Beat The Heat // Pro Zach Learner

Beat the heat.
Stay motivated at the gym in the summer

Depending on where you live, staying motivated to train and climb during the hottest summer months can be a challenge. If you’re not blessed enough to live near a high-altitude or “Alpine” climbing area (i.e. Colorado), the gym is likely your only option for a high quality workout. Here are a few tips for maximizing your training gains and keeping the motivation up:

Organizing a climbing/training group and schedule a set time to meet a few times a week. Climbing with people at or above your limit is hands down one of the best ways to improve. Additionally, when your willingness to pull on that razor crimp in 80-degree weather is low, there’s a good chance the “psych” from someone in your group will rub off on you. A little friendly competitiveness can go a long way.

Write down a training plan. Articulating a training plan in written form is crucial for actually following through with it. Schedule your workouts in a calendar and tick them off as you go. Getting to the gym with only a vague plan in mind has never worked for me.

Schedule a climbing trip (or similar goal like a competition) for early fall. Nothing helps motivate me to train harder like a quickly approaching climbing trip. Watch a few videos of the climbs you’re interested in and make an effort to train on problems of similar style. 

Get to the gym early. Climbing or training hard after work and on a hot day can be miserable. By going to the gym before work, the time crunch will help boost the intensity of your work out. From my experience, I find myself climbing more and getting a better workout in if I give myself one to two hours to climb instead of three.

If you still can’t find the inspiration to hit up the gym, scheduling a yearly break around July might be a good idea. Most climbers, myself included, find that taking off several weeks once per year can be critical for breaking through the dreaded plateau. However, scheduling this break is tricky! The cool temps during the fall and spring make them prime sending periods, which means later summer and winter are the desired training months. For this reason, I think early July is a perfect time to take some time off. This allows you start and finish a training cycle from August through September and peak in October/ November.