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 By: Johan Svensson  | Date: 2007-05-03  | Category: Tips & Tricks    | Comment  
Tips and tricks for beginners and up

Coach Jens giving SMS-beta. Picture: Carl Johan Svensson

 Are you a beginning climber who is starting to send all the 6c routes or 6B boulders at your local gym? Are you ready to take that next step and move up a level?

 Jens Larssen (picture) has climbed for more than 15 years and worked as a climbing coach. He has seen, done and heard of most mistakes that you do as a beginning climber.  Here are some of Jens top advices:

1. Avoid pump! Don’t aim for pump when you train but let your muscles get used to climbing by doing more easy routes. Pump deteriorates your muscles. A common mistake is to warm up too little and too hard. Don’t be afraid of resting while warming up. Keep in mind the average 8a/8A climber never warms up on climbing harder than 7a/7A. Hence, if you are a 6b/6B climber, you should not warm up on anything harder than 5b/5B. This is not saying that pump could be part of training when you press yourself. However, try to climb less in the middle of your capacity and go for the extremes, i.e. easy and hard.

2. Aim for volume. If possible, climb top-rope, up and down. This will make you get used to climbing an make you climb without thinking too much.

3. Recruitment awareness. You have to realise that to maximise strength you have recruit your muscles. When trying out moves it usually takes a few tries before you can get the most out of your muscles. Be patient and recruit.

4. Vary your repertoire. Everyone has a tendency to climb in a certain way and succumb to a certain repertoire, especially when pressed. Break your habits and climb in ways that feels “wrong”. For example, force yourself to climb dynamic and loose the feet! More important, take a step away from the set routes/boulders and find your own way up the wall. Try weird stuff, like using only one arm or only one leg.

5. Gripping technique. 9/10 times when you fall it’s because you’re not focusing on your gripping technique. For example, if you land on a crimper with an open hand, close that crimp before continuing.

6. Use a pulsating gripping technique. Circles may increase pump but you may need less of it if you change your gripping technique. Pulsating gripping means quickly releasing pressure on your grip to increase blood flow. PICTURE

7. Soft and hard shoes. Train in your softer shoes and use the harder ones for performance…