Did you spend all winter training hard in the gym preparing for the summer season only to find that you have felt awkward and seemingly unprepared once you made it back outside?  Transitioning from gym to crag after a long stint of only climbing on plastic can be difficult and frustrating.

Luckily, Rock and Ice recently posted an article by Neil Gresham about moving from pulling on plastic to real rock that includes some useful tips and drills to ease this process and have you back flowing up your next onsight.

Firstly, Gresham recommends changing the pacing of your gym climbing to more accurately reflect outdoor climbing.

“We all tend to sprint up gym routes at three times the speed we climb on rock. Outdoors the holds are nearly always harder to see and the sequences trickier to read, so for your last few sessions at the gym, force yourself to climb slowly. Pause for three or four seconds for each hand and foot move to simulate the rhythm of a typical sport onsight. Alternatively, if you are preparing for trad, count for five or six seconds per move and then, every fourth or fifth move, pause for a minute regardless of the size of the holds. This exercise will improve your ability to shake out in awkward positions and remind you how it feels to fiddle in wires when you’re pumped out of your mind.” – Neil Gresham

Beyond simply slowing down your pacing, Gresham also suggests a “pointer training” drill done by having a partner point out your next hold while traversing.  Gresham suggests that this drill will force you out of the comfortable movement patterns of commercially set routes into the more awkward positions found of real rock.

Take a look and learn a couple ways to make your early season transition forays onto real rock a bit easier.

Click Here: Transitioning from Gym to Crag

(Photo by Beat Kammerlander, courtesy of rockandice.com)

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