The definition: Working Out versus Training

Here's a big issue I have with most people's "training", the lack of a goal, or overly generalised goal. For example "I just want to get better".

The problem here is the lack of specificity and the inability to measure success. We've already defined training as; anything we do to reach our goals. So what is "working out" and why does it matter?

Recently I've heard a lot of people doing energy system workouts such as ARC training, and although this is a great shift in attitudes and a right one in many ways, I feel something is getting missed. That missing item has been movement focus, not from every coach or climber but I've heard people prescribe "mundane climbing", "really easy stuff you can lap" and other statements that lead to people get on the wall and just rush through moves getting so tired or bored they climb sloppy and learn poor movement patterns.

In cycling we could look at Spin classes, to me this is the ultimate work out, it gets you good at nothing but spin classes and exhausts you to the point of being unable to put time in to other activities. This could providesome benefits to cycling but for what style of cycling? On road cycling you cycle at a more consistent intensity for a long period of time, velodrome your form is different, and mountain biking is very different again. Which is why majority of people in a spin class are there for a weekly workout, but don't cycle outside of class.

This isn't a problem if your goal is to work out, but if it's to improve you need remember climbing is a skill sport so if we are not practicing movement we are missing our goal. So how to identify if we are working out.

  • Do you spend more time off the wall than on.

  • Does your training make you too tired to climb.

  • Are the activities relevant to your goal.

  • Is the training appropriate for where you are as a climber right now. How do we fix this.

This is Also training

Have a goal, and decide what you need to do to achieve it.

Be specific, the more specific the better, feel free to go as far as mimicking holds, moves the wall angle maybe as far as copying the climb.

Work your weaknesses

Don't aim to be exhausted aim to climb more high quality moves


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