by Christopher Schafenacker
So, your local pain cave has a bedbug infestation… or your car’s been making a weird sound… or winter’s finally come and the White Walkers are invading… Whatever the reason, you can’t get to the climbing gym, but your psych hasn’t diminished and you want to stay strong. Whatcha gonna do?
Well, if you were smart enough to ask your loved ones for a Rocket Wall last Christmas, you’re set. If not, here are a few tips to help you stay fit.
1. Hangboard Like Your Climbing Life Depends on It
Strong fingers are a cornerstone of climbing performance and, luckily, you don’t need more than a ROCK-STAH Wood Hangboard to get there. While you’re waiting for the White Walkers to recede or the bed bugs to clear or whatever the case, try getting into a routine of 7/3 repeaters. Though it may be true that real authorities on training for climbing (like Eric Hörst or Eva López) will recommend more demanding protocols for experienced climbers, this simple exercise—which is designed to mimic the demands of actual climbing—is a safe introduction to the dark art of hangboarding.
2. Blast Your Core
If you’re like most climbers, you probably spend most of your available training time on the wall—which is exactly what you should be doing. Periodic breaks to build sport-specific strength are never a bad thing, however. Take advantage of this moment of limited gym access to build a bullet-proof core and look forward to sending harder than ever when you’re finally able to get back to the rock or resin.
Need inspiration? Check out this video from Lattice Training for an in-depth explanation of how and why to train your core for climbing.
3. Retain Your Pulling Strength
Strong fingers and core (plus technique and time on the wall) will get you far in climbing but, eventually, you also need good old-fashioned brute strength if you want to truly hit your genetic potential. Strength training for climbing is a huge topic and we won’t pretend to know everything—but one thing we can say for sure is that you need to be able to pull hard if you want to send hard. This means not only training whatever variety of pull-ups suits your current fitness level, but also integrating one- and two-arm rows, among other pulling exercises, into your regimen.
While no strength program is suitable for everyone, a general tip for best performance results is to focus on low reps and heavy weight in order to prioritize building strength without putting on excessive bulk.
Want more tips and tricks for training from home? Check out our previous blogs to get yourself motivated!
Featured Climbing Training Gear
Maverick: The on-the-go, bring it anywhere hangboard. On a family road trip to keep your fingers in shape. We like to bring this to the crag with us to keep our fingers warm—without losing skin on mediocre warm-ups—at that steep, thuggy sport crag.
Pinch Blocks: Don't let pinch strength stop you from sending! Use it while hanging, lifting, and even for one arm hangs; featuring various widths for pinching, a 20 mm edge, and a jug.
The Rock-Stah: Our handcrafted version of a traditional hangboard, with curving crimp rails to help alleviate unnecessary strain on your pulleys. Because ain’t no one got time for a finger injury…
The Rocket Wall: Available in 6’ and 8’ widths, it’s been tough for us to keep up with the demand for this innovative home climbing wall solution. Slightly overhanging, the Rocket Wall is big enough to set routes on, or to build a systems board.