So, you’ve decided to try your hand at rock climbing. Maybe it’s the promise of a super-toned body, or maybe you’re just looking for the perfect workout for enjoying the great outdoors. Regardless of your motivation, here are some tips for novice rock climbers that will have you scaling your way to great new heights.
It can be tempting to want to try climbing outdoors right away, but climbing involves lots of muscle training and a good skill set. Start out at an indoor climbing wall and learn the ropes—literally. Learning the basic terminology of rock climbing (what exactly is a belay?), the skills you need for climbing, and training your muscle groups is important. In addition, you’ll be able to meet other experienced climbers who are sure to have some good advice.
Don’t Go it Alone
As with any sport, having others to support you is important for success. This is especially true in rock climbing, which is often partner work. Local climbing walls or groups are a great way to get connected. You’ll be able to learn lots and make some new friends, too!
Prepare Your Body
Don’t be surprised to find yourself sore in new places after you’ve started climbing—rock climbing is a full body workout and engages several different muscle groups. To keep your body in prime form even when you’re not scaling something, aim for cardio workouts 2-3 times a week as well as stretching every day to improve your flexibility.
Get the Gear
As you become a better climber, you’re going to want to invest in quality gear. Here are some of our favorites: these climbing shoes from La Sportiva, this climbing helmet (with just a pop of pink!) from Petzl Elia, and this climbing harness from Black Diamond. With this gear in tow, you’ll be scaling new heights in no time.
Don’t Give Up!
Sometimes the biggest obstacle isn’t the challenge ahead of us; it’s ourselves! Keep a positive attitude even when things seem tough. Be patient with yourself and watch as your body becomes stronger and more capable. And when you do climb that mountain, be sure to take a few minutes and allow yourself to enjoy the view.