A regular visit to the hall, where you always go full throttle, is by no means a recipe for success. In the following post, Christoph Völker from target10a shows you five mistakes that you should avoid during your training.

A guest post by Christoph Völker from target10a.com

Therefore, in this post I want to address the most serious mistakes in training design and planning, which I think are often made. Because many climbers and boulderers train incorrectly and do not use their time optimally or even waste it in extreme cases.

Of course, there is no generally correct training plan - everyone always needs their own training plan that is adapted to their own needs, which is always only correct for a certain time and then has to be adapted again. But there are still certain aspects that everyone should consider.

1. Avoid blind spots

By "blind spots" I mean that many climbers leave out certain aspects and possibilities of training completely. For example, a large number of climbers omit targeted mobility training for the lower body. I don't consider stretching a bit before bouldering as training - flexibility should be trained at least three times a week in 15 to 20 minute sessions. 

What applies to mobility training for many, applies to athletics and body tension training for others. With some rope climbers, bouldering is a blind spot. With more advanced athletes, on the other hand, there is often no specific finger maximum strength training on the fingerboard or campus board.

So what should be in every training plan at least every week:

  1. Two units of climbing and / or bouldering
  2. An athletic and body tension unit for 40 to 60 minutes
  3. Three times flexibility training for 15 to 20 minutes per week

As I said, these are the minimum requirements for good training planning, but you can get very far if you do it regularly. Of course, the scope and frequency of the units can also be expanded extremely.

However, if someone manages a balancing act without flexibility training or pulls 30 pull-ups without athletic training - and there are people like that - then you can of course save yourself the corresponding training.

For advanced athletes from grade 9 UIAA onwards, a specific finger maximum strength training per week for 40 to 60 minutes on the fingerboard is usually to be considered. Unless the maximum finger strength is one of the strengths.

2. Focus on the strengths


  • Although you can do a balancing act, you still stretch extensively after each workout. Although you probably know deep down that some athletic training would certainly do you better.
  • You can do 25 pull-ups in one go. Not bad - but after all you do everything for it and train it several times a week - 30 pull-ups are the goal. But other important exercises in that direction Hangwaage or the Muscle-up are neglected. Just like that Mobility.

Put a lot more emphasis on training your weaknesses!

3. Missing variance in the training plan

In a balanced training plan, climbing and bouldering units, athletic, body tension and flexibility exercises should be included. The individual areas should be planned as separate training units and should not be added briefly at the end of a bouldering unit.

But there must also be variety within the different areas of the training: So not only do the same exercises in an athletic and body tension unit, but also bring in variance and face new challenges.

A good athletic and body tension unit includes exercises that cover the following:

  • athletics - such as pull ups
  • body tension - such as retractors or whoever wants and can do it hard: the Hangwaage
  • explosive power - such as chest-pump pull-ups or the muscle-up
  • antagonists training - such as the handstand or the trapezius block
  • Coordinative and proprioceptive aspects - such as the human flag or, more easily, reverse balance on the floor

If there is no variety and you only do the same exercises, you waste a lot of time and energy and run the risk of causing yourself overload problems and injuries.

4. Missing periodization

A widespread view in climbing is to always want to be able to climb to an almost top level, at least when it comes to your own level of performance. In other sports, on the other hand, it is much more common to set certain priorities in the year and to prepare for them in a targeted manner.

At the beginning there is usually a multi-week set-up and basic training to work on strength and physique. However, this type of training will significantly reduce the level of performance for a certain time.

In my opinion, it is of central importance to acquire new strength and basic athletics in the first phase of a new training cycle according to the training principle of periodization, in order to be able to raise the climbing level to a new personal level a few months later.

5. Always climb the same type of boulder / tours

To get better at climbing technically, you should do as much different stuff as possible climbing and bouldering.

So different inclines (from very steep to vertical), different lengths (persistent or maximally strong), different grip shapes (holes, strips, slopers, pliers), athletic climbing as well as technical climbing, dynamic moves as well as careful shifting of balance.

It also helps to visit different climbing areas or different climbing and bouldering halls.

Changing training and climbing partners regularly also brings new ideas.

6. Use inappropriate training tools

You are using an inappropriate training tool or a wrong method like the campus board for your performance level. For example, you climb in the 7th or 8th degree of the UIAA scale and train on the campus board. However, there is no specific training for athletics, body tension or mobility.

7. Forget to move the borders

And last but not least, don't forget to keep pushing your limits: even if this point is in contrast to points such as “training varied”. Sometimes you have to stick to certain exercises, such as pull-ups, and break new personal records.

If you have then increased your personal record from 15 pull-ups after a good training phase to 20 pull-ups and realize that it is getting worse rather than better and you are stagnating, then it is time to let go of this goal and aim for a new one to move.

However, you should not stop the chin-up training completely, you should rather try to maintain the performance level to a certain extent in order to start a new attempt at new records after a few weeks or months of stagnation.

In this phase, however, you should have made significant progress on another front, such as mobility (on your balancing act?).

You may also be interested in

You want to know more about the training?

Find more Training tips can be found here.

You lack the necessary equipment for training?

You can find articles for your personal training www.target10a.com

+ + +
Credits: Cover picture Christoph Völker - target10a.com