Juan Martin Miranda
Juan: 1.70 meters/69 kilograms.
How did you get into climbing, Marvin?
Juan: I bought my first climbing book when I was 10 but I start climbing when I was 15, and that became my passion. First I start doing some mountaineering (Aconcagua and the Andes) and some alpine climbing, but now I´m dedicated to sport climbing and bouldering. I climbed in U.S., Spain, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Ecuador, etc.
FRB: Where do you climb in Argentina?
I climbed most of the climbing zones in Argentina, like Patagonia where I climbed Aguille Poincenot and Guillaument, That’s pure alpine climbing. Now climbing is a fast growing sport in Argentina, so climbing areas are developed very fast. The most amazing is Bariloche.
FRB: Tell us about some of the climbing
and bouldering areas in Argentina?
Juan: Argentina is a very big country, we have some climbing areas in the center of the country like Cordoba, with tons of granite climbing (most common areas are "la ola" and "Gigantes"). Near Buenos Aires there is Tandil and Mar del Plata, where you can find powerful routes and tons of boulders in several sites.
Mendoza is another place to go climbing, is near de cordillera, so there is a lot of climbing areas, from trad to sport (1200 km from Buenos Aires.)
The best climbing area is Bariloche, in Patagonia, there we have some well developed climbing areas like Frey (trad), Valle Encantado (sport climbing over volcanic stones), Laguna el Trebol, etc.
If you want a great boulder zone you must go to Chalten (Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre area), where climbers all over the world open boulders when they wait for good weather (up to V13.)
FRB: You are formally trained in Physical Education.
Tell us about that.
Juan: I decided to study Physical Education (UNLP) (The only degree study related to sport training in Argentina), just to try to focus on training for climbing and make a living from that and when I finish I take a trip to Spain where I specialized in sport climbing training in the Spanish High Mountain School (EEAM).
FRB: Tell us about the Spanish Mountain School.
Juan: I went there in 1996, and take full internship course on training for climbing, with the spanish team head coaches. There I learn the special methodologies that they applied in their elite level climbers. And then, of course I stayed in Spain and climb a lot in the "pais de roca"(rock country).
You went to Cuba for further study?
Juan: Yes, in 2001 I decided to increase my sport training background. I traveled to Cuba for four months to study an specialization in Theory and Methodology of Training (ISCFMF), learning how to distribute and apply training loads in all levels athletes (the eastern methodology), so my thesis in Cuba was about climbing training.
Tell us about the climbing in Cuba.
Are there climbing gyms in Cuba, as well?
Juan: Climbing in Cuba is a growing sport, there is only one climbing area (Viñales Valley), and they do not have climbing gyms.
FRB: You started the first climbing gym
in your home town. Tell us about that.
Juan: My first climbing gym was a small wall (150 square meters) that works only for 4 or 5 months until it burned, you know tons of wood, plastic and mattresses, and I don´t know how the ignition was but it was at night, nobody hurts.
You started another climbing gym, as well?
Juan: It took me three years to recover from that accident, but in 1999 me and two others friends build another Rocodromo in another place. This time a bigger one (400 square meters), one of the biggest of my country. There I work teaching and training climbers of all levels.
FRB: Climbing is your life. What
motivates you to be so involved?
Juan: I think climbing is a self motivating sport, maybe the way that challenges me every time I try a problem or a route, but definitively climbing is my life and I enjoy training climbers, helping them to perform better, that’s my way to stay all day close to climbing.
FRB: You are also involved with indoor competitions?
I organize the bigger boulder comp in Argentina where 200 climbers participate. You can watch a little movie www.youtube.com/watch?v=akTrYjcRmB0.
Tell us about some of the special methodologies
Also I set all metropolitan boulder comps, and some national comps (another way to stay involved in climbing.)
and exercises you have created and/or
implement to increase climbing performance.
From early years I decided to study climbing physiology and the methodologies that creates adaptations in the climbers organism that increase their performance. I developed certain ways to distributes training loads over training cycle varying volume and intensity. And adapting other sports methods to climbing, like intermittent training, stimulation method, shock method, I create a system that allows climbers to increase their levels trough training.
FRB: You have trained some of the
elite climbers in Argentina?
That background allows me to start training elite climbers in Argentina, from 2004 to 2007 I trained all male Argentina champions (lead and boulder) and 2005 female boulder and lead champion, and so the national team members, traveling with them to 2005 World Climbing Championship in Germany.
What other elite climbers
have you trained, Juan?
Juan: I train online (as a trainer advisor) people from all over the world (Brazil, Spain, Mexico, Chile, Colombia, US and Venezuela), including some national team members like Eduardo Mora from Mexico and Enrique Guillen from Venezuela.
FRB: You have training for climbing articles online.
Tell us about that.
In 2006 I start publishing training related articles in my personal web marvinclimbing.com dedicated to share climbing training information to anyone who wants to improve climbing performance. There climbers can find useful information to apply in their training plans like exercises, methodologies, last training research, physiology, technique, etc.
Also I offer online climbing training programs to people of all climbing levels. This consist on a training plan, with diary exercises and drills to improve performance, depending on the client background, climbing level, time, fitness level and objectives.
FRB: Tell us about your weblog.
Now I´m writing periodically in my blog marvinclimbingeng.blogspot.com/ about my ideas and thoughts on climbing and training and share the most recent research in climbing.
FRB: What would say to someone who
wants to climb/boulder better?
Climbers can success in their objectives if their training is planned and organized with rational administration of the training loads. So climbers must plan their training, with a rational organization and always keeping objectives in mind.
FRB: Tell us more training tips.
Strength and power first, and then training different methods to resist that acquired strength. If you want to perform in several boulders problems you can train via intermittent training: marvinclimbingeng.blogspot.com/2008/01/interbloque-special-boulder-training.html.
The idea is to make 4 to 8 series from 6 to 12 boulders with 10 to 20 seconds rests between boulders and 4 to 6 minutes rest between series.
You can vary the rests periods and boulder intensities to ensure stay away from lactic acid, because when we begins to have muscular stiffening we have crossed the limit and we will be producing lactic acid.
Here there is an example of intermittent training session:
6 boulders x 20”
6 boulders x 10”
6 boulders x 20”
6 boulders x 10”
6 boulders x 20”
What plans do you have for the future?
I hope someday I can write a book with all my knowledge and ideas on climbing training.
FRB: What else do you, Juan?
I actually spend my time developing new training methodologies and applying them with my climbers, dictating climbing training courses and works as a training advisor of some climbers over the world.
How do you spend your rest days?
Juan: I share my time with my a wife, Silvina (psychologist and elite climber) and Agustin, my son (the second is coming on March).
FRB: Thanks for the interview, Juan.