The rapid spread of COVID-19 has affected all of us in some way or another. But the one thing we all share is our inability to go to our favorite gym and get some good climbing in. Unfortunately that’s just the reality of this situation, the only thing we can do is follow the social distancing mandates to help slow the spread of the virus while the medical professionals work to get a handle on the situation. So what does this mean to us? In short a lot of time at home. As the gravity of that begins to set in just remember it’s a small price to pay if it can help save lives. But what to do with all this free time? Below is a list I’ve compiled for you all, I’ve seen a bunch of these floating around the internet but I tried to keep this one as climbing relevant as I could so we can all pick up right where we left off as soon as this passes.
STAYING IN SHAPE
As far as our bodies go, I think we can list this as an essential service if we don’t want to lose all the progress we’ve made. Since we’re not climbing this is a perfect time to introduce some other elements into our training regimens that can fall by the wayside. Here’s some options:
The yoga programs at Coastal have taken off since they started this year, if you haven’t been able to attend now’s the perfect time to jump in! Lesley, who teaches the Tuesday and Thursday classes, has been posting free yoga videos to her YouTube channel for you to follow along to, here’s the link:
Proper breathing will not only help your muscles be able to perform longer, but it will keep your mind calm, working to mitigate that tunnel vision we sometimes get on routes once fatigued. Below is a link to an article on climbing.com that outlines a great breath work routine for climbers.
And another one from trainingbeta.com
As climbers our minds need to be as sharp as our bodies, they work hand in hand to figure out creative approaches to difficult problems then put those plans into action. Meditation is a great way to develop that potential. Not to mention aiding us in dispelling any anxiety in these uncertain times. There’s tons of meditation based apps out there available to us. I’m currently working my way through the 14 day free trial of Headspace, after which I will most likely jump to the 7 day free trial of Calm. There’s enough of these apps out there that you could probably go months by hopping from free trial to free trial, just don’t forget to cancel your membership before the trial is over or else you’ll get charged. Below are five of these apps to get you started, they should be available wherever you get your apps.
CLIMBING SPECIFIC WORKOUTS
While these other options will undoubtedly help you in your climbing practice, you’ll want to include some more traditional exercise in your at home training schedule as well. You’ll need that to maintain the hard won climbing muscles you’ve built up at scaling the walls at Coastal. Kensie posted a fantastic climbing specific, at home regimen for us to follow on the Coastal Facebook page and I’ve provided a link to that below. If it seems like a lot that’s OK, as the article suggests just pick out the exercises that will most fully develop your weaknesses and do those. Stick with it! It’s a fourteen day program designed to build over time, if you’re laid off like me do you really have any excuse not to do it?
CLIMB AT HOME!
I'm sure there's some undiscovered routes in your home if you look hard enough! Maybe it's just one or two moves going from a door frame to a windowsill, or maybe you can find a way to traverse an entire wall! Even if it's not on more traditional holds, climbing around your house will still engage the same muscles and parts of your brain that get worked at Coastal. Just remember you won't be falling onto spongy mats so be sure to stay within the realm of safe practice. Check out what Grey posted on the Facebook page for some inspiration here:
And some more ideas for you here:
One of the hardest parts of self quarantining will be keeping your motivation up. If you’re stuck in your house 24/7 its all too easy to start falling into lazy mindsets. Fight it!! Do whatever you can to stay positive. I find that planning future trips is a great way to keep the horizon bright. Give all your at home training a purpose! A lot of national and state parks are closed right now due to the virus but they won’t be forever. Use this time to check out Stonefort (TN), New River Gorge (WV) and Rumbling Bald (NC), they’re super doable weekend trips and the weather is finally starting to cooperate. Here’s some videos to help you get excited!
New River Gorge
I hope these suggestions will help you stay fit and positive through this self quarantining period. I can’t wait to see you all back at the gym when this is over!