Unless you live near an outdoor climbing area or you already have a home climbing gym set-up, the precautions surrounding the coronavirus have probably impacted your climbing plans in some way.
Personally, I have a trip to the Red River Gorge coming up in two weeks and my gym just shut down. Right now would be a really good time to be doing power endurance on ropes and boulders. Alas, I have no gym. The nearest sport climbing is too far for after work climbing and I am succumbing to reality. The rest of my training block before the Red will primarily be spent in my apartment.
My condolences if you are in a similar situation. I am grateful to be healthy and have resources to build out a teeny tiny home “gym”. This definitely sucks, but we have to move on.
There is no time for whining. It’s time to make do and train through it.
For those of you who “just climb to train” this is a great opportunity to learn about the supplemental training options that can also benefit your climbing. So if you feel frustrated or trapped, here are some ideas and resources to keep getting better at climbing while being socially responsible.
Note that what you do with your home workouts should still be in line with your goals and your training plan. Please, please send me an email or a DM on instagram or whatever if you need to. I am more than happy to help you sort through all the information and help you train through the chaos. With that, here are some free resources and tips to make the best of these interesting times.
Coaches Offering Free At Home Training Sessions
Because climbers are all part of the same community, these coaches are offering free resources for your quaran-training. Make sure to give them a like or a follow since they are sharing their years of training, hard work, and expertise for free.
The team over at the Power Company have put together a blog post with some tips for training during the Covid-19 outbreak. Additionally, they have a free quaran-training group that you can join for more details and support. Simply scroll to the bottom of the post for details. You will provide your email, then you will need to download and yourself up with the Power Company app. It is very, very easy.
Chelsea Murn over at Lady Beta has also been putting in work to help you stay on top of your training during the Covid-19 outbreak. Click here for some free at-home workouts.
The guys over at lattice training, based out of the UK are also doing their best to help you with training at home. They have put a couple of home-based workouts on their youtube channel.
I can also see from their facebook page that they are giving advice where they can and it sounds like they will be putting out more resources.
The Tools: At Home Training Equipment
I have not urgently purchased toilet paper recently. However, I just panic bought kettlebells and a doorframe pull-up bar this morning. My current home gym set-up is two 8lb dumbells, a flash board, really light therabands, and some random free weights. I have been meaning to upgrade for a while, so here is my new minimalist apartment training equipment list:
- Flashboard by Tension Climbing
- Door frame pull up bar – I’m going to hang my flashboard from this with carabiners and slings.
- Two kettlebells a “light one” and a “heavy one”
If you need to know how to pick your kettlebell sizes, listen to this Power Company podcast about kettlebell training.
- Slings and carabiners (You need these for outdoor sport climbing anyway, so get some if you do not already have them).
- Therabands I love these for warming up my shoulders. I take mine with me outdoors as well. These are a good investment even if there isn’t a pandemic going on.
Here are some other portable hangboard options if the flashboard
is not your taste:
- Metolius Rock Rings – plastic
- Evo Rock Rings – like the metolius, but wooden. I prefer wood as it is nicer on your hands.
- Mini Yubi – lots of options, lots of different hold types. Wood.
However, if you are free to bolt things into your wall, just get a hangboard and do it. Alternatively, the cheaper option is to go buy some strips of wood and nail them somewhere. Details in the Power Company Covid-19 post.
Watching Climbing Can Make You Better At Climbing
“One of my favorite books of late is The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle. In it, Coyle visited and analyzed “talent hotbeds” – places that were churning out more than their fair share of high performers. One common trait among those performers: they intently studied the elites in their field day after day. I remember watching a video of Marc LeMenestrel climbing back in the late 80s and picking up two or three great movement tips just from watching him climb one pitch! With the wide variety of videos available there’s no excuse not to focus your internet surf time into something useful. Want to get better at crack climbing? Spend 15-20 minutes a day watching and studying the elite crack climbers of today. Same goes for bouldering, for hard sport climbing, you name it. Watch for pacing, time the rests, look at body position and the way they hold the holds. I recommend studying video until you find a “nugget” then write it down. Once you’ve found your nugget for the day, shut the videos off and plan on exploring that nugget on your next climbing or training day. “
I’ll be watching videos of my future project at the Red River Gorge for the next couple of weeks and taking notes. There are a million climbing videos out there. So hop on youtube and study the pros.
Mental Training Materials and Books
Fortunately for us, there is a lot to be gained from improving our mental game for climbing. Here are two of my favorite books that cover this subject.
9 out of 10 Climbers Make the Same Mistakes by Dave MacLeod
A great book that every climber should read. I would highly recommend putting this on your list for a variety of reasons. There are some great mental fortitude tips in here as well.
The Rock Warrior’s Way by Arno Ilgner
I have written a little about this book before, but it was the first book of its kind and it is an absolute classic. If you have not already, add this to your quarantine reading list.
Stay Strong and Make a Difference
There are many variables in life that make training for climbing difficult. A pandemic shutting down your climbing gym, cancelling your trip you have been training for, or causing you to lose exceptional amounts of income is unprecedented. These are strange times and we have to adapt. So be kind to one another, be responsible, and shoot me a note if you want help sifting through resources your quaran-training.
I leave you with this, because we all can make a difference.
“If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.”Dalai Lama
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