/ Improving without over training
My names Woz and I've been climbing about 2 months mainly at indoor walls in the Midlands and London.
I've noticed I can get 2 decent climbs in a week but if I try and get in a third I'm usually too tired to do much and then I my performance suffers until I have at least 4 days with no exercise.
I have 2 questions:
1) is there a way for me to up my recovery and stamnia so I can fit 3 good climbs in a week or is 2 normal for a beginner intermediate? I've trained in other sports before and eating more and powering through normally works but that apporach doesn't seem to be working for climbing
2) what sort of exercises can I do to improve my climbing? for example I really struggle holding tension on the wall so caves and over hangs are a real struggle for me ? How often should I be training?
Woz enthusiastic beginner
1) It's pretty common to have to gradually increase the number of climbing sessions you can do. I started out only able to manage one session per week, then had to work my way up to two and then three (three or four seems to be as much as most people can manage, if they're decent intensity).
Climbing puts a lot of very unusual stresses on your body, which other sports don't necessarily prepare you for. You've evidently got a good sense of when you've overdone it, so listen to your body.
2) At this stage, the best way of gaining climbing-specific strength is just climbing (sorry).
And if you're already climbing as many times a week as your body can recover from, then trying to add extra training for the same muscles is not going to help and it's just going to eat into your recovery capacity.
However, if you've been climbing for two months, then (unless you are a kinaesthetic prodigy), your technique's probably rubbish. This should be a *good* thing to hear because it means you can make huge improvements on overhangs etc. without having to get any stronger.
There's some discussion of resources for improving technique in the thread here:
If you're obsessed and super-keen and desperate to do *something* to improve your climbing when you're not actually climbing, then look for stuff that won't deplete your ability to recover -- for example, maybe you could stand to work on your flexibility, or maybe some light antagonist training will help keep everything balanced.
Thanks for the detailed response,
I'll keep climbing and hopefully my body will be ready for more climbs in no time - low intensity form based sessions would get me the extra wall time without crippling myself. Thanks for the suggestion
> low intensity form based sessions
I would say do only a small amount of high intensity climbing during the week, do more of the low intensity, movement based climbing, but still try to keep focused on climbing well. And don't do overly long sessions, leave on a high and still feeling strong. Being able to wrack up many hours of movement practice over the weeks, months and maybe even years will pay dividends in the long run.
Cycle your training phases. Remember you actually get stronger asleep in bed after a nutritious meal. The physical side is damaging, aimed at creating the conditions for adaption.
> 2) what sort of exercises can I do to improve my climbing? for example I really struggle holding tension on the wall so caves and over hangs are a real struggle for me ? How often should I be training?
Holding body tension on overhanging terrain has a lot to do with good core strength. Your fingers and toes are touching the wall but your core connects everything together.
Ive been using this or a variation of for a while now and i feel like i now have quite good body tension. In addition to the excercises on there i try and do front levers (still after 18 months i cant do it completely but close to being able to, to begin with i could barely tuck up with my knees to chest)
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