Grade Progression


Original Post
John Robinson · Mar 12, 2016 · Elk Grove, ca · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 701
gone

MalcolmX · Mar 13, 2016 · Munich, Germany · Joined Oct 2014 · Points: 0
I think everything from a couple of weeks to several years is possible, because there are just too many factors relevant (injuries, certain types of weaknesses that can be fixed relatively easy...).

As a reference point my repoint progression over the years was the following with climbing 3 times per week on average:
2012: 5.9
2013: 5.10c
2014: 5.11c
2015: 5.12b

Ted Pinson · Mar 13, 2016 · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 40
Everyone's different, but I'd agree with that assessment. I've seen new climbers shoot into leading 11s within a year by climbing 4 times a week, and also experienced climbers never break 5.10 because they don't climb frequently enough. Twice a week you can progress, but slowly. Once a week you can maintain basic fitness and technique but will regress in max strength, power, and endurance.

Eric Carlos · Mar 13, 2016 · GJ · Joined Aug 2008 · Points: 30
Too many factors to get a definite answer to your question. I consistently climb 4-5 days per week Started climbing in 2002 and averaged 3-4 days per week between then at 2010, toping out at 11b.

I went from 11b-12d in about 5 months of living at the Red in 2010.

In 2009 did my first V4, 2010 first V5, 2011 first V6 and 2012 first V7 and V8.

The volume wasn't what made me any better, it was the focus, the mindset and intensity.

Adam Stackhouse · Mar 13, 2016 · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 12,265
Climb alot and stay lean. Also my own experience was climb 10+/11- slabs and you can climb just anywhere else at 11+/12-

MalcolmX · Mar 13, 2016 · Munich, Germany · Joined Oct 2014 · Points: 0
The problem with endurance and strenght gains is that it depends a lot where you came from.

Let's take your example, that you can do the crux move on a 5.11a, and not on 5.11b and let's assume that your problem is a lack of maximum strength. Now it will make a great difference how you trained during the last months. If all you did during the last months was ARCing, you will probably gain enough strength with 3-4 intensive boulder sessions. On the other hand, if you trained strenght like a mad man during the last months it will take you a lot longer to gain more strength.

Ted Pinson · Mar 13, 2016 · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 40
Adam, that statement makes no sense. Climbing slab is very different from climbing overhangs or roofs, both in terms of technique and strength requirements.

aikibujin · Mar 13, 2016 · Castle Rock, CO · Joined Oct 2014 · Points: 135
John Robinson wrote:Don't consider technique (you've been climbing for years and your technique is unlikely to improve).
Well there's your mistake, you can ALWAYS improve on technique. I posted in a different thread about this, but technique is not a static thing. As someone gains strength and endurance, their technique is likely to change too. We can see a lot of similarities in martial arts. As someone who practiced for more than ten years, even taught for more than three, I was still trying to improve my technique more than ten years later. Technique is not just knowing how to throw a punch or do a drop knee, it's about when to use these movements, and how to use them effectively.

Eric Carlos · Mar 13, 2016 · GJ · Joined Aug 2008 · Points: 30
Apparently knowledge of training and technique are not prerequisites for being an "administrator" on MP.

EthanC · Mar 13, 2016 · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 219
John Robinson wrote: Don't consider technique (you've been climbing for years and your technique is unlikely to improve). Let's assume you're project is an 5.11b and every time you get to the crux, you don't have enough in the tank to do the move.
I get what you're trying to ask, but the question shows you may not be the best person to ask it. Probably the easiest thing to ask is "How long did it take you to go from 9-10, 10-11, 11-12, 12-13, etc."

If you start weighted hangboarding, the most "pure" form of strength, you can easily add 10 pounds of ability to hang on small holds in a month. If you start training endurance, in a month you can go from flailing off the wall after 20 minutes to running laps for 45 minutes and only getting off because your feet are bleeding.

But climbing is about technique, and you never need to stop working on technique. What if you just can't do that move because you climbed inefficiently to that point? What if you could move your feet and take 5 pounds off. The harder the climbing is, the more subtle the movement. I know you didn't mean to say that "once you've been climbing a while, your technique is unlikely to improve." But based on the rest of the question, it doesn't make anyone think you're going to be an authority on climbing training.

As for your question, if I've learned anything from surveying climbers, and I've made that fools errand a few times, it's that everyone is different, and you have to figure out what works for you.

EthanC · Mar 13, 2016 · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 219
John Robinson wrote: Would you please elaborate on that
He's saying you don't seem to know what you're on about, especially when it comes to training.

He could be referring to, separately from or additionally to you, the other admin who posted here, who said "Climb alot and stay lean. Also my own experience was climb 10+/11- slabs and you can climb just anywhere else at 11+/12-" which is pretty much nonsense.

The apparent lack of knowledge seems glaring for someone with a prominent "Administrator" tag on, well, mountain project.

Also, depending on how bad your technique is, it could improve a lot in 3 weeks.

Ted Pinson · Mar 13, 2016 · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 40
John Robinson wrote: You are correct but the improvement I am referring to is something that will probably occur in a short period of time. So to go from 11a to 11b might only take 3 weeks and I doubt if your technique will change in that 3 weeks.
I don't know about that. I aim to learn something every time I climb, particularly if I'm climbing something at/above my level. I think that the problem is that people get too focused on physical limitations that they overlook their mental mistakes. An obvious example of this might be a boulderer who fails to read an obligate heel hook and instead tries to muscle/campus/lock his way past the move. Would it be theoretically possible to do this? Of course. Would strength training help him muscle his way through to the send? Absolutely. Is this the best, most efficient way of progressing? Probably not.

Eric Carlos · Mar 13, 2016 · GJ · Joined Aug 2008 · Points: 30
EthanC wrote: He's saying you don't seem to know what you're on about, especially when it comes to training. He could be referring to, separately from or additionally to you, the other admin who posted here, who said "Climb alot and stay lean. Also my own experience was climb 10+/11- slabs and you can climb just anywhere else at 11+/12-" which is pretty much nonsense. The apparent lack of knowledge seems glaring for someone with a prominent "Administrator" tag on, well, mountain project. Also, depending on how bad your technique is, it could improve a lot in 3 weeks.
You took the words out of my mouth. To say that 10+/11- slab translates to overhangs and roofs is inaccurate, as is the statement that if you have been climbing for a while, your technique is not likely to get any better.

John Robinson · Mar 13, 2016 · Elk Grove, ca · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 701
Eric, Ted and Ethan etc: I wrote a long defense of this post but deleted it because it is a lost cause to try to explain what I am trying to ask. Because of the overwhelming questioning of me let's just say this post is a lost cause, probably because I don't know how to say what I want to say. I deleted all my comments and questions out of frustration. Let's just forget this subject.

Adam Stackhouse · Mar 14, 2016 · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 12,265
Ted Pinson wrote:Adam, that statement makes no sense. Climbing slab is very different from climbing overhangs or roofs, both in terms of technique and strength requirements.
I thought I said my own experience, but let me lay it out for you more anecdotally. After being reared in Joshua Tree and becoming rather proficient in climbing crumbling smedges I finally veered off my normal path and ventured to the likes of Red Rocks, Owens and a host of other smaller sporto areas. Everything seemed so big and positive and I was able to sail alot of stuff above what I thought was my pay grade. Everything seemed like a jug haul.

That's all. Simple

Adam Stackhouse · Mar 14, 2016 · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 12,265
Eric Carlos wrote: You took the words out of my mouth. To say that 10+/11- slab translates to overhangs and roofs is inaccurate, as is the statement that if you have been climbing for a while, your technique is likely to get any better.
You don't think technique improves over time? Time equals experience and experience takes one to different places which seemed to invariably improve techniques. To me its all about the feet not being an ape.

Adam Stackhouse · Mar 14, 2016 · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 12,265
oh yeah, signed, an "Administrator" aka lok (lack of knowledge!)

Adam Stackhouse · Mar 14, 2016 · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 12,265
Eric Carlos wrote:Apparently knowledge of training and technique are not prerequisites for being an "administrator" on MP.
Never was really into "training."

Ted Pinson · Mar 14, 2016 · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 40
Adam Stackhouse wrote: I thought I said my own experience, but let me lay it out for you more anecdotally. After being reared in Joshua Tree and becoming rather proficient in climbing crumbling smedges I finally veered off my normal path and ventured to the likes of Red Rocks, Owens and a host of other smaller sporto areas. Everything seemed so big and positive and I was able to sail alot of stuff above what I thought was my pay grade. Everything seemed like a jug haul. That's all. Simple
Maybe your example was too limited to draw general conclusions. Red Rocks has pretty soft ratings, and the sport there is almost all vertical/slab. While it definitely makes sense that the holds would feel a lot more positive when coming from slab, that doesn't prepare you for the enduro challenge of doing a 120 ft severely overhung route at the Red or a power-fest at Rifle.

Quinn Baker · Mar 15, 2016 · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 0
Adam Stackhouse wrote: Never was really into "training."
Then why are you replying to a thread in the training forum?

But seriously, I think I get what you're trying to say about climbing on shitty holds helping you on different routes. The gym that I climb at is notorious for using old, polished, chipped, or otherwise crappy holds. Then, when people from our gym go to other gyms for comps or something, every hold feels bomber. Is this the kind of thing that you are referring to?

However, I don't think that the techniques learned on slab climbs will help you in every discipline. It may help a bit with vertical face climbs, but slab has no real bearing on roof climbs or crack climbing.

Jimmy Sledd · Mar 15, 2016 · Bozeman, Montana · Joined Mar 2013 · Points: 5
Ted Pinson wrote: Red Rocks has pretty soft ratings, and the sport there is almost all vertical/slab. While it definitely makes sense that the holds would feel a lot more positive when coming from slab, that doesn't prepare you for the enduro challenge...
While Red Rock has a reputation for vacation grades, that's not true of everything. Edge Dressing is one of the hardest .10b's I've ever done; the crux moves are tiny edges in a sea of varnish that's about as grippy as a greased skillet. Wholesome Fullback is even more of a sandbag at .10a. And there are plenty of overhanging pumpfests (the Gallery, Sunny and Steep, etc).

I think I understand and agree with the point here. Balancey, sandbagged, less-steep J tree routes, will breed good technique and efficiency of movement that will allow you to progress on pumpfests elsewhere.

Although maybe it's just that other areas count the first 15 feet in grading the route, unlike Josh.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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