TBP 180: Grades - How to Keep Your Ego in Check with Matt Pincus


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About Matt Pincus

Matt is a boulderer and a sport climber based out of Wyoming. He splits his time between training at home in Jackson and traveling to pursue his climbing goals around the world. Matt is also a coach at TrainingBeta and he’s been seeing clients from around the world since 2017. He’s currently taking 4 new clients, so if you’d like to work with him, you can sign up here.

Matt created our Bouldering Training Program, which is a non-linear plan that will help you gain strength, power, skills, and work capacity. There’s also a maintenance block worked into the program so you can continue to train lightly during your performance phases.

Learn More about the Bouldering Program Here Grades – How to Keep Your Ego in Check and Use Them to Your Advantage

In the episode, Coach Matt Pincus and I wax philosophical about climbing grades. This is a ubiquitous topic that all climbers discuss, and a topic that can derail a climbing day or motivate the heck out of a climber.

We go over why there is so much discrepancy in grades between different crags and bouldering areas around the world, as well as within climbing gyms. And we talk about why ultimately it doesn’t matter what something is graded – it’s about what a climb can teach you.

But there are some grievances aired and some pleas for certain behaviors to change when it comes to discussions of grades. This conversation definitely included some coaching tidbits from Matt on how to approach grades, but we also just kind of… talked.

I hope this helps you get your thoughts on grades more crystal clear so you can more easily move through any discomfort about grades (“This climb is WAY harder than what the grade says!” or “Why can’t I do this – this grade is usually easy for me?” or “That can’t possibly be that hard of a grade – I did it so easily…”).


Episode Details
  • The subjective nature of grades around the world
  • Importance of taking grades with a grain of salt
  • Why things are graded the way they are, and why some areas are stouter than others
  • Particularly why Rifle has an abundance of hard 13d’s
  • How to think of a route that’s hard for the grade as a personal challenge rather than a punch to the gut
  • How I deal with the “unfairness” of being short
  • The importance of climbing style and perception of difficulty
  • Remembering that it really just doesn’t matter
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Photo Credit

Photo of Matt Pincus on The Plastic Shaman 5.14a by Liz Rasnick @escharas21

206 episodes