We all know that one of the crucial components in maintaining a long term fitness regimen is variety. It’s hard to stay excited about getting fit and active when you’re doing the same treadmill/weight workout every time you hit the gym. Trust me, I would know- after a few months of a tired cardio and strength routine, I recently began to feel sluggish and unmotivated when workout time rolled around. I needed to spice things up a bit.
Luckily, on a recent trip to Atlanta, I had the chance to visit one of our Provider Partners, Atlanta Rocks! This beautiful indoor climbing gym boasts more than 12,000 square feet of professionally- designed, seamless climbing surfaces. With more than 50 top-rope stations, unreal overhanging lead routes and hundreds of different and challenging climbs to try, I knew that I had found my spice.
Suiting up was no big deal. My two colleagues and I were strapped into harnesses that would ensure our safety when climbing. Having never been rock climbing before, I was surprised by how comfortable the harness is. Even while climbing, it does nothing to restrict your movement but leaves you feeling safe and secure, ready to tackle the most daunting climbs. We were helped out by a very friendly young woman who “showed us the ropes” and also assisted in our climbs as a spotter.
Worried that I might be feeling just a bit too confident (as I am occasionally one to do), we decided to start with a beginner climb. I volunteered to go first, and after chalking up my hands for grip, I attacked the wall like Colin Farell at an open bar.
This climb was more challenging than I thought it would be (what a surprise!). Although I was tall enough to advance up the wall, I didn’t realize how much physical exertion is actually involved in pulling your entire body weight up a vertical wall. I was told immediately that the key is to always keep your feet stable and push with your legs, so that’s the strategy that I went with. I made it to the top but was pretty winded and a bit sweaty when I dropped down- definitely didn’t see that coming.
For our next wall, we decided to go for something a bit more challenging. The particular wall that we selected jutted out so that at one point you had to climb and overhanging part of the wall. Pretty intimidating! Still, I resolved to conquer it.
The climb started out pretty smoothly, but once I hit the overhanging section, I ran into difficulty. I found it impossible to keep my feet anchored while climbing up the overhang- gravity just makes this too difficult. Without my feet properly under me, I quickly slipped and was caught by my line. Let’s hear it for spotters!
I actually tried this wall again with similar results- I couldn’t make it past that overhang. One of my colleagues actually made it up so I feel that we were successful as a team even if I got my butt kicked
So would I recommend indoor rock climbing to those looking to freshen up their fitness routine? Absolutely. First of all it was an incredible workout. I mean, I was sore the next day- really sore. Rock climbing definitely gets you in shape- I mean look at Stallone in Cliffhanger. But more than that, it truly is fun. It doesn’t even feel like a workout because it lacks the boring, repetitive, mechanical moves that we’ve all learned to associate with our gym routines. It’s fun and fresh every climb, so you know you’ll “get high” every time.
If you’re in Atlanta, I highly recommend you check out Atlanta Rocks! There’s a reason they’re the most popular indoor climbing facility in the Southeast- they simply provide the best rock climbing experience around. Stop by, you won’t be disappointed.