Get to know us!
Charlie Manganiello (SFG II) is a strength coach, rock climber, skier, and runner. He has been training athletes for the last 5 years at Elemental Performance + Fitness in Lander, Wyoming. A frequent contributor to Climb Strong, Charlie is the author of the Climb Strong Deadlifting Manual and Unstoppable Force – Strength Training for Climbing. Charlie specializes in strength development and multi-sport programming.
Neely Quinn is a nutritionist and rock climber and the co-founder of Training Beta. Neely works hard to deliver relevant and thorough information to climbers all over the world. Neely’s primary focus is on cutting through the noise in the nutrition world and delivering real-world solutions to athletes’ fueling needs.
Tyler Nelson owns and operates a chiropractic sports medicine clinic and strength & conditioning business in Salt Lake City. While earning his doctoral degree, he completed a dual program masters degree in exercise science at the University Of Missouri. While in graduate school Tyler worked with the University of Missouri athletics department and currently is employed through two colleges in Utah. He teaches anatomy and physiology at a community college and works as a team physician for the Brigham Young football team. He is certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association as a CSCS, and spends any extra time in his life with his three kids, or trad climbing in Zion National Park. He has been climbing for 17 years and gravitates toward all-day adventures. His expertise in human physiology and a cutting-edge knowledge of strength and conditioning techniques will help us understand training for climbing in the 21st century.
Kris Hampton is the owner of Power Company Climbing. Kris became a student of movement by watching gymnasts train at a facility near the neighborhood where he grew up. He saved his own money, took a class, and in a short time, was teaching tumbling classes and coaching men’s gymnastics. In 1994, Kris found rock climbing, and after a decade as a trad climber, and a short break from climbing, he discovered the joy of the gymnastic movement that is sport climbing and bouldering. To make up for the time away from the sport, at age 33, Kris began to get serious about training for climbing. At 40 he climbed his first 5.14, and at 41 his first V10, both of which are grades that seemed mythical when he first began climbing. He doesn’t believe that the progression will end there.
Seeing his success, Kris’ friends asked for training plans. Then readers of the blog asked for training plans. Now he’s written plans for thousands of climbers all over the world and gets just as much satisfaction from their successes as he does his own. (photo by Andy Wickstrom)
The founder of Elemental Performance + Fitness and Climb Strong, Steve Bechtel has been coaching strength and fitness for nearly 25 years. He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and holds a degree in Exercise Physiology from the University of Wyoming. Steve is an SFG II, USA Weightlifting Certified Coach, a USA Cycling Elite-level coach, and has been coaching triathlon for over 15 years as a USAT-certified coach. A world-renowned expert in the training of rock climbers, he coaches many top-level climbers, and writes extensively on climbing training at the website Climb Strong. He is the author of 6 books on training for climbing.
Alex Bridgewater (SFB) is a strength coach and rock climber. Coaching at Elemental Performance + Fitness and through Climb Strong. Alex believes that each athlete can achieve progress towards their goals through focused technique coaching in combination with habit changes that use simple reminders and daily systems to improve our body awareness and intentionality around physical well being, nutrition and performance. Alex specializes in strength development and performance climbing in all disciplines.
Chris Heilman, PhD, ATC, CSCS is a skier, climber, and sport psychologist who enjoys empowering athletes to develop the champion within. Chris is the founder of Mindset and has nearly 20 years of experience helping youth to Olympic athletes skyrocket both performance and personal excellence. She is the author of Elevate Your Excellence: The Mindset and Methods that Make Champions.
Mercedes Pollmeier MS, CSCS, is a Strength and Conditioning coach out of Seattle, Washington. She has a Master’s degree in Human Movement and started working with climbers of all abilities, including elite level/competition climbers, in Colorado. Currently, she works at the Seattle Bouldering Project with climbers and other athletes of all ability levels and runs her own company, Modus Athletica. She has written articles for blogs, Climbing Magazine, Deadpoint Mag, The Mountaineers, and Women’s Health, as well as a guide to movement training called Simple Strength. You can also check out her new program called The Mobility Project, designed to get your joints strong and mobile for climbing.
Dr. Jared Vagy is a doctor of physical therapy who specializes in treating rock climbers. He is also a professor at the University of Southern California, the number- one-ranked doctor of physical therapy program in the country. He lectures internationally on the topic of preventing climbing injury. Dr. Jared Vagy has published numerous articles as well as two books on the topic. His most recent book, “Climb Injury-Free” is an Amazon #1 best seller in the rock climbing category.
As a doctor of physical therapy in clinical practice, he has completed an additional one-year residency program in orthopedics and a one-year fellowship program in movement science, totaling 9 years of concentrated study. He is a Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.