The Concept of Complex Simplicity
published 12/07/2017 - Training for Climbing and Bouldering

Designing an absolute perfect training plan for an athlete is utterly complex.
So is figuring out the perfect nutrition.

But the more I study different topics (strength training, athlete nutrition, mental training, different sports and arts), the more I see a recurring pattern emerge.
Once you start to truly understand the finer details and complex correlations of a certain topic (i.e. become and expert), there suddenly appears a beautiful simplicity beneath it.

Maybe you have heard of the Pareto Principle aka The 80-20 Rule.
It basically states, that 80% of the effects are caused by 20% of the actions.

What I didn‘t really realize before, is that this also applies to such complex topics as nutrition or training.

Want the almost perfect nutrition plan?
Easy, just follow these three rules:
1. Use healthy, natural ingredients
2. Eat not too little and not too much
3. Vary your foods.

Simple, right?
Yet even with the most detailed nutrition plan, counting calories and weighing ingredients you will have a hard time to truly improve on that.

The same goes for training.
Want the almost perfect training plan?
1. Use high intensities
2. Rest plenty
3. Vary your training

That‘s it, you will be strong!

If you already are very advanced in your chosen field and have to try hard for those extra 20%, then there obviously is a place for the finer details of the art.
But before making things a lot more complex than they possibly need to be, make sure that you‘ve got the basics sorted out and have a solid foundation.
If you‘re having burgers and pizza all week, philosophizing about the perfect time for your meal will not actually make any difference at all.

So always start simple and smart, and then figure out where the added complexity may be of true value for you.


To find out more about what good training for climbing and bouldering looks like, check out The Book and stay tuned for the next article.

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