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bsyed


May 11, 2012, 11:22 AM
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Do you consider yourself elite?
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Just wondering - How many of you consider yourselves elite level climbers (better than the average climber).

I know i'll get some stick from people for the following questions but i understand that climbing is largely a skill based physical activity but i tend to see tremendously early specialisation in strength training in climbers that you don't really see in many other sports, in which athletes tend to develop a good all round base of strength first before specialising to the sport.

Couple questions for you elite level guys:

What's your training like and how do you believe it differs from lower level climbers and when do you recommend climbers start to specialise their training?

What do you think separates climbing from other physical endeavours in terms of preparation and training?

What mainstream (olympic) sport do you think closely matches the challenges, learning and performance of climbing and why? (I'm guessing gymnastics?)

Climbing like any physical activity requires a level of conditioning to reach elite level (which is specific) but what would you recommend to someone who is just starting out with little to no base of strength (e.g. finds pull ups impossible, can't do a push up)?

Why do you think there is a large distaste about traditional strength training among the climbing community?


(This post was edited by bsyed on May 11, 2012, 11:22 AM)


johnwesely


May 11, 2012, 11:40 AM
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Re: [bsyed] Do you consider yourself elite? [In reply to]
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I think you are going to need to qualify elite more specifically than better than average.


blueeyedclimber


May 11, 2012, 11:50 AM
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johnwesely wrote:
I think you are going to need to qualify elite more specifically than better than average.

Aw come on! For a minute there, I was elite!

Josh


bsyed


May 11, 2012, 11:53 AM
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lets have a lower of say 5.12+ and above. and bouldering V6

Thanks for the serious reply.

*putting it low so theres at least a decent number of replies*


(This post was edited by bsyed on May 11, 2012, 11:55 AM)


wonderwoman


May 11, 2012, 12:19 PM
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blueeyedclimber wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
I think you are going to need to qualify elite more specifically than better than average.

Aw come on! For a minute there, I was elite!

Josh

Ha ha!!! You got one-starred for saying that! You're still pretty nifty in my book!

Me? I'm in rough shape right now.


bsyed


May 11, 2012, 12:29 PM
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wonderwoman wrote:
blueeyedclimber wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
I think you are going to need to qualify elite more specifically than better than average.

Aw come on! For a minute there, I was elite!

Josh

Ha ha!!! You got one-starred for saying that! You're still pretty nifty in my book!

Me? I'm in rough shape right now.

is getting one starred bad? i thought his post was LOL worthy


lena_chita
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May 11, 2012, 12:33 PM
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blueeyedclimber wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
I think you are going to need to qualify elite more specifically than better than average.

Aw come on! For a minute there, I was elite!

Josh

No worries, by the definition of this thread, you still are!

You take what you can get.

It took me coming to US to become white and caucasian and Russian.

It took reading this thread for me to become elite.


wonderwoman


May 11, 2012, 12:39 PM
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bsyed wrote:
wonderwoman wrote:
blueeyedclimber wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
I think you are going to need to qualify elite more specifically than better than average.

Aw come on! For a minute there, I was elite!

Josh

Ha ha!!! You got one-starred for saying that! You're still pretty nifty in my book!

Me? I'm in rough shape right now.

is getting one starred bad? i thought his post was LOL worthy

I thought it was funny, too. I think it's even more funny that someone obviously didn't think it was funny and gave him one star.


bsyed


May 11, 2012, 12:42 PM
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i thought getting a star was a good thing! (on the logic the one star is better than no stars)
sorry blueeyedclimber!

anyone actually have a response to the OP?
elite or not it would be interesting to hear either way.


redlude97


May 11, 2012, 12:52 PM
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Climbing is more like snowboarding than any other olympic sport. You get good by being a dirtbag, riding(climbing) as much as you possibly can, and you make movies in your free time while doing stupid shit. Beans right out of the can is considered a good meal, and bowl or two never hurt anyone either


johnwesely


May 11, 2012, 1:09 PM
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bsyed wrote:

Couple questions for you elite level guys:

I will answer your questions, but I do not in any way consider myself elite. If I had to classify, I would say I am on the more advanced side of intermediate. If 0 is a rank beginner, 2 a recreational climber, 5 an intermediate climber, 8 an advanced climber, and 10 an elite climber, I would put myself at a 6.

In reply to:
What's your training like and how do you believe it differs from lower level climbers and when do you recommend climbers start to specialise their training?

I would describe my training as loosely periodized. I do a period of strength where I focus on bouldering for a few months, and then I bring in endurance work, 4x4s, circuits, etc, for an equal time or until it is convenient for me to take a short one or two week break. When I am in the gym, I really focus on movement. Once I send a hard for me problem, I really like to repeat it over and over again. New climbers tend to climb something and then move on to that next big thing. Climbers should start to specialize their training when they need to and have the right attitude about climbing performance. When I see climbers training to project 5.11 sport climbs, I don't really think that makes any sense. Chances are that if they feel the need to train specifically to reach that level, they are doing something seriously wrong in their climbing, and they should figure out what that is first. A good attitude about performance is worth way more than any training program.

In reply to:
What do you think separates climbing from other physical endeavours in terms of preparation and training?

Climbing is sort of unique because excess weight is so detrimental to performance. If a basketball player bulks up a little bit, it might make him a little bit slower, but his momentum probably help make him a more intimidating on the court.

A common argument against supplemental training is that it would eat into the energy needed to climb well, but most training days only really leave the forearms completely exhausted. Climbers, myself included probably have a lot more energy to put into supplemental training than they would like to admit.

In reply to:
What mainstream (olympic) sport do you think closely matches the challenges, learning and performance of climbing and why? (I'm guessing gymnastics?)

Equestrian.

In reply to:
Climbing like any physical activity requires a level of conditioning to reach elite level (which is specific) but what would you recommend to someone who is just starting out with little to no base of strength (e.g. finds pull ups impossible, can't do a push up)?

Just climb. It will not take too long for climbing to get you strong enough to do almost any body weight exercise.

In reply to:
Why do you think there is a large distaste about traditional strength training among the climbing community?

It doesn't really translate to performance gains directly. It is a net negative if it results in weight gain or time away from specific training. Training of any kind is generally looked down upon.


bsyed


May 11, 2012, 1:40 PM
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thank you for the very well pointed response.

In reply to:
I would describe my training as loosely periodized. I do a period of strength where I focus on bouldering for a few months, and then I bring in endurance work, 4x4s, circuits, etc, for an equal time or until it is convenient for me to take a short one or two week break. When I am in the gym, I really focus on movement. Once I send a hard for me problem, I really like to repeat it over and over again. New climbers tend to climb something and then move on to that next big thing. Climbers should start to specialize their training when they need to and have the right attitude about climbing performance. When I see climbers training to project 5.11 sport climbs, I don't really think that makes any sense. Chances are that if they feel the need to train specifically to reach that level, they are doing something seriously wrong in their climbing, and they should figure out what that is first. A good attitude about performance is worth way more than any training program.
Climbing is sort of unique because excess weight is so detrimental to performance. If a basketball player bulks up a little bit, it might make him a little bit slower, but his momentum probably help make him a more intimidating on the court.

A common argument against supplemental training is that it would eat into the energy needed to climb well, but most training days only really leave the forearms completely exhausted. Climbers, myself included probably have a lot more energy to put into supplemental training than they would like to admit.
great reply
It sounds very much like old ideas about wrestling conditioning. we have weight classes so weight is a massive factor in performance. as such many coaches were very much against weight training
and the idea of attitude beating training is prevalent in many sports.

In reply to:
Equestrian.
Why equestrian?

In reply to:
Just climb. It will not take too long for climbing to get you strong enough to do almost any body weight exercise.

again sounds like old train wrestling or even judo "the best training for judo is judo!"

In reply to:
In reply to: Why do you think there is a large distaste about traditional strength training among the climbing community?

It doesn't really translate to performance gains directly. It is a net negative if it results in weight gain or time away from specific training. Training of any kind is generally looked down upon.

Agreed, if i had to choose between more mat time/ more climb time or more time weight training, i would definitely choose the one related to the skill.

However - say im able to increase my strength and power output, decrease my body fat and maintain the same weight through weight training while not taking significant time away from climb/skill time, would you still consider it non-beneficial.

There was the same idea that weight training makes you muscle bound in wrestling until the russians proved that weight training had a significant impact on strength while maintaining the same weight if you control diet.


tradmanclimbs


May 11, 2012, 1:41 PM
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Simply putting a grade out there of 12+ means nothing in the elite dept. there are pleanty of gym monkeys out there who can crank 5.12 and V whatever yet cant get up a multi pitch 5.6. Witnessed this exact thing on Devils Tower. two 5.12 sport climbers from NRG spent about 11hrs on the 5.6 Durrance route on Devils tower ended up running out of water, bailing and loseing both their ropes. rangers asked us to go up and clean their ropes. heck I was barely a 5.8 leader @ the time and I was asked to clean up after 5.12 climbers who got completly spanked??? It is all relative... I feel that you could make a strong point for some climbers who rarely climb harder than hard 10 and some mid 11 to be elite climbers simply by the number of FA's they have and the big serious climbs that they do. I have a friend for example that hardly rock climbs, when he did rock climb it was in the 10 to 11 range but he routinly solos big winter routs, puts up multi pitch WI6X routs, solos multi pitch 5+ , climbs all over the world and is one serious bad assed elite climber yet I am pretty certain that he never climbed 5.12.. George Hurly is annother elite climber that comes to mind. Still putting up new climbs in his 70's certainly does not climb 5.12 and gaurenteed can climb many big routs that the average 5.12 sport/boulderer has little to zero chance of success on.. I feel in order to be considered elite in the sport arena you need to be solid on 13's and pushing into the 14s


johnwesely


May 11, 2012, 3:11 PM
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tradmanclimbs wrote:
Simply putting a grade out there of 12+ means nothing in the elite dept. there are pleanty of gym monkeys out there who can crank 5.12 and V whatever yet cant get up a multi pitch 5.6. Witnessed this exact thing on Devils Tower. two 5.12 sport climbers from NRG spent about 11hrs on the 5.6 Durrance route on Devils tower ended up running out of water, bailing and loseing both their ropes. rangers asked us to go up and clean their ropes. heck I was barely a 5.8 leader @ the time and I was asked to clean up after 5.12 climbers who got completly spanked??? It is all relative... I feel that you could make a strong point for some climbers who rarely climb harder than hard 10 and some mid 11 to be elite climbers simply by the number of FA's they have and the big serious climbs that they do. I have a friend for example that hardly rock climbs, when he did rock climb it was in the 10 to 11 range but he routinly solos big winter routs, puts up multi pitch WI6X routs, solos multi pitch 5+ , climbs all over the world and is one serious bad assed elite climber yet I am pretty certain that he never climbed 5.12.. George Hurly is annother elite climber that comes to mind. Still putting up new climbs in his 70's certainly does not climb 5.12 and gaurenteed can climb many big routs that the average 5.12 sport/boulderer has little to zero chance of success on.. I feel in order to be considered elite in the sport arena you need to be solid on 13's and pushing into the 14s

First of all, solid NRG 12 climbers did not have trouble on the Durrance route. Maybe they said they were 5.12 climbers, but the NRG is one of the only sport crags I have climbed at with accurate grades. Your friend sounds like an advanced alpinist, but not an elite or even advanced rock climber by any metric. To be an elite rock climber, you really have to be solid at 14 sport or 13 trad. That doesn't mean you did one or two routes at the grade either. Saying anything less really dimishes the talent and hard work that goes into being an elite climber.


surfstar


May 11, 2012, 5:22 PM
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redlude97 wrote:
Climbing is more like snowboarding than any other olympic sport. You get good by being a dirtbag, riding(climbing) as much as you possibly can, and you make movies in your free time while doing stupid shit. Beans right out of the can is considered a good meal, and bowl or two never hurt anyone either

So which one is making $10M/year like Shaun White?

I believe a climber could also loose a metal for weed, though.

In snowboarding you keep your shirt on while wearing a beanie, though. Actually the more I think about it, the less alike.


redlude97


May 11, 2012, 5:39 PM
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surfstar wrote:
redlude97 wrote:
Climbing is more like snowboarding than any other olympic sport. You get good by being a dirtbag, riding(climbing) as much as you possibly can, and you make movies in your free time while doing stupid shit. Beans right out of the can is considered a good meal, and bowl or two never hurt anyone either

So which one is making $10M/year like Shaun White?

I believe a climber could also loose a metal for weed, though.

In snowboarding you keep your shirt on while wearing a beanie, though. Actually the more I think about it, the less alike.
Fuck SW, a one trick pony ain't elite, oh wait I guess its more like climbing than I thought


(This post was edited by redlude97 on May 11, 2012, 5:39 PM)


tradmanclimbs


May 11, 2012, 5:50 PM
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John, I chatted with those guys @ devils tower. they had W. Virginia plates, said they were from the New and climbed 12's The durrance is so different from the kind of climbing that you would experience @ the new if you primarly sport climbed that It would not supprise me @ all if you got spanked on a moderate off width gear climb . I bet they would also get spanked on New Yosemite @ the garbage can walls.. I It was my rest day so I watched them for awhile but it was slow and painfull. I went for a bike ride and talked to them at dusk. They were wearing shorts and tank tops, Rasberried from head to toe, mumbled something about not getting to the top and some troubble with the ropes. next day the rangers informed us that there were 2 ropes stuck on Durrance qnd asked us to get them. We actually did a different climb and friends of ours got the stuck ropes. I have climbed in WV enough (9 trips to seneca, etc) to know the grades are stiff. I just do not see how climbing a bunch of bolted steep climpy reachy face hardstuff is going to give you good crack technique and gear skills without at least a week or so of practice @ that kind of climbing. I do agree with you that if only sport climbing you need to be 5.14 to be elite and there is still a ton of stuff you will not be able to climb if you do not practice other diciplins.. dave Graham ain't no Uli Steck if you know what I mean;)

My friend has put up 180m WI6X M7 routs has many unrepeted FA'a, Solos WI5+ IV routs he is without a doubt an elite ice climber but not an elite rock climber. Uli Steck on the otherhand cranks 5.14, boulders V whatever and ice & alpine @ an elite level.... HFS!!!! so this brings us back to square one. 5.12 V7 sport boulder specific climbers are not elite. they are damn strong in one area but not elite.....


(This post was edited by tradmanclimbs on May 11, 2012, 6:20 PM)


lofstromc


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Yes, I do.


curt


May 11, 2012, 9:27 PM
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bsyed wrote:
Just wondering - How many of you consider yourselves elite level climbers (better than the average climber).

What mainstream (olympic) sport do you think closely matches the challenges, learning and performance of climbing and why? (I'm guessing gymnastics?)

There is certainly some carryover from gymnastics--and this was considered fairly "elite" for 1958.

http://www128.pair.com/r3d4k7/HomePage1.1.html

Curt


wsclimber


May 11, 2012, 9:27 PM
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I would consider elite bolt clippers to be the top 1%, aka sending 5.14. And the 12d and up folks are prob top 10%. (IMO)

Top 1% folks definetely have genetic advantages and a high level of athletism/body awareness.

I think folks can get to top 10% with less of the above, plus strength and experience. Experience is HUGE.

<spray alert on>
I climbed 13a over 20 years ago, I was stronger and lighter:). Not so strong, nor light now, but still can get up some 12+ sport - b/c I have a HUGE volume of pitches under my belt over the last 30 years, and thus have experienced and cataloged via muscle memory, a HUGE number of moves. <spray alert off>

So IMO, climbing alot, in alot of places, over time, is very helpful:) As is having fun! Nervous about going for the send - just remember you are trying to do it b/c its fun and you are about to have a good time!


(This post was edited by wsclimber on May 11, 2012, 9:29 PM)


dan2see


May 12, 2012, 8:33 AM
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Huh! I was an elite climber until this thread.

Although my scrambling friends think I'm an elite climber. And my climbing friends think I'm an elite scrambler.

<sigh> Now I guess I'm almost ordinary.

Uhh ... training? Why would you do that?


jbone


May 12, 2012, 8:43 AM
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Elite climbers don't post here they just read the threads.


johnwesely


May 12, 2012, 11:07 AM
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tradmanclimbs wrote:
5.12 V7 sport boulder specific climbers are not elite. they are damn strong in one area but not elite.....

They are not even strong in one area.


majid_sabet


May 12, 2012, 1:58 PM
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the minute you think you are an elite, you are steeping in to a different territory and with a wrong attitude, it could cost you your life


tradmanclimbs


May 13, 2012, 4:26 AM
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John, Tell that to jay Wink

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