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Breaking 5.9
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xayamongkiing


Dec 25, 2004, 8:31 PM
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Breaking 5.9
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I've been trying for months and months and I can't seem to get past a 5.9. I try, push, and I feel like I'm getting nowhere. Any suggestions?


kman


Dec 25, 2004, 8:33 PM
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Re: Breaking 5.9 [In reply to]
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Yeah...quite worrying about it and it will come with time.


Partner melodicllama


Dec 25, 2004, 8:37 PM
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Re: Breaking 5.9 [In reply to]
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how often do you climb? try to go at least once a week, if not 2 or 3. and maybe some kind of strength training when youre at home wouldnt be a bad idea. keep pushing!!


crackmd


Dec 25, 2004, 9:57 PM
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Re: Breaking 5.9 [In reply to]
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In reply to:
Yeah...quite worrying about it and it will come with time.

The "don't worry, it will come" mentality is great if you are on an extended climbing roadtrip or live a "climbing lifestyle". The rest of us "weekend warriors" need to fit climbing into busy schedules and have a great deal of discipline and dedication in order to make advancements in our climbing. Rock gyms, although not as appealing as outdoor climbing provides a great training medium where we can get strong and stay strong in climates that are not conducive to year-round climbing. The best way to master 5.9 is to jump on 5.10s and harder on toprope to experience harder moves. Another important factor in improving your climbing is to optimize your strength/weight ratio especially if you are gunning for steeper routes. Most important is to enjoy the "process" of improving your climbing ability. Yeah, it's frustrating to be stuck on 5.9, but there are hundreds of amazing 5.9s of all different styles out there to entertain you while you improve.


Partner gunksgoer


Dec 25, 2004, 11:27 PM
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just climb, and it will come


shortfatoldguy


Dec 26, 2004, 2:57 AM
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Start keeping your center of gravity (i.e., your a$$), over your feet. Sometimes that means backstepping, but on .9's it usually just means getting your butt in closer to the rock/plastic and over your feet. This means using your core, sucking your hips in, using good hip turnout. Thinking of your feet as claws. Getting your genitals in close to the rock/plastic.

It's true that you won't make much progress climbing once a week--two or three sessions a week is the minimum for good progress, as with any sport. But forget the strength training. (This from someone who used to lift weights religiously.) At 5.9-5.10, good technique will suffice. I climb with people who have miserable strength to weight ratios, and they smoke .9's and .10's because they have good technique.


themeanieokc


Dec 26, 2004, 6:44 AM
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My problem is the problem of the number itself. I am a great 5.9 climber, but suddenly lose confidence when the .10 is attached. I know it is mental block created by these numbers. Try to find routes that you know are well protected and work on those (it might be the increased chance of falls that makes you climbing a tad softer on 5.10 attempt, as with myself). Also, i work a great deal of difficult boulder problems to build confidence. Once you realize you can pull difficult moves you will feel more confident to move through a longer route (try some moderate highball stuff if you are worried about getting about your gear, it is just as freaky). If it is not a mental matter, than i can only suggest climbing more often and training on a variety of rock. You may be a slab wizard and a complete failure at pulling roofs (like myself). If you are trying to rush it you will get frustrated more quickly, i have in the past.

Good luck! I am sure you will pass this barrier, because it is all mental afterall (until you get to .13s, right?)


crackmd


Dec 26, 2004, 7:20 AM
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Re: Breaking 5.9 [In reply to]
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In reply to:
I climb with people who have miserable strength to weight ratios, and they smoke .9's and .10's because they have good technique.

I agree that technique may allow heavier people to get up routes. Good technique is essential for anyone to progress through the grades (unless your name is Sharma). Most of the top climbers have optimized their strength/weight ratio. Even though some can climb well at heavier weights, ten or more extra pounds is a real limiting factor for many of us. The style of climbing is also a factor. On less than vertical routes strength/weight is not much of a factor, but once the angle overhangs it really comes into play.


Partner j_ung


Dec 26, 2004, 9:00 AM
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Re: Breaking 5.9 [In reply to]
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In reply to:
I've been trying for months and months and I can't seem to get past a 5.9. I try, push, and I feel like I'm getting nowhere. Any suggestions?

We need more details before we can give you advice that will work. What do you mean by "trying"? How do you train?


andy_reagan


Dec 26, 2004, 10:40 AM
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Re: Breaking 5.9 [In reply to]
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What would probably help you the most is to increase your volume and variety of climbing. Only ever toprope the same climbs in your gym or local crag? Try to take a weekend road trip to a new boulderfield.

Your goal as someone trying to learn technique is to forget about pushing the number grade and concentrate on getting on as many routes/problems as possible.

But, like J_ung said, its hard to help if no specifics are given. Good luck, regardless.


coopershawk


Dec 26, 2004, 1:13 PM
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Bouldering and long, pumpy traverses on overhanging walls will help you break through to the 5.10 level. Keep your feet as quiet as possible when doing these traverses. Core strength seems to be vital also. A little refinement of technique will make a huge difference too. This is what helped me.


casco


Dec 26, 2004, 2:08 PM
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Re: Breaking 5.9 [In reply to]
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going once a week must be enough to beat a .10 in about a month. Are your climbing shoes well fitted? Now, there IS enough diference between a 9 and a 10, enough to feel it. you need to start climbing with a more experienced climber and stop asking the grades on the routes. Order him to tell you if you´re able or not with that route. You want to know what my secret was to that breakthrough??? here it is. http://www.rockclimbing.com/photos.php?Action=Show&PhotoID=24776
my first true onsight over the 9.


casco


Dec 26, 2004, 2:11 PM
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Re: Breaking 5.9 [In reply to]
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umm, sorry, wrong picture.
http://www.rockclimbing.com/photos.php?Action=Show&PhotoID=24775
that´s the one.


buckyllama


Dec 26, 2004, 2:15 PM
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Re: Breaking 5.9 [In reply to]
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Congrats, you have hit your first plateau.

Obviously you've been doing the same thing for a while with no benefit, so do something else. Switch to bouldering for a month. If you've been climbing outside, go to a gym. If you've been in the gym, get outside. (actually I see you are in Minneapolis so I'm guessing you are indoors for the winter) Spend a couple weeks working only on problems you have no chance of doing. (I find this really helps since I don't expect to succeed, so when I do it's a nice surprise) Try climbing one more day per week. Try some cross training. If you have a few pounds you'd like to shed, take a month or two and work on that, if you are a twig, spend some time strength training.


refugee


Dec 26, 2004, 2:31 PM
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one really good way to get better at climbing is to not read rc.com or take the advice of any of the "climbers" who use this website seriously. this website is reserved for pure negativity, the way god intended.


harihari


Jan 1, 2005, 10:17 AM
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here's all the beta i've figured out over 6 years-- i went from rookie to 12a onsight so obviously I'm a slow learner but i am getting there:

a) one piece of beta that ALWAYS works: move your feet up.

b) there is nothing more important than proper footwork, period. the most poweful muscles in your body are in your legs. the best arm training in the world cannot compensate for bad footwork

c) learn to crack climb-- use those practice cracks in the gym

d) you need a variety of training methods-- ideally a lot of easy (i mean REALLY easy) mileage, like 30 5.7s in the gym, a few projects, some bouldering-- you MUST mix it up. read Neumann's "Performance Rock Climbing" for how to put together an effective program (periodised training, structured recovery, peak training etc-- it sounds complicated but it's not-- all athletes do this).

Heather Reynolds Sagar also has a good book, and one of her points is that you have to identify your main weaknesses and train those, since you are only as strong as your weakest point.

e) get OK with falling. outdoors, doa variety of climbing-- sport, trad, boulders.

f) warm up and cool down-- easy mileage at the end fo the session, and do some easy downclimbing.

g) do what Neuman calls "engram training"-- playing around with a variety of moves on easy ground (ie during your 5.7 laps or traversing)-- which will develop your movement repertoire.

h) make the training FUN! wear neon socks. climb in a speedo. communicate only in Slavic accents with your belayer. Speed climb easy multipitch routes. downclimb sometimes.

i) try climbing...silently. with one foot. moving constantly. moving with all dynos. moving only statically. using all one side or the other of your body. repeat a route 10 times and do the moves differently each time (this is INCREDIBLY useful training). using only hand-foot matches. using no crimpers. using only crimpers, etc.

j) recovery/balancing exercises-- crucial-- should include crunches and leg lifts for abs, pushups for lats (better still is the military press if you have access to a wieght room), some mild upper-back and forarm stretches, and some easy downclimbing. YOGA is the single best thing you can do outside of some cardio. makes you felxible, calm and balanced.

k) regular time off-- at LEAST one six weeks period per year where you do NOTHING that remotely feels like climbing. the second most common mistake ppl make is overtraining.

) don't compete or stress. every climber has his/her own body, mind etc. one man's 5.10 freesolo is another's unrealizeable dream is another's project. the #1 criteria of climbing is, are you having fun?


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