Most climbers are not “athletes” in the true sense of the word. Because general health and wellness are not on their priority list. This is a secondary factor, not a definitive training factor. In most other sports, overall strength and endurance are built before concentrating on a particular area. But for most climbers, the opposite is true.
Cardio and gym training is essential for climbers, but tastes and tolerances vary widely. There are various profiles here. Gym fans and aerobics fans digest by Climbing, loafers who can’t climb rocks without resting in a sitting position, and hit-and-miss teams whose fitness pendulum vibrates randomly as the work fluctuates. Schedule and motivation.
It can be hard to find time to run or go to the gym, especially when the actual Climbing is so much more fun. However, if you give up your general health for too long, you will not be healthy or strong enough to train safely or effectively. Most conditioning exercises also target antagonists and help balance the body. As competitive climbers increasingly take shape, that explains why most people can reach and maintain the levels they only dream of.
If you like this program, here are some tips to help you take your next level of health.
1. Where and When Climbers Do Conditioning
There are two ways in which conditioning and cross-training should be integrated into the overall approach. One during the dedicated cardio and conditioning phase and the other every week.
Long-term training programs should begin with aerobic and conditioning stages. This may include a complete break for the climbers from the climb or up to one or two light endurance climbs per week. The length of this step will depend on how much rest you need after climbing and how much overall stamina you’ve lost by focusing solely on the climb. These two are often synonymous. The approximate duration of the phase is 2 to 4 weeks.
The conditioning phase is also ideal for trauma recovery, in which case it can last longer, for example, up to 10 weeks.
There is a fine line between cross-training and conditioning, whether complementary or detrimental. Long-term aerobic or anaerobic exercise can deplete glycogen stores and prevent recovery from more strenuous climbing activities, resulting in no progress or more severe overtraining-related illnesses or injuries. A simple tip is to reduce the duration, frequency, and intensity of aerobic and exercise, especially during heavy climbing and training phases, especially if increasing strength is a priority.
Training recommendations for cardio and conditioning:
- [X3] moderate training per week during the rest phase
- [X45] high-intensity exercise per week during the conditioning phase
- [X12] light during moderate training intensity during endurance phase (Climbing) session training. Step (ascent)
2. What to Do The great thing about the
cardio and conditioning workouts are that they can be done anywhere, without any special equipment. Elite climbers can include TRX rings, kettlebells, and belts in these activities, but in most cases, they only need space to run and work out. Early morning, lunch, or dinner hours can be suitable breaks in your itinerary. First, set your training goals so that you can continuously improve. It is straightforward to get into the comfort zone and repeat the session. The body adapts quickly, and the only way to get better is to constantly change the situation or increase the intensity.
An example of interval training program for running / cross-training
|Session 1||20 Min Steady Run|
|Session 2||30 Min Steady Run|
|Session 3||30 Min Steady Run||Including 1 X 1 Min Interval|
|Session 4||30 Min Steady Run||Including 2 X 1 Min Interval (1 Min Rest Interval)|
|Session 5||30 Min Steady Run||Including 3 X 1 Min Interval (1 Min Rest Interval)|
|Session 6||30 Min Steady Run||Including 4 X 1 Min Interval (1 Min Rest Interval)|
|Session 7||30 Min Steady Run||Including 5 X 1 Min Interval (1 Min Rest Interval)|
|Session 8||30 Min Steady Run||Including 3 X 1 Min Interval (30 Sec Rest Interval)|
|Session 9||30 Min Steady Run||Including 4 X 1 Min Interval (30 Sec Rest Interval)|
|Session 10||30 Min Steady Run||Including 5 X 1 Min Interval (30 Sec Rest Interval)|
3. Anaerobic and Cardiovascular Training
If you must ride your bike, stick to the road, avoid hills, and pedal at a high cadence. Swimming can fatigue your arms, shoulders, and upper body, so it’s only suitable for rest or warm-up phases. The modern mindset is not to produce the same 30-minute aerobic pitch as it used to be. If you’re in good shape, you should aim to use anaerobic intervals (a series of high-intensity exercises like sprints) to keep your heart beating, then slow down and adjust your recovery time.
This will lead to a significant improvement in stamina and will make it more fun and challenging. The ability to switch between anaerobic and anaerobic energy systems has more to do with Climbing than relying on the aerobic system alone. In addition, anaerobic training increases growth hormone production, which is almost conducive to training success. You don’t need a heart rate monitor to do this exercise, but a stopwatch will be helpful.
An example program is shown above. Those with less stamina should build up 15-20 minute aerobic sessions until they can handle 35-40 minutes of effort (i.e., maintain a steady pace). You can then safely activate the interval.
4. Conditioning Session: Freestyle & Gym
You can do many different exercises here, but the general theme is to do various activities with low weights and relatively high reps. If you have an injury, avoid movements that aggravate the injury and seek a separate rehabilitation program. It is generally recommended to avoid exercises that target the muscles commonly used in Climbing (such as the back and biceps) and instead focus on the legs and antagonist muscles.
However, avoid leg exercises that can increase muscle mass, such as weight squats. It’s good to include your core muscles, but the goal is to achieve a full-body workout rather than focusing on your core (and probably elsewhere in the program as well). A great option is to train in a circular pattern. This is because it develops anaerobic stamina and strengthens the muscles. Below is one of my favorite treatments. This is just one of the endless possibilities, and you can choose freestyle and create your style.
Trainer Gresham’s Conditioning Plan:
Choose six workouts from the list below and include at least one of every muscle group. Then, arrange them to alternate between different muscle groups. The exercise is performed in a circular pattern of 8 to 12 repetitions without rest (see goals below). Start with an easily adjustable level and gradually increase the number of reps and circles. Instructions for resting between processes in each circle are also provided. Reaching the highest goal can further reduce the rest time between rounds, but this can significantly impact performance, so take a break!
- Dips (chest, triceps)
- Sitting Push-ups (chest, triceps)
- Squats (abs)
- Paddles (abs)
- Back Lifts (waist)
- Star Jumps (legs)
- Squat Jumps (squats and push-ups together) (full body)
- Release (weight on a rope attached to the wooden post) (extensor forearm)
- Reverse wrist curl (extensor forearm)
- 8 Repetitions – 2 Rounds x 3 (8 mins rest)
- 8 Repetitions – 3 Rounds x 3 (8 mins rest)
- 10 Repetitions – 3 Rounds x 3 (7 mins rest)
- 10 Repetitions – 4 Rounds x 3 (7 mins rest)
- 12 Repetitions – 3 Rounds x 3 (6 mins rest)
- 12 Repetitions – 4 Rounds x 3 (6 mins rest)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
How do you condition a mountain climber?
To know how to condition mountain climber, check out this video.
What helps the climber to climb?
Hiking is an essential part of any climb. Because, after all, to climb a mountain, you have to keep repeating one foot in front of the other. The toughest time of the climb is the hour of slow, relentless hiking or climbing along trails that lead to mountains or low slopes.
How do you build strength for rock climbing?
To know how to build strength for rock climbing, check our article on How to Improve Muscular Endurance for Rock Climbing.