This article was written by Kris Hampton and reposted from his site Kris Hampton is our friend and author of our 8-week Endurance Training Program (have you checked it out? It’s awesome if you’re looking to send longer routes!).

Here’s Kris….

Here, he talks about the difference between “working out” vs “training”, which are both good to do, but have different purposes and it can be confusing. Learn more about it from Kris!

Enter Kris Hampton….

It’s the new buzzword… “Training”.  Everybody and their mom wants to train, has training advice, and can give you a 3 minute video depicting their training.  This may sound like a plus, particularly for someone who sells training programs, but that isn’t necessarily the case.  Just take a look at your Facebook timeline.  Click on the first “training video” you come across, and you’ll find 27 comments from people tagging their friends.  “We HAVE to do this!”  No you don’t.  It’s a good bet that it won’t help you at all, or if it does, it’s only because you’re so “untrained” that you’d probably get that much stronger just by watching Cliffhanger.  You already know my thoughts on doing the same workouts as your friends… so we don’t need to go into that.

What you want to do is workout.  This isn’t training.  Two totally different animals.

Semantics, you say.  Blah blah blah.  But for me, these are important semantics.  So what’s the difference?

Working Out is essentially the pursuit of being tired, sweaty clothes, and next day soreness.  Its unlikely that simply working out will make you much better, because it lacks direction and specificity.

Training is a series of progressive, measurable workouts that move toward a clear set of goals.  Training takes into account the strengths and weaknesses of the athlete, and stays specific to the needs of that athlete.

Not the same.

Now, to play devil’s advocate, it’s possible that the workout video you’re watching is exactly what you need.  Doubtful, but possible.  However, 9 times out of 10, most people don’t have a clue what they need, so every workout video, even when they contradict each other, is the RIGHT one.

This isn’t to say that working out is bad, and I’m not saying that these videos aren’t useful.  They give a glimpse into how the pros workout, which is interesting to see.  For me, they give an idea of how much further climbing can go when smarter training finally takes hold.  And frankly, most of you could use a workout or two.

Just keep in mind that you can’t do “a little training”.  You can’t go into the gym and “train a few times before my roadtrip”.  It doesn’t work that way.  Training takes thought, diligence, and dedication.  Working out can happen spur of the moment, but training requires planning and sacrifice.  There are plenty of ways to train, even if you don’t know how to get started.  Talk to someone you know has a track record.  Buy a book.  Read a blog.  Visit TrainingBeta.  And finally, really pay attention, and learn to put your ego aside to self-evaluate or take criticism.

Or just go work out… there’s no shame in that.  Just stop telling everyone that you’re training.



Again, this review was written by Kris Hampton and reposted from his site, Kris Hampton is our friend and the author of our 8-Week Endurance Training Program. He’s also in the middle of creating a hi/low power program for us… stay tuned.

TrainingBeta is a site dedicated to training for rock climbing. We provide resources and information about training for routes, bouldering, finger strength, mental training, nutrition for climbers, and everything in between. We offer climbing training programs, a blog, interviews on the TrainingBeta Podcast, personal training for climbing, and nutrition for climbers.

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