/ NEW ARTICLE: Training to Become a Better Climber - Part 5

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UKC Articles - on 13 Apr 2012
A 'wee kid' in action, here strong Leo puts in the effort on the boulders. , 4 kbThis is the fifth of a series of training articles and is aimed at climbers who are operating in the mid to high grades and need some specific advice to break through their plateau.

With a specific training plan, technique tips and detailed coaching, this article series has all you need to know to become a better climber.

Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=4565

hexcentric - on 13 Apr 2012
In reply to UKC Articles:

Rumour has it drinking red wine is a new training technique. Do you have any advice on this..?
mr_nsglover - on 13 Apr 2012
In reply to hexcentric: I heard that drinking red wine and being really ill on it was the best pre-climb prep.

Note to the Ed, Robz as ticked 8c now, though I think this was before the alcoholism.
Duncan Campbell - on 14 Apr 2012
In reply to UKC Articles: Did an article outlining the step up from E3-4, up to 7a not happen? Despite having climbed a few E4s and 7as, I am far from solid at either grade... Or should I be reading this article and utilising it's ideas?

Dunc
Furanco C - on 14 Apr 2012
In reply to Duncan Campbell: Just climb harder and then this one will apply Dunc.

Lots of common sense mixed with a few ideas I hadn't thought of. Cheers UKC.
DrGav - on 15 Apr 2012
In reply to UKC Articles:

Liked the goal setting section in particular as the starting grades are similar to mine.

Especially the boulder grade targets - so v7 (from v5) by july, which seems possible although for sure a stretch.

But then v9 could take another 5 years with v11 being the dream alongside f8c! I don't disagree , but more mouth agape at the realisation that beyond v7 is very hard going.

To be honest I have never even thought beyond v7 and f7c which is why I like the goals part. Made me think.

Cheers
Alun - on 17 Apr 2012
In reply to UKC Articles:
Nice article and very detailed. Thanks.

The one thing that I don't think is covered is the long-term aspect of form and fitness. The problem with training at this level is that as you approach the higher grades, often even just maintaining your existing fitness can be time-consuming.

So I think it's worth mentioning the the concept of the "come-back". For most people, 'real-life' will get in the way at some point, which makes a serious dent into fitness and thus progression towards goals. The trick is to not get demotivated at the corresponding loss of fitness, because I find that getting back to your previous level is usually much quicker and easier than breaking new ground.
Robert Durran - on 17 Apr 2012
In reply to UKC Articles:

Robbie, I hoped to hear your take on the usefulness of powerscreaming (If I have learnt one thing from you, it is how to bring the whole of Ratho to a halt with blood-curdling yells). Is this a technique you would recommend and, if so, above what grade is it acceptable and not just embarrassing?
Gerrard on 19 Apr 2012
In reply to UKC Articles: Hi guys - just found these articles, some pretty interesting ideas. Hoping someone could clear something up for me though. What exactly are 3x3s? I've read the description in Part 3 and get the general idea but having trouble fitting it in to the training schedules. For example, in the Part 1 training program session 1 (power/endurance - 3x3s) there are 8 - 10 climbs per session. Are you supposed to do each climb 3 times, or should you do the first 3 climbs in a row as 1 set? Thanks in advance.
Jon Stewart - on 19 Apr 2012
In reply to UKC Articles:

Interesting that while the article says "applies at E4+" there's no mention of trad goals in the whole thing. I don't doubt for a second that there are loads of trad routes that training like this will help - but (and note I'm operating at a slightly lower level) IME they're more the exception than the rule.

Put it this way, I trained all winter indoors, and made measurable progress in the wall in both aerobic fitness and PE, and over the winter I climbed my hardest boulder problems (and without sieging). But going back to doing trad, I reckon I'm worse than in the autumn (I'm climbing mainly on grit and I basically think that it's an ungradable esoteric little corner of the sport when viewed in the context of progression and training). Maybe the training will help when I'm back to pulling on holds on limestone and sea cliffs?

Do authors sometimes gloss over the fact that while structured training may apply very effectively to sport and bouldering, you can do as much training as you like and still be sh!t at trad?
d conacher - on 20 Apr 2012
In reply to Jon Stewart: yea i came to the exactly the same conclusion,it shows that a massive part of trad is in the head,by the way, the author of the article doesnt climb trad.I think to climb e4 comfortably you want to be onsighting at least7b on bolts,just my opinion.
Furanco C - on 20 Apr 2012
In reply to d conacher: That's absolute rubbish.
Jon Stewart - on 20 Apr 2012
In reply to d conacher:
> I think to climb e4 comfortably you want to be onsighting at least7b on bolts,just my opinion.

Sounds a bit extreme - isn't E4 normally about f6c/+ ?

So maybe onsighting 7a/+ would be about average for a regular E4 leader?
Furanco C - on 20 Apr 2012
In reply to Jon Stewart: I think you're being very generous there. You can happily onsight the vast majority of E4s with nothing but 6c+/7a fitness. There's this myth that you 'have to' be climbing way beyond the french grade of the route you're trying, but most people who are solid on E6 aren't onsighting F7c+ 'at least'. If you climb F7a+ and you're still falling off E4s, don't read this article; get out on trad routes more.
Alun - on 20 Apr 2012
In reply to Jon Stewart:
> > I think to climb e4 comfortably you want to be onsighting at least7b on bolts,just my opinion.

> Sounds a bit extreme - isn't E4 normally about f6c/+ ?

The whole trad/sport thing is just difficult to convert. Say your highest sport onsight is 6c+/7a; if you're a very good trad climber (quick at placing gear, cool head) then you can climb E4 or even E5. But if you're not so experienced at trad, then yes, you'd want to have some 'grades in hand'.

And even then, it's all bollox - sport grades are usually given to long bolted overhanging limestone routes, which have very little in common with e.g. delicate run-out grit slabs.

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Jon Stewart - on 20 Apr 2012
In reply to Jurgan C:

Clearly, the difference between a climber's max trad and sport grades will vary with the individual, and the smaller the gap, the better the trad climber in terms of trad skills. I was having a guess at the average sport-trad 'gap' - just a factual thing - rather than thinking about what a trad climber 'should' aspire to.

All this assuming a resonably well protected, pulling on holds kind of trad (say, Pembroke South style).

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