/ NEW ARTICLE: 5 things to improve your climbing

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5 things you can do at the climbing wall to improve your outdoor leading

The first in a series of occasional articles by top climbers aimed at giving concise and easily digestible advice on how we can all improve our climbing. This week Adrian Berry takes a look at how we can best use our time at the climbing wall to improve our outdoor leading ability.

Read the article here - http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=373
tobyfk - on 28 Mar 2007
In reply to Alan James - UKC:

Great stuff. Very useful. This Berry bloke sounds pretty insightful. Might he have written a training book I could buy?
John Lisle - on 28 Mar 2007
In reply to tobyfk:

;)









lcb
Michael Ryan - on 28 Mar 2007
In reply to tobyfk:
> (In reply to Alan James - UKC)
>
> Great stuff. Very useful. This Berry bloke sounds pretty insightful. Might he have written a training book I could buy?

The first in a series of occasional articles by top climbers aimed at giving concise and easily digestible advice on how we can all improve our climbing. This week Adrian Berry takes a look at how we can best use our time at the climbing wall to improve our outdoor leading ability.

You may also find this useful too Toby.

Dave MacLeod Answers Your Training Questions - Part One

http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=317

Although I don't think Dave has a book out yet....a video, but not a book.

We have another 5 things you do......up, next week as well, by a different author.

shark - on 28 Mar 2007
In reply to Alan James - UKC:

From 2. Prepare for your session: "There's no point trying to train at a climbing wall if you're feeling tired"

Couple of points:

If you are seeking to improve you have to aim to increase training load. One effective way is to increase the number of climbing days in the week. This will require training when you are physically tired whilst the body adapts to the higher volume.

As for "getting the most out of your indoor session you need to be feeling" energetic I think that is just wrong. How many times have you just wanted to slump in front ofthe tv but then dragging yourself down the wall you pull a good session out of the bag. Even if you still dont perform call it a night - the training effect will still be better than a night on the sofa.

Personally I have also found that running the day before does not necessarily impede climbing.

ICE on 28 Mar 2007
In reply to Alan James - UKC: don't like the word training, it sounds like work, prefer to get there and climb for fun, sounds far to serious this training malarky. mind you I have gone from climbing 6a to 4c in two years, so don't mind me, I'm down training.
Katie Weston on 28 Mar 2007
In reply to Alan James - UKC:
and surely this shoudl be in the walls and training forum..... after all it's about training.... at your local climbing wall!
Michael Ryan - on 28 Mar 2007
In reply to Simon Lee:
> (In reply to Alan James - UKC)
>
> From 2. Prepare for your session: "There's no point trying to train at a climbing wall if you're feeling tired"
>
> Couple of points:
>
> If you are seeking to improve you have to aim to increase training load. One effective way is to increase the number of climbing days in the week.

Isn't that also an effective way of increasing injury?

MacLeod seems to recommend a good nights sleep as an aid to recovery whilst increasing load in your training sessions (and good diet and low alochol intake).

Berry's points 4. Push yourself and 5. Use the wall as a tool, cover increasing load in a wall training session.

As does Dave MacLeod here:

http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=317
Serpico on 28 Mar 2007 - 82-70-37-198.dsl.in-addr.zen.co.uk
In reply to Simon Lee:
Also point 3 is not inline with current thinking on stretching.
See here for a better explanation:
http://www.athletikspesifik.com/climbing-flexibility.shtml
Norrie Muir - on 28 Mar 2007
In reply to tobyfk:
>
> Great stuff. Very useful. This Berry bloke sounds pretty insightful. Might he have written a training book I could buy?

If he could read a map, I would send him some grid refs of some good climbing venues, where he can put his training into practice. Mind you, he won't need a passport to come to Scotland for quality routes.
Paul B - on 28 Mar 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: I agree with simon, sometimes you just have to suck it up and get on with it even though your not feeling in the mood or your a little tired etc. This is backed up by simpson's articles - who is one person I believe understands training better than anyone and I do mean anyone.
If i had a penny for every time I've walked up to the board and sat there for a good half an hour wondering wtf I was doing, pulled my boots on and had an amazing session...
Darren Jackson - on 28 Mar 2007
In reply to Paul B:
>
>... This is backed up by simpson's articles - who is one person I believe understands training better than anyone and I do mean anyone.

With the honourable exception of Casey Jones, of course...
Shani - on 28 Mar 2007
In reply to Serpico:
> (In reply to Simon Lee)
> Also point 3 is not inline with current thinking on stretching.
> See here for a better explanation:
> http://www.athletikspesifik.com/climbing-flexibility.shtml


That article is pretty much what Thomas Kurz says of stretching.

Kurz is an eastern block stretching guru and he always recommends dynamic stretching before exercise and isometric stretches afterwards for the very reason your link explains.
flat eric - on 28 Mar 2007
In reply to Alan James - UKC:

"you will probably need to climb about ten routes indoors to give your body the same sort of workout as it would get on a long trad pitch where you have to hang around fiddling in wires and working out which way to go."

Ain't that the truth!
Paz - on 28 Mar 2007

How long has anyone else been reading training articles
for but hasn't got round to actually implementing much of it yet?

It feels like I've been reading this stuff since the dawn of time - about 7 years, and apart from climb indoors for a bit and warm up I've still never stuck with any of it.

I wish I put the same effort into training as I do into reading training articles.

My 5 things to improve your trad climbing:

1) Technique
2) Bouldering
3) Sport Climbing
4) Actually getting on the routes you want to do for a proper look at them.
5) A genuine death wish.
LakesWinter on 28 Mar 2007
In reply to Simon Lee:

I agree with you; when I gradually increased my frequency of training from 1 to 4 times a week my grades improved lots and I made real strength gains. However, I am half cut and cant finish this sentence
LakesWinter on 28 Mar 2007
In reply to MattG: I guess that wont improve my climbing much


















ah well
Reaver2k - on 28 Mar 2007
I just wish I could get some sort of base of real rock technique, indoor climbing fair enough, you can see all the holds your aiming for, how big they are, and the most positive edges in a split second.
Indroors I struggle up 6b-6b+ish, outdoor I struggle to lead Severe since I fell, not just my head either I dont think, I cant spot sequences or which holds to use anywhere near as quuickly, I end up just going for it and having to try and reverse, leaving me with less nerve than I started with.

For me I just need to learn some technique, but ofcourse its not as simple as that, only being capable of bouldering 5a-5c V0/v1.
gingerkate - on 28 Mar 2007
In reply to Reaver2k:

> Indroors I struggle up 6b-6b+ish, outdoor I struggle to lead Severe

I know the feeling ... indoors I battle up 6c on the lead, outdoors I managed a Diff today with much trembling and terror :oS

With me it's not a fall, it's just lack of outside experience ... and I don't think anything will get me braver and more competent except more climbing outside.

Katie Weston on 28 Mar 2007
In reply to gingerkate:
Even then it might not work. I've been climbing outside since I could walk, and was climbing rock routes long before I got on plastic. However outside I'm pretty rubbish, inside I'm not bad. I'm coming to the conclusion that some people just don't have the head for leading outdoors, and I think I'm one of them, and no matter what I do when trad leading fear will be the over riding emotion. Seconding is much more fun, people who have never experienced this can't understand and tell me I'm just being daft and that I'm capable of leading things far harder than I actually attempt, physically and technically I might be, mentally no way.
I am looking forwad to a weeks bolt clipping in Sardinia though, and hoping my brain doesn't decide to freeze!
ads.ukclimbing.com
dominic_s on 28 Mar 2007
In reply to gingerkate:
> (In reply to Reaver2k)
>
> With me it's not a fall, it's just lack of outside experience ... and I don't think anything will get me braver and more competent except more climbing outside.

afraid that's the only way to get better.... it's also the best fun though!

who was it that said "the best training for climbing is climbing"? jibé tribout? whoever it was.... was spot on.
Reaver2k - on 28 Mar 2007
In reply to dominic_s:

Need to get better at placing gear really, I find plenty of places to put some, and I trust the stength of the actual metal, but the fact that I am not entirely sure that I have placed it correcvtly is always nagging in my ear.

Sequences will come if I get to boulder a little more as it warms. Maybe get a few problems to work without just diving for the holds as usual.
gingerkate - on 28 Mar 2007
In reply to Katie Weston:
I've only climbed on bolts outside once so far, and I was still scared, but not as scared. I think partly it's because you can break the fear down into bits... ie each time you clip, you know that you're safe for the moment. Whereas with gear I just don't really trust any of it, so the fear is steady all the way.

I have not patience with people who try to tell me I'm being daft etc btw. I think it's quite extraordinary arrogance on their part. Until this year, I never really wanted to lead anyway. I'm not sure what's changed really, but I think it might be because I'm climbing with another woman. Not really sure why that should make a difference, but it seems to. Also perhaps it has a bit to do with my children getting older.

Anyway, I'm quite chuffed with myself, because it may only have been a Diff but that's my first trad lead for many years. I'm hoping that if I get out once a week, even if it's a short trip and I only get one route in, I'll get more competent :o)
TWINKLETOES - on 28 Mar 2007
In reply to Alan James - UKC: No1. Spend less time on UKC, and get out there and do it :o)
gingerkate - on 28 Mar 2007
In reply to dominic_s:

It's always been much easier for me to nip to the wall and get a few routes in than to get a session of any length in outside before duty calls ... I'm hoping that's changing now and I can get out regularly on real rock :-D
gingerkate - on 28 Mar 2007
In reply to TWINKLETOES:
Yeah, but you can simultaneously post on UKC, cook tea, mind three kids and edit a manuscript ... none of these are compatible with being half way up Low Man unfortunately :o)
Paz - on 28 Mar 2007
In reply to :

With trad, fear's the whole point. Unless you're on something exceptionally safe where it's a sport route on bomber gear with climbing as hard as is possible to find for the trad grade, then the route is a head route.

There's also a thing about borrible thrurtchy gritstone VSs holding you back, because they're all short so have to be battles to get the grade in such a short space of time. There are friendly routes out there that are a bit longer and are all on bomber gear that can be a bit better for you, even though they're HVS.

5 things to improve your Gritstone climbing:

1) Limestone
2) Good conditions
3) Good rock boots
4) Knowing how to Jam
5) Perseverance

Anyway I wa quite impressed that Adrain resisted the temptation to bang on about soft touch coaching courses and spoke from his own experience.
gingerkate - on 28 Mar 2007
In reply to Paz:

Now I've actually led something ... and something nice and handy, too ... I was wondering if maybe I should go back, and lead it lots. Until I could happily solo it. And then solo it lots. So that I just get used to being on rock and feeling ok? Because on plastic, I feel ok. I know what moves I can definitely do, and which I might fall off on. I know where I am. On rock, I just feel so totally edgy and nervous. I don't know what I can do. I just haven't got enough familiarity with the feel of grit. I don't know when I might slip. I don't know my capabilities. It's so unknown. I had an idea that maybe I should try climbing this route until it feels friendly, the way a nice easy plastic route feels friendly.
Michael Ryan - on 28 Mar 2007
In reply to Paz:
> (In reply to )
>
> With trad, fear's the whole point.

What?

Explain yourself?

Paz - on 28 Mar 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Fear's the only thing that sets it apart from sport climbing.

In reply to gingerkate:

You'll just get good at climbing that route. If you want gritstone rock mileage I'd go bouldering.
Glyn Jones - on 28 Mar 2007
In reply to Paz:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)
>
> Fear's the only thing that sets it apart from sport climbing.

not so - I feel no different trad or sport
Michael Ryan - on 28 Mar 2007
In reply to Paz:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)
>
> Fear's the only thing that sets it apart from sport climbing.

Now if you had said that part of climbing is about managing fear, reducing it, being master of it, controlling it, getting used to it, performing whilst being in scary situations maybe, you would have had a point, but the above comparison doesn't mean much.
gingerkate - on 28 Mar 2007
In reply to Paz:

You're probably right, but I get too scared bouldering and just can't get up anything. I know that isn't very sensible. But what mainly scares me isn't distance from the ground, it's hardness of the moves.
Paz - on 28 Mar 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

There's really no need to feel fear when sport climbing, even though you might do.

In reply to Glyn Jones:

I can't believe you wouldn't feel a lot different climbing on bolts to how you would when you're soloing or running it out.

Are you guys just getting worked up about soemhtign I think is obviosu and am not eally botherd about, so havet' explained it? There's apparent or phantom fear that you get on bolts and bomber rock 10s and threads every 3 metres. And then there's a justified fear if you know full well that you're going to die if you fall off.
gingerkate - on 28 Mar 2007
In reply to Paz:
What if you don't think you'll die, but do think you'll get hurt? Isn't such fear justified?
Glyn Jones - on 28 Mar 2007
In reply to Paz:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)

>
> In reply to Glyn Jones:
>
> I can't believe you wouldn't feel a lot different climbing on bolts to how you would when you're soloing or running it out.

No, I'm old school - sorry.
Glyn Jones - on 28 Mar 2007
In reply to Paz: if it would help Norrie refuses to climb with me but after seeing me climb my girlfriend is willing to be my climbing partner.
Paz - on 28 Mar 2007
In reply to gingerkate:

Yeah but less so. Sliding scale innit. It's all linked to how likely you think it is that you'll fall off.

Whether it's productive or not to dwell on it is another question to whether it's justified.

In reply to Glyn Jones:

So are you fearless, or scared of everything then?

My point about trad being scary was farily simple. How is it possible for an E1 with easier climbing than F6a/6a+ or whatever the maximum french grade is (ignoring idiosyncratic bouldery F6b-6b+ -you try and grade them then- examples) to still get E1. It's either got to have a bold or committing or runout or loose bit on it, or something else adjectival that I haven't thought of, fiddly gear or crap pegs. All of these things potentially manifest themselves as fear, or at least as challenges in your head or to your technical repertoire, but no matter how much of a gear genius or loose rock style god you are I think they boil down to the fear.

There is a side issue about how do you give a sport grade to something that really does just boil down to a single move - an E4 moment say of a bold 6a move or a death 5c chop one- ,
and the so called technically-difficult-route, but I think these slabby delicate things are usually bold anyway and should get higher sport grades in any case.
Glyn Jones - on 28 Mar 2007
In reply to Paz:
> (In reply to gingerkate)
> In reply to Glyn Jones:
>
> So are you fearless, or scared of everything then?
>

Former rather than latter.

for me, I grew up on trad but loved slate so was climbing routes with equivalent grades whether bolt or not so don't see a difference - yes, falling on trad is more dangerous but with my airtime I'm not worried.

I am worried how I'm seen to my climbing partners though.

an addendum - if the protection fails you won't actually care anyway!
Glyn Jones - on 28 Mar 2007
> an addendum - if the protection fails you won't actually care anyway!

I believe the reason why Norrie won't climb with me!
ads.ukclimbing.com
Paz - on 28 Mar 2007
In reply to Glyn Jones:

It's hitting things that worries me. If you thought your protection was going to fail and you might have to test it then you either should probably have taken more care placing it in the first place or the route demands that you take care not to fall off.

You sound very strong on head routes, but I'm guessing you've never found your physical limit let alone applied it to trad routes.
Glyn Jones - on 28 Mar 2007
In reply to Paz:
> (In reply to Glyn Jones)
>
> It's hitting things that worries me.

I took time to leanr this by throwning myself off the top of routes

> If you thought your protection was going to fail and you might have to test it then you either should probably have taken more care placing it in the first place or the route demands that you take care not to fall off.

Placement for me meant it wouldn't fail
>
> You sound very strong on head routes, but I'm guessing you've never found your physical limit let alone applied it to trad routes.

Knowning how often I fell off I'd disagree.
Glyn Jones - on 28 Mar 2007
In reply to Paz:
> (In reply to Glyn Jones) You sound very strong on head routes

Ask Rosie A
Norrie Muir - on 28 Mar 2007
In reply to Glyn Jones:
>
> I am worried how I'm seen to my climbing partners though.

If I took up serious bouldering, I would use you as a crash mat. I could even market you as a walking FUD.
Paz - on 28 Mar 2007
In reply to Glyn Jones:
If you're imlying that you're falling off a lot then I'd conclude that I'm right.

You're not going to solo a (non highballable) route that you can only do one go in ten, or at least you're going to be scared by the thought of it.
Glyn Jones - on 28 Mar 2007
In reply to Norrie Muir:
> (In reply to Glyn Jones)
> [...]
>
> If I took up serious bouldering, I would use you as a crash mat. I could even market you as a walking FUD.

No offence Norrie but I do not want your butt cheeks on my face when you fell off your V12
Glyn Jones - on 28 Mar 2007
In reply to Paz:
> (In reply to Glyn Jones)
> If you're imlying that you're falling off a lot then I'd conclude that I'm right.

We're talking about my past. Bouldering was not a high so ropes were a necessity
>
> You're not going to solo a (non highballable) route that you can only do one go in ten, or at least you're going to be scared by the thought of it.

If I see a route I like I will do. My solo grades were good in the 90's.

Paz - on 28 Mar 2007
In reply to Glyn Jones:

They no doubt were, good for you. What I'm saying is if I gave you a 90% chance of death then you'd have to be taking my 5th or 4th point of advice above.
Glyn Jones - on 28 Mar 2007
In reply to Paz:

4) Knowing how to Jam
5) Perseverance

90% chance of death? Doubt either of these would help - I've never, nor would, put myself in this position.
Arjen - on 28 Mar 2007
Is it really that bad if you don't want to fall off?
I've never fallen off while leading, nor with trad, sport or indoors - and am quite happy to keep it that way to be honest.

Indoors I like to train harder routes on toprope, and lead stuff within my ability - outdoors I couldn't really be bothered by toprope, seconded up to HVS, but never led anything harder than HS (mostly severes and Vdiffs), and enjoyed that really.

One thing I miss in the article is speed - is it important to learn how to climb fast? I'm always bloody slow, thinking about moves and carefully looking for holds... I do get comments sometimes.
Glyn Jones - on 28 Mar 2007
In reply to Arjen:
>
> One thing I miss in the article is speed - is it important to learn how to climb fast?

Disagree

> I'm always bloody slow, thinking about moves and carefully looking for holds... I do get comments sometimes.

what you say is perfect - plan your route - speed comes from experience of reading routes.
Arjen - on 28 Mar 2007
In reply to Glyn Jones:

But even indoors? I just hate to 'jump' for holds, and rather think, chalk my hands another time, and then try it...
Here they say that climbing slow is wasting energy, if you hang too long on a steep wall, you're wasting energy - but they're all sport climbers here (I live in Germany).

I can still remember climbing Bowfell Butress when it was chucking it down, the first pitch (leading) took me absolutely AGES, even though it was only a diff. Glad I made it though.
Paz - on 28 Mar 2007
In reply to Glyn Jones:

I meant my previous 5) Deathwish

In reply to Arjen: Climbing stuff that's hard for you physically's all about
speed because it's too hard to dally but trad climbing isn't all about climbing hard physically
Glyn Jones - on 28 Mar 2007
In reply to Arjen: Taking time shows methodical thinking rather than rash impulse.

The major time should be on the ground planning your hand/foot placement.

A powerful climber doesn't interest their time with beating the clock.

Congrats on the climb btw.
Glyn Jones - on 28 Mar 2007
In reply to Paz:
> (In reply to Glyn Jones)
>
> I meant my previous

4) Actually getting on the routes you want to do for a proper look at them.
5) A genuine death wish.

Bollocks - I don't have a reply - you are right.
Glyn Jones - on 28 Mar 2007
In reply to Paz: My belief when I was young was all routes are easy
Paz - on 28 Mar 2007
In reply to Glyn Jones:

Someone else climbed them so they're not going to be impossible

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