Training Tips for Climbers: Slow and steady doesn’t always win the race
In this weeks Training Tips Tuesday, Coach Maddy talks about what advice she would give her younger self…
If I could go back and tell my younger self something about strength training, I would definitely talk to 18yr old Maddy about what being an “economic” and “technical” climber means in a bouldering context. I have struggled for a long time to push my bouldering. This has had a knock on effect on my sport climbing. Coming from a trad climbing background I am good at being efficient and finding good positions to perform moves statically. However, being able to move powerfully, cut loose and catch holds quickly is beneficial in lots of situations. It definitely has its own technique!
1) Force yourself to do powerful climbing
I would often find a static way of climbing problems on the board rather than persevering with a more powerful sequence. Climbing with others and watching their style has helped me here. It’s allowed me to learn a totally new way of moving. Changing my mindset so that my board sessions weren’t about “sending” helped too. It fostered a curious mindset when it came to trying hard problems with friends where I could only link 2-3 moves.
2) Practise catching holds
I often can get to holds but not snatch them. I found jumping to holds really helped my contact strength. It also taught me how to use my upper back, as well as developed my confidence. Then I progressed this to board pauses (holding a cut lose every move you make). This got my core involved as well as developed my precision with my feet on a fast-pace scenario.
3) Match conditioning stimulus to technical stimulus
I enjoy conditioning and weights but have a history of doing slow-heavy sessions. Changing some of my sessions so that I focused on moving quickly using lighter weights helped support my focus on power in my climbing sessions.