Blod Svett Och Krita

24 juni 2015


Me back in the days.

I have had some interesting conversations about coaching, business, life and other matters with a very good friend and client during the last two weeks. This friend of mine has a more-than-well developed intellect and is a natural at the noble art of persuasion.

During our conversations my persuasive friend asked me to reconsider a life-long position. He thinks it would be a good idea of me to tell a bit more about my training activities and philosophy. Whereas I happily write about climbing in general and training in particular, I am not very fond of writing about my own person and brag about my achievements as a climber or coach. It’s not like I always remain silent about what I do or what the people I train achieve. I have proudly shared some items in the electronic world but never really put things up in a listed, retrospective way.

I normally use Swedish as the sole language in this blog, and I will keep doing so in the future, but as I only intend to brag once for quite a while so I’ll do it big, or at least in a language many people will understand.

My Name is Carlos Cabrera and I´m originally from Spain and currently resident in Sweden

I am a molecular biologist currently working as biomedical analyst at Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg. Prior to my actual position I did research in biocrystallography (atomic-level structural studies of protein, an obscure branch of biophysics), and later on in inborn diseases of the human mitochondrial metabolism. With this background I think I can say I’m kind of an expert in physiology and genetics with an especial interest in training physiology.

Although I did start climbing by my own (mainly soloing) back in 1987 I didn’t properly climb and train until 1999. Before that I had a background in practicing both gymnastics and Karate, a discipline I practiced for 22 years reaching the level of 2nd dan black belt, and competed at national-elite level. As a climbing coach I have been dedicated to training and teaching since about 2003. During this time I have had the invaluable opportunity to coach a lot climbers at both basic, national and international elite levels. It is difficult to name all of them in a simple blog-post, but here are some of the most accomplished climbers I trained in the past or in present time:

Said Belhaj, Several 5.15a redpoint (one of them 2nd go). Multiple 5.14, onsight & V13/14 boulder among other results. Said is a professional climber and a continuous traveler.

Matilda Söderlund, 23 times finalist in IFSC youth European Youth Cup and World Youth Championships. Finalist in senior category in World Games, World Cup and World Championships. On rock she has climbed 5.14a onsight & 5.14c redpoint.

Geir Söderin, is a Swedish national-level top climber having done several 5.13 onsight, 5.14d redpoint, and V13 boulders.

Anja Hodann, Mother of two and former World Cup boulderer, who also is one of the best competition boulderer in Scandinavia. Anja has even made ascents as difficult as V11 and has an extensive record in lower bouldering levels. Anja has been at the very top of the international competition circuit before she trained with me.

Daniel Andersson, has been the most prominent Swedish male competition boulderer in his category. He has also reached IFSC World cup semi-finals a few times and has climbed boulders at about V13.

Daniela Ebler, member of the Swedish national team being close to semi-finals in both a world-cup and Paris World championship 2012. Nowadays Daniela is one of the best, if not the best, coaches in Swedish climbing scene training youth to levels few could imagine.

Robert Rundin, member of the national bouldering team, elite routesetter and having an extensive record of boulders up to V13

Catherine Brunel: Mother of two and member of the Canadian bouldering team 2015 and climbing boulders ad about V10 and sport routes about 5.13c.

Daniel Olausson. Swedish top boulderer and an excellent freelance photographer. Daniel has an extensive record of problems up to V11.

In the past I have also coached a large part of the Swedish national team in both senior (most climbers above-mentioned) and youth categories summing about 30 final-starts in European Youth Cup, Youth/senior World and European Championships. At the Nordic/national level, young climbers I trained together with Harry Denanto (an excellent coach) have obtained 50+ medals. (I never mention youth by name as I do not like putting extra pressure on them)

Along with these prominent names I have had hundreds of collaborations with climbers at all levels ranging from just a few questions to more or less formal programs helping them improving climbing skills and serving as motivational help.

I have also been responsible of the coaching structure of the competition-oriented section of Sweden’s largest climbing club (Solna, Stockholm), designing a structure that up to date has spread among several organizations in Sweden.

I have also attended international courses on climbing medicine and training and I am a frequent lecturer giving courses and clinics in several countries. My areas of expertise are training-theory, physiology, outdoor sport climbing, climbing-career management and elite competition climbing. I like to keep up to date with both general sport science and specific climbing research and I do so by maintaining an ever growing database of approximately 400+ research articles, frequent contact with coaches, researchers, national team officers of several countries, doctors and other professionals.

Until last year I never took any money for my activities, other than travel expenses. Now I have a much reduced group of paying clients. I also took some money for my training courses during 2013, but I’m not confident with that either, it’s simply not me. Unfortunately books, courses and conferences aren’t for free and coach fees help me putting every penny back into learning more so I can offer better information to climbers. Recently I took the decision to keep some of my clients, help some youth in my area and give courses for free to climbers and/or non-profit organisations wanting to pay my travel expenses. I do not have too much time for travel and can’t coach more people directly, but feel free to send me an email if interested in a course. These courses are intensive and contain a lot of practical and theoretical stuff, the goal is to help climbers at all levels to coach themselves and progress avoiding injury. I have no other interest and prefer to keep groups at low numbers (2-6 people) so I can record and analyze their climbing. This always make a clinic somehow expensive if travelling for long distances, but maybe it is worth the economic pain. I wish I could only offer them completely for free

When not at work, with family or coaching I train myself. Actually I live as I teach and follow the same kind of training regime I ask other climbers to follow. Unfortunately I have a busy life and very little own time, s0 I do not manage to train as much as I would like to. Whenever I’m lucky enough to put 2-3 consecutive months of training, I normally do boulders about V6-8. I have done V9 and 5-13b sport and at 45 I know I can better up those results for many years to come.

I like nice people and enjoy a nice conversations, good books and a warm Mediterranean evening now and then. There is literally no subject that bores me out, aside from grade-discussions that is.

I don’t know, it looks like kind of a CV I have written above and I just realized I was holding my breath for most of the time writing it. I’m more than just a coach and literally HATE being considered just that. I’m a human-being, a father, a husband and a regular citizen. I have my flaws and hopefully a few positive sides. If you think I reached all of the above results I would advise you to think twice. It wasn’t me climbing there. I barely put a path for people to follow and in all cases it was the athletes who did the heavy, scary part and I shouldn’t be the one taking credit for what they have done. They are all good people and friends.

So now you know. Next time you see me just say hi or just come to our place for a climb or just a cup of coffee. There is also a nice guest-room waiting for just you.

All right John, did I brag properly?

Now back to blogging on what matters. Climbing, training and stuff. In Swedish though (sorry)...


I forgot to mention I'm co-author of a chapter about training in an excellent book about climbing-related overuse injuries. The author is climber, fisiotherapist and researcher Gudmund Grönhaug and the book is "Belastningsskador i Klatring".

I have also received a couple other proposals about writing climbing-related books, but nothing I can fully consider yet. Time will tell, I know too little yet. 

5 kommentarer:

John Vleugels Antonson sa...
Den här kommentaren har tagits bort av skribenten.
John Vleugels Antonson sa...

Yes you sure did and you should be damned proud of yourself and your track record. I am impressed.

Ignacio Sandoval Burón sa...

You rock, dude!! Such a pity you will continue with this stuff mostly in Swedish... :-(

Robert sa...

Finns det planer på att översätta boken? Jag kommer aldrig kunna ta mig igenom en hel bok på norska.

Väldigt uppskattad blogg, tack!

Carlos Cabrera sa...

Tack Robert! Jag tror inte att boken översätts. Men om en spanjor kan läsa den kanske det finns fler chanser att andra mer bevandrade i svenska språket ska klara det. Dock tror jag att jag kommer att kunna utveckla mer och mer i bloggen framöver. Jag jobbar numera med klättring.

Kul att du tycker om bloggen. Min motivation är att bidra så gott jg kan.