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When You Can't _______, Cross-train.

(This is gonna be a quick one and more of a personal testimonial from my recent climbing trip to the Red River Gorge.)

Let's first define "cross-training." Cross-training is exercise you do that is similar to a specific sport you want to improve in.  For example, swimming is great cross-training for running because it builds your cardio capacity and core strength.  Or doing cable rows is great for building upper back and shoulder muscles to improve paddling.
Cross-training is crucial because it creates a well rounded body and irons out imbalances that repetitive movements create. Most overuse injuries can be prevented by cross-training...but that is a different and much longer post. 

Cross-training improves specific sport performance, especially when sport specific training is unavailable.

There are a lot of things I love doing that I only get do do once in a blue moon. Climbing has unfortunately been one of those things. Climbing is also one of those things that takes practice and consistency to improve in. 
Over the past year I've been mostly trail running, cycling, training at BAREfit and building stuff because thats what time has allowed for this stage in my life. Thus one would not blame me for going into this trip expecting to have fun but not necessarily kick ass.

Well I was wrong...

My first first climb of the day was a 5.9 with a small roof that had shut me down about a year ago when I was climbing more consistently. I was hoping for a 5.7/8 to warm up on, but Jeremy of Elemental Climb Club was not about to grant such wishes.
I tied in, put on my red Mad Rock shoes and resigned to accept my fate...


I made my way up the first section, it's the easy part, dreading my looming nemesis above...


I'd been feeling really solid on the climb thus far, but I was preparing for the worst as I moved to grapple with the roof...

Then I hit the crux...

And I was over the crux, defeated my enemy and enjoyed smooth sailing to the anchors!
I went on to generally kick ass for the rest of the day, sticking moves I couldn't before and climbing with increased endurance & confidence.

This is BAREfit functional cross-training in action! Even though I hadn't done sport specific climbing training in about a year, I had maintained AND improved my climbing skills through BAREfit's Functional Adventure Sports Training methods.
This is just a little bit of proof that non-specific functional strength and conditioning translates to sport specific performance.

That is why when I can't climb, I BAREfit.

Many thanks to my beautiful and talented wife, Janae, for taking baller action shots and to Elemental Climbing Club for inviting us out with them & pushing me to test my climbing limits.