Bouldering has become pretty mainstream, not just in Singapore, but around Asia. You will notice bouldering gyms popping up in city centres and even in the heartlands. There is no denying the popularity of the sport had taken on a lifestyle of its own.
If you are still one of those people looking into a boulder gym from the outside and wonder if you should try giving it a go.
1. Way more fun than a conventional gym
Are you sick of paddling on a stationary bike and running like a hamster on a treadmill? If the answer is yes, that is correct. The conventional gym is so yesterday. Climbing is way more fun than exercising on any gym equipment. It works both your mind and body. Best of all it trains you to be creative and think out of the box. Do yourself a favour stop lifting weights or spinning on a stationary bike.
2. It is a full body work out
Never tried bouldering before and want to know what kind of work out your body is getting? Bouldering works every part of your body. And most important of all it exercises the biggest muscle in your body. Your brain. Every single climbing moves you execute need specific muscles to work together and you’ll need your brain to solve the puzzle on how to use the climbing holds and how to position your body to get to the top of the route. Different routes require different techniques and work on different muscle groups. Do enough routes per session you’ll notice aches on your body you didn’t even know have muscles.
3. Strengthens your core muscles
It is hard to train core muscles. You’ll have to do weird yoga poses, planks and the most boring exercise of all sit-ups. Instead, you can exercise your core by climbing overhanging routes. It is way more fun and works more core muscles than any static core exercises.
4. Strengthens your finger grip
If there is any body area that bouldering works the most its your fingers. You’ll not believe how strong your fingers can get just by bouldering. Your grip strength will increase tremendously simply by bouldering 1 to 2 times a week. Bottle caps that were hard to open will be a thing of the past.
5. Bragging Rights
If you are a millennial and love to take photos for social media post then bouldering is the sport to do that. You can video your climb or take cool pictures of you hanging on with your fingertips for that cool Instagram post.
6. Bouldering is for everyone
It doesn’t matter if you are a man, woman, old, young, too tall, too short, experienced or beginner boulderer. Bouldering is for everyone, even your young kids. It doesn’t mean that if you are a man you will climb better than a woman. The difficulty of a boulder route is very subjective and if the route suits your style of climbing you can breeze through it. You don’t necessarily need to be strong or tall.
7. Bouldering is a spectator sport
Bouldering gym is not just a place to work out but also a place to be entertained by other amazing climbers. Watching climbers attempt difficult routes can be awe-inspiring. When you see climbers tiptoeing on balanc-y route with grace to climbing the 45-degree wall with explosive power will motivate you to improve your technique and train hard to get stronger.
8. Minimum investment
Bouldering is a fairly cheap sport to pick up compared to the likes of scuba diving or alpine mountain climbing. A pair of moderately priced climbing or bouldering shoes goes at $100, a small bag of gym chalk $10 and a one-day gym pass $16-18. The more frequent you go, the more you save on per visit.
Endless fun… priceless!
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9. An interactive sport
I had maybe run on a treadmill twice in my life. For the 2 times I ran on a treadmill I had hardly ever talk to anyone. I am not sure if that is the norm. But working out in a gym bored me to death. Bouldering, on the other hand, is totally different.
Climbers are open and friendly to chit chat and make new male and female climbing friends most of the time. We share beta, point out each other’s mistakes and discuss how best to work the moves to solve the boulder problem. People you don’t know will come to you for advice… how cool is that?
You can form a great community and support network whether you are a pro or even a new beginner climber!
10. Not just a sport but a lifestyle
Rock climbing is a lifestyle. Bouldering although it is just a subset of rock climbing but it had taken a life of its own. Many climbers in the bouldering gym had never seen or touch outdoor crag before but who cares. Climbing in a boulder gym had become so popular that many climbers only climb in a boulder gym and loving it and you should too.
So are you ready to try bouldering?
Is bouldering difficult?
Bouldering may seem daunting at the beginning, but it gets easier over time with better technique
Will bouldering help me build muscles?
Bouldering is awesome to get super tone and lean, with a great healthy body. If you want to bulk up, you will need to either climb a lot more regularly and also supplement with some extra workouts.