One of the reasons I have been so absent from my blog is my new addiction to bouldering.
My addiction began in January as one of my personal new years resolutions was to get out more and to meet some new people and so I enrolled in an Introduction to Bouldering session at Boulder Brighton.
Bouldering is essentially rock climbing but without ropes and therefore is often performed on smaller rocks called boulders (bouldering, get it?). Although it’s performed without ropes climbing centres compensate for this with lots of crash mats and when you climb outdoors you take something called a bouldering mat with you incase you fall.
Although the walls and rocks may not be as high as those climbed with ropes the routes are often much harder and focus a lot more on technical ability rather than distance climbed.
One things for sure, bouldering will help you discover muscles you didn’t even know you had! From your core to your quads, biceps, triceps, lats, finger muscles and toes, it’s a full body workout and a great way to get the blood pumping and build up strength. I’m the strongest I have ever been in my life and it feels amazing.
I became addicted to climbing almost instantly, and that was only partly due to the gorgeous guy I happened to find myself climbing with ?But seriously even without the presence of Mr Bouldering climbing didn’t feel like exercise to me, and that my friends is the only kind of exercise I want to be doing.
So what do you need to get started?
First things first do a quick google search of bouldering centres near where you live, you may be surprised at how many there are. The best way to try it out is in an introduction session, this way you have a trained professional with you to help you learn how to climb safely. After this session you’ll feel much more confident going it alone.
In terms of equipment the two things you will need are shoes and chalk. Many beginners actually start climbing in trainers, though climbing shoes do make it much easier – you can often rent climbing shoes from the bouldering centre and if you think you’re going to stick with it then you can buy a pair of your own. Chalk isn’t compulsory but it will help you grip onto holds, sweaty hands get slippery and chalk is going to be your best friend. Again, you can often rent chalk from the climbing centre but it’s relatively inexpensive to purchase a chalk ball or a bag of chalk of your own.
In terms of clothing I’ve seen people climbing in just about anything but I like to climb in gym leggings and a t-shirt. Whatever you wear will need to be stretchy enough for you to climb. Although people do climb in jewellery anything that could get caught on something risks being broken or hurting you so leave the hoop earrings at home.
Once you’ve got your bearings in the climbing gym then the real magic begins when you climb for the first time outside. I’ve written a more in depth post on this over on my climbing blog That Climbing Couple so check that out here.
To see what a climbing gym is like check out some of the videos on our climbing Instagram – That Climbing Couple
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PROGRESS. Today I topped my first 6A+! It felt like an age since I had broken into a new grade bracket and I'd started feeling like I wasn't seeing the same improvement as I had in the first few months of climbing but hey, things take time and it felt amazing to top a problem that I wouldn't even have looked at a few weeks ago. 🤜