If hurts – stop! (OR if we really want to sound like everyone’s mother – ‘If it hurts – don’t do it!’)
It’s common sense, but it’s so easy to ignore this trite piece of ‘wisdom’ when you’re excited to get to the top of that climb. If you tweak a finger, feel a twinge in your shoulder or receive some other warning sign from your body, it’s a sound decision to back off and put a halt to your session. If it’s nothing, you’ll probably be back on the wall tomorrow anyway.
Getting stronger = Climbing + Rest
Getting Injured = Climbing, climbing, climbing, climbing, climbing….
Newer climbers will need to find the balance between climbing enough to get over the initial ‘my forearms get tired’ hump, and doing too much too soon. For some, this might be something like two sessions per week, and then increasing as your body can handle it.
On your days off from climbing you could work other areas of your fitness, including core, cardio or other (non-climbing) conditioning.
Another important time to rest is in between climbs — especially if you’re looking to climb at your maximum limit during your session, where a standard rest time of 3-5 minutes is recommended. Another way to measure out sufficient rest time is to give yourself one minute per hard move, if you fall before getting to the top.
There are also many conditioning and antagonist exercises that can be performed to keep your climbing physique healthy and balanced – take Sessions with me at BKB and you can learn ‘em all.