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'Training' in the School of Rock

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Rock Climbing Photo: Phase 1
Climbing and Training for Hard Offwidths
Q: “I have climbed a few offwidths, but I want to do a long, wide crack in the desert. I get worked after 50 feet; how do I train for sustained routes with a heavy rack of gear?" A: Long, vertical offwidths are physically grueling—even with impeccable technique. W...
Pamela Pack at Climbing Magazine
Rock Climbing Photo: 3 exercises for better balance by Ben Fullerton
Exercises for Better Balance While Climbing
Along with a good pair of shoes and a positive attitude, balance is crucial for successful rock climbing. Without it, your body won’t move naturally on the rock, thus eliminating efficiency and style. We tapped into trainer and hardman Eric Hörst’s knowledge of climbin...
Amanda Fox at Climbing Magazine
Rock Climbing Photo: Week Key
Your Goal: Boulder Harder
Q: “I am a boulderer and would like to climb two or three grades harder within one year.” —Adam A: Being motivated and dedicated is the key to reaching any goal. This year-long program, geared toward intermediate and advanced climbers, will show you how to get stronge...
Kris Peters at Climbing Magazine
Training for the Fifty Classic Climbs
Routes like the North Ridge on the Grand Teton require covering a lot of ground with a heavy pack. These—and many other Classics—are not casual outings. We’ve devised a six-week training program—approach, mountaineering, mixed, aid, and free climbing— that will help ...
Mercedes Pollmeier and Connie Sciolino at Climbing Magazine
Rock Climbing Photo: Fingerboard Moving Hangs
Workouts to Maximize Your Endurance
By the very nature of our sport, there are two kinds of rock climbers: those who use a rope and those who don’t. And many climbers fall into two further categories: power or endurance climbers. Unless you’re Adam Ondra, you likely don’t have an equal balance between th...
Alex Biale and Eric Hörst at Climbing Magazine
8 Military-Inspired Exercises for Climbers
Navy SEALs are, in recent years, best known as the group that found and killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan in May 2011. But in addition to being members of the Navy’s special operations force, many SEALs are also climbers, and enjoy training similar to what civilian clim...
Amanda Fox at Climbing Magazine
Rock Climbing Photo: Hangboard 101 by Jamie Givens
Hangboard Workouts for Climbers
Hangboard 101 by Jamie Givens Hangboard training is one of the most time-efficient ways to build hand and finger (or “contact”) strength, especially if you can’t train at a climbing gym. Two or three 30-minute workouts per week can...
Dave Sheldon at Climbing Magazine
Rock Climbing Photo: Photo courtesy of Boulder Rock Club
Strengthen Your Mind and Body at the Gym
During winter, rock climbers experience a patience-testing stretch of inclement weather, making it difficult to climb outside consistently. Consequently, more climbers flock to the gym and recommit to a training regime to prepare for spring sending. Forget the treadwall,...
Andrew Tower at Climbing Magazine
Rock Climbing Photo: Finger Strength Workouts
12-Week Program for Stronger Hands and Fingers
Any serious climber knows the value of training. And when it comes to tenuous pocket holds, it’s especially important to prep the muscles and tendons that run through your fingers, hands, and forearms. Dave Wahl, a strength and conditioning coach in Denver, believes that...
Amanda Fox at Climbing Magazine
Does Climbing Guard Against Arthritis?
Osteoarthritis (OA) is no picnic: joint stiffness, pain, and swelling are all hallmarks of this degenerative condition, caused by the breakdown and loss of crucial cartilage. But can climbing — in particular the brutal stresses of repetitive use — cause it? According to...
Matt Samet at Climbing Magazine
Rock Climbing Photo: Nutrition for big climbs by Ben Fullerton
Proper Nutrition for a Long Climb
Any serious climber knows the intense stress of a sun-up to sun-down climb. To maintain flexibility, power, balance, and muscular endurance, you need good nutrition and hydration before and during your climb. Making smart food and drink choices can help you move quicker, ...
Matthew Kadey at Climbing Magazine
Rock Climbing Photo: Tom Randall works his endurance on his hand-sized ...
Build Your Own Crack Jamming Machine
Britons Tom Randall and Pete Whittaker became well-known in the U.S. last fall for making the first free ascent of what’s considered the hardest offwidth in the world. Century Crack, a 5.14b in Utah’s Canyonlands National Park, required two years of training on “crack ...
Tom Randall and Amanda Fox at Climbing Magazine
Rock Climbing Photo: Knee parts and how they connect
Injury-proof Your Climber Knees
Editor’s Note: This issue, we present the second of three Training Tech Tips in conjunction with the nonprofit ProHealth Lab, in Park City, Utah. A Common Climber Injury is tearing of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and/or meniscus. One of the knee’s four major li...
Thomas Rosenburt and Stacy McCooey at Climbing Magazine
Rock Climbing Photo: MOJO (190 cal) vs. Clif bar (260 cal)
Lose Weight Safely
As high-end sport climbing emerged in the 1980s, another climbing trend also surfaced—and no, we don’t mean the bright pink, tiger-print Lycra that littered the pages of Climbing mags of yesteryear. Body weight became a huge factor in the sport; some climbers were unhea...
Climbing Magazine
Rock Climbing Photo: Rock rings by Ben Fullerton
New Workouts to Refresh Your Gym Training
Thanks to your local climbing gym, rock climbing is a four-season, every-day-of-the-week sport. It’s always sunny in the plastic paradise, even during the dark, cold, and wet winter months. Easy and instant access should do wonders for your climbing, but there’s a fatal...
Julie Ellison and Alex Biale at Climbing Magazine
Rock Climbing Photo: Dead hang on ice tools by Julie Ellison
5 Exercises for Your Ice Climbing Endurance
You’ve felt it countless times: the slow-burning, inevitable sensation that creeps up your forearms into your hands, affecting your grip and throwing you off the wall—the dreaded pump. In ice climbing, this affects the hold you have on your ice tools and your ability to...
Amanda Fox at Climbing Magazine
Offwidth Training: Plyos
In Phases 1 and 2, aim for 30-minute plyo sessions, then work up to an hour in Phases 3 and 4. Plyos are the most intense of the workout components and present the highest risk for over-training and injury, so start slowly and focus on proper form. The emphasis should alw...
Pamela Pack at Climbing Magazine
Rock Climbing Photo: Cossak Squat
Prepare for Battle: Training for Offwidths
Shimmying up offwidths is grueling, physical punishment that can tax your entire body, and like the routes themselves, training is a completely different beast from running laps in the gym. Brad Jackson, a prominent Vedauwoo, Wyoming, offwidth climber and physical trainer...
Julie Ellison at Climbing Magazine
Rock Climbing Photo: Fig 1. & Fig 2. eccentric wrist curls
Prevent Elbow and Shoulder Injuries
The repetitive motions of climbing and training are hard on the body, especially when done for years on end. Our sport involves lots of pulling down and in toward the body, and the required muscles become well developed at the expense of other muscle groups. Add common da...
Dave MacLeod at Climbing Magazine
Techniques for Climbing Moms-To-Be
Deciphering what you can and can’t do on the rock when you’re pregnant is no easy task. Few scientific studies even mention rock climbing and pregnant women in the same analysis. But there are plenty of opinions in the cyber-world: Pictures of ladies climbing with baby ...
Laura Snider at Climbing Magazine
Rock Climbing Photo: Yoga for climbers, Chamonix by Andy Mann
Six Yoga Poses for Climbers
My physical therapist, a triathlete, recently told me that climbing puts more intense stress on my body than any other sport does. “Your lats are overdeveloped, your shoulders pull forward, your neck is strained, your hamstrings are tight,” she told me. “Just stop clim...
Lizzy Scully at Climbing Magazine
Rock Climbing Photo: Power resting at its finest. by Mike Clelland
How to Rest Between Rock Climbs
Rest. How long, how much, how often — everyone has an opinion. To a climber with a strict training background, to whom more than one rest day is nearly unthinkable, three rest days could seem counter productive. In my younger, slightly obsessive days, I would stress out,...
Katie Brown at Climbing Magazine
Stabilization Exercises for Offwidth Training
There are multiple options for stabilization/core training. Choose at least two to three core workouts per week throughout each cycle. Ideas for core sessions include: PilatesCoreAlignCore group fitness classes If you can’t get to a class or are short on time, choose on...
Pamela Pack at Climbing Magazine
Rock Climbing Photo: South Face of Charlotte Dome
Staying Power: Prepare for Grueling Approaches
Do you aspire to ascend beautiful, sweeping faces like the ones in California's Sierra Nevada? Are you also put off by long, taxing approaches? You may never be as fit as Galen Rowell was, but with proper training you can build up ample strength and endurance for mountain...
Amanda Fox at Climbing Magazine
Rock Climbing Photo: Fig 1: dolphin push-up
Quick and Focused Workouts for Peak Performance
As a full-time high school teacher, husband, pro climber, and father to two young boys, I don’t have a ton of time to devote to training for climbing. What matters most in a workout is getting the most bang for my buck—this means short but intense workouts that keep me ...
Rob Pizem at Climbing Magazine
Effective Power Training for Climbing
You can train long or you can train hard, but not both — which is probably why so many of us train power so wrongly. (By “power,” we mean the product of strength and speed, i.e., the explosive force recruited any time you use momentum, or “go for it.”) Properly train...
Steve Bechtel at Climbing Magazine
Heart-rate Training for Max Climbing Power
You’re gunning for your project, a pumpy 90-foot route with a crux on hateful crimpers at bolt 11. For the umpteenth time, you enter the crux feeling juiced: your footwork crumbles, your arms chickenwing . . . and then you whip, huffing like the Big Bad Wolf as you hit t...
Justin Roth at Climbing Magazine
Rock Climbing Photo: Finger tendons by Keith Svihovec
The Best Rock Climbing Supplements
Climb long enough, and you’ll experience setbacks: tendonitis, torn pulleys, injured tendons/ligaments, joint pain, or shoulder injuries. They’re our war wounds from battling gravity. But just as year-round conditioning is important to stave off injury, so, too, is “tr...
Thomas Rosenberg at Climbing Magazine
Train Indoors For Ice and Mixed Climbing
When it comes to training, rock climbers have it easy. Look online for countless articles on different ways to get stronger, and then work hard in the gym (and there seems to be a new one popping up on every corner) to get better on the rock. (See our favorite workouts at...
Leia Larsen at Climbing Magazine
Rock Climbing Photo: Supine spinal twist
6 Yoga Poses to Ease Hiking Muscles
Stretching is an often-overlooked aspect of the pre-climbing routine. The following stretches pull double duty; not only do they lengthen your muscles, tendons, and ligaments for the approach—therefore preventing injury—but they also provide more mobility and flexibilit...
Amanda Fox at Climbing Magazine
Rock Climbing Photo: Alli Rainey on Killer Karma
Your Goal: Climb 5.12a
“I’m a fairly solid 5.11 sport climber. I’ve redpointed some easy 5.11s and a couple of 5.11c routes. I love Ten Sleep’s crimps and pockets, and really want to climb Cocaine Rodeo (5.12a) next year. What do I do to make the leap?” This goal is attainable for most 5....
Alli Rainey at Climbing Magazine

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