Training methods in climbing
This section categorises and explains different types of training. As not every method is open to every climber because of availability and time constraints, using a combination of different techniques can optimise your training. Careful use of these methods will show greater improvements in performance and rate of progress.

Training methods in climbing

Interval training

This is essentially dividing each training session into periods of activity and periods of rest in order to maximise the time you spend training at the most effective intensity.


  • Higher intensity work can be maintained for longer periods by having adequate rest.
  • Total work in a session is greater than a single continuous bout of the same duration.
Circuit training

This is a great way to build your core power endurance. It is individualised and specific to your climbing needs and can be a lot of fun too - particularly when you push yourself and achieve a higher level of fitness.
  • A circuit is typically a series of 20 to 60 moves on a bouldering wall designed to simulate the type of climbing you wish to excel at. This has several advantages.
  • The number of moves is not dictated by the wall's route setter.
  • You can work on techniques not normally found at a climbing wall.
  • Circuits can be practised as an individual.
  • You can work on your weaknesses.
  • Overall gain in strength.
  • Circuits can better mimic the climbs or boulder problems you want to achieve.
Resistance training

If you want to get stronger muscles, resistance training is a quick way to get them. However, gym weight training is not specialised in terms of climbing movements and you need a combination of weights and bouldering for best results.

Weight training

This is a specific training method and the gains you get will be very specific to the type of muscle contractions and exercises you perform. The easiest way to train using weights is to visit a gym and use the machines there. Alternatively, you can use free weights.

Caution: incorrect use of free weights can cause orthopaedic injuries so get advice from a qualified gym instructor. You can also perform climbing-specific resistance exercises either with or without weights at a climbing wall, but again seek expert advice first.


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