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Climbing Your Best: Training to Maximize Your Performance Paperback – 14 Mar 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 164 pages
  • Publisher: Stackpole Books (14 Mar. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811727351
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811727358
  • Product Dimensions: 22.8 x 15.1 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 877,178 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
A number of variables determine how the body will respond to the various stresses of climbing-the nature of the work, your personal level of fitness and strength, your flexibility and mental tenacity. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Sanya on 3 Oct. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good one. Usefull test for weaknesses. Training programs are strange, I took the principle, but not the exact program.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
I�m sure Ms. Sagar is an excellent and knowledgeable climber 21 Aug. 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
...but it doesn't come through here. First, this is a pretty hefty book-164 pages with long sections of unbroken text, small print, and narrow margins. About half is repetition, then there's the twenty-odd pages of kind of pointless anecdotes about friends and climbing areas, and a total of about five pages of reasons why you might not want to do the things the author prescribes. So what's in the remaining fifty-seven pages?
It starts with a physiology discussion that is either so oversimplified as to be meaningless, or just plain wrong (my favorite: `VO2max [is] the maximum amount of air your lungs can hold') and which illustrates a fundamental misunderstanding of muscular vs. respitory function on the part of the author. In her defense, though, some of these concepts are extremely complicated, poorly documented, and in some cases virtually unique to climbing.
The book then goes into a bunch of tests to determine your weaknesses based on the grade you climb. Interesting in an `I'll show you mine if you show me yours' kind of way, but it seems to me that anyone reading a book that uses the words `creatine phosphate system', would already know their weaknesses. Having said that, the advice `train your weaknesses, not your strengths' can't be stressed enough.
Then we get into specific movements on a campus board (a device you shouldn't get within ten feet of unless you consider .12a a warm-up grade) and a system board (something you probably won't ever run into unless you live in Boulder.) The prescribed workouts are kind of obvious-basically simple strategies to climb harder or longer or more (e.g.: climb a route until failure, then lower quickly to an easier section and get back on.) There's no discussion of how these individual workouts should be combined to create a coherent daily schedule.
The section on the extremely important concept of periodization is so convoluted that it confused even me-and I read the Journal of Applied Physiology for fun. The author finishes up with a discussion of individual moves (with photos,) a section on injury prevention that doesn't really go anywhere, extensive advice on motivating, a huge photo spread on stretching, bad advice on taping, a glossary that looks like it was copied out of an old textbook and doesn't seem to track back to what's been discussed (though I can't be sure because, inexplicably, there's no index), and so on.
As much as I hate to give a fellow climber a one star, I can't figure out why this book was written-it covers no new ground, and the ground it does cover is unclear, incomplete, and sometimes inaccurate. Maybe a lot of this results from the author trying to create a book that would speak equally to an unmotivated 5.9 climber and a .15a hopeful, I don't know.
My advice to you? If you're trying to go from 5.10 to 5.11: climb a lot and focus on your technique; you'll get there. 5.11 to 5.12: Buy Eric Horst's much more straight-forward `How to Climb 5.12.' Beyond 5.12: Get Dale Goddard's `Performance Rock Climbing.'
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
A decent guide 24 Jan. 2001
By Robin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is a fairly decent guide to training for harder climbing. The best part about this book is the tests for grip strength, flexibility, shoulder power etc. it gives guidelines for each and for where a climber should be at various skill levels. if you fall below the recomended number in a certain category it gives you things to do to improve in that one category. all in all i'd go with the much superior "how to climb 5.12" or "flash training" both of which are also cheaper. this book has few pictures and diagrams and is fairly redundant, but the tests and charts are useful.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Suitable Only for the Most Advanced Climber (and PhD) 29 April 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was very disappointed in Ms. Reynolds-Sagar's volume. If you're not already climbing at very high levels of performance this is not the book for you. That her advice targets a small elite audience is hardly the only short-coming of her work. She is obviously an academic at heart. This is clear from her unnecessarily obscure language and tortured style of communications. So, if you're a PhD in exercise something or other and are pushing to improve from 5.12 to 5.13 snap up this work. Otherwise, save your money.
1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
As a beginner, I really liked it. 29 Mar. 2004
By Leena - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I was a casual gym climber in Boulder when I was diagnosed with cancer. During my recovery, I picked up this book with high hopes of training myself properly once I was able to climb again. "Climbing Your Best" turned out to be all could hope for and more.
I've done some sports training, but have always been somewhat intimidated by climbing jargon. While quite technical, this book explained the terms and concepts in easy-to-use language (And I work as an editor, so I'm quite picky about this!). Lots of photographs illustrate the discussed training techniques, which went a long way to enhance my understanding of climbing.
My favorite parts were the exercises for the system board and campus board. I couldn't wait to get well again so I could try them out. As an athlete, I love learning new, repetitive exercises that will help me improve my performance. I can only liken it to being a ballerina at the barre. Up until I read this book, the only climbing-specific exercises I did were pilates to increase my core strength.
The whole book was very gym-heavy in its recommendations, but that worked well for me. My schedule (and budget) lends themselves much better to training in a gym a few times a week than attempting to go climbing outdoors that often.
This book isn't the end-all of climbing, and it's hardly a substitute for learning in person, but it does delivers what the title claims: Training to Maximize Your Performance.
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