How to Train for Speed Climbing

How to Train for Speed Climbing
Speed climbing competitions are typically held indoors as an adjunct to other indoor climbing competitions. Not everyone trains specifically for speed climbing, but those who do are capable of practically flying straight up a vertical wall. Make sure that before you begin training you warm up: This is critically important for protecting you from injuries that would otherwise delay or put an end to your speed climbing training program.
 

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderate

Step 1
Warm up by climbing slowly, several grades below your maximum, or by spending at least five or 10 minutes on a piece of cardio equipment, such as a stationary bike or a rowing machine. The exact amount of time you need to spend warming up will vary from individual to individual and tends to increase as you get older. Ten minutes of warm-up time is a good general rule to follow.
Step 2
Practice speed climbing in short, maximum-intensity bursts. In other words, focus on climbing as fast as you possibly can, even if it makes you peter out in a very short time. The intensity is important because you get better at what you practice. In other words, if you practice climbing at half your current possible speed, you'll get really good at climbing at that speed -- but you'll only increase your maximum speed by a tiny bit. If you climb at your maximum speed, however, you'll be able to push that speed that much further.
Step 3
Rest for at least five or 10 minutes between bursts of training to allow your muscles to recover and replenish their stores of glycogen, which is used as fuel. Allowing full recovering between training bursts encourages faster muscle development.
Step 4
Supplement your training bursts with traversing -- climbing sideways close to the ground -- as fast as possible to help improve hand-eye coordination, which will in turn help increase your climbing speed and efficiency.
Step 5
Finish your speed climbing training routine by performing dynamic quadriceps exercises: Squat jumps, where you squat down and then jump up as far as you can and as fast as you can, are a good training choice, as are bike jumps or jumping lunges, where you start in a lunge position, jump into the air and switch legs to land in a lunge position with the other leg forward, and then continue alternating with each jump.
Step 6
Add weight as necessary to increase resistance on your dynamic training, but remember that using proper form with these exercises is critical to avoiding injury and that you'll need to use less weight for jumping squats or lunges than you would use for normal squats or lunges.
 

Tips & Warnings

 
You can help make your speed climbing exercises more challenging by wearing a weight vest when you climb. Challenge yourself by adding dynos -- jumping from one hold to another -- into your training routine; mastering this skill will give you another option for getting up the wall quickly.
 
You can help make your speed climbing exercises more challenging by wearing a weight vest when you climb.
 
Challenge yourself by adding dynos -- jumping from one hold to another -- into your training routine; mastering this skill will give you another option for getting up the wall quickly.
 
Always leave at least one day between speed training workouts, and work out only very lightly if you're still sore from the last workout -- working out hard when you're very sore is a good way of getting injured, and muscle is actually built when you're recovering from training, not during the actual training, so rest time is critically important.

Article Written By Marie Mulrooney

Marie Mulrooney has written professionally since 2001. Her diverse background includes numerous outdoor pursuits, personal training and linguistics. She studied mathematics and contributes regularly to various online publications. Mulrooney's print publication credits include national magazines, poetry awards and long-lived columns about local outdoor adventures.

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