Patxi Usobiaga

El Luchador

From Spain, Patxi it’s a legend of the freeclimbing. He was able to won two Lead World Cup (2006/2007) and a World Championship (2009) . Patxi it’s as well a great outdoor climber, able to climb till 9a+ redpoint and 8c+ onsight. Right now he lives just under the crag of Rodellar (ESP) where he climbs everyday and work as coach.

I think that there are a lot of training programs and each one has its own craft and place within the world of climbing. [Why do I feel that climbers want to train with me?] In the end I feel that people feel that they can identify with me - maybe because they aren't physically gifted or don't feel naturally talented. Maybe they, too, have to work hard and they are willing to do so to give their 100% while training for climbing. Many people know that I train climbers because of my history with Adam Ondra. Adam was one of these cases that valued hard work and dedication. When we started working together he had some things that he wanted to achieve, he was ready to work hard to achieve them, and I was a reference or sort of role-model for him in that regard.

We started to work together and it was such a good process. Since the first year that we started working together, we have learned a lot and fortunately he has been able to achieve all of his objectives. The rest of the clients that I train or that have trained with me for a specific goal have likely felt that they could also identify with me in some way. Either they, too, have suffered from some sort of injury or they admire the struggle and hard work necessary to achieve a goal that previously felt impossible. I'm so thankful that my clients trust both me and my style of training, PUC training. We mutually share and feed off of each other's motivation and I aim to encourage and assist them with their personal struggles.

“You can be extremely strong but if your mind isn’t ready to fight or to struggle, it’s all for nothing.”

The most important muscle is actually the brain. This is clear. You can be extremely strong but if your mind isn't ready to fight or to struggle, its all for nothing. More specifically, when you are talking about training and performance you find that you need to find a "perfect mindstate." This is what will really help you give your 100%. The same person with the same training program but in two situations either with or without a clearly defined goal can see vast differences in the way that he or she improves and evolves. On a general level, we need that perfect mindstate, or optimal mental state, to be able to execute a goal, to perform well in a competition, to have fun outside, to handle fear, and to just enjoy yourself when climbing. On a more specific level, there are those mental games that you have to play with yourself when you are training for an objective and you are just going all out and you have to find a way to just keep motivating and pushing yourself. Here, the mind plays a very important role.

There are people that struggle to train because they are not prepared for what it really entails. These are people that are accustomed to always being strong or being in shape and they aren't accustomed to being tired, to breaking through that barrier. Think of it like this: when we want to gain muscle mass we exercise which causes micro-tearing and encourages new muscle growth. In some ways, what training does in order to build gains is - to some degree - destroy. Something very important to learn for someone aiming to follow a training plan is to learn how to enjoy this "destruction," that feeling of not being at your best shape.

In the end this is how you learn to manage your feelings in each moment and how to play with your motivation. Honestly, your motivation isn't limitless - it has a budget of sorts. You can't constantly be scraping up motivation at any given moment because there will be a moment when it runs out and you feel empty. So sometimes you might have to rest and fill up. You'll need to learn to pick and choose which motivation to use in each instance in order to be able to give your all whenever you really need to.

How many times have you had a plan or a goal that you started to train for and you just become consumed by it? You start to think excessively about it and the most likely outcome is that when the moment comes to carry it out (whether it be to try your project or compete or travel to a particular climbing destination) that you are so over-motivated that you really can't do what you so wanted to do nor enjoy moment. Later you ask yourself what happened and in that moment the most important muscle - the mind - was inadequately trained. When you are training, I mean really training hard to try and push and surpass your limits, your motivation plays an important role because it is hard; sometimes you feel weak and see yourself at the bottom of the well and and you have to remember that this is a normal part of the process. At times you feel worn-out; that's just the way it is and the way it has to be. There are some that eventually learn at some point to even enjoy that sense of pump or tiredness (when it is at the appropriate time in their training cycle.) These individuals usually endure, push through, get to see the results and enjoy the results of climbing. Your mentality is so important for training. As for when climbing outside on rock, we often times have to stimulate the mind, drive it to be motivated towards specific tasks, but always keep in mind that those moments when we seem demotivated are an important part of the cycle; that is, in reality, when you are fueling up with bits of motivation so as to better enjoy your future climbing trips and attempts outside on the rock.

Anyone who believes that the elite or well-known climbers are always at the top of their game is sorely mistaken. It might go without saying but it is so important to remember that all pro-climbers also have their low moments, moments in which they are not in their best shape. There are times at which they are training, pulling hard, working, resting, and so on. What you see in images and videos is generally when they are strong and sending, but that is not the whole story. We are all humans and there are very few individuals that are always strong.