Archive for the ‘Coaching’ Category

How Do We Know if a Training Activity is Effective or Not Without Trying it?

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012
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There is a great deal of information spread through the climbing community by books, videos, blogs, word of mouth, coaches, and other means. In an environment with so many sources of information, it can be difficult to get a sense of what is good information and what isn’t. The good news is that (more…)

Second Post Inspired by the McColl Training Video

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012
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Lock-off training has a long history in climbing, going back to at least the 1970s if not earlier, its one of those things that it seems climbers have “always” done. Part of what has made lock-off training popular has been the top climber’s who have promoted it over the years. John Bachar and his “Bachar ladder” may have been the first climber to broadly popularize lock-off training through photos and videos that showed him not only going hand over hand up the ladder, but also doing one arm pull-ups, one-arm negatives, and lock-offs. (more…)

Some Details on Sean McColl’s Training Video

Monday, August 13th, 2012
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Over at ClimbingNarc there was a discussion last week concerning Sean McColl’s short video of training activities. I got in a bit of hot water in that discussion. To be fair, I brought some the criticism on myself because I started off in a fairly tactless manner, and for that I apologize, but I also got in hot water because I directly confronted popular sports myth and didn’t provide the details behind my statement that the activities presented in the video were not likely to be responsible for McColl’s high level of climbing performance. I don’t think ClimbingNarc is the proper place for such a detailed discussion, but this blog is. (more…)

More Tactics and the Mistakes We Don’t Know we are Making

Friday, April 20th, 2012
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Three weeks ago I was in Bishop, shooting video at the Happy Boulders and the Buttermilks. On one day I was able to observe a climber projecting a V10.  He was having trouble with the crux move, in this case a very long reach to the left that is low to the ground and easy to work. Two things stood out to me about this climber’s efforts. He put in a huge number of tries on that move without success, and that he tried the move the same way every time.  (more…)

Tactics and the Mistakes We Don’t Know We Are Making

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012
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A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to climb with, and observe a climber in his 20’s who is currently working his way through the 5.11 grade. One of the climbs we were on together was a 5.11d, a grade he had not yet successfully climbed. On his first attempt he essentially tried to flash the route and fell at the crux. He hung on the rope for a minute then tried the crux again; and again he fell. After another rest he tried again, and fell again. He repeated this pattern several times before getting through the crux.  Higher on the route he took a large fall because he climbed past the obvious clipping position and attempted to clip from a far less stable position with his feet five or six feet above the last bolt.  He left the crag that day without doing the route, without learning much about the route, and with his cage rattled due to a big fall. (more…)

A Break From Climbing?

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011
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Every year I take the month of December off from climbing, but a hectic holiday schedule (why does everyone wait until December to throw a party?) is not the only reason to break. Overtraining can take a toll both physically and mentally – you might need an extended break if you’re experiencing some or all of these signs: (more…)

Case Study: Climber X part 3

Thursday, November 17th, 2011
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The goal of our last working session was to piece together a training plan for X. Before launching into our plan, let’s summarize what we discovered the two previous days. First, X’s strengths are

  • Physical: stamina
  • Movement: turning
  • Hold type: crimps
  • Solid route pyramid topping out at 11d

Case Study: Climber X

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011
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I received an email recently from a Canadian who wanted a hands-on assessment and assistance creating an improvement plan. We arranged a visit to my humble facility in central Virginia, and he arrived yesterday. I thought it might be instructive for many of us if I blogged about this real world example of how you might go about assessing your abilities, conjuring a goal, and then putting an improvement plan together. Climber X is here for the week so follow along as I dig into his abilities and desires and then help him plot a course for success. (more…)

Program Design for Climbing Part 3

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011
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Sport-Specific Training continued / Handgrip Exercisers

By Douglas Hunter

In part 2 I listed three basic criteria for specificity: (more…)

Program Design for Climbing Part 2

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011
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Sport-Specific Training

By Douglas Hunter

In my first post the first item on my list of program design elements was understanding the proper use of, and differences between training activities; as well as understanding the differences between primary and supplemental training.

This was intentional, as it’s an issue that is widely misunderstood in the climbing community; many books and articles have not done a good job making the distinction between primary and supplemental training. Further, the principle of specificity is largely missing from the climbing literature. (more…)