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At any level, primary and secondary training techniques can both be used to improve as a climber. The primary training stimulus is simply organizing the climbing you are already doing into manageable workloads appropriate to your rate of adaptation (your relationship and tolerance for physical stress). Secondary training techniques are those supplementary methods that are the most effective at eliciting increases in your general capacity.

To be effective, primary training for climbing needs to be put into context. Classic periodization models successfully used by road bikers, runners, swimmers and weightlifters do not have the same effect on a sport like climbing. Often a high volume of climbing performed at a low intensity level will coincide with injury or overtraining.

It’s ironic that not challenging one’s ability as a climber can have such a negative impact on the body, but it does. Reduced intensity allows for more mileage –known as junk miles in the road biking world. This high volume sets the climber up with increased inflammation at the cellular level. This can weaken the integrity of susceptible joints i.e. fingers, elbows or the shoulder where climbing injuries often occur.

Rather, regular exposure to climbing movement that challenges one’s strength, forces an improvement in technique. When the amount of climbing at one’s limit is carefully programmed specific to one’s Rate of Adaptation then the body has a chance to physically adapt to the stress of hard movement.

Strength and technique are intimately interwoven. It’s difficult to separate the two in sports like climbing, wrestling, tennis or skiing.¬†Well matched opponents in tennis and wrestling bring the athlete to the top of their game faster than any other method. Challenging opponents teach improvisation in the moment and provide the opportunities to react instantaneously to unforeseen challenges. This is how¬†skills are best developed in Non-Repeating Motor Pathway Sports. Skiers need terrain and speed to challenge and develop their skill set. Climbers need a challenging climb.