Tyler Nelson's Injury Prevention Protocol

Just in case people missed this dropping earlier this week,

In Circuit 1 I don’t see any difference between exercises 2 and 4.

As mentioned in the article, this seems potentially useful useful for comp climbers or if you are trying a project without any warm-ups nearby.

I’ll likely add a few of the lower body exercises to my warm-up. I’ve strained my hamstrings on two separate occasions where I thought the hike in was a sufficient warm-up for pulling hard with my legs.

“It’s the simplest way to cut off the unnecessary climbing volume (the slow ramp of climbing intensity) we do each day.”

The underlying assumption here is that the easier climbing done in a traditional warm-up is unnecessary and unproductive. I would strongly disagree with this assumption. I think climbers who remove easier mileage from their climbing are missing a lot of opportunities for practice and general technical development.


@Lowballtraverse in100% agree, and talked about this in a recent patron episode. This warmup is great for very specific cases, but certainly not the usual scenario for most climbers.
You can’t name a single good climber - or any hood athlete for that matter - who hasn’t gotten that “unnecessary” volume in their sport.

Imagine if we told little league players that they should never actually play games until they were at the pro level because it’s unnecessary volume and they might get hurt.

Is unnecessary volume a thing? Of course. So are unnecessarily complex warmups. And unnecessary hangboarding. And all other things. But the demonization of volume has become absurd.


@kris nailed this answer. Volume is the Boogeyman lately and it’s getting crazy. Prior to all this hubbabaloo about how volume is the devil, volume was used for something else in the S&C and sports science worlds: building strength and developing technique. Building up of sub maximal repetitions (volume) is the entire history of strength training, no one just shows up, attempts maximal deadlift singles and gets better at deadlifting. Show me a program that does this. You can’t because it doesn’t exist because it doesn’t work. As for the technique aspect…how does anyone learn anything (typing, a language, an instrument, math, SPORTS) by reinforcing basics through frequent regular practice (volume) and progressively increasing the difficulty of their practice. Think @paulcorsaro said it before that intentional practice is never junk miles and that’s the truth. There aren’t shortcuts in this or anything else and this concept of “hacking” your way to only doing performance climbing whenever you pull on is absurd.

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This could be useful in some youth comp scenarios or at least parts of it. Most isolation warm up areas (pre-nationals) are a joke.

I definitely agree that volume in warm up and as practice has a place for everyone, especially in young, or newer climbers. Tyson S. from Vertical World uses volume as the base for all his youngest athletes. So do I for that matter.

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I’ve been focusing on the weight room this month (including some hangboarding). My circuits typically take 60-90 minutes (depending on how distracted I get) and then I typically do 30 minutes of climbing cause it’s fun. After listening to Tyler’s podcast on this topic, I realized that I am pretty warmed up and ready to go after lifting which is nice when I’m only climbing for a short period.

My brother and I tested this as a warmup for outdoor bouldering last week. As someone who has never had good warmup practices, I have to say I was very pleased with how my body felt, not to mention my performance, immediately after warming up. I’ve only managed a handful of outdoor days over the last 3 years (growing a family with rock 1.5+ hours away) so my overall outdoor volume is extremely low right now, but I managed to tick 2 more problems at a high grade, for me anyway, within 30 minutes of finishing the IPP.

Disclaimer time: We did not go through every circuit of the IPP (the last couple circuits definitely seem geared towards preparedness for competition-style movements). Both of us have been climbing for a decade +/- and have a good amount of experience on a variety of rock types, so we wanted to see how this protocol affected our ability to jump into harder grades (1-2V above our expected flash level) without commiting time and skin to easier climbs. Maybe we finally ate decent breakfasts and arrived to the crag properly hydrated for a change. Or maybe we’re in better shape than we want to think. Or it was a low gravity day, and the rock was extra sticky, and the crimps extra friendly. Who knows.


After a discussion with Tyler I have been using this warmup as part of an injury recovery protocol.

I complete 4 circuits, which takes about 20-25 min.

I think the value in the program is that it is very repeatable in many situations and very standardized. You can asses how your body is feeling when the warmup is complete and it will be relative to the last time you warmed up because the routine is the same.

I don’t think I would cut out any climbing from a training day afterwards, but possibly on a performance day. Especially if you only have a short window to climb


Cutting out climbing on a performance day is exactly the worry. That’s like saying a player should only come in for the game winning plays but never for all of the game experience that led up to it. There are a lot of climbers whose numbers are WAY above mine, who out climb me in the gym, but struggle on V5 outside so they want to go straight to their V11 project.

Not the way.

Situationally it’s great (small window like you mention, or for folks who have lots of experience already, or for folks who really only want to climb higher numbers but progress slowly). I use a similar warmup nearly every session. However, it’s not a substitute for getting volume in over time, and as far as I can tell, that was lost in translation.

Nothing at all wrong with the warmup. The problem is in the intentional or unintentional categorizing of lower grades as junk miles rather than the valuable experience that they are, particularly in novel environments (which real rock is for most climbers, if we’re being honest).


or for folks who really only want to climb higher numbers but progress slowly

The amount of shade being thrown here is total solar eclipse :joy:

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