Klettertraining in English

Interest in an English version of Klettertraing on Instagram

The german version of the book Klettertraining has been a tremendous success so far. It is only natural that non-german-speaking climbers are curious when an english version will be available. I hear you and I’m working on it, for now let me tell you a bit about some aspects of Klettertraining. I will share more about Klettertraining while working on the English version, so please stay posted!

“Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.” — Bruce Lee

The book originally started as a collection of my coaching methods and exercises, my experiences in climbing and other sports, scientific papers and ideas from the internet. While filing all this information I became aware of our modern paradox — information is so readily available nowadays, but to make sense of it all is an entirely different issue!

the author trying a bridge, 2016

I regret a lot of the nonsense I trained in my athletic youth. My sorry bridge is the result of this training. Many climbing moves are just not possible with my limited range of motion in thorax and shoulders! I want to spare this to the reader. Holistic training should not only be helpful to reach your short term goals, but to develop strength, mobility and control to keep your body capable and effective till old age.

Climbing in the 21st century

The best climbers of our times climb with their whole body. Modern climbers like Adam Ondra can use a wider arrangement of holds to their advantage.

Climbers today don‘t have any more power, they can move better into awkward positions than their predecessors. Especially the flexibility of the shoulder, back and ankles are a deciding factor, just as hip flexibility.

In this way they have more possibilities of applying body tension and transfer force to the contact points.

Adam Ondra, boulder world championship finals, Paris 2016

This book explains how you can develop strength, mobility and control in a holistic way to do just the same. It portrays the state of training and movement research as well as neighbouring sciences. Furthermore it is informed by countless blog posts from the crossfit, primal movement, calisthenics und Parkour scene. My work as a coach with the successful German Bouldering Team since 2009 has also informed my concept of optimum training for climbing.

Although the demands on a competitor at an international boulder comp at first glance has not a whole lot to do with a general climber, they share the same challenge — to be prepared for whatever the climb demands!

You’ll achieve a level of strength, mobility and control from following the ideas and exercises in this book that is unique in the world of athleticism!

Strength, mobility and control for climbing, bouldering, Ninjas, Acrobats und tactical professions

When climbers talk about training, they mean training for improving in climbing. We think of finger- and campus boards and pull-ups.

Klettertraining is a lot more than that though. Climbing is our primordial locomotion, the endless variety of climbing moves challenge the neuromuscular system and engage our entire body in a way that most activities can’t.

Climbing is a combination of full body strength and strategic body positioning, requiring us to coordinate pushing and pulling movements in our arms, trunk, and legs.

We find ourselves exploring all sorts of movement variations while balancing your own bodyweight. This full body work takes our full concentration and provides a pure proprioceptive joy while moving our body toward the goal of the top. Climbing and its training therefore is more stimulating and engaging than any other training system.

Tomoa Narasaki, world champion, doing his thing

Who will benefit from this book

This is not a book about climbing technique and how to improve it. It also doesn’t deal with injuries, but instead it describes varied practise with a far lower risk of overloading than repetition based training systems. My utmost concern is your long term development, vitality and health. For this reason, we start with looking at our musculoskeletal system first to define the anatomical foundation of Klettertraining.


The more realistic and life-like a task is, the more engaging it is. Klettertraining at its core is therefore not exercise and drill-, but obstacle and challenge based. Primal movements, partner acrobatics and overcoming obstacles provide context. Klettertraining is individual purposeful practice –difficulty is expected; mindfulness is required and innovation is embraced. Only in context we activate power in your full range of movement and in every angle of your joints. The more you fill your exercises with meaning, the more valuable they are. Remember how you used to play as a kid. It makes a huge difference if you are running according to a interval training scheme or imagine yourself chasing or being chased by a sable tooth tiger.

Real World strength, relevant and authentic power

Our training should enable us, to show our strength not only in controlled environment like gyms, not only in a linear fashion, but under unpredictable, changing conditions, to be able to apply force in all planes, under all circumstances. Most importantly, it should prepare us to handle any demand even when fatigued.

Internal and external competence

Social media and the exchange that came with it has accelerated the development in movement skills. Many athletes nowadays have achieved a level of body control formerly reserved to a select few.

Internal competence that manifests itself as body control is only one aspect of our Klettertraining though. We evolve and learn through goal oriented movement, so we need external competence to be able to react to the challenges the climb poses in the an effective way. Overcoming obstacles is what we strive for when climbing and therefore the fitness we need is obstacle based.

You can train this anywhere, don’t need a gym and no special equipment. You will grow through dealing with these obstacles, even if these are self imposed, like covering a distance with as few contacts as possible. In this way Klettertraining is an excellent base for developing any movement skill and competence in tactical professions.


A holistic definition of fitness is generally described as an increased work capacity across broad times and modal domains; mastery of several attributes of fitness including strength, endurance, power, speed, balance and coordination and being able to improve the amount of work done in a given time with any of these domains. The state or condition of being fit; suitability or appropriateness.

The „fitting“ part in the term fitness also implies, that it is suitable for a particular condition, occasion, or place. Fitness is always specific and dependent on the context, there is no state of universal fitness and there is no training that lets us win olympic marathons and weightlifting at the same time.

Make your training as specific to your climbing goals as possible. Remember that the form of training that most closely simulates the climbs you’re training for will give you the best results. Specificity can involve body positions and orientations, mode (static versus dynamic), muscle contraction speed, muscle load, time of day, and other factors.

Although conscientious training will provide you with impressive results, know that there are no miracle training plans, no shortcuts that circumvent particular stages of development.

Important for continuing improvement is, to set short term goals. Integrate training into your daily life!

The No-Restday strategy

Our body shapes itself around the postures and movements you do the most. Every daily posture and movement counts and makes you fitter, regardless if you are 16, 46 or 76 years old.

If you don’t have experience with physical training yet, plan to do some training daily from now on. This will help you to stick with it and make training a part of your life. Better to train something every day, than have a big day twice a week.