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Training: Falling! (and more)

Some jumps taken in Collegats last weekend.

Last week I finally got my hands on Dave MacLeods book 9 out of 10 climbers make the same mistake. I watched most videos and read most articles from the strong and analytic Mr MacLeod and I think he is the best writing climber there is out there.

Here is my review of the book: Read it. Read it NOW!

Chapter 3 of the book is completely dedicated to one subject: Falling. Dave writes that most climbers are limited by being scared of falling. He writes that falling should be part of every climbing session and that 5-20 falls per day for several years is needed for most climbers to finally reach a level of relaxation and comfort to climb at your limit above a bolt. So, I decided to add falling to the things I should train. And off we went. Jumping. Falling. And jumping again. I find it interesting that the first jump of the day feels so hard to take. Then once it is done I relax and can jump again and again. Then next climbing session the first jump feels hard to take. Then I relax. David is right, I will need years of jumping before I’m cured. The results for redpoints seems to be good, I had a good burn on the amazing 7a ¡Eh, petrel! here in Montserrat the other day, falling after clipping the last bolt of 15(?). Ah, next time. Then today I sent my second real 7a+ in Mont-Ral.

Of course I have to set a measurable goal for falling/jumping as well: 300 during 2011 (from 1st of February).

So. Read the book now! It will 100% make you a better climber. Also check out Dave’s two blogs, his personal blog and his training blog.

Another subject I’m reading up on and trying to change is my diet and weight. I’m big, 190 cm and about 85 kg. The other day I finally bought a scale to check my weight and body fat. I’ve wanted one of these for about 10 years now and finally got around to buy one. I know that the body fat measure that comes out of these scales is highly random but I just want to get a way to measure how I stand. Right now I weighed in at 84,8 kg and a fat percent of 10,4. I aim to lower my fat percent to about 8 so I should have a goal weight of around 82,5 kg if I don’t loose muscles. That is probably a good first goal, after that I will have to aim at 80 kg, will see how that goes.

So what routes and what grade should I try now? After talking to my friend Fredrik we decided that it was time to take care of my pyramid. Well, truth be told Fredrik said: 7a is too easy for you. Now you do 4 7a+, then 2 7b, then 1 7b+. Then you can go back to 7a and start building the pyramid from the bottom again. So off I went and managed to do 7a+ number 2 today. Two left and then off to the, for me, magic grade of 7b. I’m not looking for any specific route for these climbs but I would prefer them to be pumpy and long, that is all. Limestone, granite, sandstone or conglomerate – all is good. But most importantly, I want to climb really freakin’ excellent routes and have lots of fun!

7a or harder: 7 (out of 50)
Falls: 19 (out of 300)
Body Fat: 10,4% (goal 8%)

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3 Responses

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  1. Pere says

    I should learn to fly and get used to it!

  2. Mike Gray says

    5-20 falls per day for several (we’ll call it three) years… let’s see… that’s between 1825 and 7000 falls…

    Oh, wait… you mean CLIMBING days… got it… so even if that’s just weekends (and for some of us it is much, much more), at 52 weekends per year, two days per, that’s 104 days times 5 to 20… And ropes are rated for- what? A dozen falls at best?

    Great advice if you have a corporate sponsor or unlimited discretionary income… and who among us doesn’t have one of the two?

    Oh, wait… ME!

    Boulder high, jump off. Meditate in noisy environments.. Now, granted, I’ve only been climbing since Reagan was a candidate for the Presidency, but even with my limited experience and perspective, I’ve gotta say that jumping off a perfectly good route on a perfectly good rope ON PURPOSE is STUPID!

    Read Performance Rock climbing, learn to relax in everyday life, and spend a lot of time climbing with positive people who rev you up.


    Believe me, falling will take care of itself…

  3. Pär says

    Haha, thanks for the comment Mike! Good to get some input, a funny one at that!

    Well, of course Dave MacLeod and me and many more do not agree with you. Check out Daves book, even for an experienced climber I’m sure there is much in there to learn. As being old enough to remember Reagan as an actor I confirm this.

    For the ropes: There will be more or less no harm to the ropes taking these type of falls that we do on the video. These will reach, I guess, about 0.01 fall factor at the most. Climbing ropes are classified to handle 10-20 factor 1 falls. Personally I’m convinced that you do more damage to your rope by not washing it or being lowerd down over an edge than falling. Go to any sport climbing area here in Spain and you see people lobbing off 20 times a day, day after day. Of course they have to shorten the rope once in a while from the mantle being worn, but no problem beyond this.

    Believe me, you will become a better climber…

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