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Climbing Wall

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Climbing Wall

Postby otto6457 » Wed Nov 14, 2012 2:13 am

Second noob question if you folks don't mind.

There is a fitness facility close to me that has a 33' climbing wall, a 12 foot Bouldering Wall, and a 12 foot Cave Wall. I stopped by to see the facilities and they look pretty good. But then again, I have nothing to compare it to or what a really good set-up is.

I asked the guy showing me around if there was some sort of workout program for the climbing facilities and he didn't really seem to know much about it.

So a couple of questions:
1) Would this be beneficial to a beginner? I have not really considered rock climbing since it looks pretty difficult and very technical. In fact, most of the stuff I've seen on YouTube looks downright scary.
2) Is there a workout for getting the most out of these facilities or is it just jump on and see if you can make it to the top? I've checked around the web and there's not much about programs or how to train on a climbing wall. Even less on how to use the other two smaller walls.
3) It looks like these walls would be beneficial for balance and strength but if it is a very narrow benefit for mainly rock climbing, then I'm not sure it would be worth the expense.

Thanks in advance again guys.
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Re: Climbing Wall

Postby moonspots » Wed Nov 14, 2012 2:31 am

otto6457 wrote: ... 3) It looks like these walls would be beneficial for balance and strength but if it is a very narrow benefit for mainly rock climbing, then I'm not sure it would be worth the expense.

Thanks in advance again guys.


For the most part, that's it. I climb (in the gym so far) just for the fun of it all, but that had little or nothing to do with me summiting Rainier.

For your mountaineering goals, start with cadio and leg workouts. The stair climber is ok, but being outside up and down is better. Get lots of time going back down the hill (this is where the stairclimber falls short). Visit a gym or other training facility and tell 'em what it is you're wanting to do, and they should be quite able to get you started on a program. You'll likely be able to sort it out from there.
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Re: Climbing Wall

Postby nartreb » Thu Nov 15, 2012 3:41 pm

Indoor climbing is a great workout, but the thing that makes a workout most effective is if it's fun.
If you're on the wall non-stop for hours at a time, you're going to be keeping your heart rate up; if you're motivated to learn proper technique, you'll be using your stomach and legs as much as your arms, and improving your flexibility; and if you're male, you won't be able to help yourself and you'll be getting a big upper-body workout too. But if climbing is a chore and you take five-minute rests between two-minute climbing routes, you'll get little more benefit than if you installed a pull-up bar at home.

> I have not really considered rock climbing since it looks pretty difficult and very technical.

Climbing in a gym is rather different than climbing on real rock. For many people, gym climbing feels safe and fun, and it's a good way to get started. Some never feel the urge to climb outside. For others, the gym is a poor substitute for the real thing.

>Would this be beneficial to a beginner?
Beginner what? If your goal is to walk up Mt Washington, you don't need to know how to climb on rock. If your goal is to experience "the freedom of the hills", then eventually you will find yourself on terrain where rock-climbing experience is helpful. It's not urgent. When you start feeling that fear of heights, you'll be ready to decide whether you want to learn the skills you need to continue.

>2) Is there a workout for getting the most out of these facilities or is it just jump on and see if you can make it to the top?

I'm a big believer in jumping on and figuring things out. If it's fun, it's worth it; if it's not, find something else to do with your time. However, there is a lot of technique that goes with rock-climbing, not to mention a lot of safety issues. I recommend starting with an intro class - this will cover basic safety and introduce you to potential climbing partners. If you enjoy that, ask about a technique class. Better to take that class fairly soon than to acquire bad habits.

3) It looks like these walls would be beneficial for balance and strength but if it is a very narrow benefit for mainly rock climbing, then I'm not sure it would be worth the expense.

As I said above, you can get balance, strength, flexibility, and endurance - if you're having fun. For mountain fitness, you also need running and/or stair climbing, but it's great to have two totally different types of workout that you can alternate.
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Re: Climbing Wall

Postby otto6457 » Fri Nov 16, 2012 1:14 am

Thanks for the replies guys.

It turns out that there is a dedicated climbing wall here in town and a small but enthusiastic group of people that use it every day. I have been invited to join them this weekend and to get a little help getting started using the entire facility. They also have a fitness program that is targeted to hiking and climbing so I can work with other like minded people.

It seems like I've really been fortunate to have joined here and had the nerve to ask some questions. I've already met some great people.

Thanks again everyone!
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