Overload

If you want to improve your climbing then one thing you really need to consider in your training programme is overload. In that simply going to the climbing wall and doing the same session week in week out, simply isn’t going to lead to the sorts of improvement many of us are looking for. What you need to do is add a progressive overloading factor to you training regime.

There are several key ways to apply that overload:
1. Frequency of training session – How often you go to the wall
2. Duration of training session – How long you climb for
3. Intensity of training session – How many routes you climb in a given time
4. Difficulty of training session – How hard the routes you are climbing are
5. Quantity of training – How many routes you climb in a session

It is arguable that different type of training will benefit from different type of of overload being applied. So for aerobic training frequency, duration, intensity and quantity of climbing sessions would be best, as with aerobic training we aren’t neccessarily trying to get pumped, which increasing the difficulty of the climbs might actually achieve.

Whereas, strength training would suit increases in the difficulty of the boulder problems that you are trying, whereas an increase in frequency or intensity, might not allow enough rest between training bouts for a suitable amount of recovery. Finally anaerobic training sits somewhere between the two, where we want to improve the difficult of the routes we are pulling laps on, as well as the quantity of the laps we are managing. Similarly reducing the length of rest between laps would up the intensity.

So think about how and where you can apply overload to your climbing and training. If you do the same thing every week you’ll get very good at doing just that and not a move more!

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