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starting lineup of techniques
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By norwegianwanderer
Oct 11, 2012
Photo.
So many options and so little time. When not climbing outdoors (obviously) If you had to choose one or a few techniques that are 'all arounders' that benefitted all types of climbing (sport, trad, bouldering, etc.) equally what would it/they be? Just a few examples: fingerboard, one arm traverse, HIT, weight lifting, crack machine, one touch, etc.

I mostly climb traditionally but do sport climb and enjoy bouldering. I want to find/use the all-around most useful climbing practices so I am filling the potential of my training time.

I want to be a quality climber no matter what I'm climbing.

Thank you.

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By T.C.
From Whittier, NC
Oct 11, 2012
#1 Practice tying in with the rope. Leave your cordelette at home.

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By Jeremy Riesberg
From Boulder, CO
Oct 11, 2012
Palisaid, SD.
Learn to tie in with the rope and how to use a cordelette, both have uses. If one person is leading all of the pitches, tell me how tieing into the rope is easier than using a cordelette?

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By T.C.
From Whittier, NC
Oct 11, 2012
I climb with doubles. It's very easy. You untie and tie in opposite ends. If you do it one rope at at time, you are never untied from the anchor. See, it is easier.

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By camhead
From Vandalia, Appalachia
Oct 11, 2012
You stay away from mah pig!
This is a really open-ended question.

More importantly than what style (spurt, tard, boldering) you climb is what level you are at, and what level you hope to attain. If you are at 5.12, wanting to break into 13s, hangboarding or HIT strips would be the best. If you are wanting to break into 10s or 11s, you're better off staying away from these specialized training techniques and just working on general climbing technique in the gym.

Furthermore, the medium and style of climbing you want to work on is key. Granite slab? Do yoga. Enduro cracks? One-armed lockoffs and front levers. Red River Gorge jughauls? 4x4s and ARCing. More power-oriented climbs with good rests between hard cruxes? Campus board training.

Sorry if all this seems incredibly general, but your question is also really general. Other than core workouts and maybe yoga, there is no one exercise that will benefit every climber.

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By sanz
From Raleigh, NC
Oct 11, 2012
One of my first trad leads, on Ooga Chocka at Crow...
Pretty hard to go wrong with hangboard training. Static hangs, lock offs, and pull ups will certainly benefit some types of climbing more than others, but I believe they will provide significant gains to any kind of cliber.

I have never used a crack machine but I imagine that it would provide huge gains in terms of perfecting jams for crack climbers.

Finally, for slab, calf raises and barefoot running are awesome for strengthening those muscles to fight elvis leg and "slab pump"

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By Rajiv Ayyangar
From Portland, ME
Oct 11, 2012
Cut! Sadly my flash attempt met with dismal pump-f...
As Camhead said, this question is too general to answer. In fact, this is what I like to call THE QUESTION. It's the most difficult, individual, and evolving question that we face as climbers. The answer depends primarily on:

1) What grade, and style of climbs are you training for?
2) What are your weaknesses relative to other climbers at the same grade?

The answer will change over time.

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By camhead
From Vandalia, Appalachia
Oct 11, 2012
You stay away from mah pig!
sanz wrote:
Pretty hard to go wrong with hangboard training.


I disagree. It is super easy to go wrong with hangboard training. See my previous comment. If you are a newer or lower level climber, hangboard workouts will either a) injure you, or b) result in such a loss of power that your overall climbing will suffer.

If as a newer climber you need to work on lockoffs or pullups (and it is debatable whether even most beginner/intermediate climbers really need more lockoff or pullup workouts), you are better off just using a pullup bar. Oh, and if you are one of those guys who greases up your gym's communal hangboards for your rad pullup workout, stop it right now. Seriously.

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By sanz
From Raleigh, NC
Oct 11, 2012
One of my first trad leads, on Ooga Chocka at Crow...
camhead wrote:
Oh, and if you are one of those guys who greases up your gym's communal hangboards for your rad pullup workout, stop it right now. Seriously.


I also like to work on my footwork with some barefoot traverses in the gym.

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By frankstoneline
Oct 11, 2012
Supporting muscle work and core strength probably wouldnt be a bad place to start (if these arent already in your routine).

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By Jeremy Riesberg
From Boulder, CO
Oct 11, 2012
Palisaid, SD.
Without knowing more on what you think you should work on, muscle strength or mental knowledge all I can do is take a shot in the dark, so here goes...

Practicing yoga will increase your balance and core muscles. It can also help to center your mind and teach you how to breath through stressful positions.

You can also do weight training. Most people have the wrong mindset when it comes to lifting. Lifting will not make you huge, lifting and eating a 4,000 calories per day will make you huge and also steroids helps with the hugeness too. Look at the crossfit athletes, they are extremely strong and also lean.

Getting out of the mindset that the only way to train and get stronger at climbing is by climbing more is a myth. Use the days you rest from climbing to workout your body in another way.

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By shotwell
Oct 12, 2012
Jeremy Riesberg wrote:
Getting out of the mindset that the only way to train and get stronger at climbing is by climbing more is a myth. Use the days you rest from climbing to workout your body in another way.


Really? How much have you gained by training general fitness on your off days? Starting and finishing YDS and V grades please.

Frankly, I strongly believe that different methods work for different people. I just think that climbing is a complex enough skill that claiming general fitness increases above a moderate baseline make any real difference is laughable. Specificity really matters in climbing.

I totally see the benefits of hang boarding and campus training (even if they seem to be a waste of time for me.) Just don't see the big deal of going past the very basics of general fitness.

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By Dustin Drake
Oct 12, 2012
shotwell wrote:
Really? How much have you gained by training general fitness on your off days? Starting and finishing YDS and V grades please. Frankly, I strongly believe that different methods work for different people. I just think that climbing is a complex enough skill that claiming general fitness increases above a moderate baseline make any real difference is laughable. Specificity really matters in climbing. I totally see the benefits of hang boarding and campus training (even if they seem to be a waste of time for me.) Just don't see the big deal of going past the very basics of general fitness.


Uh.... what is so complex and specific about the climbing skill set that makes cross training pointless? I think that is what you are saying anyway. The only thing that I see to be truly specific to rock climbing is maximal finger and contact strength as far as physical abilities go. There are still plenty of other muscle groups and abilities that you can train with other methods to improve your climbing ability.

The real question is whether just climbing more or subbing cross training into what would otherwise be climbing time is more efficient.

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By shotwell
Oct 13, 2012
Dustin Drake wrote:
The real question is whether just climbing more or subbing cross training into what would otherwise be climbing time is more efficient.


Or subbing general fitness for recovery time, as the poster I responded to recommended. But do whatever you want, no skin off my nose. I'll continue to just climb, have fun, and improve.

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