Training : the Top 10 Errors to Avoid
When we start to train, we have the tendency to make certain mistakes which are commonly due to the effect of motivation and the euphoria felt from making rapid progress. Here is little re-cap of the most common pitfalls.
1. Training intensely day after day
Stacking up intense training sessions is rarely a winning strategy, especially when these are done so at your limit on routes or boulders. In the end, this can only lead to overtraining or injury. The best method being : to opt for alternation between physically demanding exercises and low intensity training that focuses on technique.
2. Becoming fixated on grades
It is without a doubt necessary to construct a solid reference in order to measure progress in climbing. This is (in part) based on grades, which serve as a barometer to estimate the level of fitness and one’s own evolution in time. Just be careful about the extremely subjective nature of this information : everyone knows that there is 7a and 7a, all depending on the crag or the gym and how often we climb there!
3. Make every session a competition
In order to progress in harmony and in the long term, the most important thing is to maintain regularity and escalate difficulty when practicing. Always jockeying for progress is therefore undesirable, this can lead to a physical overcharge that can also be emotional. Know how to benefit from a group dynamic but also how to center yourself in respect to your own feelings!
4. The tendency to not warm-up properly
“Warming up is for other people…” No, no, no! So many people ignore the importance of a general and specific warm up because there are often so eager to just start climbing. Even climbing an easy route is generally insufficient. Taking 30 minutes to practice joint mobility and increase blood flow is not a luxury! Click here to see an article that La Fabrique Verticale has dedicated to warming up.
5. Becoming the king of the gym
It is isn’t rare to observe super strong climbers who fail once they go beyond their home gym, whether at the crag or another artificial climbing site. Here we are touching upon the subject of adaptability, an indispensable quality in climbing, especially for on-sighting, which only sees progress when changing systems and styles. So, don’t hesitate to get out there even if this means failing. This is where progress begins… and also, there’s more to life than climbing on plastic!
6. Neglecting rest
We sometimes see extremely motivated climbers who stack up sessions without rest days and climb almost every day of the week, with a common thread of a plateau in performance, regression in strength and even injury. A more reasonable approach consists of planning on rest weeks, which allow the body to regenerate and the climber to progress !
7. Not adapting one’s training to personal constraints
The temptation to imitate professional climbers is always present. Be careful, they can perform and resist training cycles that not all people can withstand, in particular because of time constraints, family, professional obligations and the physical and emotional fatigue generated by these regimes. Each individual must therefore find the right balance and devote the corresponding amount of time to climbing in their life!
8. Turning into the champion of training
Training is great but we need to know why we do it ! We run the risk of falling under the spell of just ‘training to train’, which is comfortable psychologically because we don’t ever have to actually perform and thus become intoxicated with the line of progress. This is why it is so important to identify precise goals and regularly put yourself under the spotlight!
9. Letting impatience get the best of you
Beginners and advanced climbers alike have the tendency to skip steps in their progression as climbers. You are better off taking the time to consolidate your technical gains rather than trying solely focussing on the physical dimension in training. So before wanting to break the next barrier that is defined by a grade, whatever the style of the climbing, become consistent in a grade, this will lead to more sustainable growth over the long term.
10. Neglecting a healthy lifestyle
Hydration, sleep, eating habits . . . each of these are indispensable to training and are not to be neglected if we want to stack the deck in our favor in order to achieve our objectives, no matter what level!