observations on gear, adventure, and the world

How to Climb HARD: Training for the rest of us – Part 2: What you need

Part 1 covered motivation

Lets assume that you’ve got nothing to prove, just stuff you want to do. You’ve got a job, a life, commitments, goals that don’t involve climbing.

Well, first, don’t write yourself off yet! Randy Leavitt – one of the guys who invented climbing hard in the American West, along with Boone Speed and co. was, and still is, a working man who made time to CRUSH hard routes. Check out his interview on the Enormocast with Chris Kalous. There’s a lot to learn from the examples like this guy. We can’t all live in our truck like this guy:

Algorithm from MAXIM DYNAMIC ROPES on Vimeo.

Amazing route! A little moment of fun part way through, when John realizes he’s going to send the route, and that his buddies who figured they had a couple tries to film from the upper section of the route were in the way! Worth watching… if a little off topic.

Lets set aside the really amazing high-performance types and talk training the rest of us. I think it’s possible to go from the “couch” to working 5.12a in a year… by couch I mean that you’re an activish outdoorsy person, and you’ve got some climbing gear and some basic knowledge and desire.

If climbing gets you stoked then I think you’ve got what it takes to punch through to 12a. Why would you care about 12a? Because that means you can get out and climb a lot of really cool stuff! My amazing trip to Ruth Lake was amazing, in no small part because I could get on a lot of routes and climb!

Here’s what you need:

  1. Strength
    • Power
    • Power Endurance
    • Endurance
    • Finger Strength
  2. Technique
  3. Milage
  4. Flexibility
  5. Recovery
  6. Aerobic/Cardio conditioning
  7. Timing
  8. Injury Prevention
  9. Goals/Motivation

For this set of posts we’re going to break this into: GO TIME! (This is the business! How have fun, go hard, and get stronger), SLOW TIME (Work that keeps you healthy, and helps you get stronger), ABOUT TIME (very, very basic workout planning).

The key for us will be keeping the information and workouts SIMPLE, FUN, and HEALTHY. It turns out that with just a few hours per week you can have a lot of fun getting pretty strong.

Here’s a quick recap of my goals, all stuff that I’m simply psyched about! Just amazing lines, areas and routes that have really captured my imagination.

  • Black Monday 11a Sport (DONE, now I want to repeat it!)
  • Goodrow’s Wall 10c Trad
  • Trinity Crack 12a Trad
  • Astroman
  • Big in Japan 12a
  • Indian Creek… just have fun!

Remember – when you can climb 12a you can have fun on a lot of terrain! When I’m solid on the Trinity crack, I’ll be much more able to tackle bigger objectives like Astroman!


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