Beginner Climber Outdoor

Goal Setting & Self Assessment for Advanced Climbers
(Over 5.13 on lead and V8 for bouldering outdoors)


Self-Assessment & Goal Setting

“What happens when you decide what you’ve got isn’t gonna cut it anymore?  You get more.”


In the U.S., we are just starting to recognize climbing as a sport worthy of sponsorship and funding by the nation you may someday represent.  As I write this, climbing has just premiered in its first Olympics in 2021!  Already the rules and competition will change for the next summer Olympics in 2024.  This has started to open the door to financing for the first national training facility, coaching, physio, nutrition, and the entire village it takes to keep athletes at this level healthy, happy, and injury free.

Your priority is now building strength and staying healthy while doing it. I strongly recommend regular coaching, body work, and serious thought to nutrition and sleep.  Injury prevention is key.  Your team is there to keep you on track and prevent you from being distracted.  Coaches should be taking a VERY close look at your lifestyle and areas in need of adjustment.  We are looking to see what’s firing in your nervous system and what looks sluggish so we can get you into a body worker immediately.  We all tend to want to do the things we are good at, while shying away from the things that are hard and make us feel less successful.  The HARD things that we have not YET mastered are the things our coaches will make us do regularly.

Recommended goals for your climbing:

  • Grip Strength in varied positions.  Grip strength is definitely not the most important part of climbing, but it helps!  Be sure to test in positions that challenge your balance and utilize your core.  The elite climbers I have tested generally have 80%-90% strength to body weight ratio.  To find this number, test with a dynamometer, most climbing clinicians will have one. Take your grip strength in kg, divide by your body weight in kg. Strength:BW=grip ratio
  • Rehab & Injury Prevention. Stay on top of old injuries and ahead of new ones.  See next goal to help identify oncoming injuries.  For a competing athlete, any issue that limits a training session needs to be addressed that day if possible.
  • If you haven’t done it yet, why are you waiting? Find practitioners to care for you.  Find a Physical Therapist, Chiropractor, Massage Therapist, or Acupuncturist.  Make sure they are experienced climbers and specialize in elite athletes or sports medicine. Include common travel destinations.  You cannot rely on self-diagnosis, or peer climbers advise at this level.
  • Consistency in your daily training
  • Know how to plan a year ahead of time for projects, competition, travel, rest. Micro & macro cycles need to be learned, mapped out, and implemented.  These can and SHOULD be adjusted with injuries or successes.


    Looking to keep yourself accountable as you work on progressing in your climbing? Contact us at ATHENA where we specialize in injury prevention, massage therapy, strength training, climbing assessments, core training, and sports nutrition. Follow us on social media at Athena_massage.

    **Check out Eric J. Hörst, ‘Training for Climbing’ for a very user friendly self assessment tool.  I have also developed one for use in my clinics.

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