by Steve Bechtel
Of all the facets of training for climbing, I think training for endurance is the most controversial and misunderstood. Most of us agree that a hangboard is the best way to build finger strength and that bouldering on an indoor wall is a good way to build power, but what about endurance? A quick review of climbing blog recommendations will get you a variety of conflicting and confusing answers. Should you run? Do interval climbing? Toprope laps at the end of the climbing day?
If you’ve been after it for long, you’ve probably tried all of these things, and might not be impressed with your results. I’ve struggled with this myself and with my athletes, too. I’ve always felt like the training we’ve done for endurance on rock has been suboptimal. Over the last couple of years, I have focused most of my study on methods of increasing endurance, and I realized we’ve been making some very fundamental errors. In 2013, I reworked our entire endurance program. I’ll detail that below, but first, I want to tell you why.