Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
Be open to all different types of climbing and styles, and take something from each. There’s always something to learn.
—Jernej Kruder, 2018 Bouldering World Cup Champion
Train and climb with people that are at your level or slightly better. This has lots of benefits—like keeping motivation and fun high during training session—but it’s also just easier to learn from each other than by figuring out everything by yourself.
—Jakob Schubert, 2018 Combined World Champion
Power is crucial: Lift weights two or three times a week. You’ll likely see rapid improvement in your max-level boulders. By the same token, listen to your body all the time and don’t over-train. It is important to have enough recovery time.
—Staša Gejo, 2017 Bouldering European Champion
Observe! We all know how important it is to carefully “read” the route or boulder before attempting it. But do you actually do it? Before you get off the ground, always take a look at where the handholds and footholds are placed, and try to figure out your beta and a plan of attack.
—Anak Verhoeven, three-time Lead World Cup Gold Medalist
Stock up on calories for training. Eating two hours before a climb, with an emphasis on carbohydrates, is a great idea. Otherwise a chocolate bar right before does the trick. The fuel doesn’t automatically make you a stronger climber, but it helps you maintain focus and a positive attitude until the end of your training session.
—Alexey Rubtsov, three-time Bouldering World Cup Gold Medalist
Visualize! You can do this one with a friend and challenge each other. Pick a route inside or outside. Without telling them the name of the climb describe the beta to them in detail. Your goal is to figure out the name of the climb simply by knowing the movement. I’ve been practicing this quite a bit. I believe these kinds of drills help a lot for competitions as well as onsite or flash climbing.
—Justin Salas, 2018 Visual Impairment Paraclimbing World Champion
Cross training keeps you healthy and sane. If I don’t supplement climbing and climbing specific training like hangboarding with more traditional weightlifting and cardio, I go crazy and get injured. I focus on antagonist shoulder exercises and on muscle groups that don’t often get worked by climbing itself, like glutes and hamstrings. I find this also breaks up the monotony of climbing specific training.
—Maureen Beck, 2014 and 2016 AU-2 (Forearm Amputee) Paraclimbing World Champion