I’m pretty sure it would be impossible to read The Climbing Bible and not become a better climber. I was really impressed by how comprehensive and accessible this manual is, thoroughly covering the physical side of training, but also with in-depth sections on technique, mental training and tactics for a successful send.
There’s a massive amount of information, but it’s split into manageable sections and it’s easy to quickly dip into it if you just want a bit of structure or focus before starting a training session. It’s grounded in plenty of real life examples and interviews with top climbers. It was brilliant and inspiring to see equal gender representation in the many photos, and great to read a quick discussion of climbing during pregnancy, something which rarely seems to earn a mention in training guides.
I found the mental training section really valuable. It covers several different sections – motivation, confidence, fear of falling and dealing with failure, and gives practical advice on how to deal with anything you’re struggling with. There is a huge volume of information and advice to work through and implement in your own climbing.
The technique section is particularly accessible, and really well explained. Photos give a clear demonstration of each technique, and there’s a good range from beginner movement skills up to more advanced techniques. I’ve also found the photos pretty helpful for helping to summon up some motivation on the days when I really don’t feel like training!
The physical training includes plenty of exercises that can be done at home with minimal equipment – surprisingly useful over the last year! I manage to injure myself fairly regularly climbing and haven’t really known where to start with conditioning and injury prevention exercises, but the section on this is really clear and has given me several things to start trying straightaway.
I was disappointed not to find any information on nutrition, but there are plenty of books already available which are specifically focused on nutrition and it’s probably too big a topic to slot into this one as well as everything else.
Overall, The Climbing Bible is an incredibly inspiring and practical guide, perfect for anyone who wants a comprehensive capture of all the different training elements that need to come together to climb harder routes.
(I was sent a free copy by Vertebrate Publishing in exchange for an honest review.)
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Predominantly climbing/outdoors literature, mountaineering history and nature writing.