! I was prepared to spend the entire season on Mission Impossible, but instead I sent on my third outdoor day. That left me with ample ‘fitness capital’ to expend on my endless list of potential objectives….”  Continue Reading

The Rock Climber’s Training Manual is NOW AVAILABLE!!!

The long winter is over—The Rock Climber’s Training Manual is finally available! If you’ve been waiting for this moment to order your copy, you can do so here. If you’re still on the fence, read some of the feedback the book has received here. It will probably be a while before distribution is set up and the book arrives in retail stores, so ordering online now is likely the quickest way to get your copy.

Seven towering pallets of The Rock Climber’s Training Manual arrived in Colorado on Thursday. After work I went up to Fixed Pin Publishing’s storage facility in Denver to see the goods and pick up a few crates of books. The books look great! It’s tempting to just sit and flip through it, but we still have a lot of work to do to get the books out to you!

One of seven pallets of The Rock Climber’s Training Manual. Your copy is in there somewhere!

One of seven pallets of The Rock Climber’s Training Manual. Your copy is in there somewhere!

Kate has graciously allowed me to convert our living room into a mini-shipping hub so we can get all the books signed, packaged, and shipped. We’re currently in the process of rapidly filling all the existing pre-orders (in the order they were received). I’ve learned more about the US Postal Service in the last week than I ever wanted to know. We expect to have all the pre-orders in the mail by the end of this week, and we will continue process new orders as we receive them.

Learning how to use a Pallet Jack–nothing could possibly go wrong with this :)

Learning how to use a Pallet Jack–nothing could possibly go wrong with this 🙂

The first batch of books went in the mail yesterday, so some of you should start receiving books any day now. We’re striving to get books out as quickly as we can; it’s a lot of work but it’s really rewarding. We’ve been working on this project for so long, and we can’t wait to get it out to the people we wrote it for. It’s pretty cool to see some of the addresses we’re shipping to; all over the US, Canada, Germany, Belgium, Norway, Ireland, Switzerland… Word is getting out and its very exciting.

Loading just shy of 1,000 pounds of books into my creaking Honda Civic.

Loading just shy of 1,000 pounds of books into my creaking Honda Civic.

To me this feels like the start of a big project—the project of sorting and filling hundreds of orders—but when I step back from what is right in front of me, I realize this event is also the end of a project that’s spanned 18 months. During this time period we’ve spent countless hours researching, brainstorming, writing, reviewing, and editing copy; scheduling photo-shoots, taking, selecting and editing photos; arranging, reviewing and revising layout; arranging for book reviews and marketing our concepts to climbers and media outlets. It’s been a lot of work, and we had a ton of help along the way.

Signing books and stuffing envelopes.

Signing books and stuffing envelopes.

Many people contributed time and resources to help us (see below), but first and foremost, this book never would have happened without all of the folks out there reading this blog. This project was originally conceived by the users of the Mountain Project Training Forum. They gave us the inspiration—and ultimately the motivation—to put our ideas on paper. They, along with my loyal ‘Lazy H Climbing Club’ followers, challenged us daily with questions and discussions that broadened our knowledge and motivated us to keep learning and exploring. We hope you feel like this project belongs to you as well as to us, and hopefully you can join in the modest sense of celebration (and relief) that we are experiencing today. Sometime in the future, when the dust in our shipping hub has settled, perhaps we can get together in person and share a toast to the end of this adventure.



I’m very excited to announce the launch of will improve on this humble blog in just about every imagineable way.  First and foremost, my brother Mike will be an equal partner, providing his encyclopedic training wisdom.  Although Mike & I appear fairly similar on the outside, we have somewhat different approaches to training, and we emphasize different activities.  I know this community will benefit greatly from his perspective.  Mike has been completely off the grid since we started writing the book over a year ago, so this will give everyone a chance to engage with Mike again, and get his thoughts on various training and climbing matters.

Next, users will quickly notice that is more visually appealing, with many new, spectacular photos and a much cleaner look.  You will also notice is far better organized than this pathetic cluster of a website 🙂  There are categories for different aspects of training and performance, with an easy to follow menu in the website header that will make it easy for you to navigate between topics. 

Home ScreenshotThere is certainly an advertising aspect to the new site–we want people to to find us when they google “Rock Climber’s Training Manual”, we want to encourage climbers to consider trying the Rock Prodigy method, and we want the site to explain what readers can expect to get from our book.  Furthermore, once the book is available we will be selling autographed copies through (if you’d like to be notified once we’ve begun accepting pre-orders, go here to sign up). 

However, will be much more than a static marketing tool.  It will be a live blog, just like this one, with weekly posts, and other new content added regularly (for those who check in periodically to look for new blog posts, you’ll want to click on the Articles Page to see a chronological history of latest posts).   Posts will also be organized by training phases and/or performance styles, so if you just want to know about Power Training for example, it will be easy to find all the posts related to that topic on the Power page.  We’ll also use the site to solicit feedback about both the book and the program, so that we can make the second edition that much better.  If you would like to share a testimonial about your experience with the Rock Prodigy method, please do so here.

While the framework for the site is based on our upcoming book, we want the site to be interactive and constantly evolving.  Our dream is to build a community of climbing training enthusiasts who can collaborate to further the community’s training knowledge.  We really want to encourage questions, comments, and other perspectives.  Users will have opportunities to contribute content, in an effort to achieve more than a one-way flow of information.  If you have questions, please ask!  If you have an idea for an article you’d like to contribute, please let us know!  Also, if you notice any bugs with the new site, tell us.

All of the content on this blog has been migrated to, including all of the great comments and questions that folks have submitted over the years.  The Lazy H Climbing Club will likely be riding off into the sunset soon, so please take the time to Bookmark and join me on the migration to greener pastures.  In the mean time, I will post links on Lazy H for any new posts that are added to  For the many folks out there who are ‘Following’ this blog, please take the time to follow (go to, and click the gray “Follow” box in the lower right corner of your browser.  If your browser doesn’t display this box, click here, scroll down, and then click the button labeled “Follow The Rock Climber’s Training Manual” on the right sidebar). 

Follow Instructions1

ORFollow Instructions2

The experience of running The Lazy H Climbing Club has been transformative.  It’s not a stretch to say that without this vehicle, The Rock Climber’s Training Manual never would have been written.  Thank you so much for your interest, your questions, your comments, and your likes.  They kept me going and motivated me to push further into the unknown.  I’ll see you all over at!

Mark Anderson

What I Got for Christmas

Christmas came a week early for me this year.  While driving Logan home from downtown Denver to see the impressive light display at City Hall, I received a call from my friend and publisher Jason Haas.  The “Proof” of the Rock Climber’s Training Manual had arrived from the printer!  The proof is a collection of various test-printings of the completed book.  In our case, it included:

  • The finished, laminated cover,
  • Two large sheets of glossy paper each showing 8 “representative” printed pages (printed with the actual ink that will be used, on the actual paper that will be used)
  • The entire 304 page book (printed with inexpensive paper & ink)
  • The entire 1-season Logbook (printed with inexpensive paper & ink)
  • The entire 1-year Logbook (printed with inexpensive paper & ink)
The two large sheets showing the finished look of 16 representative pages.

The two large sheets showing the finished look of 16 representative pages.

The purpose of the 8-page sheets is to verify that the printed colors look “true” (that is, they look they way we want them to look).  It’s actually not that easy to get printed material to look exactly the way it does on a computer screen, and its more art than science that often takes some trial and error to get dialed-in correctly.  One reason for this is that computers use “RGB” format (literally Red-Green-Blue) to represent colors, and printers use CMYK (Cyan-Magenta-Yellow-Key (black)).  That, and every computer monitor is slightly different, is adjusted differently, and displays the same image slightly differently.

All 304 pages of the book.  These are printed in 16-page "Signatures", which are then bound together to form the book.  The RCTM has 19 signatures.  As you can see by the color marks at the top and bottom of each page, these haven't been cropped to actual size.

All 304 pages of the book. These are printed in 16-page “Signatures”, which are then bound together to form the book. The RCTM has 19 signatures. As you can see by the color marks at the top and bottom of each page, these haven’t been cropped to actual size.

The low-fidelity printed books are used to verify that all the columns of text, figures, pictures, numbering, etc, are properly aligned and ordered.  Apparently it’s not uncommon for a page to appear multiple times, out of order, or in some other whacky configuration. 

I went over to Jason’s house Thursday night to check out the proof.  It was really exciting to see the entire book printed in actual size.  It’s one thing to scan through a PDF; it’s quite another to hold it in your hand.  The first thing I noticed is how visually stunning it is–there’s something interesting to look at on virtually every page.  We put a lot of effort into the figures and they look excellent.  There are also many, many stunning images from some outstanding pro photographers, and the photos look great.  There was one slight problem with some of the trasparent blue colors in our figures appearing lavendar.  We will bring this up with the printer to see if it can be improved, but its probably not a showstopper.  Our primary concern is that the photos look good and they do.

The Fixed Pin brain trust examining each page of the book for errors.  Ben on the left, Jason on the right.

The Fixed Pin team examining each page of the book for errors. Ben on the left, Jason on the right.

We found various nit-picky errors like text boxes that weren’t properly “justified”, but nothing major.  We made notes of all these and Jason has already corrected them and uploaded a new master file to the printer.  The covers we received were printed in “matte” rather than laminated, so we will ask for them to re-send laminated covers.  Aside from that the covers looked sharp.

The cover proof.

The next step is to discuss our feedback with the printer, then they can start pringing actual books.  They will overnight the first copy off the press to us so we can make one last check that everything looks good.  At that point we should have a good estimate of a release date for the book.  With the holidays in full swing we probably won’t hear much for at least another week, but I’m excited for the press to start churning out books in the near future.

Off To The Printer

The Rock Climber’s Training Manual has been sent to the printer!  That means as far as my contributions are concerned, the book is “done”.  According to the guys at Fixed Pin, it normally takes about 3 months from the time the book is submitted to the printer until it arrives on bookshelves. 

The cover spread.  Mike took the cover photo of me on To Bolt Or Not To Be at Smith Rock.  The back cover includes some awesome feedback from our early reviewers.

The cover spread. Mike took the cover photo of me on To Bolt Or Not To Be at Smith Rock. Click on the photo to read the awesome praise on the Back Cover from our early reviewers.

Once the printer has the electronic file, they scan all the pages to ensure everything is of sufficient resolution for printing.  Then they will select 16 “representative” pages and print these all (in color) on one giant sheet of paper, which they will air-mail to Fixed Pin.  This will give us one last chance to review the colors and make sure everything looks “right”.  If we see any problems, we highlight them and send the sheet back to the printer.  Once they get the green light, they’ll configure the press to begin printing books.  Once the presses start running, the first book off the press is over-nighted to the publisher, and we have one last chance to “stop the presses” before the full run is completed. 

Once the books are printed, they’ll air-mail a small quantity of books (which are mostly used for promotional purposes), and the rest are boxed and put on a ship.  A large portion of the “3-month” process is consumed by the cargo ship crossing the Pacific Ocean.  If we’re lucky, the books clear customs without any snags and then they will be ready for distribution.

If all goes well, hopefully we will see it in stores/online by Valentine’s Day; tell your sweetheart: nothing says I love you like a climbing training book 🙂