Beginners training

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Beginners training

Post by Lourens »

I just spent about a gazillion hours online looking for training tips for beginners. I am dazed and confused :roll: to say the least, about the amount of stuff out there,and most of it makes very little sense. Can someone please tell me:What is important to begin with? Is there a training guide,book,DVD,program for beginners that i can use?

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Re: Beginners training

Post by cricketbrain »

Someone asked the same question a few weeks ago.

Try 'Training for Climbing' & 'Conditioning for Climbing' by Eric Horst. In my opinion the best, easiest to read and covers everything from basic / beginners to elite training. 'The Self Coached Climber' is excellent too, a little technical for beginners. Comes with a DVD with the drills and explanations.

At the end of the day, climbing is the best training for climbing. Get to the crags as often as you can.
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Re: Beginners training

Post by SNORT »

Depends what you want to do. If you want to do trad then this is my view.
The trad experience:

From time to time individuals show an interest in “learning” to climb trad. I personally do not believe it is a skill that can be taught. At best some-one can “show you the ropes” (pun intended) and then one has to do it to learn it.

Like certain trades and professions there is theory and practice. The best way to learn a skill including climbing on trad is to inform yourself as to the theory of knots and safety and so on and then do an apprenticeship with someone who is experienced and who climbs safely and competently. Thereafter find a partner and go do it. Going on courses is simply not the way to learn how to learn trad climbing. (There are qualified instructors who will strongly disagree with me on this but they all learnt to climb trad the way I did, in the ‘70’s and ‘80’s, exactly as described above.)

So anyone who wants to experience trad climbing first needs to go and learn the basics themselves. These basics include learning to prussic, belay and abseil with an Italian hitch, abseil, set up anchors with nuts and cams and abseil with a heavy pack and so on. To learn these things one must beg, borrow, buy or steal a trad rack and ropes and go and experiment in a safe environment and, in this regard there is perhaps a role for a qualified instructor.

To lead on trad safely one should climb at least grade 19 on sport routes. The reason for this is that you require a certain amount of strength and endurance and basic climbing ability on trad because easy routes are generally much more dangerous than hard routes because they are so difficult to protect. So by being able to climb grade 19 you can venture onto steeper and safer routes on trad.

One must also be able to climb above your pro and be able to fall off. There is a skill in so doing to avoid rope burns and flipping over or banging your ankles and knees and head. This can be practiced on a sport crag using the bolts as back up for your trad placements. Lower Silvermine crag is ideal as the rock is mostly steep and trad friendly and there are also bolts.

Should anyone be interested in “experiencing” trad then please send me a private message and I shall attempt to arrange a trad outing if you are in the Western Cape. But you need to be informed and equipped, fit and able.
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Re: Beginners training

Post by napaman »


I am the one that asked this question a few weeks ago (actually 4 months ago) and i got a few good tips and a few dead ends.

Read this manual from the Tukkies Club (Thanks Emile for pointing me to this)


The best book I bought was " a guide to climbing" by tony lourens (Thanks to the guys at drifters)

What did help a lot was to get the feel of real rock. So i went to a MCSA meet and met a few guys. They set up a top rope for me and my bro and we climbed 3 routes.

Are you doing this alone or do you have a partner? If you have a partner I suggest buying some essential gear which is.
:arrow: Guide Book for your local crag
:arrow: 2 x Climbing harness
:arrow: 1 x Locking Carabiner and Belay Device
:arrow: +/- 10 Quickdraws (Check local guide book for average number of bolts)
:arrow: 1 x 60m Dynamic Climbing Rope

There are guys who do give lessons but i found it hard to book them as they were all busy at the time. My bro and I were taught by different people at the crags on weekends. We did get taught things that were "wrong" though but you have to decide for yourself what you feel comfortable with because whats wrong for one is right for the other. and ask as many questions as you can on this forum and at the crags.

Last but not least get to a climbing gym mingle with climbers.
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Re: Beginners training

Post by Wayne73 »

My 2c, I am just going to give you the pro's of a course. You get taught the safety stuff properly, however, most guys out there will be able to teach you this but there are some cowboys who will give you bad advise and consequently could endanger you ( not suggesting that anyone here is said cowboys). You will also get exposure to both sport and Trad and get shown where some of the local crags are, and will meet some guys who are also starting out.

Downside the price, you will be able to get a rope for what you are shelling out.


(Snort forgot to tell you how to get to the level he wants you at before taking you out tradding.)

1 Get a buddy
2 Go to the climbing gym
3 Get them to show you the ropes (belaying etc), may be a small charge for this.
4 Chat to all and sundry there
5 Get them to invite you along to the crags
6 Get/beg/borrow a well fitting Harness and shoes
7 climb
8 stop sponging and get your own equipment
9 Climb, climb, climb
10 revert to snorts message
Fat men are harder to kidnap
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Re: Beginners training

Post by crumley »

Begin: get John Long's book "How to Rock Climb," read it, study the moves, then try it on rock. Then read it again.
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Re: Beginners training

Post by alexdesas »

gym gym gym
pull ups to death until you die ----- 7 days a week at least 50 - 70 reps per day.
then the occasional visit to your nearest climbing GYM,
then get some equipment,
then hook up with a more experienced climbing partner type person

DONE then everything else will come naturally.......

1st climb n climb n climb then what you don't understand look it up. Google know everything, I PROMISE!!!!
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Re: Beginners training

Post by Thermophage »

Climb with people who climb to have fun. Focus on listening to every tiny part of your body and figure out what went wrong...
If you are not smiling then you are doing it wrong :)
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Re: Beginners training

Post by Franz »

join a club (MCSA?) or a gym. Learn from others. better than a book.

imo books are nice once you know the basics
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The Jimmy
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Re: Beginners training

Post by The Jimmy »

I've had to point a couple of beginners in the right direction through the years and most of them are presumed dead now, so here's my advice:

I'm with Snort, depends on what you want to do.

Trad: Learn to like whiskey and suffering and then proceed with Snort's advice.

Sport: If you're starting out, forget all the hardcore training for now. After you've learnt how to use the basic gear, just climb as much as you can (indoors and outdoors both good, whatever gets you psyched) and learn how to MOVE when you climb first. If you climb a good variety of stuff and keep a close eye on the other climbers also, your weaknesses will become clear quickly, i.e. your finger strength obviously sucks or you flop your feet around too much and Voila! you have an obvious thing to train which will result in improvement.

Bouldering: If you can boulder lots in the gym and outside and restrain yourself from doing crazy moves outside your abilities and getting horribly injured you will get very strong and learn to move very well - probably the best physical climbing training you can do, especially when starting out. Except the whiskey drinking (See: "Trad" above) , that you have to train very specifically and hone your skills over a long period of time - think Mr Miagi / Daniel Son. And just remember no one ever aspires to be a boulderer.

Only joking about the ppl dying, this is just what I start assuming when I don't hear from people in a while. You guys know who you are :lol:
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