I wasn’t exactly a sporty kid in high school. I was skinny, pale and more likely to be found in the library or quietly eating alone at recess. I knew sport wasn’t for me when I was quietly asked to leave E Team hockey.
Would you believe that now, years later, I can do 17 pullups in a row without breaking a sweat? Getting strong through bouldering is easy, accessible, and a lot of fun! For those not in the know, bouldering is essentially climbing small walls without ropes, falling onto thick pads. Here are reasons you should give it a try.
It’s Not Competitive
When you’re climbing, you’re not competing with other people, you’re engaging with your own projects (routes that you’re trying to finish) at your own level. It’s just you and the wall. If you fall or fail, it’s only you who can work harder to get better. This also means that the only pressure comes from you and you don’t have to worry about letting a teammate down or looking silly in front of other people.
It Doesn’t Feel Like Exercise
Bouldering isn’t monotonous. Unlike doing reps of a certain exercise over and over, or running a handful of routes around your suburb, every route is different and will offer its own unique set of challenges. Strategizing before you start a route is half the fun, and each time you retry a route you’re exercising nearly every muscle in your body.
Routes Are Set For Many Different Body Types
Whether you’re tall, small, broad or slim, there’ll always be somewhere for you to start, and you’ll quickly find your niche. Big muscular types might enjoy climbs that involve a lot of power and long leaps (known as ‘dynos’) whilst slender, delicate people will be drawn to balance, technical climbs that require precision, flexibility and balance.
Climbing combines three factors known to increase a sense of reward every time you complete a climb: confronting fear, problem solving and physical exertion. There’s also the fact that at the gym (and on rock) routes are graded so that you can easily track even small progressions. Every time you return, you’ll find yourself more capable than before and it’ll feel like winning big at Grand Rush Casino.
Climbers encourage each other. They’ll always come up to greet you and help you solve a problem you’ve been working on – freely sharing ideas and techniques. Over time you’ll get to know a lovely group of diverse people who all share a passion for exercise and the outdoors. After a while they might take you to the local crag (outdoor boulder or wall) and help you complete your first outdoor route. Get ready for a lot of sitting in nature and making coffee on camping stoves.
A far cry from the intimidating change rooms of the local gym or sports club, climbing is an exercise pioneered by thinkers and dreamers who aspire only to push themselves. If you’ve ever felt like an outsider in more traditional fitness spaces, then bouldering is definitely for you!