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WOW – December 13th


This may be one of the few work outs that will wait till spring.

I am not one to hold off or wait for better conditions often if at all. But, as in today, having temperatures hover around 0 and the ground (cliffs too) covered in a thick blanket of snow inhibit good work out space.

I do recommend the indoor climbing gyms in my area, which I may end up trying.

Well, let’s get into this one,

25 Minute Climb

Variations on this WOW are encouraged. See the “How-to” and “Variations” sections below.


Warmup: 30 second Grok Squat, 30 second Grok Hang.

Rather than just train the muscles and movements that prepare us for actual, real-world skills, today we’re going to cut out the middle man and just do the real thing. Today is about skill work. There are no pull-ups, only climbing. There will be no sets or reps, just actions carried out until completion. The goal is not to beat your time or lift more weight; the goal is to be in the moment, aware of it as it occurs.

First, find something you can climb. Something tall, preferably. For the sake of safety I recommend a climbing gym. I can vouch for Hangar 18 here in Los Angeles. Google “rock climbing gym {city}” to find a gym in your hometown.

If you don’t have access to a climbing wall, feel very confident in your climbing skills, and are sure of the climbing terrain, climbing something that was forged by nature is also a good option. It might be a massive boulder with serendipitously placed handholds and niches for feet. It could be a cliff face, if you know what you’re doing and have the right equipment. Tall trees work well, too. For the fit, ropes or poles can also be climbed. I sometimes climb a flag pole but stop short of the top due to excessive wobbling. Whatever you choose, make sure all precautions are taken to avoid injury.

Next, climb. Keep your body close to the object you’re climbing in order to make the ascent more efficient, make sure the branch or foothold or toehold is enough to support your weight before committing to it, don’t forget about using your legs, and go as high as you can. It might get a bit harrowing, but a little derring-do is good for us. Just be safe and smart about it. Your inherent sense of self-preservation will always win out.

Finally, climb down. This might be the toughest part for some folks, since you’re leading with your feet and not your face. I recommend going barefoot for the increased grip and tactility, because you’re going to need it. Let your sensitive bare feet be your eyes (on top of using your actual eyes, too).

Repeat until 25 minutes have elapsed.

Make it harder:

  • Wear a weight vest or a backpack.
  • Take a random item along for the climb, like a rock, a small kettlebell, or even a stick. It doesn’t have to be heavy, necessarily; the simple act of carrying another object makes the climb a little more involved than normal.
  • Pick the more difficult route. Every climbable object will have multiple routes for its ascent. Some might force you to use your arms exclusively for one section, while others might offer fewer handholds.

Make it easier:

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