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A little training guide for noobs
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Partner tisar


Sep 15, 2004, 12:48 AM
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A little training guide for noobs
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Training for noobs

1. How often should I climb/workout?
Climbing is hard on the body so don’t forget to rest. Three to four times a week is enough for most people. If you’re still looking for more, do some light cardio training like jogging and stretching. Swimming is a good option. Muscles need time to recover after a good workout. Over training will not do anything other than keep you from climbing.

2. Do I need a special strength training for climbing?
All in all, no. Though you’ll get an advantage if your body’s good in shape and you have a good core strength. Climbing itself is a perfect workout for the whole body, so climbing is the best training for climbing. Beginners tend to climb with much more force than needed. Working on your efficiency therefore leads to faster improvement than pumping your muscles. Watch women climbing! They are the masters of efficiency.
To prevent injuries due to imbalance of muscles it’s recommended to do some push ups and train the finger openers as well as the back extensors.

3. Should I train my grip strength / buy me a fingerboard
No, no and again: NO! To understand this it’s necessary to know that there are no muscles in your fingers – just tendons and ligaments which provide the power of your forearm to the holds. Those, while untrained, need to adjust to such forces slowly. In contrary to fast growing muscles this adjustment takes months to years to take place. Forced exposure on them will almost certain lead to injury. Fingerboards are for experts, period.
You’ll also will notice that holds in moderate routes are big enough. If you have problems with holding, better footwork and matching grip force will do the trick.

4. My … hurts so bad, what can I do?
Rest. While resting, search the web for “warm-up” and “stretching”. Next time you get to the crag/gym do both.

5. Training on the wall
To get a good climber climb. To get a better climber climb consciously.
There are lots of exercises you can do while climbing:
  • Down-climb as much as you can.
  • Climb silent, i.e. place your feet as precise as possible making no sound.
  • Try looking good while climbing. Elegance rules and helps you to develop a better body consciousness.
  • Try different styles: dynamic, static, frog-style, turned in, etc.
  • Imitate different climbers (again: women are the most efficient climbers).
  • Imitate animals (skip the elephant, your trunk just won’t do it).

6. A few notes on footwork
  • Follow gravity. If your body tends to 'fall' into a certain direction, place a foot right there. Don't mind if there's a good foothold, a bad one or even none, just place your foot there.
  • Move your hip actively over your feet. The hip is the center of gravity. Placing it consciously over one foot relieves both your other foot and your hands for the next move.
  • Place your toe tips only. Beginners often place too much of their feet, or worst, their instep flat to the wall. This turns out your leg and blocks the hip joint. 'Tips only' gives your hip a broader moving range to allocate your gravity center as needed.
  • Look at your feet! Watch them until placed properly. Easy said, but often you'll find yourself looking elsewhere while doing the last couple of inches to the foothold. It takes some time and attention to get used to it but is worth it.

7. What else?
Don’t push the grades! Try to get familiar with the new challenge at a comfortable level. By the time your body will build up engrams for the different moves which will help you to cope with harder problems later. There’s no use in just pulling yourself up the wall – at a certain level there will be just nothing left to pull on.

8. Literature
A collection of the most popular books on the topic.
  • Freedom of the Hills contains just a few notes on the basic movements. But since it's the outdoor and climbing bible anyway, it won't hurt to take a look at it.
  • The Self-Coached Climber is one of the newer releases. It contains a superb analysis of climbing balance and movement and offers superb guidance to develop your own training schedule.
  • Training for Climbing is supposed to be is "The Definitive Guide to Improving Your Climbing Performance." Haven't read it by now, but those who did recommend it highly.
  • The Rock Warriers Way. Not strictly a training instructional, but as Güllich put it "the brain is the most important muscle for climbing". So the RWW concentrates on the mental priming for your climbing performance.
I bet you can fill half a library with books on climbing, this is just a small collection to start with. Some more reviews can be found in the Media Section of rockclimbing.com. If you got more suggestions, feel free to pm me, I'll add them.

(Thanks to alpnclmbr1 for editing and corrections!)

* edited 11/2/06 to add footwork
* edited 1/5/07 to fix markup
* edited 10/4/07 to add literature

(This post was edited by tisar on Oct 4, 2007, 3:02 AM)


littlelizard


Sep 15, 2004, 11:00 AM
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Thanks! It's good to read some common sense advice that I can understand. I've only been climbing for a few months... and I think I'm obsessed. I can only climb once a week now, but we're building a wall at home. I've been doing some pull-ups, sort of :? , but I'll be glad when I can train for climbing by climbing.


adoubleyou


Sep 16, 2004, 12:10 AM
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I love the idea of imitating animals. When I first started climbing, I was amazed by the gracefulness of my climbing partner. He moved up the routs like there is no gravity, like a dance. I often refere to him as "Gollum" from "Lord of the Rings". OK, the moves are about the same, and he's got no hair on his head either, but he definitely doesn't have a spilt personality :wink:


taldrich


Sep 16, 2004, 12:05 PM
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Thanks for the tips.. Its just what I've been looking for. I've been told than women climbers are very graceful and make it look easy, but I don't think I fit into that category....yet anyway


slablizard


Sep 16, 2004, 12:16 PM
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One thing...Don't get stuck Top Roping! Lead as soon and as much as you can. That alone will improve your technique a lot, since you climb and THINK a lot more when you're leading.

Use TR for warm up and routes WELL ABOVE ( 1 to 2 full grades ) your lead skills.

es: if you can lead 5.9 TR route above 5.10b
TR them 2-3 times MAX then start leading them (if possible)

If you can "feel" what a 12b feels you CAN HANGDOG! (pull on quickdraws) It's a great technique to see what a hard move looks like and improve one's climbing intelligence. I'ts also good to build power. TR if you can and try move after move, like you do when you boulder. Set a goal to get 2 moves in a row clean, then 3...and so on.

DOn't stop! When you can climb 10a it's time to try 11s and keep going up, you will only have more "toys" to play with. Don't get stuck climbing 10a and be happy with it. Challenge yourself.


stoverstan


Sep 16, 2004, 10:39 PM
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Don't worry about training till you have a least a couple seasons under your belt of just doing a lot of different climbing. That being said, I would say cardio is most important, esp. if your a bigger climber like me 190lbs. I've found that the better my cardio strength is the easier it is for me to keep under control and have a cool head at all times, that is a must in climbing. You must always stay in control, and keep breathing. When your cardio is weak you start getting a little light headed and your climbing ability goes straight down the drain, you get tight, stop breathing, and fall. Also for safety reasons you want to never be out of breath and foggy headed.

Your muscles will be stronger too if they get all the oxygen they need. I'd say unless you can run 6 min mile and or run for 5 or more miles at a ~7:30 mile pace, don't even worry about messing around with finger boards and all that crap, you'll be too winded and out of control to climb hard otherwise.


Partner taino


Sep 17, 2004, 3:19 AM
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In reply to:
One thing...Don't get stuck Top Roping! Lead as soon and as much as you can. That alone will improve your technique a lot, since you climb and THINK a lot more when you're leading.

So, you're saying then that Joe or Jane nOOb should go out and start leading trad right away?

Or, were you talking about leading sport?

Yes, I knew what you meant. Is a nOOb going to know the difference?

Regardless, I disagree. On the sharp end, even on sport, is where people can get hurt a lot more easily; nOObs especially. Let people log some time on TR before they start leading.

T


anykineclimb


Sep 17, 2004, 3:53 AM
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Agree with Taino.
Noobs are still getting their head straight on TR and should be VERY comfortable before venturing into leading.
Do agree with TRing harder routes. always fun to "play" on stuff I can't lead.


fixednut


Sep 17, 2004, 5:04 AM
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In reply to:

To understand this it’s necessary to know that there are no muscles in your fingers – just tendons and ligaments

Just so you know, there are intrinsic muscles that both originate and insert in the hand and are responsible for aiding in finger abduction, adduction, and flexion.


stoverstan


Sep 17, 2004, 5:10 AM
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I have a mixed feelings about leading while your just getting into the sport. My first reaction is say you should just keep top roping for at least a full season and feel secure on ~5.10 outside.

But with the following exceptions I don't see a problem with someone trying out leading under the right circumstances.

1) the climber is solid on ~5.10 outside.

2) it is preferably a safe sport route with little chance of decking out or hitting any ledges, if it is trade to be no greater then a 5.6-7 you don't want to challenge your climbing ability and ability to place solid protection.

3)Have a very experienced belayer.

4) Know your knots, anchors, placing and inspecting protection, clipping, rescue etc.

5) Can down climb the routes you can climb with the exception of deadpoint or dyno moves.

* oh by the way don't be fooled into thinking that bouldering is the "safe" way to practice. As many or more people get lower leg injures etc bouldering then they do say top roping or leading. A top rope fall is a stretch on the rope with a good belayer.


Partner tisar


Sep 17, 2004, 5:13 AM
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In reply to:
One thing...Don't get stuck Top Roping! Lead as soon and as much as you can. That alone will improve your technique a lot, since you climb and THINK a lot more when you're leading.

The pros and cons of getting into leading (sport routes) early have been well discussed in different threads before. Any advice for my first attempt at lead climbing, just to name one.

I wouldn't want to take up argument again. For this thread: I think that leading for sure makes you a better climber. I just didn't mention it because the people I wrote this for should definatly discuss that item with an experienced climber who should also guide them in their first attempts.

- Daniel


Partner tisar


Sep 17, 2004, 5:25 AM
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In reply to:
In reply to:

To understand this it’s necessary to know that there are no muscles in your fingers – just tendons and ligaments

Just so you know, there are intrinsic muscles that both originate and insert in the hand and are responsible for aiding in finger abduction, adduction, and flexion.

Nitpicker :wink: . See the point?

- Daniel


ophir


Sep 28, 2004, 12:33 PM
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don't forget to have fun man


sakura


Jul 21, 2005, 11:55 PM
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Cheers tisar,

Good thread. Very helpful! :wink:

Chris


xuehui


Jul 23, 2005, 2:11 PM
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I feel ya LittleLizard. I have only climbed for two months and just like you I only get to climb once a week. I try to work out during the week to make up for not being able to climb more often. Sometimes it gets frustrating because I am hoping to see my progress go a little faster but it's kinda hard with just climbing once a week.

My husband and I are thinking of building a wall at home too. Let me know how your wall turns out!


geoslim


Aug 29, 2005, 12:08 AM
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Helpful hints are always good, thanks.

Josh


mjprimus


Aug 9, 2007, 3:51 PM
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great tips for someone just getting into the sport ... I started climbing about a month ago and have become very addicted. I've checked out a few books from the library about climbing and try to check out the noob forums on here as much as I can ... I really like the tip of imitating animals ... I've noticed that when I make a move so it feels natural, it turns out to be the easiest way to climb a route - when I'm making a wrong move, it feels awkward and usually ends up with me falling


majid_sabet


Aug 9, 2007, 4:22 PM
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As a well qualified n00b, you are allowed to make mistakes which include dropping your n00be partner on TR, lead and sports and your fu8kup will be dismissed under n00b’s law.

Other the hand, experienced leaders, sports or TR climbers, please do not choose a n00b to belay you at any cost.


mjprimus


Aug 9, 2007, 9:53 PM
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I disagree on that one as there are several regulars at my gym and they all are more than willing to belay me and vice versa ... They even made a point tonight that although I don't have the skill or form built yet to climb the advanced routes they do, I can still belay them without any problems


JDiabo


Aug 9, 2007, 10:42 PM
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Re: [tisar] A little training guide for noobs [In reply to]
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thanks for the post, very helpful and informative


thomasribiere


Aug 10, 2007, 1:19 AM
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let's make this thread a sticky.


MONKEY5


Aug 16, 2007, 10:06 AM
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hey tisar what are other types of techniques to work on to get to be a better climber


stymingersfink


Aug 18, 2007, 12:06 AM
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MONKEY5 wrote:
hey tisar what are other types of techniques to work on to get to be a better climber

Not tisar, but I've a feeling he might agree with what I'm about to say...


READ MORE... SPEAK LESS!


once you have spent enough time to discover what you do not know, it becomes the time to ask questions. If you are not willing to expend the energy necessary to do your homework, why should anyone waste their time and energy trying to help you?



every question has already been asked
, you just need to find the answers given to another and make them yours.


sittingduck


Aug 18, 2007, 2:45 AM
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stymingersfink wrote:
MONKEY5 wrote:
hey tisar what are other types of techniques to work on to get to be a better climber

Not tisar, but I've a feeling he might agree with what I'm about to say...


READ MORE... SPEAK LESS!


once you have spent enough time to discover what you do not know, it becomes the time to ask questions. If you are not willing to expend the energy necessary to do your homework, why should anyone waste their time and energy trying to help you?



every question has already been asked
, you just need to find the answers given to another and make them yours.

Hi man, you have posted more than 2000 posts and allow yourself to ask other users to "read more and speak less". Think about it ...

Best regards
Sitting Duck


RB_Rockhead


Aug 18, 2007, 12:27 PM
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thanks for that list, i do beleave it will help me out plenty when on the wall (i just hope i can remember it all lol Laugh )

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