My book 9 out of 10 climbers make the same mistakes has just been released. In encapsulates 16 years of my experience and study of how to improve at climbing. You can get the book direct from my webshop here:
We are dispatching books, DVDs, T-shirts and hats same day right up to the Christmas last posting dates.
Here are the contents of the book:
9 out of 10 climbers make the same mistakes
Barking up the wrong tree
Part 1 - Creatures of habit
Stuck on the basics
The first thing to understand
The first thing to change
Fail, and prepare to succeed
If only I knew now what I knew then
Too embarrassed to climb?
Is this grade a success or mediocre?
The first generation was the freest
Starting from scratch
The truth about famous climbers
Know your enemy - your tastes
Don’t get stuck
Creatures of habit
Part 2 - The big four: movement technique, finger strength, endurance, body mass
The biggest lesson from sport science
You cannot break the laws
How to learn technique
Record, replay, review
No one does drills, right?
The structure of climbing technique
The need for momentum
Types of momentum
The issue of height
Don’t just push with your feet!
Counterintuitive aspects of climbing technique
Precision really matters
Trying to make the hold bigger
Don’t overrate strength
Bouldering is number one
But I don’t like bouldering!
How to boulder to show off, or get strong
A good bouldering session
To crimp or not to crimp
Making sense of Haston and Oddo
Making sense of Ondra and Sharma shapes
How light do I need to be?
How to get light without pain?
Steps for losing and maintaining a lower weight for climbing
Who needs to pump iron to climb hard?
To the wiry
To the beefcake
To the tall
To the lucky little ones
When you really can blame your tools (and then get better ones, NOW!)
Campus boards hurt almost everyone
Climbing is not a cardiovascular sport
Where is climbing endurance?
Understanding fatigue symptoms
Part 3 - Fear of falling: the real problem, probably…
The only way
Practice on sport climbs
Building falls into your daily climbing diet
Practice on trad
When you just can’t fall off
Part 4 - The other big four: attitude, lifestyle, circumstances, tactics
I’m young, spoon-feed me!
Why mid-teens drop off the radar
“I can’t do that” he said, mistakenly
Too old to improve?
To find time, make your time work harder for you
Do you really want to be an athlete?
Tactics often trump training
What the warmup does
Tuning in and out
Managing the ‘psyche’ level
Do you really want it to be easy?
Be thick skinned at all times
Does flexibility really matter?
Part 5 - What’s next coach? Planning your improvement
Think curves, not lines
So jump off that plateau, if you can bear it
Regimes - how much can you handle?
Over-resting or under-recovering?
A kid’s regime
A student’s regime
A family/career hustler
The wannabe pro
The confused and disillusioned
Same old routine, same old results
Cracking bad habits is tough
Rules of the training day
Rules of the training season
Annual rest and recuperation time
> (In reply to Dave MacLeod) Much/anything on drytooling/winter climbing?
In one sense yes! There isn't much specifically on winter climbing training and tactics - this would be better in a dedicated title ; ) But the book contains all the knowledge and principles required to develop good training and tactics in any discipline. This is the information that really needed in my opinion and thats why I decided to write this book first.
People have been asking me for years how I managed to get good at several different disciplines at the same time, developing my own training and responding to problems by coming up with the solutions myself that fit my own circumstances and weaknesses perfectly. The answer to this is what is contained in the book. It is a book that shows you how to coach yourself well from the principles upwards. The mistakes I refer to in the title are the same across disciplines much more than within them.
If you digest and follow the advice in the book, you'll have everything that I used to make my own climbing biography in whatever climbing disciplines you like.
My copy arrived a couple of days ago and I have about ten pages left to go. I don't climb particularly hard but I am keen and read as much climbing related stuff as I can. Dave's book is of a very different style to the majority of 'coaching' books out there. It weaves a credible path through the range of options availble to climbers which has left me with a pretty clear idea of what I need to next to get better, but perhaps more importantly an understanding of what may seem like a good idea but should be avoided or recieve less of a priority in my training.
For me it is the best coaching book I have read (so far) because of the balance of advice given, the practical suggestions that follow from the theory and the clear framework that emerges for helping to know what should be prioritised depending on individual need.
Again this is the opinion of someone who is a keen but inexperinced climber and it may be that those with more experience will not get out of it as much as I have. In saying that I think it is written for those climbers with a bit more experience who have reached a plateau despite still training hard and I am pretty sure that they way in which Dave propmts reflection on how and what you are training will help anyone move their climbing on.
Just finished reading this. I've read loads of other "training" climbing stuff before: books and mag articles etc etc. I found it addressed loads of issues I have with improving my climbing, that other books etc haven't. It cuts through loads of rubbish too.
I would have appreciated a longer chapter on body weight and nutrition, though. Though in fairness, it does state that there will be a follow-up book to address this.
So, yeah, I'd recommend it. And before some idiot says it, no I haven't been paid to write this.
Increasingly curious about this after reading the sub-sections above. Expect stocking in a (the?!) major high street book retailer, well in Bristol at least. Will recommend it to colleagues elsewhere in the country if it's any good after reading, too!
In reply to Dave MacLeod: That list of sections is BRILLIANT! Every aspect I have considered within my self (well almost). I will buy it on the strength of the section headings and on the dedication I think I percieved in Macleod in the E film (even though I didnt rate the film much).
Picked up a copy from Paul and Rich and their Climbing Academy. Just started, it's damn good - highly recommend it. It's already taken on the name 'The Book' at TCA, it's massively popular their and all the staff were doling out gems of wisdom from it, this evening!
I'd say this book has more of a philisophical theme, so don't expect too much detail regarding technique. (Not that the book claimed to contain this information, anyway).
There is a nice little section on use of momentum which I predict people will find useful. Momentum is my best kept secret and the only reason I climb the same level as some of my stronger friends!
The book is as described and acts as a guide to help you manage the bigger picture of your climbing career instead of focusing on smaller sections, such as strength training.
As previously mentioned, much of the thinking has been covered in Dave's blogs (in less detail), but the value of having it compiled in a logical order will clearly be invaluable for some of the less dedicated to researching climbing. I almost feel cheated that I've spent all this time compiling much of the information covered, when I could of waited for this book!
Looks good. Does it cover those who really don't want continuous improvement forever and perhaps just want to improve and maintain a respectable (slightly higher) grade for days out having fun? Some Scottish crags require E1+ skills just to get out on I'm more wanting to get into such situations rather than aspiring to harder routes on those faces...
I sometimes find training books take the fun out of climbing with their presumption that everyone should keep training to their maximum potential, climbing's only one part of my (fun) portfolio and I don't want to throw everything else out to fit in the sort of schedule required. I know nothing comes without sacrifice but all the same a maximum "bang per buck" approach would suit me - the advice based on body type seems interesting in this respect.
Anyone who's bought this want to comment whether the book would suit me too?
PS. I like the "9 out of 10" title "1 out of 10" might have reduced sales by 89% ;oP
I got this last week and have been nose into it since then. I also liked the Climb Hard Trad e book that came with it.
I am more of a winter / alpine climber than rock these days but the sentiments and thought processes apply.
Hopefully I can use it to get me back on the rock more often and tick off some long awaited trad routes. It might even make me enjoy sport climbing (though I still think this is akin to shagging with a condom).
had a very quick read (skipping entire paragraphs whenever i got the feel that they didn't qpply to me) and currently re-reading it more carefully.
I would consider it more of a "motivational" book rather than a training manual.
what i mean is, the feel that i have reading it is that the attention given to "attitude" and psychological "limiting factors" is what makes the book really interesting and different from the little training-related stuff i've read.
in this regard i found what i've read to be true, honest and useful for "9 out of 10 climbers" as the title promises, 6 out of 9 being climbers that somehow know already what they'll read in the book, but who need some reminder and incitation from time to time. The book will hopefully give them the motivation they need to be nasty with themselves .
Those who will benefit the most are probably climbers experiencing their first "plateau" in climbing performance and getting bored/frustrated at it, without knowing the way out.
It is definitely not the kind of book giving you the "magic recipe" to be in top redpoint shape next spring, when you'll fly back to catalunya to send that route you didn't manage on your last trip.
(ironically, somehow even that kind of book, a book of very practical advice for the climber having a specific objective to get accomplished in a specific time, like an incoming trip or the "good conditions season" for a certain crag, is missing.
We have loads of advice on how to get generically stronger, either in linear flavour or with some kind of periodization...)
really looking forward for the "weight loss for climbers" thing, i am one of those knowing by random experience that 2-3 kgs less make a considerable difference, but having trouble at controlling volountarily the same variable, not to mention stabilize it whenever i manage to get those crucial 2 kgs off...
I got this a few weeks ago. I reckon it's belting. I now feel that if I don't make progress (though I think I will) I can at least examine, analyse and refresh my approach. That is to say: I may doubt my own motivation and focus, but not the ability of this book to help me spot where I'm letting myself down.
In reply to Dave MacLeod: Thought i'd give feedback on the book seeing as in the past month i've read it cover to cover and can probably quote it word for word, lol!
If you like I was, are in at a personal climbing plateau, and terrifed of falling, then in five simple words, YOU NEED TO BUY THIS BOOK!!!
Let's just focus on what I've improved on in this past month as a result of reading this book.
1. Main stumbling block... being afraid to fall. Solution - have fell at least 6 times each session by letting go and jumping off the wall. Conclusion - feeling less and less insecure on hard moves (for me anyways) = massive improvement in my climbing.
2. Momentum - was climbing very statically due to no 1 above, now climbing with momentum as i'm less afraid to fall off (not quite there yet though - more work to do methinks).
3. Not only does this book cover the first two points very efficiently, (of which I had the most trouble with), it also covers training, weight, different body sizes, why good climbers give up, and it basically makes you think hard about changing your mindset when it comes to pushing your limit.
Dave McLeod, you have revolutionised my approach to climbing and improved my ability by pointing out the steps necessary physically and mentally that I didin't even fathom before.
And all this after a 10 year extended break from climbing.