Though it used to be labeled as an “extreme sport”, rock climbing has become a very popular workout activity as the use of indoor climbing walls in fitness facilities, community centers and health clubs has increased and made the sport much more user friendly. It can be fun and exciting and rock climbing is one of the most effective strength training workouts a person can ever have, providing fitness and strength benefits that are difficult to match with any other single activity. If you want to work out every muscle in your body in the shortest amount of time possible and get quick results in strength, body shape, toning and muscular endurance, there is no better thing to do. It burns a tremendous amount of calories as well, assisting with weight or fat loss. And did I mention that it is fun? Participants sometimes have such a blast that they even forget to feel tired! It is the perfect compliment to your aerobics online program, and when combine with an appropriate weight training diet, can give tremendous results. I recommend the activity as an online personal trainer all the time.
A first trip to a climbing facility for a beginner will be a completely different experience than mine was 12 years ago, which was intimidating. Back then only serious climbers typically went to climbing gyms and the average person would feel somewhat out of place. I ended up hiring an instructor, that facility’s version of LiveLeanToday.com’s online personal trainer. Like anyone, I needed some help at the time because it was so new to me. There are many more climbing gyms around now, though, and many fitness centers and health clubs have climbing walls. These climbing gyms and fitness center walls are used much more now by the average fitness enthusiast who is looking for a fun way to workout or have some recreation, and beginner classes abound. The look and feel of the facilities is usually very family friendly. Birthday parties and social events for kids, corporate outing and team building for adults as well as family recreation outings make up a huge percentage of the business for climbing walls nowadays. A first time visitor will be greeted by an enthusiastic staff wearing matching t-shirts and typically watch a safety video that gives an overview of the procedures of the facility. Then in a small group or individually, they are led out to attempt a few climbs before they are cleared to use the place on their own.
Getting some serious indoor adventure with your exercise while climbing usually involves making your up the wall using plastic holds for your hands and feet that have the same look and feel as real rock. These are attached to the wall which is textured to resemble a real cliff face. As you make your way to the top, a cable attached to an automatic belay device or a rope attached to your partner and tied to your safety harness that you wear keeps you safe from a fall. Most indoor facilities have walls for roped climbing that go up to about 30 feet in height, though some in the United States go from 60 to 90 feet. Most facilities also have a version of climbing called bouldering where the climber is not roped but never climbs more than 10-15 feet off the ground, protecting against a fall with large gymnastics pads moved around on the floor underneath. Snug fitting climbing shoes with specially made rubber soles are worn for incredible grip against the footholds.
The sport of indoor climbing requires exactly the same fitness and muscle strength and endurance demands as doing it outdoors. And the benefits are awesome! Unlike traditional weight training which involves lifting weight in a controlled movement in a gym or home setting, rock climbing is “strength training with a twist”: you as the climber are now the weight going up or down and rather than an arbitrary number of repetitions to be performed to complete a set, the goal of climbing is to get to the top of the wall. It doesn’t matter how it is accomplished, either. Climbing doesn’t have to look pretty to be effective. The result is a change of focus away from the effort of repetitions to the effort of working toward the immediately achievable goal of reaching the top. This can result in a very empowering feeling of accomplishment for the climber, because each trip up the wall holds a challenge that can be overcome and a goal that is achieved. This is what has been known to be addicting and can lead you to want to do more. And when you want to do more, you will keep doing it. And that is the biggest secret for long term success in fitness: keep doing it! It is amazing what consistency can accomplish.