So you've just started your interest in rock climbing and bouldering and you want to get better, quick! You want to climb the harder routes with ease - we've all been there.
One of the best things about the sport of rock climbing is that your progression is easily tracked. By keeping track of the difficulty of routes you can climb, you can see your practice adding up to a verifiable result. The satisfaction you get from climbing a grade harder is one of the best feelings you can have!
Anyways, enough of the pros of climbing - you know that it rocks already. Here's how to go from a beginner V0 boulderer to a more respectable V3 climber in just a month.
1) Get a climbing gym membership
- If you don't already have an indoor climbing gym membership , you'll need one. With participation in the sport growing at one of the largest rates in history, climbing gyms are popping up everywhere - chances are there's at least one near you. Climbing gyms offer a safe way to work on your technique and push yourself to your limit, so this is definitely a must to improve your climbing skill.
2) Focus on circuit runs - week 1 - 3
- To see actual results in your climbing skill, you'll need to discipline yourself and focus on your goal of becoming a more skilled climber. You can climb routes that look interesting and fun all you want, but it always helps to have a clear goal in mind and execute your plan to work towards that goal.
- The main improvement that you will need to work on at an early stage is proper footwork.
- Visit the bouldering area of your climbing gym 3 times a week. The best routine to build endurance and technique is the following:
- Visually, mark out each section of the bouldering section by panels. Start each panel by climbing the lowest grade available and if you complete the bouldering route, begin the next highest difficulty problem on the same panel. For instance, if you visit Panel 1 and there is a V0, V2, V3, you will climb the V0 and if finished, move to the V2 immediately. If you fail to complete one, move to the next panel and start again at the lowest difficulty.
- Use this process on each panel in your bouldering gym until they are all finished. This process will help you focus on your footwork and keeping the weight away from your upper body. Think about it - your legs and core strength are much more stronger than your arm strength.
- Complete this circuit run 3 times a week for a 3 weeks for best results.
3) Climb with a friend and be social
- The sport of climbing is great in so many ways and one of them is that it is a very social atmosphere, especially at climbing gyms. You'll find that everyone is very accepting of new climbers and motivates each other no matter what level they are at. Many times, you can find a cork board area of the gym where you can request climbing partners.
- Similar to other types of workouts, it's very important to have an external motivation to keep going back to the gym. A friendly competition will keep you going back to the gym and eventually crushing that V3 goal.
4) Carve out a specific time and day you visit the gym for training
- Climbing is a sport that is already enjoyable as is, but real life can always happen. Even with a busy job, you can manage one hour of training time three times per week! Find that one hour of free time you have and don't even hesitate hitting the gym. This may be one of the most important steps of this guide!
- Give yourself a reward for completing your training regiment - a post climbing beer or juice is a perfect way to celebrate your hard work.
5) Attempt harder climbs which should be out of your range - week 4
- Now that you've been running circuits for 3 weeks, you should already start feeling stronger and more confident in your climbing ability. Use the last week of the month for climbing V3-V5 bouldering routes only - don't even try less difficult ratings as they will only use your energy.
You may be surprised at how far you get on some of the harder graded problems - keep a focus on your footwork and keeping your core tight through out each move. Stay deliberate on each move and work out the problem mentally before touching the start hold.
6) Spread the passion
- After completing steps 1-5, you should be well on your way to be able to complete most gym V3s on the first few tries. Congrats! You're now on your way to total dedication (near obsession) of the sport of climbing.
- You'll find yourself trying out outdoor climbing and visiting other local gyms, trying out new climbing gear, and getting in to lead climbing. It's a great journey that will benefit your day to day confidence and make new friendships.
- We all start out somewhere in climbing. Try to spread your enthusiasm to at least one other person and watch them grow along with you. The more people involved in the sport means more events, gyms, route finding, and international presence. Get to it!