Strength Training : why climbers are getting wrong ?
How to train more effectively ? Most climbers are taking the wrong (or “too narrow”) approach with their strategies to improve strength. This is important because the ability to exert incredible levels of force from our body onto the rock makes a big impact on grade.
Athletes looking to push their performance to the next level shouldn’t be satisfied with taking an ineffective or incomplete approach to improving strength. If you’re ready to improve this element of your climbing then there are a number of areas you should focus on:
- Applied strength technique
- Muscle size
- Inter-muscular coordination
- Muscular recruitment
- Fascicle length and rate of force development
Many climbers get a few of these right (in different combinations) but very rarely, unless they are being coached and managed, will they hit all or most of them. If—and it’s a big “if”—you do tackle all or most areas then you can say hello to strength improvements and maintenance for the rest of your life.
Applied Strength Technique
Everyone says that they feel weak at some point in their life. What if I was to tell you that you might actually be super strong—from a physical standpoint. But you’ve not yet refined the skill of how to apply that strength. Yup, you got it. If you improve your technique you will appear stronger with absolutely no changes in the muscle or soft tissues. If you have no technique you are—for the want of a better word—weak.
What makes a difference
- Time-on-task aka practice with strength training. If you do not apply high intensity and high quality training into your years of climbing you will never be any good at it. It’s simple.
- Intention. The ability to visualise and apply very high quality into an exercise set or movement hugely compounds over time. You refine your mindset, your self belief. And your focus ! The best athletes are very good at this. Beyond what you’d expect. Or notice on Instagram.
Read also Movement efficiency vs strength