• 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
  • 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 - The Rock and Ice Training Series
  • Building a Better Climber: Part 5
  • Building a Better Climber: Part 4
  • Building a Better Climber: Part 3
  • Building a Better Climber: Part 2
  • Building a Better Climber: Part 1
  • 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
  • Should You Add Weight or Use Smaller Holds on a Hangboard
  • 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
    Crystal Tower First Ascent
    Crystal Tower First Ascent

    Rock Climbing Training: How Often Should You Rest?

    21-Oct-2009
    By

    I climb three or four days a week on average. What's the best combination of rest days and climbing days?

    —Jim Munson, Cleveland, OH

    There is no ideal sequence of training/rest days. However, there are some basic guidelines for structuring your training, according to your ability level and goals or the climbing or training season. Novice climbers (5.7 to 5.9) are advised to climb no more than three times a week, unless they are very cautious and make sure that their second day on is always a very light, endurance-based day. Mid-grade climbers (5.10 to 5.11) should regard three days a week as the minimum requirement, and if they can increase this to four without getting injured they will undoubtedly improve faster. Advanced to elite climbers (5.12 to 5.14) will need to climb up to five or even six days to keep making gains, but not all year round and only at the high point of training phases. The way to do this is to cycle the intensity of your consecutive days on: for example, hard day (possibly strength-based), then a medium day (power-endurance based), then a light day (stamina-based), and finally a rest day. Repeat.

    If you are really keen to get strong, then you can make great improvements using a day-on day-off structure. When it comes to gaining strength, it is always better to maximize the quality of rest and training rather than the quantity. Developing endurance is simply a matter of putting the time in. A two-days-on/one-day-off schedule works well, or even better, three-on/one-off.

    At the beginning of the training season you would be ill-advised to try to do four or five days a week, as your body simply won’t be prepared. However, you can work towards increasing the number of days as you adjust progressively to the workload. Coaches refer to this as developing the fitness to train. Finally, as the climbing season or an important trip approaches, you can start to taper off and reduce the number of days on per week in order to rest and peak.

    If you really can’t be bothered to plan your training properly, then a good combination for a mid-grade climber is bouldering and strength work on day one, routes and endurance on day two, and rest on day three. Then repeat.

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