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The most difficult things about climbing training by yourself – And how to tackle them

Many climbers have become interested in learning to train in recent years.

They either find their way into training through online videos, gym courses or through climber folks or are just simply trying to experiment with new ways to gain skills.

Tools like the campus board, boulder walls and fingerboards are becoming more and more popular. There are numerous c, and videos available on YouTube.

But training isn’t easy and should not be too randomized. Here are some challenges we all face when learning to train.

climbing 1. Finding the “right” amount of time to train on schedule.
If you are training by yourself at the climbing gym, chances are you have other responsibilities in life. You could have a part-time job, or a fulltime job, or you can be a stay at home parent. The point is, everyone is busy in this life and not all of us can afford to be full time climbers. Even the elite climbers look to do some work, since sponsorships alone can’t cover the costs of living (and traveling) So how do you find the time to train on schedule?

Some people may say: “Well, if you are dedicated enough, you can always find the time.” True. You may agree with that.

So then the question becomes: “How much time should you dedicate daily to train? If I can only get half an hour per day, does that still count?”

This is a question only you yourself can answer. It is hard to estimate how many hours you should train each day. Some people suggest to keep it short and sweet. 15 minutes is already good enough.

On the other side of the spectrum, I’ve also heard beginner climbers got into the climbing training arena within a year or so by training 2 or 3 hours a day. If you want some motivation you can give that a try.

The bottom line is this: only you yourself know how many hours you can train per week, and making it a habit of doing it, without getting burnt out. Here is when training planning comes into play and how specialized climbing programs can make the difference. Remember this:

“It is not about your daily progress, it is about progress daily.”

An in ideal commitment seems anything in between 2 to 5 90-minute sessions per week, of your availability, age, experience etc.

2. Finding the balance between “not making a good enough progress” and “getting burnt out.”

Many climbers struggled with this a lot.

There are days you just could not complete a single set of 10 pull-ups. It just wasn’t sinking into your mind. You would get burnt out so bad that you’d have to calm yourself down, cut off the session, and take a deep breath.

From that point onward you would keep reminding yourself not to overwork it to the point that there was no coming back.

Training is not easy. It requires you to concentrate, especially when you are learning new stuff. It is mentally and physically taxing, and there are times that you can’t figure it out — why your training didn’t work, or even why it did.

I found I was most productive whenever I was concentrated on the problem I was working on right then, but simultaneously I was relaxed, enjoying the whole process.

So, to put it bluntly, you need to love what you do. Which leads us to the next point.

3. Loving training is the only way to survive all these obstacles.
As cliche as it sounds, sometimes this is simply just truth. If you love the path you are taking, love the job you are doing, love the direction you are going, and love the sport you practice… you don’t need acknowledgments from the outside world. This fulfillment cannot be borrowed faked or replaced.

4. Keep coming back to training AFTER committing to other responsibilities in life.
The reality is when it comes to self-directed training, it is never gonna be you yourself, being there, learning.

In life we all have all kinds of responsibilities we need to commit to. You might be a husband, or a wife, or someone’s parent. You need to take care of your family, or you have a job you need to attend to. Or maybe you are a student that needs to finish your diploma or degree. With all the duties that are lying upon us, where do we find the time to train?

The truth is, sometimes you don’t or you simply just can’t. But after that, you go back to training immediately. ” This is the moment you just have to persevere, have to grind it out.

You need to tell yourself, “Okay, this first hour of training might seem painful, boring and not that productive. But that’s okay, I will make it up by climbing more tomorrow.”

There is no way to sugarcoat this but to keep on going, keep on keeping on. Try a new training plan or keep a journal to express your frustration. But once you’ve done that, immediately go back to training.

5. Keep yourself motivated, in any way.
Training for climbing is different from attending school. There is no one around you judging when you are training. There are no classmates telling you jokes, there are no social interactions, you cannot find that “grand ceremony” waiting for you at the end of the tunnel. So you need to find some type of motivation to keep yourself moving forward. There is nothing more rewarding than going through a training cycle to come out of it climbing way better than before. Also, reward yourself, and make it a habit.

It could be small, or it could be big. It could be a hot chocolate at the end of the day or a cold beverage. Prove yourself that you are doing a great job. It is often needed when learning to train. Write up in a wall the grade or route you want to climb — because you got to believe one day you can complete that project.

6. Do not fall into the fallacy of “training for the sake of training.” To to the gym, stick to your plan, and grind through the exercises. There are times we can get side-tracked when learning to train. I felt there are moments that you just want to be lazy. Not in a way that you don’t want to climb anymore, but in a way that you secretly hope that by trying fun problems and routes all day, you don’t have to face the real challenge: Getting stronger as a climber with more strenuous exercises.

Do not fall into that fallacy of thinking “I am climbing so that’s good enough. I will think about a training program later when I am ready.”

So next time when you walk into the gym, you are clear in the work you need to do. It will add value to your skillset. The first step is always the hardest. But you have to do it no matter what.

All the above are challenges/situations you are gonna face on the road to becoming a better climber. Acknowledge them, face them with the right attitude — those hurdles you face can only make you stronger and better athlete.

Last but not least, happy training! Enjoy the progress you are making, whether it is towards your next project or your future climbing trip.

Want to start with a training program you can do in your own schedule? Download the premium collection of climbing workouts or try one of the manuals including Essential Training.