ROCK OVER CLIMBING BLOG

Strength & Conditioning (and why it matters!)


I’m a coach (rather than a straight up instructor) so it’s my job to not just spoon-feed you answers. I’m here to guide you, and to help you decide where you want to take your climbing.

So here’s my big question for you: What are your intentions? Why are you climbing? What are you getting from it? What are your climbing goals?

All sounds pretty deep and may require some thought but I guarantee if you take the time to answer these questions you’ll get so much more from your climbing (and any other form of exercise you do) as a result.

Let’s begin by our explanation of why intentions matter by looking first at what happens when we DON’T think about them.

Most of us were drawn to climbing out of intrigue, right? It’s a mysterious sport: unpredictable and constantly varying with new routes/problems/blocs (whatever you wanna call them) being created all the time. We had fun the first time, liked the buzz it gave us so we kept coming back for more.

This, for me, is where the intentions become important. Exercise is something we have to keep on doing as humans – we’re born to move. Movement isn’t an optional thing, it’s a necessity, so when we find a way of moving we like, we should aim to keep it going and make it sustainable.

Climbing may simply be something you just do for health, simple. And if it is, that’s ok! But what is a healthy amount of climbing both physically and mentally? How can you climb without injuring yourself? How much progress do you want to see? Are grades even relevant if you’re just here to move blood, interact with people and destress?

Alternately, you might be the complete opposite. Maybe you’re a performance head looking to reach your maximum physical potential in climbing? Maybe you want to compete as well? If this is the case, do you know what being an “athlete” requires of you time, effort and money wise? From past experience I can tell you, it isn’t all roses training for all out performance. There’s incredible moments of joy but it can get really tough if you choose this life.

If you’re like me, you’ll be somewhere between these two, but what’s important is you sit down and assess what you really want and why you want to pursue that way of climbing. Where are you on the performance – health continuum? And why have you placed yourself at that specific point? If you’re aware of your unique intentions, you can climb in a way that satisfies YOU and not anyone else. You’ll climb with less frustration, more fulfillment and most importantly a way that’s sustainable. Quote number 2….

“Unsustainable practice creates unsustainable behaviours.” James Fitzgerald

I’ve not been climbing for long but the two biggest frustrations I hear from climbers are: “I’ve been stuck at this level for ages”, and “I keep getting injured.” These complaints often (not always) lie in the fact that intentions have either been disregarded or borrowed from somewhere else. Your true intentions may take a while to uncover so be patient in discovering them. However, when you know what yours are, they’re priceless. Want help discovering yours? Talk to me (or any of the staff here), we’d be more than happy to help.