Simulation Training: How to Do a Move You Can’t Do

If you have a specific goal route or boulder, you aren’t going to send if you can’t do all the individual moves. Once you can do all the moves, it doesn’t mean that the send is in the bag, but it does mean that with enough persistence it is possible for you do the route or boulder. However, if you really want to tick a climb on which you can’t do all the moves, then experimenting with advanced techniques like simulation training could be the answer.

Simulation training, in its simplest form, is simply creating an exact replica of the crux moves you are struggling on so that with consistent repeption you can make them feel easier and easier. To help explain exactly how to do this, here’s an article from Rock and Ice by British coach and trainer Neil Gresham. Gresham outlines the basics of simulation training, describes some advanced variations, and draws on both his own and climbing legend Malcolm Smith’s successes with these techniques.

If you can do all the moves on a project, it’s usually just a matter of time before it goes down. Stopper moves, though, are another thing entirely. A move you cannot pull is a barrier, and the main reason climbers throw in the towel on hard routes.” – Neil Gresham

Simulation Training Variations

While setting as close a replica as possible and using it for simulation training may seem straight forward, Gresham outlines some advanced techniques that will help you fine tune your approach to making impossible-feeling moves relatively straight forward. Here are Gresham’s tips:

  • Use a home bouldering wall so you can set as close a replica as possible
  • Use two variations: one where you practice the moves and one where you hold static positions throughout the move
  • Add a quarter pound every two or three sessions as you get the move/positions for dialed
  • Include supplemental training like fingerboarding, campus boarding, or gymnastic ring work
  • Start training, post warmup, with hangboard deadhangs to target specific grips and/or the campus board if the moves are dynamic and powerful
  • Then use the replica and finish with the supplemental exercises that seem most specific to simulation training

Follow these tips and you will definitively make some serious gains when it comes to the specific moves and route you are training for. Click through below to read about all these tactics in more detail.

However, it is also important to note that simulation training is a very advanced tactic and is designed to help you improve for a very specific goal route or boulder. If you are not training to tick a particular route or boulder, you’d be better served focusing on overall improvement rather than focusing your training so narrowly.

Full Article: Simulation Training – How to Do a Move You Can’t Do

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