For anyone who is a diehard boulderer, the thought of tying in and being able to pull hard on moves after anything more than several feet of climbing can be extremely daunting.  No matter how easy the moves feel in insolation, the thought of linking the entire climb together can seem utterly impossible.  However, with a shift in focus, both when training and when at the crag, even the most committed boulderers can find themselves clipping the chains on a difficult sport route.

To highlight this process, here’s an interview from the Lattice Training Blog with British boulder-turned-sport-climber Andy Burgress in which he talks about how through working with Tom Randall and Ollie Torr of Lattice Training he was able to translate his bouldering power into a send of Mecca 5.14a.

“So basically when I started, on paper, I was already good enough to do it, technically, based on my finger strength. Apparently my finger-strength was good enough to do an 8c sport climb and my boulder strength was okay. But there was a lot to be done with aerobic and red-point tactics. Trying to translate bouldering-style to a sport climb, on paper, it might be right, but anyone can be really strong but it doesn’t mean you can climb a really hard route. Training is one thing and climbing rock is another.” – Andy Burgress

Shift in Focus:

As Andy stated above, on paper he was already strong enough to climb Mecca before he started training with Lattice.  However, translating that strength and power into an actual send required, according to Andy, a shift in two ways:

  • For training he started with aerobic work, focused on aerobic power, finished with anaerobic capacity work.
    • In other words, he trained the different features of his endurance so that he would be fit enough to use his bouldering strength throughout the route.
  • When at the crag, he focused on relaxing and flowing through moves.
    • In other words, Andy spent time getting comfortable on a rope so that he could climb more efficiently and was making moves harder than they needed to be by over gripping and trying too hard.

Click through below to read the full interview.  While this is by no means a step by step guide to transitioning from bouldering to sport climbing, Andy does give some great insight into how it’s not just about training and trying harder, but also about a new mental approach and learning a new style of movement.  Give it a read.

Full Article: Andy Burgress – Bouldering to Sport Climbing

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