I’ve never trained as systematic for climbing as I do these days; meaning I put a lot more focus on fingerstrength, power, sport specific movements and weight control. But then again I’ve never been much of a talent, I’ve reached some fine goals thanks to a ton of effort and thousands of hours of training. But still, despite this hard work I put into my daily and weekly training I do not see any gains on the plastic holds to speak of. Compared to say five years ago I actually performed better in any given session than today! How is this possible? Well the inflation of bouldering grades holds the answer, and the fact the new generation of climbers are so much more trained sometimes after just a few months of climbing. The fact that I’m climbing in an era when the grade 6A went from being the hardest in Fontainebleau to the mind boggling 8C now being somewhere close to max! What I climbed five to ten years ago might not be as hard today in the eyes of a new, stronger generation.
So what do I do with this knowledge? Well two things; I get a bit frustrated that I’m growing into a pathetic old lady who just can’t climb to save her life and I try harder.. I try harder not to put to much thought into how I perform indoors since my main focus is outdoor climbing (even though most of my climbing time actually happens indoor despite better wishes!). I try harder to remember that this inflation will keep happening and that the grades I climb indoors will turn even more tricky to analyze as the new generation gets even stronger. What makes me more suprised is the fact I’ve taken little notice of this inflation besides feeling stronger each year at the same time as my performance gets ”weaker” in the gym! It’s a confusing realisation..
Also outdoor grades are suffering this inflation and it’s not that very unusual today to climb 8A boulders after just a short time. A greater knowledge on training, technique, reading beta and figuring out moves makes the whole process of hard ascents shorter and more effective. But for those of us without supertalent, young age or just with not enough time for crushing it still feels hard to climb at the grades we did up to ten years ago.. The trick is to still feel proud of what you achieve, still feel accomplishment after sending a project despite the fact some kid warmed up on it or did laps just minutes before! Still feel climbing is fun regardless the fact I’m never going to be a superstar. 🙂