Interview with Australian Team Climber, Lucy Stirling

Lucy Stirling is an Australian Climbing Team Member from Brisbane. She has been climbing since 2005 and recently sent her first Grade 31 (8b) Esoteric Agenda at Mt Coolum. We just couldn’t wait to ask Lucy some questions about her climbing experiences and her recent achievement as we are sure there will be many more sends to follow.

Today, the 29th of September is her 27th birthday and this interview is to celebrate her fantastic recent achievement but also to wish her a great big HAPPY 27th BIRTHDAY all the way from Melbourne!!

How long have you been climbing for and how did you find climbing? 

Around 14 years ago. I had always climbed anything and everything as a kid but discovered the sport at my highschool where there is an artificial wall in the gymnasium.

What is your favourite climbing crag and why?

I don’t have a favourite crag. I love so many for different reasons. I often get obsessed over a certain local crag for a while depending on what I’m projecting and the weather at the time. Coolum Cave is definitely the most recent obsession for me and was also one of my very first outdoor climbing experiences, as well as where I met Alex, my partner… So I have quite a soft spot for that cave.

We would love to hear about your first ever Grade 31 climb “Esoteric Agenda”. When did you first find this climb and what was it about this climb that caught your attention? 

I had actually never even looked at this part of rock until after I sent Evil Wears No Pants (30) a month ago. To be honest not so long ago EWNP didn’t seem at all possible in my head, but I got on it and was totally surprised when it came together quite quickly. After this happened, it really boosted my confidence and opened up my mind to trying some of the harder routes at the crag.

After EWNP I was looking for a new project and a few people recommended Esoteric Agenda so I had a look at it and couldn’t believe I hadn’t even noticed this section before. I loved the look of the two random horns on the headwall and was excited by the steep thuggyness on the bottom half.

Tell us about your journey specifically with this climb, how long did you work on this climb? Did it involve specifically training for this climb off wall too? Or did this climb just suit you?! 

I guess I just got on and tried it, hoping there would be some sneaky Lucy beta to get through some of the larger deadpoint sections (and there was!). It was so much fun and managed to get most of the moves on the steep section on my first session. The moves were burly and grunt-worthy but I was hooked and knew this would be my next project. It only really took me 5 sessions on this route to bring it together. I am always training nowadays and having worked on the “Evil” climbs before this I guess most of the hard training was done. I felt strong enough. I just needed to link sections together and get the micro-beta dialled. 

The trickiest section was figuring out the crux on the headwall. I had to work out a sequence of fairly intricate moves with a terrible sloper and open pinches where most of the guys span out left to a jug which I can’t reach and skip that entire section. I learnt to love my gross little sequence even though it was quite low percentage for me.

When you are working towards a climbing goal, in particular pushing the next grade indoors or out, what do you think is a key factor in your training on and off the wall? 

Resting properly, fueling your body in the right way. I guess when you’re that close to sending your project, motivation isn’t the issue nor is the strength training. The best thing you can do is get out there and get on that climb. Every session at the crag was dedicated to training for that climb, on that climb. If I fell off, I would get back on before I had recovered and try to fight through the pump. I would try and link sections with overlap. And if I wasn’t feeling great I would just go for a fitness lap on it anyway and try to get the beta more dialled. When you do this you become so familiar with the route, you can remember all the moves in your sleep and when you finally get the send it just seems to just flow together easily.

What does your weekly climbing schedule look like? How many times a week do you climb?

It’s been changing a fair bit recently. I have been training hard for the Olympic Qualifiers which are meant to be happening in December (subject to change). So I had been doing a lot of strength training and not a heap of climbing. I recently came back from fractured Sacrum so the only thing I could do for a while was upper body strength. I’ve been back at it for a couple of months now though and able to climb again and was allowed to lead climb before I was allowed to boulder (falling on my butt would have been the worst thing to do) so I guess I started climbing a lot outdoors again.

Do you think cross training is important for climbing? Whether that be running or strength training and do you cross train yourself? 

Yes definitely, but in moderation. I train full time because I am training for a three (very different) discipline in the sport and hoping to qualify for the Olympics. I think if you’re training to push yourself outdoors you can be more specific and depends on your current fitness level. I think running is great crosstraining but I have in the past made the mistake of doing too much. I think if you’re going to do cardio you should mix it up and interval training is good to include rather than just long and slow burns. I think at an advanced level, finger strength training is crucial and overall strength training is definitely helpful. It’s not magic, if you want to get stronger you have to train. 

Who inspires you in the global climbing community? 

Carlie Lebreton and Monique Forester have always been an inspiration to me from very early on in my climbing career. Recently seeing Becca Frangos crush incredibly hard outdoors in Canada has got me super psyched as well. Go Girl! I draw inspiration from so many of my climbing friends in so many different ways. 

What do you like to do in your down time aside from climbing? 

I love being outdoors. Literally just being out and absorbing nature. I love painting, playing with dogs, mountain biking, exploring and being creative.

Outdoor Personal Training Sessions with Head Coach Moriah

Starting Monday 29th of September upon metropolitan Melbourne’s transition to Step Two

As per metropolitan Melbourne’s restrictions we are now able to run outdoor personal training sessions in the Gravity Worx parking lot as of Monday the 29th of September. These sessions can be either individual or in a pair (maximum two people per session).

Half hour sessions will be run by our Head Coach Moriah who is currently in her 3rd year of her Bachelor of Sport Science, majoring in Sports Coaching.

Any person wishing to work on their fitness goals is welcome to book in.

Time: Sessions will run for 30 minutes. Booking will be live shortly.
You can book and pay for your session HERE
Cost: $33 per person per session.
Payment will be via Direct Bank Transfer (done manually)
OR you may pay by exact cash (we will not have change available).
Location: Gravity Worx (Parking lot) 182-184 Sussex St, Pascoe Vale
What to bring: Please come dressed for your workout, bring your own yoga mat as we cannot provide one for you. You must also bring a full water bottle as we cannot allow you inside the gym to use the facilities under current COVID restrictions. We also encourage you to bring any other weights or personal gym equipment you use at home.

Please read the following before booking into these sessions. When booking these sessions you are agreeing to our COVID-19 Safe Guidelines.
– You MUST practice social distancing and remain 1.5m from your trainer at all times.
– You are not required to wear a mask whilst exercising but you MUST bring one with you to wear before and after your session and during discussions.
– Bring your own yoga mat as we cannot provide one for you.
– Spectators are NOT allowed. If you are dropping off a customer you may stay in your car during their session.
– You are NOT allowed inside the facility to use the bathroom or to fill a drink bottle please do so before your session.
– If you are feeling unwell before the time of your session you MUST stay home. You can call or email your trainer to inform them.
-At the end of your session you must promptly leave the area. You are NOT allowed to stay and stretch in the parking lot under the restriction guidelines. There will be a 15 minute window between customers to clean any equipment.

Keeping your kids STRONG at home!

There are so many ways to keep fit at home without having to buy expensive and sometimes tricky to install equipment! As Head Coach I am always encourage kids to cross train by including any kind of cardio training like running or cycling. You definitely get puffed when scaling a wall that is almost 20 metres tall and adding in this cross training really helps!

In general, the best exercises for kids really are bodyweight exercises as they build great strength and overall fitness but also drastically reduce the potential of injury and accidents that can often occur from using any kind of weights or heavy equipment.

During this time when kids aren’t able to train at their beloved climbing gyms there are plenty of exercises they can be doing from home that help to keep their bodies strong and healthy. In particular, antagonist training is super important it involves training the opposite muscles that we use to climb! By training these antagonist muscles we have equal measure of strength working together and it keeps our bodies working together in balance and research shows it drastically reduces your chances of getting injured! 

So what are antagonist training?!

First off: Push ups! Obviously when we climb we are using our pull strength which means we need to work the opposite muscles! Plus, you can do push ups anywhere! 

Next: Finger extensions! 
Using a regular elastic band (or if you have one those elastics with specific finger spots) stretch your fingers to full extension to work the muscles that extend your fingers rather than clench them like in climbing! 

Last but not least: Core! 
We use a lot of our back muscle (muscle in our posterior chain) in climbing and the best way to support them and prevent injury is to have a strong core! This can include short planks where you make sure you tuck your belly button in or working on more difficult exercises like a v-snap! 



During this difficult time our Head Coach Moriah is writing workout programs for climbers of all ages and skill levels. If you need help with home workouts feel free to email her at coachmoriah@gravityworx.com.au

Our new bouldering gym is on its way!

Did you know that Gravity Worx is expanding? We are working with Climb ICP on a BRAND NEW bouldering gym in the empty right hand wing of our gym! We have already bought a range of beautiful new holds and cannot wait for the next instalment to come!

Stay tuned and watch this space for more information!

Do you want to receive emails about Youth Squad?

A few of the email accounts we have on our list have been bouncing! If your child was enrolled in Term 1 2020 of Youth Squad this year and you have not been receiving emails please drop us an email to staff@gravityworx.com.au and we will ensure you are added to our mailing list for Youth Squad updates! This will include important announcements such as when classes will be able to resume this year.

If your child did not attend classes in Term 1 of this year but you would like to stay up to date on when classes will be resuming feel free to email us and we can add you to our mailing list to ensure you get all future updates as we announce them!

We are temporarily closed!

As of the 9th of July we are temporarily closed due to the new restrictions in metropolitan melbourne. The estimated time for these restrictions is 6-weeks. We look forward to reopening when the restrictions are lifted.

Our Head Coach Moriah is checking her emails and busily writing home workout programs to support our climbing community. If you need any help with your isolation workouts or anything in general she encourages you to email her at coachmoriah@gravityworx.com.au

Stay safe climbers!

Membership & Booking Announcement

As of Monday the 6th of July all memberships and 10/5 visit passes will be reactivated.

We are still only allowed 20 people at a time in the gym as such you will still need to book online. As of Monday all bookings will be done through our website gravityworx.com.au
If you are not ready to come back to climbing just yet, that’s fine! Just email us at staff@gravityworx.com.au and we can hold off on reactivating your membership or 10/5 visit passes.


Please remember we must all follow the premiers restrictions and to be covid safe as per the department of health guidelines.

Adult Development Squads returning July 15th

Our adult development squads are run by our Head Coach Moriah. The squads run weekly with 8-week blocks for both Open Age Men and Women. The classes run with weekly themes to guide climbers through their training.

The Development squads are for committed adults who are seeking a training program to further progress their climbing skills. 

BOOKINGS ESSENTIAL our online bookings system will soon be up and running.

WHO: Any climber (of any skill level) wishing to attend weekly training to improve their skills and overall climbing ability

WHEN: Our next 8 week block start on Wednesday the 15th of July
Wednesday 6:30-7:30pm for Mens,
Thursday  6:30-7:30pm for Womens
Friday 6:30-7:30pm for Mixed

COST:
$90 for 8 sessions (Members)
$260 for 8 sessions (Non-Members) includes full day pass on class days.

email coachmoriah@gravityworx.com.au for questions

Youth Squad is returning in Term 3 2020

During this time, we will be running a reduced weekly youth squad timetable. Furthermore, there will be new rules around Youth Squad in order to keep our staff and all others involved safe and healthy.

  • Youth Squad participants must be able to manage clipping themselves in and out of auto belays by themselves and understand that coaches are unable to clip them in and out during this time.
  • Youth Squad participants must also be able to put on their own harness without the help of a staff member.
  • Youth Squad participants need to understand that they must practice social distancing and are not to crowd other climbers or staff.
  • Youth Squad participants must be able to attend classes without parent supervision as spectators are not allowed at this time.
  • Youth Squad participants must understand that although they may have previously been taught to top rope belay depending on the decision of the coaches they may be asked to simply climb on auto belays only for their own and others safety.

The weekly timetable will be as follows, Youth Squad members must enrol in the level at which they were at during Term 1 of 2020:

WednesdayThursdayFridaySaturday
4:15-5:15 Beginner/Intermediate4:15-5:15 Advanced4:15-5:15 Beginner/Intermediate8:15-9:15am Beginner
5:15-6:15 Advanced5:15-6:15 Competition5:15-6:15 Advanced9:15-10:15am Intermediate
6:30-7:30pm Men’s6:30-7:30pm Women’s6:30-7:30pm Mixed10:15-12:00 Competition

Do you have questions for us?

We have been working hard updating our email and website. If you have questions for us feel free to drop us an email as our email is now up and running again after some administration time spent fixing it.

If your questions is in relation to Classes or Coaching please contact our Head Coach Moriah at coachmoriah@gravityworx.com.au

If you have questions about bookings or general inquiries please contact us at staff@gravityworx.com.au