ShareThis Page
Outdoors

Exercise now for rock climbing later

Everybody Adventures
| Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018, 11:30 p.m.
Rock climbing can be exciting, so long as you are in shape.
Pixabay
Rock climbing can be exciting, so long as you are in shape.

It's a definite maybe.

You may still be able to do some rock climbing yet this year, or you might not, depending on where you go and what conditions exist there.

Alpine Adventures in New York says its rock climbing season generally runs from late April through mid-October, for example. But there are exceptions.

"We have climbed warm, dry rock in the Adirondacks during all 12 months of the year, but it has taken almost twenty years to find a warm day in every month," reads its website.

Other places are a little more reliable for perhaps a little while longer.

Smith Rock Climbing School in Oregon climbs until Thanksgiving many years.

One thing is certain, though. And it's true all over the country.

You can't climb any time — in spring, summer, fall or later — if you're not in condition to do so.

That's where training comes in.

Climbers and would-be climbers need to focus on two things primarily: strength and technique.

But it all begins with being lean, or at least as lean as possible. The more you weigh – especially in relation to how strong you are – determines how smoothly you can climb, and for how long.

"If you're carrying an extra 10 pounds (or more) it will make climbing less efficient," says REI, the outdoor co-op retailer.

Climbers who shed that little extra fat need then to work on what's known as "local endurance," or – as climbing.com describes it – "a muscle group's ability to sustain effort over a period of time." Climbers achieve success primarily using a strong core and lower body. But local endurance training promotes blood flow and strengthens forearms, so that climbers can hang on for longer periods of time.

Training with fingerboards – which are just what they sound like, boards that offer the chance to hang by your fingers alone – is one aspect of this. It's a bit different than most muscle training.

According to metoliusclimbing.com, "tendons build up slowly and are easy to injure," so while you want to push yourself, it's best not to go too far too fast.

Beyond endurance, spend time building up what climbers refer to as "power," too. Power training readies your body for those moments – short in duration but critical – requiring a big move.

"Power training develops maximum strength, which you need for performing especially hard moves," says rockandice.com.

Fortunately, a lot of training is done by, you know, actually climbing. Specifically, climb indoors, in winter, on a climbing wall.

"There is no substitute for time spent climbing," says the website theadventurejunkies.com. "It is well-accepted that one of the best ways for new climbers to improve is to spend more time climbing.

"While training will definitely provide gains in strength, power, and power endurance, building baseline endurance in conjunction with good technique will make you a better climber."

Actual climbing offers the chance to refine technique, too. Climbers can replicate what they expect to do outside, be it bouldering, or climbing without a rope or harness; top-rope climbing, which is climbing while anchored to rope overhead and is good for beginners; or lead climbing, which is most like sport climbing outside.

You can experiment with all three indoors, in one setting.

So, if you want to climb later, the time to start getting ready is now. You'll end up leaner, stronger and capable of reaching new heights, literally.

Bob Frye is the everybodyadventures.com editor. Reach him at 412-216-0193 or bfrye@535mediallc.com. See other stories, blogs, videos and more at everybodyadventures.com.

Article by Bob Frye, Everybody Adventures,

http://www.everybodyadventures.com

Copyright © 535media, LLC

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me