Listen to the Master: Lynn Hill
Too much importance on strength
Some people place too much importance on strength training. Too many people think it is the way to get better when in reality there are so many other things to consider such as technique, mental control, flexibility, and many others. Sure everybody can use more strength, but isolating yout training to just strength is definitely not good.
Strenght is often a matter of concentration
Many times strength is just a matter of concentration – so it goes to mental things again! I just try to keep an open mind and use creativity and positive visualization to meet challenge and hopefully solve the problem.
I’m very conscientious about what I eat and how much. I like fresh natural food that isn’t refined. I try to cook most of my food because then I can control exactly what I’m getting. Of course, I avoid empty calories like sugar and alcohol. Pretty much common sense stuff, but quite important if you want to be lean.
Primary aerobic activity
My primary aerobic activity is running. It’s not directly related to climbing, but it’s good for overall fitness and it keeps my weight down. I have done a bit of weight training for general strength and fitness and to make sure that my shoulders are strong enough so that they don’t disslocate. And I do a lot of streching. I used to be gymnast, and I still do some gymnastic exercises – handstands or exercises on a bar. They help coordinate you and give the body sense you need in climbing. Gymnastics is a good sport for keeping your whole body in shape for climbing.
Women’s natural ability
Many of the women who I’ve taught to climb have a better sene of balance than the men. I don’t know if it has anything to do with the physiology of having a lower center of gravity. I think it has more to do with being a little more sensitive to it rather than relying on strengh. I think it’s also a reflection of a passive attitude – balancing your way up the rock, rather than attacking it. People see climbing as an aggressive activity.
Being at the cutting edge of difficulty for two decades
I believe it’s mostly mental. Being able to stay energized day by day and year by year is a challenge. I’ve always been a curious kind of person. This curiosity to learn is a large part of what keeps me going.
Eric Hörst, Flash Training, The Globe Pequot Press 1994
Nicholas O’Connel, Beyond Risk, Conversations with Climbers, Diadem Books, 1993
John Steiger, Lynn Hill. “Climbing “ 1987, No 103, p. 53