Working at a Bouldering Centre makes it too easy for me to get carried away and climb Every day, Heres what I found out about climbing days and rest days!
Can I climb two days in a row? Yes, You can climb two days in a row. Its pretty common for people to climb saturday and sunday and theres not a significant increase in injury risk However the activities and intensites you use on the second day will have to be very different to minimise risk of injury.
You can climb multiple days while staying healthy and injury free. In the rest of this article ill go into how to manage your sessions and fatigue so you can stay healthy and climb a long time.
Disclaimer: Everything im sharing with you is just my own research / Experience, im not qualified yet. If you have any health concerns seek a professionals advice!
Can I Climb Two days in a row?
I love going climbing for a day then camping out in nature and climbing the second day.
If your really tired or you feel sore from the previous day it can be worrying to climb a second day, you feel like you might get injured.
With my experience climbing two, three and even four days in a row i can safely say climbing two days in a row is really no concern for injury as long as you listen to your body.
There are certain activities that should not be done on the second day, or twice in a row… Hangboarding for example is very intense on the joints and tendons of the fingers and should never be used two days in a row.
This is because the intensity of the activity puts high stress on your body and you need to rest much longer to recover from them.
Your body will be the ‘Freshest’ and have the least amount of fatigue, meaning your much less likely to get injured day one.
Day one activities can include Redpointing, Bouldering or Demanding training like the hangboard or pullups.
After high intensity activities like those your muscles will need at least 48 to recover, and the ‘micro tears’ you have potentially accumulated in your tendons can take up to two weeks to heal.
This is why its important the second day must be one of lower intensity activities like Submaximal climbing, Slabs, Scrambling and so on.
Dont be concerned if you misread a route and have to try hard on your second day, your fingers wont suddenly snap! Its just much better to keep the intensity low for the least risk of injury.
Equally, if you dont redpoint or try hard boulders, you mostly climb as a submaximal level, youll be completely fine climbing two days in a row!
The risks of injury associated with climbing two days in a row usually come from residual fatuige causing an immediate injury, or microtears accumalating and causing tendonitis or a full tear of the tendon further down the line.
This is why its advised the second day is easier climbing so theres less risk of you accidentally shock loading your fingers because your really fatigued and trying something hard, causing a rupture or strain on your body.
In the long term this also helps keep you safe and minimise the chances of tendonitits or a eventual pulley tear because your giving your body the time it needs to recover before stressing it again.
Once you have climbed two or even three days in a row you will probably feel quite fatuiged. Even if your not noticably sore or tired, you should rest at least 48 hours.
Thats how long It takes for your muscles Glycogen stores to fully recover on an optimal diet, and the micro tears that are potentially accumalating in your tendons take two weeks to heal.
You can certainly climb more frequently than every two weeks (Dont worry!) you just want to avoid sustaining any more strains to your tendons because if not they will progress into a tear or rupture!
How many days should I climb a week?
When you begin climbing I would recommend only going a couple times a week, just untill your body gets conditioned to the demands of climbing.
When you begin climbing two times a week is probably going to be enough anyway! its amazing how tiring climbing for the first couple of times.
Once you have more experience climbing and have been going twice a week for 6 months / a year you can introduce a third day.
This is just what ive seen and my experience, as were all different you must just listen to your body and decide when its appropriate to climb more!
If both sessions in a week leave you feeling tired and ‘achy’ for a couple days each then its not going to be appropriate for you to add a third session!
This is just asking for an injury!
But if you currently have been climbing twice a week for around 6 months and you dont really feel fatiuged after the sessions, it would be pretty reasonable for you to fit in an extra session per week!
over the course of 3 years i built up to 4 sessions per week for some months at a time, but im young and had built up to this point one session at a time.
Also you must considder your age as it will have an impact on your rate of recovery, my dad needs a day or two longer than me to recover from a session of ours.
It all depends on you and your personal situation but as a rough guideline,
- 1 session a week for your first 3 months, making sure to take a week or two off here and there.
- 2 sessions a week after 6 months of climbing if you meet the criteria mentioned.
- 3 sessions a week once you can easilly manage 2 sessions with no delayed fatigue.
4 sessions a week is pretty taxing and you will have to make sure your very careful with your activities and intensities to try and avoid injury.
From 2 sessions onwards I really recommend getting some antagonist excercises into the week and stretchng is also going to become really important from two sessions onwards.
Looking after yourself by stretching will help boost recovery immediately and help avoid tension and imbalances within your body in the long run!
How long should I rest after a climbing day?
Like I mentioned previously its totally conditional how long you should rest but there are some fundamental guidelines we can explore so you can make appropriate decisions with your days on to days off.
How long should I rest after a climbing day? After an average climbing session at a submaximal intensity its appropriate to rest about one day. if you have a higher intensity session, like redpointing or bouldering its advised you take at least two rest days following. This also depends on many personal factors and what kind of goals you have for the sessions.
I usually climb two days in a row then one or two days off, or every other day just depending on my schedule.
All you really need to do is listen to your body.
if you feel fatuiged and achy from a session or you really feel like you stressed your body and fingers you shouldnt have another session. take another rest day because your bodies still recovering and climbing too soon can overwhelm you.
This is how overuse injuries happen… all the small strains and tears we accumalate from a hard climbing session need time to heal and when we climb before this has happened we just keep building up these tears.
Eventually youll have some soreness and irritation on the tendon, making it painful to climb, and even worse you could potentially fully rupture the overwhelmed tendons.
If you know the session has put high forces on your fingers elbows or shoulders, wait at least 2 days, even if you feel fresh and perfectly fine.
hey! thanks for reading this, i hope it brought you some value!
- When you decide to climb two days in a row, make the first day the Highest intensity.
- Looking after yourself by stretching will help boost recovery immediately and help avoid tension and imbalances within your body in the long run!
- listen to your body.
- If you know the session has put high forces on your fingers elbows or shoulders, wait at least 2 days, even if you feel fresh and perfectly fine.