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Gina with two of her favorite things: her dog Lola and her rack.

Gina Hoag recently moved to Colorado from Maryland and is loving every minute of shorts weather in January and climbing outside all winter long – something she could never do back on the East Coast. Gina is a seasoned Gunks climber, business owner, certified personal trainer, and has Masters degrees in clinical psychology and social work. She’s also an EVO fitness instructor and the new Adult Training coach – Wow, that’s a lot! 

You’re a longtime climber, coach and owned a private fitness studio for 15 years; what got you into climbing and fitness?

I started out as a dancer and danced until I started college. [Then] for a couple years I got into competition bodybuilding, and I ended up doing really well. Right after that I got certified as a personal trainer – that was back in 1990. About the same time I was introduced to climbing at one of the first gyms in the country.

That’s awesome! What motivates you to stay fit and continue to train for climbing?

 It’s my life; I can’t image not wanting to move. I’m so psyched when I get to climb, or run or snowboard. I work so that I can play outside.

What does your own training program look like? 

I typically climb four days a week. I try to balance outdoor sports with additional exercises that will enhance my climbing. If I have a big trip planned where I’m going to be doing a lot of overhung climbing, I’ll start training for that trip, or, if I’m going to be doing a lot of long approaches, I will do more cardio endurance. 

Do you take a similarly balanced approach to fitness in your classes and when you’re coaching?

In my classes, I like to help people understand what they’re doing to ensure they’re doing exercises properly and don’t hurt themselves. Second to that, I really like to have fun and play great playlists. My favorite part of my core class is creating my playlist.

Gina warming up on Animation in Boulder Canyon earlier this winter.

Gina warming up on Animation in Boulder Canyon earlier this winter.

In addition to your Wednesday night Core Fitness class, you’ll be teaching Adult Training beginning in March. Can you give us a brief overview of the program? 

Training can be confusing: How much should I do this? How hard should I actually push? Adult training will teach climbers how to train using all the pieces of training: Strength, endurance, power-endurance and power. 

If participants have something to train for, great! If they just want to know how to train for something in the future, they will be able to.

While all climbers can benefit from taking Adult Training at some point, who would you recommend take this three-month session?

Anyone can come to the Taste of Adult Training sessions in February. But, with the type of training we will be doing, it would be best for a person to be very comfortable leading  5.10c/d, even 5.11a, inside. If you’re breaking into 5.10a, you can definitely benefit from learning how to train, but it might feel like a stretch to be in this class.

Editor’s Note: Still working toward 5.10c, but want a plan for improving your climbing? EVO’s Fundamentals of Climbing program will also be starting in March – more information coming soon.

What’s the funniest or most common excuse you’ve heard for not working out? 

Probably, “I’m injured.” That’s what I seem to hear all the time.

Will you be addressing injury prevention in Adult Training?

Part of the structure of the class is to help everyone understand that if we just worked on a particular workout structure, that doesn’t mean that you go and do that same workout for the next three sessions that you’re in the gym – that will almost assure you of getting an injury. It’s about balancing out your program during the rest of the week, and we’ll be talking about how to do that. 

What is one thing we can all do to get a little better at climbing? 

More than a specific thing that you can do in terms of fitness, I think the most important thing is to be present when you’re climbing, and not be doubting yourself or get mad at yourself if you can’t do a problem. Come down and say: Okay, I’m going to do it better next time. It’s all about your attitude.


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