Monday, November 12, 2012

Training for Rock Climbing

The bouldering (rock climbing) in Connecticut is known to be one of the hardest places in New England to climb. In order to keep progressing and pushing into harder routes and problems, you have to have a tough training regimen.

I have been looking through training videos and articles for the past couple of months on how to get stronger and push your boundaries.  After going through seemingly endless lists of videos on Youtube and articles from such websites as and, I was able to find some helpful training regimens.  The videos were the most helpful in finding exercises to try due to the complexities of some of the routines if they were only in written form.  So my lazy-not-wanting-to-read-all-these-damn-training-articles self decided to focus on the videos and find some good climb training routines.

After going through and looking at all the videos (and trying some of the performable routines), I categorized them into 3 types of training videos:

Type 1:  These videos were the ones that had tasks that could be performed on a home hangboard or at the gym.  These also had routines that could be performed at all climbing levels and was adjustable to a climbers particular skill level.

Type 2:  These videos were mostly done by elite athletes and they had routines that were not realistic for the average climber training.  While they were awesome to watch and very motivating, performing the routines would more than likely snap a tendon like a guitar string!  However, I came across a few routines that could be modified for your own skill level.

Type 3:  These videos had incomplete routines, had routines that could not be easily performed, or could not tell what the trainer was doing.  You could easily filter through these routines usually in the first 30 seconds or so.

Below you can see a list I made of my top training videos that I have found to be most helpful (Type 1 videos):

1.)  Sean McColl training video.

An elite climber (one of the best in the world!!) Sean McColl has shown his style of training he does.  The great thing about this video is that it can be tailored to your skill level.  I have tried a lot of the training in this video and I feel it has helped me out tons!

2.) Galina Parfenov training video.

Yes, girls can climb hard!!  Galina is actually a climber at my local gym.  She has developed a training routine that can be done at the gym or on a home hangboard that any climber can try.  This training video is a must see!

3.)  Sonnie Trotter Campus Rungs

I really like this video because I am hooked on using campus rungs for training.  Some of the exercises are unrealistic for the average climber but they can be tailored to fit your skill level.  However I don't recommend using these type of exercises until more you become a more advanced climber.

4.) Metolius Project Board-10 minute workout

I like this video because I have the project board and the workout felt great.  It was great for the entire body and had some interesting exercises.  This video is great for all skill levels!

5.)  There is not a video here but more of a directive to get better at rock climbing.  In order to improve your rock climbing skills you have to be doing actual climbing at a gym or outside.  One cannot be good at rock climbing without climbing any rocks!  Being on the wall engages your entire body and mind to balance itself and pull at different angles that cannot be achieved on any training board or system board.  So get to the gym or get outside and climb!

Remember, these videos were made by well trained athletes and all caution should be taken before performing any of these routines.  Listen to your body, if an exercise hurts, don't do it!  Most importantly, stay safe and have fun with your training!