Very often I sit around wondering what factors help a person to succeed. Success in life like success in climbing requires preparation. For me, this often results in many hours spent isolated in my spare room doing dead hangs, pull ups, repeaters and encores, not to mention campus problems.
I was asked to be the MC at The Rory Lowther Memorial Challenge and got to lead the proceedings on both of the evenings. On the Friday night, Andrew Pedley gave a fantastic presentation about his life in climbing. He’s been climbing for 25 years so far and has been bolting lines for the last 10 years. I have been lucky enough to climb with him for the last 5 or so years and in doing so I belayed him on two of his hardest first ascents: Rodan (2010) and Double Dragon (2014). Listening to his presentation was a lot of fun for me and everyone else in the room.
Seeing others succeed is absolutely vital for me too. When I was presented with the opportunity to coach Tristan and Alistair in preparation for the final RLMC, I was psyched. We climbed together at Bronkies and at Choss where I saw them both flash a 22 and work a 24. That was nothing though compared to the day of the actual comp.
Between the two of them they flashed or onsighted something like five 20s. We hiked over 5.5km to a wide variety of locations on the day. It was fantastic. They earned the greatest number of hiking points of anyone in the comp which is an impressive feat for two u13 climbers. Both of them trusted me to guide them and they tried hard on every route. Alistair even onsighted a 19 slab down at the Long Tonk boulders that was quite serious, particularly for someone of his height.
Building a rapport with the two of them took some time during the training days but what impressed me more than anything was their belief in their abilities. They trusted me to guide them through the day and I pushed them hard. They believed in me as much as I believed in them; almost a symbiosis in some regards. Neither of them ever said no, they couldn’t do it or they wouldn’t try. I am so impressed with them.
Being able to announce them as the winners of their age group was fantastic, I completely expected this. What I didn’t expect was their overall 8th place finish, which would have allowed them a 1st in u15 and 2nd in u17s. SERIOUSLY?? WOW. I’m looking forward to working with them in the future and seeing where they go. My bet is they are heading for 8a very soon and far beyond…
They have been inspiring to me; I’ve been working hard to get back into shape since my injury in December. One of the results of this is the hard training regime I’ve been putting myself through. I’ve been trying to training 7 days a week with my rest days being on the hangboard doing about 45 minutes of light training. Some days I’ve been training before work in the morning and then again in the evening. I’ve been burning major calories trying to get the psych back and the strength back into the fingers. I feel like I’m getting there but I’m not quite at the top of my game.
There have been four primary exercises I’ve been working on to get stronger:
- Weighted Repeaters — I choose a grip and hang for 7 seconds, then rest for 3 and repeat 7 times then rest for 1 min 50 seconds before moving to the next grip. I rotate through about 10 sets of holds in a session. I’ve been doing this with about 12kgs of weight so that I’m emphasising maximum finger strength and coupling it with power endurance. I find that this is a very good way to make large gains fast but also an easy way to get hurt so be careful.
- Encore repeaters in 4 minute sets — Paul Brouard recommended this and I find it exhausting. Choose 6 holds, mine are a Jug, a sloper, 2 finger pocket, crimp, 2 finger pocket (again), medium sloper. Again this one is done 7 on, 3 off. For the first minute, straight arms. Without resting repeat the sequence with arms at 90 degrees. In the 3rd minute repeat the sequence at full lock. In the 4th minute you need to do 10 pull ups on the smallest crimp you have. Now you can rest for 10 minutes. A successful session is when you perform 5 sets. Best advice I can give is to record your exercise and if you fail on a grip type use that time to rest for the next one. You’ll be able to see increases in your performance through recording your outcomes. When you are scoring 100%, add weight or choose new holds that are harder to use.
- 1 arm repeaters — same as the repeaters but with only 1 arm and maybe one finger to aid you in staying on.
- Campus routes: Here’s the video, I’m definitely feeling pretty weak still.
Other than this, I’ve been bouldering with an emphasis on maximum power. At the end of my bouldering sessions I try to do an add on with my training partners to get up to a 30 move problem. Great fun when you’re already tired.
My outdoors climbing has been going well recently but nothing eventful. Been working the boulder problem that injured me in Swinburne, Dunce on Fire (7C+). Got close but no cigar. This weekend coming weekend will have my sights focused on it again. Along with Andrew’s project Tempest (31/32?) This is a route that has a very big move to a mono hold, pretty rough.
Also been working Violent Streak (8b) at Chosspile but it’s a bit warm still. When I was with Andrew this last weekend I sorted out all the beta for a project there called Bass Hunter (32?) which was the first time I’ve ever linked all the sequences 🙂
I can’t wait to get back on all these lines!!!!
Here is a new toy!! Outward Ventures sent me a brand new 80m Roca Dominator 9.2mm!!! Look how pretty it is!!!
Training, Coaching and Success