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Unread 01-03-2013, 08:31 AM   #1
ImNotThatDrunk
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Question Tips for the New Climber?

Alright, so in the summer I started a new job slinging coffee. So far I don't totally hate it, and the plus of it was that because it was closer to my house than my old job - I can walk no problem!

So I've been walking 40min a day almost every day since May last year. Even though I'm still bigger - I've managed to lose quite a bit of weight and I've been looking to find ways to lose even more.

Traditional workouts bore me unless I have someone there pushing me, so I tend to avoid the gym.

However I recently met a friend who is into rock climbing and he has offered to take me to the local rock climbing center in our city. I'm super excited! However. I've only been rock climbing once ...and it was with my high school gym class about 7 years ago....and I might have cried....So I don't really know what I'm doing.

Obviously for basic stuff such as roping he'll be able to teach me - but does anyone else have other tips? Injuries I should try to avoid? Stretches I should be doing before hand?

I'm really looking forward to burning off more fat and developing some muscle but I'm terrified of hurting myself. So! Any tips I can get would really help me out!
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Unread 01-10-2013, 02:42 AM   #2
crimsonrazac
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A little late I guess, just got back from a five day climbing trip in Joshua Tree, but I guess I'll post anyways. I'll just give a few quick tips you should try focusing on as a beginner.

1) Try to keep your arms straight while climbing, this uses your bone structure to support your body weight rather than arm muscles. (avoid using "T Rex arms")

2) Really focus on using your feet, most of your weight on almost all climbs will be on your feet. As your footwork gets better you'll quickly notice an improvement in your climbing. For a beginner as a general rule for most routes you'll want to keep opposite hand and foot on the wall. (Keep left hand and right foot on holds while moving your right hand.) Learn to flag your feet when your don't have holds to change your center of gravity.

3) Try resting at least five minutes between climbs if your want to get a decent session in. If you don't your forearms will become "pumped" and your climbing ability will rapidly decline until a long rest period has been taking.

4) A lot of gyms have slacklines,which are fun to use while resting. They also help to improve balance and core strength which is nice.

I'm sure I missed a lot of details, but these are some of the basics that are nice to know for beginners.

Oh yeah, if its outdoors, and involves ropes, wear a helmet!
My first time climbing with ropes outdoors a couple weeks ago. (hit in the head by a falling rock)
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Unread 01-10-2013, 07:11 PM   #3
Emrys
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On days when you don't have a partner to belay for you, you can just boulder on walls (some places there is a half wall just for bouldering). Bouldering is basically like crawling horizontally along the lower grips, your feet don't go up higher than your actual height, at least that's the case in the gym.

One guy I knew recommended practicing pull-ups and hanging exercises to build up finger/hand strength. Some rock climbing facilities might have a regular wall with three or four pairs of hand holds with different shapes and heights for this purpose - ranging from angled rocks with good ledges to square rocks to smooth circle rocks that you have to palm to keep your grip.
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Unread 01-10-2013, 07:24 PM   #4
Emrys
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Oh, if you want to continue climbing regularly the tips above can help.

But for your first time rock climbing, take it slow and steady, but also keep in mind that the longer you hang around the more tired you can get. If you're tired half way up the wall or if you can't get to the next grip just communicate to your belay partner that you want to come down.

Your friend will give you tips and can point out footholds and technique while you are climbing. There's really not much way to prepare for your first time climbing other than keeping fingernails and toenails super short and listening to what your spotter/belay and the climbing guides have to say.
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Unread 01-11-2013, 08:07 PM   #5
crimsonrazac
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Bouldering is always fun, my entire gym is devoted to bouldering with no roped climbing. The only downside for me is that we have shorter walls, approximately 15-18 feet tall.
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Unread 01-12-2013, 10:04 AM   #6
ImNotThatDrunk
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These are great tips, thanks so much guys! We haven't picked a date yet, but I have been focusing on core excercises. Doing squats, lifting weights, just little things to help me lift my body weight so I don't fail totally.

I promise to be super careful though, and not to push myself. Again I'm super excited! And I'll definitely let everyone know how it went!
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