Comeback Fitness in Two Weeks for Climbers Over 40
Comebacks get harder as we age. Because we don’t build muscle as easily nor recover as quickly. But it is possible 😉 Comeback Fitness in Two Weeks for Climbers Over 40.
Comeback Fitness : lay the Groundwork
Step one is laying a general fitness foundation. According to Dr. Brigit Barre, a sports certified doctor of physical therapy at Langford Sports & PT in Albuquerque, New Mexico, it is harder for aging athletes to get and stay in shape because our metabolism slows. Plus our muscle size and strength decrease, and our muscles, tendons, and ligaments become less flexible.
However, consistent exercise will improve all of these things. Consider a boot camp or HIIT-style workout. Or a combination of light resistance training with a cardio component. Your current fitness level will determine how long to focus on this phase. Barre says it’s a “feel thing”.
In fact you’d better look for increased flexibility and endurance. Two to three weeks is a good baseline. Once you start back into climbing training, include active rest days with a cardio component: hike, run, bike ride, etc.
Get Back on the Wall
The best way to get climbing again is with a balanced plan that builds endurance, strength, and power equally—emphasis on plan. This helps in three ways, says Lance Hadfield, a climbing coach at the Stone Age Climbing Gym in Albuquerque. “First, it helps you overcome the inevitable plateau. Second, it provides measurable goals that show improvement. Third, it helps with injury prevention by specifically targeting things like shoulder and finger strength.”
- Cardio (5-10 Minutes): Stationary bike, treadmill, or rowing machine. Or combine intervals like jumping jacks, mtn. climbers, and burpees.
- Dynamic Stretching (5 Minutes):Stretch the joints and muscles through the range of motion, holding 5 seconds, releasing, then repeating a few times. Try arm-across-body movements, knees-chest, sidebends, and other stretches that mimic climbing movement, plus Sun Salutations.
- Easy Routes or Bouldering: Begin with at least one easy route or a few easy problems; stretch out and hang from big holds. There is no set timetable—just ramp up gradually to prep for giving maximum effort.