Unfortunately, this is not a good, quick plan; in fact, there is no insider’s tip for becoming strong; to be the best, you can be overnight. If there was such a method, we would all climb 8a, and if I knew such a method, I wouldn’t tell the world about it. I actually would have been sponsored and spent my time chasing the sun and climbing all over the world. However, we can all become better at climbing because climbing training can be simplified by following these guidelines.
1st Commitment – The more work, effort and time you invest in climbing, the more you will benefit. There is no shortcut, just a long and gradual path that we all have to take. Some people would be better than others because of things beyond our control, such as genetics, but that doesn’t mean you can’t improve. We can all achieve a grade of 7a or higher as long as we are willing to make the necessary efforts.
2 Train smarter, not harder. There are millions of training methods, products, nutritional aids and people who tell you how effective their training method is. It is hard to know what works and what is a waste of time and money. A general rule is that if you have been promised quick results, it is a scam. An intelligent training program covers all of the following principles; don’t waste your time following training methods that don’t follow the most important principles.
3. specificity – training must be tailored to the needs of the sport to improve fitness in the parts of the body that the sport uses. For example, there is no point in building leg strength if you want to improve your pull-up ability. It’s common sense, but it goes deeper than the obvious. If you climb long routes all the time, you won’t improve your strength. Climbing long routes will make you better at climbing long routes.
The more movement specific the training is, the closer it is to your goal, the more effective the training will be. Walking the gym and using weights to help build up your forearm strength might help, but this is not as specific to climbing as using a fingerboard, which in turn is not as specific to climbing as bouldering.
Fingerboard training is very closely related to climbing, but it is still not perfect. During a climbing movement, your hand grabs the grip and your body moves around the grip. This means that you will maintain a variety of wrist positions. Fingerboard training does not force you to move your muscles in this way and is therefore inaccurate. I’m not saying that fingerboards won’t help, they can be very effective, they just aren’t perfect.
4th overload – Fitness can only be improved by more training than usual. The muscles must be trained at a level they are not used to, which forces them to develop.
Overloading the muscles requires that you repeatedly put the muscles under high strain. If you force your muscles to work at this level, they will slowly adjust to cope. The body’s ability to cope and adapt is called supercompensation. After training, you have caused a small amount of damage to the body, one of the reasons why you are not as strong at the end of your climb as you were at the beginning. Your body will repair the damaged muscles, but it will also super compensate by building more muscles so that you are better adapted to meet the demands.
This principle is one of the reasons why fingerboards can be effective. As you climb, you will hold many different grips in place, allowing you to use different parts of the muscle in different ways. This makes it very difficult to subject the muscle to the high demands of the overload principle over and over again. When climbing, you often fall off the route, not because the muscles have become too tired due to repeated overload, but because you fall due to technical misjudgments. Maybe you’re fogging a dyno or losing your balance! If you fall due to technical requirements, you have not caused enough overload to get maximum super compensation. A fingerboard does not have this problem because you are training the same type of grip without any technical element or modification of the grip.