A new year can be a great time to reflect on past success or failures and the perfect opportunity to change your future approach. To help guide your resolutions for 2018 we've compiled some key quotes on training and projecting from our interview series.
"I love training and trying hard and when I'm on it, I never lose motivation. I have a little mantra which I've written on my training board in the cellar" "Always do something". Identify a weakness in a totally objective way and try to improve it. I don't train enough to warrant too much rest, so I do something most nights in the week. Sometimes you need someone else to notice things to work on and then give it a go. The best thing is to climb with other people who are stronger than you and then the competition will encourage improvement."
"Alongside strength training it is really important to have a focus on certain techniques.... Try these things yourself; next time you have a strength or fitness training phase attach a couple of techniques that you struggle with to work on alongside, do a little every session and soon your weaknesses will become strengths. Or at least you’ll not be quite so bad."
"Power is useless without understanding how to apply it. I highly recommend experimenting with different ways of climbing problems in the gym while limiting the amount of pulling. Focus on climbing around holds and not through them whenever possible."
"I'm not that strict with structure. I generally have a few different sessions that I try to fit in per week, and I try to spread them out sensibly (ish). These sessions vary throughout the year depending on what exactly I'm training for, but they mostly include fingerboarding and climbing on my board. When you're fitting your training around everything else in life—job, friends, family, other hobbies etc. I think it's a lot easier to train hard if you're willing to freestyle your training to some extent, and not stick to a concrete structure."
"The most important factors when working on projects outside are patience and time. The most important point is to get used to the holds and moves, whether it's a long or short line. I focus on practicing repeatedly and searching for the effective sequences. Above all, willpower is the most important. It's a tough spirit, like "I'll do it at any cost!".
"I guess you have to start by checking it out so you know what doing it would entail. Then it depends, for me it's a route, so I can break it down into parts; the difficulty of the crux boulder problem and then the difficulty of the other sections. Then you ask the question, what kind of difficulty? Endurance? Individual moves? Power, strength or stamina? How do my current strengths and weaknesses compare with what is required? That will inform how you might train for it. It really helps me to break it down as the parts seem much more doable than the whole, but at the end of the day, the whole is just a case of stitching together the parts"
"So many people, and I'm as guilty as the next person at times, are putting in the time to train hard and they think this entitles them to success but it really doesn’t. All the hard physical and technical work gets you to a place where things are possible but definitely not a certainty. It’s the head and our approach to the task that brings it altogether."
"For me it's all about maintaining perspective. The pursuit of our individual climbing goals is easy to get lost in, but it's important for me to always remember that even though it's "my" project, it's still just a piece of rock. Our ascents are not going to affect the world or anyone beyond our small bubble in any significant way. It can be hard to tread the line of detaching yourself enough to keep emotions from preventing a send and being invested enough to stay connected with your inner motivation. Emotional awareness is one of the most important attributes of climbing. Coming to terms with the construct of your motivation as well as the basis of your fears will go a long way towards achieving a balanced mental state while projecting"
"I just try as much as possible to have as little expectations as possible. I always say to myself, 'you've gotta just keep turning up and try and be present'. It will happen eventually."
"I think it's good to have goals, but if you get too fixated on them they can spoil the fun a bit. On the rocks I tend to have pretty relaxed goals which would be nice to achieve, but at the same time I don't mind too much if I fail. A lot of rock climbing (weather and conditions) is out of your control anyway! I think the same goes for training. It's hard to predict how strong you'll be from session to session so it can be useful to play it by ear a bit more than being very regimented. But I do have specific long term goals which I always try to work towards."
"I had the mindset that I was stronger than the route. What worked for me was hold specific training to reduce any crux moves down to a manageable level. Once the moves felt easy compared to what I was doing in training then that gave me a big psychological boost. I also wrote everything down and tried to get an improvement each session on the climb, whether a bigger link or achieving the same link more times in a session."
"Approach the rock with no expectations, enjoy what you're doing, don't be afraid to fail—and explore! Having a sense of adventure has really enriched my own personal experience with bouldering... For me, the key to having a healthy relationship with climbing and training is to find balance. And that means having a well defined sense of priorities, purpose and commitment. If that means climbing takes a backseat at any given point, then so be it. I think with that kind of a mindset, climbing can be the positive and sustainable force it always has the potential to be in ones life."