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Great material , well written but shame that when you buy the kindle version it does not come with the DVD
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on 22 May 2014
I never write reviews but was forced to by the fact my climbing friends laughed at me for buying this and it turning out to be the best purchase in a long time. I am absolutely confident I will be leagues ahead of them in a few months and will have to ditch them and find some new mates who are super good at climbing.

I have been climbing at an indoor bouldering gym in London (the Arch) for just over a year. I do what almost everyone else there seems to do, and go with a few mates and climb the hardest routes I can do and try and learn off better climbers around me (which the authors explain is a pretty poor idea).

This has obviously worked to a degree, but I knew that I was not going to get much better without going on some kind of muscle building regime (I am a runt) or learning about technique. In fact, Dan and Douglas dispel the notion of "strength vs. technique" and break climbing down a bit further laying out base of support, centre of gravity, movement techinque, physiology etc etc

The book takes an academic approach to every aspect of climbing with no stone left unturned. There is very little to critcise at all. At first, I wasn't familiar with some of the terms like "redpoint" but I'm sure for most climbers that that would be common terminology.

The authors lay out aims and plans for someone who clearly has a lot of time to climb and is quite passionate about it. As a London-dwelling mid twenties indoor boulderer the amount of time I will be able to dedicate is way off what they describe, but this doesn't matter as they lay out the ideals: you adjust their plans to what you can put in. I am sure I will be a better climber for this and it was less than the price of a one hour lesson.

Don't be an idiot - buy the book.
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on 2 December 2010
This book is a gem.

Between this and Dave MacLeod's "9 out of 10 climbers.." I've improved massively in terms of grades. But the real gem is how I've improved in terms of quality of movement. On the easier grades I'm moving effortlessly and dare I say it, starting to look stylish!

It's the exercises that really make this book. Silent feet and glue hands will transform your climbing from slappy, scratching, lunging, flailing into deliberate, accurate, precise and in time balletic movement.

Straight Arm, reverse traversing, turning and flagging have transformed my overhang technique and made the easier grades a real pleasure: Previously I would get up V3 slabs, but on overhangs V0 was hard work, and V1 failed more often than not. Now they are much more evenly matched.

The idea of a climbing pyramid is fantastic. You put your 'hardest' climb at the top, then you should have more numerous climbs at each grade below. So for instance, my climbing pyramid last month looked as follows:


But this month I've nailed two V4's, so now I'll push the pyramid up as follows:


Previously I was just trying the hardest possible climb I could manage and ignoring the lower ones completely. But as the book emphasises, doing the lower ones perfectly is responsible for more improvement in the long run than just working the hardest problem. Tennis players understand this when they practice just serves or backhands. Golfers understand this by practising just their driving. But we too often feel the pressure to 'always perform' when there is a crowd watching us on a wall.

Very highly recommended.
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on 8 September 2007
...this book can take you there. I have read several books on training for climbing but they are all aiming at the professionals or very, very accomplished climbers. This book is for people like me. Those who are not yet good, live anormal life with a family and a job and try to fit training into a busy schedule. This book really helps. It shows some excercises that worked wonders for my technique. It gives realistic training tips. Especially the tips about performance pyramids has taken me up several grades in performance. If you love climbing but is not professional, get it.
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on 16 June 2011
This book is great, its my favourite book on the subject. I love all the step by step pictures of moves and diagrams. Some sections I find harder to absorb (like trying to understand all the muscles in the body and endurance training) but the majority of chapters are invaluable to me (as a low grade climber of a few years). Would recommend getting this book along with 9 out of 10 climbers.
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on 12 September 2011
This book, with DVD,gives excellent instruction - the title of the book says it all. Using the exercises, and especially climbing blindfold, certainly increases body awareness and movement. Being able to watch an instructional DVD is a great benefit, especially when used at an indoor climbing centre, when the instruction and demonstrations are fresh in the mind.
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on 3 December 2009
I've been climbing for 4 months and have recently hit a plateau in regards to how far strength alone can get me.
My lack of technique has been becoming increasingly apparent, and routes I felt I should be climbing were near impossible due to my lack of technique. Watching other climbers was great, but without a knowledge of what they were doing, it didn't really help my own progress.

I've had this book for two weeks and the improvement it has instilled in me is amazing. I'm gaining a lot from the sections on balance and basic movement, and this is just scratching the surface of what this book has to offer.
For example, climbing a 5+ route earlier today which I find difficult and usually have to take lots of rests on, putting into action techniques from the book I managed to glide up it 3 times in a row.

Later, a 6a which usually stumps me, I managed to get past the crux which normally ends my climb.

I feel much more confident on the rocks, and I really look forward to where the knowledge in this book can take me.
For other beginners who have been climbing regularly for 4+ months, who are also starting to hit a wall, I wholeheartedly recommend this book.

For those who also feel their technique is poor, I believe this book and accompanying DvD can really help them improve.
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on 17 February 2009
I would strongly recommend this book. Even my very advanced climbing friends call this book: 'pure science of climbing'.
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on 26 February 2013
Practical but also scientific approach to climbing. However, the features of the DVD are disappointing (it should rather include those techniques from the book in detail, instead of only one rock climbing clip.
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on 10 April 2011
If you've recently started climbing or have been climbing at the same level for a while then get this book. Its really good if you've hit a plateau in your climbing too as it takes you back over the basics.
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