If you have made it up your first ice climb, you will know that it places some unique demands on your body. A good condition is helpful, but to be climbing hard you need some very specific training. If you feel like continuing your ice climbing career, then you could probably use some tips. Let’s see what you can do.
Climbing is not just about strength and conditioning. In fact, some of the strongest guys are not that good at climbing. You need to apply your strength as well as possible.
The first step is to realize the importance of good technique. Once you do, you will start to look at other climbers to see how they solve problems. And you will start to notice the differences between peoples climbing. Start trying out different methods and styles for yourself and see what works best. Make sure you are climbing in a safe environment so you can try out new things without risking certain death.
Stamina and general conditioning
This area is the first and most boring part of training. If you do a lot of running or cycling, you can probably skip it all together. Otherwise, you need to start doing regular aerobic exercise.
Some people prefer running, and some prefer cycling. A third option would be to work out on the cross trainer in the gym. You need to do it at least two times a week and get yourself breathing heavily for 30 minutes.
Ice climbing puts a constant strain on your arms and legs, (mostly calves). If you want to climb more challenging or longer ice climbs you will need to get stronger. The best way to do this is to climb more.
It’s that simple:)
Climbing more will also give you better technique and make you more relaxed in those conditions. And it’s the most fun
But if you can’t go climbing all the time you can do other things as well.
Go to the gym - Even though this training is not the most specific it still breeds real strength. The following exercises are surely going to help you:
Pull ups - The humble pull-up is still very useful for gaining arm and shoulder strength. You can mix it up by creating contests with your friends or trying variations
Hanging leg raises - These are perfect for creating climbing-specific core strength.
Squats - Squats give you real hip and core strength. They also work well to counter the hunched over, climbed too much, look. Don’t be afraid to gain “heavy legs,” you need strong legs to climb. And to get to the climb too.
Mountain climbers - This strange ground exercise has a very appropriate name. Do it with every session, and you will gain tons of core and arm strength
Diet and weight loss
Weight has a lot of effect on a climber. Every ounce has to be hauled to the top. And you feel it with every move. Now you don’t need to focus primarily on your weight. Because being strong and healthy is more important than being as light as possible. But you can make a few small changes in your diet. Combine that with the increased training and frequent ice climbing trips, and you will start to get a lot lighter and stronger. Here are some tips:
Fear can keep you from benefiting from all the work you did. Sometimes people completely freeze on a climb, but it's affecting others as well. It makes you grip harder, move less efficient and stiff. All this means you will burn through you limited resources faster with fewer results. Keeping a cool head when you are not sure you are going to make it is not easy. But it’s often the difference between a mediocre performance and excellent performance. There are many ways to increase your composure in stressful situations. You might already know some or have tried them:
Ok, with this you should have plenty to do to increase your climbing performance. Remember that training is just part of the deal. Too many people get sidetracked into training and end up doing nothing but pull ups or kettle bell swings. Have fun and climb stuff!!
Author: Jim H
My life used to be pretty uneventful and mediocre. Until I discovered climbing, and in particular ice-climbing. Since then I have been traveling, training and sending as much as I can. It has taken me to places I thought I would never see.