Login with Facebook
 ADVANCED
Training Success Stories
View Latest Posts in This Forum or All Forums
   Page 1 of 2.  1  2   Next>   Last>>
Follow replies to this topic? Notify me at the top of web site.
1

Email me.
 
 
By Daniel A Miller
From Portland, OR
Apr 22, 2013
I was hoping people could take some time and share their training success stories. I am currently stuck leading routes at around 5.10B -5.10D and a bouldering around V4. I have been at this level for a year. I have read a lot about periodized training but I find it is is difficult for me to execute because of my schedule. Spending two weeks only doing threshold bouldering is hard becuase if I have the opportunity to go climb some multipitch line I can't turn it down due to my trainging regimen.

Has anyone had success breaking through this plateau? How long did it take? What was most helpful?

FLAG
By Daryl Allan
From Sierra Vista, AZ
Apr 22, 2013
Me and my Fetish I guess.. ;)
Most helpful to me, when i was breaking through low 11s into harder 11s was to have a training wall on the back porch. I don't know what your climbing frequency is but if you are like i was (only getting out on the weekends), you will greatly benefit from getting some burn in during the week. I believe this, alone, pushed me to where i was onsighting 11s and starting to pick on 12s here and there.

More specifically, when just a couple inches off the ground, I was able to work on pain management and calming that anxious feeling that builds up just before you start looking at your fall zone; a habit/practice I knew i had to break.

My biggest issue was the excruciating pain that i would experience in my forearms while trying to redpoint. So, to train, I would lock onto a hard crimp on my overhanging wall (25-30 deg or so), close my eyes and when the burn started to build, just start building that pathway to deal with the discomfort. I'm not saying learn to ignore it.. that's just not a reasonable expectation. Rather, for me, I greatly benefited from learning to be comfortable with that sensation.

As I learned to work the burn into my state of climbing hard areas, I also gained strength from the physical training aspect of it. Win, win..

Hope this helps.. it did for me.

d

FLAG
By reboot
From Westminster, CO
Apr 22, 2013
Daniel A Miller wrote:
but I find it is is difficult for me to execute because of my schedule.

Not trying to be an ass but what you are really saying is improving your climbing level is not your priority, because if it is you wouldn't make this kind of excuses. As far as plateaus go, most climbers I know has had them, most break from it by dedicating themselves to training or just trying harder climbs and working on their weaknesses. The optimal plan matters very little. Being honest with yourself, however, is the key.

FLAG
By Sir Wanksalot
From County Jail
Apr 22, 2013
Best advice I ever got was, "if you want to climb harder climb more." Pretty simple solution, but patience is key. So is humility, as I am currently working through a similar situation.

FLAG
By Daniel A Miller
From Portland, OR
Apr 22, 2013
Reboot -
I more meant that dedicating myself to one specifc for 3 weeks at a time is difficult. For example at the arc stage you aren't really supposed to climb close to your limit. If I have a chance to go to a new crag and might not ever get to go there again I certianly don't want to spend all day doing laps on 5.7s. As far as climbing volume, I work full time and usually get 3-5 days per week of climbing in. Sometimes its a short 90 minute gym session and on the weekends its a full day crag-a-thon.

I feel like I have enough volume to advance I just need to figure out the best technique for doing so. Thanks for your response, additionally, I think the drill described in the first technique will be very helpful and is excactly the type of thing I am looking for.

FLAG
By Chris Plesko
From Westminster, CO
Apr 22, 2013
OMG, I winz!!!
Training broke me through my V4 plateau. I was a consistent V4 outdoor boulderer before that and climbed mid-11 OS or in a few goes. If you really boulder V4 outdoors you should be climbing harder than mid 10's. Are you scared of falling on a rope? Have you read Dave MacLeod's 9 of 10 climbers make the same mistakes?

If you're up for it, make a plan, track your data and you will definitely see improvements. One day off the schedule won't blow your training but the more you stick with it the better.

Do you want to get better or not? Decide that question and you have your answer.

FLAG
By JCM
From Seattle, WA
Apr 22, 2013
What you need in order to improve past your current level of ability is not training, but practice. The sort of strength one can gain from hangboards, periodization, etc. is likely not your limiting factor. You could spend a year getting massively strong, and probably would only improve by a letter grade or two. Getting mileage, focusing on technique, and working on your mental state will take you climbing much farther. A few basic steps are listed below, that will help you improve in permanent, lasting ways. They good news is that these all involve going climbing, not torturing yourself on a hangboard.

-Climb more. Get a lot of mileage; don't let periodized training get in the way of just moving over a lot of rock; this is the most important thing now. [But still make sure to rest adequately as well]

-Travel. Climb on a diverse array of rock types, angles, and styles. Every climbing area has different things to teach you. If you always climb at the same area, in one style of climbing, you will have weaknesses that hold you back, but that you don't even know about. Going to another area may make those weaknesses very apparent.

-Push yourself. You claim to be plateaued at 5.10. Are you sure about that? When was the last time you actually tried to climb a 5.11? Find a well-protected low-to-mid-5.11, and suss it out. TR it first if necessary. It will feel hard at first, but don't give up. You'll probably realize that it is actually something you can do with a half dozen tries. Bam, plateau broken.

-Climb with people who are better than you, and with a variety of partners. If all of your partners climb 5.10, and all of you think that 5.11 is too hard, you will probably never progress pass 5.10. If you climb with people who climb 5.12, you will see that 5.11 really isn't hard at all, and it will become an attainable goal. Plus, those more-skilled partners will help you learn new trick, techniques, and tactics that will push you forward.

-Deliberate practice and coaching. Lets continue to talk about those more-skilled climbing partners that you find. Ask them to look at your technique, and see what you are doing wrong. As a 5.10 climber, I would guess that there are serious gaps in your set of techniques. Do you generally climb square to the wall, with weight on inside edges--most 5.10 climbers do. John Long once said that the main skill that separates 5.10 climbers from 5.11 climbers is a good understanding of how to use backsteps (outside edge of the shoe). Learn to backstep, to drop knee, to flag. Learn to put more weight on your feet, and to find no-hands rests.

-Self-assessment. What are you weak at? Figure this out, and work on those weaknesses. Sometimes partners are better at recognizing your strengths and weaknesses than you are.

-Confidence when fatigued. This is the one bit of training-type thing that I would recommend. Learn to climb through pump. ARC-style endurance traversing helps here. Learn to recover on a jug. Traverse around a slightly overhanging wall until tired, then pause on a good hold and try to recover. It sounds like a simple skill, but most sub-5.12 climbers are generally really bad at knowing how to rest properly.

-Belief. Generally the biggest factor holding back a climber is their belief in what they can do. In my experience, the most important step in climbing a new grade is developing the belief that you can climb that grade.

FLAG
By slim
Administrator
Apr 22, 2013
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.
daniel, quick question - have you started projecting routes in maybe the 11a to 11c range? a good friend of mine who is a very good climber once told somebody - you'll never climb 5.12 if you are just climbing 5.8's all the time. essentially you have to be willing to try harder routes, and more importantly, stick with them until you are successful on them.

i think the biggest hurdle for most people to overcome is to come to grips with the fact that, if you want to climb harder, you are going to fail. maybe even a lot. but, as you try hard more often, have some failures as well as some success, you begin to realize that it is better to fail trying something hard than to have continuous success at easy stuff. failure is key to success.

FLAG
 
By Eric8
From Framingham
Apr 22, 2013
Yeah, I agree with Chris if you really boulder v4 you should be climbing harder than 5.10. Is your 10b-10D range onsight? Sport? Trad? What is your goal and what is stopping you from getting there? At your level you do not need to do structured training program to improve, but it would certainly help to address your weakness, which you can go by adjusting your climbing. Have you been on any 5.11's lately?

For example, when I was trying to break into 5.11, I found a couldn't do the moves on anything harder than 11a, so i spent a winter/spring focused on bouldering by getting my bouldering level up to v5, I did one 12a that year.

FLAG
By Ryan Palo
From Bend, oregon
Apr 22, 2013
Me
Training is WAY MORE TIME EFFECTIVE. From start to finish, my sessions are somewhere around 2 hours.

Yes, you will make sacrifices. Lots of them, but what you usually give up are marginal days on the stone. I think a good plan will allow for variation. Im assuming you live in Portland, I cant imagine you're getting out that much during the winter unless you're driving to Smith or suffering in the Rat Cave. So you're really not missing much.

Also, your local endurance training provides a great opportunity to develop/work on your technique. You can use that time spent on the wall to practice footwork, resting, drills, etc.

At your level, Id say you problem has more to do with your technique. Dont worry so much about starting a periodized plan. If you want to dabble, start with endurance work. Get millage. Explore. Make mistakes. Whether or not you realize this, this is the best stage. You're progressing, everything is new, and there's so much to explore. Enjoy it!

What that said, get someone who knows what they're talking about to watch your technique, film yourself, BE CRITICAL OF YOUR TECHNIQUE. Assume with every route you do that there was a more efficient method of climbing it. Just getting to the top is not always the goal. Doing it well should be. Rehearse difficult sections until they feel smooth.

Good luck!

FLAG
By Daniel A Miller
From Portland, OR
Apr 22, 2013
This is all pretty useful. Thanks for your responses. I feel like I see a lot of people stuck at this level so hopefully this is helpful to more than just me.

To clarify, I have redpointed a couple 10cs and onsighted 10b. I can boulder about 50% all the V4s I come across in less than 10 attempts. I deifinitely can exceute much harder moves a couple feet off of a pad then I can when I am half way up a route. For example, I can run laps on any V2 but 11a becomes very difficutlt and I haven't even ever redpointed one.

Should I be projecting at this level? Should I pick an 11c and just fall on it over and over again until I'm dizzy with failure? will that sort of thing make me better? Or should I focus on developing endurance and building a base of support by climbing as many 10b/c s as possible?

FLAG
By JCM
From Seattle, WA
Apr 22, 2013
Ease into the redpoint projects. Don't bite off a big project just yet. You'll make greater gains with 2-5 attempt mini-projects. Start with a handful of 10+ routes. Once you feel comfortable with those, try an 11-, and so on. Once you really get used to the process of working a route, you can try something at a higher level. Still, don't bother yet with things that take more than a dozen attempts; your time would be better spent doing a greater volume of slightly easier routes. Don't jump straight into a siege of something that is way to hard. That said, it may be worthwhile to occasionally get on something well above your ability, just to see what it is like. Be careful doing this at Smith, however...finger injury capital of the US.

FLAG
By germsauce
Apr 22, 2013
Hippos kill people
do you actually get on routes at the grade you'd like to climb? Are you trying and failing, or are you not getting on them at all?
I'm trying to be able to consistently onsight low 12's now, so after warming up, i climb 12's in the gym until i can't even fall my way to the top anymore. then do a bunch of stuff i know is within my range. Be the climber you wish to see in the mirror.

FLAG
By Cor
Apr 22, 2013
black nasty
I once helped train my friend (Ben F.) not to come to the Southern Sun anymore...
It worked!! I never see him now...

FLAG
By NC Rock Climber
From The Oven, AKA Phoenix
Apr 22, 2013
tanuki
JCM has great advice. I was going to post the same stuff, but he already covered it!

FLAG
By Arnold Braker
From golden, co
Jun 2, 2013
Daniel A Miller wrote:
I can boulder about 50% all the V4s I come across in less than 10 attempts. I deifinitely can exceute much harder moves a couple feet off of a pad then I can when I am half way up a route. For example, I can run laps on any V2 but 11a becomes very difficutlt and I haven't even ever redpointed one.


It sounds like your answer is right here. If you can consistently boulder v4 in so few tries, 11+ should be in your wheelhouse. But, as you say, you find it difficult or impossible to execute moves at your limit while climbing on a rope. That's a big problem right there and it's probably mostly fear that is holding you back.

Here's one suggestion that might help open your eyes to what's going on. Go bouldering at a well padded gym and get a friend to take some video of you. Then go to a sport crag and also get some video of yourself.

I'm willing to bet that you'll watch yourself bouldering more dynamically, more fluidly and with less inhibition and you'll see yourself moving much more cautiously and statically while you're on a rope.

If that's the case, work to change it. Climbing with trepidation makes everything harder.

FLAG
 
By Rohan de Launey
From South Lake Tahoe
Jun 19, 2013
Luther Spires
My dad gave me this sage advice surfing big waves in mexico when I was 15..
"You scared? These aren't scary.. Drop into a mean closeout and find out how bad it really is..."

Drop in, scream, big breath, washing machine, pop up and scream again, Big breath & dive, washing machine, Paddle back out with grin.

"See they're just big teddy bears.."

Fun game.. Find safe hard climb, clip several bolts till your way off the ground then lower. Now take turns with plenty of jeering and heckling climbing past the last clipped bolt and falling, mark highest point with chalk before you jump/fall. Be safe, rig a back up TR maybe, have fun. biggest pussy buys beer for all at bar later.

FLAG
By slim
Administrator
Jun 19, 2013
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.
man, i know what you mean. i went to a JC Penney's closeout once and it was absolutely brutal. Hold your breath while being trampled by old lady's buying bulk packages of granny panties, look at a few washing machines, the whole range of emotions that you described. i can only imagine what a JC Penney's closeout in Mexico would be like. mind blowing.......

FLAG
By Megan C.B.
Jul 11, 2013
profile photo
I'm having the best time in some formal training at my local indoor gym right now - it's the first formal athletic training I've had since I learned how to ski as a kid, really! I'm part of a crew doing an 8 week training program presented by TRUBLUE, and it's requiring us to climb 3-4 times a week. I think what's helping me the most is the fact that (1) I'm getting a lot of mileage under my belt now that I'm being basically forced to climb so often and (2) I'm making sure to climb with people of a higher level than me. So when I'm stuck at the bottom of an 11- unable to get more than a third of the way up the wall, I've got a friend encouraging me and helping me figure out different ways to have my body positioned on the route. Considering 5 weeks ago when I started this I was only climbing 5.9s successfully, and today my goal is to send an 11- by next Tuesday... I'd say the training is going great! The best part is (at least in the context of being able to share) there's a website for the project with videos, blogs, and resources for anybody to follow along and try at home. I highly recommend checking it out. reachyourpeak.autobelay.com

FLAG
By Mike McKinnon
From Golden, CO
Jul 11, 2013
Bunny pancake
MegRYP wrote:
I'm having the best time in some formal training at my local indoor gym right now - it's the first formal athletic training I've had since I learned how to ski as a kid, really! I'm part of a crew doing an 8 week training program presented by TRUBLUE, and it's requiring us to climb 3-4 times a week. I think what's helping me the most is the fact that (1) I'm getting a lot of mileage under my belt now that I'm being basically forced to climb so often and (2) I'm making sure to climb with people of a higher level than me. So when I'm stuck at the bottom of an 11- unable to get more than a third of the way up the wall, I've got a friend encouraging me and helping me figure out different ways to have my body positioned on the route. Considering 5 weeks ago when I started this I was only climbing 5.9s successfully, and today my goal is to send an 11- by next Tuesday... I'd say the training is going great! The best part is (at least in the context of being able to share) there's a website for the project with videos, blogs, and resources for anybody to follow along and try at home. I highly recommend checking it out. www.reachyourpeak.autobelay.com


Obvious commercial is obvious

FLAG
By Megan C.B.
Jul 11, 2013
profile photo
Mike McKinnon wrote:
Obvious commercial is obvious


Well, it is of course part of my job to promote the program, I'm not trying to hide that. But I am being 100% honest that it's been a huge success story for me personally. My goal for the end of this program was to complete a 5.10 - I've still got three weeks to go and I'm already working on 5.11's. That's not staged, that's real progress that's come from real training. If the program works, I'm glad to share it with others who are looking for training tips and success stories - regardless of whether or not I "have to"! Hopefully it might help somebody else on here :)

FLAG
By Mark E Dixon
From Sprezzatura, Someday
Jul 11, 2013
At the BRC
MegRYP wrote:
The best part is (at least in the context of being able to share) there's a website for the project with videos, blogs, and resources for anybody to follow along and try at home.


So Meg, 7 out of 8 of your posts have been off topic, shameless plugs for an autobelay device. Are you just trying to look busy for your employer, or do you really believe this is going to generate good will and further business? Because I can tell you, that while I like the BRC and Chris Wall and autobelays in general, if Mike or Kevin asks me which type of auto belay I prefer, it isn't going to be the one being hawked inappropriately on the MP training forum.

FLAG
By BWIce
From Carlisle, PA
Jul 11, 2013
North face of long's.
Pull-ups, leg-lifts and all of their variations.

If I'm training for bouldering, I add weight and reduce reps - reps to exhaustion should be less than 10 per set, shooting for 3-5 sets.

If I'm training for trad/sport, I do unweighted reps to exhaustion shooting for 3 sets to 50. Once I drop to 2 sets to 50 total, I add a set - again, always to exhaustion.

I also add trail-running to my trad/sport routine each week to increase circulation to prevent early pump-out/lactic acid buildup on the long routes.

FLAG
By Peter Beal
From Boulder Colorado
Jul 12, 2013
My 2 cents on this is that if you climb V4 consistently but have only redpointed 10c, you need to climb more moves in a row. Most routes, even in the gym, have between 20 and 30 continuous moves. If you aren't actually doing that continuity, you will have a hard time getting into solid 11 or 12 which is what your bouldering grade points to.

Meg's advice, though a bit poorly presented is not terrible. Try not to walk out of the gym without having done at least 300-500 feet of climbing, whether on boulders or autobelay or whatever. Start at 5.8 and go as high up grade-wise as you can until you are tired and then drop back down to 5.8, trying to compress this in a short time.

I would not even have a training regimen at this point. Climb on as much as you can, as often as you can and don't worry about periodization or anything else. You are not climbing hard enough for that to matter. Learn to climb better first.

FLAG
 
By Chris treggE
Administrator
From Madison, WI
Jul 12, 2013
This problem haunted my dreams for 6 years after failing to send in 2008.  Finally got throw a heel over the lip jug -- now I can sleep.  Photo Darin Limvere.
Meg, maybe some good will would be generated, in addition to getting the word out about your product, if your company formally advertised on this site? See the "Advertise" tab on the bottom of this page. Thanks!

FLAG
By mountainhick
From Black Hawk, CO
Jul 12, 2013
Daniel A Miller wrote:
To clarify, I have redpointed a couple 10cs and onsighted 10b. I can boulder about 50% all the V4s I come across in less than 10 attempts. I deifinitely can exceute much harder moves a couple feet off of a pad then I can when I am half way up a route. For example, I can run laps on any V2 but 11a becomes very difficutlt and I haven't even ever redpointed one.


You obviously have the physical ability to climb harder than 5.10b. Why can't you execute moves higher off the deck than you can near the ground? I could be totally wrong, but it sounds like you need to train your head more than your muscles. I would wager that there is something about the lead climbing circumstances that turns a mental switch inside you that kicks in a physiological response to tighten up a bit. Not remaining relaxed will burn up your energy faster than any purely physical challenge. Is there a way for you to explore this? How do you find your relaxation on lead?

We all have up and down days, a week or two ago, I got on a trad route well within my ability, but scared myself from the get go. It was just an imposing looking climb, and when I got on it as a result of the mild fear I was over gripping, not breathing well etc. Then I ran it out much further than I should have, feeling it was better to climb to a good rest to place pro rather than fight the pump to get a piece. Scared myself even more looking down at the resulting run out and potential fall I created for myself. Result, more gripped, climbing less and less relaxed, getting more exhausted, but in no way due to my physical ability or conditioning which were perfectly adequate for the challenge. This left me feeling like I did not climb the route well at all.

Even small psychological shifts on lead can affect your breathing and your physical response. Unfortunately the result for many when trying to control everything is to over breathe which results in a physiological cascade reaction of more fear/more stress, over stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system and it turns into a vicious cycle. Caused by the head, but ends up a physiological response compromising your actual physical ability. It can be profound, or it can be subtle, even under your conscious radar.

May not apply for you, but I find more often than not if I am not being successful climbing it is not because of a physical inability. It is either because of the psychological aspect or lack of ability with some specific technique. It just seems to me that breaking into 5.11 is more a mental barrier than anything else.

Another thing to help could be to research the routes just above what you perceive as your ability level, and find out which play to your strong suit. I feel like 5.10 is usually my comfort zone. Some days I get on 5.11s and they feel reasonable if they require technique that I possess, say balancey face technique and sequence solving, but when it comes to a 1" crack with no feet, I might not have that jamming technique wired. Find climbs at your challenge level with brief cruxes and work til success. A few successes and your head breaks through into the grade. Then work towards more sustained routes at that level.

Oh, and in terms of success story, yes, diligent PT after shoulder surgery worked, and building a crack wall and doing laps in my house has done wonders for my crack technique and endurance. That said, I should train more consistently!

FLAG


Follow replies to this topic? Notify me at the top of web site.
1

Email me.
Page 1 of 2.  1  2   Next>   Last>>