• Ask Sean McColl

    Ask Sean McColl

    World Champion Climber. Future Olympian. Canadian.

ask “Sean McColl”

Thanks for all the questions, keep them coming! Make sure you read the “FAQ” (Frequently Asked Questions) which can be found here. Note: I’ve limited the number of comments per page to avoid having to scroll very far down the page. The newest question that was answered will be at the bottom. You can always find older questions by clicking “older comments”

Comments (1914)

  • Avatar

    k

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    what would be one tip/advice you would have for climbers who are going to transition from gym climbing to outdoor climbing? .

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Sean McColl

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      Route finding is much less obvious outside. Take your time.

      Cheers,
      Sean

      Reply

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    M.J

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    Hi Sean,

    Was just watching the psicobloc comp where you beasted it. Was wondering how you train cardio/endurance?

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Sean McColl

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      Hi M.J.
      I train endurance by doing intervals in climbing, or circuits whichever you choose to call them. It gets good endurance and the ability to do quick short bursts of climbing. It’s very exhausting though that psicobloc!

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Jeremy tikElseN

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    hi sean, I read in your bio that you are grade 10 in piano. Does playing the piano help with rock climbing in any way? How do you manage your time so that you can do other activities other than climbing? I’m a pianist myself and I was just wondering. Thanks!!

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Sean McColl

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      Hi Jeremy,
      Yes, I am in grade 10 piano although I haven’t studied in quite some time now. I think it really helped playing piano in my incremental climbing years as piano helps build dexterity, coordination, precision and strength in your fingers. I personally enjoyed practicing piano just after climbing because I felt I could “feel” the keys a bit more, but I’ve heard the contrary from other pianists.
      Cheers,
      Sean

      Reply

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    Harri

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    Hi Sean,
    I am a big fan and love watching every time they unleash you on Ninja Warrior USA vs The World. I just wanted to ask if you have managed to fit in any training on the Body Prop or similar anti-climbing obstacles and do you think you can beat it?
    Good luck with all your future training and competitions!
    Harri

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Sean McColl

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      Hi Harri,
      I couldn’t tell you if I’d beat it or not as I don’t train specifically for Ninja Warrior obstacles. I’ve tried to squeeze myself in between walls, but never tried the body prop obstacle since then.
      Cheers,
      Sean

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Sloane

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    Hi sean. My name is sloane and i am 1o years old. I am a climber and i met you at bouldering provincials in North vancouver in january. I am doing a biography of you for my school project and i have 2 questions i cannot find the answers to on the internet. If you could answer them i would be very grateful:

    Do you have any siblings?
    Did you go to university? If so wheRe did you go?

    Thanks so much. I think you are a awesome climber

    Reply

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      Sean McColl

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      Hi Sloane,
      Very nice to have met you at bouldering provincials.
      To answer your questions, yes I have one brother and I went to BCIT for Computer Systems and graduated with honours.
      Cheers,
      Sean

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Alex Rianfrak

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    Hi Sean

    I first want to start off by saying that I think you are a brilliant rock climber! You are so exciting to watch when you climb and I really hope to see you in the olympics.

    My question is quite personal so you dont have to answer but are you fully canadian? I apologise if I am being offensive but I was wondering what your ethnicity is.

    Thank you!

    Alex 🙂

    Reply

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      Sean McColl

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      Hi Alex,
      Thank you for the kind words.
      I don’t believe it is offensive at all as Canada is built on immigrants. I was born in Vancouver although I have half Chinese, half Caucasian.
      Cheers,
      Sean

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Guillaume

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    Hi sean,
    did we ever ask you what is your arm span?
    I am quite a short climber myself and i was wondering how it affects your capacities in bouldering competitions.
    Thanks!

    Reply

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      Sean McColl

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      Hi Guillaume,

      My arm span is I believe ~ 5″9, or 175cm.

      Cheers,
      Sean

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Ken

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    Hi Sean,

    I have a few questions regarding injuries and bouldering.

    I was curious about how often you climb injured. Which injuries are the toughest to manage physically and mentally for you? Lastly, when do you decide you need to push through a certain injury?

    Thanks!
    K

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Sean McColl

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      Hi Ken,

      You should NOT be climbing period if you are injured… nothing serious at least. Pushing through an injury is generally a bad idea. There are ways to load a certain injury less, or not at all, but it sounds like you’re trying to do something when in fact you should be stopping climbing and getting your injury fixed.

      Cheers,
      Sean

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Bruce

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    Hey Sean,

    You are by far my favorite climber and are the one who inspired me to begin rock climbing and take it up as my primary hobby.

    I was wondering what climbing shoe you would recommend for a intermediate climber like myself? I mainly train at indoor gyms at the moment.

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Sean McColl

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      Hi Bruce,
      Thanks for your kind words!
      For an intermediate climbing, I’d recommend something “Vapor V” or “Boostic”
      Cheers and have fun!
      Sean

      Reply

      • Avatar

        bruc

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        Hey Again Sean,

        My girlfriend recently surprised me with a new pair of really nice climbing shoes (La Sportiva – Solution) and was wondering what you thought of them compared to their newer Genius model?

        Thanks for all the inspiration and best of luck on your training, I can’t wait to cheer you on in the Olympics!

        Reply

        • Avatar

          Sean McColl

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          I think they are much different shoes. Genius are very soft where Solution is a lot stiffer. Also, some people can’t stand to climb in the no edge technology.
          Cheers,
          Sean

          Reply

  • Avatar

    adam

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    what would you suggest for a first timer to start at for rock climbing

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Sean McColl

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      Definitely a rock climbing gym, you’ll love it!

      Reply

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