Training for Strength, Power, Endurance, Flexibility, and Stability!
The impetuses for writing this “exercise guide” were the many climbers, from around the world, who have urged me to write a book focusing solely on physical exercise training. Given the wealth of positive feedback on my previous books, I decided to accept this challenge and spend a year exercising my fingers on a keyboard. I hope that I meet or exceed the expectations of these climbers, and I thank all of you who have encouraged me to keep writing.
Since you visiting TrainingForClimbing.com, you have undoubtedly discovered that climbing is a rigorous physical sport that will test your strength, power, endurance, flexibility, and stamina. Elevating climbing performance therefore demands that you enhance your conditioning in each of these areas, as well as elevating your technical and mental skills. While there are numerous books available that touch on these subjects, there has been no comprehensive exercise-centric book for climbers—until now.
The Rock Climber’s Exercise Guide (TRCEG) is the ultimate manual for climbers who are looking to improve their physical capabilities. Regardless of your age, ability, or sports background, this book will empower you to develop and engage in a supremely effective conditioning program. And as you progress as a climber, TRCEG will guide you in modifying your program for long-term benefits that will keep you upwardly mobile for many years to come.
Without a doubt, piecing together an optimal exercise program for you is like solving a complex and completely unique puzzle. The fact is that the vast majority of climbers do not train optimally—in fact, some of the workouts I’ve observed over the years arguably provide no benefit on the rock! I have therefore written TRCEG to guide you through all the essential steps of effective training, from self-assessment to program design to proper execution of the exercises. All the while I have tried to avoid going unnecessarily deeply into exercise science or describing esoteric training practices, with the goal of crafting a streamlined, content-rich book filled with practical how-to information. The bottom line: There is no more complete exercise instruction available short of me working with you one-on-one as your personal trainer.
The Rock Climber’s Exercise Guide is divided into four parts containing thirteen chapters. Part 1 provides an overview of the core principles of effective conditioning, as well as the most detailed self-assessment worksheet ever devised for climbers. Accurate self-assessment is an essential precursor to developing a comprehensive program that will really work for you. Like a prism, this forty-question assessment will separate out all the areas that influence your climbing performance, thus revealing your true limiting constraints and empowering you to target them with training.
Parts 2 and 3 provide the most complete array of training-for-climbing exercises ever assembled in a single book. Chapters 3, 4, 5, and 6 cover all aspects of general conditioning, including warm-up and flexibility exercises, entry-level strength training and weight-loss tips, essential antagonist and stabilizer exercises, and more than a dozen fabulous core-training exercises. Chapters 7 through 10 then delve into the rich area of climbing-specific training. With a narrow focus on training the finger and pulling muscles, there are individual chapters dedicated to training limit strength, power, strength/power-endurance, and aerobic endurance. If you are serious about becoming a stronger climber, these are your go-to chapters!
In the final section, part 4, you will learn how to assemble a comprehensive training program that works. Based on the results of your self-assessment, chapter 11 will guide you in selecting and combining exercises from throughout the book to make up your weekly training program. Workout schedules are provided for beginner, intermediate, and advanced ability levels, so this book will remain your companion for effective training as you climb your way up the grading scale! In chapter 12 you will find what I hope is enlightening and inspiring information on optimizing training for youth, women, and over-50 climbers—three groups that I view as especially gifted at climbing. Chapter 13 then wraps things up with coverage of three important subjects—ironically, topics overlooked by many climbers—including the power of performance nutrition, the importance of rest days and planned breaks from climbing, and the secrets to avoiding injury.