UKC

Dave Macleod's new book - 9 out of 10 climbers make the same

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 fishy1 13 Dec 2009
mistakes.


Anyone read this book? Worth buying? Thought I saw a thread on this earlier but it seems to have disappeared.
In reply to fishy1:

Its not been released yet I dont think, so cant really comment.

Im waiting for mine to be sent out, contents looks good.

 fishy1 14 Dec 2009
In reply to snoop6060: It has, I'm pretty sure someone said their copy arrived yesterday?
 Chris Craggs Global Crag Moderator  UKC Supporter 14 Dec 2009
In reply to fishy1:
> mistakes.
>

Can we hazard a guess?

1) thinking it is all about the numbers?

2) thinking training will get you up anything?

3) thinking their local venue is the best there is?


Chris


<-- note the smiley

 Hardonicus 14 Dec 2009
In reply to Chris Craggs: Nowt wrong with Pule Hill...
Profanisaurus Rex 14 Dec 2009
In reply to Chris Craggs:
> (In reply to fishy1)

> 3) thinking their local venue is the best there is?

What do you mean thinking?! Southern sandstone IS the best...

 Adders 14 Dec 2009
In reply to fishy1: bought a copy and awaiting arrival. If its anything like Daves blog or lectures then I'm sure it will read well and help me to progress.
 Tobias at Home 14 Dec 2009
In reply to Chris Craggs:
> (In reply to fishy1)

> 3) thinking their local venue is the best there is?
>
seeing as my local venue is the mont blanc massif i think that is a reasonable assumption
 mattrm 14 Dec 2009
In reply to fishy1:

I put a thread up in the Walls and Training forum. It seems to have gone. Can't see why, it's a book about training, so surely the training forum is the best place for it. Odd.

But yeah, I'm pre-ordering a copy this evening. Should be good.
 Dave MacLeod 15 Dec 2009
In reply to snoop6060:
> (In reply to fishy1)
>
> Its not been released yet I dont think, so cant really comment.
>

It's released now and we are sending them out every day. I'm not sure if I'm allowed to link directly to it since it's a commercial product of mine, but y'all know my website!!
In reply to Dave MacLeod:

Is there a chance to see a sample page like Amazon or Rockfax do?

Thanks
 mattrm 15 Dec 2009
In reply to Dave MacLeod:

I'm fairly sure that the reason my thread about the book got pulled was cause I put the link up in my post (as you would do normally), so posting a link is probably why.

In reply to ramon marin martinez:
> (In reply to Dave MacLeod)
>
> Is there a chance to see a sample page like Amazon or Rockfax do?

There is a good post up on his blog which details the book. Go there and check. It's got the full index on it. I'd post a link, but I think that'll mean the thread will get pulled.
Simon Wells 15 Dec 2009
In reply to fishy1:

My copy arrived a day or so ago, so far seems very good, a more holistic approach, not just about physical training. Work load is rather heavy so only read the first two chapters but intend to put it on the reading list for my SPA & CWA courses.

As a side issue the book itself is very tough, it got run over by a person who was attempting to reverse over me, they felt aggrieved that myself and others objected to them using the carpark as a race track. Book is fine, I am fine and I have the number plate and a name..........

I'd recomend it...the book....not boy racers.
 Morgan Woods 15 Dec 2009
In reply to ramon marin martinez:

yeah that would be good....although the table of contents is very comprehensive.
 Dave MacLeod 15 Dec 2009
In reply to ramon marin martinez:
> (In reply to Dave MacLeod)
>
> Is there a chance to see a sample page like Amazon or Rockfax do?
>
> Thanks

If you'd like to see some samples of my writing there is nearly four years worth of blogging and articles on my website, on the subject of improving at climbing, climbing injuries, and a ton of other climbing related subjects.
 Steve Crowe 15 Dec 2009
In reply to Dave MacLeod:


9 Out of 10 Climbers... is a tough read. No pie charts or photographs to fill up space, just 166 pages of top quality advice.

Buying the book is the easy bit, acting on the advice is where you can make a difference.

Reading the book may be tough but no one is saying that getting better is going to be easy.

Dave knows his stuff and once you have read his book you will know exactly what you need to do to improve. What happens next is up to you!
In reply to Simon Wells:

>Only read the first two chapters but intend to put it on the reading list for my SPA & CWA courses.

I love it. You remind me of that fellow who was on here asking if anyone knew of an online topo for Lliwedd.

And I bet you don't know why either remark was funny.

jcm
Simon Wells 16 Dec 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

....but I do know an explanation of your wit would remove the smugness
 catharina 16 Dec 2009
In reply to Steve Crowe:


I remember reading some of Dave's comments about factors which hold people back in climbing and thinking that this guy's forte is really Sports Psychology above anything else.
I assume that this book will be essential reading for anyone who is motivated to really push their limits.
 Justin T 16 Dec 2009
In reply to fishy1:

I pre-ordered and got my copy on Monday I think. Only about 1/3 through but good advice so far. A lot of the first bit seems aimed at shaking up climbers who are stuck in a rut or plateued but it seems to be moving on. I would say, though, as with all books of this nature you need to 'actively' read it and engage with the content rather than just read the words. It's paradoxically probably climbers who will find this most difficult who need to do so the most.
 martin heywood 16 Dec 2009
In reply to catharina:
> (In reply to Steve Crowe)
>
>
> I remember reading some of Dave's comments about factors which hold people back in climbing and thinking that this guy's forte is really Sports Psychology above anything else.
> I assume that this book will be essential reading for anyone who is motivated to really push their limits.



Apologies, I have just posted under someone else's name.
 UKB Shark 16 Dec 2009
In reply to catharina: that this guy's forte is really Sports Psychology above anything else.


Given that he studied Sport Science and that his blogs and articles have covered a wide range of topics including technique, injury prevention and physical training I would be surprised if it wasnt well balanced recognising that different people have differing limiting factors.
In reply to Dave MacLeod:

Yes I follow your articles. I was just curious to see how's the information delivered. David Macia's books are formatted different than his articles on Desnivel.
 NearlyDutchDan 17 Dec 2009
In reply to fishy1:

Damn you UKC and DaveMc... Why is it I spend hours surfing the net for xmas presents for the orphans, old people and family and ALL I can find are presents for ME !

Couldn't help myself, just had to order the book, beanie and tee-shirt <snigger>
 Dave MacLeod 17 Dec 2009
In reply to ramon marin martinez:
> (In reply to Dave MacLeod)
>
> Yes I follow your articles. I was just curious to see how's the information delivered. David Macia's books are formatted different than his articles on Desnivel.

The writing in the book is similar to the way I write on my blogs, but obviously not as rough around the edges as on the blog - writing on my blog often happens very fast!

Thanks for all the messages you've sent through about the book. It's really heartening that it's already fulfilling its aim: helping climbers break their barriers. I'm inspired already to get to work on the next one (which will deal with why climbers get injured, how to avoid it and how to recover from them successfully).
 Postmanpat 17 Dec 2009
In reply to martin heywood:
> (In reply to catharina)
> [...]
>
>
>
> Apologies, I have just posted under someone else's name.

I knew it.I knew it. The Eddie Izzard of UKC

 Morgan Woods 17 Dec 2009
In reply to Dave MacLeod:

Hi Dave....just wondering if you sent a bunch of books to the major climbing retailers (eg here in London) do you think it would help spur sales....i'm kind of interested enough to order via the web but probably more likely to get on the spur of the moment in a shop.
 Dave MacLeod 18 Dec 2009
In reply to Morgan Woods:
> (In reply to Dave MacLeod)
>
> Hi Dave....just wondering if you sent a bunch of books to the major climbing retailers (eg here in London) do you think it would help spur sales....i'm kind of interested enough to order via the web but probably more likely to get on the spur of the moment in a shop.

In time Morgan! Right now we're flat out just trying to get all the orders out from my shop and haven't got around to speaking to retailers yet. But any that are keen are welcome to get in touch with us!

It's interesting that it would be a spur of the moment buy for you. Most folk have said the opposite (that they bought it based on my previous work). If you've looked at my blog you'll know what I've done with the knowledge. It's a thorough explanation of just about every piece of knowledge I used to do this, plus all the mistakes I made along the way and solutions I found for them.

Oh yeah and if you buy it in a shop you don't get the free ebook on How to Climb Hard Trad.
In reply to Morgan Woods: Why pass on profits to large outlets when they make money hand over fist anyway? Just buy it off the web site and help support the author, not your local retailer.
 ChrisJD 18 Dec 2009
In reply to fishy1:

I've only read the first 20 pages or so - all interesting stuff so far

I am one of those 9....
 Mick Ward 18 Dec 2009
In reply to Dave Morrison:

Totally agree. Authors get 10%. (Yup - shock horror!) OK, Dave's probably the publisher as well, but why shouldn't he get 100%?

For anyone who thinks there's mega-bucks in writing (apart from J.K Rowling), consider this: after Ian Rankin had 12 books out, he still hadn't a decent enough income to get a mortgage - and this is back in the bad old days when they were almost giving them away.

Good luck to Dave. I'm sure his book is worth every penny - many times over.

Mick
 James Oswald 18 Dec 2009
In reply to Mick Ward:
Good luck to Dave. I'm sure his book is worth every penny - many times over.

Mick


Same! I wonder if Dave rates it more highly than he rates SCC.....
http://onlineclimbingcoach.blogspot.com/2007/04/self-coached-climber-review.html

James

P.s.
A question for Dave.
How do you perceive your new book to be different to the other climbing improvement books out particularly SCC which you rated very highly in your blog?
James
 martin heywood 18 Dec 2009
In reply to Postmanpat:
> (In reply to martin heywood)
> [...]
>
> I knew it.I knew it. The Eddie Izzard of UKC



Don't quite follow you there Postman.
Was never a great Eddie Izard fan but it is probably better than being the ermm, well any really crap comedian you can think of ..
Anyway I am sure this book will be essential reading for "serious improvers"
 Morgan Woods 18 Dec 2009
In reply to Dave MacLeod:
> (In reply to Morgan Woods)
> [...]
>
>> Oh yeah and if you buy it in a shop you don't get the free ebook on How to Climb Hard Trad.

ooh...that might just swing it for me!
 Chris F 18 Dec 2009
In reply to Morgan Woods:
> (In reply to Dave MacLeod)
> [...]
> >> Oh yeah and if you buy it in a shop you don't get the free ebook on How to Climb Hard Trad.
>
> ooh...that might just swing it for me!


It's very useful, just a shame he gave it away free once before with the Committed DVD.
 Stig 18 Dec 2009
In reply to james oswald:

>
> Same! I wonder if Dave rates it more highly than he rates SCC.....

>
Well Dave's book isn't trying to do the same thing so it's apples and pears really...

> P.s.
> A question for Dave.
> How do you perceive your new book to be different to the other climbing improvement books out particularly SCC which you rated very highly in your blog?

Have you read what he says about the book contents on his blog? SCC is mostly about physical training and movement, this book is about ways of thinking, tactics, attitude and approach. All stuff that makes a difference but ignored by most climbers even those trying to improve.

 Postmanpat 18 Dec 2009
In reply to martin heywood:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
> [...]
>
>
>
> Don't quite follow you there Postman.
>
I thought youd posted katerina and revealed yourself as a drag Artist
> Anyway I am sure this book will be essential reading for "serious improvers"

 James Oswald 18 Dec 2009
In reply to Stig:

I think I get what you mean now.
James
 Dave MacLeod 18 Dec 2009
In reply to james oswald:
>
> Same! I wonder if Dave rates it more highly than he rates SCC.....
> http://onlineclimbingcoach.blogspot.com/2007/04/self-coached-climber-review.html
>
> James
>
> P.s.
> A question for Dave.
> How do you perceive your new book to be different to the other climbing improvement books out particularly SCC which you rated very highly in your blog?

I'm sure you know you're getting a biased answer here but here goes. My book contains virtually all the information the self coached climber has, but my book has a a lot more besides, like a LOT more. I gave the SCC such a good review because it was a big step forward from the previous books. But the scope of the information is quite limited in many areas. My book sets out to cover the areas the other books do, but updated and made more practical and succinct but also fill in the large bulk of the picture of improvement that hasn't ever been covered for climbers.

SCC like most of the other books describe the elements of the climbing challenge and list ways to train those elements. SCC's description of the climbing challenge bettered any of the previous books. The problem is there is nothing to navigate the great list of things to work on. Nothing to help work out what your weaknesses are and how to prioritise when you don't have time to train everything.

My book comes at it from a very different angle. Starting with a discussion of why successful climbers have jobs, real lives and problems but still climb hard (and it's not talent). Then it goes through the detail of technque and training. It's the first book to really go through how to train technique. Then it explains why for at least half of climbers, tweaking the training is a complete distraction from the real problem they don't realise they have. After that there's a more comprehensive discussion of tactics and various other ways to let big things be at the mercy of little things. And finally a desciription of periodisation and organising your climbing time that's a lot more practical and flexible and doesn't require tables and charts to plan everything.

The reason I wrote the book was because I could see the most important knowledge of how to improve was beyond describing climbing and listing exercises and no climbing book had explored this. I'm quite positive a lot of the time too and I've explained a lot of solutions to barriers that commonly destroy climbers' motivation.

 Dave MacLeod 18 Dec 2009
In reply to Chris F:
>
>
> It's very useful, just a shame he gave it away free once before with the Committed DVD.

It's only 'before' if you've had it before! I've got a list of a few more to write BTW and I'll give them away too. Never a dull moment. Since HTCHT there's a good few books worth of free stuff on my OCC blog.
 James Oswald 19 Dec 2009
In reply to Dave MacLeod:
Thanks. I think I understand the nature of the book now.
James
 Null 19 Dec 2009
In reply to Dave MacLeod:

Your book sounds very interesting and I'm sure that if anyone knows this subject, then we all know who it is ...

One doubt does linger in my mind, which I imagine you have thought about.

The point is this: the implicit understanding seems to be that 9 out of 10 climbers fail to "climb hard" because they block themselves in some way (which sounds about right), and that climbing "hard" would in some way make them happier and more satisfied. And here the issue arises - why?
We can turn the whole thing on its head and say 9 out of ten climbers are unsatisfied with their climbing (or really with themselves?) and live with the illusion that climbing "harder" would make them happier. Personally I'm not sure it would, because it's a bit like having money - everyone thinks they would be happier with more (here we mean more than they actually need - clearly not having to eat termites). But the richer you get the more you want - avarice has no limits.

Seems to me climbers can get caught up in this illusion, as if being "acknowledged" by others as "a good climber" is going to save their unhappy souls.
So my "issue", if it can really be called as much, is that you sort of encourage folk in this illusion, you might be accused of devaluing "easy" climbing as if the only road to this elusive happiness that we all seek is through freak out one finger pulls and bat hooks.

What's your take on this?
 Brian 19 Dec 2009
In reply to Gavin Taylor: I am not too sure I agree with your comparison of money and climbing. If I had more money than I have at the moment then it would mot likely make my life more comfortable however, if I could climb harder than I currently do then it would make me happier.
 Null 19 Dec 2009
In reply to Brian:
> (In reply to Gavin Taylor) I am not too sure I agree with your comparison of money and climbing. If I had more money than I have at the moment then it would mot likely make my life more comfortable however, if I could climb harder than I currently do then it would make me happier.

I'm not so sure I agree either, and I certainly dream of not having an overdraft and climbing Sogno del Grande Scozzese, so there is no self-righteousness in the question, which is philosophical.
I am genuinely interested in what Dave thinks having thought about the whole subject at such length.
 abarro81 19 Dec 2009
In reply to Dave MacLeod:
Quick question whilst the thread's here... I've not read the book yet but was chatting to a friend who has today and something interesting came up.
He was saying that the thrust of your fingerboard advice is maximal hangs and short sessions, but that there wasn't that much explanation behind this.. (Apologies if this second hand knowledge is wrong and there is a big discussion that he'd just not read yet). So, what's the logic? Obvoiusly Ned and Dan seem to be making their repeater ideas work in terms of getting obscenely strong, and on another thread recently Stu Littlefair was advocating more time on repeaters and long boulders/short circuits than maximal stuff. Is this a case of needing to read the whole book rather than get snippets of the sections my mate's read thus far, and in another section the logic will emerge - e.g. you have reasoning to prefer that work to be done on a wall or campus board? If not, I'd be interested to know the reasoning...
 ChrisJD 19 Dec 2009
In reply to Gavin Taylor:

I think the assertion would be just wrong for most climbers.

The happiest and most fulling times I've had climbing are when I've been climbing at my peak (only E3 in the scale of things) - long trips and great summers in my 20/30s. Climbing harder made me very happy! Great times.

Perhaps your assertions say more about your own charterer and motivations than they do about other peoples.

And earning more money certainly makes me happier (or perhaps more content that there are no money worries)
 chris j 19 Dec 2009
In reply to Gavin Taylor:
> (In reply to Dave MacLeod)
>

> The point is this: the implicit understanding seems to be that 9 out of 10 climbers fail to "climb hard" because they block themselves in some way (which sounds about right), and that climbing "hard" would in some way make them happier and more satisfied. And here the issue arises - why?

I think you are overinterpreting things a bit - my interpretation of the title is more like "9 out of 10 climbers who try to climb harder make the same mistakes". Never mind the motivation for why you may or may not want to climb harder routes or if it will make you happier or whether everyone should want to improve, simply if you want to climb harder grades then this is how to go about it.

I could be wrong, I've not read the book, though hopefully my subtle hints have been recognised and I will be reading it on Xmas afternoon. Having thought I was trying to climb harder for many years and not succeeding I'll be interested to see how many of my mistakes I'll see in the book...

In answer to your question about why, improving my climbing has made me happier and more satisfied in my climbing simply because I am stretching my limits and bettering myself. Hopefully these feelings push over into other areas of my life too.
 Andrew Smith 19 Dec 2009
In reply to ChrisJD:Would agree there, just ordered the book, but I would definatley say I was more happy with my climbing when I was pushing it as far as I could to my limit, rather than bimbling about on easy stuff like I am at the moment.
In reply to fishy1:

I finished it yesterday just before getting stuck in Luton for the night just after the book shop shut!

I can thoroughly recommend it!

I imagine I will be reading it again and again!
 martin heywood 20 Dec 2009
In reply to Gavin Taylor:
> (In reply to Dave MacLeod)
>
> Your book sounds very interesting and I'm sure that if anyone knows this subject, then we all know who it is ...
>
> One doubt does linger in my mind, which I imagine you have thought about.
>
> The point is this: the implicit understanding seems to be that 9 out of 10 climbers fail to "climb hard" because they block themselves in some way (which sounds about right), and that climbing "hard" would in some way make them happier and more satisfied. And here the issue arises - why?
> We can turn the whole thing on its head and say 9 out of ten climbers are unsatisfied with their climbing (or really with themselves?) and live with the illusion that climbing "harder" would make them happier. Personally I'm not sure it would, because it's a bit like having money - everyone thinks they would be happier with more (here we mean more than they actually need - clearly not having to eat termites). But the richer you get the more you want - avarice has no limits.
>
> Seems to me climbers can get caught up in this illusion, as if being "acknowledged" by others as "a good climber" is going to save their unhappy souls.
> So my "issue", if it can really be called as much, is that you sort of encourage folk in this illusion, you might be accused of devaluing "easy" climbing as if the only road to this elusive happiness that we all seek is through freak out one finger pulls and bat hooks.
>
> What's your take on this?

Bloody hell, an interesting an unexpected point being made in the forums!
For me personally, I get more enjoyment (or should that read "thrills" from climbing when I am doing harder grades, sadly. I think it is obviously true that what matters is how much you enjoy it, not the grade, just like in real life though I think the world would be a much healthier place if people put there efforts into climbing hard rather than making money.
 lps 20 Dec 2009
In reply to martin heywood:
i was having a similair thought the other day. i'm getting concerned that there are a lot of crags in the uk that i've never been to and a hell of a lot of amazing routes that i've never even seen. i then realized that if i did go to all the crags & climb all the best routes it'd be over for me, much better to have so much adventure and so little time then it becomes a lifes worth for me that i can never exhaust.

in terms of the arguement that climbing harder will not necessarily make you happier.. i agree with that premise, the harder climbs don't make you happier, it's the journey to achieving the harder routes that makes you happier.
 Rich Guest 20 Dec 2009
In reply to whoever:

Climbing harder won't make you happier.

You are either happy or you aren't. Climbing harder won't solve that.

In order to be happy, you have to 'decide to be'; and get on with life on life's terms. Pretty simple concept really, but pretty easy to screw up!


I'm happy .... I can climb E1/2
If I climb solid E4 one day, i'll be happy.
If I never make it, i'll still be happy.
I'd like to try and get there anyway... Progress is great for the soul.

I've got Daves book and although i'm not through it yet, i can safely say that it only exists for people who are serious about improving their climbing.
It's not (surprisingly enough) for people who are happy to carry on however they are currently.

If you're looking for climbing improvemnent, give it a go.
If you're looking for happiness, get a spiritual self help book!

 Will Goldsmith 20 Dec 2009
In reply to Cragrat Rich:

> Climbing harder won't make you happier.
>
> You are either happy or you aren't. Climbing harder won't solve that.


In some respects i agree with you. However, to me, making progress and making my way up the grades does make me happier. Also, i find that in general the higher the dificulty of the route, generally, the more fun it is, and thus makes me happier.
 ChrisJD 20 Dec 2009
In reply to Cragrat Rich:

Who are you to tell people what will and won't make them happy!

It might be your opinion and your 'world view', but for me (and I suspect many), you are wrong (based on my life as a climber).
 JLS 20 Dec 2009
In reply to Cragrat Rich:

I think broadly I agreed with you. My take on it is that it's fun to try and get as much climbing performance out of whatever sh!t body you find yourself stuck with. Using grades to comparing your climbing performance to others is fine and natural when you are young but it's a danger to your happiness if you don’t grow out of it. Beyond a certain point the relationship between progress and age becomes somewhat strained and it's probably wise to have another source of happiness in place before the inevitable divorce.
 Rich Guest 21 Dec 2009
In reply to ChrisJD:
> (In reply to Cragrat Rich)
>
> Who are you to tell people what will and won't make them happy!
>
> It might be your opinion and your 'world view', but for me (and I suspect many), you are wrong (based on my life as a climber).

My statement suggested more along the lines of
'improving your climbing won't solve unhappiness'

your statement seems along the lines of
'having improved your climbing, you're happy about it' which I'm sure is true

In relation to what some people were saying about Dave's book - that it fostered the idea that improving your grades & climbing is the only way to be a happy climber - I don't think that is Daves message in the book at all.






 ChrisJD 21 Dec 2009
In reply to Cragrat Rich:

> your statement seems along the lines of
> 'having improved your climbing, you're happy about it' which I'm sure is true


No, it genuinely made me very happy ! Honest, I'm not making it up !

So happy at times, it has made me cry with happiness.
 Tom Valentine 21 Dec 2009
In reply to Hardonicus:
As in "...local crags for local people..."

..or is that Shooter's.
 Epic Ebdon 21 Dec 2009
In reply to Gavin Taylor:

Whilst I agree in principle - I don't think an E3 climber is intrinsically happier than a VS climber, I do think that it could make you happier, whatever grade you're starting at, and reaching. For example, myself, I don't really know what I lead any more. I've lead a handful of VS routes, and VDiff certainly holds no fears. However, right now, I certainly wouldnt rock up and hop on any VS without careful consideration, whereas I probably would with almost any VDiff. If I could improve my climbing so that I could climb VS with no worrries at all, then that would mean that each time I go to a crag there's loads more for mee to go out. Local crags then become effectively much bigger, and when I head to somewhere really special, it means there are delicious looking super-classics that were previously out of my reach, which are now perfectly achieveable. That, to me, would make climbing more fun, and I'd be happier when doing it. And it doesn't really matter if you're at trifling grades like me, or gnarling it up.

So, within limits, perhaps climbing harder might just make me happier....

Tim

(p.s., if I was onsighting French 7a then it would mean there was a HUGE amount more climbing near me, and definitely happier!)
 Ally Smith 21 Dec 2009
In reply to abarro81:

Ok, i'll bite; i'm only about 30 pages in to the book so far, but one key thrust of the openeing descritopn of some of the sports science behind training for climbing seems to be "individuality".

Take this as you want; Stu was/is obsencely strong in a maximal sense, and needs to train at a PE level to get better at routes. You're a stamina beast and need both the opposite. Just 'cos others are doing something doesn't mean you need to copy.

On a personal note, of the "big 4" in the book, you should climb quicker and use more momentum in your climbing technique ;-o

Feel free to slate my abilities too!?!
 chris j 21 Dec 2009
In reply to JLS:
> (In reply to Cragrat Rich)
>
> Beyond a certain point the relationship between progress and age becomes somewhat strained and it's probably wise to have another source of happiness in place before the inevitable divorce.

Isn't that point somewhere after the age of 60 given the guy who climbed his first 8b (at Malham or Kilnsey, I forget which) somewhere around that age a couple of years ago? Plenty of time to develop another source of happiness...
 abarro81 21 Dec 2009
In reply to ally smith:
I guess my concern was that the fingerboarding section sounded like it might be too individual to Dave Mac - he likes maximal stuff so that's what's advised, like Stu L might advise repeaters if that's what works for him.. I was kind of hoping it would all be backed up by science - what works for strong climbers is interesting, but WHY they think it works for them etc. would maybe be more useful.

> On a personal note, of the "big 4" in the book, you should climb quicker and use more momentum in your climbing technique ;-o

No static and french blow = no tick. But yes, you're right.

> Feel free to slate my abilities too!?!

What are the other 2 of the 'big 4'? I'd say your biggest problem is not enough time spent on Pinches Wall
 Justin T 21 Dec 2009
In reply to fishy1:

Right ... finished this last night and have to say it's pretty damn good.

To the poster above who said the book is only for people who want to improve rather than those who are happy at whatever grade ... yes and no. I would suggest those who say they are happy at their grade read it and ask themselves honestly whether they are indeed happy where they are or whether they're just deluding themselves into accepting their position because they are afraid to move on? From an objective point of view being 'happy at vs' makes no sense to me for all but the most occasional climber. It's not that hard to work up the grades and it gives access to a whole new world of routes, crags and rich climbing experiences that you just don't get stuck on the same routes at your local crag year in, year out.

The book is a bit of a 'good cop, bad cop' approach. You're simultaneously challenged about your weaknesses and offered ways to overcome them. The huge focus on fear of falling hits the nail square on the head. After reading it I am now really psyched to get on some personal 'bette noirs' - routes I've failed on before, routes I've been putting off because I'm scared of them, routes I've not got on recently because I've got a bit too comfortable on one rock-type and style of climbing.
 Ally Smith 21 Dec 2009
In reply to abarro81:

Even after 30 pages of the book i've realised that i don't get out enough to improve at the moment, especially on the technique side of things, so the pinches wall pi$$ take is spot on!

i'm doing just enough to maintain my level at the moment. So for me it's a case of fitting more in, even an odd fingerboard session, or cave sessions by headtorch after work.
 duncan 21 Dec 2009
In reply to Cragrat Rich:

> My statement suggested more along the lines of
> 'improving your climbing won't solve unhappiness'

My experience is that improving my climbing has done precisely that.

Climbing harder has many psychological benefits including:

- Achieving a sense of mastery
- Exploring and expanding personal limits (particularly relevant if you are underconfident individual)
- Gaining peer approval
- That joyful sense of "flow" which only happens for me when I'm climbing close to my limit
- The improved self-worth associated with improved health and fitness (washboard abs. and all that!)

Many of these could apply to other activities of course but if you call yourself a climber then climbing is most likely to do it for you.

Are hard climbers happier than soft climbers? Unlikley. Does unhappiness lead to people climbing harder? Some anecdotal evidence that it does. Are improving climbers (a little) happier than if the same people were not improving? Hard to prove but my sense is they are.

Anyone who calls themselves a climber should try taking it seriously and giving themselves a real push at some stage of their career. You won't know how satisfying it can be if you've never tried.





 Dave MacLeod 21 Dec 2009
In reply to Gavin Taylor:
> One doubt does linger in my mind, which I imagine you have thought about.
>
> The point is this: the implicit understanding seems to be that 9 out of 10 climbers fail to "climb hard" because they block themselves in some way (which sounds about right), and that climbing "hard" would in some way make them happier and more satisfied. And here the issue arises - why?
> We can turn the whole thing on its head and say 9 out of ten climbers are unsatisfied with their climbing (or really with themselves?) and live with the illusion that climbing "harder" would make them happier. Personally I'm not sure it would, because it's a bit like having money - everyone thinks they would be happier with more (here we mean more than they actually need - clearly not having to eat termites). But the richer you get the more you want - avarice has no limits.
>
> Seems to me climbers can get caught up in this illusion, as if being "acknowledged" by others as "a good climber" is going to save their unhappy souls.
> So my "issue", if it can really be called as much, is that you sort of encourage folk in this illusion, you might be accused of devaluing "easy" climbing as if the only road to this elusive happiness that we all seek is through freak out one finger pulls and bat hooks.
>
> What's your take on this?

Good question and I've discussed this in several parts of the book, with reference to how success, failure, climbing level, stage of development/age all affect how much climbing can be a source of happiness or frustration. The first point is that having climbed a hard grade makes no difference at all to happiness. The happiness comes from the process of getting there. The adventure of the improvement is the enjoyable bit, not the destination. Successful athletes are by necessity constantly dissatisfied with their performance. But they get immense satisfaction from what they do about it.

So this doesn't devalue 'easy' climbing at all. In fact, those starting out have the greatest potential for the satisfaction of improvement ahead of them. Coming back from layoff, injury or poor performance is just as satisfying, often more so, than your lifetime best performance. All thats needed to get happiness from climbing is a steady supply of problems to deal with (that can be goals or actual problems like injury or awkward circumstances) and the will to keep on solving them. Much more about this in the book obviously.

 James Oswald 21 Dec 2009
In reply to Dave MacLeod:
Thanks for your interesting insight Dave. I can understand what you mean by it.
James
Very interesting.
 Dave MacLeod 21 Dec 2009
In reply to abarro81:
> (In reply to Dave MacLeod)
> Quick question whilst the thread's here... I've not read the book yet but was chatting to a friend who has today and something interesting came up.
> He was saying that the thrust of your fingerboard advice is maximal hangs and short sessions, but that there wasn't that much explanation behind this.. (Apologies if this second hand knowledge is wrong and there is a big discussion that he'd just not read yet). So, what's the logic? Obvoiusly Ned and Dan seem to be making their repeater ideas work in terms of getting obscenely strong, and on another thread recently Stu Littlefair was advocating more time on repeaters and long boulders/short circuits than maximal stuff. Is this a case of needing to read the whole book rather than get snippets of the sections my mate's read thus far, and in another section the logic will emerge - e.g. you have reasoning to prefer that work to be done on a wall or campus board? If not, I'd be interested to know the reasoning...

Yes I haven't written it as a muscle physiology text going into the cellular level changes and how they inform the training process. I might actually write another book that translates the science of strength and endurance training onto climbing for those that need the justifications at a physiological level. Interestingly the trigger that galvanised me to get this book written was the number of times I find myself answering this question by climbers I've coached and thinking 'yes it's important, but it's a massive distraction from the real weak areas'.

In short the muscle needs to be stimulated maximally to teach it to fire more fibres at higher frequency. The 'repeater' arrangement that you're referring to isn't really strength training (although there will no doubt be some strength effects). With rests so short it is anaerobic endurance training.

For this anaerobic training, volume is important - as much as you can manage. This is completely different to strength training, where quality is really important. If you are too pumped or exhausted to achieve maximum strength, it's better to come back tomorrow. So short frequent sessions have a higher training volume at the right intensity over time. There's also the practical benefit that you can fit 30 minute sessions at home into a busy life better that longer sessions. More training gets done, more results.

The book explains clearly in what cases climbers should use basic strength apparatus like campus or fingerboards to do certain training tasks. It also explains the pitfalls of copying bits of other peoples training regimes without knowing the whole picture of where they are and what their weak areas are. Climbers who are really training hard are getting a lot of volume of real climbing, and can use basic strength work as a good supplement. I'd say there are few climbers around doing enough real climbing (by real I mean not on a fingerboard) to warrant doing anaerobic work on a fingerboard.

Conversely, there are some who have big spells of no access to climbing, but unlimited access to a fingerboard. They definitely should use it for everything they can and I've done this myself at times.

Just repeating myself here really - all of this information is in the book.
 abarro81 21 Dec 2009
In reply to Dave MacLeod:
Sticking with the physical aspects for a moment since I find them interesting:

> In short the muscle needs to be stimulated maximally to teach it to fire more fibres at higher frequency. The 'repeater' arrangement that you're referring to isn't really strength training (although there will no doubt be some strength effects). With rests so short it is anaerobic endurance training.

But surey you can't endlessly recruit? At some point you've surely got to get some big, bad forearms so you've got some more muscle there to then work on recruiting (or have surgery to modify your fingers to be like however the hell Ondra's are put together). Let's ignore Varian's 7hang repeaters with 2 minute rests though - which are obviously PE and get you boxed out of your mind - and talk about, say, 3 hang repeaters so 30sec ish of work and 3-4min rests. Surely this then falls into hypertrophy with some PE at the very short, strengthy end of the spectrum, and a good way to get strong? (Equivalent to maybe a 6-10 move problem?) If you're down with the always-maximal vibe, then why would you ever do more than 1 move when bouldering inside for strength? This is my real question - why maximal on fingerboards when you're doing stuff longer than 1 move on your board? What's your distinction between the activities that means that's what you think works best?

Incidentally, since we're just talking about muscles here, has anyone ever looked much at what tendons and pulleys respond best to - maximal stuff or slightly longer stuff?


> It also explains the pitfalls of copying bits of other peoples training regimes without knowing the whole picture of where they are and what their weak areas are.

I guess my concern is that if your thought process behind the book isn't in there backing it up, there's no way for anyone to note exactly the above (What you've found to work for you, given what other training/climbing you do and your natural strengths/weaknesses) from something you think could be applied equally succesfuly by others in different positions. So Varian might champion repeaters, you opt for maximal hangs, Simpson does PE campus sets all day and paxti does 2500 move monster sessions.. but unless someone can pick apart why these things work for these people with their particular goals we're back to square 1 of 'look at what the strong boys do, try a variety of their methods and see what works for you'. Hence my attempt to dig deeper into the thoughts behind the advice.

> I'd say there are few climbers around doing enough real climbing (by real I mean not on a fingerboard) to warrant doing anaerobic work on a fingerboard.

I'm thinking about times when fingerboarding's the desired option due to time constraints.


 Null 22 Dec 2009
In reply to Dave MacLeod:

Thanks for your reply - very clear and well informed as always.
Must whistle up my old Dad for a trip down to the bookshop (I'm stuck in Italy - drop in for free pizza and wine when near Arco!).
 Richard Horn 22 Dec 2009
In reply to Cragrat Rich:

Climbing harder doesnt make you happy but climbing a good route (which just happens to be hard) can make you very happy.

How many more 3* routes do you get to climb if you can climb E5, compared to if you only climb E1? Thousands and thousands, and they probably have less people queueing up to do them as well...

 white noise 22 Dec 2009
In reply to abarro81:

Dave is right you shouldn't directly copy others training without the full picture (which is a good reason to ask questions)

7sec repeaters are conditioning exercises in the mid range of PE spectrum, they are a great starting point for fingerboarding as they aren't too dangerous and help build a good foundation on new grips. They are just a good way of generally improving for most climbing aims

Max hangs/ pure strength should then be built on top of this in a seperate cycle to increase raw strength. (I often use steep board climbing for the same purposes) you should generally be eating more in these phases too, as new muscle needs fuel, conditioning phases should then shed any excess weight

The reality is myself and Ned do all sorts of exercises on our boards, ranging from max 1 arm deadhang sets to marathon forearm burn outs on repeater sets past 7 reps.

basically variation according to your aims is a key concern. We're getting a new site in the new year and are planning some more detailed articles,
 chris j 22 Dec 2009
In reply to Richard Horn:
> (In reply to Cragrat Rich)
>
> Climbing harder doesnt make you happy but climbing a good route (which just happens to be hard) can make you very happy.

I'm very much with the idea that the process of learning to climb harder can make you happier.
 UKB Shark 23 Dec 2009
In reply to abarro81:

Alex

Your comments are hilarious when read in context with the book (not just finger strength boys!). I don't think I am giving too much away by saying that of the 4 standout overarching areas (the Big 4) Macleod cites as key for improvement, two them are finger strength and finger stamina. You are pretty well balanced in all four and not a good example but its Macleod's view that the current focus on fingers has gone too far (for most).

ps If you find a compliment in there I will happily provide insults for balance

 Dave MacLeod 23 Dec 2009
In reply to Gavin Taylor:
> Must whistle up my old Dad for a trip down to the bookshop

Unless it's the Climbing Academy or Crag X (who have been quick off the mark and ordered some from us) you'll not find it in any bricks and mortar shops yet, only my webshop or Amazon.
 abarro81 23 Dec 2009
In reply to Simon Lee:
> (In reply to abarro81)

> You are pretty well balanced in all four
> ps If you find a compliment in there I will happily provide insults for balance

Found one. Now where's my insult fatty?

 abarro81 23 Dec 2009
In reply to white noise:
Thanks for the reply.. A period of conditioning/building forearm muscle followed by recruitment makes sense in my head - which is why I was questioning only doing max stuff on the fingerboard. Maybe I'm wrong and you can endlessly recruit because most of us (or at least most route climbers) will never get near reaching our limits in terms of recruitment. Or maybe there's a good reason for doing the longer work on a board, wall or campus board more preferentially than with recruitment where a fingerboard acts better as a substitute, but I'm nerdy enough to find the thinking behind this stuff interesting and annying enough to want justifications for everything.
 Dave MacLeod 23 Dec 2009
In reply to abarro81:

The broader messages in my book are aimed exactly at you - All of these details would be much easier to figure out by coming from the basics upwards. We are lost in the details here because we need to come back a step and look at what is desired from the training.

> But surey you can't endlessly recruit? At some point you've surely got to get some big, bad forearms so you've got some more muscle there to then work on recruiting (or have surgery to modify your fingers to be like however the hell Ondra's are put together). Let's ignore Varian's 7hang repeaters with 2 minute rests though - which are obviously PE and get you boxed out of your mind - and talk about, say, 3 hang repeaters so 30sec ish of work and 3-4min rests. Surely this then falls into hypertrophy with some PE at the very short, strengthy end of the spectrum, and a good way to get strong? (Equivalent to maybe a 6-10 move problem?) If you're down with the always-maximal vibe, then why would you ever do more than 1 move when bouldering inside for strength? This is my real question - why maximal on fingerboards when you're doing stuff longer than 1 move on your board? What's your distinction between the activities that means that's what you think works best?
>
Muscular recruitment is more complicated than just firing more fibres. The term includes the ability of the muscle to better synchronise and time the firing as well as activate the most reluctant fibres. So there is a lot of scope to improve it over time. And hypertrophy doesn't work quite like you suggest either (in an intensity band). It's rate is influenced by intensity, but it occurs when the muscle is stimulated with high force contractions over a LONG time, like years of steady work. It's also a mistake to compare contraction times directly between fingerboard deadhanging and real climbing - the force profiles are totally different. On a fingerboard hang the high force is more sustained. In real climbing the high forces in the finger flexors are more short lived during execution of hand movements.

As I said in the book, bouldering is best for getting stronger for climbing for nearly everyone. Fingerboards are useful supplement for those doing tons of climbing and needing to push the muscle a little harder, or as in your situation, when time is very limited.

> Incidentally, since we're just talking about muscles here, has anyone ever looked much at what tendons and pulleys respond best to - maximal stuff or slightly longer stuff?
>
Yes. Muscles respond by getting better at whatever they are exposed to. So if you pull maximally on holds, you get good at pulling maximally on holds. Longer circuits/sets get you good at longer bouts of climbing. All this has been tested in lots of situations from individual muscle fibres in test tubes upwards. To design the training, attention to the intensity and volume of stimulus is important. Short frequent sessions are needed for gaining strength because it doesn't take long before the muscle starts to object to producing such high forces. Trying to have long sessions means much of the session is a waste as the muscle is inhibited through fatigue and gets so damaged it takes ages to recover. Hence volume suffers. I'm speaking very generally here you understand!
>
> I guess my concern is that if your thought process behind the book isn't in there backing it up, there's no way for anyone to note exactly the above (What you've found to work for you, given what other training/climbing you do and your natural strengths/weaknesses) from something you think could be applied equally succesfuly by others in different positions. So Varian might champion repeaters, you opt for maximal hangs, Simpson does PE campus sets all day and paxti does 2500 move monster sessions.. but unless someone can pick apart why these things work for these people with their particular goals we're back to square 1 of 'look at what the strong boys do, try a variety of their methods and see what works for you'. Hence my attempt to dig deeper into the thoughts behind the advice.
>
Setting the thought process and planning from the principles upwards is exactly what the book does. My thesis is that the ground we are covering (the hardcore details of muscle adaptation) is not really required except for a very few who are at the stage of tweaking tiny details in an otherwise perfect program. The basic principles of training which are explained in a single page can inform, together with common sense and analytical thinking, every training decision you make. So the climbers you mention have different training because they are training for different things. The reply from white noise should shed a bit more light on this for you - the fingerboard work required is not only informed by what works on a fingerboard, it's informed by everything else you do for training and what you are training for.

 abarro81 23 Dec 2009
In reply to Dave MacLeod:
Cheers for the reply, I'm certainly guilty of getting bogged down in minutae at the expense of the bigger picture.

> Yes. Muscles respond by getting better at whatever they are exposed to...

Sorry, maybe I didn't phrase the question there well - that question was asking about if people have looked at what tendons and pulleys respond best to as opposed to muscles.

In reply to abarro81:

surely that was the insult - he's basically saying you're not actually good at anything
 Dave MacLeod 23 Dec 2009
In reply to abarro81:
> (In reply to white noise)
> Thanks for the reply.. A period of conditioning/building forearm muscle followed by recruitment makes sense in my head.

It's not the way the muscle responds. Recruitment will respond quickest in the first session and gains will slowly level off. Hypertrophy takes many months to even start (when the starting place is untrained). Thats why you go on a week's bouldering trip and make gains even during the length of trip.

Why don't you study some muscle physiology to get a better idea of all this if you are interested in it. Making deductions based on what other individuals do for training is just not enough information to get a good understanding.

That said, my experience has been that the more folk design their own training around specific details or pieces of research in one involved area, there is a negative correlation with the success of the training - The picture is extremely complicated and they end up making mistakes or incorrect interpretations.

Much better to use the basic principles of training as your foundation, and absorb the details of physiological adaptation from this standpoint, maintaining perspective. This was my point in 'The biggest lesson from sport science' in my book.

The most basic principle is 'What you do, you become'. If you pull hard on holds, day in, day out you get good at pulling hard on holds. It's really hard to go wrong when you just use the principles.
 Rich Guest 23 Dec 2009
In reply to chris j:
> (In reply to Richard Horn)
> [...]
>
> I'm very much with the idea that the process of learning to climb harder can make you happier.

No shit. I wouldn't have guessed!!

I'm with the idea that if you hang your current climbing happiness on the proviso of being able to progress to climbing a harder grade, the chances are that on that basis... if/when you get there, your happiness will then depend on still further improvement, actually resulting in a constant state of dissatisfaction.

I think that happiness should be obtained at the current grade and progress considered a bonus, albeit a hard earned one (made much easier by the removal of dissatisfaction and frustration

Are you suffering from Grade Fever Chris? - Not a nice disease

Merry Christmas
 Will Goldsmith 23 Dec 2009
In reply to Cragrat Rich:
> I think that happiness should be obtained at the current grade and progress considered a bonus, albeit a hard earned one (made much easier by the removal of dissatisfaction and frustration

I think your being a bit thick trying to tell people what should make them happy. Surley its the way your wired that defines what makes you happy. To me, it sounds like your just someone who is disatisfied from not improving any more, so you decide to tell other people that improving (or not as the case may be) shouldn't make you happy.

Of course i could have completly managed to make a lot more out of your post than was meant!
 Rich Guest 23 Dec 2009
In reply to Will Goldsmith:

I'm making the suggestion that if you need to improve to be happier, you'll possibly get caught up in a perpetual cycle of dissatisfaction.

Why not strive to be satisfied and happy with where you're at, then do all you can to improve?

There's a hell of a lot of people out there who aren't happy about where they are at in climbing. Shame I think.

I'm not one of them.
I climb at the grade which returns the most enjoyment to me.
If it goes up, cool. If not, fine.

I'll always strive to improve, but I won't put my personal happiness on the line. It's too valuable to me

Look how happy I am -> 8-)


 chris j 23 Dec 2009
In reply to Cragrat Rich: It's all a learning curve isn't it - I got absolutely spanked on the Lynch yesterday, quite humbling but it was a really good and satisfying day because I learnt a lot about my current limitations and where I need to improve to be able to do the route (stronger fingers, surprise!). If you take it in the wrong approach it could have been a really frustrating day, quite ego destroying but if you take it in a positive light then you can have a lot of fun with it.

Having said that, it is true that certain types of people are achievement/improvement focussed and I am one of those people - probably a product of upbringing/exams at school or something like that (I blame the parents!) and I have tended to flit between activities, doing something until I stop improving, then moving on to something else and trying that until I again stop improving. I gave up climbing for a year about 5 years ago because I was frustrated with trying everything onsight and not performing to a standard I thought I should be able to (because I had to have a lot of time off with work and kept losing my mental lead head). Then after a break I came back with a different approach and it has really worked for me since.

Still each to their own, everyone has their own path to happiness, wouldn't want to be accused of being evangelical about it As long as I keep crushing smaller holds each time I'm down Pixies Hole I'll be happy. And when I can't anymore I'll go and take up scuba diving or parachuting or something else...

Merry Xmas to all!
petejh 27 Dec 2009
In reply to fishy1: I think Dave Macleod's new book has had a bit of an easy ride and lots of good free advertising so far, so I'll offer up my views after finishing the book

From a crap but slowly improving climber.

GOOD POINTS: It’s written by a top climber who practices what he preaches.
The training information is based on scientific principles and sports science research.
The sections where Dave talks about learning falling above trad gear and trad leading tactics are, unlike any other training book I've read, relevant to climbing in the uk.
The style is like a psychological scalpel - direct and to the point in highlighting where your weaknesses lie. If, after reading '9 out of 10..', you still can't figure out the principles you need to follow in order to improve then there's little hope for you.
It gives an overall perspective on training without going too much into details but there are still loads and loads of really useful tips gained from experience on the little details of training for climbing.

BAD POINTS: For me, the book is badly, almost haphazardly, laid out. It isn't an attractive book to look at or read. I found myself wondering if getting it published in time for Christmas release contributed to it's rough look.
Compared to Self Coached Climber '9 out of 10..' doesn't flow nearly as well from one chapter to the next. SCC's chapters build on what is written previously whilst still managing to make it an easy book to dip in and out of to review specific points; '9 out of 10..' doesn't do this for me.
One reason it's hard to dip in and out is due to the poor layout - there aren't any chapter headings on the pages and there are so many sub-headings that it's hard to orientate whereabouts in the book certain bits of information are, also there aren't any pictures or diagrams to illustrate any of Dave's points about technique.
Where SCC uses good quality diagrams, photos and a dvd to illustrate how balance works and the technique drills, '9 out of 10..' is the equivalent of your partner saying 'use your feet' without really showing you how.
The writing style – some of the writing is cut and pasted from past entries on Dave's blog, so the book reads a bit like a series of blog entries which have been re-arranged to give the appearance of progressing from one stage of learning to the next. For me it doesn't work and after getting past the first chapter I felt like the book was starting to repeat itself a bit too much.
I kept finding myself thinking that I was just reading about the same principles of (for want of better words) 'self-awareness' and 'objective self-criticism' over and over but written in a slightly different way in each section to describe whatever the section was about. Maybe I'm self-aware enough already (I should know if I am) but I think anyone with a bit about them would realise that any self-help type book would essentially tell you the same thing (in a different context) as '9 out of 10..' does - that it's all about recognizing your own negative ingrained habits, preconceptions, focusing on the correct things and developing the self-discipline to follow through on initial good practice.

Despite the bad points for me, I'd still recommend '9 out of 10..', but only after buying Self Coached Climber first, I still think the chapters on technique training, movement initiation, balance, strength/endurance/power endurance, training programs and movement learning in Self Coached Climber are the best I've read for nuts and bolts details and '9 out of 10..' makes a good complement which gives you the bigger picture on why you shouldn’t get bogged down in the details.

Pete.
 ShaunD 28 Dec 2009
In reply to fishy1: listening to advice aimed too sell books.
 Jonas Wiklund 28 Dec 2009
In reply to fishy1: I got the book a few days before christmas and have now read most of it. For me "9 out of 10" is up among "Performance Rock climbing" (those who can read German may be better off with the updated version "Lizenz zum Klettern" and "The Self-Coached Climber" as one of the three best books about training for climbing available in English.

The movement part in SCC is very good (better than anything I have seen, bar a book/DVD by Koyamada Dai): true it contained very little I didn't know, but it would have been very helpful for me 10 years ago. I think SCC rather over-prescribes ACR-training, the absolutely mind-numbing amount of ACR recommended is neither supported by science (as far as I can tell) nor very impressive anecdotal proof. Also the writers of SCC seem to believe that a 40 m long continuous 5.12b has exactly as hard moves as a 4 m long 5.12b, making much of their concrete recommendations for finding routes of the right level quite useless.

I suspect "9 out of 10 climbers" is a bit too advanced for absolutely beginning climbers who will do better getting "The Self-Coached Climber", which contains a lot of concrete exercises. MacLeods book rather suppose that the reader has some knowledge of climbing and basic strength exercises for climbing, but for those who has it cuts through the bull and tells it like it is.

Those who wants more of a textbook in exercise physiology for climbers, get "Performance Rock-climbing" instead, for those who are beginners, get SCC instead. For most other climbers get "9 out of 10 climbers".
Danger Dawkins 28 Dec 2009
In reply to Dave MacLeod: Will this be the first in a series of books?

9 out of 10 Climbers Make The Same Thing for Breakfast - What to Eat at 20,000 feet
9 out of 10 Climbers Who've Summitted Everest Couldn't Climb a Ladder - The Truth about the World's Highest Mountain
9 out of 10 Climbers Prefer Brunettes - Love on the Rocks (or How to Recruit the Perfect Belay Partner)
9 out of 10 Climbers Do It In Rubber - Getting Kinky at 20,000 feet
9 out of 10 Climbers Use Ropes - Bondage in the Death Zone
 UKB Shark 29 Dec 2009
In reply to Jonas Wiklund: Also the writers of SCC seem to believe that a 40 m long continuous 5.12b has exactly as hard moves as a 4 m long 5.12b, making much of their concrete recommendations for finding routes of the right level quite useless.


This is untrue. The table on p179, which they describe as rough guide shows a range of bouldering grades for the hardest move you are most likely to find on a route i.e. ie 5.13a is likely to have a hardest move of V5 - V6. The example you give of a 4m 5.12b is scarcely a route - there are longer boulder problems than that.

Otherwise I agree with what you said.

To add a couple of things Macleod's book is written more as an individual self-help type guide to put things into perspective and proportion (a diffrent view of the same mountain). By giving a framework for what is required to realise your potential and illustrating the common mistakes, patterns of behaviour or bad habits many fall into it should show each climber where their shortcomings are and how to go about addressing them -each reader should draw different lessons from the book relating to their own circumstances and development.

I was especially impressed that the issue of body mass was bravely dealt with head on - something that is skirted around elsewhere.


 Jonas Wiklund 29 Dec 2009
In reply to Simon Lee:
>
> This is untrue. The table on p179, which they describe as rough guide shows a range of bouldering grades for the hardest move you are most likely to find on a route i.e. ie 5.13a is likely to have a hardest move of V5 - V6. The example you give of a 4m 5.12b is scarcely a route - there are longer boulder problems than that.
>
You need not look any further than to that very same page to find an example of how unrealistic they handle aerobic conditioning. On page 179 they write

"Testing your current local aerobic-conditioning level is a simple matter of determining the highest grade at which you can climb continuously for twenty minutes without crossing your aerobic threshold. [...] Pick a climb with a vertical or slightly overhung angle that will allow you to climb up and then back down again."

This is useless as a benchmark, without comparing to routes of exactly the same length and angle. There is quite a big difference between a vertical 5.11d that is 30 m high and an steep 5.11d that is 8 m high. The first I could quite possible climb on indefinitely without crossing over the anaerobic threshold, the other I could never continuously climb on for 30 min in my life. Yet they state clearly which grade I should be able to climb continuous on for my redpoint-grade e.g. on page 192. (From the table on p. 192 I suspect that they measure continous climbing level on a 13-15 m high 10 deg overhanging wall.)
 UKB Shark 29 Dec 2009
In reply to Jonas Wiklund:

I was picking up on your point "they believe that a 40 m long continuous 5.12b has exactly as hard moves as a 4 m long 5.12b". The key word being 'exactly'.

They don't on either table which both come with caveats that they are general and rough guides. Indeed the p192 table clearly states it "does not represent the minimum requirements to climb at a specific grade".

There are always exceptions to rules especially as far as climbing grades go but a 4m or even 8m high route is not typical even in little england.
 James Oswald 29 Dec 2009
In reply to Anonymous:
Daves website.
James
 Fraser 30 Dec 2009
In reply to Anonymous:

Try e-mailing Dave direct or commenting on his blog. You could be lucky and he might be at home today.

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