Is 5.11 really that hard

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mike526

Trad climber
schaumburg, il
Topic Author's Original Post - Dec 8, 2012 - 04:47pm PT
A bit about me I'm 34 and stand 6'1 and weigh about 205(yeah i know i'm big).

Anyhow i've been climbing in the gym and outside and the hardest climb i have done outside is a 10b.

I've been working some of the 11's in the gym and have tried some at devils lake in wisconsin but seem to always come up short.

Any advice as far as training or words of motivation from people who climb 11 an up. I try to get inside twice a week and outside at least once.

I know not to chase grades but an 11a is my goal for next year.
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Dec 8, 2012 - 04:49pm PT


Just go somewhere that the ratings are super soft...

You'll probably be good into the low 12's....(EDITED: "Sport" climbing)

The user formerly known as stzzo

climber
Sneaking up behind you
Dec 8, 2012 - 04:54pm PT
steveA

Trad climber
bedford,massachusetts
Dec 8, 2012 - 04:56pm PT
I could make the typical ST smart ass comment, but all kidding aside; if you weigh 205, a typical Devils Lake face 5.11 face climb would be tough.

I only climbed there once, 40 years ago, but as anyone knows, the lighter you are, the better you will climb on hard face. It's pretty tough hanging all that weight on your finger tips and toes.

A nice fat hand-jam is not as weight dependent in my opinion.
mike526

Trad climber
schaumburg, il
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 8, 2012 - 04:58pm PT
I'm working on losing the weight believe me. What area's do you consider soft Locker?
The user formerly known as stzzo

climber
Sneaking up behind you
Dec 8, 2012 - 05:05pm PT
One thing to think about: if the ratings are softer, then is it really 5.11?

If the answer is "yes", then you probably are chasing numbers...

Btw, there's a diet plan outlined in that book, I've heard. I'm not trying to sell the book, just mentioning it b/c a friend who has the book brought it up.
bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Dec 8, 2012 - 05:08pm PT
All kidding aside, old school 5.11's (Yosemite, Suicide, Gunks, Josh) are pretty stout no matter what else is going on. Train like a Demon, get to where you can do two or three -- preferable more -- one-arm pull-ups, climb outside all the time, get your fingers strong. That's what worked for me. I think that a steady diet of hard bouldering is also a major benefit if you want to climb hard routes.

And at 205 definately lose weight, although really it's not so much raw weight data but your bodyfat index. If you're 205 but have the muscle definition of a skinned greyhound, that's probably a plus.

My two cents. You might want to run your query over at rocklimbing.com; they discuss this issue a LOT.
The user formerly known as stzzo

climber
Sneaking up behind you
Dec 8, 2012 - 05:12pm PT
Serious on the one-armed pullups?

Guess I'm out, then :-). At least until the scale is happy...
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Dec 8, 2012 - 05:13pm PT


"What area's do you consider soft Locker?"...

Areas that I am no longer getting nearly as often as I would like...

;-/

PAUL SOUZA

Trad climber
Central Valley, CA
Dec 8, 2012 - 05:14pm PT
In my 3 1/2 years of climbing experience, I do see more skinnier people throwing down the 11+ routes. I'm 6' and 197lbs. I'm not a big fan of face climbing, but I do love crack climbing. The hardest face climbing I've done was 10a and I wasn't too thrilled. The hardest crack I've done was Catchy 10d to Catchy Corner 11a. I did better on the 11a fingers/lieback that I did on the thin hands 10d. I feel way more secure in crack that I do anything else.

RP3

Big Wall climber
El Portal/Chapel Hill
Dec 8, 2012 - 05:21pm PT
Yup it is!

A couple of weekends ago I was at The New and watched this super jacked guy chug a Redbull and get on Legacy (a super classic 11a). He whipped and whipped and eventually bailed. While he was being lowered, he threw this tantrum about how the rating on this climb was bullshit because he can climb 5.13 in the gym.

I guess it is funny how some people feel entitled to certain numbers...(Not saying that you are...OP)
RyanD

climber
Squamish
Dec 8, 2012 - 05:22pm PT
Go bouldering lots so you can work on movement & linking difficult moves. Then when you get up to that crux on that 5.11 you will be able to figure it out quicker & feel stronger on the crappy holds.
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Dec 8, 2012 - 05:27pm PT

Best advice in my opinion???...

Learn to enjoy climbing within your personal limits and don't give a fuk about the numbers game...

In the long (and short) run it will serve you better...
Prod

Trad climber
Dec 8, 2012 - 05:30pm PT
There is always aid climbing.

Prod.
Cosmiccragsman

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
Dec 8, 2012 - 05:31pm PT
*5
Locker!
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Dec 8, 2012 - 05:31pm PT


Prod...

your shoes fit perfect...

THANKS!!!...

TGT

Social climber
So Cal
Dec 8, 2012 - 05:32pm PT
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

I've only done 11's by accident, never intentionally, and only back when I was well under 200

Don't sweat the numbers.

It's supposed to be fun.
Srbphoto

climber
Kennewick wa
Dec 8, 2012 - 05:39pm PT
Don't listen to Locker. That is the typical response by an old person who can't shred the gnar anymore.

I love the numbers game!


How else can my friends on Facebook know what a bad ass I am!!!
Morgan

Trad climber
East Coast
Dec 8, 2012 - 05:49pm PT
How hard 5.11s are depends on how much you are climbing.

I used to send, when I weighed 166. Now I am 235, so the 5.11s are elusive except for slab.

If you can onsight 5.10 at Devil's Lake you should be able to crank 5.11 somewhere, but not Carderock.

If you are plateaued. Here is my advice.

If you know how to climb pretty well, already, work on your cardio. (A group of four climbers were going on a trip, the one who climbed the least beforehand did the PX-90 DVD. His friends gave him sh#t, but he performed the best.) I also climbed better personally, especially on steep ground, when I processed the O2 better.
Do a fingerboard routine, gradually working up to it so you don't get injured. (I have a friend who was in medical school and didn't have time to climb at all, but was disciplined with his Metolius hang board. We went out climbing and he could still do 5.11c)
Climb a lot at easier grades for endurance, technique and rhythm.
Boulder. I can't go too high, or I go splat, but it is fun and you learn a lot about physics and movement. Helps your onsight ability in the long run.
Diet, a work in progress for me, SteveA knows of which he speaks. On his advice I'm going to check out the Zone diet. Just got a couple of books on the subject.

Keep it fun!
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Dec 8, 2012 - 05:50pm PT

"That is the typical response by an old person who can't shred the gnar anymore"...

I could never "shred the gnar"...

Not even sure what the fuk you are refering to...

But I can still hit into the ll's or at least I could up until a month back...(TR'd... didn't want to chance snapping my OLD and brittle bones)

I assume I still can...

LOL!!!...





What's the fuk is the "GNAR" again???...

moosedrool

Trad climber
lost, far away from Poland
Dec 8, 2012 - 05:54pm PT
I don't care about numbers, but if you can climb .11, you are safer on .10 routes. Your climbing menu is bigger too.

I impoved my climbing skills by losing waight, bouldering in the gym, and out door climbing Be careful, I also broke my ankle bouldering. Make sure you always fall on a pad!
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Dec 8, 2012 - 05:54pm PT


Just trying to get this thing figured...

Is this a photo of you...

"Shreding the gnar"???...

...

I'm confused...

Wade Icey

Trad climber
www.alohashirtrescue.com
Dec 8, 2012 - 05:55pm PT
I asked some old people ...they were ..like...35...gnar is that stuff between yer toes after a long day of climbing without socks.

locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Dec 8, 2012 - 05:56pm PT


Hi Wade!!!...

photo not found
Missing photo ID#275877
...

Wade Icey

Trad climber
www.alohashirtrescue.com
Dec 8, 2012 - 05:58pm PT
photo not found
Missing photo ID#271621

Hey Old Man!
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Dec 8, 2012 - 05:59pm PT


ROFL!!!...


EDITED:

That's a "gnar"ly shot...

Srbphoto

climber
Kennewick wa
Dec 8, 2012 - 06:01pm PT
What's the fuk is the "GNAR" again???...

typical response from an old person who can't remember how to shred the gnar anymore.
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Dec 8, 2012 - 06:02pm PT



"shreding the gnar"...

What the fuk did he say???...



EDITED:

:-)

Srbphoto

climber
Kennewick wa
Dec 8, 2012 - 06:04pm PT
not me in the pic, just a young man learning gnar shredding.





Back to the OP - as far as sport/gym 5.11 is also where technique becomes a lot more important. A lot harder to muscle through.

Practice that footwork!
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Dec 8, 2012 - 06:05pm PT

"Practice that footwork!"...

And of course learn the art of "gnar shredding"...



EDITED: and when you figure out what the fuk it is, please email and tell me...

Srbphoto

climber
Kennewick wa
Dec 8, 2012 - 06:05pm PT
What the fuk did he say???...


typical response from an old person who has lost the ability to hear the gnar being shredded.
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Dec 8, 2012 - 06:06pm PT
^^^

LOL!!!...




EDITED:

Bad case of "gnarlitis"...




Srbphoto

climber
Kennewick wa
Dec 8, 2012 - 06:10pm PT
Shred the Gnar

To go big, never stop or give up; accept the reality that anything is possible, and everything can be accomplished if you set your mind to it..

Here you go ol' Timer
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Dec 8, 2012 - 06:14pm PT


Then I, "shred the gnar" daily...

How gnarly is that???...

LOL!!!...

Captain...or Skully

climber
Dec 8, 2012 - 06:16pm PT
You guys are adorable. BWHa-Ha-Ha-Ha!!!!!6!!!@

5.11 is pretty hard. In the World. In Da'Gym, 5.11 is just an easy lap or a warm up.
PSP also PP

Trad climber
Berkeley
Dec 8, 2012 - 06:29pm PT
So when I was first learning to try to shred the gnar I flailed on that thin crack next to church bowl (I think that was where it was) it was like 10C . Then this guy I think his name was Minnesota Dave totally cruises it . He was totally on his feet the whole way no pump. It's all in the feet (when your outside).
Srbphoto

climber
Kennewick wa
Dec 8, 2012 - 06:30pm PT
BTW I would never put a picture of myself on ST. I don't want to be in an interview someday having to explain why I am in a compromising position with Tom Jones, a blow up doll and a rubber chicken.
Srbphoto

climber
Kennewick wa
Dec 8, 2012 - 06:37pm PT
mike526 - I think you'll notice a pattern here

1) Footwork. practice climbs that are below your max. make every foot placement count. try and make as little sound as possible with your feet. be precise. When you watch good climbers you'll notice how much they look down. They are looking at their feet. beginners mostly look up to where they are going to grab next.

2) the importance of learning to hear the gnar being shredded.
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Dec 8, 2012 - 06:45pm PT

"I don't want to be in an interview someday having to explain why I am in a compromising position with Tom Jones, a blow up doll and a rubber chicken."...

Obviously you plan on working for conservative as#@&%es then...

Enjoy shreding THAT gnar...

;-)





EDITED:


So on the weekends you get to use all the cool lingo like...

"Shreding the gnar"...

Then Monday rolls around, the white shirt and tie come on and it's...

"I was out the other day progressing nicely and working on my positive attitude"...


LOL!!!...
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Dec 8, 2012 - 06:55pm PT
I always want to climb harder not because of the numbers, but because those hard climbs are so damn cool looking!

I want my M-Crimson Butterballs!444444444444444

I never could do a one-arm, so I guess that's why I max'ed out where I did. But heck, I did manage more than a couple of .11s, so perhaps that's not really a requirement.

If you're 200+, get to where your size doesn't become such an issue. Thin face and overhanging sport are gonna be your enemies. Wide crack is more about conditioning than weight, from what I've seen...
Srbphoto

climber
Kennewick wa
Dec 8, 2012 - 07:15pm PT
So on the weekends you get to use all the cool lingo like...

"Shreding the gnar"...

Then Monday rolls around, the white shirt and tie come on and it's...

"I was out the other day progressing nicely and working on my positive attitude"...

That's why I shoot plenty of GoPro footage. Then everyone can come by my cubicle on their breaks and see how much more awesome my weekend was than theirs
snowhazed

Trad climber
Oaksterdam, CA
Dec 8, 2012 - 07:57pm PT
I agree with a lot of the stuff said hear about footwork, losing weight etc.

Here are some others, fairly trad specific

Learn to fire in your pro fast. Doing this safely takes awareness, awareness takes focus and immersion. Takes time- but but a combination of what I see, and what part of my hand or hands is crammed in a crack is plenty of info to lob my pro in like a skill shot. If a piece is bomber- TRUST IT- and move on with your life. The nice thing about a lot of 5.11 is that the falls can be very clean. Knowing when you are safe to punch a few more moves to a rest is helpful- again goes back to awareness.

All my hardest sends are trad crack lines- I am a relative weakling on sport and boulder, and also have long big legs and a short torso and skinny arms. All climbing drives with the legs, but crack climbing does so even more than face. Technique goes a long long way with cracks.

Finally- even though I am competent at 5.11, there are still plenty of particular styles that stay hard for me even on down to 10-. Don't worry if it feels easy or hard that particular day or climb or rating- its all climbing- yeah!
snowhazed

Trad climber
Oaksterdam, CA
Dec 8, 2012 - 07:59pm PT
ps what the hell is shreding?

I've shredded the gnar bfore, but doubt i've shreded anybody
climbski2

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
Dec 8, 2012 - 09:32pm PT
Just keep climbing. For me it takes a 3 times a week habit to get to 5.11+ and I only got there for one season BITD. Footwork makes a huge difference always be working on ways and body position that gets the most out of your feet. Grip strength is for me the most difficult thing to train. Endurance was more my forte. My only 5.12 was overhanging and more juggy. Use slopers and crimpers at the edge of your ability often when at the gym. Work it hard when you get out 3 times a week or more. Do laps and downclimbs to get the most out of it. Really watch out for joint/tendonitus issues.

The great thing about gaining skill in pure dificulty is the amount of outdoor routes that open up to you. Higher skill and strength is a rewarding goal.
Pcutler

climber
Iowa
Dec 8, 2012 - 09:51pm PT
ratings at devils lake are pretty old school in my opinion.

devils lake 10b = HCR 11

ratings are completely subjective to the area.
ruppell

climber
Dec 8, 2012 - 10:04pm PT
I always want to climb harder not because of the numbers, but because those hard climbs are so damn cool looking!

Same here. It's never been about I climb 5.X to me. It's always been "Holy crap that line looks sweet" but it's 5.X. Guess I'm gonna HAVE to get stronger, smarter, faster so I can climb it. Motivation comes in all kinds though.
Salamanizer

Trad climber
The land of Fruits & Nuts!
Dec 9, 2012 - 12:06am PT
Alot of 5.11's don't have any moves much harder than mid 5.10, they just have one after the other. Think about that.

You can be able to do a one finger one arm pull up and have the world's best footwork and still not be able to crank out a 5.11. Cuz when your arms get pumped, everything else goes to sh#t.

Traversing is the masters key.
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Dec 9, 2012 - 12:12am PT
Train like a Demon, get to where you can do two or three -- preferable more -- one-arm pull-ups

Before the beginning of this year, Adam Ondra couldn't do a one arm pull up.

A single one.

Not the most important thing :)





Just look at everything objectively and how it relates to climbing. You don't have a coach, so be your own. Research sports nutrition and health a little bit, be familiar with a healthy diet. Learn stretches that will help prevent injuries down the road and when to do them, learn what muscle groups you need to climb harder, and how to build those up too.

Once you get the science down, and you know (not 'try to come up with,' but KNOW, because there is a difference) how to get the fundamental aspects of sports nutrition and conditioning, apply it to climbing. Find out what is causing you to fail and attack those things - is it your mentality? are you not comitting? does your belayer not make you feel confident on lead? Have you developed bad habits by leading in a gym? Are you able to objectively analyze risk, and not do dangerous things or form bad habits when you get scared?


Obviously, no matter how tall you are, 200lbs is a lot to hang off of tendons. They ain't that big. Your sport is rock climbing, if you want to be a big dude big walls and mountaineering are awesome too - bacon is f*#king rad so I wouldn't give you a hard time if you decided against it.

However, were talking about rock climbing. To burn fat, excersize low impact very often. Eat plenty of good food, DO NOT STARVE yourself. If you eat too little, your body will go into survival mode and you'll metabolize your muscles. Never try to lose more than a pound or two a week, it'll wreak havoc on your body.


Lastly, focus more on being able to do a specific route, than a grade. just the grade 11a means nothing, but a classic difficult route that commands attention and respect can build some character. If you walk up to a climber and spray about your 11a you did at a sport crag no one will give a sh#t, what was it called 'yoga pants jesus'? If you can tell your kids about the day you led The Vampire, you'll have had an experience that would have taught you so much more about who you are.


The numbers are arbitrary, the training is monotonous, the diet is bland and the logistics and cost on our lives and relationships usually cause them to shuffle or end.

Someday, I hope you'll learn it isn't about how hard the climb is, but who you become through its crucible.
Jebus H Bomz

climber
Reno, Nuh VAAAA duh
Dec 9, 2012 - 12:39am PT
Alot of 5.11's don't have any moves much harder than mid 5.10, they just have one after the other. Think about that.

You can be able to do a one finger one arm pull up and have the world's best footwork and still not be able to crank out a 5.11. Cuz when your arms get pumped, everything else goes to sh#t.

Traversing is the masters key.


I'm not climbing sh#t right now, I'm rehabbing. I was shredding a bit of gnar before I got injured. But when I come back to climbing, I've been thinking along the lines of what you've written here, Salamanizer. Volume like crazy to build a really strong foundation. Plus, well, I won't be cranking the hard sh#t right away anyway. Right now, just endless traversing, up and down climbing with the headphones on sounds like heaven.
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Dec 9, 2012 - 01:00am PT


"everyone can come by my cubicle on their breaks and see how much more awesome my weekend was than theirs"...

Fuking A right!!!...

;-)



khanom

Trad climber
Greeley Hill
Dec 9, 2012 - 01:01am PT
Along time ago I realized that while 5.11 wasn't out of the question for me, I simply didn't care enough to put in the work to get there. For some it requires a great deal less work, for others just some persistence. But for people like me with little natural talent, it takes serious hard work.

That kind of brute-force training is not why I got into climbing.


But once you get past the idea that grades are the only measure of ability, you realize that you can be a really good climber and never climb 5.11.


A good alpine climber has talents many who climb much "harder" can only dream about. I find the pursuit of such talents far more motivating.
bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Dec 9, 2012 - 01:05am PT
Not the most important thing

Agreed, there have been more than a few 5.11 climbers who killed on 5.11 face and could barely yard a pull-up. The late, great Diana Hunter comes to mind. I was just relating what had worked for me back in the day, but in retropect the routine I related really applies to a time when I was well past 5.11 and busy working past 5.12. In any event, loads of bone-crushing upper body strenth never hurts, especially when paired with immaculate technique.

You can be able to do a one finger one arm pull up and have the world's best footwork and still not be able to crank out a 5.11.

We're assuming this statement is purely rhetorical. ;}
Wayno

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
Dec 9, 2012 - 02:33am PT
It is simple. Put up your own routes and rate them all 5.11. Furget all that "gnar" shite.
philo

Trad climber
Is that light the end of the tunnel or a train?
Dec 9, 2012 - 02:54am PT
Worth repeating.

Best advice in my opinion???...

Learn to enjoy climbing within your personal limits and don't give a fuk about the numbers game...

In the long (and short) run it will serve you better...


One thing the OP never told us was how long they have been climbing.

mcreel

climber
Barcelona
Dec 9, 2012 - 04:41am PT
One arm pullups... that's so 1980s.

Seriously, getting to where you have the ability, fine, but actually doing them is just risking injury on something as uninteresting as a metal bar in a gym. Part of the reason the young people are climbing so hard is that training has evolved greatly over the years.

Also, 5.11 can be pretty damn hard, depending on the area and the style.
hooblie

climber
from out where the anecdotes roam
Dec 9, 2012 - 06:28am PT
the opportunity to watch, attent enough to really see, masterful technique is the binder for all the good advice above. modeling involves opening up an osmosis channel in the presence of brilliance. put some faith in that immersion, find a way to sustain the experience of it.

unwrap the word hone and apply it as regards efficiency, economy of motion,
rightsizing effort, releasing extraneous tension, perfecting your rests.

observe the effect of discipline, adopt it and adhere to form when you enter the dojo.

hard to do on the ragged edge surrounded by strugglers, so filter and replace in a deliberate way. consciously watch yourself putting it back together with breath.

i hope you get many a chance to really absorb a fine session, and shine in return


Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Dec 9, 2012 - 09:07am PT
Hey Mike,

My two cents:

Climbing by the numbers is fine in my opinion. People climb for all kinds of reasons, and mastering difficulty is one of them. Runners run for distance, for time, for terrain and for fun. The same is true in climbing.

All climbers reach a point where their natural talents fade out and progress is dependent on learning. We don't all have the same skills at the rate that we learn, but thoughtful practice can increase your skills and fun.

The art and science, for lack of a better word, of practice has to be learned: it doesn't matter what number grade you are starting at. 5.11 was the top grade when I started climbing and only a few climbers where capable of climbing at that level. The biggest jump in climbing difficulty in the 70s occurred because of practice (hangdogging, well protected leader falls, and lots of repeats).

Some thoughts on practice: Don't practice mistakes in any way. If you repeat a mistake enough times, you will always repeat it and will never progress. If any foot, hand, finger, body position slips or fails, even if you recover (a good thing) consider it a practice failure. Practicing practicing is not the same as making it. Hard climbing takes precision. Practice precision on stuff you can do. The best way to do this, inside or out, is to repeat hard moves until they feel natural, smooth, and secure. Set up a video camera to film yourself on hard moves, placed from behind with a full body picture showing body position and all the holds you are using. Once you have figured out the sequence, repeat it several times and compare the videos. Look closely and compare the exact position of your hands and feet as you move. Look closely and compare the position of your hips, knees, elbows, head and trunk. Remember exactly what each body movement felt like. Pantomine. Practice doing the sequence exactly the same way several times. Remember this is practice. Your precision will improve, and you will be able to anticipate the required hand, feet and body positions on stuff that you haven't climbed yet.

As an aside, if you have never learned the art of practice in another activity--sports, crafts, music, etc, then find a book on handwriting and learn a different way to write. You can do this in private and when you cannot practice climbing. If you handwriting is flawless now, learn a different style. What you will find is that your current automatic ways of writing take over unless you concentrate, and speed only comes with practice. This is exactly the same process that occurs when you practice climbing with the added constraint that if you go slow in climbing you get pumped. When we get scared or desperate or tired or rushed, we revert to what we already know. The mental dialog always is the same, "Yeah, yeah, I know that I am not concentrating and applying my new skills, but this is desperate. I'll think about the new skills and stuff as soon as I finish this hard part." Then you fall.

I am not sure how far to push this practicing handwriting to prepare for climbing, but the art of practice is pretty much the same for any activity. Also you have to be motivated. That said, I am pretty sure that if you cannot practice something simple like handwriting you will not be able to practice climbing, at least not in this way.

If you watch videos of top notch climbers, they move smoothly and look secure (at least until they reach their limit). If you are not graced with the ability to move smoothly, then practice moving smoothly and use a video camera to watch yourself until you can tell if you are moving smoothly or not. You should also consider taking dance lessons--modern or ballroom. There is a reason that many of us refer to great climbing as "danced."

On strength: Increasing you strength will be important, but it is a poor substitute for skills. Moving fast between rests (relative speed) is also part of strength. In my opinion, it is best to improve your precision--lots of good ideas in the posts above--then learn to move quickly, then worry about strength. If you are serious about building strength, then follow a "scientific" plan such as laid out by Eric Horst in his excellent books. Climbing strength is very specific and if not done right, you run a high risk of causing damage to yourself.

I don't know of any climber who has not succeeded in climbing harder stuff if they worked at it along these lines.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Dec 9, 2012 - 09:28am PT
Figure out what it takes for you to get dialed. It's different for all of us.

I'm 56 yrs old and have done very little climbing this year, recipe for disaster eh?

On the other hand it's been a very successful aerobic fitness year and I've stayed fairly lean. An obsession with pull-ups (which, fortunately don't damage me the way they do many of my contemporaries) has helped as well.

I've climbed a fair amount this fall with weekly gym workouts and lots of running (two half marathons thanksgiving week) and mtn biking. I don't do booze or eat mammals. I Eat Greek yogurt most mornings. 5'10" low 150's which is skinny/lean for me.

Yesterday I climbed a 5.12 ow (just tr) adroitly, that had shut me down six months ago.

Your own formula will be different but it is out there. Good luck!
Silver

Gym climber
Dec 9, 2012 - 09:49am PT
Jay that's good stuff.

Op listen to Jay you'll get there. I have been 195 for most of my life. Then my forties hit and well a 3 year old and two business and now I'm 225 and I have as much fun now as I have ever had climbing. I don't climb 5.11 anymore but I have a ton of fun just climbing.

Enjoy and do not go to Donner Summit if your looking for soft 5.11

Dave Kos

Trad climber
Temecula
Dec 9, 2012 - 10:44am PT
Along time ago I realized that while 5.11 wasn't out of the question for me, I simply didn't care enough to put in the work to get there. For some it requires a great deal less work, for others just some persistence. But for people like me with little natural talent, it takes serious hard work.


We should form a club.

For those of us that can't climb 5.11, we can still pose in the pants:

http://www.511tactical.com/All-Products/Pants.html

(BTW, the name is based on a reference to climbing - I have no idea why - I guess they want to be "one better" than Five Ten)
TwistedCrank

climber
Dingleberry Gulch, Ideeho
Dec 9, 2012 - 11:04am PT
Climbing numbers don't tell you what you can or can't climb. They tell you what you should climb.
DanaB

climber
CT
Dec 9, 2012 - 11:15am PT
Dave MacLeod's book is the best training book out there. Not fancy, no glossy photos of 5.14 climbers, just 164 pages of text, but it is all there. He covers everything and he also tackles the big questions in a way no other book does. He also avoids the guru approach, i.e., "do it this way, it is the only way, you must follow my routines step-by-step or you are wrong.

Personal coaching is also a good option.
bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Dec 9, 2012 - 12:05pm PT
One arm pullups... that's so 1980s

'70's actually, but I take your point.
Jingy

climber
Somewhere out there
Dec 9, 2012 - 12:13pm PT
Some seem easy, some seem impossible.
Some you're done before you finish, some never seem to end.

My advise: Work them until failure repeatedly. At some point you'll become used to the pain (and may even find enjoyment in it, of it… the pain that is.

Eventually you'll notice that they are not that much of a problem (this may take months, this may take years…. depends).

In the end you may wonder what all the fuss was about because you had it in you all the time. Because with hard work and great focus anything is possible
jstan

climber
Dec 9, 2012 - 12:53pm PT
Some things not appearing above.
1. Cardio pulmonary is critical. interval training.
2. Good calluses knock stuff down one grade.
3. Most important muscle is located between your ears.
4. Find out what your best weight is. 147 was mine. 143 was bad. Forty years later I am 148.
Get a good weigh scale. Eat Smart has a scale using piezoelectric sensors. 0.1# precision
It actually works.
5. Minutes spent talking ratings is time wasted.
6. A challenge you don't enjoy, is the one that will stop you.
steveA

Trad climber
bedford,massachusetts
Dec 9, 2012 - 01:09pm PT
Jstan,

Your last comment, "a challenge you don't enjoy, is the one that will stop you" is packed with emotional meaning.

I really liked that statement, since it seems that I'm dealing with that issue, more and more.
BruceAnderson

Social climber
Los Angeles currently St. Antonin, France
Dec 9, 2012 - 02:15pm PT
Some good advice so far for sure. i think regardless of grade when you're at your limit the ability to shake out is key. I mean you're going to get pumped on anything but the shortest power routes, so being able to recover and shake out, especially sneaky quick little shakes , just enough to keep believing in the next move, has always been the difference in sending and not sending on a given day.
How hard is 5.11 though? I sort of forget, but here in France 6c technical limestone slabs can still grab my attention for sure.



bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Dec 9, 2012 - 02:48pm PT
+1 on Jstan's analysis.
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Dec 9, 2012 - 03:13pm PT
Just for the record, John, jstan, is one of the first to climb 5.11, Foops, in 1967. The second ascent, by Henry Barber, was five years later.

This thread would have had an entirely different slant if it had been posted in 1966.
mike526

Trad climber
schaumburg, il
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 9, 2012 - 03:53pm PT
Hey all thanks for all the amazing advice. I know someone ask how long i have been climbing and it's been just over three years. A Lot of good advice here and things to consider and put into effect. It also helps to hear that 5.11 is hard and not something that comes easily.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Dec 9, 2012 - 04:49pm PT
Sh#t,

Climbing 5.10 opens up some of the greatest climbs in the world for you.

Just climb a lot, and all of the different types of climbing. Hell, get some crampons and go do some easy ice climbs.

With those skills and experience, you can travel the world and do some of the best climbs on Earth.

You don't have to climb 5.11 if it is a brick wall that you can't get through. If you can solid up on 5.10, all kinds of things are there to do, including some really famous routes. Long ones, though. Most of them have long stretches of easier climbing and a short crux where you can just yard on gear if you need to.

No kidding. I was kind of stuck at 5.10 for ages, but I was solid at 5.10 and could solo all kinds of stuff up to my ability.

You can go climb some of the best alpine routes on the planet if your other skills, such as speed and organization for speed are learned. That part is easy. Go light and don't dick around. Period.

I was lucky to learn from a climber who was an efficiency freak. I see parties on the Nose with so much crap that all it does is slow them down.

Just climb a lot. A LOT.

That said, these days you can teach a little girl to climb 5.11 in the gym in a month.
jogill

climber
Colorado
Dec 9, 2012 - 05:21pm PT
One arm pullups... that's so 1980s


Uh . . . make that 1950s.

;>)
bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Dec 9, 2012 - 05:58pm PT
*snort*

Ya got us on that one, Mr. Gill. Actually, it was when I got my copy of Master Of Rock in '77 that I got serious about that particular parlour trick. By '78 I could yard 'em like a champ, and my climbing took off like an X-15 on a zoom flight.
DanaB

climber
CT
Dec 9, 2012 - 06:03pm PT
6. A challenge you don't enjoy, is the one that will stop you.

True. Rich Perch once told me: "If you want to climb hard, you will."
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Dec 9, 2012 - 06:04pm PT
some 5.11s are jeezurrzerlygawdawfullhard, others not so much. Youll find you get one style or another better than others as time floes by. Some never get drawn into those hideous runout 11s, others do. To coin Locker,, sort of,, " one mans junk is another mans treasure" !;-D

to me,, 11 FINGER cracks were always easier than 11 hands. dunno why.
johntp

Trad climber
socal
Dec 9, 2012 - 06:16pm PT
That said, these days you can teach a little girl to climb 5.11 in the gym in a month.

I resemble that! Never could crack 10d. Then again I was never more than a weekender.

Some people have it, some don't. But it takes time on the rock to float it. The people that climb hard don't get there without putting in the dues.

donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Dec 9, 2012 - 07:32pm PT
5.11 is just a number, the climb you are on with that particular number can be hard for you or not hard as the case may be.
martygarrison

Trad climber
Washington DC
Dec 9, 2012 - 08:39pm PT

Naw 5.11 isn't that hard. Look at this cat, he doesn't even need protection.
jstan

climber
Dec 9, 2012 - 10:04pm PT
One arm pullups... that's so 1980s


Uh . . . make that 1950s.

Spoken by the person who awed many generations. Who made one arms look like simple gracefulness. A wonderful conjunction. The most incredible conjunction of all.
Spider Savage

Mountain climber
The shaggy fringe of Los Angeles
Dec 9, 2012 - 10:07pm PT
I haven't read the whole thread but at your size and weight 5.11 face climbing might be the way to break on through to that level. I consider 5.11 very hard plus, hard to figure out.

Get a climbing partner who does 5.11s and follow them up things. You can make it.
ydpl8s

Trad climber
Santa Monica, California
Dec 10, 2012 - 11:55am PT
If history is any example, the 5.10 you do today will be rated 5.11 in a few years. As has been said above, find what you like, be it types of climbs, location of climbs, particular friends to climb with, and go for it. You'll be pushing the envelope a lot quicker if what you are attaining is what you enjoy.
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Dec 10, 2012 - 12:17pm PT

A 5.11 move...

Credit: locker
...
climbski2

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
Dec 10, 2012 - 12:32pm PT
SO the answer is... "No, but it's not that easy either"?
couchmaster

climber
pdx
Dec 10, 2012 - 12:54pm PT
Good advice upthread. As noted, strength to weight ratio, in addition to lots of practice, is critical. Re read Jstans excellent post.



Dave Kos, the company is called "5.11 tactical" cause that's what Royal Robbins named it.

"I asked some old people ...they were ..like...35...gnar is that stuff between yer toes after a long day of climbing without socks."

I believe that "the Gnar" is actually located under yer testies and under yer foreskin, and is substantially more prevalent on a 3 week climbing trip sans any showers. At least that's what I heard. "Shredding the Gnar", is what a dude does when he can't get a woman and is in "need".

As far as anyone who could actually "shred" rock, John Long was the only known animal, and he's currently laid up.
mike526

Trad climber
schaumburg, il
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 15, 2012 - 12:01pm PT
Man worked out this week and thought i ate half decently, only to step on the scale after a week to see i gained two pounds WTF, discouraging to say the least. Oh well stick with it and see what happens next week.

thanks everyone for the advice.
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Dec 15, 2012 - 12:05pm PT
Muscle is heavier than fat.
can't say

Social climber
Pasadena CA
Dec 15, 2012 - 12:18pm PT
climb with people much better then you. It'll bring your game up
the Fet

climber
Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La
Dec 15, 2012 - 12:18pm PT
I maybe repeating stuff already posted.

Finger strength and technique are more important that your weight IMO. Yes the best climbers are usually wiry guys, but there's been thicker guys, not fat but not thin, who climb pretty well. If you are not built to be thin it is very tough to try to stay thin.

For training climb at your limit until failure. i.e. keep trying 11s and keep falling off them, don't just run laps on 5.9, just be careful of injuries (exercise the forearm extensors to keep them in balance with the flexors which get worked when climbing). Don't go for endurance, go for strength in your training.

Bouldering is an excellent way to do this type of training.

The hardest climbs I've done have been projects. Something I've tried over and over until I work out the moves and gain the needed strength from doing the moves over and over on different days until I get it.

Try harder climbs that are a style that you are best at. I'm best at slightly overhanging cracks or slightly overhanging blocky face climbs.
The user formerly known as stzzo

climber
Sneaking up behind you
Dec 15, 2012 - 12:25pm PT
Ditto what Hudon said.

It's not uncommon to maintain or gain weight over a period when you work out, even while losing fat.

The only real measure is BMI. There's fat on the inside and under all your skin, too, so it's possible to still be trimming down without seeing results in your waist.

Also, two pounds isn't much. Always weigh with empty stomach and nude. I weighed before and after a workout the other day and had "gained" .8 pounds, probably from the water I drank during.

Perseverance!
Russ Walling

Social climber
from Poofters Froth, Wyoming
Dec 15, 2012 - 12:58pm PT
Hudon: Muscle is heavier than fat.

That explains my 207.
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Dec 15, 2012 - 01:11pm PT
So someone explain to me.... 30 years ago we all worked like hell and only a few ever got to 5.11... The only place I could hit 5.11 was on glacier point apron.

Why is it that nowadays every Joe Blow is climbing 5.11 right out their diapers?

P.S.
30 years ago I watched Barry Bates do multiple 1-finger pullups
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