In general in climbing community people don’t have much of a plan when they go climbing. If you arrange a climbing day, you just wanna go there and find the areas and routes that you feel like climbing. And when you go to climbing gym, you don’t want to do what somebody else tells you, you just wanna have a good time climbing the routes you like. Am I right? 🙂
And of course, this is the case with many climbers.
Most people climb because they want to have a good time, they enjoy climbing and that is it. Climbing is that kind of a sport, that can give you alot, even if you don’t climb hardest routes, because you are still in nature in connection with rock. You are still breathing fresh air, eating good prepared food for the day, enjoying people you are climbing with and others who share climbing area you are in. There are gonna be stories anyway about climbs, problems, falls, betas and other. To enjoy climbing you don’t need to be the best. And if that is your case, I am with you!
But since our human nature has a tendency towards progress, once in a while every climber gets to the point, when he/she wants to climb harder routes. For some people this is the case just few times in a year or month, but for other, this is a common goal – not just to climb more but to become better and better every year. This is just like relationships, if they don’t grow, they die. And I believe that this also resemblance in climbing. If people would not feel the difference in their level of climbing, they would lost the passion and enthusiasm for it. So to be clear, you are going to progress in any case. If you just climb to have fun or if you are pushing yourself to get better every training day. The biggest difference is in two things:
- How fast you are going to improve
- How far are you gonna go
So to progress, do you need a training plan or do you need to just climb more?
Many people would just tell you to climb more, as often as you can and you are going to progress – and they are right. Best example of this choice is climbing legend Chris Sharma, who never had a training plan (as he says) but he is a great talent who climbs almost every day on the rock for about 20+ years. He was training for his projects just by climbing on them as much as he could, so climbing more for sure is an option to get stronger, more focused and successful.
Chris Sharma talks about climbing tips and training:
But in real life, most climbers don’t have all the time in the world just to climb and their life don’t circle only round climbing. So in our case the best possible way to improve is to have a training plan of our own.
The point is, when you have a personalized training plan for your climbing, you are doing on your weaknesses, you are doing the climbs that don’t suits you that well(to progress in those areas as well), and you are also doing the best you can to bring out your strengths and to gain as much as you can from your training.
When you have a training plan, you don’t need to take whole day to climb, but you can do it in 2-3 hours, 3 – 4 times a week and( if done correctly) the progress will explode. Typical example of this type of training is Jan Hoyer (very successful boulderer) , who “only” train 3 – 5 times a week usually for about 2 hours.
Jan Hoyer talks about his training:
So in conclusion, I believe that most people who want to progress in their climbing, would need at least a simple plan for the right direction of their climbing. That way, they can have more control of their climbing goals and enjoyment of the sport. My only suggestion is to find a proper coach, who will know you, your style of climbing, your goals and who has the experiences of making climbing training plan for people who improved as you want. The decision is yours.