For most climbers, winter means climbing regularly in the gym, which many call “training”. Now “training” tends to mean different things to different folks, as some just go climbing, some have a dedicated program, and many fall somewhere in between. There are a number of excellent books on the topic of how to get better at climbing, and each tackles the subject in a unique way. Here’s our distilled version of the popular training programs out there, and what you can expect from each.
Mantra: I’m aware that training is difficult, but I will only observe and not act on that impulse. I will stay with my intention to train, even though it puts me in a stressful situation and my mind naturally seeks comfort. The end result of this will be learning that I can endure training.
Bottom Line: I am as calm as a Japanese rock garden.
Mantra: I already have enough strength to climb my project, but my horrible technique is holding me back. I have devoted 12 hours/day to training in order to address these deficiencies in my technique and movement. I will spend 3 hours warming up, 6 hours sending hard and 3 hours cooling down. I will write everything down and keep track of my progress with meticulous spreadsheets.
Bottom Line: I will have no life outside climbing, but I will climb better!
Mantra: I will schedule my training program into several cycles designed to peak at key times throughout the year. I will experience higher highs, as well as lower lows. I will purchase a weight vest and use that to make myself stronger.
Bottom Line: I am a complete control freak. I will allow no other distractions for 12 weeks so that I can stick to an exact training regimen and my fitness will peak for one week of bliss in the Spring, Summer and Fall. The rest will be training hell.
Mantra: The most efficient way to get strong for climbing is bouldering, campus boards hurt almost everyone, and it’s never too late to get a lot better at climbing.
Bottom Line: Every one sucks at climbing in their own special way, but if I climb more, I’ll suck less. And I might need a PhD in climbing to take in all the info in this book.
OK, I actually haven’t read this one, but with a name like that I imagine it would be somewhere along the lines of:
Enough of this sissy stuff, let’s get some shit done!
Disclaimer: All of these books are actually quite good and we recommend checking them out along with a few others:
Performance Rock Climbing – One of the original and best books on the topic.
Climbing: Training for Peak Performance - an excellent resource for alpinists, climbers with big peak goals, all-around outdoor athletes, and people recovering from major injury or surgery.