• Chalked Climber

3 Key Tips To Become A 5.12 Climber

Updated: Jun 13, 2019

I want to go from 5.11 to 5.12 what should I do?

This was a question that I got sent to me from @candidosv on my Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/chalked.climber) We've all been there before, wanting to take our climbing to the next level and not sure of how. Well, below I'll share some simple, actionable steps to help you get from 5.11 to 5.12.

Work on the Basics:

Spend time each session (easiest to do during your warmup) working on the basics of climbing. Like footswitching, looking at your feet until they are on the foothold, straight arms, balance triangle, resting, breathing, etc.

This time is essential if you want to continue improving no matter what level of climber you are because the more you practice these moves correctly the more naturally it will come when you are pumped 30 feet up on your project.

Improve your endurance:

To improve your endurance find some drills and stick to them below are some great options.


Pick a climb below your redpoint and try to climb it twice in a row without a rest in between. Definitely rest while climbing but not while standing on the ground. You should feel pumped and fall off towards the top of the second climb or barely complete the drill.


This is pretty self-explanatory, pick a climb well below your redpoint. Climb to the top of the wall, then downclimb to the bottom then finish by climbing to the top.

Volume Session:

Another great drill is to pick a number of routes you want to do in a session.(maybe 10-20 depending on the length of the wall) Then complete that many climbs and make sure to adjust the difficulty of the routes to allow you to finish barely.


The last exercise is perfect if you are working on doing shorter, more powerful 5.12 routes. Pick four boulder problems that are below your redpoint and climb them all back to back with no rest. Then after completing them all, rest for four minutes, then repeat all the boulders until you have done them all four times.

Climb More:

At this level, for a lot of climbers, they still need to work on getting more fluid and relaxed on the wall. So don't worry about your hangboard routine just yet, focus on getting 3-5 solid sessions a week. Make sure that every session isn't just working hard on your project, mix in some of the drills above for the best results.

Climbing isn't always about getting the strongest fingers or doing the most pull-ups, sometimes it's more about getting more efficient and relaxed on the wall. None of this stuff will take you to that 5.12 level if you don't actually put in the time and work to do it. So make a plan, stick to it and try hard.

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