ClimbSci Episode 1: Protein

by Brian Rigby, MS, CISSN

5 Replies


ClimbSci Episode 1: Protein

Late last night, Tom and I put the finishing touches on everything we needed to have done for an official launch of ClimbSci, our new webcast about all topics climbing and science. In the first episode, we talk about protein, including digestion, metabolism, amino acids (such as BCAAs), signalling, and requirements, and also answer a few questions.

As a warning, our first episode is long—an hour and forty eight minutes long, to be exact. We fully intended to keep it under an hour, but Tom and I are webcast novices and we bit off more than we could easily chew in an hour. The good news is that it’s not just two hours of rambling! We do pace ourselves relatively well, I think. But, we also intend to bite off smaller pieces in the future so you don’t have to commit almost two hours of your day to us.

Without further ado, here is the episode:



Episode 1 Guide

Get more information about the episode, including a synopsis, navigation menu, Q&A, further reading, and bibliography.

Official ClimbSci Site

Since ClimbSci is a collaboration between Tom Herbert (usefulcoach) and myself, we’ve also created an official ClimbSci website where everything related to the podcast will be organized. I will continue to post new episodes of the cast here, as well, but the official site will have a bit of information about the episode that I will most likely not include here, including a quick navigation menu of timecodes (in case you are looking for a specific piece of information), our bibliography, further reading, and answers to the questions we didn’t get around to during the episode proper. Please check it out!


As our first foray into webcast territory, Tom and I are eager to know what you think! I already mentioned that the episode was long, but if you felt differently we’d love to know. In fact, we’d love to know your thoughts in general, so if you have a comment about what you liked or what you think we could do better or differently, please tell us in the comments below!


  1. Jura Brazdil

    Thanks for the answer to my question (I’m Czech by the way, but I really am currently in Denmark 🙂 ). I’d love to give some feedback, because I’m aware of how valuable it is for you. To not start on a negative note, I enjoyed listening to the thing and I got some new valuable insights. I am glad you guys are giving out some science-backed nutritional information, as I am really tired of all the buzzfeed style articles.

    I know, however, that the negative feedback is the more valuable one, so here we go. The most important thing missing was overall structure. I think that writing down a couple of important points will take you a long way. You can make these points explicit, so that we know what is going to be discussed. This is strongly tied to my second point, which is that this format might be more suitable to explain the more complicated matters and nuances. I personally went through most of your articles and they are so well written, that I do not believe the information in them needs to be repeated in a podcast. Although this might be only a personal matter and you guys might have intended to hit a much bigger audience than just enthusiasts. A good way to cater all might be to separate the basics and the advanced stuff, so people like me can skip the introductory part. This would also help people who don’t know anything about nutrition not to be overwhelmed by the complexity.

    One format that comes into my mind would be stating the general guidelines in the beginning of the video and then explaining and discussing them one by one. In case of protein, it might be something like: eat 20g of protein every 3 hours, eat high quality protein, accompany the protein with energy intake, consider long-release protein before sleep, don’t only eat protein when exercising.

    By explaining these guidelines you would go through everything you said in the video while achieving two things. First, you would get the structure that I feel was missing. Second, when you tell something this simple in the beginning, talk about it for an hour and then repeat it again at the end, there’s a much bigger chance that people will remember it.

    I cannot stress enough how important a job you guys are doing and I am really glad I can learn more every time you put something out. Please don’t feel discouraged by my critique, I am looking forward to the future episodes.

    Thank you for the amazing work!
    All the best,

  2. Brian Rigby, MS, CISSN Post author

    Thanks for the feedback, Jura! I think structure was one thing Tom and I both realized we needed to dial in after the first episode (well, probably about 40 minutes into the first episode actually). To begin with, we definitely just tackled too much territory. I’m so used to writing long-form articles that I don’t think I realized how much time it takes to convey and talk about the same information that you can read within about 15 minutes, so when we talked about what we’d cover first “protein” seemed reasonable; how wrong we were! Definitely in the future we’ll pick more condensed topics that will then lend themselves much better to a formal structure as well.

    You also pointed out a second problem we’re trying to resolve, namely, how deep we want the show to go. There’s certainly a point where it all becomes too abstract and it’s more a show about biochemistry than sports nutrition (or training, or whatever else). I think we also want to avoid being just another shallow show about sports nutrition offering only the normal advice rehashed, though. Again, with protein as the first topic it might have been a bad example because my hope is that most episodes in the future will tread new territory—part of the reason we chose “ClimbSci” is because we want to cover more than just nutrition, and to take a look into sports science in general and perhaps some more oddball climbing-related scientific topics, too—and so that way no one would experience the “I already read about this on your webpage” effect.

    Anyway, thank you so much for the feedback, and no need to worry about discouraging us! Tom and I are both climbers, after all, and while I cannot speak for Tom specifically I can say for myself that one of the parts of the sport that keeps me most engaged is the problem-solving aspect. We know we need to figure some stuff out, and any constructive feedback people can provide (such as your own) is useful and will aid us towards getting this podcast right!

  3. Tom Herbert

    Jura, I just popped onto Brian’s site to see if I missed any comments. I did!

    Thank you for the feedback, much appreciated especially so early on. And no not discouraged at all.

    We really want to find the balance between conveying the underlying science and giving people information they can actually apply. We also want to give people the understanding so they can ask questions and challenge opinion.

    As Brian said, this is actually quite tricky in a conversation, even more so when you are recording it. You can’t go back and refine things.

    We are gearing up for Episode 2, and working on how we can keep things in the conversation format, but keep ourselves within better structure albeit without it sounding like we are just alternating between bullet points.

    Thanks again for the feedback, always appreciated.

  4. Cletus Blum

    Hi Brian and Tom,

    I have been meaning to listen to this sooner but i am just getting around to it now. I also have similar sentiments to Jura. I would love to hear more about the nuances of the interactions when dealing with a specific topic and vote on veering towards a laymens explanation of the biochemistry ( I know its much harder than it sounds!) I think the efficiency of conveying the content will get much better with a little practice, and I look forward to the discussion on carbohydrates!

  5. steve

    Only just got round to listening to this and I must say I found it extremely valuable. Sure it’s perhaps a little bit rambly in a few places but I never got lost in the discussion. It was always clear what you were talking about and I learned a lot.

    So top marks from me guys and thanks a lot for putting this out. I look forward to catching up on the rest of the series.

    Cheers from the UK and keep up the good work.

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