Climb Training Goal Setting

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Typical Routes Goal Pyramid

In life without goals we are trapped in the same job, the same street, with the same car and nothing can change because we have nowhere to head. Climbing is no different and without goals we cannot advance and will be stuck at the same grade forever. So just as in life if we want to advance our climbing we need goals!

If you read my previous article on reflective practice you will know that we need to find out where we are, what needs improving and write a plan to do so.┬áBut goals don’t all come equal.

Firstly we have our overall grade goal and here we must be sensible with our aims. Where our ultimate goal may be to red-point or on-sight a F8a sport route, there would be little point of us using this as a target for our winter training if we are on-sighting F6a when we start. If we set our target too high we will only suffer disappointment with never sending the routes and become disillusioned. So we must be realistic with each target and work towards our ultimate goal, an improvement of two half letter grades should be within most climbers ability over the winter period. A F6a climber would look at improving to F6b, that is F6a, F6a+, then F6b, which is realistic and should be gained fairly easily. Of course if we hit this target by Christmas we can then run another reflective practice session and set a new improved target.

As with our climbing goals the same applies for our training goals and we must build up gradually. It is no good us deciding to train one arm pull ups when we can’t even manage a good number of two arm pull ups or to smash out campus dyno’s when we can’t even campus ladder. So we must be realistic, check out our improvements list from our reflective practice and set targets that are reachable. Such as we can do three two arm pull ups, so lets aim for five in a set and then work up to three sets of five and won’t that feel good?

One further point that we need to consider when setting our training targets and goals is that of injury, so taking it easy and setting realistic targets will avoid the risk of injury. If you feel a twinge in a finger, an elbow, etc, stop immediately and rest up and then return with a downgrade of intensity in the training and work back up. We have all seen the climber down at the gym with fingers continually wrapped in tape or support bandages on every joint – Don’t go there, train hard, climb hard, but do it sensibly and you will be the one who has fun climbing every week and be the one who improves!

 

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