There are two types of climbers
The first type is the people who just love what they do. They love socialising at the gym and drinking wine in Font. They enjoy themselves. And over the years of enjoyment they casually get really good at climbing. Or, they don’t. It doesn’t really matter; they will have fun anyway.
The second type of climbers are the poor lot who might lack in social graces, but are well acquainted with the campus board. They might be reluctant to admit it, but they are the grade chasers. What they love is the progress. Sweat, blood and blisters along the way don’t matter. They want to send their next proj, be it V3 or V13.
My friends wouldn’t have troubles classifying me into one of the categories.
The reality check
Over the last year of climbing I’ve been a little bit stuck. Yes, I still really love climbing, but I hate the plateau. The dreaded intermediate plateau that all climbers are bound to hit one day. Grade talk is a little bit of a faux pas, I know that, but let’s put it out there: for me the plateau is a pesky V5. I did what I could. I don’t know how to fix this, but I know I don’t want to be stuck anymore.
Meet my online coach, Aleksandra Taistra. She’s awesome. She climbs sport 8c+ and knows everything about training (scroll down for her impressive resume).
After asking me seven million questions and requesting a video of my climbing and my shoulder scans (which were analysed by a physio she works with), she enquired about my goals. Not the ones for ‘some day’, but the most immediate ones. The Green Traverse and Gorilla Warfare. With Aleks’ guidance, they’re meant to happen in the next couple of months. And then, there will be new goals.
So far I did three training sessions. They’re structured, they’re intense, they will make me or break me. (Which is not entirely true. They won’t break me, cause Aleks really know what she’s doing.) There was climbing, weights, then climbing again. I’m to send feedback regularly, so that Aleks can design my program day by day, to maximise gains and minimise the injury risk.
This is how you break through a plateau!
I will be posting regularly about the ups and downs of following a punishing training regime. Cross your fingers for me.
Aleksandra Taistra studied physical education and is a qualified climbing instructor, as well as a fitness coach. She worked on her own climbing skills with Eva Lopez; and she trained athletes such as Slovakian Lenka Micicova (boulering 8b+) and Jozef Kristoffy. Her best sport climbing ascents include Cossi Fan Tutte 8c+ and numerous 8c routes around the world. Her first ever bouldering trip was to Magic Wood and resulted in a send of Fingerlicker (7c+) last year.
If you’re a type two climber and would like to train hard with Aleks’ guidance, give her a shout via her Facebook page (website coming soon).