Is Indoor Rock Climbing Hard? + Beginner Tipps

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Indoor sport climbing is difficult, exhausting and challenges you as a person. Maybe you once asked your father, as a child, if driving a car was difficult.

Surely he gave you similar answers to a passionate indoor climber would give you today regarding the question formulated in the title.

As a beginner, it may already be difficult for you to imagine that you are able to climb a vertical wall. Test your existing skills on the wall, especially at the beginning of your climbing career. 

If you enjoy the first hours in the climbing gym, you will find that you can improve step by step. Whether you personally have problems with your technique or the strength required for it, plays a minor role in your progress in climbing.

Is Indoor Climbing Easy?

The goal of many sport climbers is always just one constant, namely to become better and better. And this is exactly the hardest part of climbing. No matter whether you are a rope climber, bouldering fan or a passionate indoor sport climber, a portion of will, a portion of endurance as well as a lot of fun and enthusiasm for climbing in protected areas will support you in your endeavors. One thing you should always keep in mind is that climbing is indoors:

  • exciting
  • entertaining
  • social
  • diversified
  • healthy
  • in the vast majority of cases completely harmless
  • always possible
  • not expensive

For indoor climbing, you need a successfully completed course. This means that you are not allowed to get climbing on your own straight away in a climbing gym. There are always beginner courses offered for this sport. 

Unfortunately, self-study does not work when climbing. Especially since certain essential procedures and the knowledge of rules are required, which you should already master before you climb up the wall. For example, belaying and the correct use of carabiners or quickdraws.

Children are much more spontaneous than adults. Perhaps you too enjoyed climbing walls or trees as a child in school. 

With the help of your friends and without much guidance on how tree climbing actually works, you may have already reached the tops of many trees.

The easy or simple thing about climbing is that wall climbing is more or less the same as what, objectively speaking, could be described as a normal form of locomotion. Just different. Somehow you almost always manage to get up there somehow as a climbing freak. Indoor climbing is comparable with climbing up a ladder.

Indoor climbing: Every Beginning is Hard

Learning the technique, grips and safety on the wall is not necessarily easy. With the technique, you will be engaged quite intensively and for a very long time. 

As far as the grips are concerned, you also need your certain practice hours to get used to them slowly and efficiently. The issue of security is not too big a hurdle, neither theoretically nor practically. 

Now it depends mainly on your physical constitution whether the round, unwieldy and large holds in the climbing gym will cause you problems. There are basically three types of indoor climbing that you can practice:

  1. Bouldering in the climbing gym
  2. Climbing Parks
  3. Sport climbing in the gym

As a beginner, you will first have to get used to the world of climbing. On the wall itself, you will see the real difficulty of indoor climbing, simply wanting to reach the next hold, which can seem pretty far away at the start. 

Not every attempt works out at first go. After a while, you will hardly feel your feet, your arms and your fingers on the wall, as if everything was numb. Or maybe you’re in a lot of pain in those parts of your body. Then you will have to admit to yourself that indoor climbing is really hard and brutally tiring.

Even otherwise fit people have sore muscles for days after their first climbing session. You use some muscles that you use very little in everyday life and in other sports!

Practice Makes Perfect

Your everyday life alone determines how much time you can invest in climbing. Spending time together with your family or friends in the climbing gym is an enrichment in every respect. 

The many climbing variants cannot easily be divided into categories such as difficult, demanding or complicated. The following is what indoor climbing demands of you:

  • Strength and endurance
  • Concentration and precision
  • Overview and an eye for detail
  • Joy, fun and enthusiasm
  • a desire to better yourself
  • A joy of communication and a certain social compatibility
  • Ability to move and the courage to try something new on the climbing wall

Indoor climbing offers you a great advantage: The way to the gym is almost always shorter than the ride up the mountain. 

If you would like to get to know indoor climbing better, then it is definitely worthwhile for you to take a closer look at the topic in advance. 

Often the reality then looks even more exciting than it comes across in video clips or illustrated books about indoor sport climbing.

Entering a Climbing Gym

Often beginners find the journey to the nearest gym much more difficult than the beginner course you have to take. Once you are in the middle of the action and see other people doing their favorite sport, you have already left the first threshold behind you. 

You are well served with sweatpants or wide trousers, as long as they allow you and your legs a large range of movement. A top or T-shirt is perfect for the beginning. Remove rings, chains, watches and other jewelry before climbing. This way you avoid unpleasant accidents and your jewelry won’t get ruined.

Related article: What do you wear in the climbing gym? – Examples & Basics

Once you have completed the free introduction, it is up to you whether you are interested in climbing or not. 

If you enjoy climbing, you should register for a climbing course. In the first hour you will learn in detail what equipment is needed for climbing in the gym. These include:

For the indoor bouldering equipment you only need a pair of climbing shoes and chalk for the beginning.

A Few Tips for the Beginning

Here are some effective methods to make your entry into the cosmos of indoor climbing not too difficult:

  1. Take your time with everything.
  2. Communicate with your partner on the climbing wall.
  3. Always listen to experienced climbers.
  4. Follow the motto: Never give up!
  5. Use your feet and arms consciously at all times.
  6. Be alert and careful on the wall.
  7. Grow on your mistakes and don’t think about them too much.
  8. Only trustworthy persons are suitable climbing partners.
  9. When buying the necessary climbing equipment, look for high-quality products from renowned brands.

Here you will find various articles about the best equipment on the market for beginners and professionals.

On the whole, indoor climbing is a sport that is healthy and makes you fit. The low risk is certainly partly responsible for the great success that sport climbing has enjoyed for several years, both indoors and outdoors. 

You can practice this contact-friendly sport as a performance challenge, whereby you are always able to adjust it to your current performance level.

Don’t lose heart!

As I said, every beginning is hard. But it is exactly this initial phase that is extremely important for your progress in climbing. Especially since you will get a good insight into the world of sport climbing during the beginner course. 

If you have no ambitions to be one of the best indoor climbers, you can enjoy every training session. Try to motivate yourself as much as possible. 

A climbing friend can give you the best possible push and, in the event of occasional performance setbacks, rebuild you with cool tips and well-meant advice.

Climbing in the gym puts a strain on your mind, your psyche and your entire body. You always have to expect difficulties when climbing indoors. But you can grow with the challenges and develop very well on the climbing wall. 

Buy the necessary climbing equipment after the obligatory course for beginners. Because if climbing indoors seems too hard for you after the first few hours on the wall, or if the climbing sport doesn’t give you what you expected, then at least you’ve saved money.            

Attention: You have to take care of your safety when climbing! The information on only helps you to learn. Before you climb, you should make sure that you have been properly instructed by an expert and that you follow all safety precautions.

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