indoor rock climbing is fun

Even though I grew up surrounded by boulders, and went to college with a handful of experienced climbers from around the country, I never even considered taking rock climbing seriously. I was too busy racing and training, and riding my mountain bike off the tops of boulders, for the thought of climbing up the boulder to even occur to me.

Now I go to The Climbing Wall as often as possible!

Why?

1. Climbing Is So Much Fun.

Climbing on stuff makes you feel like a kid again! Even though you’re getting your exercise, it’s fun the entire time. You could call it “play.”

It’s sort of like a big party!

2. Avoid the Cold Weather.

Since you’re indoors, you get out of the nasty weather. And it certainly beats riding the trainer in your basement.

Sure it’s cool to prove your toughness by riding and running outside during snowy, icy conditions, but eventually you hit a point where it’s too cold to accomplish your workout. And sometimes the summer heat is just too much to handle.

3. Get a Full-Body Workout.

Climbing is a full-body workout like no other. You’re going to work every single muscle in your body, in almost every direction (giving your joints a good workout, too.)

The idea of climbing being an upper-body activity is a myth. It might not look like it, but climbers (whether on rocks or ropes) use their legs as much as possible. And your core is getting worked the entire time!

4. You Will Have Tons of Fun!

Did I mention how much fun you’ll have? Yes?

Well, it’s worth mentioning again! Fun, fun, fun!

5. It Will Motivate You to do More Core Training

I thought I had a strong core… then I started climbing.

You need the core strength of a gymnast to excel at climbing, so it motivates you to do more core strength training, which then carries over to your cycling!

6. It’s Relatively Safe

Climbing inside is relatively safe. You don’t get that far off the ground, you don’t move very fast, and if you do fall, there are mats and padded floors everywhere. Typical injuries include blisters on your hands and the occasional scraped elbow.

There’s no traffic whizzing by, there are no distracted drivers, and there are no wild animals to contend with. No snakes or spiders hiding in the cracks, either. It’s peaceful.

7. People are Friendly and Supportive.

If you are primarily a road cyclist, be prepared for a culture shock! I’ve found that climbers are generally even more friendly than mountain bikers (and mountain bikers are pretty darn friendly!)

Your fellow climbers are going to be supportive and cooperative, rather than competitive. If people are watching you, it’s not to see you fall – it’s to see you succeed.

8. Make New Friends.

Making new friends is fun, and since everyone is friendly and supportive, it’s easy. Rock climbers are super friendly people – the type of people that make your life better by knowing them.

Definitely make friends with people around the same ability level as you. I’ve learned and progressed so much thanks to working on problems with fellow climbers.

9. It’s a Jungle Gym for Adults.

If you’re too big to fit on typical playground equipment, or you get kicked out of Chuck E. Cheese, the climbing gym is the place for you! It’s totally acceptable for adults to climb around like monkeys there!

10. Avoid the New Year’s Resolutions Crowd.

Finally, climbing gyms tend not to get super crowded. Even right now, as Planet Fitness gets flooded with people sticking to their New Year’s Resolutions for the first month of the year, your local climbing gym is probably still filled with a normal amount of rock climbers.

Ready to get started? Here are a few tips for your first day…

Do this:

  • Take some thin liner socks to wear with the rental shoes.
  • Wear clothing that allows good freedom of movement.
  • Clip your fingernails (and toenails) before you go.
  • Follow the rules.

Don’t do this:

  • Don’t be an arrogant jerk.
  • Don’t walk under climbers on the walls.
  • Don’t jump on a route that intersects with a route someone else is already attempting.
  • Don’t sit on the mats or lean against the walls when you’re not climbing – you’ll get in the way.

 

Try rock climbing today!

 

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