How to get into indoor rock climbing?

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Where to start and how to determine your experience level

Indoor rock climbing gyms offer an opportunity to combine a full-body workout with a fun and unique experience. Whether you’re climbing solo or with a group, you’ll benefit from a controlled indoor environment as you scale walls and challenge yourself to hit new milestones.

Wondering where and how to get started? Here are a few helpful questions to ask yourself.

What Type of Climbing Do You Want to Try?

Indoor rock climbing gyms tend to offer multiple ways to enjoy the experience. The two most common types for novices include bouldering and top-roping.

During bouldering sessions you climb up relatively short walls without the use of ropes. The height is low enough for most people to handle without fear, and the mats on the floor to reduce the risk of injury. Top-roping, on the other hand, takes you higher, but an established rope system keeps you safe.

If you happen to be an experienced climber, you can consider leading. This means the rope directly runs to you from the belay device, and you’ll need to clip more rope as you move along.

Do You Have Any Previous Experience?

Indoor climbing gyms like Rock’n & Jam’n offer instructional courses for climbers of all experience levels. So, select a class based on your current level of familiarity with climbing.  

  • Introductory classes teach you the most basic skills
  • Intermediate classes help you build on existing skills.
  • Expert courses prepare you for the challenge of leading.
  • Child-friendly courses are available for young climbers.

What’s Your Fitness Level?

Your current fitness level will also play a role in how you’ll begin your climbing adventure. If you’re the type of person who already exercises multiple times a week, you might be ready to tackle the many challenges of an indoor climbing gym.

If staying in shape hasn’t typically been a major priority for you, there are many steps you can take to increase your sense of confidence.

  • You can focus on simple bodyweight resistance exercises, such as pushups, dips, and lunges.
  • You can spend some time using weights and weight machines to perform bicep and wrist curls, leg presses, and other muscle-building exercises.
  • You can incorporate more aerobic exercises, such as jogging or riding a bike, into your daily agenda. Even swimming can help build the level of endurance you’ll need during climbing sessions.

Some climbing gyms offer circuit training classes that help you target the muscle groups you’ll need to engage when scaling the wall. It’s also a way to develop a well-rounded workout routine that’ll help you excel in more than just climbing.

Do You Want to Climb With Buddies?
The last question you need to consider is whether you plan on stepping into the gym alone or going with a group of friends. Private lessons can be useful for learning skills directly from an expert. However, group sessions give you a chance to enjoy this new hobby with your closest buddies.

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