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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.

Jan 4, 2023

In this episode, I talk with Coach Alex Stiger about the most common mistakes amde by climbers who are trying to break into 5.12 climbing. Sending 5.12 is the most common goal among her clients, so she has quite a bit of experience with the minutiae of what it takes to do that.

She will share her personal experience of her first 5.12’s and what she learned from her trials and tribulations. She’ll then go into the mindset shifts that are required to jump into the coveted 5.12 territory, and how she helps people do that.

While you might predict that strength training is one of the main tools Alex uses with her clients in this situation, it is not, as she says it is very rare to find a person who is climbing 5.11 who can not climb 5.12 with the strength they already have.

So while we spend a few minutes talking about strength training, you’ll find compelling evidence in this episode that that may not be your issue. Here are some of the other topics we discuss:

  • Why technique and staying calm are so important
  • Honing the skill of resting
  • How to decrease intimidation of the grade
  • How to learn from your falling experiences
  • How to have more of a competition mindset
  • What to climb on in the gym if you’re trying to send 5.12
  • A better alternative to having a perfect pyramid before entering into 5.12 territory
  • Why repeating climbs that are sort of hard for you is an important strategy

We talk about a lot in this episode, and I highly recommend it if you’re at the 5.10 or 5.11 level, or if you’re just not consistently climbing 5.12’s and you’d like to. Even if you are climbing 5.12’s consistently, I think a lot of her tactics will help you!

5.12 Breakthrough Series

Coach Alex Stiger is hosting a 4-part series all about how to break into 5.12 climbing. She will do 4 90-minute zoom calls starting January 17th all about what holds people back from sending 5.12 consistently and exactly what you can do to break your 5.11 plateau.

The cost is $147 (2-payment option available), and you’ll get all of the recordings of the zoom calls plus a bonus recorded coaching session with one of the participants.


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