Training anecdotes 1:
My training regimen is something that I am always seeking to tweak, especially since we opt out of going to a climbing gym. It has been around seven years since we attended a gym with any regularity. We used to love going to a small gym in central Vermont and went multiple times per week despite the long drive. The price was right, and while the routes hardly changed and it was often cold, the atmosphere of the gym was fun and the community was consistent. Once the gym changed hands the whole community just disbanded. After that I guess we never rebounded. I could blame it on the fact that the new manager stated once that he “could climb the hardest route in his Crocs,” the price hike, or the simple fact that the new owners routinely played Dave Matthews Band; one of these is certainly a logical reason to never return.
When our much-loved gym changed hands we certainly had some hiccups in establishing a new climbing routine. In the beginning we opted to take some time off from climbing in the early days of winter. Spending a few weeks building back our strength in the spring by taking a climbing trip down south, always seemed to work out. Our strength unfailingly returned, but this process proved to be too laissez-faire as all of the gains we made in the fall had to be met again; not so satisfying for the ego but perhaps ok for healing pesky injuries.
The two of us have been climbing for 15 years a piece, and so we decided to focus on a hangboard as our main apparatus for a training regimen, and we established a base training plan that has been effective for the past few years. In simple terms, I work out my abs every other day for core, run three miles a few times per week for cardio, and then combine it all with a hangboard session every three days for 90 minutes or so to strengthen my fingers.
The nearest gym is one hour away which is the same distance to our old gym. However, the cost of a monthly gym membership for two people, the mileage on the car, and the fact that we would have to leave our young dog at home for hours on end include a few of the main factors that discourage us from going to a climbing gym. Perhaps once per winter season we may go to the newly built gym, but it is merely just to change it up a bit and stretch our bodies. Our small home wall has also been great as it allows us to warm up properly for our hangboard session.
At this stage we are most interested in strengthening our fingers and not injuring them. Most seasons we are able to climb for 7-8 months out of the year, and so it is not a big deal to head to the basement for our workouts for a few months. So in the end, consistent use on the hangboard has been a great method to avoid any loss of finger strength. The total investment is under a grand which includes the wall, holds, hangboards and other essential training tools like the Armaid and various training books.