Improve your climbing endurance with a quick and effective 4x4 workout
Incorporating a bouldering 4x4 workout into your routine once a week is a great way to add structure to your regular climbing workout. They’re also a great way to build power endurance, which will help you power up bouldering problems with bigger moves and climb up long routes without tiring as easily.
Best of all, the workout is pretty simple--you pick 4 climbs and climb each climb 4 times. Consider each problem you pick like a set that you climb four times. Then you’ll rest for 5 minutes and then do the next problem/set 4 times and so on through the rest of the workout.
One of our staff members walks you through how to do a 4x4 bouldering workout.
Before you start this workout, you’ll want to stretch your forearms—check out this exercise on how to warm up your forearms '
Next, start by warming up in the bouldering area to avoid straining anything when you get started. Take it easy climbing up a few easy boulders with big holds to get the blood flowing. Slowly pyramid up in grade (for example, start with several V0, then a few V1, then a couple V2s) until you’re fully warmed up.
Bouldering 4x4 workout
Pick 4 problems, ideally of different styles and all about a grade or two below your max send grade (a grade that usually takes 10-15 attempts to climb cleanly). Then 4 routes you choose should be grades that are challenging, but ones you can usually always climb cleanly, with no falls or takes--you want to try to push yourself in this workout.
You’ll do each problem 4 times, with very little rest in between. Try to keep moving, but focus on the movement—don’t let your technique go even as you get tired.
When you’ve climbed the first problem 4 times, rest for 5 minutes before starting the next set.
If you come off a route once or twice towards the end of your later sets, don’t stress—this is a hard workout if you do it right. If you fall off a route early and often in your sets, it might be a sign you need to move down a grade or two.
For more bouldering workouts or to learn how you can make the most of your climbing workouts, check out our Intro to Training classes. Simply go to our locations page, select your gym location, and head to the calendar page for upcoming Intro to Training climbing classes.