/ Avoiding injury after a couple of years out
I haven't climbed since 2016 and have put a bit of weight on too so I'm hoping for a few gems of wisdom here. I'm very keen to get going again and have decided to go to a coach to get me on the right track before I get back into any bad habits - it's hourly sessions though so I've got to decide whether to make sure I can actually climb for an hour first and risk slipping into habits or go straight for the coach as an unfit blank canvas.....
How would you build yourself back up after a long break? Is there any sort of beginner's training plan designed to build strength without setting yourself up for injuries, particularly fingers?
Climbing wise, spending a fair bit of time focusing on getting precise footwork and technique back will keep your weight in the right places and lower the chances of overloading anything. If you're looking to specifically build finger strength back, the most controllable way will be using a fingerboard or similar - you can start hanging off jugs/a bar, and then have a very controlled rate of progression compared to just climbing where there is always the temptation to power through a route that turns out to be a bit more strenuous than first envisaged and tweak something.
Makes sense and plenty of footwork "training" was already high on the priorities so should be quite easy to get the two at the same time
Have a look at this
There's plenty of other pages you can find, and I'm sure there'll be plenty on ukc too but the general gist is the 'before & after' of a climbing session is more important than the actual climbing. Follow the excersises on the page and you're much more likely to stay injury free compared to just going climbing.
Yes the page is bouldering specific but they're just as relevant for routes.
Try and build up volume gradually over the first three or four weeks without worrying about grade. Harder stuff tends to put more strain on tendons etc, and it's better to build fitness and flow first imo.
I quite often do blocks of easy boulder problems more or less continuously, e.g. 4 easy problems, repeated four times (NB not a classic PE 4x4, I'm talking about an aero session for the unfit!). After a month I'll have built up so I'm trying half a dozen hardish problems, then doing 6x6 easy problems. On routes I might try and build up from half a dozen routes when v unfit to getting on for 20 per session.
As has already been said, warming up and some basic antagonist stuff is always a good idea, and especially when restarting. E.g. I might slot in some pressups, theraband shoulder work, reverse wriat curls, and core at the end of sessions, or at home on in between days.
Personally I'd try and get a bit of the above base fitness before getting coaching, so as to make the most of it.
Alex Puccio has climbed Heritage, a Carlo Traversi Font 8B+ in Val Bavona, Switzerland. This was Puccio's fifth climb graded 8B+ after previously climbing Jade, The Wheel of Chaos, New Baseline and The Penrose Step.