Being stuck at the same grade for what seems like forever is a frustrating and de-motivating experience, but I’m going to get you past it.
Here are my 3 tips to get you to the next grade and past the plateau.
Mix up your style.
No, I don’t mean your clothes. Though seriously that’s a lot of holes in that shirt. What I mean is try a different type of climbing. Love your slabs? Go get burly on overhangs. Can’t imagine not monkeying around on roofs? Tough. Go tip toe up some slick slab and cry every move. Don’t worry, the feeling of slipping and grating your face means you’re doing it right.
Climbing a different style forces you to practice techniques you rarely use, along with developing different strength. If you never touch overhangs, I’m sorry to say but you’ve probably got some pretty wimpy biceps. But, vice versa, if you’re never on a slab, well your footwork is going to get a real workout. Calf pump is a real thing. Get excited.
Mixing up your style is a great way to train and get that little bit of extra technique, strength or mental game you need to up your grade.
Climb with people better than you.
You know those people in the gym who just seem to float effortlessly up the wall? Yeah, I hate them too. But put on your happy face and go make friends, because climbing with these talented people makes you a way better climber.
Whether it be from little tips and tricks they give you, experience on the routes you’re trying, or just things you pick up from always watching them climbing with people stronger is a brilliant way to gain experience and improve your own climbing. I personally went from climbing 22 to 25 in a season just by climbing consistently with a 29/30 climber.
Do a weakness assessment.
Its possible you’ve got a serious weakness in an area that is limiting your climbing. Maybe you can only climb 2 moves before pumping out. Maybe anything less than bucket is too hard to hold. Imbalance between right and left. Mental game not on point. Core like a marshmallow. You wear socks with climbing shoes. Could be anything.
A weakness assessment will highlight exactly what your problem area is so you can work on it. It may surprise you as well. The most important thing is to be brutally honest with yourself. Really think about your last few climbing days and don’t sugar-coat anything, otherwise you’re only disadvantaging yourself from getting the information you need.
I like the climbing assessment found here https://www.edenrockclimbing.com/blog/posts/climbing-performance-self-assessment-test/ as it doesn’t require any exercises and you can do it anywhere. It covers the three key areas (mental, strength, technique) and will give you a good idea of which are lacking.