Climb Harder While Working Full Time
It is so hard to become great at climbing when you work and have family 24/7. You may be working but much of your time is spent dreaming of those sends that could be. Desperately wish that you had the lifestyle of one of the top Pro climbers like Shauna Coxley or Alex Megos. You’re not one of those, you work and you have family, life just gets in the way, you feel dejected. But no, don’t get down on yourself, you can crush while still working and doing the family thing and here’s how! –
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Accept Your Life And Your Potential To Still Crush￼
Now let’s get this straight. You are not the only one in the World that is bemoaning the fact that work takes up all of their time and that you can’t be that hard climber you truly want to be.
Did you pick up on the essential word there? ‘TRULY!’ Do you TRULY want to be that hard climber??
Most professional climbers around the World face the same time pressures as you. Oh yes they do!
Shauna Coxley still attended school every day. But her father arranged for her to train at the climbing gym before school while most kids were still in bed! Sasha DiGiulian attended full time at university whilst working her training around a high level of study!
They all found a way to climb at the top grades, so can you!
So before you even contemplate your climbing goals and training plan you must first accept your lot in life. That to reach your potential you will need to be flexible and totally dedicated!
Manifest A Clear And Deliberate Climbing Goal Pathway
Ok so you could just say ‘My climbing goal is to send an 8a route. Hmmm, now that is clear and deliberate isn’t it? Well actually no its not very clear and its not very deliberate!
Anyone climbing routes at 6a can say my goal is to send an 8a route, go on tell me that you haven’t actually ever said something similar already!
The top grade climbers in the World didn’t just wake up one morning and say ‘I’m going to climb 9a’. No they woke up and said ‘I’m going to climb 9a, so now I need a time limit and a plan to get there’.
The elite climbers didn’t just turn up after a bit of training and send Biographie (9a+), or its sister Bibliographie (9c), or Dawn Wall (5.14d). Nope they had a plan to go from A to B!
So instead of saying, I want to climb 8a, you need to create a pathway to your goal, such as;
– I will train at the climbing gym 3 times per week.
– I will climb on rock 2 times per week
– I will set myself training to improve my
– I will set intermediate targets to my goal grade.
– I will send my 8a project within 3 years.
By focusing on a goal with a clear and deliberate pathway you can more efficiently allocate your time and energy outside of your working day.
Cut the Wasted Time!
Now I am willing to bet that if you look at how you are spending your time you will be shocked at how much is wasted on drivel!
So go on have a look now and write down how you have spent your day, well how was it? At a guess I would say its something like this;
- Slept in until the very last moment before travel to work
- Actual work 4 hours out of the full 8 hours
- Chatting at the coffee machine; 1 hour
- Scrolling through online sites nothing work related; 2 hours
- Answering personal texts, instagram and facebook browsing; 1 hour
- Lunchtime nap or coffee at a cafe; 1 hour
- After work drinks; 2 hours
- Sat in front of TV or YouTube; 2 hours
Surprising isn’t it? Horrifying isn’t it? What a waste isn’t it?
Eliminate the waste of your precious time and you’ll have plenty of time to train to climb harder!
How, well here are some ideas;
- Actually work for 8 hours, you excel, your boss notices, you go flexi-hours, take one work day out to climb!
- Keep a ProHands GripMaster on your desk and strengthen your fingers while you work!
- Join the local gym and pull some weights, go for a 50 minute run or cycle, get into the climbing gym and bash out a quick session!
- Go straight to the climbing gym or crag straight from work and get an evening session in!
- Get up two hours early and hit the climbing gym for a early morning burn!
Psyched And Motivated Is The Way To Go!
You have to be careful with this one. Having other psyched climbers to push your grade with can be great and I totally recommend it. But, and this is a big but, watch out for the Ego monsters and for those who are just full of shit. Those sorts will just drag you down and not up!
Search out that partner who will push you for that extra set of double dips at the gym, but won’t shame you if you have not climbed as hard as they have. Look for the partner who shouts you through the crux move, but leaves their ego at home when they walk the crux move. Find the loon who suggests hitting the summer crag at 0600 as the weather is good until lunchtime and you can still get a good session in!
A little extra psych will go a long way in helping you to climb harder and reach your goals. Having a climbing partner as motivated as you are means you are far more likely to switch onto that climb hard mode!
Be In A Place With Easy Access To Climbing
The best way to improve your climbing is to climb, and climb a lot. The more opportunities you have to climb on the rock and to train on the plastic, the better you climbing will become.
Now I live in a lovely part of England with climbing on my doorstep. Great you may think, but it’s actually hard work to climb here. Why, because I live in a very rural area with low population levels. Therefore, I have few local climbers who are available on a regular basis. Many are tied up due to their work and social lives. The nearest quality climbing gym is miles away!
So what do I do? I could move away to a more populated climbing area such as The Peak District, if young and single this is a great opportunity. However I have a teenage daughter who is at college and to move now would be unfair on her.
So for me it was to make the best use of what was available. I have forgone the normal use of one room in our house and built small home wall and training den. I dug deep and learnt how to top rope solo on the local quarries and sea cliffs (it’s very daunting standing at the bottom of a 150 foot sea cliff having abseiled in, with the waves at your heels and with the only one way out, being upwards on your lonesome! I then topped this up with outdoor local climbing partners on lead when available and some excellent walls when traveling across England.
If you look at the top climbers from around the World they all base themselves in known climbing areas. Areas that have easy access to both quality outdoor climbing and plenty of top end climbing gyms. Alex Megos based in Nuremberg for Frankenjura and great climbing gyms like Cafe Kraft. If you are truly serious about climbing hard you must have easy access to venues that offer constant climbing. Close to the rock and close to the climbing gyms!
Just Say ‘No’
It’s hard to say ‘No’, but if you truly want to hit your goal and climb hard then you have no choice!
You must commit to a rigid schedule with early mornings, late evenings and little social life. Total discipline and acceptance of the sacrifices that you will make are a must. Eat, drink, sleep, talk, and do climbing at all times when not actually working! Thats your life now, ‘No’ ifs and ‘No’ buts!
Your family and friends will think you completely nuts and in some cases dislike you for saying ‘No’, but that’s life now, right? You’re invited to the weekly Friday night after works drinks, you say ‘No’ because you have 12 endurance routes to pack in on Saturday morning. Conversely its your rest day and you’re invited to the Sunday morning 10k around the park, you say ‘No’ (while we are on the subject of rest, don’t you dare even think about missing a rest day!).
Would you like to progress further with our help? Then why not Book Some Coaching
But, hey you know what. If you are happy to just go cragging for the day, or have after work drinky poohs with your work mates or go to that Sunday BBQ blowout. Then fine, go do that.
On the other hand if you truly want to become the best climber you possibly can be. Ditch all that wasted life stuff and become a true climber!!
Above all whatever you do have fun, loads of fun.