We asked our employees to give advice on how they like to train for their favorite climbing season!
Eilidh is a Sales Representative and her favorite type of climbing is bouldering, although she has been loving sport climbing recently!
Evan is also a Sales Representative and he likes to do any type of climbing that gets him up aesthetic mountain views. In summer, this normally manifests as alpine trad and mountaineering, while winter shifts to ice climbing.
How long before climbing season do you like to start training?
Eilidh: I like to climb pretty consistently throughout the year, at the gym and outside. I try to focus a little more on climbing (vs other sports) the few months before the outdoor season though.
Evan: A lot of my sports cross-train into the next season, so you could say I am always training for the coming season.
What do you like to do to train?
Eilidh: I just try to climb as much as I can, usually 3-4 nights a week in the gym. When I have time, I like to do a core workout, flexibility/mobility, and maybe even a hangboard session.
Evan: First and foremost, I am terrible about training. I just like doing things that are fun, so probably the effective bulk of my training is just getting out into the mountains as much as a weekend warrior schedule will allow. That said, I do enjoy a good bit of climbing gym training as it can be a fun way to get in a weekday workout. Here in Salt Lake, we are fortunate to have a dry-tooling gym close by, so I spend time at the Scracth Pad a few months prior to ice season getting used to tools again. I do a lot of ab workouts for those goofy dry-tooling moves I will probably never really utilize off plastic, and then a ton of pull ups and arm workouts to try and train lock-off strength and endurance. Throw in some calf exercises for the inevitable W12 approach pitch burns and you have yourself a training program.
Why do you like to train?
Eilidh: Because it feels amazing to see climbing progress over time after training. Nothing is better than going back to a project that once felt hard or impossible and being able to do it!
Evan: I don't really love training, but going to the gym with friends always helps. It's always easier to motivate yourself when you have more people to go with. Sometimes I just need to put my head down and make myself go to the gym and train so that I can get on better routes once they form up. For ice climbing, I'd consider having good strength to be your best and primary source of safety in many scenarios, so training hard in the buildup to the season is really important.
Are there any products you love for training?
Eilidh: I really like The Grid 1.0 from Trigger Point for when my back and legs are sore.
Evan: For ice climbing, it's nice to use whatever ice tools you have for training, just to get familiar with them in your hands. I use the Grivel Dark Machines which are nice and light for dry tooling, but also have a good balance for swinging into ice. I also commute down to my gym and regularly forget to pack enough food, so having some protein bars handy is probably my best gym gear recommendation.
Any other advice or things to add?
Eilidh: Sometimes when I'm trying to train or improve in climbing, I'll feel really bad after one session, and then have an amazing session a few days later. Don't let one bad day discourage you or slow down your progress. It's just a process with ups and downs. :)
Evan: Training is awesome, but don't forget that the reason to train is to get outside and crush the real deal! Especially with the mountain sports experience is really key for progression, so use those shoulder-season days to make friends and muscles in the gym and get ready to leave the cozy indoors behind as often as conditions allow. And don't miss an opportunity to slog up a hill with a heavy pack. :)