Reaching the top on a rock climbing trip is one of the most rewarding experiences of life. Even when we’ve reached the top and come down, we sometimes see other people climbing the same route much more easily than us. We feel worse about ourselves when we look at just how easy the grade was, especially when we realize we had a good grade. Although you might not be as good as you think, don’t worry. There are many factors that determine how good you are at climbing. You could become a good climber if you’re not already one.
How long will it take you to become an excellent climber? Getting “good” at climbing usually takes four years of indoor climbing, but obviously this depends on a number of factors, and it also depends on your definition of “good”. A grade of V5 in bouldering (V scale) or 5.11 in rock climbing (YDS scale) is considered better than average. In order to improve, you need to consider how often you train, your age, natural talent, body type, motivation, recovery rate, and training regime.
What does it mean to be a good climber?
You need to know the climbing grades
It is possible to check how good a rock climber is objectively. To perform rock climbing circuits, all you need to do is verify their difficulty grade.
A rock climbing grade is determined by how difficult the task ahead is – if you can reach the top, you are above that grade.
There are four tiers of grades in rock climbing, ranging from 5.0 to 5.15 using the Yosemite Decimal System:
- It is considered easy to go from 5.0 to 5.7 – most people start here
- Climbers who understand how rock climbing works will be at this level from 5.8 to 5.10
- Hard is considered 5.11 to 5.12 – this is where most rock climbers consider themselves good
- There are few people who will get to 5.13 or 5.15 – this is considered elite
This number is subject to change depending on where you live and indoor rock climbing and outdoor rock climbing are not the same thing. People used to climbing 5.10 indoor routes may have difficulty scaling 5.10 outdoor routes.
Bouldering grades range from V0-V17 on the V scale (aka Hueco scale).
- V0-V2 is classified as easy.
- V3-V4 is classified as moderate to intermediate.
- V5-V6 is classified as better than average.
- V7-V8 is classified as hard.
- V9+ is classified as elite.
Grades should not define you
Rock climbing is not discouraged by numbers. Even though you may encounter a little difficulty from 5.8 routes, that does not mean you are not good! Practicing is the key to perfection – and you are more likely to practice when you’re enjoying yourself.
It doesn’t matter if you climb 5.0 or 5.10 routes regularly. It’s inevitable that you’ll become good if you’re enjoying yourself and paying attention.
When will you be a good climber?
There is no one-size-fits-all solution
When trying to answer this question, you have to take into account a lot of factors. There are many factors that will determine how long it takes for you to become good at rock climbing, including your height, weight, muscular mass, and previous experience. However, even if you consider all of them, they might not be determining factors.
Instead of worrying so much about being good, strive to improve!
Athletes’ ability to compete will determine your status
You should do better than most people who have lived a sedentary lifestyle if you used to play sports in the past. Especially if it was something that relied heavily on the strength of the forearms and upper back. As an example, rowers and grapplers are able to master rock climbing quickly.
You’re a good climber as long as you’re making progress
The truth is, rock climbing is a world all its own, no matter what you do or have done in the past. You simply have to show up and climb as well as you can. It is impossible to predict how long it will take you, but there are ways to speed up your progress. Read on for more details!
What can a beginner do to improve their climbing faster?
Invest in a coach
It is impossible to improve without the help of a good coach. Coaches are people who turn beginner climbers into good rock climbers for a living. It is their job to warn you of mistakes before they happen! A rock climbing coach can also help you get to know people in your local scene.
Climb with a more experienced climber
You can use the next best thing if you can’t afford a coach. You can climb with experienced climbers and get their help if you need it. The majority of rock climbers will help someone who shares their passion for the sport, even if they are not obligated to do so.
Don’t take it too far, they aren’t coaches! Ask for advice every now and then, but don’t overdo it!
There’s no need to explain this one. To become good at something, you have to do it a lot. Do it right, though! You should listen to your body if you decide to go down this path: if you are experiencing pain or discomfort, stop. You might be out for longer than you had hoped when you get injured. Simply go for more climbing, but do it smartly!
We can sometimes progress less by doing more. That’s the way things are. The speed of progress is not constant. You might have to take a break to get your breakthrough. Your muscles might need a break so that they can recover and get ready for your next session. Sometimes doing less is better than doing more.
Don’t let this discourage you from training as much as you should!
You shouldn’t climb at all
It could be extremely helpful to have some time off if you are injured or sore. A week off might solve a lot of your rock climbing problems and advance you in your pursuit of improving.
Go to the gym
One of the easiest ways to improve rapidly is to strengthen your muscles. Despite the technical nature of rock climbing, strength and muscle resistance are necessary no matter who you are.
Unless you have strong forearms, upper backs, and legs, you won’t succeed. You might want to train your body to improve your rock climbing skills.
Train with a goal in mind
You might not be heading in the right direction if you wonder why you’re not progressing. Once you’ve passed the beginner stage in your climbing journey, you need to start training with a specific purpose in mind.
Spend an entire week improving your footwork. Improve your grip technique the following week. Discover what holds you back and fix it. You can only progress if you do.
Focus on the long-term and stay positive
You must have the right mindset in order to achieve success. Keeping a bad mood over not being good enough will prevent you from making progress. Keep in mind that you will be fine and plan for the future.
Don’t waste time wondering why you aren’t better than the day before, instead consider how much better you will be in a year.
Indoor vs. outdoor climbing: Being good both ways
What’s the difference between the two?
Climbing indoors and outdoors has many differences. Here are a few of them:
- Gear: You will need good shoes and athletic wear to climb indoors. In order to do it right, you will need more things if you go outside. Check out my recommended gear here.
- Performing indoor climbing takes place inside the secure environment of a gym. However, doing outdoor climbing can be dangerous.
- Falls are safer and more controlled indoors than they are outdoors. Outdoors is a different beast, even if it is relatively safe.
- Footwork: Indoors you know where to put your feet. Places where you must step will be marked and waiting for you. Outside, not so much. Be extra careful outside.
To improve outdoors, climb indoors – and vice versa
Rock climbing indoors and outdoors offer distinct advantages, but this does not mean they cannot coexist harmoniously. It follows that if you’re making progress in either one, you’re also making progress in the other. You might even find a breakthrough in both!
Ideally, you should train both of them in either an indoor or outdoor environment. Either way, they’re both great options, and you’re bound to like them both.
Although they are two different things, they share one element
A rock climber, whether indoors or outdoors, needs both consistency and smart training! You will, eventually, be so great that beginners will seek your advice even if you aren’t good now.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
How often should a beginner climber climb?
Beginners should climb a maximum of three times a week – spread the days out over seven days so you aren’t climbing one after another. This is to give beginners the chance to heal their muscles in between new types of training or new workouts that their bodies are not used to.
How long does it take to build strength for rock climbing?
Climbing does not increase muscle mass simply because the results are so individualized and variable. New climbers will inevitably experience muscle gain within the first three months of climbing, if they climb 2-3 times a week for at least an hour each time.
How do beginners improve climbing?
To get better in climbing , check out this video.
Is rock climbing hard for beginners?
As long as you have some experience climbing ladders, you can definitely go rock climbing. Different climbing routes and boulder problems come in varying difficulty levels from easy to extremely difficult. To improve at rock climbing, you need a combination of skill, strength, and practice.
Will rock climbing give me abs?
It is a given that rock climbing requires upper body strength for pulling oneself up, while the legs and core develop muscles as the body tries to balance. Abs, shoulders, deltoids, traps, calves, biceps – rock climbing even strengthens your forearms thanks to the climber’s grip.