Training…in the Summer?

As summer has shown up quite early this year, things are full steam ahead for after work cragging on the local cliffs. But after reading Sonnie Trotter’s excellent piece about how simple training for climbing really is, it got me thinking about the idea of whether or not to train during the summer. In the winter, we have to climb inside during the week, but from May to September, it’s possible to leave work at 5 and get a bunch of quality pitches in before the sun goes down.

One one hand, there’s no question you’ll get stronger by training indoors. And I’m not talking about showing up to the gym and randomly doing a bunch of climbs. I’m talking about focused training: ARCing, hangboard workouts, 4×4’s, etc. Working specifically on your weaknesses in order to send hard on the weekends. Core exercises, antagonistic muscles, the works!

However, I generally find that when May comes around, I’ve put in plenty of indoor time for the last six months, and I’m ready to be outside enjoying the world. Even though I know I could keep training and working on weaknesses in a more focused way than I can outside, a big part of why I climb is to experience the incredible surroundings that we so often find ourselves in. For me, that far outweighs any gains I might make in personal performance, no matter how far I seem to have turned to the dark side.

So what do you think? Stay inside and get stronger? Or go outside and have a blast?

3 Responses to Training…in the Summer?

  1. Crappy Squamish weather makes the choice for me.

    The Call Of K2 Lou June 7, 2012 at 5:12 pm
  2. It’s getting to be around 100 degrees every day here in Southern Arizona. With a combination of crag closures due to fire restrictions, falcon nesting and plain ol’ out of season crags due to sun/shade aspect, training in the summer is a great idea.

    Some of the better crags are not open until mid-summer, so it is possible to get an additional training cycle in and not miss out on the whole summer. Plus, the gyms are much cooler than outside.

    Ryan J June 8, 2012 at 5:53 pm
  3. I believe is possible to do both. Many studies show that the best way to build strength is to do a small number of high intensity exercises daily. With this in mind I usually do about 5 different hangboard exercises at home every day while also climbing 1-3 times per week outside. 1 for back strength, 1 for explosive power (big moves), 1 for pinch strength, 1 for crimp strength, and 1 for sloper strength. I think having a hangboard at home is so helpful and time saving if you want to get better as a climber. You finish these workouts feeling stronger and you can do them before a long day climbing without them effecting your performance. Just make sure you climb as well because your endurance will tank if you do not.

    Jason Keck June 25, 2012 at 12:55 pm
Locals Corner

Bulldog Creek Dog Walk (IV WI 4+)

Hayden Carpenter and Tom Bohanon recently repeated an obscure ice climb on the south side of Mt Sopris. Given a brief mention in Jack Robert’s ice guide, Bulldog Creek Walk is described as being 100 meters of WI 4. What they found was seven pitches of ice in a remote setting that makes for one […]

Connect with Us

Real Time Web Analytics