A Beginner’s Guide to Rock Climbing: Routine & The Outdoors

A Beginner’s Guide to Rock Climbing: Routine & The Outdoors

I have been missing my daily posts as of late because of work and climbing a heck of a lot more. By the time I get home, I’m so tuckered out that I can’t even crawl to my computer. In an older post I talked about the gear I recently purchased and the items you will need to get started. Now that I have the gear and I’ve been climbing for a little over 4 months I have definitely had to learn how to manage my time in order to fit everything in. It has been both a painful and rewarding experience and I want to first talk about how making a schedule is one of the most important things to becoming a better climber.

When I know I need to get off the couch and into some climbing shoes I look at my calendar. It gets me motivated to drive myself to the gym and work some problems. Try to start calendaring when you will be climbing, taking breaks, and doing other cardio. I’ve used DESIGNLOVEFEST’s calendar design (it’s just so darn cute) and added my workout routine for the month. It really has kept me on task and helped show my progress with bouldering and top rope. You can download the PDF here: climbing calendar march 2013

climbing calendar march 2013

The second thing I have learned from this short time is that you can’t just climb at the gym. You need to go outside. Climb on real rock. You will be bloody and sore and bruised the first time you go out but it is well worth it. My callouses and fingertips have become so much tougher because of it. Also my footwork is better because of all of the small surfaces and unexpected moves you get from climbing on natural rock. I have gone from climbing 5.8 to now climbing 5.10C. That is a huggggge jump! My boyfriend and I have been focusing most of our attention in Joshua Tree National Park or just up in the hills of Riverside. If you are worried about going alone, check out your local Meetup groups.

In the next post I’ll be talking about the incredibly painful and all too familiar flapper! Stay tuned.

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A Beginner’s Guide to Rock Climbing: Gear

A Guide to Rock Climbing for Beginners: Gear

I’ve been climbing at the gym for about a month and a half now and I’m seriously in love with the sport. I do get frustrated at time that my hands are slowly turning into calloused rough man hands but it’s a small price to pay to be on the wall. Not only is it so different than any sport I have ever done but the culture and people are wonderful. Female climbers are seriously so inspirational with the amount of strength they have and flexibility they are able to achieve. It’s great to see how much I have actually improved since starting. Three climbing days a week and yoga and running on my off days have helped tremendously. I’ve gone from 5.7 to now working on 10C and I’m so giddy about it! If you are interested in climbing, these are the products I’ve recently purchased that are relatively inexpensive but fit well for my body frame and type (5’10” & 144 pds).

1.) Black Diamond Momentum SA Harness (small)
2.) evolv DEFY VTR (size 9)

I’m in love with this awkward green color so I had to try the Black Diamond harness on. And lucky for me it fit perfectly! I was previously using a men’s harness so having this snugger fit will be a big help and more comfy. If you are a woman, do try to use a woman’s harness because I found that the waist of the men’s harness tends to fit my hips oddly because it was not made for the child bearing hips. Also the woman’s harnesses come with leg straps that you can easily remove (aka bathroom friendly for outdoor use). As for the shoes, they fit great even though I have wide feet. They are tight but I hear that they tend to break in a 1/2 size. If you are looking for new shoes make sure they are snug and not overly tight. I tend to get a lot more toe cramps when I go more than 2 sizes smaller than my normal everyday shoe size. I went to REI for both of these items but you can see reviews and specs for the harness HERE and shoes HERE.

I really want to put together a cohesive schedule of what I do workout wise including reps and time. I can’t really find a lot of information on climbing for beginners so hopefully this log will help others that are interested in climbing and are still learning some of the basics. If you’re reading this and you climb do you have any pointers or information that beginner climbers like myself might need to know? Any help is welcome.