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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.

Mar 2, 2022

How to Assess and Improve Your Skill Set in Climbing

In the episode, I talk with Coach Alex Stiger about how she assesses her clients’ and her own skill level and then how she helps her clients (and herself) improve upon it with drills and objective learning.

This is a big one, and I walked away from this conversation sort of blown away by how much I’ve been missing in my climbing training all these years. There’s SO MUCH more I could’ve been doing this whole time to make improvements where hangboarding or other strength training just can’t help.

We go over in depth how Alex first analyzes her clients’ technique, skills, overall usage of their bodies, and tactics. She describes how she quantifies everything to make it less nebulous and more objective, and then creates drills to see objective improvements going forward.

We then talk about 7 experiences Alex has had while climbing outside that have led her to change her tactics, improve her skills, and be able to practice all of it further in the gym and outdoors.

I really hope you listen to this because whether you’re a 5.8 or a 5.14 climber, you will likely learn something and maybe even be inspired like I am to start incorporating this stuff into your own routines.


Episode Details

  • How training actually held her back from climbing well in the beginning
  • Her repeating climbs until they feel “good” has helped her
  • How Alex assesses skills and technique in clients
  • Key things to focus on with your feet, hips, arms, and hands
  • Why practicing basics is so important
  • How much of your climbing should be spent trying hard vs. gaining mastery
  • How climbing in Font drastically improved her footwork and overall climbing ability
  • How resting less can help you send hard routes
  • How she gets herself to climb faster while still having good technique
  • How being injured has actually expanded her skill set
  • How to cultivate using momentum instead of raw strength/power

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