Adam Ondra’s Secret to World-Class Endurance

When it comes to training and gym meccas around the world, most people would cite such cities as Innsbruck and Boulder, Colorado for their plethora of world-class indoor facilities.

When it comes to preparing for the hardest rock climbs and World Cup championships, however, Adam Ondra would prefer a dingy basement with a 30-degree overhanging woody any day of the week.

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You don’t need a big, fancy gym to get fit.

Last summer, I got to interview Ondra for a feature profile I wrote for Rock and Ice magazine and during the time we spent together in Flatanger, Norway, he described his unique approach to climbing and training. In essence, Ondra prefers to focus on bouldering; specifically, climbing as many difficult moves in a row as possible. His ideal set up would be to have access to one 8×12-foot woody overhanging at 30 degrees, and another one overhanging at 40 degrees. Those two angles, says Ondra, offer the most value. And you don’t need much more real estate than a few sheets of plywood to get in somewhere in the four- to seven-move range of limit bouldering.

This video, which I just happened to see, shows Ondra’s difficult 4×4 workout. What I like about this video is that it shows how a world-class climber is able to get world-class endurance on a very small amount of climbing space. You don’t need a big fancy gym to get fit. Just a small bouldering wall and perhaps a weight vest.

  • Alan Little

    Innsbruck? Now, sure, but the big glitzy new climbing centre only opened last year. The gym before that, from which Reini Scherer’s boys & girls ruled the competition climbing world for a decade, was nothing special. It had quite good lead walls, but the bouldering area was pretty small & basic. It’s *always* the people not the facilities.