Climbing performance and sport longevity are ultimately the product of consistent training and recovery. However due to the weight sensitivity of the sport, eating habits and attitudes towards food are often influenced by the desire to stay as lean as possible, generally at the expense of progressive development.
Climbers are often surprised how powerful, recovered and pain-free they feel when they eat appropriately for their output, not spending the majority of their time avoiding certain foods (e.g., carbohydrates) and chronically chasing weight-loss. Fat-loss and performance are not mutually exclusive goals and can be achieved with the right nutrition strategies. Periodised context specific nutrition is effective, and enables you to lower body fat, train harder, recover better, and perform at your very peak.
Why work with Tom?
Tom has been supporting sport and boulder climbers with nutrition coaching, mindset strategies, and nervous system facilitation since 2016. Championing high energy availability and strategic carbohydrate intake, he encourages climbers to reevaluate their understanding of nutrition and body-composition for climbing performance. Tom continues to produce online content, interviews, and Q&A sessions on the topics of performance nutrition, body-composition change, mental health, and the embodied self.
Tom has worked with a number of professional IFSC ranked competition climbers and paraclimbers representing the UK, USA, and Ukraine national teams. Outside of the competition circuit, he continues to support climbers pushing the boundaries of their sport, and is currently supporting:
- Hazel Findlay prepare for “Esclatamasters” (9a/5.14d) at Perles, Spain. Climbing coach: Maddy Cope. Hazel sent her project 9 March 2022.
- Robbie Phillips prepare for “Longhope Direct” (E10/7a) at St John Head, Scotland; and E11 project. Robbie sent Longhope Direct 26 May 2022.
- Aiden Roberts working “Burden of Dreams” (9a/V17) at Lappnor, Finland. Climbing coach: Ollie Torr. You can read his recently published (16/12/2021) post about his first look via Catalyst Climber Diaries.
- Anoushé Husain supporting her Guiness World Record climbing attempt. Anoushé achieved it 6 April, 2022.
- Paloma Slowik through USA Climbing National team trials in March 2023.
Tom’s coaching style is conversation-led, with clients provided unlimited messaging access and video coaching calls. With a genuine interest in people and their stories, his sensitive, empathetic, and patient approach to coaching facilitates the support of neurodiverse individuals, and those from disordered eating backgrounds.
Please be aware that coaching is not suitable for those who have existing eating disorders. This specific counsolling and theraputic work requires a specialist and is outside of Tom Herbert’s scope of practice.
Tom is a member of the Catalyst Online Coaching Team alongside Louis Parkinson, Neil Gresham, Hazel Findlay, and Christiano Costa. He provides general climbing nutrition Q&A, but all direct climbing nutrition coaching is through usefulcoach.
If you would like to contact Tom directly to ask if coaching is right for you: firstname.lastname@example.org
Climbers I have worked with previously or currently still do…
Aidan Roberts, Anoushé Husain, Buster Martin, Fedir Samoilov, Hamish Mcarthur, Hazel Findlay, Jennifer Wood, Joanna Neame, Kenneth Ellacott, Kyle Long, Leanora Volpe, Louis Parkinson, Luke Smith, Matt Cousins, Max Milne, Mischa Hawker-Yates, Paloma Slowik, Robbie Phillips, Shaina Savoy
Coaching start dates available within 1 weeks notice.
All coaching documentation and support provided entirely online. Unlimited text support and video calls available as you need them. Support is limited only by the duration of the package and coaching hours.
Online card payments over Stripe, or direct bank transfer in GBP.
- 6 Weeks - £350
- Payment in full at start
- 12 Weeks - £600
- Payment can be split (£300) each month for first two months
–> All coaching packages can be can be extended by moving to the Coaching Subscription.
- Coaching Subscription: £150 per month
- Continued full coaching services with unlimited text support and support calls per month
- Heavily discounted subscription if wanting support for longer than 6 months
- Performance, recovery, fat loss, and maintenance nutrition strategies
- Supplementation guidance to support performance, recovery and sleep
- Programmed coaching phases and cycles relative to your goals and event calendar
- Online access to over 25,000 words of documentation
- Direct messaging account for daily correspondence
- Unlimited video or voice calls
- Professional grade nutrition tracking software
- Spreadsheet for strategy planning, event scheduling, and body composition tracking
- Discounted coaching packages if returning in the future
- Discounted future usefulcoach publications, and video courses (available upon release)
Additional Discounted Services
- DEXA body composition scans (London, UK only)
- 3D Body Scans (London, UK only)
- Resting Metabolic Rate [RMR] testing (London, UK only)
- VO2 Max testing (London, UK only)
- Blood testing and health biomarker profiling (UK, only)
- Continuous Glucose Monitoring [CGM] (Europe only)
£100 deposit if booking more than 1 month in advance.
Remaining monies paid before starting.
See Coaching FAQ for more details.
- £100 / 1 hour
If you are not a coaching client, and would like to collect questions and schedule an hour with me to go over them.
- Pass me questions at least two days before the call
- Please bring a notebook for the call, as I do not provide any written summary, or programming afterwards.
Coaching is a bespoke process built upon communication, where we work together to explore and apply strategies that will work best for you in relation to your goals and upcoming events. For this reason I ask prospective clients to apply for coaching, as I need to understand if we would work well together.
Nutrition targets are built on the foundation of Energy Availability and are adjusted based on compliance and outcomes. I do not adhere to any fixed diet framework, but help you refine and optimise your existing choices. I am happy to work with people of any diet background, and will adjust programming if you are vegan, vegetarian, low-FODMAP, paleo, etc. If you prefer eating a low-carbohydrate or ketogenic diet, I am happy to work with you to optimise this for your goals. However I may encourage you to experiment with more strategic carbohydrate intake.
The coaching process is about exploring and applying the right approach at the right time, and what will work for one client may not work for you. Calorie and carbohydrate cycling, time-restricted feeding and fasting, specific supplementation, and even mindfulness may be explored if applicable. I am passionate about understanding what is going on behind food fears, long-term restrictive dieting, and concerns about body-image.
I have helped clients eat an additional 400-600kcal more per day without gaining significant weight, a male client climb his highest grade ~2kg heavier than his normal projecting weight, an underweight female client gain ~4kg in 4 months, and a male client lose ~5% of his body-fat in 5 months.
What I believe sets me apart, is that communication and support is limited only by the duration of the package and my coaching hours. I do not simply provide you meal plans and schedule a follow-up call. In fact I provide no meal plans whatsoever, but rather help you refine your existing habits and guide you in optimising and organising your meals to meet the specific demands of your goals.
You are paying for a coach, you are not paying for a program.
Apply for Coaching
- Coaching start dates available within 1 weeks notice.
- £100 deposit if booking more than 1 month in advance.
The price is fixed to the website listed price at the time of your deposit being paid. Deposits are non-refundable if your circumstances change and you are unable start. Deposits will be refunded if in the unlikely event I am unable to honour your booking start date.
I am happy to work with climbers of all experience levels, however I require clients to fulfil the following criteria:
- You must have a regular climbing / training schedule, and are logging / tracking your progress, or…
- You are about to start a scheduled climbing / training program
- You have a clear goal (or goals) behind asking for coaching, and know what you want help achieving
Any questions please contact me directly: email@example.com