Post by MarkAnderson on May 20, 2019 14:28:36 GMT -7
That's a good question. I could swear we had a discussion on here at some point about that exact comment, but I wasn't able to find it.
I can't say I have a well-formed theory, but I think there might be a couple things at play, physical and psychological.
When my warmup feels hard, it seems to do a better job of warming me up, and so when I get to the main even I'm physically more prepared. This is more of an issue when you're warming up on terrain that you already know pretty well (which I do a lot). Like, if I'm spending 10 days on the same project, I'm probably doing the same warmup pretty much every day, especially as I get closer to sending. And so, that warmup is getting easier every day, as I learn how to do it better. So maybe on Day 1 the warmup was perfect, or even a little too hard, but by Day 10 it's too easy, maybe way too easy. So if I climb it poorly (say, because I'm anxious or distracted--a piece of the psychological part), then it's going to be physically harder, and therefore "better," and I arrive at the start of my project more prepared physically.
However, I think it's mostly a mental thing, although I don't know what that thing is exactly. It could be that an awkward warmup relieves stress/anxiety (or is a symptom of stress relieving itself some other way). It could be that it takes the pressure off by making me think I'm not climbing well that day, so I have nothing to lose. It might be that a more mentally challenging warmup helps get my psyche better ready to struggle and overcome on the redpoint. Probably a combination of some of those things.
This reminds me of the Neil Gresham/Dave MacLeod discussion in the With Winning in Mind thread. At some point or another, I'm guessing we've all sent projects following a hard warmup, an easy warmup, a really long warmup or no warmup. Personally, I try not to put too much stock in it.
I vaguely remember a Chris Sharma interview about the day he sent Biographie where he said something about his forearms feeling pumped even before starting to climb (including warmup, if I remember correctly). It made me wonder if there was randomly something different going on physiologically on those days when we perform our very best. The comment about strenuous, clunky warmups reminded me of that.
Not noticing a significant correlation myself between how my warmup feels and whether I send, I agree with not putting much stock in what the warmup tells me. At the very least, the theories offered above would be useful mental arguments to stay positive and try hard on days when I'm feeling off.
From abundant personal experience, I can say that my warm up is not an indicator of how well a project or goal climb will go. I just got back from a trip to my beloved NRG and got on a bunch of climbs that literally felt maddeningly impossible on my first go (post warm-up warm-up) while hanging draws. After lowering down and taking about 30 minutes rest, I often sent with relative ease second go.
I think a lot of it is mental as well as waking up your nervous system to being climbing savvy again.
Might be a mental thing: uncomfortable warmup = lowered expectations.
Perfect combination of not having high expectations, strong motivation, and still believing it was possible. ... Fortunately, just before this last hard move, I managed to switch off my mind and execute.--Adam Ondra on 9b flash