/ Adam Ondra

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Owen W-G - on 16 Oct 2012
He's bouldered and sport climbed both at the very highest levels and won the world cup in both bouldering and lead climbing. Doubtless he's the worlds best sport climber and certainly among the best few boulderers in the world - some might claim to be on a par but is anyone stronger than him?

The point is, how unusual in any sport for the most powerful and strong also to have the best indurance? It's a bit like usain bolt also beng the best 1500m runner, or road cyclists also being the best trak sprinters. In the past, would the best sport climbers also have been the best boulderers or did 'the best' only tend to be the best in one disciplines or the other?
Si dH - on 16 Oct 2012
In reply to Owen W-G:
Obviously Ondra is awesome. However I'm not sure the difference between bouldering and sport climbing is as great as between, say, 100m and 1500m and 10,000m running.
I was very struck by David Weir's success at the paralympics, didn't he win gold in the wheelchair 800m, 1500m, 5000m and the marathon? Obviously that's an exceptional achievement, but equally obviously it simply wouldn't be possible in the main running events, and so you wonder what the difference is.
Thinking about it, I suspect it may be to do with muscle groups. The dominant muscles in climbing or wheelchairs are your arms (and in climbing, your forearms). These are fairly small muscle groups when compared to your legs. I suspect the implication is that it is possible to gain sufficient muscle mass to be successful in short 'sprint' events without putting on so much weight that you would be severely disadvantaged in longer 'stamina' events. In running on the other hand (and I guess cycling?), in order to be a top sprinter, you need a huge amount of muscle mass to provide the explosive power - and this extra weight would leave you hugely disadvantaged in a long distance race.

I will probably get told this is all baloney by some sports scientist, as Ive thought it up on the hop.
Si dH - on 16 Oct 2012
In reply to Owen W-G:
Im no climbing historian any more than sports scientist, but I get the impression from various autobiogaphies and first ascent lists that mostly the same people were the best boulderers and sports climbers in the 80s - Moffatt, Moon, etc - they werent all one or the other. But that may be because there were very few people focussing only on the one aspect, especially bouldering pre-pads etc.
mrchewy - on 16 Oct 2012
In reply to Owen W-G: Ondra has only just managed his first one armed pull up - chatting to someone this summer who's bouldered with him, Sharma and quite of few other top climbers, his take on Ondra being the very best was that he tries the hardest. Maximum effort all the time.
To my mind, that would translate to sports and boulders equally well and explain how he climbs so damned hard when he's not actually that strong, not when compared with a lot of his peers.
Jonas Wiklund - on 16 Oct 2012
In reply to Owen W-G: Climbing puts comparably little stress on the cardiovascular system so it not possible to compare it with running. The endurance-aspect in climbing is local endurance and it is quite possible to have high levels of local endurance and max strength in small muscles. Even in swimming (which is much harder on the CV system than climbing) it is possible to be good in both 100m and 400m events.

The best climber is the one that moves best over rock.
Jonny2vests - on 16 Oct 2012
In reply to Owen W-G:
> some might claim to be on a par but is anyone stronger than him?

Define 'strong'. In the sense I assume you mean, I think there's likely a fair few who are 'stronger'.
RBonney - on 17 Oct 2012
In reply to Owen W-G: I read somewhere (possibly on 8a) that the capillaries in your forearm are forced shut when working above about 50% (I can't remember the figure but it was something like this I think) so if you have stronger forearms, or are not having to use them so intensively (because your skinny and weigh nothing), you should be able to climb further without getting pumped whilst being very good at sort powerful moves.

And from what I understand modern sport climbs seem to just be hard boulder problems stacked on top of each other, requiring a lot of power, so if you can't boulder hard you can't sport climb at the top level
JBO on 18 Oct 2012
In reply to Owen W-G: Wouldn't a lot of it be down to technique? It's a lot more important in climbing than in running, and Ondra's is just so efficient it must be just as important as his strenght or endurance. What I'm trying to say is that whilst good technique is pretty much constant across all aspects and styles of climbing, the muscles, CV work and technique for running differ greatly from discipline to discipline.

Again probably all nonsense...
lmarenzi - on 18 Oct 2012
In reply to Owen W-G:

Bouldering just means climbing hard. It's like only climbing route cruxes.

Top end routes tend to have top end cruxes on them, so some of those Ondra 9b routes require you to pull 8B/+ cruxes and then some.

In other words you would expect bouldering ability and sport route climbing ability go hand in hand. Like 100m and 200m and the long jump. Really long endurance routes = 400m perhaps? I have a hunch that the 100m sprinters would all be awesome over 400m if they changed the focus of their training. The 400m guys, on the other hand, would probably struggle in the 100m.

On the other hand it's worth remembering that Olympic marathon runners are probably quite handy over 100m in layman's terms (something in the 11s?), but the 100m guys would find it virtually impossible to finish a marathon.

It's all bit sport/individual specific, so feel free to dismiss the above as idle musings ...
Tru - on 19 Oct 2012
In reply to lmarenzi:

More uneducated musings but I believe Imarenzi is on the right track.

Sport climbing routes are not marathons and they often involve short powerful sections followed by rests. Imagine Bolt run a 1500m race in 100m bursts where the clock was stopped after each 100m.

The other issue is unlike a running track all routes are different. With the hardest routes being put up by the strongest climbers who favour power routes.

Finally have you ever met a good climber who hates bouldering? They don't exist

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