Sports Climbing Guide: Skills, Training & Nutrition Needs

sports climbing wall

The Run Down on Competitive Climbing

What is Sports Climbing?

Sports climbing has become an increasingly popular sport over the past two decades, and especially so over the last few years. When it comes to climbing, whether competitive or for personal fitness, there are different styles including lead climbing and bouldering; both are forms of rock climbing but differ in their process.

man using strength to hold onto climbing wall

Lead climbing involves scaling a wall to reach the summit – the climber will rely on fixed anchors on the wall to attach a rope as they climb, usually with another person on the ground guiding the rope, also known as belaying.

Bouldering entails completing a set-out climbing route without the use of external equipment.

What Skills Does Sports Climbing Involve?

Climbing is both physically and mentally demanding and requires a variety of skills from endurance and strength to balance and agility.
Bouldering doesn’t require any equipment other than your body, and a chalk bag. However, if you’re rock or lead climbing, you’ll also need to be skilful with belaying, setting anchors and repelling.

As much as climbing is challenging physically, it also requires a lot of mental strength and focus. Our Klean Focus® formula is specially formulated to help athletes dial into their mental game and keep it as strong as their physical one.

How to Train Like a Rock Climber

Climbing is a physically demanding sport as it requires full body strength. When scaling a wall in any form, you utilise all the muscles in your body from your feet to your forearms.

The important areas to focus on are your core, upper body and lower body strength, alongside building up your hand, grip and finger strength, as climbing can require tight hand holds such as crimping.

Before starting out on any climb, it’s important to warm up your body, as this will increase the blood flow and oxygen release throughout your body, allowing for a wider muscular range of motion.

Ultimately the best way to train for climbing, is by climbing itself, but there are a few exercises you can try at home or in the gym to help increase your ability across the core areas.

woman doing tricep dips

10 Workout Exercises for Rock Climbers:

• Plank
• Crunches

Upper Body:
• Dumbbell shoulder press
• Tricep dips
• Door frame pull-ups

Lower Body and Balance:
• Bodyweight squats
• Single-leg toe touches
• 30-second one-legged balance stand

Grip and Forearm Strength:
• Textbook hold
• Wrist curls

Nutrition Rules for a Climber

female rock climber

Ideal nutrition for sports climbing will vary depending on your climbing ability and whether you’re climbing competitively.

A basic diet for a climber should consist of lean proteins, whole grains, unprocessed foods, healthy fats and plenty of fresh vegetables. A lot of climbing nutrition comes down to timing; eating a meal that has a good balance of carbohydrates and protein roughly an hour before training will help to fuel your body.

Certain climbing routes, especially when climbing competitively, require a lot of physical and muscular endurance, so it’s vital that your body is being fuelled correctly to replenish energy levels.

Klean Endurance offers a clinically proven method to help restore energy during exercise, as the naturally-occurring pentose sugar the formula contains supports cardiovascular health, energy production and mitochondrial function.

Learn more about how to build up your mental resilience as an athlete:

How to Build Mental Resilience for Success


How to Build Mental Resilience for Success

2021-01-10 08:51:27By Klean Athlete

Klean Athlete

Klean Athlete

Klean Athlete