Planet Granite

Jun 232014



This WOW features 2 of PG San Francisco Climbing Team’s favorite core exercises!

Planet Granite Workout of the Week Logo

DIFFICULTY:  All levels
FOCUS: Core, Stability



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Planet Granite Workout of the Week Logo

IMPORTANT: Climbing and climbing training, such as the exercises in the WOW, are inherently dangerous activities.  Participation in these exercises is done at your own risk.  If you have any injuries, we recommend you do not attempt a WOW.  If you have any concerns about your abilities or the exercises, consult a qualified medical practitioner or athletic trainer. Before using the fitness area, equipment, classes or any other training at Planet Granite, it is your responsibility to read and understand the posted gym rules and Safety Guidelines found here:
Jun 172014

We’re excited to introduce a new type of training program by PG Climbing Team’s Competitive Coaches John and Adriel.  This program targets adult climbers who are interested in small group coaching sessions.  These sessions focus on all areas involved in improving climbing including technique, strength and mental fortitude.  Read on for more information!

Masters Training Sign


What is the Master’s Program?
The masters program is not a typical “class”. It is a place and time where motivated climbers can be coached in a group setting and help motivate one another to accomplish their climbing goals.

Each session is 4 weeks long and meets twice per week. The reason why we came up with this structure was because we both agreed that having focused, goal oriented training/climbing sessions at least twice per week is needed in order to progress and maintain motivation.

Each session is 90 minutes long and will have an optional additional 30 min workout guided by the instructors.


Who can take it?
Anyone that is looking to get better at climbing can take the masters program, although we do encourage participants to be climbing at least 5.10d or V3. Leaders, Top-ropers and Boulderers are welcome.


What will I get out of it?
Advanced coaching and specified climbing workouts to put you on the right track to achieve your goals, and hopefully a sense of community and friendship with your instructors and comrades.


Is it strength or endurance or technique?  What will you focus on?
John and I will touch on all these aspects or climbing because we could all be a little stronger, have more endurance and better technique. Really the specificity depends on the individual and his/her goal. We aim to support strengths as well as develop weaknesses. Our coaching won’t just be limited to the physical aspects of climbing. Taking control and ownership of our feelings and emotions while we climb is just as important. Managing fear, stress, anxiety, confidence and relaxation are just a few areas in we hope to educate.


Can I take it multiple times?  Will it build on itself?
Absolutely. Goals, like our performances, are always changing. John and I hope to make these changes evolutions to progression.


First Session starts Tuesday July 8th.
6:30am-8:00am plus optional 30 minute workout after.
$240 members | $320 non-members
Register at the Front Desk!
Requirements: V3 or 5.10d and a desire to improve
Max 10 people per session.

More Questions?  See the Front Desk or post a question in the comments!


John and Adriel are Advanced Climbing Instructors and Competitive Climbing Team Coaches.  Together, they bring a combined passion for climbing and movement.

May 142014


Planet Granite Lead Supervisor Evan greets the kids and talks to them about the rules of climbing in our gym

This past week, the Santa Clara Firefighters made their annual trek to Planet Granite Sunnyvale for their Better Together program. For nearly 20 years, Planet Granite has hosted this amazing group who dedicate their time to better the lives of local 6th graders in Santa Clara.

Established in 1989, Better Together works to connect firefighters with youth to provide coaching and mentorship and other life skills.  Through a variety of different activities, the students focus on self-esteem, decision making, communication and teamwork.  This program is entirely funded by the Santa Clara Firefighters Foundation, a non-profit that relies heavily on firemen volunteering as well as organizations such as Planet Granite to sponsor the events.  The program is free for the participating students.


A number of Santa Clara Firefighters donate their time to work with the Better Together Program.

Each year, Better Together brings about 50 6th graders to Planet Granite for a day of climbing.  As part of  PG Gives Back, Planet Granite donates belay lessons to teach the Firefighter volunteers to manage the ropes, and the day passes and equipment for the students.  Rock climbing, as Better Together Program Coordinator Zach McGhie noted, is the perfect activity for his program as it combines and reinforces the trust, communication and other life skills they have been teaching the students throughout the school year.   We’re proud to work with them and it’s been awesome to watch this program grow!


This year, as a special treat, the Santa Clara Firefighters brought along their fire engines!


Mar 102014

Spring Break Camp all gyms

We’re psyched to host Spring Break Climbing Camps for your kids!  

Kids will explore all of the climbing features of the gym including bouldering walls, high roped walls, and more.

During a week at Climbing Camp, our experienced instructors will get your kids climbing and playing climbing oriented games.

Indoor camps are for kids 5-8 and 9-13 years old and will be offered at all our PG facilities.

*Give us a call for more information!

(408) 991-9090
(650) 591-3030 
San Francisco
(415) 692-3434
April 14th – 18th
1pm – 3pm
Ages 5-13
April 14th – April 18th
1pm – 5pm
Ages 5-13
March 31st – April 4th
1pm – 5pm
Ages 5-13
$140 per child $280 per child $280 per child
Mar 082014



Saturday, March 29, from 1:45 – 4:15pm

A popular workshop from PG San Francisco is coming to Sunnyvale!

Together with climbers at Planet Granite, Silvie created a signature yoga workshop that is designed to teach you how to use yoga to supplement your climbing by stretching and centering.

In this workshop you’ll learn a sequence of postures that target the opposing muscles from climbing.

*You’ll also go home with a tips handout to use before and after climbing!

$30 Non-members
$25 Members

*TO REGISTER, email Silvie:

*Follow Silvie on Tumblr here.                   |                    *Read her story here. 


Mar 062014
The Juice - Anthony Lapomardo

The Juice, 5.14a. Photo by Anthony Lapomardo

Recently, I sent my project – a sport climb called Big House, 5.14a, at Jailhouse, near Sonora CA.  This has been my dream climb – for at least a few years.  Two years ago, two attempts into the climb, I hurt my shoulder.  This is when my obsession began.

Fast forward through 1 year of physical therapy, strengthening and training in the gym and we’re in late 2013: my sole goal was to attempt this climb.  I had no expectations of sending, but I wanted to prove to myself I was stronger than the move that had hurt me.  Call me crazy, but I think that’s a little bit of what projecting is all about.

Big House is about 90 feet tall, located on a steeper section of the wall with big moves on some decently sized (others not so) holds with ok knee bar rests.  I’ve seen others do this climb, and the movement has always attracted me.   In spite of climbing at Jailhouse for at least 7 or more years, I must admit, I don’t love to knee bar.  I do it; I’m not great at it, and still somehow need them to be pointed out.   If left to my own devices, I will usually  muscle my way through a section rather than gracefully crawl (and now you can see why I hurt my shoulder).   But that’s what attracted me about Big House, it has knee bars but there were also straight up moves that couldn’t be crawled through.

I can't seem to escape the kneebars

Working on my weakness: knee bars. Column of the Giants, CA

So what is projecting and why is it so awful fun?  It’s about the process, about conquering something you couldn’t touch before.

When I talk about projecting and what is commonly found at Jailhouse, I’m referring to the type of climb on which you may not reach the anchors on your first try.  Where you may grab every draw and clip for dear life because there is no way you’re clipping off that tiny hold.  Where progress is measured in weeks or months, not tries.  Where when you finally one hang the route, you could be less than half way to sendage.  Where tenacity is the name of the game and your worst enemy is yourself.  

Projecting, and more knee barring, at the Pipe Dream, Maple Canyon

Projecting, and more knee bars, at the Pipe Dream, Maple Canyon, UT.

For me, the single most challenging thing about projecting is self doubt.  Can I do the moves?  Is it worth investing time on this to see if it’s possible?  Are people going to mock me for flailing my way up this route?  Am I crazy for trying this?  Working through a project is conquering that doubt and proving to myself it’s possible. Does that mean every day is awesome?  No.  Have I learned to embrace the I-got-one-foot-move-higher high point?  Not really.  Will I ever not project?  No.  Because if I didn’t project,  I would never realize what I’m capable of.

When I first tried Big House two years ago, I couldn’t get to the anchors.  It was guarded by a dynamic throw to a bread loaf sloper that I couldn’t seem to stick.  I also couldn’t do a move down lower – a big move off a finger lock (my trad friends are sure to laugh).  The move that hurt my shoulder was a wide left handed stretch under a roof to a two finger pocket, a move I also couldn’t do.  The list goes on, but that’s how it starts.  I liked the look of the climb and I enjoyed the movement I was able to do.  And I was motivated to do the moves I couldn’t.

And that’s how you start a project.  Find something you like.  It doesn’t matter why you like it, or if you can do all the moves; it only matters if at the end of the day, you’re psyched that you gave it your all.

Training Slopers with PG SF Mgr Eliot | Hanging at the first bolt...Red River Gorge, KY

Hanging at the first bolt…Red River Gorge, KY   |   Training on slopers with PG SF Mgr Eliot

And that’s the second thing about projecting.  I’d be lying if I said it was all about the process and not about the send.  I want to send, of course!

So if you’re looking to project a hard grade, choosing a project that suits your body type, your skill set and your interests is important.  If you are like my husband who excels at big compression moves on big slopey holds, he wouldn’t do so well choosing his hardest project on technical micro-crimps.   In the same way that I, at 5’2″, do not find giant compression moves to be my strongest suit. But as many of my climbing friends are, we’re over achievers and on some underlying level, we love to suffer on a climb we can’t do.

And that’s the next part of projecting: preparing yourself to battle.  Struggling up a climb, repeating a move several times to figure out the best beta – it’s hard.  And can be painful.  And frustrating.  So know what you’re going to get into, and set small goals.  For me, my ongoing goal is to keep a positive attitude and always try as hard as I can.   Take pleasure in the small successes, such as the one-foot-move-higher high point.  Be happy that you tried hard.

Projecting isn’t for everyone, and you shouldn’t project every climb you get on.   It’s probably the most frustrating thing I’ve done for fun, but as I’ve learned, fun isn’t always about smiling – sometimes it’s about proving to yourself that you can. :)


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Stephanie Ko Pound is the Marketing and Regional Manager for Planet Granite and when not climbing, can be found knitting another cowl.