We are all time poor, from the elite athlete to the weekend warrior. No-one has an infinite amount of resources to spend on training, climbing, getting better. You are either limited by your availability or directly by the physiological limitations of your body. So as a coach we are consistently trying to pick the low hanging fruit, priorities the effort and uncover the weakest link.

Deciphering the puzzle of performance allows us to prioritise efforts and get the biggest bang for our buck. Weak links can be anything from finger strength to ankle instability, so how can we hope to uncover these and then how do we prioritise them?

The beginning of my journey down prioritisation was developing a physical testing battery with Pat Klein from Concept Climbing (makes amazing hangboards and training walls, check him out >here<). The testing battery is similar to the testing battery that many climbing coaches employ, like the lattice assessments. I still utilise this and as with other sports, this data allows us to see how well particular training interventions are performing. How well did that hangboard program increase your finger strength, how well did that core program improve your core stability and strength etc etc. Which tests we use and how accurate they are is an issue for another post, but these types of tests are the cornerstone of sports science. Test, train, re-test….. (it is probably really, ‘understand’, develop test, test test, then test…. but anyway).

While these testing batteries are exceptionally valuable, they still don’t give us the answer of how to prioritise efforts. One answer may come from fundamental sports science, strength then power. You need to have strength in order to develop it into power. I mean power is defined by force and time, strength and speed. You can’t have power without strength. But what if you are already strong? Or worse, what if you are new to climbing and you are weak…… everywhere? Steve Maisch does a really great job of outlining ideas and numbers around strength benchmarking (find it >here<), which can be used as a guideline for how to figure out some strength priorities for climbers. Just pick the one you are furthest away from, or the three, or five…… this still presents an issue.

As said earlier, what do you do if strength isn’t the issue? If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone say they just needed to be stronger, I’d be rich. I’d probably be almost just as rich if every time someone had said that to me, they were wrong. If it wasn’t strength they lacked but something else.

This question has led me to many places looking for an answer, formulae or a notion that would help me help the climbers I coach. Enter Abraham Maslow and his 1943 paper “A Theory of Human Motivation”. In this paper, Maslow outlines his theory of human needs, or “Maslows Hierarchy of Needs”. The concept is that until the lower tier is satisfied, a person is not motivated by the upper tiers, eg. If you are hungry you aren’t really motivated to understand the universe, you want to eat first.

So the idea here is to create a hierarchy of needs for climbing performance. What is the very basic requirement in order for someone to climb?

The theory that I suggest (note I say theory, this is my suggestion based on my experience) is as follows:

  • Headspace – Without the appropriate mental state, it is impossible to climb to your potential, which means that it is impossible to uncover your physical limitations as your mental state doesn’t allow you to fail physically. This could be from fear, distraction, laziness, or any other self-limiting headspace. What is your self talk like?
  • Finger Strength – If you can’t hold on, you’re gonna fall off. This potentially falls down when it comes to slab, but my argument here is that to learn the techniques to climb slab well, you have had to practise this while holding on. Also, slab is only one small facet of climbing. In addition to this, in order to learn good footwork, you need to be able to hold on long enough to deploy it.
  • Technique – Technique is a very large and long term project, but in essence is all about understanding how to climbing technique works, then understanding when to deploy it.
  • Pulling – Once you can hold on and you know what to do, the next barrier you usually face is the distance between holds which usually requires some pulling. How well you can do this will sometimes determine if you can get there or not.
  • Core – Our penultimate tier is core, which is all about maintaining tension from our toes to our fingers, getting or keeping our feet on the wall and generally ensuring that our lower half stays in touch.
  • Injury Prevention – The final tier is a funny one that I have decided to call injury prevention. This tier is all about the details within our climbing practice. Everything from shoulder stability to risk assessment can be put here. The idea of this is basically figuring out how to get everything to work together to keep us in one piece as we get stronger fingers, better technique, bigger biceps and an iron core.

So, there you have it. The climbing hierarchy of needs. The magic pill that will help you unlock your potential…… Well…… not really. But an interesting thought experiment, that might help you uncover what is really letting you down when it comes to performing your best.

Good luck out there and chat soon

Will

The number of climbers that sport an injury is astounding. Almost as if a climbing related injury is a form of climbing initiation and without one…… well….. can you even call yourself a climber?

We all seem to know about them, but we struggle to avoid them. Fingers, shoulders, knees. With indoor bouldering booming in Australia I think we are about to see more of what climbing has to offer in this area.

New moves like the palm press flag put climbers at greater risks. Particularly done with poor posture.

There is no doubt that injuries affect optimal performance, although there could be an argument with our ever-developing understanding of injuries, that performance affects injuries. What this means is that so many of our injuries are likely due to poor movement patterns, a lack of opposition work and a general limiting of our overall performance that results in overuse injuries, or improper use, injuries.

Any time you push your body towards its limit, you are bound to find yourself, or the athletes you coach, dealing with an injury. There are research teams all around the world, trying to work out what, if any, markers exist to ‘predict’ an athletes future injury. Yet, even in high-end sports where money is relatively abundant, sports professionals hit dead ends.

Part of the reason for this is probably that everyone is an individual, we all have our own little idiosyncrasies that change the way we respond to training and the rate that we get injured. What is interesting though is that while we still don’t have a firm grasp on the exact mechanics or ‘risk’ factors behind injuries, we are getting better at avoiding them. More on this later….

Single arm catches are another potential for injury, with many climbers not looking after their scapula stability before ‘diving’ into them.

How often do you chat to climbers in your community and talk about your time with elbow pain? Typically Medial Epicondylitis or golfers elbow. Or maybe impingement of the rotator cuff?. Or even the dreaded pulley strain. (you can click on the bold text to check out some good articles on how to deal with these injuries.

The strange thing is, there is so much knowledge in the climbing world with how to deal with these injuries, but so little on how to avoid them. Now before all you sports scientists out there send me messages saying that we can barely prevent hamstring injuries in fully funded football teams, how do we expect to avoid injuries in poor climbing. You are right, as I said earlier, we haven’t got a very good handle on what is really telling us we are going to get injured. We can’t ‘predict’ them, and it is proving exceptionally difficult to pinpoint when athletes are at risk.

Climbers falling from a height, particularly while spinning can increase the risk of ACL injury.

SO….. What do we know so far? In a very basic overview, injury prevention is becoming more and more focused on pre-hab, rather than re-hab. There has been some really good evidence to support the idea that injury prevention really does its job. A great example is the inclusion of the ‘Nordics’ into football leg strength programs, significantly reducing the prevalence of hamstring tears, even in athletes with a history of injury. Another example is the Fifa 11+, which has shown to drastically reduce the rate of ACL tears in soccer teams, as well as some other lower extremity injuries.

The other thing that is slowing changing is the way that we are thinking about the word overuse. As climbers, this word gets thrown around a lot, and for the most part, I think we all see this as this grey area of climbing or campusing too much. What is interesting is when you think about it, repeating a movement with ‘perfect form’ is probably not bad for you. The issue arises when the body fatigues and your form deteriorates. So it’s not necessarily overused, but ‘improper use’ that is driving us into these ‘overuse’ holes. This idea can bake your brain a little and is really a whole extra blog in itself, but if you want to hear more about this, check out the podcast from the power company here – with Eva Lopez and Esther Smith

So what about us climbers? Our major injuries are typically in our fingers, wrists, elbows and shoulders. I mean, keeping our hamstrings healthy definitely wouldn’t be a bad thing either, but still, where is our Fifa 11?

The key? Thinking about all that re-hab stuff you have ever done. Your wrist curls for elbow pain, your rotator cuff exercises for shoulder impingement and your tendon glides and extensor training for pulley strains and…… yep that’s right…… do them regularly. Do them every week. At least once a week. What has been really fascinating recently is that the effect of Nordics, for example, has been potentially attributed to structural changes in the muscle. Even more exciting for us is that these changes happen with a relatively low volume of input. So once a week seems to cut it. The trick though is that you need to keep doing it because the detraining period is fast, which means your gains disappear in a matter of weeks.

So injury prevention is really like any ‘skill’ acquisition. If you don’t use it you lose it. Our bodies seem to be really good at finding the most energy efficient way of surviving, so unless you tell it these changes are important, well, they get left behind. The challenge then is a mental one, to keep doing them, every week, week in week out. Factor some of them into your warmups and cooldowns, morning yoga, whatever.

The tricky part is, you will never know if it’s working. But for me, it’s worth the risk because it doesn’t matter how strong you are if you’re injured.

The end of 2017 was littered with more events than you could poke a stick at, with National boulder titles, the National coaching workshop, the Australian team training in Queensland and setting workshop, and ending with the Chris Sharma Topped Out boulder event at Nomad.

I’m tired just thinking about it.

This is not really how I intended to start this post, hence the heading, but I suppose I’m setting myself up for an excuse as to why it’s taken me so long to post another blog after the WYCH one. Regardless, I’m sorry, I’ve been busylazy (my new word for procrastination linked with an overwhelming amount of work) but I’m back now and I’ve got T-shirts for everyone (special bonus points if you get the Reel Big Fish reference).

So, without digressing any further, the subject matter for this post is

‘Tonde Katyo’

Tonde made a trip down south, supported by our national body, Sport Climbing Australia, to impart his route setting wisdom to Industry professionals through a small handful of setting workshops, Boulder Nationals and a National team training camp. I was lucky enough to be a part of the setting workshop prior to the Australian team training event in Queensland, along with the coaches workshop at Boulder Nationals (a topic for another blog).

There has been a little bit of hype around Tonde over the past 24 months, at least in my circles, talking about how excellent the setting workshops run by Tonde are, and let me tell you that the hype is real. He just has a way of explaining things that dissipates the fog and brings some of the most complex, sometimes esoteric ideas, into simple, crystal clear resolution.

I’d listened to a podcast that interviewed Tonde, where he introduced his ideas around RIC grading and the fact that routesetting is design and not art, so many of the ideas were not completely groundbreaking and new, but the process, the thoughtful and persistent analysis of each piece of design we put forward was inspiring. Does it fulfil the brief? Is it suitable for the intended audience? How does it fit in with the whole? Does it have the appropriate elements of each of the R.I.C scalars? So much analysis of the movement, the emotion created from the interaction, it was like we created a whole new space in which to create and play.

I don’t know if I would say that my setting got better, but it definitely became more thoughtful. Tonde’s words “That’s a thing” kept playing in my head every time I stared at a wall with a drill in my hand. I wanted each boulder to express some idea or feel something when you pulled on. I can also say unequivocally that I took it too far too, with an overwhelming desire for the feeling of “confusion” or “befuddlement” stacking blockers on blockers and layering holds together like a puzzle. Those that climb at Bayside, or on some of my recent boulders can attest to this. I guess when you find something new that you want to explore, you have to take it to some logical conclusion. I’ve subsequently tried to reign in my enthusiasm and focused on what is necessary, rejoicing in the simple as well as the complex.

I suppose the most important thing that I took away from it all though, was that route setting is like any craft. Just as a woodworker is judged not only on the functionality of his piece, he is also measured by the aesthetics, the quality of the joinery, the skill in which he has picked and utilised the grain of the timber and of course the safety of his workspace (because it is really hard to make tables with no fingers……. I would imagine). So much can go into a great product and this focus is exactly what is being pushed for internationally. Quality over quantity.

Because I’d always rather climb a great boulder lots than climb a lot of boring boulders……..

 

The largest indoor climbing facility in the world.

They were not joking!

 

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The space

 

The new Walltopia built indoor climbing facility in Innsbruck Austria is of epic proportions. 4500 m2 of route climbing and 1200 m2 of bouldering, it is unlike anything I have ever seen before. Everything about this place was big. 400+ volumes used for bouldering, around 200 more for lead. Almost 1million euro’s of climbing holds in one place. The event itself was a 12 day epic, with around 1200 individual athletes flying in from around 70 nations, and for the first time, Olympic glory seemed to be on everyone’s mind, with the first global combined event ever (combined is the Olympic format, including Lead, Speed and Boulder).

 

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Jessee Climbing in semi finals

Australia sent 19 athletes in total, 16 competing in lead, 11 in speed, 14 in boulder and 10 in the combined format. Our best result was 9th (Young superstar Oceania Mackenzie, in both combined and lead, also finishing 15th in boulder, special mention to Jesse Ruffini finishing in 19th in boulder).

 

We had 2 coaches, 1 team manager and too many parents (joking guys, you are all amazing). The team trip took 20 days and covered 2 countries (Austria and Germany).

Queensland had the most number of competitors finishing in the top 50% of the field and their best discipline was bouldering, no idea why…..

All in all, Jacky Godoffe (the chief setter for boulders) still climbs harder than you at 61 and suggested that all in all they set more than 90 boulders for the event.

A less numerically based review will be out shortly…..

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The training walls upstairs….

 

 

So it has happened. We find ourselves reduced to no more than 3 or 4 actual holds and a handful of volumes. But what glorious amazing movement it has created. Vertical life did an excellent write up of this, discussing how this new change in movement could change the things we see both indoors and out (read it here…..)

Climbers in the IFSC World Cups, seem to have become so strong that if you put a hold on the wall, most will be able to lock it off, or better, one arm chin up on it! So I guess, Enter the Volume….

We are seeing it more and more throughout social media, youtube channels and throughout setting at home and abroad. One of the big inspirations for me was watching the traverse put up at Stunwerk for the German climbing team (see it here…..) Plus all the work Udo Neumann, Jacky Godoffe and the other setters, coaches and visionaries have done to push the sport of climbing to where it is now……

Hold retailers like HRT, 360, Morpho have changed the things we are putting on the wall, with the viral picture of the 360 volume route…. which if you haven’t seen…… oh lordy!

Screen Shot 2016-01-05 at 12.28.41 PM
360 HOLDS volume only climb

[CHECK IT OUT…..]

But my question is what is next? Who will push it and where will it go? Large volume insets have started sneaking their way into boulder events… is this the way? How will we challenge the worlds best climbers of tomorrow? The further we go down the parkour/gymnastic world, the more we rely on co-ordinated movement both with our hands and with our entire bodies. Udo’s video on campusing with swinging legs comes to mind after watching Jan Hojer (and others) campus in Vail this year….

I have had a number of conversations with climbers and setters as our world becomes more digitalised and interactive. Could we see climbing surfaces alter and change as climbers move and progress up the wall? You pull on a hold harder and harder and your foot holds move further and further away….. Or maybe as you cross over, one hold appears and another vanishes??…….

Well, who knows! But for now….. we find ourselves in the age of the volume…..

 

 

If you want to get strong, you need to live in Europe.

It’s this phrase that is almost recited like a mantra.

You read it in climbing magazines, hear it from climbers, coaches, parents. It’s almost as if some sacred pilgrimage of climbing is necessary to earn the approval of the rock gods.

I don’t believe it, and more so, I refuse to believe it.

I mean sure, climbing with the best and climbing in the best gyms is a good way to go about it. And I agree that if you lived in Europe AND devoted your time to training and climbing, you would become a better and stronger climber, but there is no elixir from some mountain stream found only in the foothills of southern France that will do it for you.

Al goes flying in Munich
Al goes flying in Munich

People move to Europe and come back stronger and wiser climbers, more because they have made a decision to leave all distraction behind and focus solely on a single purpose, than because they are in Europe. They leave all friends, family and homely feelings behind and plunge themselves into a world built around climbing and training.

Improvement comes from hard work, good planning and a continuous effort over and extended period of time. Physiologically, getting stronger is a simple matter of stimulating the correct muscles in the correct way to cause your body to make adjustments to it’s internal structure to cope with the increase in load.

However, whilst fitness is simple, I will go so far as to say, the Europeans have us in the realm of movement. The gyms in Europe offer a lot to inspire you!

Ollie ready to climb

Ros plays with volumes Jarred looking for an answer
Ros mantles in Boulderwelt Al goes flying in Munich

Boulderwelt Ost

Climbing after all is problem solving. It is a 3D puzzle, in that you must figure out how to use your hands and feet to manoeuvre yourself from point A to point B. Puzzles become easier if you have done them before, so the key is to already have done the puzzle (or something similar) before you are confronted with it. So when the holds demand a crossover with a reverse flag, your muscle memory takes over and all you need to worry about are the slight differences in hold orientation, shape and sizes.

So just like I talked about in my post ‘Boulderwelt and the future of climbing’ these holds and this setting is what Australia really need and it is great that we are beginning to see it! It is now time for our coaches to grasp this opportunity and look at how we approach movement so that maybe we can change the mantra to be ‘if you want to get strong, you have to move South!’

What a trip!

It has had it’s fair share of ups and downs, as well as chaos and confusion! Starting the trip in Munich, enjoying the bouldering delights that that amazing town had to offer really opened up my concept of what ‘big’ really was. 

Al living it large at Bolderwelt
Al living it large at Bolderwelt

Then heading down to Arco, I felt that I had a arrived in some climbers fairy tale, surround by cliffs, a world cup boulder, lead and speed wall, plus a continuous supply of gelato! o top it off, I kept seeing familiar faces, familiar from magazines and videos I had poured over for hours, Megos, McColl, Hojer, Shirashi, the list goes on!

Janja and Ashima on the final boulder, taking out their respective titles
Janja and Ashima on the final boulder, taking out their respective titles

I had the pleasure of rubbing shoulders and talking climbing with some of the worlds best youth climbing coaches, the best climbers, and general climbing gurus, as well as picking up as many free T-shirts and Caribieners as possible!

Everyone was so friendly and so welcoming, I felt as if I belonged there.

Once in Arco, the comp started and raced on and was over all in a flurry. Before I knew it I had been there for over a week, screamed, yelled, dealt with tears, disappointment, elation and regret. It is quite a thing the world youth championships. There is this gentle rumbling as the futures climbing giants take centre stage and move through hard sequences with a profound and ‘beyond their years’ finesse. Some are there to be great, some are there to be inspired, some are there because they feel they must and some, well, some are just enjoying themselves. Each reason with its own merit.

As finals edge closer and more coaches and climbers find their campaign over, the shirt swapping begins and the crowd grows. Mighty roars as Austrian, Slovenian, American colours work their way up the wall, only to float down again. 

The crowd grows for finals
The crowd grows for finals

I think I have learnt more on this trip than any before it. About myself and about climbing. I suppose I was one of the ones there to be inspired in the end. However, I intend that the next time I return, it will be for a different reason altogether.

The crew enjoying some time out in the Arco river
The crew enjoying some time out in the Arco river

It’s been a long couple of weeks away from home, but I really can’t complain. Arriving first in Munich and then taking a train down to an amazing climbing town called Arco in Italy.

Arco really must be heaven for climbers. Every second store is a climbing shop or gelato. The town is surrounded by cliff faces and there is a beautiful river to cool down in, as well as a stunning lake, where rumours of deep water soloing are whispered. 

With the world youth championships come a star studded collection of international grip masters. It seems almost dream like watching almost every climber you read about in current magazines, or watch on epic TV and youtube world cup highlights, strolling down the narrow streets not 3 meters form you.

It has been a frantic, yet amazing year already. Starting up Tri-Climbing, taking the head coach role, setting at almost every major comp and new gym in Victoria, visiting the wild west (Perth) and then off to Europe to try and guide some of Australia’s greatest youth climbing talent.

It has not been without a hitch though. My star pupil and close friend Campbell Harrison managed to rupture a pully in the Munich World Cup not 3 weeks before he was set to climb in Arco with the rest of the team (not to mention the other WC in Norway). He recently decided not to climb, much to my relief, but also to my great sadness. I’m not sure I know anyone who wants it as badly as Campbell.

Campbell stares longingly towards the mountains as the crew enjoy the Arco river
Campbell stares longingly towards the mountains as the crew enjoy the Arco river

Jesse Ruffini, an up and coming boulderer fractured his finger, damaging his growth plate, stopping him from climbing at the Arco World Youth Championships also. Jesse I know less, however his disappointment is evident as he watches his peers.

helping nanki
Going through the first Youth B female qualification with Nanki Soin

To add to the confusion, my grandmother passed away on the 27th of August and I wish that I could have been there for my mother. A close friend was diagnosed with cancer and another with a serious illness. There are moments where I feel miles away from where I should be. I can only hope that I am doing a good job here in Arco.

This trip has definitely come at a cost, but the things I have learned and the people I have met have definitely made it worth while.

What does the future of climbing look like?

For anyone that doesn’t know, I have been training the Australian Youth team in Munich for the past week. Whilst I was there, I had the pleasure of visiting a number of climbing gyms. Whilst I was there, I saw the future…… It looks like European bouldering gyms. Walltopia, Boulderwelt, Stuntwerk. Climbing expresses itself as part art form, part 3D puzzle. Climbing through volumes becomes more a question of body position and co-ordination than just brute strength.

Run and jumps are a major
player in the new wave of climbing, where you are required to
co-ordinate multiple movements in a single moment..

Run and Jump 2 run and jump 3 run and jump 4 Run and Jump 5
Run and Jump 6 Run and Jump 7 Run and Jump 8 Run and Jump 9

This new wave of indoor climbing style seems to have evolved from the IFSC world cup competitions, where competitors are so strong that if a hold has any edge on it, most of them can crank out a 1 arm chin up, so setters had to be a bit more inventive to split the crowd.

On my trip to Europe with the Australian Youth team, I managed to visit one gym in Munich called Boulderwelt Ost (East Boulderwelt). The facility was spectacular, with 2 world cup style walls, with world cup style boulder problems. Add to this the most impressive collection of climbing holds you have ever seen and you are beginning to get the idea…

ros crushing

These kind of super gyms have not really made an appearance in Australia yet. At least not of this size, with this kind of hold selection. But what is more important is the style of setting. These co-ordinated moves, thoughtful sequences and tension exploding compressions, just don’t get set. 9 degrees has apparently made quite the impact, as well as Northside boulders, but for years this has just not happened.

And we need it!

Our world cup climbers need it. I mean, we all know how to get strong. There is enough info on the web that we can all train like Sean McColl or  Jan Hojer, but what we are missing is the art of the movement, and for this, we need the setters and the holds….. More and more competitors are faced with giant fibreglass masses, without a crimp in sight, and to scale this type of problem, you need to execute each move perfectly…..

I have so much inspiration and so many ideas for when I return…. the next time you venture into the gym, you just might see giant fibre glass bubbles, without a crimp in sight……

Will

 

I spend a lot of time at climbing gyms. I mean, it is what I do really, so I guess it is no surprise, but I reckon I clock up close to 40 hours at gyms around Melbourne every week, setting, climbing coaching, and I see lots of people come, climb, sit, and go.

These days, everyone complains about how busy they are, and I am definitely no exception. I may spend a lot of time at the gym, but the amount of time I really get to train is actually pretty limited. An hour after coaching, a couple hours after setting, I squeeze it in where I can. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely have more time than the average person working the 9-5, but I do understand working around a busy schedule, many of the top climbers I train are in year 12 and are majorly overloaded with study (not saying they do it… but anyway).

So, with my bouldering workshop coming up, I have been thinking a lot about how you can make the most of your time at the gym, especially if it is limited. There are heaps of blogs and articles that walk you through training, how to get stronger, how to climb longer, but where do you start, how do you know what to do!? Well, here are 3 things I think can really max out the benefit of your time at the gym.

1. Warm Up Properly

I have seen people walk in, put their shoes on and jump on their project….. I have also seen people, walk in, climb 1000 laps of easy climbs before they try anything hard. Both are bad and will significantly decrease what you actually get out of your session.

Know yourself, experiment a little with your routine and get it right for you. A good system is to start with a little cardio (maybe ride to the gym if it’s not too far!?) then do a few easy climbs and finish with a few hard moves and some dynamic stretching. Deep static stretches actually reduce the amount of power your muscles can output, so save that for after your session.

No one is exactly the same and neither are your ideal warmups, figure it out and make it a ritual!

2. Set Goals

What are you training for? What do you want to achieve? “Climbing strong”, or “getting strong” is not enough. Be specific about these goals, know where you want to go, otherwise it is impossible to get there!

Too many times do I have people come up to me and ask how to “get strong”. My answer is usually what do you want to get strong at? 1 armers? Squats? Front Levers?? I have news for you, being able to do an inverted iron cross, or a 5 minute front lever is great and will definitely put you in the ‘strong’ class, but if you want to climb that super technical slab climb you are in love with (god knows why), it’s not gonna help you!

3. Work your weakness

This one sucks. We all hate it, because it can turn what looks like the worlds best climber into a bumbling newbie. Sure, you can climb steep hard moves all your life, but if you really want to improve you gotta work those slab problems. Figure out what you suck at and do it until it’s easy. This is the ultimate advise, because I guarantee it works every time.

And figuring out what you suck at is easier than you think….

Lets say you are trying a boulder and you keep getting to the crux, a slimy open hand pinch with a cross through. Get your friend to film you in slow-motion and watch it. Look at why you are falling off. Are you letting go? Can you just not do the move? Does your foot pop off? Pay attention to the details and ask yourself exactly what happens. Do this for 4 or 5 problems and find the pattern. Try and be specific and direct, sure, if we want to, we can say we are weak at everything, but try and pick the biggest one – Here are a few of the main ones to get you going:

  1. Weak arms, just can pull in or lock off
  2. Weak fingers, can’t hold on when others just can (be careful here, make sure you pay attention to hand positions! If you don’t know what I mean, ask someone!! Or me…)
  3. Weak Core, Just can’t get your feet up to where your hands are!
  4. Poor flexibility, can’t get a leg up….?
  5. Poor footwork, you just can’t keep your feet on, or your foot slides off.
  6. Poor Route Reading, get lost or confused and waste energy figuring it out.

For me, it’s resistance. Put me on anything more than 8 moves long and I get pumped. Easy fix, climb longer hard climbs……. but then I am allergic to ropes (joking, but still)…..

Hopefully, this helps you busy workers out there!…… Alternatively, you can always quit your job and live at the pines at Arapiles, Climbing every day and eating out of the IGA dumpster……… That will get you strong!….. Or sick…….

Will