ASCEND Fitness - Benefits of Cross Training

ASCEND Fitness has everything you need to succeed as a climber. Let us do the thinking. You climb.

Cross Training, Yoga, & Strength Training will never replace climbing - BUT - they will make you a better climber.

Why would I do anything other than climb? Why would a climbing gym suggest these things? So they can make more money? No. We want everyone in the climbing community to have the resources they need to be the best climbers they can be.

Unless you're a genetic freak elite god of a climber, you can improve your ability by simply increasing your fitness level.

Here are some specific benefits of cross training: 

1. Increase overall fitness level.

Don't you hate it when you gather a group of friends, organize gear, drive to a site, hike to the rock, and the approach drains you? Working on your overall fitness level can improve the experience of the approach.

2. Decrease Risk of Injury

This one is HUGE! Climbers wanna climb. Injured climbers also wanna climb, and unfortunately often do. If you had a chance to avoid injury in the first place, wouldn't it be worth a shot?

Let's talk about climbing injury mechanisms.

Overuse injuries occur when you do the same motions over and over and over again until your body gets angry and uses pain and inflammation to communicate its displeasure with the current pattern.

Traumatic injuries happen all of a sudden, without warning. Examples of traumatic injuries in climbing include rolled ankles, popped pulleys, broken wrists. These injuries sometimes include an audible pop or crunch, and often include sharp pain.

So how does fitness prevent these things? Well, intelligently programmed exercises can relieve repetitive patterns to ease overuse injuries, & strength training creates stronger bodies to protect at-risk tissue in the case of falls or other unexpected situations. 

3. Balance those antagonist muscles!

Continuing from #2, a balanced body is a healthy body. For example, climbers pull and pull and pull and develop strong backs. With a super strong back & a neglected chest, our shoulders are at risk for major injuries. Additionally, super strong finger and wrist flexors paired with weak finger and wrist extensors will negatively impact your elbow health, often leading to tendonitis. Ouch.

4. Experience new movement patterns.

Some humans learn differently than others. In the fitness world, we attempt to identify learning patterns and teach individuals based on their most efficient learning style. People who watch things once and crush it are called visual learners. People who need to physically perform movements & respond to physical cues are tactile learners.

Tactile learners benefit from experiencing a wide range of movement patterns & carry over skills learned in other platforms, like fitness & yoga. Since so much of climbing is skill based, these tactile experiences are crucial to progress.

5. Take full advantage of the off season.

So, you're focused on resting to avoid overuse injuries but you don't want to lose strength or ability? Well, you could CROSSTRAIN! Working with a knowledgeable trainer (winkwink) can set you up to crush during the next season.

6. Avoid plateaus.

Remember the knowledgeable trainer? They can identify why you're stuck & develop programming to get you past a plateau - potentially with just a conversation. Onward & upward! Awesome, right?

7. Increase your body’s ability to deliver oxygen & fuel to climbing muscles.

We’re gonna talk some science. Ready?

Increasing your fitness level teaches your cardiovascular system to shunt blood to working muscles. Typically, blood is directed to tissue with the highest metabolic need. At rest, digestive & excretory organs get the most blood. When you begin exercising, your body increases blood flow to working muscles by 15-20 times! That means you get a ton more O2 and fuel to forearms and hands.

 8. Decrease pump during climbing.

#7 is all about blood flowing, bringing necessary fuel and 02 to climbing muscles, but it also removes the evil byproduct of climbing that causes pump.

 Still with me? Good. The cool thing about this here fitness adventure is that you still get to climb, A LOT. 80% of the time.  See?

Super Scientific training breakdown based on time tested science. Applies to most skill based sports & activities. 80% climbing, 10% Strength Training, 10% Accessories.

Climbing is defined as any time you’re up close and personal with the wall or the rock. Hands on holds, feet off the ground.

Accessories are defined as hangboarding, campusing, stretching, prehab, warmup, cooldown, etc.

Strength Training is defined as push, pull, hinge, squat, carry. Pick things up and put them down.


Thats right. Climbing is the Beyonce of Destiny's Child. Accessories and Strength are the Kelly Rowland and ...? I forget the last girl. BUT! Without Destiny's Child, Bey wouldn't have the foundation for her QUEEN OF THE WORLD status. 

Huh? You already do some of those things...

At ASCEND, we're not only prepared but psyched to be a part of 100% of your climbing experience. Hence, the CLIMBING | FITNESS | YOGA emphasis. They holy trinity, if I may. The snap crackle and pop. The stop drop and roll.  All necessary pieces of the beautiful thing that is climbing.

But seriously. ASCEND Fitness offers Personal Training, Group Fitness Classes, Climbing Classes, Climbing Coaching, and Fitness & Movement Assessments. 


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