Limitless Possibilities

By: Nathan Drolet

If you want to be physically prepared for rock climbing, you need to concern yourself with the following components.

  1. Fingerboarding

    1. Max Added Weight

    2. Minimum Edge Depth

    3. Repeaters

    4. One arm hangs

    5. Recruitment

    6. No-Hangs

    7. Variations of holds and grip types with these methods

  2. Campus Boarding

    1. Ladders

    2. Doubles

    3. Bumps

    4. Weighted Campusing

    5. Foot on Campusing

    6. Sloper Balls

    7. 1-5-9

  3. Campusing on Boulders

  4. Peg Boards

  5. Limit Bouldering

  6. Strength Training

    1. Barbells

    2. Kettlebells

    3. Sport Specific

    4. Bodyweight

    5. Rings

    6. Functional Training

    7. Olympic lifting

    8. Targeted Hypertrophy(forearms)

  7. Endurance Work

    1. Aerobic Capacity

    2. Aerobic Power

    3. ARCing

  8. Work Capacity

  9. Working your Weaknesses

  10. Strength Endurance

  11. Projecting

  12. Blow Flow Restriction Training

  13. Circuit Training

    1. Strength Circuits

    2. Strength Endurance Circuits

    3. Endurance Circuits

    4. Density Circuits

  14. Physical Assessments and Benchmarks

  15. Body Tension

  16. Training on Different Wall Angles

  17. Antagonists

  18. Simulating your Project

  19. Training Research

  20. Mobility

  21. Flexibility

  22. Hydration

  23. Nutrition

  24. Periodization

  25. Limit Bouldering

  26. Managing current injuries

  27. Recovery Methods

  28. Strength to Weight Ratio

  29. Skin Maintenance

  30. The Moonboard

  31. Whatever the Pro’s are currently doing

  32. Progressive Overload

  33. Overtraining

  34. Undertraining

  35. Hold size

  36. Hold type

  37. Move size

  38. Exercise Variability

  39. Keeping things around long enough to work, but not so long that they stop working

  40. Volume Centric Workouts

  41. Intensity Centric Workouts

  42. Concentric Only training

  43. Eccentric Overload

  44. Isometrics

  45. Session Length

  46. Session Frequency

  47. Heart Rate Monitors

  48. Breathing Patterns

  49. Integrated Strength Training

  50. Climbing Pace (Fast vs. Slow)

  51. Dynamic vs Static

  52. Contact Strength

  53. Irradiation

  54. Anti-Rotation Strength

  55. In-Season Training

  56. Deloading

  57. Peaks

  58. Valleys

  59. Plateaus and how to ‘break’ them

  60. Donut consumption

  61. Pinch Blocks

  62. Absolute Strength to Speed Continuum

  63. Effort

  64. Cardio(just kidding)

  65. Energy Leaks

  66. Exercise Sequencing

  67. Your ring finger a2 pulleys

  68. Strength imbalances

  69. Forearm Capillarization


You also need to concern yourself with the mental, technical, and tactical aspects of rock climbing. You know... the other three pillars of sports performance.

If there’s time, you should attempt to have a life. Good luck.

This is exactly how it feels sometimes. We live in a confusing time where in one minute, someone will say that training for rock climbing is still in its infancy, and five minutes later someone else will tell me that they are so overwhelmed that they don’t know where to start.

There are so many things on that list that you probably didn’t read the whole thing (I’m sorry if you did), and notice that I listed Limit Bouldering twice.

  Or that #60 was Donut Consumption

Or that #60 was Donut Consumption

There was a time when I judged information on training for climbing by how much new content it had. If I already knew about it, then it wasn’t important. I was guilty of confusing knowledge with understanding

The things on that list are very useful to focus on...for the right people at the right time*. If your circumstances don’t fall under those categories, then they are either filler or detrimental. A distraction from what really matters.

If you were offered $1,000 for every protocol, exercise, or extra thing that you took out of your training program, what would be left?

In this age of information abundance and overload, those who get ahead will be the folks who figure out what to leave out, so they can concentrate on what’s really important to them. Nothing is more paralyzing than the idea of limitless possibilities.
— - Austin Kleon, author of Steal Like an Artist

*it's always a good time for donuts