Train Like a Pro: 5 Steps to Climb Harder with 3-time National Champ Delaney Miller

Delaney Miller has been dominating competition sport climbing since her time in the SCS youth category, culminating with her three-peat crown at SCS Open Nationals in March 2015. Miller’s style is a precise balance of static and dynamic, aided by perfect placement and vicegrip-like hands. She’s five feet two inches and 96 pounds of of undeniable power and endurance that’s the result of thousands of hours of intensely-focused practice.


Here are 5 steps from Delaney Miller to channel your inner ‘power sloth’.

photo credit: Jason Kruse @jkrusephoto


1) Stretch your fingers, slow down, and get stoked to climb harder.

Take a few minutes to relax and mindfully stretch each finger. Here is a link to a great finger stretching tutorial if you’ve never done this before, the action starts at 1:45. 


2) Hangboard warmup

Photo credit: Ben Brewer @bbrewerphoto

  • 1 minute on - 1 minute rest on jugs
  • 30 seconds on 1 - 1 minute rest through the sets of holds to the hardest crimps you can safely handle.


3) Hangboard Deadhangs to Failure 

  • 3-5 sets of deadhangs to failure on bad holds with 1 minute rest between sets.


4) Timed Up/Down laps on routes


Photo credit: @thecircuitclimbing

Delaney’s slow exact style seems to be built around her incredible circuit training regimen. If you were wondering how she gracefully flashed each route at this years SCS Open Nationals without stopping to shake out or having even the slightest tense moment. This is how.


  • Establishing a Base Endurance - Pick a route about half a grade below the level you can comfortably on-sight. Climb up and down climb the route with a goal to stay on the wall for 8 to 10 minutes. After you establish a base endurance it’s time to turn up the heat.


  • Resistance Training- Find a route right at your on-sight climbing level, with hard moves, where recovery is impossible. Climb up and down climb the route with a goal to stay on the wall for 6-8 minutes.


Sound kind of crazy? It is. In order to do this you’ll need to move in a slow mindful way. You’ll have to focus on placing your feet and hands exactly. This is how you can develop technique and ‘Climbing IQ’. This is how to channel your inner power-sloth.


5) Recovery

Photo credit: Aaron Colussi @aaroncolussi

  • Jog a few laps and climb a few easy routes to stretch your muscles back out and minimize soreness.
  • Fix your hands back up by applying some ClimbOn.
  • Get your muscles what they need to recover with some super nutrition from Skoop.


Delaney Miller is currently sponsored by the great people at Five Ten, Skoop, ClimbOn, Petzl and Adidas Outdoor.
















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