How to Climb Higher Grades

11/29/2015

how-to-climb-three-grades-higher-headerHow to Climb Higher Grades

 

How a Middle-Aged, ‘Distinctly Average’ (“Bog Standard!”) Climber from Sheffield Accidentally Discovered a Formula for Climbing Success, where You Can Quickly Learn How to Climb Three Grades Harder.

He Improved by Six Grades – from F6c (5.11b) to F7c (5.12d) and Others Have Done Much Better. One Climber Went from F4 (5.7) to F7a/7a+ (5.11d/12a) – About 10 Grades!!!

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The truth is that the grading system doesn’t really matter. What matters are the principles and how you use them – because they apply across all countries and all grading systems.

But is climbing just about grades? No, of course not! Climbing is about joy, the joy of movement. But if a climber tells you they’re not bothered about grades, well, are they really being honest?

Introducing… How to Climb Three Grades Higher!!!

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It’s basic human nature to want to do better. We’ve gone from living in caves to exploring outer space. We now know that the only limits to human progress are self-imposed ones.

Self-imposed limits in climbing? You may have heard a few. You may even have used them yourself…

So which one are You ?

“I’m too old. (I’m 25, 37, 49, 55, etc, etc…)”
“I haven’t got enough power/reach/suppleness…”
“I can climb 6a but I just can’t climb 6b.”
“I’m the wrong shape.” (usually means too heavy!)
“I can’t climb overhangs/cracks/offwiths/slabs.”
“I haven’t got time to train properly.”
“I’ve got weak fingers/arms/elbows/back.”
“My head’s not in shape.”
“I can climb 6c but I can’t climb 7a”
“I just can’t seem to get any better!”

So why can’t You get any better?

All the reasons boil down to just two:

1. You haven’t tried.
2. You haven’t tried the right way.

When you try to get better the wrong way:

• You get injured (and give up!)
• You fail to make improvements (and give up!)
• You make slight improvements which don’t last (and give up!)
• You sometimes even get worse (and give up!)

While such trying may be commendable (at least you’re making an effort), it’s misplaced effort. It’s just setting yourself up for eventual failure. Some people get so frustrated with lack of progress that they give up climbing altogether – which is absolutely tragic!

What standard do most climbers operate at?

In the USA and the UK , the ‘average’ grade seems to be about 5.9 or HVS/E1. Certainly, in climbing walls and gyms, the most popular grades seem to be F5 to F6b (sport, i.e. ‘French’ grades) That’s about 5.9 to 5.10d.

What standard could most climbers operate at?

For people operating in this mid-range, gains of at least three full grades are perfectly reasonable. For instance, somebody operating at 6b(5.10d) could very probably raise their standard to 6c+ (5.11c).

So why isn’t everybody doing it?

For a start, they don’t know how! Most climbers have careers, family commitments, domestic challenges. Too much to do and too little time in which to do it. A hurried session at the gym here. A half day at the crag there. A half-hearted approach to (the wrong?) training.

Information on training? There’s mountains of it! But again, most climbers just don’t have time to plough through all those mountains for the right approach to help them raise their game. All too often, attempts at improvement end up in failure. But it doesn’t have to be like this, it really doesn’t.

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