/ Trying to get more serious

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Hezekiel - on 06 Oct 2012
I've been thinking about trying to get a bit more serious with my climbing and training. But because of job and family my climbing is basically restricted to two times bouldering during the week and 1-2 times lead climbing in weekends. I've been googling a lot about training and been thinking about doing maybe the 3-tier plan http://climbstrong.wordpress.com/training-plans/3-tier-plan/ with my lead. With the bouldering i've considered trying this http://climbstrong.wordpress.com/2011/10/04/the-simplest-climbing-training-plan. Then on rest of the days running and basic workouts at home.

But is there really point to do a plans like that if for example my lead is restricted to only 1 time per week?

My goals are basically to get myself to climb as hard as I can for the next outdoors season. I've been climbing now almost a year and I'm at the level of 5c/6a red-pointing right now. 5c actually seems way too easy sometimes and 6a impossible =)

So is this kind of a plan going to work, or should i do something else? I've been kinda frustrated to get the training going because I have no idea where to start =) Do you guys have any tips and advices?
Calder - on 06 Oct 2012
In reply to Hezekiel:

Ask yourself this - when you try a 6a why do you fail?

There may be more than one reason. But whatever it is, try to improve that aspect of your climbing. Here are a few of the more common things:

Couldn't work out the moves (technique)
Run out of steam (stamina)
Fingers uncurl (finger strength)
Can't pull through on really steep moves (power/strength)
Scared (fear of falling?)
...

This should give you some idea of what you need to work on most.
Hezekiel - on 06 Oct 2012
In reply to Calder: Well the problem for me is fitness and fear of falling. I'm already working on the fear aspect by taking intentional lead falls.

But all around fitness is my problem. Technique not so much as I thinks that's my biggest strenght at this point and something I've been working on a lot even though I haven't done any real training schedules until now.
Jon Stewart - on 06 Oct 2012
In reply to Hezekiel:
> my climbing is basically restricted to two times bouldering during the week and 1-2 times lead climbing in weekends.

I think that's loads of time to get good at climbing.

> But is there really point to do a plans like that if for example my lead is restricted to only 1 time per week?

I'm not that convinced that structured training makes a huge difference unless you're at the point where you're climbing with excellent technique, and always climbing until you fall off at the point of physical failure. No cocking up the moves, no getting scared and sitting on the rope. This is usually only true for people into redpointing - normally in the 7s and up.

If your goals are for trad climbing outside, I would say that during the winter, get strong by the 2 bouldering sessions and stay fit by the leading session, and you'll be in good shape when it comes to next season. My guess is that when that time comes, the things holding you back will be your trad skills, your physical ability won't be the ceiling that stops you climbing harder routes. Trad skills you can only get by climbing trad.

If I was you, I'd structure your climbing around what you enjoy, so going to the wall is really motivating in itself. If that's a structured plan, then go for it (I prefer indoor climbing to be part of a plan, just for motivation reasons really), if not, I don't think it'll make any real difference to your ability outside.

There seems to be a real emphasis on training at the moment, as soon as people get into climbing. I've only trained in a structured way for one winter, and sadly it made absolutely no difference to my trad climbing. The crap weather over the summer meant I didn't get out as much as I wanted to, and that had far more impact on my lead grade than all the 4x4s etc I did at the climbing wall.
Hezekiel - on 06 Oct 2012
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Thanks for the comments! I agree with you and I do not want to lose the fun in climbing. However for the last few months I donít think I have really even tried to evolve. I believe I need some kind of a schedule to have goals and push myself. Actually we already started the lead schedule with my climbing (and life) partner just to get through the 6A wall weíre both experiencing.

Trad is something for the future and maybe even next summer for both of us. However, I really want to get my climbing and sport lead climbing to a point where I feel safe to start trad. And on a side note an obvious confession, Iím not a UK climber, but a Northern European climber. Nevertheless, here too, trad is pretty much Ďthe thingí.

But back to the topic. The reason for me to have these kinds of schedules is to give myself goals and make myself push more. On the other hand, too hard schedules would probably kill my enthusiasm in the sport. Thatís why I chose something simple, and to be honest sometimes Iíll just go to the gym to have fun and forget the schedules.

But! I do believe I need some kind of a plan to get better. However I have absolutely no idea where to start and this is something Iíve just come up with =) Iíve read lots about training different aspects of climbing but donít really have an idea where to start if I just basically suck. More climbing of course! These training plans, for me, seem like something that make me climb more, build my physics, and push my limits eventually. The only thing I was wondering about is if the two schedules somehow interfere with each other. And if there was something that should be done differently.
Fat Tim - on 07 Oct 2012
Trad is something for the future and maybe even next summer for both of us. However, I really want to get my climbing and sport lead climbing to a point where I feel safe to start trad.

In reply to Hezekiel: It is always safe to start trad, as long as you know what your doing (ie doing it with someone who can tell you what to do and why) and you start of on easy routes to practice placing gear. The more gear you place the better. This also means the easier the route then better as you can stand around for ages making sure the gear is good!
Ciro - on 07 Oct 2012
In reply to Hezekiel:

> But! I do believe I need some kind of a plan to get better. However I have absolutely no idea where to start and this is something Iíve just come up with =) Iíve read lots about training different aspects of climbing but donít really have an idea where to start if I just basically suck. More climbing of course! These training plans, for me, seem like something that make me climb more, build my physics, and push my limits eventually.

Yep, having a plan is good but you need to work out what's important to focus on right now, and that's not (yet) getting strong.

Start with concentrating on technique. Obviously the quickest way to improve is to hire a coach to point out your flaws, but you can also do this on your own. Get Neil Gresham's masterclass part one DVD, and every time you're at the wall concentrate on one of the aspects that he highlights, such as silent, first-time foot placements. Having a regular partner as you do is perfect as you can watch out for each other's mistakes and point out when you fail to stick to the theme of the day.

It'll improve your climbing far quicker than getting strong will, and those improvements will be permanent. As you start redpointing into the 7s, it's time to start thinking more about training plans to supplement technique sessions IMO.




Hezekiel - on 08 Oct 2012
In reply to Ciro: I've been watching Neil's DVD over and over again for months now =) And I train technique every time I'm on the wall. I think for me climbing has always been about the style and technique. For me it's the best feeling to be able to climb something effortless and with good style. So in that sense I do agree that technique is important, however, IMHO I do believe it's not the thing holding me back right now.
54ms - on 08 Oct 2012
In reply to Hezekiel:

> Trad is something for the future and maybe even next summer for both of us. However, I really want to get my climbing and sport lead climbing to a point where I feel safe to start trad. And on a side note an obvious confession, Iím not a UK climber, but a Northern European climber. Nevertheless, here too, trad is pretty much Ďthe thingí.

The only way to do that is to go climb trad...it's not about how strong you are, most trad climbers don't push themselves physically in the way you would at the wall or a sport crag...it's mostly a head thing.

I climb with a few folk until recently have mostly been boulders...needless to say they are way stronger and have better technique then I do...yet I lead harder then they do.
Kieran_John - on 09 Oct 2012
In reply to Fat Tim: And definitely start easy on trad, even if you're hitting 6c/7a on indoor walls. I made this mistake when I started trad by jumping on something comparable, looking at a grade conversion chart. Anyway, regardless of what grade it was, I was shitting myself and my gear placement was appalling. If i'd have fallen I'd have been seriously hurt!

It put me off trad for quite some time.
mikekeswick - on 09 Oct 2012
In reply to Hezekiel: Buy these 2 books
Training for climbing -Eric J. HŲrst
The Rock Warriors Way - Arno Ilgner

These have all the info you will ever need. Both superb and highly informative. If you manage to fully incorporate evrything in both books you'll be up Indian Face by next summer....that's my plan anyway.....
RockSteady on 09 Oct 2012
In reply to Hezekiel:

In addition to the above resources, I think 'The Self-Coached Climber' offers a lot of information on technique as well as building sensible training plans for yourself.

Why don't you use one of your sessions in the week to push the limits of your hardest bouldering (with plenty of rest), and another one to do as many boulder problems as you can. Try sets of 20 problems at an easy grade without rest between them.

This will improve your strength and fitness, which I think you can improve at the same time at the level at which you're currently operating.

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