Pro climber Heather Weidner gives advice for expanding boundaries.

From first-timers to elite climbers, we can all always find new ways to push our limits and improve. After climbing for 15 years, veterinarian turned pro climber Heather Weidner, the instructor for Climbing Magazine’s Intro to Sport Climbing course, constantly strives to push her boundaries. Weidner says her main motivation for climbing hard is “that feeling of doing something that I never thought was possible.” In a recent interview, Weidner shared her top tricks for climbing beyond what you see as possible.

1. Listen to your body to avoid injuries

Weidner says that this is the first thing to consider when pushing yourself because “if you get injured, you won’t be able to try anymore.” It can be good to be stubborn and to try super hard, but there is a point past which you risk injury. Weidner says that every time she’s gotten injured, it was because she was being extra stubborn and not listening to her body.

2. Be patient

If you’re climbing your hardest, chances are you won’t nail the redpoint on your first real go. Weidner says, “Take the time to really study every single hold and be patient with it.” Allowing yourself to mess up and figure out the beta for yourself means you can go to your limit without getting frustrated.

3. Be creative

Just because one person has given you some beta that doesn’t work doesn’t mean you can’t do the climb. Weidner says, “There are so many different ways to do moves, especially on natural rock versus the gym.” Getting creative with your sequences can give you the extra push to expand your capacities.

4. Give yourself time to rest

Going along with the patience part of climbing hard, letting yourself rest will help you give it your all on every attempt and stave off injury. Weidner suggests, “If you’ve tried that move six times and you still can’t do it, it’s OK. Come back to it.” There comes a point at which you’re just tiring yourself out and not making progress.

Want to test your limits on a rope? Learn to sport climb with pro climber Heather Weidner in Climbing Magazine's Intro to Sport Climbing online course.

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