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How Close Are You to Climbing 5.15d?

Martin Mobråten, Stian Christophersen and Magnus Midtbø discuss a new book: The Climbing Bible and show how you can find your max grade

This is neither a training plan nor an original composition. Instead, this is the product of years of training experience developed by two of the Norway’s elite climbers. Martin Mobråten and Stian Christophersen are two of Norway’s strongest and, together, the authors of The Climbing Bible.

The Climbing Bible is one of the newest pieces of training literature available for purchase. It is a training book that tackles some of the most interesting questions in rock climbing and genuinely offers insight into the climbing regardless of your current skill level.

This absolute statement might seem unrealistic, but it is fair nevertheless. For the less experienced climber, it offers training theory, competition theory, as well as various approaches to strength gain, injury prevention, injury recovery, and a plan for progression.

For the stronger climber, The Climbing Bible delves into the psychological components of hard climbing. It moves beyond the “trying hard” platform of training theory into aspects of performance anxiety and related topics. The beautifully photographed training textbook reads much like a training podcast and features interviews from some of the world’s strongest athletes. One such athlete is Magnus Midtbø.

Midtbø has climbed some of the most challenging sport routes in the world and is one of the strongest climbers in the world. Today Midtbø’s focus revolves more around his latest works as a Youtuber and entrepreneur. He is the founder of Rúngne and a new climbing gym in Christiansen, Norway.

Mobraten, Christophersen, and Midtbø came together in November to bring an exceptionally fun fitness test to the climbing’s more social platforms. This, “The ultimate climbing test,” can tell you just how close you are, technique excluded, to climbing 5.15d. It will tell you the maximum difficulty you might be able to climb on a rope if you nailed each and every technical movement.

How it works:

The maximum score you can get is 40 points, while the test itself is broken into four sections:

  • Max Finger Strength : 10 points available
  • Max Pull-Up : 10 points available
  • Core Strength : 10 points available
  • Endurance : 10 points available

Max Finger Strength:

For this test, the goal is to hang for approximately five seconds on a 20-millimetre edge.

The score breakdown is as follows:

  • 1 point = 100% = bodyweight, or zero additional weight
  • 2 points = 110%
    • if a climber weighs 200 pounds, they would add on 20 pounds of weight
  • 3 points = 120%
  • 4 points = 130%
  • 5 points = 140%
  • 6 points = 150%
  • 7 points = 160%
  • 8 points = 180%
  • 9 points = 200%
  • 10 points = 220%

Max Pull-Up:

This test is to be completed on a bar. No kipping is allowed, and the form is intended to be near-perfect.

  • 1 point = 100% = bodyweight, or zero additional weight
  • 2 points = 110%
  • 3 points = 120%
  • 4 points = 130%
  • 5 points = 140%
  • 6 points = 150%
  • 7 points = 160%
  • 8 points = 180%
  • 9 points = 200%
  • 10 points = 220%

Core Strength

For this test, the score breaks down by exercise. There are three core exercises that an athlete may choose from: L-sit (with knees bent) for 1-3 points, L-sit (legs straight) for 4-6 points, and front lever (perfect form) for 7-10 points. These scores do not add together, but are progressive. This is to say that if you get 3 points with the L-sit in a knees bent format, and 6 points from L-sit with legs extended, your score would ultimately amount to 6 points as opposed to 9 points. The scoring is as follows:

L-sit (knees bent)

  • 1 point = 10 seconds
  • 2 points = 20 seconds
  • 3 points = 30 seconds

L-sit (legs extended)

  • 4 points = 10 seconds
  • 5 points = 15 seconds
  • 6 points = 20 seconds

Front Lever

  • 7 points = 5 seconds
  • 8 points =10 seconds
  • 9 points = 20 seconds
  • 10 points = 30 seconds

Endurance:

This test requires a bar. Hang from the bar for as long as possible. No shaking allowed. Both hands must remain on the bar. The scoring is as follows:

  • 1 point = 30 seconds
  • 2 points = 1 minute
  • 3 points = 1.5 minutes
  • 4 points = 2 minutes
  • 5 points = 2.5 minutes
  • 6 points = 3 minutes
  • 7 points = 3.5 minutes
  • 8 points = 4 minutes
  • 9 points = 5 minutes
  • 10 points = 6 minutes

Your Theoretical Maximum

After you have completed each of your tests, add your scores together! The score break down looks like this:

Total Score: European Grade = Yosemite Decimal System Grade

1: 6a = 5.10a
2: 6a = 5.10b
3: 6b = 5.10c
4: 6b = 5.10d
5: 6c = 5.11a
6: 6c = 5.11a
7: 6c+ = 5.11b
8: 6c+ = 5.11b
9: 7a = 5.11c/d
10: 7a = 5.11c/d
11: 7a+ = 5.12a
12: 7a+ = 5.12a
13: 7b = 5.12b
14: 7b = 5.12b
15: 7b+ = 5.12c
16: 7b+ = 5.12c
17: 7c = 5.12d
18: 7c = 5.12d
19: 7c+ = 5.13a
20: 7c+ = 5.13a
21: 8a = 5.13b
22: 8a = 5.13b
23: 8a+ = 5.13c
24: 8a+ = 5.13c
25: 8b = 5.13d
26: 8b = 5.13d
27: 8b+ = 5.14a
28: 8b+ = 5.14a
29: 8c = 5.14b
30: 8c = 5.14b
31: 8c+ = 5.14c
32: 8c+ = 5.14c
33: 9a = 5.14d
34: 9a = 5.14d
35: 9a+ = 5.15a
36: 9a+ = 5.15a
37: 9b = 5.15b
38: 9b = 5.15b
39: 9b+ = 5.15c
40: 9c = 5.15d

Grade conversion from MEC.

Featured image by Sean Peters