• The Truth About Caffeine and Climbing
  • Five Strategies to Sharpen Concentration and Climb Better
  • Five Ways to Get Better Without Training
  • Beat the Burnout: Only Ondra Should Train Like Ondra
  • Effective Gym Training Strategies (for Route Climbing)
  • Should You Add Weight or Use Smaller Holds on a Hangboard
  • Map Out a Plan with the Radar System
  • Managing the Fear of Falling
  • Projecting 101 – 6 Tips For Sending
  • Slowing the Pump Clock
  • Training on the Go
  • How to Train for Compression
  • Nutrition: Eating Your Way to Better Climbing
  • How to Dyno
  • General Conditioning for Climbers
  • Transitioning from Gym to Crag
  • How to Keep Your Job and Family and Still Climb at Your Limit
  • Staying Strong to Perform Your Best All Season
  • How to Lose Weight for Climbing
  • Building a Better Climber: Part 7
  • Building a Better Climber: Part 6
  • Building a Better Climber: Final Part
  • Building a Better Climber: Part 5 - Strength Phase II
  • Building a Better Climber: Part 4 - Power Endurance
  • Building a Better Climber: Part 3 - Strength Training
  • Building a Better Climber: Part 2 - Low-Intensity Endurance Phase
  • Building a Better Climber: Part 1 - Conditioning Phase
  • Gain Confidence by Learning Not to Fear Falling
  • The Unnatural Way to Climb
  • Get Better When You Are Scared and Pumped
  • Never Get Pumped Again
  • Pushing Past Your Training Plateau
  • How to Power Train for Climbing
  • How to Mentally Train
  • Boost Power With Eccentric Training
  • Tips for Better Onsighting
  • Should You Lose Weight or Get Stronger?
  • Is Protein Important?
  • Getting Strong After a Layoff
  • Does Running or Biking Improve Your Climbing?
  • Training While Hungry
  • How To Use Microcycles
  • Improving Slab Technique
  • How to Unlock a Crux
  • Using Your Hangboard the Right Way
  • Using a Weight Belt For Training
  • Training During Pregnancy
  • Maximizing a Small Home Wall
  • How to Stay Psyched
  • How to Prevent Bonking
  • Best Ratio of Resting to Bouldering
  • The Importance of Finger Strength
  • Regaining Confidence After a Fall
  • Overcome Anxiety and Send!
  • Maximum Training in Minimum Time
  • Dynamic vs. Static Stretching
  • Do Forearm Trainers Work?
  • Ultimate Strength
  • The Secrets of Warming Up
  • Periodized Training For the Year-round Approach
  • Resting the Perfect Amount
  • How To Recover On Route
  • Does Creatine Work?
  • Recovery Supplement Truths
  • Euro Training Secrets
  • Can Old Guys Get Stronger?
  • Training With an Injury
  • How to Beat Fear
  • How Often Should You Rest?
  • Warming Up Without Warm-Ups
  • How to Develop Sloper Strength
  • Beating the Lactic Acid Pump
  • Video Spotlight
    Choke Hold, Independence Pass, CO
    Choke Hold, Independence Pass, CO

    Rock Climbing Training: Using a Weight Belt For Training


    Does it help to use a weight belt to increase endurance, or should weight only be added when training strength and power?

    —Jason Grubb | Carbondale, CO

    The answer to your question lies in the type of climbing that you are training for, and specifically, the type of endurance you need to develop.

    The obvious use for weight belts is system training, where you make each move progressively harder each session simply by adding weight in small increments (of say 1 or 2 pounds) at a time.

    Endurance training, in contrast to system, or power training, is all about maximizing volume (or number of moves). Clearly, the use of a weight belt would compromise the goal in favor of boosting intensity.

    If you are training for a 30-pitch vertical marathon on El Cap, there is no point weighing yourself down so that you can only climb for bursts of two minutes before burning out. In this case, the goal would be to maximize the volume of training at all costs, so go easy and do the longest possible stints. It can be tedious work but you may need to do five or six stints of 30 minutes of climbing to train this type of slow-burn stamina.

    That said, a weight belt of 4 or 5 pounds might be just the ticket to prepare you for that unruly big-wall rack, but reduce the difficulty of the climbing so that you can keep going for the required time.

    If, on the other hand, you're training for hard single-pitch sport routes at Rifle or the Red River Gorge then you must maintain a potent blend of intensity and volume, and using a weight belt can be a useful tool. You could increase intensity simply by trying harder routes or circuits, but this is the same old method.

    The beauty of weight belts is that they can jolt you out of a plateau, but it's important to note that they should be used with caution. If you train with a weight belt routinely (for example, an hour or so every session) then you are running the risk of injury.

    Use weight belts occasionally in a strategic and targeted way; for example, for the last three or four consecutive sessions during the final week or two of a power-endurance training phase. This way your body will be ready to cope with the extra strain and you can obtain that final edge to your performance with a lower risk of injury.

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