Thursday Nov 16, 2023

Dave MacLeod: Part I

Elite climber Dave MacLeod shares his struggles and breakthroughs in Training, Nutrition, Tactics, and Mental Game


Hailing from the highlands of Scotland, Dave has methodically worked his way up to the highest levels of the sport, and sits at the very top when it comes to heady trad ascents on the notoriously poorly protected gritstone in his backyard. He has bouldered up to V15 (8C), climbed 5.14d (9a), free soloed up to 14a (8b+), and put up E11 trad. His First Ascents are too many to name, but most notably he put up the world’s first E11 trad route, Rhapsody, as well as Echo Wall which might even be harder. From boulders to big walls, rock to ice to mixed… Dave has a truly unique ability to zero in on very hard moves, with very scary exposure, and systematically break it down to a manageable process until the thing can be done. Beyond his performance on rock, Dave has been contributing to the sport for decades now, as a researcher, author, blogger, and YouTuber. He holds an undergrad degree in sports science and physiology, and dual masters, in exercise science and human nutrition. He knows his stuff and we dive deeeeep in this two-parter!



  • Struggle: 0:09:00
  • Training: 0:12:50
  • Nutrition: 0:30:22


Follow along on Instagram @climbermacleod and @thestruggleclimbingshow

Check out Dave's books, blog, and other resources at

Watch all of Dave's banger climbing content at



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The Struggle is carbon-neutral in partnership with The Honnold Foundation, whose mission is to promote solar energy for a more equitable world.


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This show is produced and hosted by Ryan Devlin. The Struggle is a proud member of the Plug Tone Audio Collective, a diverse group of the best, most impactful podcasts in the outdoor industry.


The struggle makes us stronger! I hope your training and climbing are going great.


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