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I Fell behind over the summer?
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livingontheedge


Aug 29, 2013, 8:54 AM
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I Fell behind over the summer?
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 Hey. I spend my entire summer in Florida and I really did not get to climb for the past two and a half months. I am on a team but it is only during the school year and I am four years away from being able to drive myself to the gym, so I really haven't been able to climb more than two or three times a week. During the year, I have been able to climb 5.10s pretty normally and I am projecting V5s for bouldering. Now I am slightly struggling with 5.9s and I am having problems with V4s. I am about 5'2 and 100 pounds. I am in pretty good shape and am not fat. I know I just have to climb and climb and work back to where I was before. For strength, I have climbed up and down 5.8s and 5.9s but have not overworked myself. I was wondering if anybody had any tips or ways to get back to where I was before? Thanks a lot.


fx101


Sep 25, 2013, 6:38 PM
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Re: [livingontheedge] I Fell behind over the summer? [In reply to]
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If you're sending V5 problems and only 5.9's (or struggling up 5.10's) then clearly the issue is technique, NOT fitness.

I can't even boulder that high yet I can comfortably onsight most 5.10's even with a really heavy rack.

If you're bouldering at the V4/V5 level then finger strength is not a problem since you're dealing with really crimpy stuff at that point. What you don't get bouldering (or even in most gym routes) is delicate balance work.

Do this:
At the gym:
Practice going through a vertical or less than vertical 5.9 with minimal hands. You should be using just the friction of your fingers when possible. Practice flagging and high-stepping really close to the wall. DO NOT use your arms to pull.

At the crag:
Get on all the bolted slab routes you can find. Slab climbing will teach you proper balance-work and delicate foot placement. If you can get on routes above your level 5.10b/c (top-rope or wear thick pants) you'll start to see how there's very little fitness involved and a TON of technique.


lena_chita
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Sep 26, 2013, 7:01 AM
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Re: [fx101] I Fell behind over the summer? [In reply to]
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fx101 wrote:
If you're sending V5 problems and only 5.9's (or struggling up 5.10's) then clearly the issue is technique, NOT fitness.

Ummm, I'd say the issue is endurance, in this case, much more than technique.

fx101 wrote:
I can't even boulder that high yet I can comfortably onsight most 5.10's even with a really heavy rack.

If you're bouldering at the V4/V5 level then finger strength is not a problem since you're dealing with really crimpy stuff at that point. What you don't get bouldering (or even in most gym routes) is delicate balance work.

You are assuming that the OP climbs completely different-style routes than the type of problems she she boulders. Why?

fx101 wrote:
Do this:
At the gym:
Practice going through a vertical or less than vertical 5.9 with minimal hands. You should be using just the friction of your fingers when possible. Practice flagging and high-stepping really close to the wall. DO NOT use your arms to pull.

Flagging on a less-than-vertical slab? Really? While flagging is a great technique to have, the head-down-ass-out slab climbing stance doesn't lend itself easily to flagging.

No-hands climbing on a slab (or using tennis balls in your palms, etc) is a great exercise to learn about balance shifting and movement initiation, but I highly doubt that this is what holding the OP back from climbing 5.9, UNLESS she is only trying to climb slabs on rope, while only bouldering overhanging problems.


lena_chita
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Sep 26, 2013, 7:10 AM
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Re: [livingontheedge] I Fell behind over the summer? [In reply to]
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livingontheedge wrote:
Hey. I spend my entire summer in Florida and I really did not get to climb for the past two and a half months. I am on a team but it is only during the school year and I am four years away from being able to drive myself to the gym, so I really haven't been able to climb more than two or three times a week. During the year, I have been able to climb 5.10s pretty normally and I am projecting V5s for bouldering. Now I am slightly struggling with 5.9s and I am having problems with V4s. I am about 5'2 and 100 pounds. I am in pretty good shape and am not fat. I know I just have to climb and climb and work back to where I was before. For strength, I have climbed up and down 5.8s and 5.9s but have not overworked myself. I was wondering if anybody had any tips or ways to get back to where I was before? Thanks a lot.

You will regain the lost skills much quicker than it took you to acquire them in the first place, by climbing regularly again. How long has it even been since you came back to your regular school schedule? One day? One week? Couldn't have been very long, so have patience. In couple weeks you will be back to your before-the-break fitness level.

If you are on the team, the best person to ask for more detailed suggestions is your coach. If you want to learn more on your own, get a book, such as Self-Coached Climber.

But assuming that you are talking about comparable-style routes and boulder problems, and they are graded accurately, if you are truly bouldering V4/V5 you should be climbing 5.12 on rope. So either you don't get enough time on the rope, you don't work enough on endurance, or you have mental issues that make it harder for you to commit to a move while high off the ground.


fx101


Sep 26, 2013, 7:21 AM
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Re: [lena_chita] I Fell behind over the summer? [In reply to]
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I'm going to have to disagree with you here...

From OP's post (4 yrs away from driving) it sounds like (s)he is 12-13 and 100lbs. At this age and being in good shape getting pumped should not be an issue. Especially considering at the V4/V5 grade the holds will be WAY smaller than almost anything on a 5.9.

Moroever, climbing 2-3 a week over the course of a year is more than enough to build sufficient endurance to climb at least 5.10b or so. Given that gym routes are heavily overrated this leaves me with no doubt that endurance is not an issue here. Unless, of course, OP's gym has multipitch 5.9's Wink

Notice I suggested practicing on a VERTICAL *OR* SLAB route. Flagging on a slab is silly. However, learning when to flag on vertical routes significantly improves movement efficiency. No-hands climbing on slabs is not route-specific training (given OP's level) either. The delicate balance-work learned here will serve OP on any vertical route.

Focusing on what kind of 5.9's OP is climbing isn't really helpful either. At that level (especially gym 5.9's which are more like a 5.7) overhanging routes will be juggy and vertical routes will have plenty of small but manageable holds. My guess (and I'm almost certain this is the case) is that OP is treating each route like a boulder problem and muscling through it.


lena_chita
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Sep 26, 2013, 8:07 AM
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Re: [fx101] I Fell behind over the summer? [In reply to]
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fx101 wrote:
I'm going to have to disagree with you here...

From OP's post (4 yrs away from driving) it sounds like (s)he is 12-13 and 100lbs. At this age and being in good shape getting pumped should not be an issue. Especially considering at the V4/V5 grade the holds will be WAY smaller than almost anything on a 5.9.

Moroever, climbing 2-3 a week over the course of a year is more than enough to build sufficient endurance to climb at least 5.10b or so. Given that gym routes are heavily overrated this leaves me with no doubt that endurance is not an issue here. Unless, of course, OP's gym has multipitch 5.9's Wink

Notice I suggested practicing on a VERTICAL *OR* SLAB route. Flagging on a slab is silly. However, learning when to flag on vertical routes significantly improves movement efficiency. No-hands climbing on slabs is not route-specific training (given OP's level) either. The delicate balance-work learned here will serve OP on any vertical route.

Focusing on what kind of 5.9's OP is climbing isn't really helpful either. At that level (especially gym 5.9's which are more like a 5.7) overhanging routes will be juggy and vertical routes will have plenty of small but manageable holds. My guess (and I'm almost certain this is the case) is that OP is treating each route like a boulder problem and muscling through it.

I am guessing, given OP's age, that she/he is ONLY climbing in the gym. And given what gym climbing usually looks like, there aren't a lot of slabby 5.9s/5.10s, the majority would be at least somewhat overhanging. Which is why I think that she is climbing similar-style routes, instead of bouldering overhanging walls in the gym, and then going outside to climb multipitch slabby granite cracks.

Besides, I think OP's question wasn't about why she can't climb 5.10 when she can boulder V5.

The question was, he used to boulder V5 and rope-climb 5.10, but now struggles with V4 and 5.9s. And both of those have more to do with the 2.5 months break than anything else.

The fact that he boulders harder than he is climbing on the rope could be the result of not spending enough time on routes. A young kid going to the gym, even 2-3times a week, would probably need an adult to belay. Even the most-lenient gyms that have gri-gri-s bolted to the floors, and allow young kids to belay, set the limit at 12 or 13yo. It is much easier to have team kids bouldering with one-two coaches, than to have them rope up with one-two coaches and get adequate time on the ropes, even when they do rope up.


fx101


Sep 26, 2013, 12:19 PM
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Re: [lena_chita] I Fell behind over the summer? [In reply to]
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lena_chita wrote:

The question was, he used to boulder V5 and rope-climb 5.10, but now struggles with V4 and 5.9s. And both of those have more to do with the 2.5 months break than anything else.

The fact that he boulders harder than he is climbing on the rope could be the result of not spending enough time on routes. A young kid going to the gym, even 2-3times a week, would probably need an adult to belay. Even the most-lenient gyms that have gri-gri-s bolted to the floors, and allow young kids to belay, set the limit at 12 or 13yo. It is much easier to have team kids bouldering with one-two coaches, than to have them rope up with one-two coaches and get adequate time on the ropes, even when they do rope up.

You're right, at that age OP will find it more difficult to get wall time. Also, you're right that the question pertains to how OP can overcome the grade creep over the summer.

More succinctly: 'How can OP improve his/her best TR route grade?'

I completely agree with you that endurance is important. It certainly never hurts to do laps on easier routes. This, however, will produce only a small improvement in climbing ability (ceteris paribus). Enough to climb easier 5.10's, at best.

At most of the gyms I've been to, the 5.9's that are overhanging have incredibly bomber holds and can be climbed by anyone with a strong core and decent endurance. But they can be climbed EFFICIENTLY only by someone that knows how to properly lock-off, cam the foot on a heel-hook, and use core tension to give more reach. Sure, OP can power through the route after some conditioning. This does address the question. However, in the long run, learning how to do the route with delicate, technical moves will allow him/her to climb much harder.

You mentioned the psychological factor earlier on. I think you're spot on– that's huge. At OP's age I'm guessing this is on top-rope. Maybe 'climb until failure' exercises will help him/her commit to the moves. At least I know that I'm guilty of half-assing moves because I'm too scared to take a huge whipper on a tiny nut. On top-rope, building the confidence to commit to every move should be MUCH easier Smile.


(This post was edited by fx101 on Sep 26, 2013, 12:23 PM)


livingontheedge


Sep 26, 2013, 1:29 PM
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Re: [lena_chita] I Fell behind over the summer? [In reply to]
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 Thanks guys. I've improved pretty quickly and am sending 5.10s and working on V6s. I am on a team but we (all the kids) belay eachother. I also go outside and climb multi-pitch more than you might think. I am training for a comp (my first real one) as I was campus climbing up the 45 wall, I noticed that my elbow hurt more than usual. I have noticed a little soreness before, but now it would hurt when I extended it or bent it. It's not that bad but I'm not sure if it's tendonitis or what. Another thing, could someone inform me of how they judge you at a comp? Thanks Smile


fx101


Sep 26, 2013, 5:03 PM
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Re: [livingontheedge] I Fell behind over the summer? [In reply to]
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Sweet. At this point if you're training for your comp and can campus consistently I think it's safe to say I underestimated you, hehe Wink.

Sounds like the beginnings of tennis elbow. Trust me... you don't want it to progress. If it's possible to stick to easier routes or lay off climbing for a few days (you can do some core strength training in the meantime) that'll usually get things back in order. They sell these weird brace things but there's no way to climb with them without looking ridiculous. If after a short hiatus it seems to stay the same/get worse it's not a bad idea to see a trainer/doctor.

Is it a bouldering, speed, or sport comp? ABS or local? For bouldering you're usually scored by number of attempts to send the route (or if no one sends it they go by highest hold). Sport is usually by highest hold controlled (so if you have no chance of finishing it, moving past a crappy hold will at least get you the corresponding score). Depending on the comp you'll see beta from others or will be isolated.


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