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jeff308


Apr 25, 2006, 8:29 AM
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54 y.o. Beginner
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Hello,
I've begun rock climbing. Just in the last several weeks. I'm fortunate that a talent climber has agreed to help me. At this point it's accurate to say I need physical conditioning, technique, and much practice.

Anyway, last Sat. my coach suggested I read "The Rock Warrior's Way" and I've been able to get approx 2/3 way through on a "first pass" read. I've decided to treat this book like a textbook of sorts in order to get real benefit.

My lack of endurance, forearm strength and technique has me thinking I need to train hard to improve in these areas solely; that I'm too new and empty to benefit from the book's lessons. However, I don't want that to be true as the content seems very powerful.

So, if anyone can speak to this by advice or suggestion, I'd appreciate it.
Thanks for taking time to read.
Jeff


miavzero


Apr 25, 2006, 8:42 AM
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Welcome to (rock)climbing(.com).
Training the mind is just as important as training the body. Many books like Performance Rock Climbing, Training For Climbing, and The Self-Coached Climber do offer some very good advice on practices to improve your climbing. Unfortunately, a lot of people ignore the best advice on tactics, head games and techniques and focus on physiological variables like strength training or nutrition (which are also VERY important). I initially thought Arno's book was a heap of self-help hogwash, but I have found myself applying much of information from RRW to everyday life. It's a shame that Arno chose to waste such insight on climbers :wink:


jeff308


Apr 25, 2006, 9:01 AM
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miavzero,

Thank you. Just now I see my lack of physical fitness as the big problem. And, when in the climbing gym I will push hard. To me, that's how I'll improve. The mental/mindset aspect is something I was hesitant to look at because I didn't want any 'clutter' interferring with my getting fit effort. Maybe I'm not thinking correctly in that it would be a benefit to learn the mental as I begin to learn the physical.

The effect this has had on me physically and mentally has been a bit of a shock. Plus, I didn't know I'd get so hooked so fast. And, honestly, the struggle to learn this is much more difficult than anything I've done to date. And that is a big part of the attraction. That might sound a bit whackey but it's true.


oldrnotboldr


Apr 25, 2006, 9:16 AM
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The Warrior's Way is an excellent book, suited not only for advanced climbers but beginners as well. I've used Arno's methods for climbing, starting my own business, keeping the motivation going for excercising in long, cold winter months, and even my kids use it. I have also found it has helped my route assessment and has actually increased my safety factors as well as climbing skills. It goes with me and sits next to the freedom of the hills. Read it and use it. Check out the Warrior's Way forum.


hammerhead


Apr 25, 2006, 10:05 AM
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As long as you're in decent shape with no major health problems you should be fine. I wouldn't push yourself too hard though. First because it takes some time to condition your body to climbing. (an injury right from the start would not be good.) Second, because climbing is supposed to be fun. Set realistic goals and have fun achieving them. Some cardio cross-training, and a good diet can help greatly. Right now probably the best thing you can do to improve your climbing is to lose some extra weight. I'm guessing there are 10-15 lbs that could come off.
Go to the gym 3-4 times a week and climb for 2-3 hours. Take it slow and have fun.

Edited to include this:

There is a married couple that climb at my gym. I think Dick is ~68 and Betsy it ~66 or so. They both climb in the +5.9, 5.10's.


arrow


Apr 25, 2006, 10:40 AM
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Older guys can't just hit the ground running like the younger folk. Get in shape slowly so you don't tear up your shoulders and finger tendons. I would do strength training and core conditioning three mornings a week and climb 2-3 nights a week in a gym. Also do some cardio about 3-4 times a week. Slowly work your way up from there. Good luck.


yokese


Apr 25, 2006, 10:57 AM
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My 2 cents: Get outdoors as soon as you can. The fun in climbing gyms is mostly about pushing the grades. Whereas a twenty-something guy/girl can get strong pretty fast, a more "mature" person needs quite a bit of time and is inmensely more prone to get injured. However, in a nice crag outdoors you can have a blast climbing a couple of 5.easy/5.fun


jeff308


Apr 25, 2006, 11:32 AM
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Thanks for all the responses.
I've been able to spend 3-4 nights (usually 3) nights a week in the climbing gym. Plenty of warmup and stretching. then a warmup traverse, 3-4 routes (top rope), then 4-5 sets on "the Rock" to failure. The Rock is a motorized section of wall with holds. Then contitioning exercises. This takes about 2.5-3.0 hrs. total. By then , I'm ready to dial 911.. this has been set up by my coach. I do what she says and try to remain concious :wink:

I need to add some weekend cardio or some kind of training.


fitzontherocks


Apr 25, 2006, 11:43 AM
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Jef, welcome to the world. I started relatively late in life, too (40), but had always been pretty active. Still, climbing is so different from any other activity that it took a while (several months) before I felt adequately conditioned for the sport. So be patient with yourself. Sounds like your coach has given you an excellent workout routine. (Actually, I think it would kick my a**.) Don't overdo it, as has been said, and for sure get outside. It's just loads more fun. Where are you? What crags are near you? Have you met some other climbing buddies? Get used to climbing with young whippersnappers. I've met only one guy my age to climb with. Most of my partners are in their 20s, but it's all good.
Have fun!


jeff308


Apr 25, 2006, 11:58 AM
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In reply to:
Still, climbing is so different from any other activity that it took a while (several months) before I felt adequately conditioned for the sport.

Bigtime 'Amen' to that !!!
Most of my exercise had been weight resistance, plus I'm gradually losing some unwanted fat.

I'm in Atlanta, GA.


reg


Apr 25, 2006, 12:00 PM
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My 2 cents: Get outdoors as soon as you can. However, in a nice crag outdoors you can have a blast climbing a couple of 5.easy/5.fun

good advice - at 56 and a "bigginer" i'm lucky to tr 5.9 - i started late as well and could probably do more but i'm havin to much fun at these lower grades - healin takes much longer at our age and i've got other things i like to do. i'm all about havin fun - one big "easy button" you might say.


fredbob


Apr 25, 2006, 12:05 PM
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I'm sure to get negative feedback for what follows, but as someone in his early 50s and has climbed a bit over the years, maybe it has some value:

Climbing in a gym is great practice and excellent means to develop climbing specific strength. But, don't be fooled, it isn't rock climbing. Get outside as soon and as often as possible.

There are many, many things that can't be learned in a gym: (how to use your feet, moving efficently over stone, ropework, anchors, gear placements, complexities of real climbing, mental discipline & control, facing and solving unique situations, etc.)

Also, as others have cautioned, be very careful about getting injured in the gym. Muscles develop strength pretty quickly, whereas tendons and joints take much longer; older people are more subject to these injuries. Fingers, elbows, shoulders, etc commonly get injured by overdoing in a gym. These types of injuries are much rarer outside.

If you experience joint pain that persists, lay off until it goes away. Working through this type of minor strain and injury will lead to chronic problems.

Have fun and be safe; climbing can be quite dangerous.


codhands


Apr 25, 2006, 12:21 PM
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The Rock is a motorized section of wall with holds.

WTF is that?

Keep up the good work.


arnoilgner


Apr 25, 2006, 9:06 PM
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Hi Jeff,
You need plenty of rock under your belt, so to speak. You need mileage. Do all the 5.6s you can, then all the 5.7s you can, etc. Doing this will train your body to do a bunch of climbing moves. Make sure Chelsea is teaching you some efficient climbing moves, like pushing with two legs and moving in a balanced way. This is a great time (since you're beginner) to learn the best way to move.

Mental wise, observe yourself to see if you love climbing or if you love "succeeding." If you find you are motivated by getting to the top of routes then you need to redefine some things you love about climbing, in and of itself.
arno


tonloc


Apr 25, 2006, 10:49 PM
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dont think too much, brain gets in way...make you dumstupidhead...have some fun and climb, just climb, don't try to become the world's best yet, that takes 3-5 months...have fun and good luck


jeff308


Apr 26, 2006, 5:30 AM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
The Rock is a motorized section of wall with holds.

WTF is that?

Keep up the good work.

Picture a treadmill that's 10-12 ft. long but verticle. Attach different holds and then be able to vary both speed and angle.

On a regular treadmill, you would walk/run to match the speed of the machine.
On The Rock, likewise but you climb.


jt512


Apr 26, 2006, 12:20 PM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
The Rock is a motorized section of wall with holds.

WTF is that?

Keep up the good work.

Picture a treadmill that's 10-12 ft. long but verticle. Attach different holds and then be able to vary both speed and angle.

Don't waste your time on this thing. It is a gimick, which at best, is worthless, as training for climbing. More likely, it will do more harm than good, by engraining poor movement habits.

Get a hold of the book The Self-Coached Climber and practice the exercises prescribed by the author. You will build endurance and strength while simultaneously learning efficient movement.

Jay


miavzero


Apr 26, 2006, 12:41 PM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
The Rock is a motorized section of wall with holds.

WTF is that?

Keep up the good work.

Picture a treadmill that's 10-12 ft. long but verticle. Attach different holds and then be able to vary both speed and angle.

Don't waste your time on this thing. It is a gimick, which at best, is worthless, as training for climbing. More likely, it will do more harm than good, by engraining poor movement habits.

Get a hold of the book The Self-Coached Climber and practice the exercises prescribed by the author. You will build endurance and strength while simultaneously learning efficient movement.

Jay
I don't really disagree with this statement, but Frank Dusl used to train like hell on one of these things. You can certainly train endurance and learn to climb fast (and possibly, sloppy).


arrow


Apr 26, 2006, 1:11 PM
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also in the Self Coached Climber there's an exercise where you just work on stepping. That treadmill might be useful for that but probably little else.


dirtineye


May 2, 2006, 4:34 PM
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Just wanted to say that Arno's book is probably better for beginners than for anyone else, because it deals with those beginner fears and foibles that pester lots of intermediate and better climbers.

Start, in the beginning, to use your mind, as well as your body, efficiently, that is a good idea.

One thing about climbing, there will always be at least three categories for you: Easy, challenging, and impossible. The climbs in the categories will change.

What will make them change is your improvement. Beginners make a lot of technical and mental errors, Arno's book helps with mental errors, go for it.


cosmiccragsman


May 2, 2006, 5:21 PM
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Fredbob(Randy) Wrote:
In reply to:
I'm sure to get negative feedback for what follows, but as someone in his early 50s and has climbed a bit over the years, maybe it has some value:

Climbing in a gym is great practice and excellent means to develop climbing specific strength. But, don't be fooled, it isn't rock climbing. Get outside as soon and as often as possible.

There are many, many things that can't be learned in a gym: (how to use your feet, moving efficently over stone, ropework, anchors, gear placements, complexities of real climbing, mental discipline & control, facing and solving unique situations, etc.)

Also, as others have cautioned, be very careful about getting injured in the gym. Muscles develop strength pretty quickly, whereas tendons and joints take much longer; older people are more subject to these injuries. Fingers, elbows, shoulders, etc commonly get injured by overdoing in a gym. These types of injuries are much rarer outside.

If you experience joint pain that persists, lay off until it goes away. Working through this type of minor strain and injury will lead to chronic problems.

Have fun and be safe; climbing can be quite dangerous.
A trophy for you Randy!
Do you remember back in the early 80s, when you and I did almost every climb on Hemmingway in one day? Nowadays it takes a couple of hours, to get my creaky bones limber enough to do 4 or 5 climbs.
:( :lol: :lol:

Cosmiccragsman


jeff308


May 3, 2006, 5:04 AM
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Just wanted to say that Arno's book is probably better for beginners than for anyone else, because it deals with those beginner fears and foibles that pester lots of intermediate and better climbers.

Start, in the beginning, to use your mind, as well as your body, efficiently, that is a good idea.

One thing about climbing, there will always be at least three categories for you: Easy, challenging, and impossible. The climbs in the categories will change.

What will make them change is your improvement. Beginners make a lot of technical and mental errors, Arno's book helps with mental errors, go for it.

Thank you for this. I just finished the book and have begun the exercise re: Becoming Conscious.

Last Monday I was on a route when I stopped to allow another climber to continue climging. This stop was not part of the plan of moves I had in mind when starting. The first thought I had was, ' I'm using up energy needlessly having to wait, and won't have enough to finish.'

That first thought was a knee jerk response, if you will. I closed my eyes and "looked" at the thought. I remember just being still; taking a couple of slow breaths; opening my eyes and just continuing. This was a spur of the moment attempt at Witnessing. I remember being glad that this unplanned stop had happened.. why, I really can't say. And for a few moments, it didn't matter if I fell. I made it to the top. The experience brought on a sense of surprise and euphoria for several minutes after I was done.

My describing this now is as accurate as I can do after the fact. I think there was more to it than I can "wrap around". But, I believe it was a good lesson.


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