Health & Fitness

V-Points

Ask any old rock-hound how to get better at climbing, invariably the answer is “climb more”. This is one of the most discouraging things you can hear, especially if you’re a new climber. And I’m sorry to say it, but they’re generally right. Climb more. But, I have one thing to add, and that is this V-Points. Using this app will not guarantee that you will get better, any app that does is lying. What will make you stronger, better, faster, more fluid and more efficient is effort and consistently trying to push yourself. The only way to know if you’re pushing yourself is to know what you’ve done before.

What V-points does is give you a way to easily track your climbing sessions. It then aggregates the session into a few simple numbers that are easy to track, specifically, your total ‘V-Points’, your total number of climbs, and your ‘Average Grade’. With these numbers tracking your progress becomes much simpler. This app also plots your climbs in beautiful (circa 1997-esque) bar charts so that you can easily view your climbs to see where you’re spending your time climbing.

If you’re new to climbing, breaking 100 V-points in a single session will seem like a monstrous task. You’ll head into the gym or crag and climb everything you can, log all of your climbs and you’ll get your score. You’ll be exhausted, tired, your fingers will feel shredded and you’ll feel very accomplished that you made it to 60+ points for the day. But keep using this app, consistently trying to one-up yourself and within a few weeks you’ll be climbing more problems in a session and coming home not all that tired. Within a month, you’ll remember back to your first session on V-Points and laugh at your first score.

This doesn’t translate to climbing harder grades. Sorry!

But what will happen while you’re trying to beat your score is that you’ll end up repeating the same ‘easier’ grades over and over. Repeating the same moves over and over again. The skills and technique to complete these problems will become ingrained and second nature to you. The muscles needed to complete these grades will get used to the movements and strengthen over time (with adequate rest and nutrition of course). After several weeks and months of consistency, the grades you struggled with won’t seem as difficult, and you’ll begin to try slightly more difficult problems. You will instinctively incorporate these climbs into your circuit and the process will repeat.

If you’re already an accomplished climber and you’re looking to break into the next grade range. Logging your sessions is extremely useful, ask any trainer out there. Knowing what you did last time, where you’re putting your effort in and how you’re spending your time in the gym is extremely useful. Say you want to break into the V7-V8 grade range. Spending a day working V1’s won’t necessarily be very helpful. But working V5’s and V6’s might be. Logging your warm-up and your ‘hard’ climbing session you’ll be able to see where your effort is being placed. You might be surprised to find out that what you though was an awesome session was really just a few sends on a couple of problems. Looking at the plots of a hard climbing session can be a real eye opener to what you’ve actually done. You may have thought you were lacking strength, but seeing that you only did ten tries over a three-hour session, might indicate that you’re lacking endurance instead.

But, most importantly when someone asks you how do you get better at climbing, you’ll have a better answer. “Use V-Points!”

I don’t always train for climbing,
But when I do, I use V-Points
Stay chalky my friends