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Here’s What Bouldering And Strength Training Have In Common With Each Other

by wude72 on April 13, 2011

At first glance, strength training don’t seem to share very many characteristics in common. They seem to be activities indulged in by people who are polar opposites.

The big, muscular weight lifters grunt in the weight room, lifting barbells and other strength training implements so they can build their bodies up and get heavier.

But climbers take just the opposite approach. Instead of trying to get bigger, they do everything they can to maintain or reduce their body weight. Of course, they like to get stronger and to build up their levels of muscular endurance, but not at the expense of extra body weight that will only serve to hold them back in their sport.

However, as different as these two hobbies seem to be, they share some similarities. And its in these similarities that we find a common thread that can increase our performance not just in weight liftign or climbing, but in many other sports and athletic activites. Let me explain…

In both these seemingly different activities, your grip is of the utmost importance.

Without a strong, reliable grip, you won’t succeed in weight lifting where holding onto the bar is important for ‘pulling’ or ‘power’ movements like pull-ups, deadlifts, cleans, and the like.

And without an equally strong grip, rock climbers don’t have a chance of successfully completing challenging climbs. Without self-confidence created by strong hands and fingers, rock climbers will never perform up to their full potential.

So if you have a weak grip, does that mean you have to give up and accept the fact that these sporting activities will forever be out of your grasp (so to speak)? The answer is a resounding ‘no’. There are things you can do to radically increase your grip both on the barbells in the weight room, and on the rock face.

One of the best ways is to use lifting chalk. Chalk dries out your palms and fingertips and allows you to get a much better grip on whatever is trying to slip out of your hands. If you don’t chalk up before a heavy lift, you’ll appear to be much weaker than you really are. Without chalk, your performance in the weight room suffers. And, obviously, without climbing chalk, you won’t perform as well on the rocks either.


So now you see the relationship between a strong, reliable grip and performance in as diverse a collection of sports as weightlifting and climbing. Without grip aids, you won’t perform at the high levels that bring satisfaction and enthusiasm in your favorite sports.

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