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Climbing / School / Introduction to Training

Introduction to Training

What is training?

by Rich Simpson

Training for climbing is any activity where you intend to specifically improve your climbing ability with a goal in mind, it can be anything from jogging 20 minutes 3 times per week to losing weight and increasing fitness for a summer trip to Pembroke or the Alps, to very intense campus board sessions.

Love it or loathe it, the term training is associated with losers who spend all there time in the gym, never climb on the real thing and don’t understand what climbing is all about. If this is you attitude, then you just keep plodding along but don’t be surprised when your mate who you taught to climb the previous year begins to burn you off out on the crag. The choice is yours, make excuses why you don’t climb a grade or two higher, or do something about it.

Obviously training is very varied, in terms of volume and intensity and can be anything from one day per week for a beginner to 5 days a week for a world-class climber attempting the hardest climb in the world. However, through small amounts of climbing specific training you should see your level increase.

Why Train?

Whether it’s a beautiful classic VS or desperate E10 that you inspire to climb, it will be more accessible if you did some specific training. Training will not only increase your physical ability for climbing it will also increase confidence and general well being throughout day to day activities. Everyone who has been for a nice Sunday morning run will know the feeling afterwards is more than worth the hard work on the road. And so long as you are sensible about it the same can be said about climbing training.

A bit about our training articles

With help from world-class climbers Malcolm Smith and Ben Moon, I will be gradually adding to this section of the website over the coming months with tips and exercises which will improve your climbing. I will look at all aspects of climbing / training and will give good sound advice to help all levels of climbers.

The following are some of the topics we will be discussing:

• Goal setting

• Warming up and warming down

• Volume and Intensity

• Strength training exercises

• Endurance training exercises

• Training frequency

• Mental training

• Injuries (they happen to us all)

Each article will include photos and videos where necessary to help you understand the correct way to complete the exercises I suggest. I will also include a beginner / intermediate / advanced section in each article where you will be able to class yourself in one of the above categories by completing a brief questionnaire about your climbing level and experience.

This will help you to get the best from your training and avoid injury.

Even the beginner training sections are suited for someone who is physically fit and has a good base level of climbing experience.