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Administrator
Mar 12, 2016
gone John Robinson
From Elk Grove, ca
Joined Apr 23, 2006
739 points
Mar 13, 2016
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
MalcolmX
From Munich, Germany
Joined Oct 19, 2014
0 points
Mar 13, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Belaying 2nd (or was it 3rd? 4th?) on Turk's Head ...
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. Ted Pinson
From Chicago, IL
Joined Jul 11, 2014
178 points
Mar 13, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: A cold one after a trail day at the Red.
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.
Eric Carlos
From Slade, KY
Joined Aug 30, 2008
87 points
Administrator
Mar 13, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Courtright Reservoir, September 2013
Climb alot and stay lean. Also my own experience was climb 10+/11- slabs and you can climb just anywhere else at 11+/12- Adam Stackhouse
Joined Jan 3, 2001
13,998 points
Mar 13, 2016
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.
MalcolmX
From Munich, Germany
Joined Oct 19, 2014
0 points
Mar 13, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Belaying 2nd (or was it 3rd? 4th?) on Turk's Head ...
Adam, that statement makes no sense. Climbing slab is very different from climbing overhangs or roofs, both in terms of technique and strength requirements. Ted Pinson
From Chicago, IL
Joined Jul 11, 2014
178 points
Mar 13, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Bouldering
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.
aikibujin
From Castle Rock, CO
Joined Oct 14, 2014
263 points
Mar 13, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: A cold one after a trail day at the Red.
Apparently knowledge of training and technique are not prerequisites for being an "administrator" on MP. Eric Carlos
From Slade, KY
Joined Aug 30, 2008
87 points
Mar 13, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Me trying to FA Solomon Grundy
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
Joined Jun 17, 2013
287 points
Mar 13, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Me trying to FA Solomon Grundy
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.
EthanC
Joined Jun 17, 2013
287 points
Mar 13, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Belaying 2nd (or was it 3rd? 4th?) on Turk's Head ...
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.
Ted Pinson
From Chicago, IL
Joined Jul 11, 2014
178 points
Mar 13, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: A cold one after a trail day at the Red.
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.
Eric Carlos
From Slade, KY
Joined Aug 30, 2008
87 points
Administrator
Mar 13, 2016
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. John Robinson
From Elk Grove, ca
Joined Apr 23, 2006
739 points
Administrator
Mar 14, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Courtright Reservoir, September 2013
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
Joined Jan 3, 2001
13,998 points
Administrator
Mar 14, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Courtright Reservoir, September 2013
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
Joined Jan 3, 2001
13,998 points
Administrator
Mar 14, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Courtright Reservoir, September 2013
oh yeah, signed, an "Administrator" aka lok (lack of knowledge!) Adam Stackhouse
Joined Jan 3, 2001
13,998 points
Administrator
Mar 14, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Courtright Reservoir, September 2013
Eric Carlos wrote:
Apparently knowledge of training and technique are not prerequisites for being an "administrator" on MP.


Never was really into "training."
Adam Stackhouse
Joined Jan 3, 2001
13,998 points
Mar 14, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Belaying 2nd (or was it 3rd? 4th?) on Turk's Head ...
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.
Ted Pinson
From Chicago, IL
Joined Jul 11, 2014
178 points
Mar 15, 2016
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.
Quinn Baker
Joined Mar 2, 2016
0 points
Mar 15, 2016
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.
Jimmy Sledd
From Bozeman, Montana
Joined Mar 7, 2013
17 points
Administrator
Mar 15, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Courtright Reservoir, September 2013
James Sledd wrote:
Although maybe it's just that other areas count the first 15 feet in grading the route, unlike Josh.



No shit right?! LOL!

Cheers!
Adam Stackhouse
Joined Jan 3, 2001
13,998 points
Mar 15, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: On the steep sport wall on the back side of Echo C...
James Sledd wrote:
Although maybe it's just that other areas count the first 15 feet in grading the route, unlike Josh.


I was certainly humbled on the start of Mike's Books. Got the direct start down pat now, but the easier traverse [leap] from the left is some heady 5.6, haha.
NeilB
From Tehachapi, CA
Joined Apr 9, 2014
47 points
Mar 15, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Me trying to FA Solomon Grundy
Adam Stackhouse wrote:
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.


Based on everything else he wrote, and that he agreed with my post, I'm pretty sure he meant "your technique is unlikely to get any better," it just gets lost in the double negatives.

10+ at josh is solidly hard, and I definitely appreciate that learning that level of poise, balance and footwork will take you far. Training at josh means you probably better footwork and balance than most, but I think it leaves you woefully unprepared for a route like "The Infidel" or "The Return of Chris Snyder" in the Red River Gorge; both are 11+ routes that require serious power and endurance.
EthanC
Joined Jun 17, 2013
287 points
Mar 15, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: A cold one after a trail day at the Red.
EthanC wrote:
Based on everything else he wrote, and that he agreed with my post, I'm pretty sure he meant "your technique is unlikely to get any better," it just gets lost in the double negatives. 10+ at josh is solidly hard, and I definitely appreciate that learning that level of poise, balance and footwork will take you far. Training at josh means you probably better footwork and balance than most, but I think it leaves you woefully unprepared for a route like "The Infidel" or "The Return of Chris Snyder" in the Red River Gorge; both are 11+ routes that require serious power and endurance.

Yes, I was referring to another "administrator" in this thread referencing technique not continuing to improve. It should always be improving. Also, I have seen people that float up 11+ slabs all the time get their butt kicked on an 11+ jug haul roof due to core strength and lack of endurance.
Eric Carlos
From Slade, KY
Joined Aug 30, 2008
87 points
Administrator
Mar 15, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Courtright Reservoir, September 2013
Eric Carlos wrote:
Yes, I was referring to another "administrator" in this thread referencing technique not continuing to improve. It should always be improving. Also, I have seen people that float up 11+ slabs all the time get their butt kicked on an 11+ jug haul roof due to core strength and lack of endurance.


Interesting. It was quite the opposite for me back in the day. Anyway, have fun!
Adam Stackhouse
Joined Jan 3, 2001
13,998 points


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