Professional Norwegian climber Magnus Midtbø and powerlifter Stefi Cohen (who is renowned for smashing world records in different weight classes) recently met up at a rock climbing gym for Cohen to get schooled on what it takes to be a climber. The collab turned out to be an excellent opportunity to see how Cohen’s powerlifting skills translate to taking on a climbing course.
What do you think, are you going to be good at this?” Midtbø asks Cohen at the start of the video. “I mean, I’ll be alright. I wouldn’t say the best, but I’ll hang in there,” she says. “I’ll do a course or two.”
They hit their first wall, the easiest bouldering grade, and Cohen completes it with ease. They decide to move up two grades, and the challenge really starts.
“This is going to require a little bit more problem solving,” says Midtbø.
Cohen chalks up her hands, and Midtbø says, “The most important part of climbing—you have to always make sure you put enough chalk on.”
That’s clearly one familiar point between lifting and climbing, and Cohen crushes the course. So they move to the most difficult grade.
“Just remember to use your legs and keep your hips close to the wall, and keep your arms straight,” instructs Midtbø.
She makes it halfway up the wall before falling, and says she feels it most in her hands. “My phalanges and metacarpals!” she says.
She attempts the wall again, but with the same result.
“I feel like I have it, but I was terrified (by the wall). When you’re up there, it feels like (you’re going to fall),” motioning backwards about the intense angle of the wall.
They move to a new wall, one that Midtbø says is “more technical”.
Cohen almost nails it on her first try, as Midtbø offers her instruction on technique as she climbs. “It’s easier than the last one we just did,” she says.
Before she attempts it again, she’s feeling fatigued in her arms, and needs a massage from one of her friends in her forearms and hands.
“Magnus, I think you gave me rheumatoid arthritis!” she says. On her third attempt, she makes it all the way up the wall.
“Is this tougher for someone her size?” the cameraman asks Midtbø before the final attempt.
“Yes, it is,” he answers.” In general, climbing is better if you’re lighter and smaller. But this boulder, it’s definitely an advantage to be a little bit taller,” he says.
Cohen attempts, and makes it all the way up on her first attempt.
She ends the video with a simple summary.
“We rock climbed, he’s the man. He’s amazing… we are not.”
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