Monday, October 24, 2011


Can you climb wrong? (A layman’s guide to climbing)

Short answer is no, as long as you’re making some upward movement, I guess that can be considered climbing. The question you should ask is, “Is there a better way to climb?” Answer - Of course there is a better way to climb.

ef•fi•cient - /iˈfiSHənt/ adj. - Achieving maximum productivity with minimum wasted effort.

Efficiency could be the difference between you getting just past your crux on your project route and having just enough juice left over to finish the [expletive] thing.

It’s the little things you don’t think about when you’re on a route that make all the difference in the world. Little things like finding a comfortable place on a route to take a rest, somewhere you can shake out, chalk up, take a breath and plan your next moves.

When climbing try to keep your arms straight! This allows the majority of your bodyweight to “hang on your bones” rather than using muscle that selfishly steals your energy when your arms are bent and muscles flexed. Remember, when that crux comes, you want to be able to dig deep and have some energy left.

A great way to train on arm endurance is something I call “Don’t Underestimate Hanging,” or if that’s too long to remember you can use the acronym (D.U.H.) Practice those dead hangs on Aiguille’s hangboards. Mark "The Professional" Mercer gave me a great tip when I was first starting out; find the worst hold you can hang on for any amount of time, once that amount of time reaches 8 seconds find an even worse hold. Training dead hangs might not look that impressive but it pays dividends.

Until next time train smart, climb hard.

Alex Velandia
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