Our Story

Founded By Legends

Synergy Climbing and Ninja is a collaboration between world-renowned rock climber Lisa Rands and American Ninja Warrior champion Isaac Caldiero. The original climbing gym in Chattanooga, the legendary Tennessee Bouldering Authority (TBA) founded in 2000, teamed up with these two athletes to help build the community and contribute to the project.

It was the rock climbing around Chattanooga that brought everyone together. On short visits to the area, Lisa Rands and her husband Wills Young developed a love for the incredible cliffs and boulders of the region and after a few visits over a few years they decided to purchase a house in one of Chattanooga’s “up-and-coming” neighborhoods.

Before long, friends were visiting too, and Isaac Caldiero was one of those friends. Isaac came to explore the bouldering—and to train at TBA between his appearances on the NBC show, American Ninja Warrior.

TBA owners Ben Sutton, a native of Chattanooga, and Stephanie Sutton (who gravitated to Chattanooga from Florida), were also enchanted by the allure of the bouldering and fast growing climbing community. TBA was the center of that community. As the neighborhood location of the tiny TBA gym underwent change, Ben and Steph were looking to move. Lisa Rands and her husband Wills Young dreamed of creating state-of-the-art climbing walls to better achieve their ambitions as climbing coaches, while Isaac Caldiero wanted to develop his own ninja zone to bring his love of ninja to the area. All of them, and all of Chattanooga, needed somewhere that serious climbers and athletes could congregate and that they could make their home-from-home!

Ultimately, it was Lisa Rands and husband Wills Young who provided the driving force, founding The Synergy Project, and bringing this amazing gym to life! Because great things are even better together.

Read more about Synergy founders.

“Thank you Lisa for, not just opening the door, but kicking it in. For women’s bouldering everywhere… We are eternally grateful.” — Alex Johnson, 2-times World Cup Winner.

“We create our own limitations and sometimes we need that one person to surpass what we thought was possible. Lisa was and is that person—she showed us that with devotion and perseverance we can achieve anything.” — Joe Kinder, professional climber.

Read more:

Climbing Business Journal

City Scope Magazine article about Lisa Rands and Wills Young

Climbing Magazine Story and Interview with Isaac Caldiero

Lisa Rands, Founder of Synergy climbing at her gym