What Do Lattice Board Training Sessions Entail?

What Do Lattice Board Training Sessions Entail?

  • Posted by Kaleigh
  • On September 18, 2019
  • Comments

Tristan Mayfield is a Texas native who didn’t start taking climbing seriously until getting a Quarry membership while studying neuro and sports science at BYU in 2011. So, what led him to become a Lattice board trainer at The Front? And what does his approach to training clients look like?

Tristan ran cross country his whole life. But after leaving the sport in pursuit of outdoor adventure, he joined The Quarry in Provo. Here, Tristan met an experienced group of climbers who were willing to take him under their wing and show him mountaineering, glacier travel, ice climbing, sport climbing and proper safety precautions.

Soon, Tristan realized that climbing was in fact awesome, and that a better way to get stronger was to train. In cross country, there’s a long-standing tradition of training to get faster. So, he applied the same mindset to climbing.

“I could climb a lot, which is fun,” Tristan said. “Training is just a little less fun, but you get better a lot faster.”

Pairing his experience with his interest in sports science, Tristan sourced any and all resources to gain a thorough understanding of climbing training. This led him to get in touch with Steve Maisch, a local go-to-guy for all-things training.

In the meantime, Tom Randall and Pete Whittaker – aka The Wide Boyz – were deep in their Off-Width Tour, and just ticked off Century Crack.

“Everyone was going crazy over their accomplishment,” Tristan said. “Then I saw an interview with Tom Randall, and he said he was studying training. He said he started with a Lattice board and was collecting data on climbers, which I was interested in, too.”

Then, The Front announced they were installing a Lattice board. “So, I sent them an email two years ago and soon after started doing Lattice assessments at the gym.”

Uniformity is what makes the Lattice board unique. All the 14 main moves can be done in the same way from each person to the next, which makes it perfect for assessments. Each climber can crank until they simply can’t anymore, there is no skillset that will push you off or keep you on, which reduces climbing down to its simplest form: Strength.

“The only difference in each assessment is the angle change. Most other places don’t have an adjustable board, so it’s great that The Front does,” Tristan said. “You can change the angle or hand positions to make it harder or easier, but everything else is the same.”

According to Tristan, the Lattice board is the best for endurance training, but any type of training is possible.

To begin an assessment, Tristan will begin with movement drills that test flexibility, strength and endurance, all in a hand-off approach.

“I want to see what the client does naturally – good and bad – so most is pretty hands off. I’m mainly studying their technique and how they climb,” Tristan said.

After the initial assessment, Tristan will give preliminary feedback, Then, he’ll crunch numbers and provide a full qualitative and quantitative response afterward. If Tristan ever gets results he’s unsure of, he’s able to directly reach out to and collaborate with Tom Randall, whom he formed a partnership with soon after learning of Tom’s research and studies.

“At the end I’m able to tell them specifically what they were struggling with and how to get better,” Tristan said. “I’m able to say things like, ‘Your finger strength is 10% above where it needs to be, but you’re not using your feet properly, so footwork is where you should give more attention.”

For Tristan, his personal motivation is “100-percent intrinsic,” meaning he doesn’t need to “spray” or “get others’ approval,” he’s just satisfying himself. Through his training and assessments, Tristan hopes to pass intrinsic values off to his clients.

“I’m not only helping physically, but also helping motivate clients,” he said. “I want them to recognize the impact training has on their lives and want them to be more intrinsically motivated in the future.”

To book a Lattice training session and assessment with Tristan or Chris Call, click here.