Training For Sport Climbing/Bouldering

Sport climbing and bouldering at your limit, even though relatively short in duration, can be very tiring. The longer the route is the more aerobically taxing it will become. In order to become more efficient on the rock, we take an approach to train you aerobically at summit.

Here is why;

In order to spend less time under tension (on your fingers) you will have to move with more power (when I say power I am referring to moving quickly). Less time under tension will result in less isolated muscular failure in the fingers/forearms. However the quicker you start moving the more you will raise your heart rate. The higher your heart rate becomes, the harder it is for you to recover and to climb in control. Therefore in order to become more efficient we use various circuits at Summit to elevate your heart to a near maximal level then get on the wall and attempt to climb with control and power.

On your hard training days, if you start to incorporate heavy breathing drills and train your body to stay in control in those situations, you will be surprised by the results when it is time to perform on the real rock. It is easy to train the big muscles (aka the Heart) in contrast to they small tendons in your fingers. You could have extremely strong fingers but there comes a tipping point where that finger strength/muscular endurance in the forearms will give out on you. It is then that you should start figuring out how to move quicker across the crux sequences and hopefully you are aerobically prepared to do so. By training this way, you will start to notice how much longer the muscular failure in the fingers/forearms will stay at bay because you will not only be under tension for less time but your body will become more efficient with recovering while on the wall.

There are also a few key movements I recommend and administer to all my climber to supplement their on the wall practice. These include;

  • Dead Lifts (mostly in a strength based application, rarely paired with high intensity circuits)
  • Hanging Shoulder Shrugs (Scapular Pulls, just as important if not more inportant than pull ups)
  • Proper plank on rings (table top position)
  • Broad jump (plyometrics to generate power from hips)

Warm up movements

  • Shoulder Dislocates (mobility)
  • Over head Squats (stability)
  • Windmills or Turkis Get Up (mobility, stability, core engagement)

If you want to learn more about this concept or the mentioned movements, book a session with coach Kubi or drop in for any of the classes on the gym schedule.

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