Climbing is an extremely complex sport with its intricate technical demands, multifaceted cognitive challenges, and physical rigors. So while the narrow focus of this eBook is on improving your physical fitness, I must start off by stressing the importance of becoming a complete climber. Therefore, your quest for climbing mastery and the higher grades must be grounded on a desire for constant, never-ending improvement (what the Japanese call Kaizen or “change for the better”) in all aspects of our game.
While I have written several training books over the last 25 years—detailing literally hundreds of exercises and training protocols—this eBook presents a distillation of this massive knowledge base in the form of 10 simple, yet effective exercises that every serious climber should include in their training program. Of course, these “10 Must-Do Exercises” represent just the tip of the training-for-climbing iceberg—there are dozens of other beneficial exercises you should consider and, importantly, the structuring of an effective day-to-day training program, that addresses your unique weaknesses, is the magic that brings about excellent results. No eBook or downloaded training program can replace the sage advice and program design of a veteran climbing coach, so I recommend engaging such a coach if you have the opportunity.
I’ve written this eBook to be a quick read with maximum impact. Its three Parts address strength training exercises for: 1.) the important, but commonly ignored, rotator cuff and scapular stabilizer muscles, 2.) the core muscles, and 3.) the climbing-specific muscles of upper torso, arms, and fingers.
This may not be the most sexy (or pumpy) selection of exercises, but there’s a method to my coaching madness…with the ultimate goal of this eBook being to open your eyes to the wide range of important exercises a serious climber should be employing. (You can’t just hangboard, run, or climb your way to the elite grades—it’s takes a smart, comprehensive, and progressive program to get you there.) Use these exercises two or three days per week, as a supplement to a few days of actual climbing, and you’ll become a stronger, more physically sound and injury-resistant climber.