Geo Macintyre has over 30 years of experience under his belt in both climbing and coaching, and has competed for 15 years in indoor competitions. Having coached many learners, Geo knows what can hold beginners back, and here he shares three things to realise about climbing if you are a little unsure.
Don’t feel intimidated.
It’s easy to convince yourself it’s hard and scary. Fun fact – the rope above you could hold a small car! From that point on, just concentrate on the joy of movement and forget about the rope.
Don’t judge yourself on what others are doing.
You only need to compete with yourself.
If you’re finding a modest grade of route challenging, you’re getting the same out of climbing as someone being pushed by a much harder route. At the end of the day – the sense of accomplishment is the same when you succeed on your route. That’s the beauty of climbing.
Forget all about the workout.
As you concentrate fully on figuring out the moves and applying mental effort to the challenge, you’re getting a serious workout too, often without even realising it. Just how many muscle groups and joint movements did you work on while you made your way up that route?
Research shows rock climbing can utilise up to 80% of muscle groups, provide an aerobic workout, build upper-body strength, and maintain cardiovascular fitness. And that’s just the physical benefits.
‘For me, climbing has everything. It helps your self-confidence and challenges you both physically and mentally. It makes you aware of your body and brings balance, flexibility, core strength and agility, whilst giving you a cerebral puzzle. It’s up to you to figure out the best way up that line of holds. Plus, when you reach your own personal goal, the sense of achievement is really satisfying and you walk away feeling great.’