Let’s face it:
Bouldering is a blast, but sometimes it can feel like you just aren’t progressing.
No progress = no fun. 🙁
If you’re looking to take your bouldering to the next level (and who isn’t?) then structured bouldering training is a must.
If you’re like most climbers, though, your training plan currently involves just two steps:
- Show up to the climbing gym
Don’t worry if that’s you (and let’s be honest, that’s definitely you).
This guide contains the information you need to properly train for bouldering. From injury prevention to hangboarding to climbing nutrition, you’ll learn it all.
- Injury Prevention
- On-The-Wall Workouts
- Off-The-Wall Workouts
- Bouldering Gear
- Climbing Nutrition
- Training Advice from the Pros
1. How to Prevent Injuries So You Can Always Be Bouldering
Whether you’re new to bouldering or projecting V10s, you could probably learn more about preventing injuries.
We’ve made injury prevention Chapter 1 since it is truly that important. In this chapter you’ll learn simple steps for limiting preventable injuries. That way, you’ll never have to take an extended period of time off from bouldering.
- The Ultimate Climbing Warm-up & Cool Down
- Injury-Free Bouldering: 15 Tips to Keep You Healthy and Strong
- Video: How to Fall and Spot in Bouldering
- Injury Prevention for Climbers: Pulley Sprain
- Antagonist Muscle Training to Prevent Injury
- 14 Shoulder Exercises for Climbers That Will Lower Your Chance of Injury
- Preventing Common Climbing Injuries: A Conversation with the Climbing Doctor
2. On-The-Wall Exercises That Will Make You a Better Boulderer
Get ready for a surprise:
Believe it or not, one of the best ways to train for bouldering is to…boulder.
Rather than climbing whatever your heart desires, though, you can do structured exercises that will help you develop technique, build strength, and more.
Check out this chapter’s resources below to learn what they are.
- 4×4’s – What They Are & How To Do Them
- Video: Training for Climbing: Endurance with Alex Barrows
- Steady Yourself: Three Exercises for Better Balance
- Indoor Climbing Drills to Improve Your Technique
- 5 Climbing Games: Beat Your Friends & Prove Your Stronger
- 10 Drills to Improve Your Bouldering Footwork
3. Off-The-Wall Workouts to Complement Your Bouldering Training
Off-the-wall workouts likely won’t be your main form of training, but they will complement your other training efforts exceptionally well.
This is where you get the chance to work your core and become a pull-up master. The strength, power, and endurance you develop off the wall can help you progress to the next level.
- Training: Perfect Pull-Ups for Climbing Strength
- Whole-Body Strength Training
- Training: 10 Exercises for a Complete Core
- Campus Board Training: The Complete Beginner’s Guide
- Training: Leg Exercises for Climbers
4. How to Use Hangboarding to Build Crazy Amounts of Finger Strength
Need more finger strength? Hangboarding can help you develop it.
It can be tough to know how to incorporate hangboarding into your training routine, though. Despite the name, you don’t want to use it to simply hang. You want your efforts to be more targeted.
Educate yourself with the materials below to avoid common mistakes and get ideas for hangboard routines.
- Hangboard Training for Beginners: A Simple 8-Week Plan
- Mark and Mike Anderson’s Guide to Hangboard Training
- Hangboard FAQ #0: What is a Basic Hangboard Routine?
- Video: Fingerboarding & Hangboarding: A Beginner’s Guide
- Video: Fingerboard Training – 3 Common Mistakes for Climbers
5. How to Pick the Right Bouldering Gear So You Can Crush at Your Full Potential
Don’t let your gear hold you back.
Learn about the best bouldering gear available today so you can get the equipment that will help you climb at your best. Shoes are easily the most important piece of gear in your arsenal, but we’ve also included resources on chalk, hangboards, and crash pads.
- The Best Bouldering Shoes
- The Best Beginner Climbing Shoes
- The Best Climbing Hangboards
- The Best Bouldering Crash Pads
- We Conducted a Blinded Field Test of the 7 Best Climbing Chalks
- The Best Climbing Chalk Bags
- The Best Bouldering Chalk Buckets
6. Lose Weight and Build Muscle More Easily with Proper Climbing Nutrition
Your optimal climbing weight is a delicate balance. You need to be muscular enough to do all the necessary moves but light enough to not weigh yourself down too much.
The key to striking that balance? Nutrition.
The resources in this chapter deal directly with what, how, and when climbers need to eat perform at their best.
- How to Lose Weight for Climbing
- Climbing Nutrition: How Much Protein Does a Climber Need?
- Let’s Talk E Numbers: Climbing Nutrition
- Optimizing Post Exercise Recovery
- Video: How to Use Food to Heal and Climb Better (It’s Easier Than You Think)
- The Real-Life Diet of a Badass Rock Climber… Who’s Vegetarian and Lives in a Van
Training Advice from the Best Climbers in the World
You know who might know a thing or two about bouldering training?
The best climbers in the world, I reckon.
Luckily, top climbers have been asked about and have offered up their training recommendations. If you want a glimpse into how the pros train, the resources in this final chapter are for you.
Take all their advice with a grain of salt, though. They are the best in the world and training exactly as they train is likely too much for us mere mortals.