10 Tips to Climb Harder by Climbing Smart and Efficiently
Have you ever found yourself thinking, “If only I were a stronger climber…” with the notion that by being instantly stronger you would climb harder and send your projects? If so, you are not alone.
Building strength takes a lot of time and an immediate stint on a hang board will not yield immediate results. What you really want is to perform stronger today. Therefore, what can we do that would help bring us closer to performing stronger without throwing in the towel and resorting to training? What if we shifted our focus away from pure strength and looked at how climbing smarter and more efficiently could yield big gains?
Most of us identify ‘stronger’ as a physical aspect to climbing like building muscles, improving finger strength, etc. While being strong is an important aspect to climbing harder, it’s a misconception that it’s the only means. I believe there is more to climbing than simply brute strength.
Look at the top climbers ! And notice that while they are strong, they also bring a keen awareness of how to regulate their output on a climb with every move they make. Top climbers try to avoid using 100% of their strength. Because they know doing so brings them to failure quickly.
Energy exertion on a climb varies. And learning to regulate that output can help you climb harder for longer.
There exists a range in which we operate in climbing that spans minimum energy spent to maximum energy spent. In any given climbing situation, the meter is constantly moving between the ranges—never settling until the climb is over.
Minimal or maximal effort ?
Like fuel efficiency in cars, there is a sweet spot where you can get the most mileage for the least fuel output. If we climbed only things that kept us in the green with minimal effort, we wouldn’t be challenged. Similarly, if we climbed everything at our maximum effort, then we would be over-challenged. And our capacity for that challenge would be exhausted rapidly. Essentially, this range would look like climbing moderate routes all day to falling on the same move on a very difficult boulder or route.
Climbing stronger is the ability to pull hard while also balancing the intensity of that output against the overall needed exertion to complete the climb.
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