/ Beginners training schedule

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kamsy - on 11 May 2014
Hi everyone,

I started climbing indoors a couple of months ago. At first I went a couple times with a friend of mine, beginner as well, and then we both decided to take a novice course. They taught us the basics of top rope climbing: knots, belaying, etc. Since the, we have kept going once per week and enjoyed it a lot.

I also practice other activities, go running a couple days per week (just to do some cardio, don't really take it too serious), play football occasionally, cycle occasionally, etc. And also go to the gym once per week.

Now, I'd like to take climbing a little bit more seriously, still keeping it as a hobby but I want it to become my main activity, complementing it with the others I mentioned before. Im currently reading "the self coached climber", and getting some good training tips from it that I'd like to check with you guys and see what you think.

I'd like to still go running twice per week, as it helps me to stay fit and to work some cardio. I think that although I find gym boring and tedious, I also should go once per week to work my opposing muscles (chest, triceps, front forearm, etc..). Another day I think I should just relax and maybe do some stretching, but that's it, just a recover day. That leaves me with 3 days I can devote to climbing. Here is what I had thought I could do with these days:

The friend I go with just climbs once per week, so I could use that day just to climb (top rope). The second day I was thinking about bouldering on my own, and the third day to focus on technique exercises the author suggests in the book i mentioned before (quiet foot, turns, flags, etc.).

As I said, I want to keep it as a hobby, not an obsession, that's why I also want to keep doing some other activities.

What do you guys think???.

Thanks a lot.

Cheers.
Choss on 11 May 2014
In reply to kamsy:

Personally, i would just go Climbing. youll Naturally improve and find your Level. Take it From there. You enjoy it as a hobby, why Turn it into a chore with Training etc?
kamsy - on 11 May 2014
In reply to Choss:

Hi Choss,

Thanks for your reply!. It's not really training, I was just thinking of going 1 day to do some technique exercises, the other 2 days would remain as they are, one day top rope climbing and the other bouldering.
Choss on 11 May 2014
In reply to kamsy:

Hi buddy.

It was big Ron Fawcett Himself, Peace be upon him, in one of the Two holy books, who said

"The best training for Climbing was to go to the pub, Drink 5 pints and Talk about climbing"

:-)
The Ex-Engineer - on 11 May 2014
In reply to kamsy: The only worthwhile training advice beginners need is something along the lines of:

- have fun, climb around twice per week, limit yourself to a maximum of three good attempts on any move. Repeat until no longer a beginner.

I don't know what grade you can climb but for an average, fit adult, it would be fairly reasonable to say that once you are comfortably leading f6a/f6a+ onsight, you stop being a beginner any more. Around that point you'd then be talking about an 'Improver's training schedule' and only then is it likely to be worthwhile moving to climb thrice per week.
AJM - on 11 May 2014
In reply to kamsy:

If you don't like the gym anyway, I wouldn't be too bothered about an entire gym session a week just to maintain balance in your antagonists.

Technique exercises - if you is do want to do them, ensure you do them in a way that's beneficial. As someone pointed out a while ago, "quiet feet" drills can just encourage slow footwork, rather than the fast accurate footwork that you really want. Personally though, I'd just go bouldering instead, preferably if you can with a group of others. Learning by watching, copying and experimenting is not the worst way to improve out there. And when you see someone flagging on a problem, or using a dropknee, or whatever, you can try it yourself, mess around with it, in a more "realistic" setting so to speak.

kamsy - on 11 May 2014
Thanks everybody, I do appreciate your help and advise, and I guess I'll just stick to climbing twice or three times per week for now till I gain some more experience, and I'll worry about technique and a decent training schedule in the future.

Jezzamiah on 11 May 2014
In reply to kamsy:

I found all those technique exercises in The Self-Coached Climber make great warm-ups. Learning and setting yourself up for a good session = win. Good luck, have fun.
kamsy - on 11 May 2014
In reply to Jezzamiah:

Yes, I guess I could use some of them as a warm up instead of just devoting 1 entire session to them! Thanks buddy
tlm - on 11 May 2014
In reply to kamsy:

Where do you live?

It's the spring. The start of the climbing season. Get outside, on rock, in the fresh air for free!
kamsy - on 11 May 2014
In reply to tlm:

I live in Oxford, I'd love to go out on the weekends and climb on real rock for the first time!
Choss on 11 May 2014
In reply to kamsy:

Heres your Nearest crag...

http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/crag.php?id=1133

Dont let anyone bad Mouth her, shes a quality item, people just find her a bit pumpy

:-)
stevemarkperry - on 11 May 2014
In reply to kamsy:

You might get advice, especially here in the UK, which is a little anti-training but do what you think is best. Personally I train and always have done as it's a part of the enjoyment of it for me. Others don't enjoy training but everyone is different.

However, if you are just starting out I would really focus on volume of moves and, as you say, focus on your technique and listen to your body's balance requirements (if that makes sense). Eat (and drink) well, rest well and repeat. Climb with friends, enjoy and try hard. I know that sounds a bit basic and it is, for now. Eventually you will get a feel for what your weaknesses are, when this happens then you can begin focusing on those areas to improve on them.
tlm - on 11 May 2014
In reply to kamsy:

Why not get in touch with your nearest club?

https://www.thebmc.co.uk/map
Rekotin on 11 May 2014
In reply to kamsy:

It's worth joining the Oxford University Mountaineering Club (OUMC) - They arrange a lot of trips and have a good mix of people (I think 1/3 are no longer students etc) and you'll be bound to bounce into them at the gym anyway (if not the pub night :)).
ianstevens - on 11 May 2014
In reply to stevemarkperry:

I think this is spot on - whilst going climbing is obviously the best way to get better at climbing, a bit of focus will help no end. As a beginner, you're at a point when can easily develop good (or bad) habits - so as others have mentioned, a few "drill" type exercises in your warm up are ideal, just make sure to keep them fresh and stop them getting boring, but the ones you've suggested are excellent starts.

Another thing to turn into a habitat is route planning and reading - get used to looking at boulder problems and planning where the holds are, what moves you might do etc. And then review afterwards - why did you do well? Why did you fall off? Really easy stuff, but good to get into the habit of - even if you just have a little think over in your head.

The same applies for routes - although you can't plan every move, you can split them into easier and trickier sections in your mind, which makes trying hard things a little less daunting.

Anyway (went off on a minor tangent there) stick with the book (its good) and take the opportunity to develop good habits early - it'll make it far easier to progress through grades both now and later on!
Ann S on 11 May 2014
In reply to Choss:

> Hi buddy.

> It was big Ron Fawcett Himself, Peace be upon him, in one of the Two holy books, who said

> "The best training for Climbing was to go to the pub, Drink 5 pints and Talk about climbing"

> :-)

Bloody hell. Thats where I'm going wrong. I only drink one pint but I do talk a lot about climbing. Must get training harder.
kamsy - on 11 May 2014
In reply to kamsy:

Thanks everybody, i think ive already bumped into a few guys of the climbing club, ill ask them next time about weekend trips and all that, hopefully there will be more people of my level so the pros do not get bored with me!
jkarran - on 11 May 2014
In reply to kamsy:

Go climbing, enjoy yourself. Don't go mad, two, max three sessions a week or you'll be injured in no time. Bouldering is great for learning and for building strength and developing your technique. Warm up thoroughly and slowly, it's important for preventing injury and it's the perfect time to play with those movement drills rather than dedicating a session to it. Rest as much as you need even if it means skipping a session here and there. If you're keen on roped climbing then get leading ASAP and start redpointing as soon as you can start to get onto walls steep enough for it to be safe, now is the time to be learning to try really rally hard on lead, not after a decade of trad pottering like many folk (myself included) do.

Have fun, save the structured training for when the gains stop coming by just climbing, you're on the best bit of the learning curve, why spoil it with training plans and routine!

jk
Rekotin on 11 May 2014
In reply to kamsy:

There's a constant influx of new beginner climbers, so I wouldn't worry about what grades you climb. It's just important to keep active and enjoy the climbing :)
needvert on 11 May 2014
In reply to kamsy:

What sort of climbing do you aspire to do? Where do you want to be?

The books I read seem to have a recurring theme, that "just climbing more" isn't in itself the most effective strategy to develop.
(Since you mention it, running certainly frequently gets mentioned as a good thing)
kamsy - on 12 May 2014
In reply to needvert:

I take climbing just as a hobby, I don't wanna go nuts about it, but still, I'd like it to be my main activity, complementing it with some running/gym/other sports
Ramblin dave - on 12 May 2014
In reply to needvert:

> What sort of climbing do you aspire to do? Where do you want to be?

> The books I read seem to have a recurring theme, that "just climbing more" isn't in itself the most effective strategy to develop.

Yes, although afaict a lot of climbing books are aimed at people who've already hit the first plateau where "just climbing more" isn't helping them to improve anymore.

Also, there's quite a bit of stuff in between "just climbing more" and actually spending whole sessions on lots of structured strength and technique drills - eg I'd definitely recommend that a beginner does stuff like watching better climbers (and climbing with them and getting tips from them if possible) to figure out how they move and how they use their hands and feet, or tries to climb smoothly and efficiently (eg with good footwork and body position) rather than just being satisfied to get up stuff by any means necessary...
kamsy - on 12 May 2014
In reply to Ramblin dave:

Hi Dave,

I think that according to most people's opinion, I'll just stick to 2 or 3 sessions per week, and during the warm up I'll spend some time doing technique drills rather than spending one whole session working on it.
Offwidth - on 12 May 2014
In reply to kamsy:

One key limiting factor for beginners is finger tendon strength: muscle strenth improves much faster when starting off so if you push too far too fast you will get injured. The best thing for you to do is warm up properly, get loads of mileage, vary things, dont try fingery things or dynos that are way too hard for you and climb with better climbers and watch and learn from them.
stp - on 27 May 2014
In reply to Ramblin dave:

I agree that watching better climbers is a great way to improve. But I'd add that with the internet you can do this without leaving your keyboard. Vimeo and Youtube are full of videos of the world's very best climbers. If you can absorb some of that by watching, analysing and copying in your own climbing its a good way to improve.

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