A couple weeks ago pro climber, Carlo Traversi stopped by the gym to guest coach Team Momentum. Carlo, who has climbed many of the world’s hardest boulder problems, took the team through a series of drills intended to improve technique, increase body awareness and develop strength for their upcoming bouldering season.
“We feel like it is really important for the kids for a lot of reasons,” explained Momentum coach, Noah Bigwood. “It gives them an opportunity to be coached by other people. They will hear different things and they will get different training tips. Most importantly are the things they hear that are the same. They say ‘oh really other pro climbers actually believe the same things our coaches do.’”
Below are some of the drills Carlo went through with the team. Maybe add a couple of these drills to your next session.
Drill #1: Warm up focusing on stretching in and big muscle groups.
Carlo introduced several technique and balance drills that took advantage of Momentum’s features such as the slab wall, arêtes and dihedrals. Try using only foot holds on low angle terrain and balance your way up the wall. On arêtes and dihedrals limit your footholds and only use the feature itself as a hand hold. As you improve use fewer, less positive feet.
“We would climb with no hands and just feet,” said Noah Keithley. “It was fun. I got to use 4 feet because I was smaller and I was one of the first to finish it.”
Drill #2: Balance up the wall using only selected footholds. Use features such as the slab, arêtes and dihedrals to make it doable. Continue to remove and/or change feet to make it more difficult.
Next up was a drill that required some determination. Using the worst holds they could hold with one hand the team would hang with the goal of reaching failure between 3 and 5 seconds. A single foothold can be used to make smaller hand holds usable. The hope is not only to increase strength, but allow the individual to understand what holds they can use and practice trying and squeezing hard.
“That was actually my favorite part because I got to see what holds are actually harder for me and what I can work on,” explained team member, Zoe Keithley.
Drill #3: High intensity one arm hangs. Find a hold you can only hold with one arm for 3 to 5 seconds. For really bad holds try adding one small foot to take some of the weight off. Again, you should be able to hang no more than 5 seconds.
After several drills the team finished practice with a volume workout where Carlo challenged the team to collect as many ‘V-points’ as possible. Each problem was worth their grade in ‘V-points.’ Everyone got thoroughly worked, but in the end Nathaniel Coleman ended up with the most points with 125.
“Carlo was really friendly and enthusiastic about helping us. I feel like he gave us a lot of helpful tips,” said Nathaniel Coleman. “It varies the team practices and makes things more interesting. If a pro climber is going to come in that’s awesome. I liked it and I think we should do it again.”
The team just finished up their first ABS bouldering competition this past Saturday and are well on their way to a great season. The hope is that more opportunities for guest coaches will present themselves throughout the year.
“We as coaches hope it keeps it fresh and exciting. It is exciting for them to meet a professional climber,” said Bigwood. “It’s just fun. They bring a new energy and it lets the team kids know that we are committed to their training.”