How Long?

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How Long?

Post by the lurkist » Thu Jan 03, 2008 5:28 am

So, I was lying awake last night scratching myself, and I was thinking about what it really takes to climb a grade- 5.10, 5.11, 5.12, 5.13 etc...
I mean, it is sort of enigmatic what degree of physical fitness is required to climb "hard" (whatever that means- obviously relative to each of us).
We individually might hold differing opinions on what is the crucial aspect of fitness to climb harder. Someone might think forearm power and the ability to squeeze small holds harder is the answer, someone else might think being really flexible is key, still others might think aerobic conditioning is key...

So, my questiion is, if you take a rank amateur who has never climbed, but is otherwise of reasonable fitness and is decent puddy for molding, (I youngish person who is not obese but might not be able to do more than 1-2 pull ups), if they apply themselves, how long will it take them to ascend to the grades I mentioned above?
I figure this is a really good place to ask, as there is a disparate level of climbers, but probably all are in the process of their own ascension...
What do you think?
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Post by ynot » Thu Jan 03, 2008 5:30 am

Just watch Jo. See how long it takes her. She's got the climbing bug.
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Post by anticlmber » Thu Jan 03, 2008 5:40 am

my buddy did his first 12 within a year.
most traddies only do 9+ after 30 years.
it took me two years to get over(manage) my fear of hieghts and starting progressing, then i found booze and said fudge the rest.

8.5 years. final answear.
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Post by Andrew » Thu Jan 03, 2008 5:52 am

I know two people who have done V8 within a year, and about three people who have climbed 5.12 within a year. I know a kid who will do v9 and 5.13 this year which will be less than two years he is 18.

This may sound odd, but I think most of it depends on whats happening in your life.

Girlfriend/boyfriend adds a year.
Living somewhere with no rock and no gym for long periods of time adds a lot of time.
Kids adds a year, unless you use my program.
Married adds two years sometimes more.
Weight adds a year
Demanding job adds a year or two.

Having no life, a good gym, and a place to climb outside is the perfect recipe.
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Post by ReachHigh » Thu Jan 03, 2008 5:59 am

I think alot is about staying uninjured. every time I start progressing I break or sprain something.
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Post by Josephine » Thu Jan 03, 2008 6:03 am

ynot, you're silly. :D

my background was long-distance rollerblading. I was "in shape," but had no upper body at all. It took me 14 months of climbing before i could do ONE pull up. Even now, i don't think i could do more than 2.

took me just under 1 year to lead some under-rated 10a's. i might get an easy 10c this weekend and that will be at about 1.5 years.

but i think beginning men excell through the 10's and 11's much faster than beginning women just bec they tend to have more upper-body strength.

i think when it comes to 12's and 13's there's technique involved - especially in 13's - and, while physically strong climbers can muscle their way up some 12's - there comes a point where the physical strength alone isn't going to work.
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Post by Meadows » Thu Jan 03, 2008 6:08 am

I don't think it's strength that holds people back, it's their heads. The person you describe (someone not of mutant strength), as long has she/he is consistent with the training, could see 12s within a couple of years or less.

But it seems the amount of time to see a 5.10, 5.11, 5.12 keeps dropping from one generation to the next.

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Post by der uber » Thu Jan 03, 2008 6:34 am

Yep Meadows. The mental side is as important a anything. Have to be able to put all the horsepower to the pavement.

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Post by Shamis » Thu Jan 03, 2008 6:44 am

I once knew a guy who started doing v4's in about 7 months. by 1 year, he had some kind of nasty tendon pain in his hands. I think that's what happens when 30 year old try to push the numbers too fast - injury.

I'm sure some people can get to 13 in a year, but if you careful with your fingers, they may not be ready yet.

As for me, It took me about 3 years of sporadic top-roping before I could even do 5.10. If you're not a naturally skinny person, you can force yourself to lose weight, but its tough to keep the pounds off, so I'd say weight is the biggest factor.

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Post by ashtray » Thu Jan 03, 2008 7:06 am

Last edited by ashtray on Tue Jan 08, 2008 8:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Lander » Thu Jan 03, 2008 8:18 am

Some random individual factors;

time available for climbing
age (as related to recovery time and injury prone-ness)
willingness to train (training can make you stonger than just climbing all the time but its not as much fun)

Maybe one of you scientific types could create an equation. Mutants like Katie should be excluded from consideration. It's like putting a genious in a class of average students. It throws the curve way off.
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Re: How Long?

Post by charlie » Thu Jan 03, 2008 8:32 am

Based upon my individual research, there is a 5 yr minimum to "maybe" not be considered Gumby. Margin of error changes based upon partners, time outside, places you travel, tolerance for alcohol. Doesn't matter how hard you climb.

Of course, some people are terminally gumby and it just can't be helped.

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Post by Spragwa » Thu Jan 03, 2008 8:46 am

I think the greatest factor is the amount of time dedicated to climbing. I find it difficult to "train" for climbing without actually climbing. The people I see who end up climbing 12s and 13s within a year or two have several months of their lives during which they can climb four days a week.
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Post by JR » Thu Jan 03, 2008 10:54 am

the lurkist wrote:
How long and what does it really take for a normal person to ascend to the grades 5.10, 5.11, 5.12, 5.13 5.14?
Grade | How long? | What it takes?

5.10 | Less than 1 year | Experience. Tinkering at the gym. Climbing outside. Getting guided instruction. Reading "how to climb" type books. Just about any amount of motivation once a week will get you there.

5.11 | Over 1 year | Refinement. Having a climbing partner. Knowing the ropes. You have an idea what you are good and bad at. Going to different areas. Climbing 1-2 times a week.

5.12 | Over 2 years | Obsessed. Excluding other activities. Having a good climbing partner. Perfected most techniques. Developed route tactics. Climbing at least 3 times a week. Training for climbing. Number hunting. Bouldering

5.13 | Over 5 years | Maniacal. Intense training. Weekly bouldering. Climbing 4 days a week. Weight being optimum. Projecting.

5.14 | Never | Gifted. X-Factors. These are not normal persons.

Keep in mind the average Joe will not automatically make it to the next grade through time. It sounds silly but Joe or Jane must decide to move up through the grades. I think most Joe's stop at 5.10 if they are not interested in grades.

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Post by Canuck » Thu Jan 03, 2008 11:22 am

Andrew wrote:Girlfriend/boyfriend adds a year.
Unless the girlfriend/boyfriend is an experienced (but patient) climber introducing the gumby to climbing.

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