Olympic athletes, like gymnasts or figure skaters, may strive for '10s ', but if you're a climber like Alex Megos, you're aiming for... 9s.
Why a buck short? In climbing, a route rated 9 is as hard as it gets. Strength, focus, endurance, and determination are all skills that serve you well in climbing, and Megos has each in spades.
Watch the video above to learn more about Alex and his formula for epic ascents on rock. It's the first episode of four in a series, entitled The Alex Megos Formula.
Exploring a roof in Thailand
So it's safe to say he's pretty accomplished as a climber – but at the still-young age of 23, he's got plenty of time left on the rock. After spending a lot of time on the competitive climbing circuit as a teenager (and picking up a few titles along the way) the German has focused on the world's most challenging outdoor climbs.
This is not easy
He's one of ony three people in the world to have climbed what's widely considered one of climbing's toughest test pieces, First Round First Minute, a 9b-graded climb in Spain. It was first climbed in 2011 by legend Chris Sharma, repeated just once in 2014 by Adam Ondra, and finally, ascended a third time in late 2015 by Megos.
Not only does Megos have over 40 routes graded 9a or higher under his belt (possibly more than anyone in the world) he's also the first person to ever 'flash' a route graded 9 or higher – that means he showed up and climbed it on the first go, with no prior knowledge of the route.
How does he do it? Training and science. Megos is famous for his discipline, both on the rock and in the gym. If it's raining, then he's in the gym training.
The other part? Megos's logical, technique-inspired approach to climbing. He's a master of using friction, leverage and momentum to propel himself up a wall with the least amount of effort possible – that's how he pulled off two 9a ascents in one day.
He can do a one-arm, two-finger pull-up
You can learn much more about Megos – and see some of his most impressive climbs – in the upcoming video series, The Alex Megos Formula, released on RedBull.com over the coming weeks.
- March 2016: Episode 1 – Momentum
- May 2016: Episode 2 – Friction
- July 2016: Episode 3 – Gravity
- August 2016: Episode 4 – Symmetry