Workout Fuel Promax

After six months away, I was finally able to get back to one of my favorite hobbies this week – rock climbing! And here’s why I think you should join me…

I’ve been spending some time “hanging around” of late, trying to find a healthier meaning to the phrase “on the rocks,” though I still enjoy a brandy when I’m back on terra firma. 

Now, before you dismiss this one as not for you – perhaps you don’t have the upper body strength or you don’t have a head for heights – believe me, it’s still within reach and you might just surprise yourself.  I’m no Beth Rodden, that’s for sure (for those who don’t know, she’s a totally awesome kick-ass climber from the States!), but I’ve still found my place on the wall. It’s really more about technique than strength and the benefits are bountiful.

I first took to the wall about two years ago. After years of donning my trainers and pounding the pavements, I wanted to spice up my exercise regime and build some muscle and definition. I had no designs to “bulk up” as such, I just wanted to sculpt and define my wiry frame.

After some research and deliberation, I stumbled across bouldering at my local gym and decided to give it a try. 

Be boulder

Bouldering is perfect for first-timers or those nervous about heights. It cuts out the need for ropes as you don’t climb so high and there’s a lovely, squishy crash mat in case you fall.

The structures are designed to replicate natural climbing environments such as caves, overhangs and arches but in a more controlled, safer setting, and you’re tasked with climbing short but tricky routes using balancing techniques, strength and brainpower.

After just one session, I was hooked. It’s fair to say I’m not a natural at this sport and I fall off… a lot, but it offers something different. The concentration needed to plan and execute your route (all while trying not to fall off) gives you a break from your thoughts and everyday stresses. Not only this, after just a few sessions I really noticed my physique changing.

Naturally, as you might expect, my arm muscles began to change, but perhaps an even bigger change was to my core! I never realized how much inner strength was needed to haul yourself up a climbing wall, particularly when tackling overhangs. I thought it was all arms but core is key if you’re going to master the art of any kind of climbing. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a six-pack, but I’ve certainly noticed much more abdominal definition, and I rather like it.

However, as I mentioned before, it’s not all about strength – technique, balance and courage all play their part. It really is an all round sport open to all.

I haven’t ventured outdoors to try any climbing as yet, but I plan to next summer. Being away from the controlled and “safe” environment of the bouldering wall feels daunting, but the promise of spectacular views and fresh air is certainly appealing.


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Enjoy bountiful benefits

Whether indoors or outdoors, on a wall with ropes or without, there are a plethora of physical and metal benefits to be gained from climbing…

1)   Cracking calorie burn – Just a one-hour climbing session can burn more than 700 calories as you use your whole body to master it

2)   Improved flexibility – Tricky maneuvers, lunges and stretching to reach holds on the wall will help hone your suppleness and flexibility

3)   Super strength – The physical effort required to move your body weight around a climbing wall builds strength not only in your arms but also your core, legs, hands and feet

4)   Cardio boost – You might not feel it like you would an aerobics class or session on the treadmill, but climbing requires some serious physical exertion. It’s sure to make you work up a sweat and get your heart pumping

5)   Bolstered brainpower – Searching out different routes on the wall feels like a puzzle and tests your brain as well as your body

6)   Good feels – The feel-good endorphins released after a vigorous climbing session will leave you on top of the world (quite literally!)

All in all, climbing is a fun, sociable activity and the amazing sense of achievement, not to mention the toned bod, will no doubt have you roped into going back for more – pun very much intended!


To your health dear friends!

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