A number of you will have noticed Maddy featured in the climbing news recently with a repeat of Mind Control 8c/5.14b in Spain, as well as the hardcore trad route of Prinzip Hoffnung E9/5.13d in Austria. Seeing as she’s now back in the UK (before rushing back to Mongolia for some adventure trad!) we thought we’d sit her down to chat about training and climbing.
Maddy Cope (28) has recently joined the Lattice coaching team, bringing in a huge range of skillsets from trad climbing, sport and big walling. For us as a team, it’s really important that our coaches are able to bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the plans and coaching we offer. As such, it’s nice to be able to tell you a little about the coaches themselves and their way of thinking!
Where’s your official location these days Maddy?!
After being a van dweller for 8 months, I am Sheffield based again… she says leaving for Mongolia!
How long have you been climbing and has it been a quick path through the grades?
I’ve been climbing for 11 years, and progression has been fairly steady. I started at around 6c+ in year one and got to 8a within 5 years. From there, I pushed a bit further to 8b in year 7 and then 8c by year 9!
What originally got you into training?
Moving to Sheffield gave me my first taste of training. I got into it for social reasons — I made friends who trained and we started training together. It was always a fun thing for me and having good training partners has been a big part of it! I was later introduced to the world of “pushing yourself”, and started to think about specific routes I wanted to do. I enjoyed playing around with exercises that would help me work on weaknesses and was always interested in seeing if it would make a difference on the rock.
What was your first experience of training?
My first experience of “proper” training (i.e. not just climbing at an indoor wall) was actually off the back of a shoulder injury. That’s when I started doing non-climbing sessions such as TRX, weight training, and core. When I started climbing again I managed to do Predator (one of my hardest routes at the time) which made me realise how valuable the “off the wall” training was. This lead me to try more climbing specific training for my next project, Bat Route, and this route was my first experience of training for a specific route. I really enjoyed the process of trying the moves, working out what I needed to improve, and thinking about what training would help me most.
Why did you want to join the Lattice coaching team and our community of clients and athletes?
A big part of the appeal of Lattice was being part of a team, all with different backgrounds and experiences to learn from. Coming from a science background, the theory behind the testing and specific training interests me greatly. But equally, I am fascinated by the individuality of climbing — the variation in abilities different climbers bring to the table, both physically and mental, and how they can build on these.
What type of client do you find the most fascinating?
Probably someone who is in the early learning curve of training, with a specific goal in mind. I think there is a lot to be learnt about yourself when you start training; what motivates you, fluctuations in performance, what your body responds to – and its rarely a smooth road! I think a lot of the lessons that you learn through the ups and downs of training for a specific route/goal actually really help when you come to trying it. I think it is interesting when people are open to these lessons. Trying to guide people through this process is what appeals to me about training others – hopefully they come out the other side stronger, with an appreciation of what they can achieve with a bit of hard work, but most importantly knowing why they chose to put in the hard work in the first place!