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Forum: GLOBAL / Open Forum / How long does it take to get a decent endurance Login in to contribute
How long does it take to get a decent endurance
OffLine Jan Schubert
  2013-01-29 16:28:09    
Hey, in a recent article (did you
actually delete it Jens, because i cant find it?) Jens wrote about why
climbing gyms should set up more short 7a and above routes. The type
of 7a climber he describes fits myself pretty well i guess. Im climbing
for one and a half year (2-3 times a week) and i have redpointed a few
7a routes (in the gym and outside) but only routes which were rather
technical routes on no overhanging walls.  My problem is (as Jens
described) that i get pumped very fast. When i´m climbing long
overhanging routes in the gym i sometimes cant even do 6c without
resting in between (im 193 cm and 81 kg). Thats the reason why i
switched to bouldering some time ago, because i know i´m technical able
to redpoint this routes but i get pumped so fast, that i have to rest
like every 5 moves. Jens said the key is to avoid pump. And he also said that this is a problem mainly for intermediate climbers like me. My question is: How long (how many years) does it take to get your body used to it so i dont get pumped so fast anymore? And in order to achieve this, is it  better to actually get pumped and not just boulder? (of course i get pumped when i´m bouldering, but its a different kind of pump)
OffLine Christian Stohr
  2013-01-29 18:23:35    
Overhanging routes require different techniques than vertical, technical slabs. Maybe that is one point to look into. For training I've heard you can get a good endurance (rather in the long run than pretty soon) if you do 30minute sessions at the end of your training: just climb easy routes (if you climb 7a I'd suggest 5a for you) which you can climb with perfect technique.  The problem of course is to find a belay partner for that. :) I think this training method is described in Udo Neumann's "Lizenz zum Klettern" (since you're German I don't have to look for the English title of it). There's also quite a bit about proper technique.
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2013-01-29 18:26:49    
There are a lot of new guys like you that strugle with pump and that is why I wrote the article - Why and How to avoid pump during gym training . I have been a coach and an active climbers for 20 years and even I struggle with pump and that is mainly in even gym routes on top rope. I have recently started to climb half the routes two times in the row instead of getting to pump on a 15 m route and that makes my training better. I know that it would be very good for me to boulder but I have problems in my back and I do not think bouldering is so fun. In my gym, most 7a climber are actually bouldering so I think this phenomenia is quite common. The answer to your question is that it is very individual and big guys like yourself will suffer more being pumped. You will gradually improve and get stronger and your maximum strength is what (1) first of all makes you be able to do even a 7a route without being pumped. (2) Later you can focus on improving the blood circulation system by climbing as many hours possible on the wall without getting pumped at all. (3) Finally you can optimize your muscles ability to work better when you are pumped...but this is something you should opt after like five years of climbing and before you want to prepare for a comp or a travel. At your current level, I recommend you strongly to never get pumped and the best way to progress is possibly to continue bouldering as your main focus. I mean, the problem is that it is so fun to climb a route that sometimes it is impossible to let go after just 8 meters. When you boulder I do not consider this as a pump, but more of being tired in your muscles and this is what you want. 
OffLine jaap
  2013-01-29 18:52:20    
hi, I had the same problem a few years ago. I only bouldered for several years, so my endurance was way off. Then I started climbing routes again with my wife and I was struggling to do routes even well below my technical level (and level of pure force). The individual moves felt easy, but linking more then a few prooved very hard. After a while it went a little better and I could get to 4/5th of the route en then I would fall in the last couple of meters every single time. :-)My wife decided I had to do something about it, so we started 'conti-training'. I hated it (still do), because it's boring and hard as hell for me...  It looks something like this: - we start by warming up easy (5th grade, my max indoors is 7b/c) and doing series of 4 routes in a row (something like 5a-5b-5b-5c), after that something like 5c-5c-6a-6a... then 6a-6a-6b-6b (more or less)- then the hard part starts: 3 series of  3x 1 route in a row of wich 1 or 2  is at maximum level (max you can do 3 times).- cool down: like warm up but only one or 2 series (not the 5a stuff :p) in total we tried to do 25 routes each per session, and we did 2 training sessions per week and 1 "fun" session (if the wetter was good, outdoors... otherwise in some other gym). The point was to climb as hard as possible and keep going untill we fall... so we got very very pumped. At first my max was about 3x6b+ ... after 4 weeks I could climb 7a+ 3 times in row... :-). Its probably not a scientifically approved method, but it worked very well for us. Hope it can help you... ps: bouldering to get better endurance does not work (for me at least).
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2013-01-29 19:04:43    
Having read the two other answers I would like to make it clear that I agree that this will also get you better endurance but as you have only climbed for 18 months, this should not be not your priority. 1. Until you can climb overhanging 7a's or you have climbed 24 months you should focus on building muscle strength.
OffLine thebon
  2013-01-29 19:52:13    
There may be more than one reason for getting pumped fast.  Fitness is only one of the factors.  I would say route-climbng technique and strategy is as much or more a factor, and working on this can make a huge difference.  Over-gripping can be a huge factor, as well as not being able to do an "active rest."  This means being able to use minimum effort on easier sections, allowing your muscles to relax even when they are still in use.  This allows you to conserve for when you push through cruxes.  Also, developing better resting technique can make a huge difference, learning to grip in different ways while resting, to take weight on your skin instead of gripping is an example.