Benefits of indoor rock climbing gym

  • Creator
    Topic
  • #43143
    mzkarim
    Participant

    Hi,

    I’m a beginner and in Week 5 of the 24-week Mountaineering Plan. I do indoor rock climbing once a week as training for mountaineering and alpinism. I did an outdoor rock climbing course over the weekend and that is, obviously, quite different from indoor rock climbing. My question is: I’m paying $60 a month for the climbing gym, plus hourly fee for coaching, so 4 classes a month plus monthly dues, are about $200 a month, which is steep. Instead, can’t I get similar body movements from the Killer Core and Strength Training (that I’m already doing) and drop the indoor gym? Alternatively, can I get another UA plan that will be a good substitute for indoor climbing gym? I’m interested in mountaineering and alpinism and do rock climbing for those objectives.

    The problem is that I have easy access to the indoor climbing gym but not to outdoor climbing opportunities.

    Thanks!

Posted In: Alpinism

  • Keymaster
    Scott Semple on #43170

    Instead, can’t I get similar body movements from the Killer Core and Strength Training (that I’m already doing) and drop the indoor gym? Alternatively, can I get another UA plan that will be a good substitute for indoor climbing gym?

    No, absolutely not.

    Rock climbing is a complex technique sport (like gymnastics or martial arts) where strength is an important but secondary (perhaps tertiary) component. You will not be able to fitness your way to better rock climbing. You need to practice movement skills.

    In addition to a climbing gym, the Anderson book will give you a solid foundation in training fitness and practicing technique. I can’t say this enough: DO NOT neglect the latter.

    I’m interested in mountaineering and alpinism and do rock climbing for those objectives.

    The degree to which you need technical skills will depend on your goal climbs. If your goal events are primarily general mountaineering, then you may need little to no technical movement skills. You’ll need both fitness and technique for technical alpinism.

    Moderator
    David Thompson on #43171

    Hi there,

    In general, the more closely your training matches the requirements of your goal climbs and objectives, the better chance you will have of completing these climbs. The movements of the Killer Core Routine are intended to augment other technical training, they are not a substitute for climbing movement. So it would be ill-advised to completely drop the indoor climbing because climbing is a skill that must be practiced. If you are a beginner, it is a good idea that you continue visiting your local climbing gym. Practicing climbing movement a minimum of 2-3 days/week for an hour or so each of these days will give you a good base.
    Uphill Athlete offers 8-week Custom Plans that are tailored to an individual’s personal goals using the resources they have available. One of these custom plans would integrate your time in the climbing gym with other training modalities specific to you.

    Hope this helps.

    Participant
    mzkarim on #43172

    Yes, this is very helpful. I will look into the Anderson book. Right now, my goal is general mountaineering but might get into some technical alpinism at some point (I get bored easily, so love to try new things and learn new skills).

    Thanks so much to both of you!!!

    Participant
    mzkarim on #43182

    I think the reason I am not seeing much improvement with indoor rock climbing is because I have been doing it once a week, which really isn’t enough.

    Keymaster
    Scott Semple on #43187

    Another common factor (which is very unpopular) is practicing specific movement skills.

    To compare, how quickly would someone progress in jiu-jitsu if they went to a dojo and just wrestled randomly on the floor? Or in gymnastics, if someone just went to a gym and messed around on each apparatus?

    Climbing is a little more focused because specific routes force specific movements. So over a long enough timeline progress should be at a better rate than my other examples. But almost no one actually practices rock climbing, and almost everyone just focuses on getting to the top of their chosen route.

    If you’re taking a class and then practicing what you learn the rest of the week, you should make some progress. (If that’s worth the money though is hard for us to judge.)

    Participant
    mzkarim on #43221

    Yes, I take indoor classes and was initially focused on getting to the top of my route but, more recently, have been focusing on techniques since I’ve found that just reaching the top doesn’t give me the same adrenaline rush it used to.

    Thanks so much!!!

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