/ Giving up outdoor sessions for training.
At the moment I have been constantly climbing outside, 3/4 times a week redpointing hard routes. I just managed my first 7b the other day which im chuffed about, 8a is starting to feel like a vaguely realistic target. Currently I do next to no training other than just climb a lot. Is it worth sacrficiing time climbing outdoors to fignerboard/ campus board / train in doors which is something i have always tried to avoid, i also worry my fingers arent up to it yet as i have only been climbing for 2 years or should i try and fit this in after a day of climbing outdoors? Also my bouldering grade currently feels quite disproportionate to my route grade as the hardest i have bouldered is V3 outdoors / V5 indoors. Should i sacrifice a sport climbing session to go bouldering outside?
> Is it worth sacrficiing time climbing outdoors to fignerboard/ campus board / train in doors
> Should i sacrifice a sport climbing session to go bouldering outside?
Simple question, do you want to?
If you have only bouldered V3 then it's fairly likely that stopping route climbing for a while and focusing on bouldering (indoors and out) may help push your grade in the long run. I probably wouldn't hang on the fingerboard quite yet, at least until you've done a few weeks/months of solid bouldering.
But climbing is all about motivation. If are motivated to train because you know you will push your grade, it becomes fun - I enjoy doing power endurance circuits at the wall, because every time I manage a few moves further, it motivates me to know that I'm now more likely to tick my projects next time I'm rock climbing.
That said, many people (like me) only go indoor climbing because it provides 'a quick hit' of climbing when time constraints preclude a session on the rock... in that sense, I personally would never miss a day's rock climbing to go indoors!
Sounds like your bouldering level is going to be a limiting factor before too long, but the style of bouldering that's mostly to be found indoors these days probably isn't that relevant for developing finger strength & power for rock.
Outdoor bouldering on limestone is great if you have access to it. Tends not to be fantastically aesthetic, but all rock is better than all plastic. Or indoor bouldering on a steep training board, which most decent bouldering walls have.
Nice one on the 7b! I wouldn't go indoors when it's sunny. Get as much climbing done now while you can, and the weather will force you back to training before too long. You're making very rapid progress as it is, so while you might get better a tiny bit quicker if you did a bit of finger boarding or something, if it was me I'd just focus on climbing as much as you can while everything's dry and increasing your skill as much as poss, and then when it's raining do all the boring stuff.
Good thing about sport climbing (as opposed to trad) is that below the very top level, climbing *is* training: you're pulling as hard as you can and getting pumped solid. Trad climbing on the other hand makes you weak (but can get you fit if you're on pumpy routes) - which is why I do at least one session sport climbing and/or bouldering every week and call that "training". If you think finger strength is a particular weakness, why not do some of the god-awful bouldering on the South Lakes limestone rather than indoor/finger board? If you master the Shelter Stone, that'll big bring gains in your sport climbing.
There's a lot to learn climbing outdoors that you won't learn by indoor climbing. The climbing tends to be far more technical often with more options when it comes to doing a move or sequence. Memorising sequences and reading the rock is different and less obvious so the more you do outside the better you'll get.
If you're managing to get out a lot then there's no reason to go indoors. For a different training effect you can try harder routes. Or do more volume by doing easier routes.
Some days outside can end up being less than optimal, eg. you pick the wrong route, bad weather etc. so it's easier to be consistent indoors generally. However if you're climbing most days and have a bad day you just go out the next day.
I wouldn't focus on grades too much. Use them as a guide to find the appropriate difficulty you want to try on a given day.
In this country you'll generally have plenty of time to climb indoors. Our 8 month long winters are the best time to spend indoors training and bouldering. Make the most of the dry weather for outside.
Cheers for the tips, luckily i have woodwell on my doorstep, always seemed a bit intimidating for me but guess if i go and dangle off something there long enough something should happen!
Have a think about what is stopping you from progressing and think about improving on that. I suspect it's not much other than getting more hours in but if you think you need to improve on a specific aspect then think about what you can do to practice whatever that may be.
Have you read Dave McLeod's book, 9 out of 10 Climbers? Lots of good stuff in there.
Another alternative is just to get on harder routes. Doing hard routes close to one's physical limits is basically just bouldering on a rope. This is a great way to get stronger. Just remember to take some rest days.
If you feel you want to train too then probably best to do something that is not trained by climbing particularly well. For instance stretching. Team Japan apparently start every day with two hours of stretching and they're dominating the World Cups at the moment.
Core strength is also well worth doing since, apart from very specific moves, it's not that well trained by climbing alone. A 10 - 15m core session each day is well worth doing.
The fingers tend to get worked a lot by climbing so I don't think you'd want to overdo finger training. However doing some simple recruitment training on a hangboard before climbing would also be worthwhile. Essentially all you'd be doing is a series of progressively harder hangs to near your max. Done correctly this should make you feel stronger by the time you get to the crag.
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