Introduction

Welcome to the exhilarating world of indoor climbing! Regardless of your age, background, or level of fitness, indoor climbing will present you with many unique challenges-and rewards-that are far different form other sports. As you will soon discover, the wonder of indoor climbing is the unique way in which it engages both the mind and body. Each climb reveals a novel challenge that offers the opportunity for self-development. Solving a puzzling sequence of hand- and footholds is akin to a vertical chess match requiring a dynamic mix of problem solving, positive thinking, and fear management. Physically, climbing will challenge your flexibility, stamina, body control, and almost every muscle from your legs to your abdominals to your soon-to-be-pumped arms. In aggregate, climbing provides what may be the most complete mind-body workout available. And it's an absolute blast!

Learning to Climb Indoors presents comprehensive instruction on all the vital topics you need to know for your first few days and years in the sport. Chapter 1 begins with an overview of the commercial climbing gym experience. You will gain a sense of the rules of the game and requisite safe-climbing instruction that most gyms mandate. Chapters 2 and 3 will introduce you to the basic gear and safety techniques that make indoor climbing safer than playing soccer or mowing the grass. Yes, climbing is a remarkably safe activity given proper equipment, expert instruction, and diligent use of the safety techniques you will learn in this book.

Chapter 4 is unique among how-to-climb books as it reveals several not-so-well-known strategies for rapid learning of climbing skills. While the majority of new climbers stumble slowly through the maze of trial-and-error learning, you can take a more direct path to improvement by applying the eight powerful learning strategies outlined in this chapter.

The core technical instruction of Learning to Climb Indoors is found in chapters 5 through 7. A wise beginning climber will strive to learn—and make habitual—the optimal use of hand- and footholds, body positioning, and techniques of movement. These chapters will describe all the fundamental techniques and tactics required for beginner-, intermediate-, and advanced-level climbs. You will learn a variety of technique-building drills as well as several proven strategies for solving difficult routes and programming your brain for success.

Supporting this instruction, you will find dozens of photos depicting the fundamental techniques, body positions, and movements. Many of these photos contain an overlay of symbols and labels (annotations) that reveal optimal application of force to hand- and footholds, as well as proper positioning of the body’s center of gravity. It’s my hope that these value-added photos will underscore the importance of body awareness and enhance the learning of proper technique.
Next up, in chapter 8, is an in-depth look at mental training and fear management. It’s a fact that climbing requires uncommon discipline and mental fortitude compared with other sports. Thus, elevating your mental game is an essential part of improving your overall ability. To this end, you will learn ten proven techniques for controlling tension, challenging fear, and conquering the fright of flight.

The final three chapters of Learning to Climb Indoors complete the circle of becoming a solid all-around climber. Chapter 9 provides a plan for physical conditioning, so that you can develop the strength and endurance needed for climbs of increasing difficulty. And since indoor climbing is an increasingly popular youth activity, chapter 10 provides insight on how to coach and train the next generation of up-and-coming climbers. Chapter 11 then reveals a few of the secrets for climbing your best, including the keys to staying motivated and upwardly mobile for many years to come. Lastly, I’ll provide a primer on what it takes to expand your climbing to the great outdoors, including a review of the unique techniques, risks, and rewards of rock climbing.

You will also discover an afterword that presents some of the climbing wisdom culled from the pages of this book. I trust you’ll discover—as I have—that climbing provides many wonderful lessons for effective living on this third rock from the sun.

As you begin your adventures as a climber, I want to wish you a rich and rewarding journey that lasts a lifetime. Be safe and have fun!

 

Learning to Climb Indoors
The Complete Guide to Climbing Indoors

by Eric J. Hörst

($19.95, 200 color pages, 2012)

Chapter 1:
Welcome to the Vertical Extreme!

Chapter 2:
Equipment and Safety Gear

Chapter 3:
Learning the Safety Systems

Chapter 4:
The Keys to Rapid Learning of Skills

Chapter 5:
Basic Skills and Drills

Chapter 6:
Advanced Techniques and Drills

Chapter 7:
Lead Climbing and Success Strategies

Chapter 8:
Mental Training and Fear Management

Chapter 9:
Getting into Climbing Shape

Chapter 10:
Training for Youth Climbers

Chapter 11:
The Secrets to Climbing Your Best

Appendix: Resources,Glossary, and Index

Order a signed copy from the author here >>

 
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