Overheard in the gym by a new climber:
I have no idea how to start climbing. I’m literally over here doing handstands.
This is a common feeling that can be quite daunting. You walk into this huge facility that’s either a training ground or a playground or something in between, and you don’t know where (or how) to begin. We asked our Head Coach, Sean Wieboldt, what four exercises he’d give to a newbie feeling lost. Here they are:
- 4×4’s: Pick four moderate problems in the bouldering area. If you’re a beginner, these are probably V0’s to V2’s. Climb all four without resting; that’s one set. Rest 4 minutes in between sets. Repeat four times. Hence “4×4.” Ideally don’t fall off, but be incredibly tired by the end.
- Lock offs: Pick an easier route for this exercise. When you reach for a hold, don’t grab it (yet)—hover your hand above the hold for three to five seconds. This causes you to lock off with your other arm.
- Traversing: Move laterally along a stretch of wall; using any feet or handholds. Focus on proper technique, and stop when you fall off. Don’t climb too high. This improves focus, movement, and endurance.
- Treadwall: The treadwall is a great resource. Set the machine to slightly overhung and make your goal to climb at least 50 feet. (There is a meter that will tell you how many feet you’ve “climbed.”)