T Nation

Rock/Wall Climbing


Had my first go at climbing on an indoor wall last week, and went again last night. All I can say is it's absolutely great for conditioning, and a nice bit of exercise variety. Today I can feel my shoulders, lats and arms, so am definitely hitting the right areas.

And for anyone who likes to harp on about 'functional strength', I'm a bit of a joke at the wall because as a climbing noob with little technique I tend to haul myself around with my arms a lot.

A lot of my friends are amazed at how well gym strength translates into climbing strength. I think I've managed to sway the opinions of some friends who before could never understand why I "spend so much time in the gym JUST lifting weights".

When my finger strength goes on some of the harder routes, I like to try and zip up and down the easier routes with the big holds as fast as I can 2 or 3 times in a row. Great for conditioning. Sweating like mad by the end, and can really feel my entire upper body. Great stuff.

Anyone other T-nations into climbing? Maybe even some awesome outdoor stuff?




I frequently climb indoors with a bench press queen friend. We are huge compared to the "forearms and heads" crowd, but still do fairly well. It destroys my grip and forearms, but I love it. I end up a sweaty beast while she, a former climbing instructor, smirks at me.


I only climb outdoors. I hate man made "walls." Idaho has amazing climbs. City of Rocks is probably the one of the best places to climb in the United States. The only problem is...winter's coming...DAMMIT! I don't even have a snowmobile


I'm a certified belayer (pretty easy to get) and so is my gf. We've been going about once a week for the past couple months. It's a good time. I recommend it to everyone who's tired of doing the same old same old. We have the biggest indoor rock climbing facility in America according to their website (it's called Carabiner's).

PMPM - Go f#ck yourself. And how's the new Pearl Jam album?


I used to go bouldering with my old roomate from college. He was freaky fast at climbing, and told me "If you only feel it in your upper body when you're done, you're not using your legs enough."

That said, indoor rock climbing is awesome. It also makes a fun date, unless you're into fat chicks.


Hey RR... Keep your head up man.


I used to climb on a weekly basis, my grip was super strong. This giant grain silo with different little compartments was converted into a climbing gym with different levels and a bouldering area, which is where I'd spend the majority of my time. (pic ~3 yrs old when I was 119lb w/ hardly any muscle mass lol)

The peg board was insane, but I finally conquered that bitch and made it to the top. There would be guys doing it with their arms locked in a 90* angle.

I took wall climbing as a class last fall, and rented a locker in the gym. Well, I thought I had emptied everything out before school was over, but I was so stressed during finals week that I just totally spaced out on it...come back in January and my $90 5-10 climbing shoes and $100 Black Diamond harness were gone, and of course the office doesn't keep that stuff around for long. I was so mad at myself. Arg.


I've climbed into the back of a pick up truck. That's about as high as I'll go.


Polo doesn't have a GF. F'ng Liar.


Lily, I know that silo! I always wanted to go but never got around to it.

Fuck you, Polo. I love the new album. It's too short, a couple of song show Ed's age in his voice, but they are happy and it sticks with you.


Uh, what?


I thought black people were afraid of swimming, not heights.

I guess ya learn something new everyday.


Yeah, it's pretty cool...haven't been in a while though.

I like the new album too! And I agree that it's too short.

Pic didn't attach with my first post.


I think we're afraid of anything that puts our lives at risk. Especially when the risk isn't needed.


I am absolutely aware that I dont use my legs enough, but I purposefully push the bias of the work towards my upper body for some of the routes. It feels like a really good alternative to pull ups when you just want some variety in your training.

On a serious note, I do need to develop some technique pretty fast so I can do some of the harder routes. Once the hand holds get past a threshold size you can't just compensate with brute force anymore. Plus my finger strength sucks at the minute.

P.S. WolBarret - brilliant avatar, if not slightly creepy.


Polo, you ever do any climbing @ the Shawangunks in New Paltz, NY ? I do alot of hiking all around the mountain range/ cliffs there. I've thought about trying it but I don't know....


I love climbing.

I used to go 3x a week, but when I decided to start working on becoming debt free, I couldn't afford the membership to my local gym (the closest outdoor place is a couple hours away for me). I go with my fiance and a couple friends 2x a month now.

To the OP, when you learn how to "Twist the Lock," edge, and smear, you should be able to hit the harder routes a little easier.

Also, the crimp grip is something you should practice now so you don't get used to using just the juggy holds.


Nope ... working towards it though


Cheers for the advice kellerdp. I just googled twist locking - looks cool, and definitely something to work towards.

As for crimp grip, I work that aspect as much as I can at the beginning when I'm fresh, and then when I feel like I've got no more strength I move onto the jug holds and try to haul up as fast as I can for a bit of aerobic conditioning. Only been twice so far like I day, but hope to see some improvements in grip strength after some dedication.




Nice pic of High Exposure-that is one excellent climb.

I have been climbing for a long time and consider it my life long passion. I would highly recommend ice climbing if given the opportunity. Quite a bit different, obviously, but so worth it.

As far as grip strength is concerned, I've always found finger curls to help as well as some fat bar work.


Oh c'mon you couldn't have forgotten already.

Every time I see your name that's what I think of.