I just climbed my first v5. Wow. What have I learned while getting here?
- Climbing every day or at least as often as possible is important. Rest days in between are not that important. Psychology matters a lot. Caffeine helps. I’m probably better in the morning when well-rested.
- Death grip isn’t necessary. Conserve energy. Use the minimum amount of pressure and grip necessary.
- Lock and hang with the supporting arm between each move so that the muscles aren’t working. This is the best way to conserve energy.
- Grip/finger strength and forearm strength is the most important. Biceps and core matter too but less so. Too much upper body mass is not ideal. Keep weight into the wall.
- Confidence and trust are important. This is part of what I mean by psychology. If you know you can do a route then it will probably work. If you know you can’t then you probably can’t. Try things one notch above your level. Intersperse them with routes at or below your level to regain your flow and confidence. Knowing when to trust a hold is important.
- Keep your weight low and into the wall and learn to make smooth, calculated moves and swings. Moving from one hold to the next takes energy and you only have so many moves in you in a given day. Use them wisely but don’t be afraid to play and fail.
- Value smoothness, flow, technique over force, difficulty, and level. Be curious. Try different patterns and flows.
- Practice awareness on the feel of holds. Get an intuitive feeling for what a hold feels like. How solid does it feel? how much rotation do you have? Memorize different feelings.