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How to dominate boulder problems?
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By Skat B
From Down Rodeo
Apr 3, 2013
St George

Since my bouldering progress is coming slow I thought I would ask all of you boulderers what works for you.

Specifically;:

- Di you have a special diet that you adhere to?
- Do you ever time yourself in between problems (like you only rest X amounts of minutes or X amount of seconds from problem to problem?
- How many hours do you boulder eaca day (or week)?
- How often are you on your fingerboard?
- Do you run, bike, or do something cardio?
- Do you lift weights?
- What is the max days that you climb in a row?
- How many days in a row is too much?
- How do you lose weight quickly so that you have less weight on your fingers?
- I've heard cold water increases your metabolism and burns calories. Should I sit in a cold stream or lift weights in a cold stream?
- Do those squeeze balls made out of putty really help?
- Basically, what does it take to be a strong boulderer?
- Will drinking a lot of Red Bull help?

I have climbed about 5 and a half years, have only sent a coupe of V5's outside, and am pretty discouraged. I'd like to be able to climb up to v10 and be able to onsight up to V8. Hit me back with your feedback!!


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By MJMobes
From The land of steady habits
Apr 3, 2013
modern man

Skat B wrote:
Since my bouldering progress is coming slow I thought I would ask all of you boulderers what works for you. Specifically;: - Di you have a special diet that you adhere to? - Do you ever time yourself in between problems (like you only rest X amounts of minutes or X amount of seconds from problem to problem? - How many hours do you boulder eaca day (or week)? - How often are you on your fingerboard? - Do you run, bike, or do something cardio? - Do you lift weights? - What is the max days that you climb in a row? - How many days in a row is too much? - How do you lose weight quickly so that you have less weight on your fingers? - I've heard cold water increases your metabolism and burns calories. Should I sit in a cold stream or lift weights in a cold stream? - Do those squeeze balls made out of putty really help? - Basically, what does it take to be a strong boulderer? - Will drinking a lot of Red Bull help? I have climbed about 5 and a half years, have only sent a coupe of V5's outside, and am pretty discouraged. I'd like to be able to climb up to v10 and be able to onsight up to V8. Hit me back with your feedback!!


lol


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By Andrew williams
Apr 3, 2013
Mental Games Apple Valley

Skat B wrote:
Will drinking a lot of Red Bull help?


Yes, it gives you wings....and has electrolytes...its what muscles crave...


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By jim.dangle
Apr 3, 2013

You should check the training forum if you haven't already. You'll find a lot of posts on this sort of thing with some of helpful information.


Jim


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By s.price
From PS,CO
Apr 3, 2013
 Morning Dew ,self portrait

Forearms like Fred Nicole. Vision like Sharma, Graham, Nicole again, Woods, Loskot. You get the idea. Climb your ass off and allow yourself to climb as hard as you desire. Probably a mental issue. Let go and fucking focus.


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By Injured Climber
From Bloomington, MN
Apr 4, 2013

First of all, Cardio and a good diet don't hurt. I think it's important for anaerobic athletes to do some cardio, otherwise you put a lot of stress on your heart. When doing anaerobic activities, your muscles require a lot of blood. If your heart and lungs are weak they will be the limiting factor and you will put a lot of pressure on them. Besides, better cardio means more effective muscular recovery. And also, to answer one of your questions, it is a great way to stay light (although if you are climbing hard staying light shouldn't be an issue at all). However, these are not strictly speaking necessary to boulder harder. V5 is actually a quite decent grade so it is clear to me that you are capable of hard bouldering and your fitness level is adequate at minimum. Now the question is...have you been focusing on bouldering these five years or not? For a route climber, V5 is a pretty good grade to be at. However, if bouldering is all you've been doing, you should be better and maybe your training is not adequate. In both cases, here is the simple answer: volume! When I train hard, I boulder five times a week for several hours at a time with a two day recovery time. After five days, I feel the bad kind of muscle pain and I know I'm pushing too hard. I have also experimented with one day rest but found that its not enough. Don't be scared of over-training, the reality is that most people don't even get close to that point And frankly, irritability is a small price to pay for climbing ability ;)It is important to note that in order to build muscle (forearms in this case) you need to push them to the max, you need the muscle fibers to actually break down. If you are a stupid neanderthal like me, or Chris Sharma for that matter, volume will get you far. I have a terrible diet, I have practically no training plan, I just go out and ruin myself and after 4 years of climbing i'm bouldering v8. Now if you are a bit more intelligent and diligent, I would say quality over quantity. In other words, don't work out unless it's going to be a quality workout. A plan may be in order..but I won't get into that here- go figure that out yourself. climbing is the best way to get better at climbing! Generally, your forearm is your limiting factor. all the other muscles will get adequately strong over time so frankly, other strength work like lifting weights is useful but not necessary. What it is good for is keeping your muscles balanced...I would strongly recommend shoulder work with weights or resistance bands because bouldering is very hard on the shoulders. Swimming is good cross training for you back. In terms of the climbing workouts...I would try to mix up styles. Big moves on overhangs to develop power (This is very important for high end bouldering and should be you primary focus). Static climbing with lock offs to develop your biceps and the ability to do those kind of moves. Slopers and pinches and other funky holds (I don't use crimps in the gym because it is a lot of stress on your joints..use an open hand) And finally, Creative problems- stuff that requires clever movement- Teach your body to be agile and flexible and learn new ways to move. I would also mix up the time between doing problems. For training your max grade, rest is necessary. However, even boulderers need muscular endurance and for that, I do laps on one problem or do a bunch of easier problems all in a row. I wouldn't do a hang-board unless you don't have the time to climb. Climbing is a better workout. Also, it's easy to hurt yourself so I would recommend not doing it unless you are climbing above v7. Cold baths are good for muscular recovery..that is true! no way in hell do I do them...what else...squeeze balls help and yes, red bull definitely helps...unless you are some healthy eating freak


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By Timmy! Tormey
From Fakeville, USA
Apr 4, 2013

What I've been doing for the past few months with great success is lots of 'hypergravity' workouts. Deadhangs on crimps, pull-ups, and core workouts with as much extra weight as I can possibly stand as well as general weight training with very low reps. The site below has some good stuff, too. Good luck!!


www.climbstrong.com/


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By Kenny Clark
From State College, PA
Apr 4, 2013

Injured Climber wrote:

A lot of advice in this post goes against what most training gurus on here say. Some good things though. Just one question:
Injured Climber wrote:
When I train hard, I boulder five times a week for several hours at a time with a two day recovery time.

How is this possible? Perhaps a Time Turner ?

Listen to jim.dangle's advice: the training forum is your friend.


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By Superclimber
Apr 4, 2013

I count six gullible victims on this thread. Well done Mr Skat.


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By bruno-cx
Apr 4, 2013
shirtless wonder

A mustache helps.


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By Matt.Zia
From Colorado Springs, CO
Apr 4, 2013

I used to be in your same predicament, stuck bouldering V3. It sucked! Then I realized I always climbed with my shirt on and a baseball hat. Once I took the shirt and baseball hat off and put a beanie on, I was suddenly not just climbing V4, but crushing.

Also eating pizza and bacon.


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By Nate Reno
From Highlands Ranch, CO
Apr 4, 2013
Ellingwood Point Summit, Little Bear in the background.

Skat B wrote:
or lift weights in a cold stream?


Why hadn't I thought of this before?


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By Rob Gordon
From Hollywood, CA
Apr 4, 2013
Tough Mantle Problem.  Haven't sent yet...

There's no secret to getting strong. You just climb all the time and eat right. That's pretty much it. Lately I haven't been climbing that much and eating like shit. Guess what, I got weaker.


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By Skat B
From Down Rodeo
Apr 4, 2013
St George

Chris Miller wrote:
I count six gullible victims on this thread. Well done Mr Skat.


WTF are you talking about? Last week I met a couple that were timing themselves while bouldering, which is something I've never heard of before. They would do 10 problems in 10 minutes, rest, repeat, rest, then do 6 problems in a row. So a minute would start and if they bouldered a problem in 20 seconds then that would give them 40 seconds to rest. So it woke me up and made me question how do other serious climbers progress in bouldering.

The sitting in a cold stream idea came cuz I have a hot tub at my place, which I jump into after a long climbing day. I was under the impression that sitting in a hot tub would burn calories, but I googled it and found out that this wasn't true. The explanation was that hot water lowers your metabolism while cold water raises it significantly (too keep the body warm). And the reason I thought of exercising in a cold stream was cuz I've been told that your body burns muscle before it burns fat.


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By sanz
From Raleigh, NC
Apr 4, 2013
One of my first trad leads, on Ooga Chocka at Crowder's Mountain.

Skat B wrote:
lift weights in a cold stream


I don't know if this would make you climb harder but you should totally do it just cuz it would be fuckin awesome. The whole idea of it is just amazing. I hope to someday stumble upon somebody grunting as they bench press 225 in a shallow mountain stream, empty red bull cans strewn about the bank.


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By todd w
Apr 4, 2013




This guy probably sends like V17.

Hope that helps.


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By Skat B
From Down Rodeo
Apr 4, 2013
St George

sanz wrote:
I don't know if this would make you climb harder but you should totally do it just cuz it would be fuckin awesome. The whole idea of it is just amazing. I hope to someday stumble upon somebody grunting as they bench press 225 in a shallow mountain stream, empty red bull cans strewn about the bank.



Yeah, I've got lots of unorthodox ideas to be a better climber. One of my better ideas involves me buying a bunch of food, a long chain, a lock, a handrill, a bolt & anchor, etc. So I would drive to some good remote bouldering area and do the following:

(1) Pitch my tent somewhat close to a boulder that has a ton of problems
(2) Put all the food in my tent and other supplies
(3) Use the hand drill to drill a 3/8" hole in a boulder
(4) Fit the hole with a strong bolt & anchor
(5) Attach the metal chain to the anchor and then attach the other end around one of your ankles and put a lock on it
(6) Throw the keys to the lock and also my car keys beyond the length of the chain
(7) Now there's nothing to do except eat, sleep, and boulder
(8) Let at least a month go by
(9) After a month wait for someone to find you or keep your cell phone on you
(10) Return back to society.

I ran this by my psychiatrist and he thought it was a pretty good idea.

I also had this conversation with him:

Psychiatrist: What if you fall one day and become a paraplegic?
Me: Then I'll learn to campus everything.
Psychiatrist: What if you become a quadriplegic?
Me: Then I'll get on of those motorized wheelchairs that you can control by blowing in them or that are controlled by biting the device that you can control using your mouth. And then I'll drive myself into a pool and drown.
Psychiatrist: Looks like you've got it all figured out.
Me: Yep.


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By GhaMby
From Heaven
Apr 8, 2013
Are you Chicken, or fishy?

Skat, You are a funny mo-fo.

Anyways my bouldering jumped quite a bit from just doing a lot of core work outs, I just do a lot of leg lifts while hanging from a hangboard. Ussually 3 sets of 10 or so. Also I'm amazed at how small of holds I can hang onto after a few weeks of real hangboarding.

I think it really helps to get dialed into a certain area/rock type. I've never been a hard core boulderer, so I would just hit a bouldering area if it was nearby, now that I live in THE Bouldering Mecca my bouldering has improved drastically due to understanding the rock, I think. That or I just boulder more than I used to and my 'body feel' on the problems has improved.

Also if your are bouldering v-5 in LCC, then you can probably on-sight v-8 in a lot of places, like Joes or the happies.


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By Mark E Dixon
From Sprezzatura, Someday
Jun 17, 2013
At the BRC

Have you considered installing an auto-belay? My company is paying me to mercilessly resurrect old threads regardless of how marginal the connection!

Check us out at spam.spam.spam.autobelay.com


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By ChaseLeoncini
From San Diego, California
Jun 17, 2013
El Cajon Mtn. Leonids. 5.9.

I curl dumbells in the gracious waterfalls of the valley, hoping that the sweat of my idols flow within them, and that their skills will pour into me, transforming me into a God.

Im sending my first V2 today... sending it back to hell.


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By adamx
Aug 7, 2013

Skat B wrote:
The sitting in a cold stream idea came cuz I have a hot tub at my place, which I jump into after a long climbing day. I was under the impression that sitting in a hot tub would burn calories, but I googled it and found out that this wasn't true. The explanation was that hot water lowers your metabolism while cold water raises it significantly (too keep the body warm). And the reason I thought of exercising in a cold stream was cuz I've been told that your body burns muscle before it burns fat.


Anything that involves cold water to burn calories is dumb.

Contrast showers (better yet, baths) WILL help reduce DOMS so you can train harder. Science backs it up, as well as personal experience. After a hard workout, post up in ice cold water for a few minutes, then go straight into hot water for a minute or so. Repeat as many times as you'd like, ending on the cold cycle. Literally pumps the lactic acid out of your muscles. Vasoconstriction and vasodilation. Science!!


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By Jon Zucco
From Denver, CO
Aug 8, 2013
yaak crack Red Rock Canyon, NV

We're on the same page about this subject, Mark. I personally loooove TRUEBLUE . My climbing performance has increased at least two number grades since I started using the TRUEBLUE auto belay system in my training regimen. It's simply inexplicable how I've gained such results in such a limited time. Inexplicable, but true. blue. Check it out!


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By Mark E Dixon
From Sprezzatura, Someday
Aug 8, 2013
At the BRC

adamx wrote:
Contrast showers (better yet, baths) WILL help reduce DOMS so you can train harder. Science backs it up, as well as personal experience. After a hard workout, post up in ice cold water for a few minutes, then go straight into hot water for a minute or so. Repeat as many times as you'd like, ending on the cold cycle. Literally pumps the lactic acid out of your muscles. Vasoconstriction and vasodilation. Science!!


At this point in life I pretty much restrict myself to climbing UP ice cold waterfalls then jumping directly into cunningly placed bonfires, repeating as often as necessary. Stops that lactic acid before it even starts.

Hard to see the bolts under all the whitewater sometimes, but that's a big part of the thrill of climbing for me now. I've got a magnetized clipstick anyway, so can always just use that to search out the bolt hangers.


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