Climbing The Seven Summits: How Tony Moro Is Breaking Barriers With The Help Of Flywheel Training
Anthony Moro is a with Marine Corps veteran turned high-performance coach and consultant for professional sports organisation with a host of academic achievements. As an athlete with multiple sclerosis, Moro’s “journey has been filled with challenges and triumphs” but he has met them head on. Talking with Exxentric, Moro went into detail about the tackling the seven summits and the impacts of his experiences, mindset, and flywheel training journey.
Read an extract from Exxentric’s interview with Anthony Moro below.
What motivated you to decide to climb the 7 summits, and what has been your experience climbing them so far?
My journey to climb the 7 summits was initially sparked by a desire to push myself physically and mentally, and to prove to myself that I could overcome the challenges that MS presented in my life. The diagnosis of MS was a devastating blow, but I refused to let it define me or limit my capabilities.
The motivation to climb the 7 summits came from a deep yearning to challenge myself, reclaim my sense of adventure, and show others with disabilities that anything is possible with determination and resilience. I wanted to prove to myself and others that despite the limitations imposed by MS, I could still achieve extraordinary feats and pursue my passions.
So far, my experience climbing the 7 summits has been both incredibly challenging and rewarding. Each summit has brought its own set of physical and mental obstacles to overcome, but with meticulous preparation, adaptation to my MS symptoms, and unwavering determination, I have been able to reach the summits of mountains such as Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Fuji among others.
The journey has been filled with moments of breathtaking beauty, awe-inspiring sunrises, and the invigorating feeling of standing in places that doctors never thought possible. However, it has also been marked by gruelling physical exertion, adapting to the effects of MS on my body, and pushing through mental barriers.
I have learned to be mindful of my body’s response to altitude and temperature changes and have developed strategies to manage my MS symptoms during my expeditions. Skiing and snowboarding have become my favourite activities as the colder weather tends to have less impact on my symptoms. I have also embraced a “never quit” mindset, drawing on my military training and relying on my discipline to overcome the mental challenges and doubts that arise during the climbs.
How have you prepared for climbing the 7 summits, and what role does eccentric training play in your training regimen?
As an athlete with multiple sclerosis, climbing the seven summits requires meticulous preparation to ensure I am physically and mentally ready for the challenge. As a high-performance coach, former Recon Marine, and combat veteran, I bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to my training regimen, including the incorporation of eccentric training as a key component.
Eccentric training, also known as negative training, focuses on the lengthening phase of muscle contractions, which is crucial for mountain climbing as it involves descending long distances and places significant stress on the muscles and joints. Here’s how I have prepared for climbing the seven summits and how eccentric training plays a vital role in my training regimen:
- Resistance Training: I incorporate resistance training to build strength and endurance in the muscles used for climbing. Eccentric training is a fundamental part of my resistance training program, where I emphasize controlled and deliberate eccentric contractions during exercises such as squats, lunges, step-ups, and deadlifts. This helps to improve my eccentric strength, control, and stability, which are crucial for navigating steep descents and uneven terrain during mountain climbing.
- Plyometric Training: Plyometric training is an essential component as it helps to improve explosive power, agility, and coordination, which are important for navigating technical terrain during mountain climbing. Eccentric training plays a role in my plyometric training by incorporating exercises such as box jumps, depth jumps, and single-leg hops, where I focus on controlling the landing phase of the exercise, which involves eccentric muscle contractions. This helps to enhance my ability to absorb impact forces during descents and landings, reducing the risk of injury.
- Endurance Training: Endurance training is critical as it prepares me for the prolonged physical demands of climbing at high altitudes. Eccentric training is incorporated into my endurance training through activities such as downhill activities, where I focus on controlling the eccentric phase of the movement to minimize the impact on my muscles and joints. This helps to improve my eccentric strength and endurance, which is essential for managing the stress placed on my body during long descents during mountain climbing.
- Recovery and Injury Prevention: Eccentric training also plays a role in my recovery and injury prevention strategies. I utilize eccentric exercises with appropriate load and volume to facilitate recovery, promote muscle tissue repair, and prevent muscle imbalances and overuse injuries. Additionally, I employ techniques such as foam rolling, self-massage, and mobility exercises with eccentric components to improve tissue quality and reduce the risk of injury.
For those unfamiliar with eccentric training, could you explain what it is and how it helps with mountain climbing?
Eccentric training is particularly beneficial for mountain climbing due to its ability to enhance muscle strength, power, and endurance. The eccentric phase of muscle contraction is heavily utilized during downhill descents, where the muscles act as brakes to control movement and absorb impact (this is the phase I struggle with most having MS). This places significant stress on the muscles, joints, and connective tissues, making eccentric training crucial for preparing the body to withstand these demands.
One of the primary benefits of eccentric training for mountain climbing is its ability to improve muscle strength and power, which is crucial for ascending steep slopes and overcoming challenging terrain. Eccentric training allows for a greater load to be applied to the muscles, which stimulates the development of muscle fibres and increases their capacity to generate force. This results in improved strength and power, enabling climbers to tackle steep ascents with greater ease and efficiency.
Another key benefit of eccentric training for mountain climbing is its impact on muscle endurance. Climbing requires sustained muscle contractions for extended periods of time, which can lead to muscle fatigue. Eccentric training helps to increase muscle endurance by improving the muscle’s ability to withstand fatigue and maintain performance over prolonged periods. This is particularly important for long expeditions and multi-day climbs, where muscular endurance plays a critical role in overall performance and success.
In addition, eccentric training has been shown to improve joint stability and mobility, which are vital for navigating uneven and challenging terrain during mountain climbing. The controlled lengthening of the muscles during eccentric training helps to improve joint proprioception and coordination, reducing the risk of injury and enhancing overall movement efficiency.
To read the full interview visit the Exxentric site here.
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