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Neely Quinn interviews pro rock climbers, climbing trainers, and other insightful members of the climbing community about how we can get a little better at rock climbing. Subjects include how to train for certain aspects of the sport, how to rehab injuries, the best diet for climbing, and personal stories about climbing.

Oct 21, 2021

How to Break Into 5.13 with Alex Stiger

In the episode, Coach Alex and I tackled the topic of breaking into 5.13 and what you need to do physically and mentally to do it.

We both share our experiences of our first 5.13’s, which were quite different actually, and our processes of projecting things that are hard for us. We talk about how to turn the try-hard switch on and off on hard routes, and how to stay focused and calm enough to not overgrip and get super pumped.

We also talk about resting tactics, and how important it is to be able to rest on hard routes, whether it’s on the route, between burns, or the days leading up to getting on your project. Alex even shares some resting drills to use to practice at the gym.

We discuss how your training needs to change from generalized strength and technique to more route-specific technique and strength building. And how to do that in the gym.

I talk a little bit about proper nutrition on projecting days (and the days leading up to them) and Alex shares her story of how I helped her tweak her diet to make her projecting days more productive.

We also discuss advanced techniques like heel hooks and knee bars, as well as some mental tricks for avoiding overwhelm on big projects.

I loved this conversation with Alex, and whether you’re breaking into 5.12+, 13- or 5.13, the tips in here should help you.



Episode Details

  • Our first 5.13a’s and how hard they felt for us, mentally and physically
  • Our processes for projecting hard things
  • How to turn the try-hard switch on and off on routes
  • Resting tactics and drills
  • Why skipping clips is not always the answer to being pumped
  • Transitioning from general training to specific technique building
  • Nutrition for big projects
  • Avoiding overwhelm on a daunting project
  • How many tries is too many tries
  • Why it’s ok to not get to the top on your first tries

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