UKC

How to climb 7a indoors?

New Topic
This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
 chris_r 26 Jan 2022

I'm 42, and have climbed on-and-off for over 25 years.

With a job and family, dedicating time to outdoors climbing simply doesn't happen. So I'd like to improve my indoor grades. My on sight lead grade is rarely above 6b. I don't tend to work routes. Indoors I boulder to about V4.

I climb 2-3 times a week for 90mins to 2 hours a time. A mixture of bouldering, top rope and leading. BMI 22. I do no other exercise or training. My diet isn't exactly that of an Olympic athlete and I like beer.

Any suggestions for things I should change to start moving up the grades?

1
 Iamgregp 26 Jan 2022
In reply to chris_r:

I'm in a similar boat, family, job, 40, and knocking on 7a's door.

I've onsighted 6c+ indoor, and got 6c outdoor for the first time in the autumn, so am hoping 7a is a realistic target for this year.  Despite the fact that I climb less often now than I ever have before?!

It's impossible to be able to identify what your particular strengths and weaknesses are and what you need to work on, so I'd say get professional help!

I have an instructor who I do weekend with every couple of years or so, that a massive help for identifying things I need to work on, that pushed my grade up certainly...

Also when lockdown 1 happened I sent of to Neil Gresham and got one of his personalised training plans.  That helped massively too, my finger strength was nowhere near what it should have been. 

So in summary, speak to a professional, ask them what to do then stick to the plan they give you.  It will 100% work.

Post edited at 16:58
1
 deacondeacon 26 Jan 2022
In reply to chris_r:

What do you think are the reasons you're not succeeding?

Can you climb 7a on top rope? If so do lots of fall practice.

Are you getting tired out before you top out? If so work on endurance.

Are you struggling to do the actual moves, even after a rest? If so do some bouldering training.

Work Your Weakness. 🙂

 Jon Stewart 26 Jan 2022
In reply to chris_r:

I find that indoor training is quite specific, i.e. if you want to climb a short vertical indoor route, then climb short vertical indoor routes. If you want to boulder harder, boulder, etc.

So if the aim is to climb a 7a, decide what style you prefer. Then lead plenty of routes in that style at the grade you can manage now and try top roping lots of 7as, over and over again. Once you're top roping 7a successfully it's not a  big deal to switch that to lead. Since you can boulder V4 I don't think you need to gain any strength, you just need to do quite a few V2/3 moves on the trot (and clip the rope), so spend your time doing exactly that.

It's quite a jump from onsighting 6b max to reliably onsighting 7a, but just to redpoint the odd one isn't asking for a huge improvement, more just getting on with that goal. 

In reply to chris_r:

If you just want to climb 7a, search for something that is vaguely your kind of style: are you good at crimps, then find something like that.. maybe you are bad at slopers, then avoid a route with lots of them! I would say something slightly overhanging can be good as the holds are generally a bit more positive so its more a case of just being able to hold on!

Once you have found a route, have a crack at the route and see how far you get. Once you have a rest, just go up the easier route (generally there is an easier route on the same line) and clip the next draw then come back down again to where you fell off and work the moves for that particular section. Once you have that section dialed you then rinse and repeat and you will eventually get to the top! 

When you have all the moves worked out you can then start to link sections, and eventually clip the chains. It all takes a bit of work compared to just on-sighting but the process is fun!

 jezb1 26 Jan 2022
In reply to chris_r:

I wrote a bit about this some years ago, albeit outdoors, but the themes are much the same.

Take a look if you're bored and want to be more bored..!
https://www.jbmountainskills.co.uk/post/how-to-climb-7a-outdoors

 Kevster 26 Jan 2022
In reply to chris_r:

Get on more 7as. 

"7a a day"

Eventually it'll work out for you. Nothing like practice and experience. 

If you wish to lead the 7a

I'd also suggest against top roping unless you're working a route at your limit. Even then I'd be leading what I could in sections in preference. Lead head matters. 

 PaulW 26 Jan 2022
In reply to chris_r:

When I was indoor climbing lots I was steady on 6b and over a couple of years managed to find the odd 7a I could redpoint. 

It was the very odd one though that suited my strengths, crimps and small footholds.

Lots of climbing would be my suggestion.

In reply to chris_r:

So for some context: last year I red-pointed my first 7b outdoors, and onsighted a bunch of 7as outdoors. So, climbing the best I've ever climbed. I boulder V4 solidly in the gym, and can do V5 if I bother to work it over a few sessions (I rarely boulder outdoors, partly out of preference, partly due to a bad accident two years back making me nervous about falling and missing mats).

Can I onsight 7a indoors? Can I feck. If I onsight a 6c indoors, I'm chuffed. I've red-pointed maybe 3-4 7as indoors, ever, vs. well over 20 outdoors (though I work the latter, and rarely bother with the former).

What's up? Well, indoor routes are a) shorter than (most) outdoor routes and are thus usually far more fierce at the grade, b) are usually set so that you HAVE to do the moves the way the routesetter intends (outdoors I find my own sneaky preferred ways), c) are largely devoid of rests, d) use horrible weird holds and stupid nasty volumes.

What this adds up to is that for someone like me, indoor routes always feel much harder then outdoor routes. I like long, techy, endurance pieces where a good head and good route-reading skills where you can sneak your way through sections in a preferred style pay off. And I vastly, vastly prefer how real rock feels on my hands and feet. That's the opposite of most indoor leading.

Why am I bothering to tell you this? Well, if you want to get better at indoor lead routes, train to be the opposite kind of climber to me: explosive, short power-endurance orientated, fast-moving, comfortable on plastic. If you can do V4, you can do the moves individually on any non-sandbagged indoor 7a - what's holding you back is the endurance to link those moves. So work "punchy" endurance, e.g. by doing 4x4* on e.g. a 6b+/6c on auto belay. I reckon if you dedicate 2 sessions a week to doing 4x4 on a lower grade (that is still hard-ish, thus you're pumping out by the final sets), for 4-6 weeks, then 7a will quickly come to you. 

As others have said, the other thing is redpointing the things. Like boulder problems, routes just get easier when you have the beta dialled in (not least because you start to move so much faster, so there is less to endure).

i.e. climb a route, lower off, immediately go again. 4 times total. Rest 8-10 minutes between sets. Repeat  3 more times. It's brutal, but my god it works.

Post edited at 21:05
4
In reply to jezb1:

I just clicked through to your climbing 8a blog - very inspirational! I have a long term goal of making it to 8a, and had set 'before I'm 40' as a sort of target (I'm 35 now), but tbh not sure I really believed it was possible. Your rate of progression after hitting 7a makes me think...it might be!

 AJM 26 Jan 2022
In reply to Paul Sagar:

> I have a long term goal of making it to 8a, and had set 'before I'm 40' as a sort of target (I'm 35 now), but tbh not sure I really believed it was possible.

A grade a year - it's not a ridiculous rate of progression in the middle grades, if you have the time to devote to it and can avoid getting injured...

 The Norris 26 Jan 2022
In reply to chris_r:

I'm no expert, but I can certainly identify with a lot of what you have said... beer drinking, perhaps a few pounds available to drop etc...

However I've lost 5kg over the past few months, and this last month I have been using a finger board with an app-based workout a couple of times a week (I don't get to climb as frequently as you unfortunately). The weightloss has also been aided by the nutracheck app (basically calorie counting)

So far I've managed to redpoint a 6c this week where only a month ago I was having a hard time on 6a+. There is definitely plenty of improvement for me to have with a bit more weightloss and increased finger strength, so I'm aiming for 7a over the next few months. 

I guess if you're finding it's not happening by just climbing, adding in some finger strength stuff at home or the wall may help, along with a but of dietary change if you have the desire. Good luck!

In reply to chris_r:

I'm 41, climbing around 6 years, mostly bouldering. I recently cracked 7a after plateauing for the last 3 years (covid didn't help).

I realised that through covid and moving house, I had got into the habit of just going to the gym my usual 3 times a week on my own and climbing for a couple of hours until I was tired. I'm in good shape from it, but I wasn't really improving my grade.

Finally settled in, joined a club, got to know some people at a similar grade to climb with. Realised that most of my problem was simply not pushing myself and trying hard. 

Within a few weeks of starting to try hard and actually projecting routes, I was able to break into V6 and 7a. I've actually quite enjoyed working routes/problems for several weeks, something I'd not done before. 

I stuck a beastmaker up at home and do half an hour on that once a week which made a noticable difference quite quickly.

 Kevster 26 Jan 2022
In reply to midgen:

Pilates put a grade on my climbing in about 6-8 weeks. 
Another avenue for training.

Fit club also for those who like structure and public (semi) discussion about progress etc. 

6c+ is such a bogey grade. Miss that one out! Its worse than HVS for nasty surprises. 

OP chris_r 26 Jan 2022
In reply to deacondeacon:

> Work Your Weakness. 🙂

Thanks all. Lot's of great advice an inspiration in this thread. I think identifying and targeting weaknesses is probably a good start. And maybe a couple of professional coaching sessions too. I'm the most experienced of the people I climb with so having someone to critique me is a good starting point.

 deacondeacon 27 Jan 2022
In reply to chris_r:

> I'm the most experienced of the people I climb with.......

Change this!👆 Chat  (and potentially climb with) people better than you. Climbing with people better than you always makes you realise that it's not actually that hard, and they can also give you advice. 

In reply to chris_r:

Your OP reads like a recipe for a ~7a indoor climber. How many have you tried???

 jezb1 27 Jan 2022
In reply to Paul Sagar:

Glad you liked it!

5 years to hit 8a, no problem, good luck

 Qwerty2019 27 Jan 2022
In reply to chris_r:

Someone once told me the secret to going up the grades........hard work.  The harder the grade, the harder the work.  

Seems pretty obvious doesn't it.  This was sent to a bunch of parents who were moaning about the ability of other climbers down south and the lack of coaching available to their kids.  Of course coaches make a huge difference but at grades in the 6's & early 7's it usually boils down to the climbers time on climbs.

If you are a 6b solid climber but struggling to get the 6c's then spend more time on 6b's.  If you are comfortable on 6b's then you will have the ability to spend time improving your climbing style on them. Pay attention to your feet, your hips, your pace.  Get to the point where you can do 2 or 3 laps of the 6b because you are climbing it much more smoothly.  Then structure sessions that allow you to do a variety of 6b climbs in a visit with the odd 6c thrown in  You are teaching yourself good habits that help not only on the next grade up but then every grade further up.  The 6c will come very quickly.

Do you want to be someone who can cherry pick a 7a that suits your style or do you want to be someone who can do 6c relatively easy with the odd 7a thrown in

A session with a coach who can point out things to you would be money well invested.  The amount of climbers i see who are strong and fit enough to climb 7a but their technique holds them back is ridiculous.  Every single one has issues with their feet.

Edit - Oh and clipping.  Dear god do some clipping drills.  How much energy do climbers waste clipping high up?

Post edited at 11:08
3
In reply to chris_r:

Sounds like you climb enough days per week, and are strong enough for an indoor 7a (based on your boulder grade). So tactics might be worth reviewing.

Anything at the top-end of your current grade will need to be worked. 
You don't need to project a route every session, but you should be getting on things that are progressively harder.

The other helpful hint, is to climb with people who already climb at that grade- see their approach to working routes, beta, structuring a session etc.

As a fellow member of the "40+ Club", I'm wishing you all the best

 Iamgregp 27 Jan 2022
In reply to Paul Sagar:

> What's up? Well, indoor routes are a) shorter than (most) outdoor routes and are thus usually far more fierce at the grade, b) are usually set so that you HAVE to do the moves the way the routesetter intends (outdoors I find my own sneaky preferred ways), c) are largely devoid of rests, d) use horrible weird holds and stupid nasty volumes.

> What this adds up to is that for someone like me, indoor routes always feel much harder then outdoor routes. I like long, techy, endurance pieces where a good head and good route-reading skills where you can sneak your way through sections in a preferred style pay off. And I vastly, vastly prefer how real rock feels on my hands and feet. That's the opposite of most indoor leading.

Paul, please stop stealing thoughts inside my head and writing them on public forums

In reply to chris_r:

youtube.com/watch?v=JVFd5xZDxlY&

Adjust the campus numbers to take into account the grade difference and you should be good?

In reply to chris_r:

If you can onsight 6b and boulder V4 I would think you can probably already redpoint a 7a. 

When I redpointed my first 7a I think I could maybe onsight 6b+ and boulder V4. 

The advice in this thread is spot on really. 

What I would do if I was you:

(1) Start to build your endurance. Try 4x4s on routes, pick some 6as and 6a+s you can do and do them 4x in a row without rest. Build up to 2x 6b in a row and then to 4x 6b in a row. 

(2) Keep the bouldering going, make sure you're consistent at V4. This should ensure you're strong enough for any crux on a 7a.

(3) Pick a 7a that suits your normal style (i.e. what sort of 6b you'd back yourself to onsight, but scaled up in difficulty). 

(4) Go up it bolt to bolt to see what it's like. When you're at the top make sure you work the top section loads so that you're smooth climbing it even when tired.

(5) You can adopt a toprope it first approach or just try to lead it and see what happens. But make sure you've done (4) above first or you will waste goes! 

I bet you can redpoint a 7a within 4-6 weeks if you give it a good go. 

 jkarran 27 Jan 2022
In reply to chris_r:

> Any suggestions for things I should change to start moving up the grades?

Learn to redpoint. You'll be there or thereabouts for 7a already.

jk

Post edited at 13:43
 AJM 27 Jan 2022
In reply to Iamgregp and Paul Sagar:

> Paul, please stop stealing thoughts inside my head and writing them on public forums

Just as an observation (this is not a criticism, I share several of these traits!), being able to write such a clear description of why a particular type of route feels harder is useful self diagnosis for improvement.

You can rephrase "I find my own sneaky preferred ways" as "I lack the strength for more basic sequences" and "short, more fierce and devoid of rests" as "I lack short end power endurance", and improvement comes a lot quicker if you target weaknesses than focus on polishing strengths.

 Cobra_Head 27 Jan 2022
In reply to chris_r:

I'd stop top roping, especially if your belayer keeps you tight, it throws off you balance and you get nothing out of it.

It's taken me nearly 20 years to find this out, a new belay partner who wanted to lead everything, and someone who I felt safe falling with. My grade jumped up from 6a+ to 6b+. My next target is my footwork which is shit, especially on my left foot.

If I fall, I repeat the move previous to the fall, I also give up a lot. I prefer to on-sight stuff, so hanging around resting on the rope, isn't really for me.

Post edited at 15:57
 C Witter 27 Jan 2022
In reply to chris_r:

1. Go to Kendal Wall and pick the easiest 7a.
2. Onsight it.
3. Wonder whether "7a indoors" is really the goal you thought it was.
4. Stop respecting the grades and start paying a more nuanced attention to your strengths and weaknesses.

4
In reply to chris_r:

Getting a coach absolutely super-charged my climbing - defo recommend doing that, even if it's just a session or two they will be able to spot weaknesses in both physical and technical aspects of your climbing that it's harder to identify by yourself, and addressing those should lead to rapid improvements.

 nThomp 27 Jan 2022
In reply to chris_r:

> I don't tend to work routes.

I think this is key.

To understand how a 7a feels, and to be comfortable on 7a, you want to ideally be working 7a or even 7a+. Practising each individual move over and over and finding the ways in which they work.

I think of it like learning to code or something similar. You can read all the books and do all the tutorials (i.e. the 6c's and 6c+'s). But unless you throw yourself in the deep end and just try to write a <insert language of your choice> project/app/website, you make no headway. Much of which involves failing and trying different approaches.

Once you have managed it, the whole idea of 7a almost evaporates. 

Other than that, get used to getting pumped, get used to relaxing to avoid getting pumped, get used to non-pumpy but crimpy routes, and get used to falling so there is less lead fear (and perhaps practice by skipping the anchor clip at your local wall and lobbing)

1
In reply to AJM:

Oh yes, this is absolutely correct. My whole training programme this season is orientated around dealing with these weaknesses.

Indoor climbing is still rubbish compared to real climbing though

1
In reply to Paul Sagar:

Well that and having tons of base endurance so I can hang around on E4s for 2 hours at a time.

1
 AJM 27 Jan 2022
In reply to Paul Sagar:

It did occur to me that this might require quite a different focus!

Le Sapeur 27 Jan 2022
In reply to chris_r:

I've only had a quick glance through the replies so apologies if this is repeated info. When I climbed I found slabs, steep and otherwise quite easy. I also found climbing on small holds easy. Therefore I could climb steep 'slabs' without  too much trouble. Up to around 7b/c. 

So my advise for moving up the grades is find climbs, routes, that suit your climbing style.  If you have punny arms and massive calfs (calves if you are a cow), get on the slabs. If you have Big Arnie arms and spindles for legs, get on the overhangs. Make use of your strengths.

 Morgan Woods 28 Jan 2022
In reply to chris_r:

What does your grade pyramid look like? Logbooks on here and things like Kilter/Moon apps make that quite easy.

When you say V4 do you mean flashing? If not how many tries?

Once you start to quantify and measure it becomes a bit of a numbers game. For me V4 boulder is easily enough strength/power to climb 7a (and slightly higher) so as others have mentioned there may be some other things to work on. A spreadsheet or whiteboard can be a good place to start logging what you do and the progress you are making.....esp as indoor may not translate to UKC logbooks.

Would also highly recommend:

a) try to regularly get on a Moon or Kilter board. There is indoor V4 and there is board V4.....the latter will force you to be more powerful on small holds which is the name of the game for route climbing

b) think of all your routes in terms of V cruxes or sequences.....not many 7a's have anything harder than V3 so you should be technically capable.

 Sprucedgoose 28 Jan 2022
In reply to chris_r:

How did you get to V4? I bet you tried and fell off an awful lot of V4's . . . . . 

In reply to chris_r:

- do some focussed aeroboc endurance work

- climb with people for whom 7a is easy

- try lots of 7a’s

 JLS 28 Jan 2022
In reply to chris_r:

It’s all about resting enough between multiple attempts in a session.

Ben Moon three videos are very good.

youtube.com/watch?v=mREDuU5-dqw&

1
 Iamgregp 14 Feb 2022
In reply to chris_r:

Update on this, finally climbed my first 7a indoor the other day.  Not as stoked as I thought I'd be, but chuffed all the same.

Think it was a bit soft to be fair, got it on about 5th try.

In reply to Iamgregp:

Grades are just grades - the reward is in becoming a better climber! 

OP chris_r 14 Feb 2022
In reply to Iamgregp:

Nice one. And don't beat yourself up if it was a little soft in the grade, its all about progression and I'm sure there'll be many more to follow.

I've been working on repeat circuits to build up some power endurance, which is one of my main weaknesses.

 Iamgregp 14 Feb 2022
In reply to Paul Sagar:

Absolutely.  The real reward is being able to get into that flow zone and just cruise and enjoy really fun routes with interesting moves that I would have been crapping myself on years back.  That's what it's all about for me anyway!

 Iamgregp 14 Feb 2022
In reply to chris_r:

Yeah that's something I ought to work on too, did a couple of warm up routes, jumped on the 7a had three goes at it, got it on the last one and was knackered...

Could barely send the objectively much easier 6c on the wall next to it!

In reply to Iamgregp:

That's cos climbing is hard and you're not a robot!

In reply to Paul Sagar:

Paul, hope you dont mind me asking (and a slight thread de rail), I think you are in a similar position to me albeit a year ahead in terms of progression - what did you focus on with coaching? was it the physical stuff, I.e. getting more power endurance, or was it more the more physiologically trad aspects? 

Perhaps I should start a new thread on why can't I climb E4!

 seankenny 14 Feb 2022
In reply to Paul Sagar:

> So for some context: last year I red-pointed my first 7b outdoors, and onsighted a bunch of 7as outdoors…

> Can I onsight 7a indoors? Can I feck. If I onsight a 6c indoors, I'm chuffed. I've red-pointed maybe 3-4 7as indoors, ever, vs. well over 20 outdoors (though I work the latter, and rarely bother with the former).

This is is totally true for me too.

> What's up? Well, indoor routes are a) shorter than (most) outdoor routes and are thus usually far more fierce at the grade, b) are usually set so that you HAVE to do the moves the way the routesetter intends (outdoors I find my own sneaky preferred ways), c) are largely devoid of rests, d) use horrible weird holds and stupid nasty volumes.

> What this adds up to is that for someone like me, indoor routes always feel much harder then outdoor routes. I like long, techy, endurance pieces where a good head and good route-reading skills where you can sneak your way through sections in a preferred style pay off. And I vastly, vastly prefer how real rock feels on my hands and feet. That's the opposite of most indoor leading.

> Why am I bothering to tell you this? Well, if you want to get better at indoor lead routes, train to be the opposite kind of climber to me: explosive, short power-endurance orientated, fast-moving, comfortable on plastic. If you can do V4, you can do the moves individually on any non-sandbagged indoor 7a - what's holding you back is the endurance to link those moves. So work "punchy" endurance, e.g. by doing 4x4* on e.g. a 6b+/6c on auto belay. I reckon if you dedicate 2 sessions a week to doing 4x4 on a lower grade (that is still hard-ish, thus you're pumping out by the final sets), for 4-6 weeks, then 7a will quickly come to you. 

 

This is good advice and it will work. But I’d suggest doing some aerobic capacity work first - long sessions of easy climbing. Note that this does NOT mean these will be easy sessions. You want to get tired from the sheer amount of moves you do. If I’m training this and fit I’ll go for a Shard, because I’m not fit enough for a Half Dome day. Aim at being a bit pumped some of the time. You can do this on a bouldering wall, intensity will be a little higher but volume should be smaller. I also find a session that’s some bouldering and then some aero cap work really good for keeping you reasonably sharp whilst getting fit. 
 

After some sessions of this you’ll be able to cope with shorter, harder circuits much better. And you’ll be able to fit in more climbing on any given day, so you could fit in an extra decent redpoint go.

The downsides are it is boring, tiring and hard on your skin. 

In reply to ebdon:

So I hired a coach, and did what they told me, after they had assessed my relative strength (few) and weaknesses (many!)

I've been working with Jon Redshaw at Onsight Coaching since early 2020, though that included 3 lockdowns and in my case a broken leg, which wasn't ideal. Nonetheless he got me from scraping up some 7as, right through a 4 month enforced lay off, up to redpointing 7b. I'm currently on a new cycle aiming to be peaking in April for a trip to Leonidio - and I've never felt better or stronger.* The point is: I personally hugely benefit from having somebody who isn't me tell me what I need to train, because I'm bad at identifying and working my own weaknesses (I avoid the fingerboard, won't do my core or flexibility exercises, unless I get a prod in the right direction). Outsourcing the strategy was for me immensely beneficial. I'm not naturally strong or especially good at climbing, so I have to work really hard to improve - having a coach just makes that easier. And I mean a real life human, not the Lattice app (though that can certainly help, just less so in terms of tailoring to the individual).

Returning to trad this year, however, is going to be about more than just physical condition. The head game and dusting down of all the various skills (placing gear fast; moving efficiently; assessing risk, etc) will only come with time on rock. From about the end of this month I'm hoping to get out on trad at least one day of each weekend. I'll start with VS routes and build up, but not too quickly. Last time I tried to go quickly, it was a bit of a disaster...

Hope that helps!

* it probably also helps that I've been working with Tom Herbert aka The Useful Coach with regards my nutrition. This is partly about getting into the ideal shape for climbing and using the right energy inputs to maximise training and performance, but also for me because I've just been such a chaotic and confused eater for so long, I wanted to try and sort this out this year and learn how to eat like a proper grownup (i.e. cook proper meals, not survive on 80% bagels and ketchup). It's worked wonders so far. Except for the protein farts, which are at risk of destroying my current relationship if last night's protests were anything to go by.
 



 

In reply to seankenny:

This is good advice. Autobelays are perfect for aerobic capacity training (just stick your headphones in). My coach has had me doing 2 of these sessions a week to build up the base fitness for a summer of trad. It's boring but it works!

In reply to Paul Sagar:

Thanks that's really helpful and interesting, I'm asking as I used to just think it was being weak that was holding me back but after reading 8 out if 10 climbers (which says climbers always blame lack of strength when infact its often other issues at play) and getting a bit stronger in recent years I think I'm missing something else.

Allthough after having a great year climbing last year my top tip would be if you want to climb harder grades, get on harder graded climbs! and dont worry about failing. Easier said than done though especially on trad.

 Iamgregp 14 Feb 2022
In reply to Paul Sagar:

Very much on board with getting proper professional coaching, really works for me too.  Would absolutely be miles behind where I am now (albeit still a very modest level) if it wasn't for the coaching I've had.  

What I really liked about the coach who I've worked with was that it wasn't so much technique that he taught us, it was philosophies and strategies (this is how to redpoint properly, this is how to make your footwork better, this is how confident you need to be on the rope etc) so that we could then use these tools and approaches to keep improving on our own.

He also pointed out some pretty fundamental things that were wrong in my outdoor climbing, like why the f*ck I used to try and get up everything as fast as possible in one push without resting????

In reply to ebdon:

I'm a bit unusual in that I really was weak relative to other climbers - but I used to make up for it by being bold as f***. That latter strategy landed me in the hospital though, so wasn't really sustainable! Dave Mc is right though, albeit that I'd quibble and say 'strength' isn't just strong fingers and being able to do loads of pull ups - you need to be 'strong' in other ways, e.g. core and flexibility, plus using good technique to maximise the strength you do have. Mental application of strength in maximal ways is also really important - but also a lot easier if you've worked your weaknesses!

Like Greg, though, for me the biggest benefit is having somebody who is better than me observe me and tell me things that are obvious to them but that I can't see for myself. The impartial perspective that a coach brings is invaluable, and it's easier to take their advice when they are a professional and you're paying them - your mates may give you good advice, but it's much easier to ignore them if you don't like what it requires you doing!

Post edited at 13:14
In reply to Iamgregp:

p.s. I understand there is a resistance to getting a coach - can seem self-indulgent or against the DIY ethics of the sport. But if like me you leaned to climb in your late 20s, it seems mad to think you'll somehow be able to find your own way to improvement without outside help unless you're unusually gifted (which I'm not). If I had taken up tennis, or playing the guitar*, at age 29 I wouldn't think it was weird to get a coach/teacher to help me out. Same goes for climbing. It's also not even really that expensive, relative to say another pair of shoes or a set of quickdraws

* I failed for 15+ years to ever get good at this, and that's in part cos I never took lessons [more accurately: didn't practice properly even when I did briefly take lessons]...and in the end I just packed it in. Which I'm ok with; I just wasn't a musician at heart, and crippling lack of ability did for me. Luckily I can still enjoy listening to other people do it!

Post edited at 13:18
In reply to chris_r:

'I don't tend to work routes.'

I suspect we have identified the problem, or at least the most obvious issue.

In truth though the best advice is always the same - find some people who can climb whatever grade you want to climb, and hang out with them instead of the losers you presently hang out with.

jcm

 Iamgregp 14 Feb 2022
In reply to Paul Sagar:

Funnily enough I was going use a learning the guitar analogy when I first posted about this. 

I learned as a teenager and was entirely self taught for a couple of years.  Thought I knew my stuff, then one of my mates who I always thought was crap started getting lessons and got way better than me almost immediately...  Needless to say I got myself a teacher sharpish!  

OP chris_r 14 Feb 2022
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

>  hang out with them instead of the losers you presently hang out with.

Harsh, but fair

 seankenny 14 Feb 2022
In reply to Paul Sagar:

> This is good advice. Autobelays are perfect for aerobic capacity training (just stick your headphones in). My coach has had me doing 2 of these sessions a week to build up the base fitness for a summer of trad. It's boring but it works!

Thanks. It is boring but it does work!

Something I do is rainbow for hands and then only small holds for feet, as this gets you used to using small edges when you're tired. Harder routes outdoors tend not to have blobs for footholds. This makes it hard to go by grade but I think that's good as it's feel that's important. You can (should?) also use this boring time to work on technique, getting good, first time foot placements etc. John Kettle's book has loads of ideas.

It's also totally possible to do this on a bouldering wall - just go and do 50 or 70 or whatever easy problems, as per the French alpinists who trained at Font. I trained for a Yosemite trip doing this and my long route fitness was fine.

Only proviso is be careful jumping into this kind of thing as it's really easy to over-cook it and pick up an injury.

In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> In truth though the best advice is always the same - find some people who can climb whatever grade you want to climb, and hang out with them instead of the losers you presently hang out with.

Haha yeah i pretty much said the same up above (albeit in less amusing terms)


New Topic
This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
Loading Notifications...