Round 86

Q: My question regards my 10-year-old daughter. She took 3rd in the Youth D Sport Nationals last year. Lately she is having problems with her feet (trusting them) and with sequencing and visualizing routes. Can you give me some tips or drill to help her with her feet and sequences? Thanks, –Jim (California)

A: Hi Jim, I’m happy to hear of your daughters successes. I have two boys (8 and 10) who are similarly passionate about climbing. Footwork is something that does often take some coaching, so be quick to remind her to “look down” and “find the target” (best part) of each foothold. Go to the gym or crag and have her toprope an entire route as “target practice”…that is, focusing on each foothold and placing the shoe optimally. Also, downclimbing routes (on TR) is a great drill, since it forces the climber to constantly look down and find the feet. As for visualization, use a laser pointer to go over routes with her before she leaves the ground. Initially, you can use the pointer to “mark” the sequence…but work towards having her show you the sequence with the laser pointer. Hope this helps! Keep me posted on Grace’s progress!

Q: Hi, I have an HIT wall at my house and am going to start doing the anaerobic endurance training on it and am wondering how many off days should be taken when doing these workouts. Thank you –Brett (Oklahoma)

A: Hey Brett, Amount of rest depends on many things….intensity/volume of training, current fitness level, age, nutrition, genetics, etc. Typically I take 2 rest days after a HIT workout. You might consider bouldering one day, doing HIT the next day, then taking two days off from climbing training (although you can do aerobics and push exercises). So this way you’d be doing 2 days ON and 2 days OFF with regard to climbing-specific training of anaerobic endurance. Let me know how it goes!

Q: Hi Eric, I can climb a V6 to a V7 in a gym but when I climb outdoor I struggle to climb a V4. Why is that? Also what are good ways to enhance technique? It seems to take forever to build technique? Is bouldering indoor that much different form outdoor? BTW, I’ve been climbing just over one year. thanks! —Andrew (Washington)

A: Hi Andrew, Yes, outdoor climbing is much different from indoor climbing…and this is why your grades are lagging outside. Most important, try to climb outside more! Your indoor strength will transfer outside, but the outdoor techniques (and footwork) are very specific and complex compared with the indoors, such that you will always lag in ability if you don’t climb outside more often. Strive to make good footwork, body position, and efficient movement your hallmark traits and soon you’ll be sending hard outside, too!

Q: Hi Eric, I am relatively new to climbing (able to do 5.10 and V3), and I absolutely love it! I’m starting to read up on training, which of your many books should I read first? The book titled How To climb 5.12 sounds exciting to me! –Bill (Maryland)

A: Bill, If you are solid at 5.10, then you are ready to read How to Climb 5.12. This book dedicates full chapters to developing technique, mental skills, and climbing-specific conditioning, as well as the important subjects of onsighting and projecting climbs and succeeding at the 5.12 grade! A new edition of How to Climb 5.12 will hit towards year’s end! Conditioning for Climbers is my most indepth look at conditioning exercises, whereas Training for Climbing is the most comprehensive tome with serious coverage on all types of training, plus nutrition, recovery, the mind, injury, and much more; so TFC is a must-have reference book for every serious climber’s library. Finally, there’s my latest book on mental training, Maximum Climbing. This text will be invaluable to all climbers, but it’s most suited for intermediate to advanced climbers wanting to breakthrough personal barriers and pursue the greatest level of achievement and experience possible. Follow the links above to learn more about each book.