/ NEW ARTICLE: Training - Why Bother? by Simon Lee

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"It is common practice in training articles to establish the author's credentials from the outset. Not wishing to challenge tradition I can confidently state that as there is no start to my talents and qualifications as a coach, scientist and physiologist it follows that there can be no end to them either. In addition I have never knowingly climbed a cutting edge route and furthermore have always struggled to put the theory of training into practice mainly because I lack discipline and hate it so much." Simon Lee 2008

With an intro like that it's impossible to avoid wanting to Find Out More: http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=856
tobyfk - on 27 May 2008
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

Great article, Simon. Impressed also by the inferred revelation that you climb just one grade below Malcolm Smith!

rich on 27 May 2008 - host86-137-91-157.range86-137.btcentralplus.com
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC: excellent :)
Morgan Woods - on 27 May 2008
In reply to tobyfk:

interesting i used to be "mildly disturbed", but now i'm "deeply disturbed"!


OT - anyone know the name of the Verdon route on the cover of Rock Warrier's Way?
tobyfk - on 27 May 2008
In reply to Morgan Woods:

> OT - anyone know the name of the Verdon route on the cover of Rock Warrier's Way?

No but good question. Suspect it isn't quite as steep as the photo makes it look. Presumably also that's the Euro-version ... I notice the US edition's front cover has (or had?) more manly trad/ crack action: http://tinyurl.com/45g7vp

Wibble Wibble - on 27 May 2008
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

A very good article, but it seems to grind to a halt a bit. More planned? I'm asking myself this very question as the only time I conciously train, I actually get worse on real rock. Just running lots and loosing some weight might actually be the most effective thing.

john arran - on 27 May 2008
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

An excellent article - but then I would say that, having never been inspired to work at 1-2-3 on the campus board never mind 1-5-9!

The only point I would question is that "dedicated training is more useful for sport climbers than trad climbers". I'd argue that the training is just as useful, but that for trad it would generally be much less strength-focussed and involve more head/technique improvement (yes, it's possible to train those things too!)
IanJackson on 27 May 2008
Good article Simon thanks. Was hoping for some wise/magic words to get me out training again.
Michael Ryan - on 27 May 2008
In reply to john arran:
> (In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC)


> I'd argue that the training is just as useful, but that for trad it would generally be much less strength-focussed and involve more head/technique improvement (yes, it's possible to train those things too!)

Article John?



54ms - on 27 May 2008
In reply to john arran:

The head is the most important part of trad climbing, but I think being stronger gives you more confidence when pushing your grade and the holds seem smaller.
shark - on 28 May 2008
In reply to john arran> (In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC)

> The only point I would question is that "dedicated training is more useful for sport climbers than trad climbers". I'd argue that the training is just as useful, but that for trad it would generally be much less strength-focussed and involve more head/technique improvement (yes, it's possible to train those things too!)

Hi John, The focus was on phyysical training which is what I think of as training anyway. I would aslo be intersted to see how you might train raising confidence or reducing panic or trusting your gear. I found these things tended to come with just doing a lot of trad climbing but if there any shortcuts that dont inviolve mystic eastern teachings I am all ears. Best, Simon
shark - on 28 May 2008
In reply to Morgan Woods:
> OT - anyone know the name of the Verdon route on the cover of Rock Warrier's Way?


I am quite disturbed that this book has been associated with the article as I would never read it on nomemenological grounds, irrespective of the content.

I consider myself more of a rock worrier

tobyfk - on 28 May 2008
In reply to Simon Lee:

> I am quite disturbed that this book has been associated with the article as I would never read it on nomemenological grounds

Nice word, though nomonological presumably? WTF does it mean? A vigorous googling leaves me none the wiser ...


John2 - on 28 May 2008
In reply to tobyfk: The word is nomenclatural, actually. Nomenological is a hideous concatenation of Latin and Greek roots, like television.
teddy - on 28 May 2008
Good article, rings true in many places. however, I would take issue with:

"improvement doesn't even mean you will have a more enjoyable time with your climbing....experiencing the challenge on a harder route won't, of itself, be more enjoyable"

If this were true then we would all be sat on our arses watching Holby City of an evening instead of getting down the wall safe in the knowledge that pushing ourselves to our limits on 4+'s would result in as great a buzz as busting a gut on an 8b. Clearly it is more enjoyable to climb 8b at one's limit than 4+ (or even 6b+ dare I say!) otherwise why would anybody bother to train?
The Crow on 01 Jun 2008
In reply to Simon Lee:
> I am quite disturbed that this book has been associated with the article as I would never read it on nomemenological grounds, irrespective of the content.

Absolutely.
Mark Stevenson - on 01 Jun 2008
In reply to teddy:
> Good article, rings true in many places. however, I would take issue with:
>
> "improvement doesn't even mean you will have a more enjoyable time with your climbing....experiencing the challenge on a harder route won't, of itself, be more enjoyable"
>
> If this were true then we would all be sat on our arses watching Holby City of an evening instead of getting down the wall safe in the knowledge that pushing ourselves to our limits on 4+'s would result in as great a buzz as busting a gut on an 8b. Clearly it is more enjoyable to climb 8b at one's limit than 4+ (or even 6b+ dare I say!) otherwise why would anybody bother to train?

At the risk of being controversial, proper sport climbing really kicks in at 7a+/7b - i.e. if that is your limit, EVERYTHING needs to be right for you to get up the route. From there upwards the experience of red-pointing say your first 7c or your first 8c is pretty much identical. In both cases the achievement may be tempered by the 'need' to then progress to the next grade wether that is 7c+ or 8c+. I think that was the point that Simon was trying to make,

You are perfectly correct in that there is a distinct change in the nature of the climbing experience as you move through the grades. In the lowest grades, no-one is every climbing at their physical limit - at their mental limit or at the limit of there confidence or technique perhaps. However at the higher grades, the differences in experience decrease markedly as you move through the grade 7s. Unfortunately this is one of these things that you can only see once you have moved considerably through the grades. Therefore to many it is impossible to understand my previous comments and therefore dismiss them as being elitist. However, as someone who meets Simon's criteria as an 'improver' the truth of his statement is very much apparent to me.
galpinos - on 02 Jun 2008
In reply to Mark Stevenson:
> (In reply to teddy)
> [...]
>
> At the risk of being controversial, proper sport climbing really kicks in at 7a+/7b

Can you make that 7a? I've not managed a 7a+/b yet. :(
shark - on 02 Jun 2008
In reply to tobyfk:

Nomenology (the study of given names) is what I meant though I suppose a book has a title rather than a name.

I think it is fair to judge a book by its title if not its name as it is more under the control of the author - having said that Jack did change the title of the article - for the better I might add.
John2 - on 02 Jun 2008
In reply to Simon Lee: Simon, if you put "nomenology" into dictionary.com it returns 0 hits. The word is nomenclature.
ads.ukclimbing.com
shark - on 02 Jun 2008
In reply to teddy: Clearly it is more enjoyable to climb 8b at one's limit than 4+ (or even 6b+ dare I say!) otherwise why would anybody bother to train?

Hi teddy (kingsnorth?)

That is my point. If 4+ is your limit then there is no difference in challenge by definition. If there is a difference in enjoyment then that enjoyment is centred in something other than relative challenge - such as absolute achievement (which is something that can only be made in comparison to your peers/species).

shark - on 02 Jun 2008
In reply to John2:

Language lives and breathes - words get made up - dont be hidebound. If it catches on it will appear in a dictionary eventually.
John2 - on 02 Jun 2008
In reply to Simon Lee: jejdid kjdkd nxjsi.
shark - on 02 Jun 2008
In reply to John2:

I have looked up nomenclature - that is just the system of naming things. Nomenology refers to the study of attributes shared by for example people called John or Toby ie you become the type of person you are named. A nonsense science - or is it ? One for the chat room
tobyfk - on 02 Jun 2008
In reply to Simon Lee:
> (In reply to John2)
>
> I have looked up nomenclature - that is just the system of naming things. Nomenology refers to the study of attributes shared by

However nomemenological was your original word ...!

Agreed though that any association with rock warrior is undesirable.

Serpico on 02 Jun 2008 - 78.148.181.74 whois?
In reply to tobyfk:
I took it to be a contraction of: no meme, no logic; a synergy of Dawkin's theory for the evolution of cultural imitation, and Vulcan logic.
Monk - on 02 Jun 2008
In reply to Mark Stevenson:
>
> At the risk of being controversial, proper sport climbing really kicks in at 7a+/7b - i.e. if that is your limit, EVERYTHING needs to be right for you to get up the route.

Okay, I'll bite. I agree that this is the case and climbing in the 7s requires everything to be right, but I think it is equally the case at 6b+. Technique and precision are required, but the holds are bigger. That is purely a strenght thing. Someone more talented than you may consider that proper sport climbing actually begins at 8a.


> In the lowest grades, no-one is every climbing at their physical limit -

This is complete bollox. I have seen people come of 5s because they simply haven't got the strength or stamina to stay on. That appears to be their physical limit at that time. With more training they will obviously get better.
shark - on 02 Jun 2008
In reply to Serpico: I took it to be a contraction of: no meme, no logic; a synergy of Dawkin's theory for the evolution of cultural imitation, and Vulcan logic


Ooooh I am liking the sound of that - more good than bad comes from typos (I was struggling with a foreign keyboard) - off to look up meme now..
Mark Stevenson - on 02 Jun 2008
In reply to Monk:
Climbing at your limit and not being able to climb because you are a beginner and haven't got a clue how to climb properly are subtly different things.

The sensations of achievement you get whilst attempting to mastering a new skill are very different from the kinesthetic and mental thrills from proficient execution of it. That is true of almost all sports but in no way denigrates the effort needed to attain the level of unconscious competence in any discipline. [You have four levels of progression in most disciplines - unconscious incompetence, conscious incompetence, conscious competence and unconscious competence.]

The comparison is only valid if you are comparing like with like - i.e. climbers who are unconsciously competent in their general approach to climbing. If they are not yet at that stage then 'physical training' in the context of this thread is not applicable as are the associated comments that we are debating. I certainly don't know any such climbers who fall off 5s. However, I certainly know many such climbers in less than great states of physical health onsighting in the mid-6s.

I'm more than happy to discuss 'where proper sport climbing' starts - you are correct about the fact the grades I quote are rather arbitrary and it will vary person to person [IIRC Steve McClure's first redpoint was 8b]. I was talking primarily about redpoint grades and I think your suggestion of 6b+ for some people is a rather low bar for any motivated individual of average fitness, even one who has only climbed perhaps once a week indoors for a year. For a regular sport climber with motivation, who is neither unwell/injured nor over-weight, working 7a is very, very achievable. What I will give you is that surprisingly few UK climbers seem to fully embrace 'sport climbing' early in their climbing careers which greatly distorts perception of what is or is not easily achievable - perhaps I underestimate the difficulty of redpointing 7a+/7b but I certainly known that many people over estimate the difficulty.
teddy - on 02 Jun 2008
In reply to Simon Lee:

Hi Simon, yes I am Ted, 'outed' at last! Gulp, my thin veil of anonymity finally hit the rocks.

Great article if I might say so again. Having experienced climbing from complete beginner to sport climbing enthusiast, I would say that I tend to enjoy it even more these days as I kind of know what I'm doing more in terms of technique. I am stopped by sheer physical impossibility rather than just not knowing what the hell to do in any given situation. That is all I would say - I agree with Mark stevenson on a lot of points. I guess you could have the best technique and experience in the world and still only climb 5's, its all relative!!
Cheers
Monk - on 03 Jun 2008
In reply to Mark Stevenson:

Interesting. I think I understand what you are saying, but I also think that you are simply choosing the grades that mark the apex of your current ability (assuming your very impressive and comprehensive logbook is accurate). I have to admit that I don't redpoint much outdoors, if at all because it is a long way to the crag for me and I would rather onsight at my limit than work something harder, however i do redpoint indoors. That is me simply optimising my time. I do agree with you that 7a is very achievable for a regular and dedicated climber. If you go to Europe people walk up 7as all the time. Ignoring indoors, I can onsight 7a and am pretty certain that redpointing 7b would in fact be fairly easy as i have come within a whisker of onsighting several. But I don't believe that I am at the pinnacle of achievement with regards either technique or strength. Therefore my limit is dictated by my physical status AND my technical ability, in just the same way as a climber who has been climbing a year has a range of techniques and a level of strength that means that 6c is their redpoint limit - I do concede your point about total beginners though.

I guess I agree with what you are saying really, just not the exclusivity of grades. The thing that drives me to chase sport grades is the very fact that you mention of the perfect exectution of skill and strength. It is a massive buzz and incredibly satisfying. But once you have mastered one level, you want to find it again so you push to the next level. I just think that this is attainable at 6b as much as 7b or 8b. It is a personal thing rather than an absolute. Maybe you started climbing hard straight away, but I clearly remember my first 6a, 6b etc, and each one felt the same as my first 7a.

When you are at your own personal limit it will always feel that EVERYTHING has to be right in order to get up something in exactly the same way it is for you on your 7b.
shark - on 03 Jun 2008
In reply to teddy: my thin veil of anonymity finally hit the rocks

Hi Ted

Go easy - on those mixed metaphors.

I have to say I almost 100% disagree with Mark and 100% agree with Monk.

Personally I got the same quantative buzz reaching the belay of Original Route at High Tor as redpointing Zoolook 10 years later both in their own way representing my perceived limit at the time and equally suberb routes in their own right.
Serpico on 03 Jun 2008 - host-84-13-88-219.opaltelecom.net.88.13.84.in-addr.arpa
In reply to teddy:
So you're teddy on here, Kingy on UKB, you wouldn't be Northy on RC.com by any chance?
Even Simon has a more anonymous user name than you.
tommyzero - on 03 Jun 2008
In reply to Simon Lee:

Is there not something to be said that when you find your initial limit as a beginner (limit at the time) that there can be a perception that you can do better?

E.G I stuck at leading F5+ and (top roping Southern Sandstone) 5b for some time. Despite not being able to progress I knew that I could. I have lead F6b+ and top roped 5c now and know that I will progress from there. The interesting point to me is when I will run out of the perception that I could climb harder and if I would be wrong about that. That is when the real training will kick in.

I imagine a montage scene from Rocky and equate my last statement to Rocky 3 where he fights the Russian. If you perceive that you could do it then surely you are conditioning yourself rather than training? In a purest (slightly tongue in cheek) sense?

Or something.....?

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