Maximum Climbing


As physical as climbing is, it is even more mental. Ultimately, you climb with your mind—your hands and feet are merely extensions of your thoughts and will. Becoming a master climber, then, requires that you first become a master of your mind.

In Maximum Climbing, America’s best-selling author on climbing performance presents a climber’s guide to the software of the brain—one that will prove invaluable whether your preference is bouldering, sport climbing, traditional climbing, or mountaineering. Eric Hörst brings unprecedented clarity to the many cognitive and neurophysical aspects of climbing and dovetails this information into a complete program. He sets forth three stages of mental training that correspond to beginner, intermediate, and elite levels of experience and commitment—the ideal template to build upon to personalize your goals through years of climbing to come. Listen to a brief Podcast explaining the power of the Maximum Climbing program!

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What the Pros are saying about Maximum Climbing:

As someone who has spent a lot of time and energy with mental training, I can say with confidence that Maximum Climbing is your best tool for taking control of your most powerful asset as a climber: your mind. —Kevin Jorgeson, highball boulder & bigwall free climber

For anyone interested in learning more about how the mind works and how important psychological factors are in determining the quality of our experience and performance, Maximum Climbing is a useful and fascinating read. In this powerful text, Hörst presents an impressive collection of mental training techniques, practice exercises, and insights for climbers at all levels of ability. —Lynn Hill, first woman to climb 5.14

There are volumes of books on how to train your body for climbing, but Maximum Climbing teaches you how to climb better by flexing the most critical muscle—the three-pound one between your ears. Using a highly detailed step-by-step process that is clearly presented for beginner to expert climbers, Eric Hörst instructs on mental training. His book runs that gamut from A to Z, but my favorites include how to manage fear, build confidence, and focus—three areas all of us need to work on but, until now, didn’t even know where to begin.
—Duane Raleigh, Editor-in-Chief of Rock and Ice magazine

Eric Hörst’s new book, Maximum Climbing, provides climbers with a clear path to athletic mastery. As a climber and performance coach, I’ve sought out every piece of information I could find on improving athletic performance. Use the methods put forth in this book, and you will improve; not just as a climber, but as a human being.
—Steve Bechtel, CSCC, Elemental Training Center

Dissolving the illusion of mind/body separation, Eric Hörst’s Maximum Climbing shows the way to achieve what I like to call one’s Vertical Path: a completely holistic state of being in which the spirit—the essence of climbing—is woven into the tapestries of our lives.
—John Gill, legendary boulderer and master of rock

In this fascinating work, Eric Hörst reveals many of the secrets to rock climbing your best by tapping into the vast potential of the human brain. Soundly based in scientific research, Maximum Climbing is both user-friendly and interactive, drawing the reader into the book’s ideas and concepts through self-tests and exercises. I will strongly recommend this groundbreaking work to every one of my climbing students.
—Alli Rainey, professional climber, writer, and climbing coach

Do you really want to be the best climber that you can be? Then read all of Eric Hörst’s how-to books and, in particular, read Maximum Climbing! Get out your highlighter for this powerful book. I did! —Hans Florine, El Cap speed climbing record holder

As both a neuroscientist and avid climber, I can’t help but love this book! I found Maximum Climbing to be a fascinating amalgamation of both the intellectual and athletic parts of my life. As a result, not only do I now look at climbing differently, but surprisingly, I now look at neuroscience at bit differently as well. Maximum Climbing is a profound text that will revolutionize how you think about climbing, how you train for climbing, how you experience climbing—and perform—whether in the gym, or out at the crags! —Courtney Behnke, Cognitive Neuroscientist