Training : How to Improve by Simply Climbing
Sometimes simply Climbing is the best way to improve. In this article Jonathan Sigriest explains that the most effective way to improve your climbing is to simply climb. It seems too easy ? Just try !
« At age 32, after 13 years of climbing, I’ve seen things change. When I started, there were only a few bouldering gyms in the country, chalk was just chalk, and 5.13 was considered hard. One change I’ve noticed recently is a widespread enthusiasm for training.
Climbers often ask me, “What’s the fastest way to reach double-digit boulders or 5.14? What’s the secret!?” They expect that some savage hangboarding, heavy lifting, or campus routine is the singular key. But my suggestions tend to be simple. Go climbing often, try hard, and take the long view.
While nobody wants to hear that it can take years to reach the top grades, a slow, measured approach is the most reliable way to improve. Climbing hard requires strength. But of equal importance is skill. Careful footwork, efficient movement, and proper cadence take years of practice to develop. There are no shortcuts. Plus, pumping iron will never help you develop the mental and logistical aspects.
I frequently see people who have the strength to succeed but lack patience or the mental ability to metabolize disappointment. Give yourself the opportunity over a handful of seasons to improve steadily. And accept failure as part of the process.
Climb several times a week, even if it’s just short gym sessions. Very few activities target the forearms as intensively as climbing, so when you take long breaks or climb irregularly, any progress will fade disappointingly fast. Taking a week or two off occasionally is fine, but be as consistent as possible, especially for the first several years as you build your base. »