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Does Training for Rock Climbing Really Work?

When most climbers hear about “training for rock climbing,” they look for a quick way to escape.

Honestly I do not know if it is laziness or what, but for too many years, climbers have said that all you need to do to become a better rock climber is go rock climbing. We have been bombarded by other climbers with this idea and most have been left with disappointment and frustration.

Did the ones telling you just go rock climbing and you will get better climb the grades you want to climb? If so, are they even telling you the truth? Most likely they are not. You see they have best intentions but honestly a great training plan can be the difference between success and failure for you. I know that might surprise but stay with me here and I’ll explain.

So first does training for climbing work? Yes, and there are many great training techniques that you can use to help achieve success and improvement.

The first tip — and the one most people get wrong — is to assume that all you have to do is rock climb and you will get better, this is not the case. Thinking this way will waste a lot of time and effort while you continue to be frustrated and weak. You need to think of what your weaknesses are and focus your time on improving them.

When trying to become a better rock climber you must focus your time on building up your weaknesses. Focus your attention on those things that you are not that good at and forget the rest, at least for now. This is a simple and easy question just ask yourself What do you need to improve? Is it your technique, finger strength, your core strength, your endurance, your power, your flexibility, your mental toughness, your overall fitness?

What is it that is holding you back?

Begin to focus your efforts on improving these areas and you are bound to see results that is a guarantee. For example say your finger strength is weak. You can begin by adding some bouldering to your climbing routine. Bouldering is good because it forces you to do powerful moves and typically has more difficult individual moves than sport or trad routes do. That means you will be working with holds that can be more challenging to hold and in effect you will automatically improve your finger strength.

Also, if you had weak finger strength start to add fingerboard training to the end of your climbing session. These fingerboard sessions will also allow you to focus on your weaknesses by isolating different types of hand holds like crimpers, slopers, pockets, monos etc.

Note: Make sure you always warm up your fingers and arms before fingerboard workouts. If you are not warmed up you can fairly easily hurt yourself. That is why I like to do my fingerboard training sessions after my climbing.

Just so you know training for climbing is not easy it will get hard. You need to stay motivated and one of the best ways to do that is climb and train with other motivated people. They can keep you psyched and help keep you accountable for your training.

It is important to stay up to date on new training techniques and ideas. Experts are always devising new and better ways of training that can help you become stronger faster. It is important to read up on these things and buy training for climbing books when you can. This will save you tons of time and frustration, trust me I know.

Please don’t be a stranger either. Start participating in discussion forums, ask questions to climbing experts and talk with your local climbers either at the gym or the crag. Be sure to not only ask for help but also give advice to other climbers when you can.

Look for every sport out there people are training and people are training hard. Just think about a football player does not become a better and stronger football player by just playing football. Yea it helps but that is not all he does. We all know that and believe that. So if that is the case why would you think that to become a better rock climber all you have to do is rock climb? That just does not make sense. I hope this is making sense.

So next time you wonder: Does training for rock climbing work? You will know the answer is yes. Stay consistent, have the drive and desire to improve and use the right training techniques, and you may find yourself exactly where you want to be.

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