Conditioning for climbing is as different from other sports’ training programs as vertical departs from horizontal.
- Eric H

The impetuses for writing Conditioning for Climbers were the many climbers, from around the world, who have urged me to write a book focusing solely on physical conditioning. Given the wealth of positive feedback on my previous books, I decided to accept this challenge and spend a year exercising my fingers on a keyboard. I hope that I meet or exceed the expectations of these climbers, and I thank all of you who have encouraged me to keep writing.

Since you visiting, you have undoubtedly discovered that climbing is a rigorous physical sport that will test your strength, power, endurance, flexibility, and stamina. Elevating climbing performance therefore demands that you enhance your conditioning in each of these areas, as well as elevating your technical and mental skills. While there are numerous books available that touch on these subjects, there has been no comprehensive exercise book for climbers—until now.

Conditioning for Climbers is the ultimate manual for climbers who are looking to improve their physical capabilities. Regardless of your age, ability, or sports background, this book will empower you to develop and engage in a supremely effective conditioning program. And as you progress as a climber, Conditioning for Climbers will guide you in modifying your program for long-term benefits that will keep you upwardly mobile for many years to come.

Without a doubt, piecing together an optimal exercise program for you is like solving a complex and completely unique puzzle. The fact is that the vast majority of climbers do not train optimally—in fact, some of the workouts I’ve observed over the years arguably provide no benefit on the rock! I have therefore written Conditioning for Climbers to guide you through all the essential steps of effective conditioning, from self-assessment to program design to proper execution of the exercises. All the while I have tried to avoid going unnecessarily deeply into exercise science or describing esoteric training practices, with the goal of crafting a streamlined, content-rich book filled with practical how-to information. The bottom line: There is no more complete instruction available short of me working with you one-on-one as your personal performance coach.

Conditioning for Climbers is divided into four parts containing twelve chapters. Part 1 provides an overview of the core principles of effective conditioning, as well as the most detailed self-assessment worksheet ever devised for climbers. Accurate self-assessment is an essential precursor to developing a conditioning program that will really work for you. Like a prism, this forty-question assessment will separate out all the areas that influence your climbing performance, thus revealing your true limiting constraints and empowering you to target them with training.

Parts 2 and 3 provide the most complete array of conditioning-for-climbers exercises ever assembled in a single book. Chapters 3, 4, and 5 cover all aspects of general conditioning, including warm-up and flexibility exercises, entry-level strength training and weight-loss tips, and fifteen fabulous core-conditioning exercises. Chapters 6 through 9 then delve into the rich area of climbing-specific exercises. You will learn more than twenty effective exercises to target the all-important muscles of the fingers, arms, and upper torso, with strategies for developing strength, power, and endurance. Though overlooked in most other books, you will also find an entire chapter on training the antagonistic muscle groups that are so vital for maintaining muscle balance and reducing injury risk. Rounding out the instruction is a chapter on stamina conditioning to increase your capacity to climb long days and excel in high-altitude settings.

In the final section, part 4, you will learn how to assemble a comprehensive training program that works. Based on the results of your self-assessment, chapter 10 will guide you in selecting and combining exercises from throughout the book to make up your weekly conditioning program. Workout schedules are provided for beginner, intermediate, and advanced ability levels, so this book will remain your companion for effective training as you climb your way up the grading scale! In chapter 11 you will find what I hope will be enlightening and inspiring information on optimal conditioning for youth, women, and over-fifty climbers—three groups that I view as especially gifted at climbing. Chapter 12 then wraps things up with coverage of a few of my favorite subjects—ironically topics overlooked by many climbers—including the power of performance nutrition, the benefits of periodization and planned breaks from climbing, and the secrets to avoiding injury.

Click here to order a signed copy of Conditioning for Climbers. For a limited time, receive a FREE copy of the Masters of Rock interview CD (a $10 value) with your book order!
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Conditioning for Climbers
The Complete Exercise Guide

by Eric J. Hörst

($19.95, 200+ pages, 150+ color photos, Release date: April 2008)

Chapter 1:
Principles for Effective Conditioning

Chapter 2:
Self-Assessment and Goal Setting

Chapter 3:
Warm-up Exercises and Flexibility Conditioning

Chapter 4:
Basic Conditioning & Weight Loss

Chapter 5:
Core Muscle Conditioning

Chapter 6:
Finger Conditioning

Chapter 7:
Upper-Body Strength, Power, and Endurance Conditioning

Chapter 8:
Antagonist Muscle Conditioning

Chapter 9:
Stamina Conditioning Exercises

Chapter 10:
Designing Your Conditioning Program

Chapter 11:
Other Performance Considerations

Chapter 12:
Workout Recovery and Injury Prevention

You may be wondering: How is Conditioning for Climbers different from my Training for Climbing book?

Conditioning for Climber is the most complete exercise book for climbers ever written--it's highly detailed and beautifully illustrated with over 150 color photos. But it does NOT cover any other aspects of climbing performance.

Training For Climbing is a far more comprehensive text, covering technique training, mental training, strength training, sports science, performance nutrition and recovery, injury treatment and much more.

I believe most people will discover that both are highly valuable, must-read books!

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