Climbing The Seven Summits: How Tony Moro Is Breaking Barriers With The Help Of Flywheel Training

From a multiple sclerosis diagnosis to climbing the world’s highest mountains. Here’s our interview with Marine Corps veteran Anthony Moro, talking about his flywheel training journey and “never-quit” mentality, and how it enabled him to push boundaries and take on the seven summits:

1. How did your training and educational background contribute to your career in mountain climbing and MS (multiple sclerosis) advocacy?

As an athlete with multiple sclerosis, my training and educational background have played a pivotal role in my career as a mountain climber and advocate for MS awareness. 

In college, I played football and was a sprinter on the track & field team. These experiences honed my physical abilities, discipline, and mental toughness, providing a solid foundation for my future pursuits in mountain climbing. 

I have expertise as a high-performance coach and consulting for professional sports organizations (Milwaukee Bucks, Chicago Bears & Chicago Blackhawks). I am a former gym owner and strength coach for Navy SEAL candidates and Air Force Special Tactics. My academic achievements include degrees in Exercise Physiology, Organizational Leadership with an emphasis on coaching, and an ongoing pursuit of a Ph.D. in health and human performance.

My climbing experience includes attending the Marine Corps mountain warfare training center, summiting Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Fuji, and hiking Mount Suribachi, and many others around Japan and the US. This has provided me with practical knowledge of mountaineering techniques, acclimatization strategies, and the mental fortitude required to overcome the challenges of high-altitude climbing.

Pictured: Tony Moro climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. Heights portrayed 4600 m, 4673 m, and 5895 m.


My training and educational background have been instrumental in shaping my career as a mountain climber and MS advocate, equipping me with the knowledge, skills, and resilience needed to excel in the face of challenges posed by multiple sclerosis while pursuing my passion for mountain climbing.

2. How did you get involved in serious mountain climbing, and what drew you to it?

Growing up, my family’s love for travel and hiking during our summer camping trips across the US and Canada ignited my passion for exploration and outdoor adventures. However, it was during my time in the Marine Corps, where I attended the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center, with my Recon Team, that I was truly exposed to the world of climbing and mountaineering.

The rigorous training and challenges I faced during my military service instilled in me a sense of determination and resilience, which further fueled my desire to pursue physical feats that others might not typically attempt. After my diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, I was determined to continue pushing my physical limits and accomplish challenging endeavors.

Pictured: Tony Moro holding the American flag at height 5895 m / 19341 ft of Mount Kilimanjaro


I have since completed events such as the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington D.C. twice and the IronMan Steelhead triathlon in Michigan. I played two sports in college, opened a gym, and became a strength and conditioning specialist for US special operations forces. However, it was the allure of mountains and the thrill of conquering summits that truly captivated me. Each summit I climbed, including Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Fuji, and Mount Suribachi, left me hungry for more.

Additionally, I found peace in skiing and snowboarding, as the cold weather did not affect my MS symptoms as much. These became my favorite passions, allowing me to further immerse myself in the world of mountain sports. The sense of accomplishment, the breathtaking scenery, and the adrenaline rush of climbing to new heights drew me to serious mountain climbing and continue to drive my pursuit of climbing the Seven Summits.

I am eager to share my experiences and inspire others while I continue my expeditions. I am constantly pushing the boundaries of what I thought was possible, and I am determined to keep climbing, conquering mountains, and challenging myself despite the challenges of my MS.

3. Could you tell us about your experience with MS and how it has impacted your life and climbing?

As an athlete with multiple sclerosis, my journey has been filled with challenges and triumphs.

“When I was first diagnosed, it felt like my body was betraying me.”

Simple workouts on a rowing machine would leave me debilitated for the rest of the day. My first major symptom was optic neuritis, which caused me to almost lose my vision completely. I spent a week in the ICU, heavily drugged up, to regain my sight.

The initial medication I was put on for MS made my symptoms worse. My right leg became almost paralyzed, and even writing my name was a struggle. I fell out of shape and depression started to set in. But with the support of my amazing family and military buddies, I slowly accepted my diagnosis and decided to take on physically demanding challenges.

I immersed myself in learning about everything about kettlebell training, nutrition, and the body and ran the Marine Corps Marathon twice with my Recon teammates. Then I also played collegiate football with my little brother and competed in track and field. Later, I even completed the IronMan Steelhead in Michigan and opened my own gym, becoming a strength and conditioning specialist for pro athletes and special operations forces including Navy Seals and Air Force Special Tactics.

Despite the challenges, I found solace in skiing and snowboarding, as the cold weather didn’t affect my MS symptoms as much. I developed a passion for the mountains and would often hike to higher points for better views and longer terrain than the chair lifts would allow.

“The memories of breathtaking sunrises, snow-capped mountains, and fresh breezes became my motivation to keep pushing forward.”

My mindset, honed through my recon training, has been both a hurdle and a weapon. There are times when I don’t feel like training, but I rely on my grit, determination, and discipline to overcome the demons in my head. My “never quit” attitude has carried me through the toughest moments and allowed me to stand in places doctors never thought possible.

In summary, my experience with MS has been filled with ups and downs, but it has also given me a new perspective on life and climbing. It has taught me to adapt, push beyond my limits, and never give up. My journey has been challenging, but it has also been incredibly rewarding, and I’m determined to continue climbing and inspiring others along the way.

4. 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 grueling 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 favorite 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.

Pictured: Tony Moro during one of his climbs


Despite the hardships, the experience of climbing the 7 summits has been immensely rewarding. It has taught me the power of resilience, the importance of preparation and adaptation, and the limitless potential of the human spirit. I am grateful for the opportunity to challenge myself, to inspire others, and to make lasting memories in the mountains that fuel my motivation to continue this incredible journey.

5. 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.



6. 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 fibers 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.

7. How do you balance training for mountain climbing with managing your MS symptoms?

I am committed to achieving my goal of climbing the seven summits while effectively managing my MS symptoms. I utilize my extensive knowledge and experience to strike a balance between training for mountain climbing and managing my MS symptoms.

Managing MS symptoms requires a multi-faceted approach that involves careful consideration of both physical and neurological aspects.

Here are some strategies I employ:

  • Customized Training Plan: I work closely with my healthcare team, including my neurologist, and create a customized training plan that takes into account my specific MS symptoms, limitations, and goals. This plan includes exercises and training modalities that are effective for managing MS symptoms, such as balance and coordination exercises, flexibility training, and aerobic conditioning, while also addressing the specific physical demands of mountain climbing.
  • Periodized Training: I create a periodized training approach, which involves strategic planning and structuring my training to optimize performance while managing MS symptoms. This includes incorporating regular de-load weeks, reducing training volume or intensity during periods of increased MS symptoms, and monitoring my body’s response to training to avoid exacerbating MS symptoms.
  • Mind-Body Connection: I recognize the importance of the mind-body connection in managing MS symptoms. I incorporate mindfulness techniques, stress reduction strategies, and relaxation exercises into my training routine to manage stress, promote mental well-being, and minimize the impact of MS symptoms on my overall health and performance. I use a mindfulness meditation app on my phone daily called “Calm.”
  • Nutrition and Recovery: I prioritize proper nutrition and recovery to support my overall health and manage MS symptoms. I work rely on my education, network, and experience, to develop a nutrition plan that supports my training goals and addresses dietary considerations related to MS, generally siding with common sense and anti-inflammation. I also prioritize adequate sleep, hydration, and active recovery strategies, such as foam rolling and stretching, to optimize my recovery and minimize the risk of MS symptom flare-ups. 
  • Flexibility and Adaptability: I understand the unpredictable nature of MS symptoms and the need for flexibility and adaptability in my training plan. I am mindful of my body’s signals and make necessary adjustments to my training plan based on how I am feeling on a given day or week. This includes being open to modifying my training routine, adjusting the intensity or duration of my workouts, or taking rest days as needed to manage MS symptoms effectively.
  • Collaborative Approach: I work closely with my healthcare team, including my neurologist, to ensure that my training plan aligns with my overall MS management plan. This collaborative approach allows me to make informed decisions about my training while managing my MS symptoms effectively.

Balancing training for mountain climbing with managing MS symptoms requires a comprehensive and individualized approach. By customizing my training plan, following a periodized training approach, prioritizing the mind-body connection, focusing on nutrition and recovery, being flexible and adaptable, and adopting a collaborative approach with my healthcare team, I am able to pursue my climbing goals while effectively managing my MS symptoms to optimize my overall health and performance.

7. Have you noticed any benefits from incorporating eccentric training in your training program when it comes to mountain climbing?

As an athlete with multiple sclerosis, eccentric training has become an essential part of my training regimen for mountain climbing, especially after my Kilimanjaro descent. I had focused all my training on energy system development for an altitude of nearly 20,000’ and lower body strength endurance for the final phases of the ascent and was actually the very first person to summit early on the morning of September 10th, beating the few thousand other climbers for that day.

The descent was a much different story, however. I make jokes that I was probably the last person back to camp for the day. My legs just weren’t conditioned for that amount of downward climbing, especially after a long 7-hour ascent. Eccentric training has allowed me to build strength, power, and endurance in my muscles, while also improving joint stability and mobility which I’m already seeing results on during my training climbs around Japan.

Incorporating eccentric training into my climbing preparation has been instrumental in overcoming the physical challenges I face due to MS and enables me to pursue my passion for climbing with my friends and family on the weekends and ultimately my goal of the seven summits.

Pictured: Tony Moro during one of the climbs


8. How do you plan your training around the climbs? Do you stay on a consistent level, or do you plan for peaks and de-load weeks in your training?

I rely on my experience as a high-performance coach to professional athletes and special operations teams over the past 15 years to strategically plan my training around my climbs, utilizing a lot of wisdom I’ve picked up over the years from the conjugate system and triphasic methodology to optimize my performance.

The conjugate system, which involves the concurrent training of multiple physical qualities, allows me to address various aspects of mountain climbing, such as strength, power, endurance, and mobility, in a coordinated manner. This system enables me to structure my training around both my current needs and long-term goals, ensuring that I am well-prepared for the physical demands of climbing the seven summits.

Within my programming, I also incorporate aspects of triphasic methodology, which focuses on three phases of muscle action: eccentric, isometric, and concentric. This approach allows me to strategically plan my training to optimize performance, minimize the risk of injury, and enhance overall climbing efficiency.

In terms of training periodization, I follow a dynamic approach that includes both consistent training and planned peaks and de-load weeks. I typically start with a base training phase, where I focus on building general strength and conditioning to establish a solid foundation. During this phase, I incorporate a mix of strength training, cardiovascular conditioning, and mobility exercises to address the specific demands of mountain climbing.

As I progress closer to my climbing expeditions, I transition into a specialized training phase, where I incorporate more specific exercises and techniques that mimic the demands of climbing, such as rucking, grip strength training, and climbing-specific drills. This phase also includes planned peaks, where I intentionally increase the volume and intensity of my training to simulate the demands of climbing at higher altitudes and push my performance to new levels.

To ensure optimal recovery and prevent overtraining, I also incorporate de-load weeks into my training plan. These de-load weeks involve reducing the volume and intensity of my training to allow for proper recovery and adaptation. During de-load weeks, I focus on active recovery strategies such as foam rolling, stretching, and low-intensity activities like meditation and light hiking to promote recovery and prevent burnout.

Additionally, as an athlete with multiple sclerosis, I pay close attention to my body’s signals and adjust my training plan accordingly. I listen to my body’s feedback and make modifications as needed to accommodate the challenges posed by my condition, ensuring that my training remains safe and effective. At any given time, I can substitute in an “aerobic day” if my body just isn’t in the mood to optimally train. I can sub out a max effort day for long isometrics, contralateral aerobic circuits, or even just hop on a bike for an LSD (long slow distance) and each of these substitutes still plays a crucial role in my strategic preparation.

Overall, my training plan is carefully structured to incorporate the conjugate system and triphasic methodology, while also incorporating consistent training, planned peaks, and de-load weeks to optimize my performance, enhance recovery, and minimize the risk of injury. This approach allows me to continually progress towards my goal of climbing the seven summits while managing the unique challenges presented by my MS and optimizing my overall health and performance.

9. What has been your most challenging climb to date, and how did you overcome any obstacles you faced during it?

My journey of climbing the seven summits has been filled with challenges, both physical and mental. But if I had to pick one climb that stands out as the most challenging to date, it would have to be my second ascent of Mount Fuji, just four days after summiting Mount Kilimanjaro.

The logistical hurdles alone were immense. After spending 15 hours on an airplane flying back from Africa to Japan, I had minimal time for recovery. A friend picked me up at midnight, drove for two hours to his apartment, and managed to squeeze in only four hours of sleep on his couch before starting the climb.

“I was already physically and mentally exhausted, but I knew that giving up was not an option.”

During the climb, I faced extreme fatigue and pain. My body was still recovering from the grueling Kilimanjaro trek, and I was running on empty. I ran out of food and water on the way down, which added to the already challenging conditions. The climb took us well past sunset, and I fell pretty hard multiple times on the way down.

But I relied on the never-quit attitude that I had developed as a Recon Marine. I tapped into my grit, determination, and discipline to push through the obstacles. I drew strength from my past experiences of overcoming adversity, both in the military and in my personal life. 

Despite the physical and mental challenges, I kept moving forward, one step at a time. I focused on the small victories, the progress I was making, and the beautiful scenery around me. I reminded myself why I was doing this – to accomplish physical events that others might not even attempt and to challenge myself beyond my comfort zone.

At times, my mindset wasn’t where it should have been, and I struggled with fatigue and pain. But I never lost sight of my goal. I pushed through the discomfort, leaned on my training as a strength and conditioning specialist, and used my passion for skiing and snowboarding to keep me motivated.

In the end, I successfully summited Mount Fuji for the second time, despite the immense challenges. It was a humbling experience that taught me the power of resilience, perseverance, and mental toughness. It reinforced my belief that with the right mindset and unwavering determination, I can overcome any obstacle, no matter how daunting it may seem.

Looking back, that climb remains one of my most challenging to date. It tested my physical limits, mental fortitude, and resilience like never before. But it also reaffirmed my “never quit” attitude and fueled my desire to continue pushing the boundaries of what I thought was possible. It’s a reminder that even when the going gets tough, I have the inner strength to rise above and achieve my goals.


10. What advice would you give to someone with MS who wants to get into mountain climbing?

I understand the unique challenges that individuals with MS may face when pursuing such physically demanding endeavors. Here’s my advice for someone with MS who wants to get into mountain climbing.

As someone with MS, it’s crucial to prioritize your physical and mental health. Work closely with your healthcare team to ensure you are in the best possible condition to take on the physical challenges of mountain climbing. Follow your treatment plan, manage your symptoms, and communicate with your medical team about your intentions to climb mountains.

Mountain climbing requires physical strength and endurance. Focus on building your strength through targeted exercises and training that are safe and appropriate for your condition. Work with a qualified strength and conditioning specialist who understands the unique needs of individuals with MS to develop a training plan tailored to your abilities and limitations.

Thorough planning and preparation are essential for any mountain climbing expedition, especially for individuals with MS. Research the mountains you intend to climb, and understand the route, weather conditions, and potential risks. Make sure to have appropriate gear, clothing, and supplies for your specific needs, including any accommodations or equipment that may be necessary due to your MS symptoms.

Pay close attention to your body and listen to its signals. Be aware of how your MS symptoms may impact your physical abilities and adjust your climbing accordingly. Push yourself, but not beyond your limits, and take breaks when needed. It’s important to understand that MS is a variable condition, and your symptoms may fluctuate, so be prepared to adapt your plans accordingly.

Climbing can be physically and mentally challenging, and having a support system is crucial. Surround yourself with a supportive team of fellow climbers, friends, and family who understand your condition and can provide encouragement, motivation, and assistance when needed.

Climbing mountains with MS will present challenges, and there will be times when you feel like giving up. However, I rely on my grit, determination, and discipline, honed from my experience as a Recon Marine, to cultivate a “never quit” attitude. Embrace the challenges as opportunities to grow and stay resilient in the face of adversity.

Mountain climbing is not just about reaching the summit; it’s also about the journey itself. Embrace the beauty of the mountains, the sense of accomplishment, and the joy of pushing your limits. Take time to appreciate the moments, and remember to celebrate your achievements, big or small.

Mountain climbing with MS will present unique challenges, but with proper planning, preparation, and a resilient mindset, it is possible to pursue this thrilling adventure. Stay true to yourself, listen to your body, and never give up on your dreams. With determination and perseverance, you can achieve remarkable feats and inspire others along the way.

11. What do you hope to accomplish through your climbing and MS advocacy work in the future?

As an athlete with multiple sclerosis, my climbing expeditions and MS advocacy work are intertwined with a deep sense of purpose and determination. Looking ahead, I have several goals I hope to accomplish through my climbing and MS advocacy efforts.

First and foremost, I aim to inspire and motivate others facing challenges, especially those with multiple sclerosis or other disabilities, to pursue their passions and push beyond their perceived limitations. I want to be a beacon of hope, showing others that it is possible to overcome adversity and achieve extraordinary feats, regardless of physical limitations.

Through my climbing endeavors, I strive to continue making meaningful contributions to the climbing community and leave a positive impact. I aim to raise awareness about multiple sclerosis, advocating for greater understanding and support for individuals living with this condition. I also hope to promote inclusivity in the outdoor adventure world, encouraging more climbing and mountaineering for disabled people.

Furthermore, I am committed to continuing my MS advocacy work while pursuing my PhD in health and human performance, raising awareness for research demands, lifestyle changes, and support for those affected by multiple sclerosis. I want to be a voice for the MS community through my education and experience, spreading awareness, promoting education, and advocating for improved exercise strategies and mindset for MS patients. 

In addition to my climbing and advocacy efforts, I aspire to inspire others to pursue their passions and dreams, no matter their circumstances. I hope to use my story as a platform to motivate individuals to overcome obstacles, embrace challenges, and live their lives to the fullest. I’ve begun writing a book about my personal struggles and accomplishments with MS and hope to complete it this year.

Ultimately, my vision for the future is to continue climbing the Seven Summits, pushing my limits, and inspiring others along the way. I hope to leave a lasting legacy of resilience, determination, and positive impact through my climbing and MS advocacy work, motivating others to overcome challenges and achieve their own aspirations.



Anthony Moro

Mountain Climber & U.S. Marine Corps Veteran

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