Want to start projecting*? Check out GB team member and Castle crusher Jo's tips for finding the perfect project!
*For those of you starting out, projecting is the process of finding a climb at or near your limit and slowly chipping away at it... Until you successfully complete the climb. Go crush.
Undoubtedly one of the most enjoyable (and at times frustrating!) elements of climbing, whether indoors or outdoors, is finding the perfect project. It’s a route or problem that pushes you to your limit and which, though seeming impossible at first, can be unlocked and eventually completed - whether it takes a couple of sessions or even a few years.
Being predominantly an indoor climber, training for competitions, I don’t have a huge amount of experience projecting outside. However, my training involves a lot of projecting on the Wave at the Castle and this is easily translatable into training for the outdoors.
To reap the benefits decide the focus of your moves before you create them. Think hold types, size of moves, specific techniques (e.g. high rock-overs, drop-knees, dynos etc.).
You don’t have to start at the bottom of the wall! When using a board like the Wave with lots of holds, it isn't always necessary to start at the bottom of the wall. Pick some holds you definitely want to use and create moves around these.
Assess and work your weaknesses. A project that will help you improve the most is one that helps you develop movement, head game and technique. For example if you are used to trying hard on small, static moves, try projecting bigger, more dynamic moves.
Most importantly... Have fun!
Any project should challenge you, but remember if you're not having fun, you won't be motivated to keep trying. To keep things interesting have a few different projects on the go at the same time and find some training buddies. You’re bound to give it a little extra gusto with your mates cheering you on – you may also learn a thing or two if they climb differently to yourself.
If you complete the project and find you’re still yearning for more, try adapting it to make it harder. There are lots of ways to do this; one easy way is to use smaller footholds. Keep repeating the project until it becomes a warm up – not only have you nailed the moves, but you’ll also feel an immense sense of achievement and measurable improvement.
If you want to follow more of Jo's exploits, you can find her on Facebook and Instagram.