Planning Your Bouldering Training: What Matters? By Tom Randall

For all you boulderers out there, we would probably guess that most of you are 99% focused on finger strength and leave approximately 1% for the rest of your training! This is NOT ideal!

Let us share with you what we look at when we create training plans for boulderers and where we feel you should focus your planning attention if we’re taking a very broad approach of patterns we see (said with the caveat that individualisation is always super important!).

1. FINGER STRENGTH – Ok, let’s just get this one out of the way. You’re absolutely right in saying it’s extremely important. But….. are you also training the fatigability of your high-end force production? Do you feel strong for 10-20 secs but flail around after 30? AnCap work and long duration isometrics and appropriate AeroCap will have a big impact here.

2. END TO END TENSION – A lot of bouldering at the higher end of the grading scale occurs on steeper terrain. This requires high levels of coordinated activation of the posterior chain AND those muscles we commonly associate with steep terrain (abs, pectorals, hip flexors, biceps etc). You want to look at how you include exercises like “on the wall strength drills”, TRX/rings work at full extension and floor work like modified glute bridges etc.

3. MOBILITY & FLEXIBILITY – Yes you heard us right…. especially you guys reading this!! It almost breaks our heart when we see superbly conditioned climbers down the wall or at the local crag and they have almost no passive or active range of motion that matches the demands of their discipline/project. Do NOT neglect this!!

If you’re a trad climber or sport climber, click those links in blue to read more on your discipline. 

tom

~ Tom Randall

Main article 📸 Mike Hutton (@mikehuttonimages)

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