Articles » Is it Possible to Climb Too Much as a Beginner?

Is it Possible to Climb Too Much as a Beginner?

Yes, you can climb too much as a beginner. An overuse injury will be incredibly detrimental to your climbing progression.

I remember when I first started climbing it was all I wanted to do. I wanted to go every single day. And on the days I forced myself to take a rest day I was so incredibly bored. All I thought about was heading back to the gym for another climbing session. Being a rock climber was quickly being tied to my identity.

Once I started outdoor climbing my addiction to climbing got even worse! I wanted to uproot my entire life and dedicate it to the sport. Beginner climbers run into the conundrum of wanting to climb every single day, but run the risk of personal injury the more often they climb. Talk to any of the elite climbers and they will all emphasize how important complete rest is.

Unfortunately, these bad habits caught up with me. My upper body muscles were sore for days, the tendons in my elbows and fingers would ache, and I had to soak my feet in ice water baths thanks to my shoes that were way too tight.

If you’re just starting out with the sport, check out the list we curated of the best climbing gear that’s available on the market today.

Should I Climb Every Day?

Don’t climb every day. You’ll see better gains climbing 3 times a week and working on proper technique than you will just bouldering every single day.

Rock climbing puts a lot of stress on some delicate joints like our fingers and elbows. Rest is just as important as training. Build a routine that limits your climbing to a few days a week.

But just because you can’t go rock climbing every day doesn’t mean that you can’t practice the skills every day. You can practice flagging and back flagging while standing up and watching TV.

Cleaning up after a day of climbing at the New River Gorge

It may seem silly to do these movements standing up. But focus on going slow and ensuring that you are perfectly balanced and your core is tight. When I climb indoors and outdoors, I am constantly looking for ways to manipulate my center of gravity to make it easier to grab the next hold. Don’t sleep on this technique, practice it on your rest days.

What Can I Do on Rest Days Instead of Climbing

  • Go hiking
  • Take a leisurely walk
  • Play a musical instrument
  • Belay your friends at the climbing gym
  • Research new climbing projects online

Can I Go to the Climbing Gym Every Day?

You can go to the rock or bouldering gym every day! But that doesn’t mean you should be climbing two days in a row.

The community at the gym is one of the most addictive aspects of climbing. So while we can still go every day, that doesn’t mean we can be climbing everyday. You can go to the gym and hang out with your fellow rock climbers on rest days.

Thankfully, modern climbing gyms are equipped with squat racks, ellipticals, and some even have saunas! I used to think that cardio was useless, but now I love putting on a podcast and using the elliptical for 20-30 minutes. Supplement your climbing session with cardio to make the most of your training days.

A climber about to rappel in Joshua Tree National Park

You can also belay your friends! I love belaying my friends on their projects and watching them send. I know that at some point in the future, they’ll be belaying me while I struggle on my project. Pay it forward and give them a catch!

Is it Bad to Rock Climb Every Day?

After a certain point, it is going to be detrimental to your body to rock climb consecutive days.

But I have gone on week long climbing trips where I have done some climbing every single day. I once spent a few weeks at the New River Gorge and after a while, I got totally sick of climbing! Not only was my body unable to climb, I mentally had no desire to head out to the crag, which is perfectly fine. I just had no desire to go out for another climbing session.

You need some time to recharge your psyche and try new things. Rest time is important physically and mentally. It’s easy to get burnt out when you’re putting constant strain on your body and mind.

Climbing utilizes our pull muscles. Sometimes I will try to balance out overuse in these muscles by working through a push routine. If you have sore muscles, listen to your body and take a rest day. Muscle soreness is a great indicator that you need to take some time off. Taking one or two days off now to recover is better than taking 6-8 weeks off due to an injury.

Looking up Night Moves at the New River Gorge

Is it Bad to Climb 3 Days in a Row?

3 days in a row is the maximum number of days I will climb in a row. 

And if I have climbed for 3 days in a row, I am taking at least 2 days rest days. If you find yourself in a situation where you’re going to be rock climbing multiple days in a row, try out some of these tips.

Climb different styles! If I climb overhung or vertical climbs for multiple days, my upper body muscles are exhausted and I feel my finger strength begin to deteriorate. One thing I can do is climb slabs. These slabs will put more of the weight on my legs and feet. My upper body gets a break and I still get to head out climbing!

How Can I Recover From Climbing?

Getting sleep and eating healthy is critical. I love eating skittles and have eaten a large bag of skittles after a long day of sending. The next day I feel sore, bloated, and inflamed. Refuel your body with food healthier than skittles.

Manchester Wall in Richmond, VA

I also love cold showers and ice baths. They are awful before getting in but are totally worth it. Recently, I have been having a lot of pain thanks to my climbing shoes. The shoes are rubbing on my bunions and cramming my toes. When I soak my feet in the cold ice bath for five minutes, I feel immense relief.

If you’ve had a very intense climbing session, it may take quite a few days to feel like yourself again. It’s hard to put an exact number on how many days it will take for you to recover, but take your time and know that you have more climbing days ahead of you, even if you take a few days off.

Can you Start Climbing at 30?

You can start climbing at 30!

Going to the gym for a climbing session is a productive way to spend your time and a great way to meet new people. Don’t worry about your climbing ability when you start. Go in with the mindset that you’re learning a new skill and you’re going to struggle at first. Keep coming back and you’ll be rewarded with the satisfaction of a job well done.

How Long Does It Take To Get Good At Rock Climbing

After six months of climbing regularly,you’ll be surprised at how far your ability on the climbing wall has come.

But “good” is also subjective. In my mind, if you’re having fun then you are “good” at rock climbing. Over my career, I have seen plenty of people climb higher grades than I ever have. All I can do is applaud them and use that for training motivation!

Kaufman-Cardon at Seneca Rocks, WV

If you want to get better, make a plan for your climbing session. Find a route to project and go all out trying to send it. Projecting a route, whether sport climbing or bouldering, is a great way for climbers to get motivated for a climbing session or longer term climbing trips.

Can I Go Bouldering Two Days In a Row

Climbers are always tempted to go bouldering as much as they can. I don’t blame them, it’s incredibly fun and addicting.

But just because we can have multiple training days per week, doesn’t mean we should. There’s no rule that you can’t go bouldering multiple times per week, but you are exposing yourself to a higher risk of injury.

A good example I follow is, if I am feeling achy in my joints (elbows, wrists, or knees) then I wont go bouldering that day. Instead, I will go for a walk outside or do some light stretching or yoga. I have found that light exercise is a great recovery tool and keeps me sane.

Can I Climb on Rest Days?

Don’t climb on your rest day! 

We need our rest. And canceling our rest for climbing sessions will hurt us in the long run. Instead, belay all of your climbing friends, practice your technical skills, or go for a hike. When you schedule a rest day, stick to it and make it an actual rest day.

Can you be too Heavy to Climb?

Wes Schweitzer, offensive linemen for the Washington Commanders is a beast at climbing! 

He is constantly featured sending routes on the Sportrock Instagram page. His strength and flexibility are incredible. And when he’s not climbing routes, he’s blocking defensive linemen in the National Football League.

Is it OK to Boulder Two Days in a Row

You can boulder two days in a row, but you need to listen to your body because you’re putting a large amount of stress on your body in a short period of time.

No one can tell you how much training is too much training. You’ll need to listen to your body and take a full rest day if your body is telling you to. The worst thing you can do to hurt your climbing career is to get an injury that takes you off the wall for a long period of time.

I’ve woken up plenty of times excited to go climbing. But after I listened to my muscles and fingers, I realized that it wasn’t in my best interest to go train or go bouldering. It’s a bummer, but it’s the right decision in the long run.

How Many Rest Days Should I Take

The answer to this question is that it depends.

If you have an intense bouldering training session then it makes sense to take a break for a day or two to fully recover. But you can also take a look at the total volume of training you’ve done in the session. If you only do a few routes one day and the focus of your training session was technique, then you can have a follow up training day that’s focused more on fitness or performance.

What’s Bad about Climbing Two Days in a Row

The issue with climbing multiple days in a row is that you’re putting yourself at higher risk for an injury.

If you want to climb multiple days in a row, make sure that you aren’t feeling any aches, pain, or fatigue. I personally would recommend taking it easy one day and then trying hard the next. But I have climbed for multiple consecutive days and been totally fine. Check in and see how you’re feeling, then make an informed decision if you should go bouldering or not.

Photo of author
Rob developed ORB to help himself categorize and find all the outdoor gear he needed at great prices. He loves writing about the outdoors and climbing. Rob is a certified Single Pitch Instructor through the AMGA.

Leave a Comment