Bouldering is a great sport that doesn’t require you to climb a very tall wall which is good for people who are afraid of heights but it doesn’t make bouldering easier than normal rope climbing is. Bouldering is often considered a more technical type of climbing than rope climbing.
There is a common belief that V5 is the real start of bouldering and that is because up until V4 routes are considered easy and they don’t require many special techniques to reach the top. So moving from V4 to V5 is a big step to accomplish, and here in this article, we will make sure that you finally will be able to top that V5, so stay with us!
Going from V4 to V5 is a bit different from V3 to V4 because there is something that you will have to do differently and we will touch on that a bit later because right now we would like to give you a quick response to your question. You should find a problem that you have the most experience with, that experience will make it easier for you. But that’s the way without additional training, and we will talk in detail about both ways.
How to move from V4 To V5 in bouldering without additional training?
Sometimes we know that our body is ready for something and in this case this “something” is V5. So If you are sure that your body and your technique don’t require any training then the best and quickest way for you to climb V5 is to find a problem that suits your experience.
Sit down for a while and think about what you are good at. If you are good at climbing slopers then you should find a V5 that has a high amount of slopers. Also If you have a technique that you feel good at, like flagging or dyno moves then you have to focus on that while looking for a potential V5.
But we highly suggest you do a little bit of special training before trying out V5 especially if you have never topped one, but more on that in the next paragraph.
How to move from V4 To V5 in bouldering?
Almost everything up until V5 you could have done simply without any special technique only using muscles or by using only one technique from time to time… Experienced climbers tend to call that “muscle your way to the top”.
V5 is the point where you won’t be able to find many routes that won’t require you to use a special technique or at least one move that will require you to do something different than you usually did. So V5 sometimes requires things like:
- Using a volume
- Dyno moves
- Shifting body weight
Those things are very often while you are climbing V5 so if you have a problem right before your eyes make sure to look for potential moments in a route where you will have to use one of the above. We also recently posted a great article about that so check it out “Why you are climbing so slow?“. It is also possible for you to find a route that won’t require any special techniques, but that will only slow down the inevitable, and you will have to learn them a few months later.
How to improve my bouldering techniques?
Always when we do love a sport we try to get better and better every time we are doing it, so when we see a regression in our skills then we feel down.
There are several ways to improve as a climber:
- Watching better climbers when they climb
- Losing weight
- Improving strength
- Improving and learning new techniques
We will focus on the last one. So think if you already know some of the climbing techniques like flagging, swapping hands, edging, dropping knee, swapping feet, steering, backstepping, side pulling, and many many more.
If you don’t know what technique you should practice first then we highly suggest you start with swapping hands and feet, because it is not very hard to do and you will do it a lot almost for every problem you will face.
But no matter which technique you would like to improve, you will have to watch how to do this technique properly and then recreate those moves while climbing in your local gym. The more practice the more you will feel sure about your movements.
You can also watch other climbers while they are climbing because that will give you a lot of ideas about what you can do with your body to top your problems.
Is V5 intermediate?
The bouldering grade is very wide for every climber to find a problem that will make that climber enjoy climbing it. That scale often represents how you place in terms of your skill compare to other climbers, so just simply by looking at the grade you can tell if someone is a beginner or a professional.
Of course, a lot of advanced climbers warm up on easier grades but after some time you will be able to see if someone is struggling to reach the top or maybe that climber did it without putting much effort into this.
Here is a bouldering scale that represents your climbing skills in comparison to other climbers:
- Beginners – V0, V1, V2
- Intermediate – V3, V4, V5, V6
- Advanced – V7, V8, V9
- Professional – V10+
As you can see a lot of people consider V5 as the middle part of the intermediate level of bouldering skills so you should be proud of yourself!
Let’s summarize – How to go from V4 to V5 bouldering?
V5 is the level where things start to get hard, and most people do struggle to overcome those issues you have to face right now. To be precise V4 and V5 are the levels when a lot of climbers plateau, so you are not alone. In our opinion, you should look for some simple techniques like swapping feet which will let you improve as a climber.
Make sure to watch other climbers that are around you, because often they know things that you don’t and simply looking at them will make you a better climber.
If you still have problems with getting better at climbing and you feel down about it then we recently posted a great article that will explain this phenomenon to you and also we will tell you what to do to overcome it “Why Am I Not Improving At Climbing? – (Tips To Improve)“.