3 Common Misconceptions About Rock Climbing

Long gone are the days where rock climbing was reserved for the Mt. Everest enthusiasts and outdoorsmen. Now, it’s a popular indoor workout for just about everyone, no matter their strength, endurance or stamina level. Since it’s still a fairly new concept in the fitness scene, many people still don’t know why, or even how, rock climbing is so beneficial. Some say that rock climbing can get you in the best physical and mental shape. Others beg to differ. Here, we bust the biggest myths about this growing sport, which might even convince you to finally give bouldering, campusing or rope climbing a try (or so we hope).

Myth #1: Climbing isn’t as much of a cardio workout as running. 

Sure, rock climbing is a form of strength training. But if you’re really looking to amp up your cardio, it’s also a workout worth trying. On average, an hour of rock climbing burns anywhere from 500 to 900 calories. FWIW, that’s more calories than your average treadmill session. It’s important to note that this type of cardio burn is the result of bouldering workouts — ya know, the type of climbing without a partner, harness or ropes — and not rope climbing or campusing. The other types of rock climbing focus on endurance and strength rather than cardio, if that’s more your speed. 

Myth #2: Equipment is second to your physical strength.

Well, it depends. If you’re bouldering, then this isn’t exactly the case. For campusing and rope climbing — two other popular rock climbing options — then equipment is truly your partner in climb. Without proper gear, you can’t reach your highest potential (literally). If you don’t have your own equipment, you can generally rent it at the rock climbing gym. Regardless if they’re  your own or a rental, every climber needs quality climbing shoes for a safe, steady climb. If you’re planning on campusing or rope climbing, make sure your harness is tight and secure. 

Myth #3: Rock climbing isn’t made for people that are scared of heights. 

Take rock climbing on a case by case basis. If you can’t handle walking across a bridge or climbing a ladder — albeit, even a few feet from the ground — then maybe stick to exercises that are low to the ground. However, with the right people and equipment in place, even people who are terrified of heights can surprise themselves with an enjoyable day of climbing. Take your climbing journey one rock at a time, and you might be shocked how far (well, high) you’ll go. 

Amanda Garrity is a commerce editor and content producer living in New York City. She finds every excuse to go on an adventure, whether it's in her own backyard or across the country. She enjoys hiking, pretending she's a prima ballerina and drinking an abundant amount of coffee. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.