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Woman Indoor Rock Climbing
Fitness
Published Monday Jan 06, 2020 by Sara Lesher

Indoor Climbing: What to Know Before You Go

Fitness
Motivation
Expert Advice

Indoor climbing is all the rage, but stepping into the gym for the first time may seem a little daunting. We’re here to tell you everything you need to know before losing your IC card (indoor climbing, if you didn’t get that). 

Bring Socks

If you don’t have your own climbing shoes, that’s okay. Just be sure to bring a pair of socks with you. You’ll be able to rent shoes, and trust us, you won’t want to go sockless. When you’re done, spray the shoes with some Lysol and throw in a dryer sheet to keep them fresh for the next person. (These are usually provided in the shoe area).

1
Bring Socks

If you don’t have your own climbing shoes, that’s okay. Just be sure to bring a pair of socks with you. You’ll be able to rent shoes, and trust us, you won’t want to go sockless. When you’re done, spray the shoes with some Lysol and throw in a dryer sheet to keep them fresh for the next person. (These are usually provided in the shoe area).

Look for ropes (or not).

Some indoor climbing gyms have ropes to help you climb—this is called top-roping. Others have no ropes at all and padded floors beneath the walls—this is called bouldering. If you’re not sure what you’d prefer, find a gym that has both!

2
Look for ropes (or not).

Some indoor climbing gyms have ropes to help you climb—this is called top-roping. Others have no ropes at all and padded floors beneath the walls—this is called bouldering. If you’re not sure what you’d prefer, find a gym that has both!

Use chalk.

You might notice that white, powdery stuff all over the place—that’s chalk. Chalk can help protect the skin on your fingers from getting blisters from the rocks and keep you from slipping when your hands get sweaty. All gyms have chalk you can use, either for rent or purchase. Note: if there’s an unwatched bag on the floor somewhere, it probably belongs to someone. They might be willing to share, but ask before you dip your fingers in!

3
Use chalk.

You might notice that white, powdery stuff all over the place—that’s chalk. Chalk can help protect the skin on your fingers from getting blisters from the rocks and keep you from slipping when your hands get sweaty. All gyms have chalk you can use, either for rent or purchase. Note: if there’s an unwatched bag on the floor somewhere, it probably belongs to someone. They might be willing to share, but ask before you dip your fingers in!

Stay in your lane.

As you’re climbing, make sure you stick to rocks that are all the same color. Routes are color-coded so you know which ones to grab onto and which way to go. You can boost yourself up using any surface (like volumes—those raised blocks on the wall), but don’t grab any rocks that aren’t the color of your route. Once you’ve made it to the top, feel free to use any color to get down—or just jump!

4
Stay in your lane.

As you’re climbing, make sure you stick to rocks that are all the same color. Routes are color-coded so you know which ones to grab onto and which way to go. You can boost yourself up using any surface (like volumes—those raised blocks on the wall), but don’t grab any rocks that aren’t the color of your route. Once you’ve made it to the top, feel free to use any color to get down—or just jump!

Check the difficulty.

Usually, there will be signs posted that describe the range of difficulty for each route. Keep your eye out and choose beginner paths to start until you get the hang of it. Routes are graded using the V scale, a 0-17 range that shows how hard the climb will be. Start with a V0 or V1 and work your way up!

5
Check the difficulty.

Usually, there will be signs posted that describe the range of difficulty for each route. Keep your eye out and choose beginner paths to start until you get the hang of it. Routes are graded using the V scale, a 0-17 range that shows how hard the climb will be. Start with a V0 or V1 and work your way up!

Know where to start.

There will usually be a tag on the first hold(s) of each route to mark where you should place your hands. Starting hand positions are important and usually marked with colored tape or a small tag. If you’re unsure, ask someone next to you for help—they won’t bite. It doesn’t matter where your feet are placed when you start, as long as they’re off the ground.

6
Know where to start.

There will usually be a tag on the first hold(s) of each route to mark where you should place your hands. Starting hand positions are important and usually marked with colored tape or a small tag. If you’re unsure, ask someone next to you for help—they won’t bite. It doesn’t matter where your feet are placed when you start, as long as they’re off the ground.

Tuck and roll.

If you’re bouldering, know you’ll probably fall. Don’t worry, the floors are padded, so it won’t hurt. When you fall, try to land in a way that protects your joints. Relax and let yourself roll back onto your butt, so you don’t land on locked knees.

7
Tuck and roll.

If you’re bouldering, know you’ll probably fall. Don’t worry, the floors are padded, so it won’t hurt. When you fall, try to land in a way that protects your joints. Relax and let yourself roll back onto your butt, so you don’t land on locked knees.

Keep your distance.

Be respectful, and don’t climb too close to other people. There’s nothing worse than an accidental hand-hold six feet in the air. Also, look up! Don’t walk under anyone who’s climbing. They could fall at any minute, and you don’t want to get hit.

8
Keep your distance.

Be respectful, and don’t climb too close to other people. There’s nothing worse than an accidental hand-hold six feet in the air. Also, look up! Don’t walk under anyone who’s climbing. They could fall at any minute, and you don’t want to get hit.

Have fun!

The first time at anything can be pretty scary—especially if you’re climbing up a 15-foot wall with no ropes. Remember that everyone there was once in your shoes (maybe literally), and they’ll probably be willing to share some tips and encouragement. So hang in there—or don’t, the floor is padded.

9
Have fun!

The first time at anything can be pretty scary—especially if you’re climbing up a 15-foot wall with no ropes. Remember that everyone there was once in your shoes (maybe literally), and they’ll probably be willing to share some tips and encouragement. So hang in there—or don’t, the floor is padded.

Sara Lesher
Written by
Sara Lesher
Lifecycle Program Manager
About the author
Spoiled by the San Diego sunshine, Sara’s hobbies include beaching, hiking, concert-going, and brewery-hopping. A former English major, she naturally loves reading and writing… so if you have any book recommendations, let her know. And just between us: she’s committed to health and wellness but loves a good taco (shoutout TJ Tacos in Escondido).
people in upward dog practicing yoga on mats
Fitness
Published Wednesday Jul 28, 2021 by Bree Lewis

Sweat Redemption: 5 Tips for Getting Back Into Your Hot Yoga Practice

Yoga
Fitness
Expert Advice

If you’ve ever taken a hot yoga class, you know it’s always going to be one thing—outrageously hot. Not the “let’s hang by the pool and get that sun-kissed glow” kind of hot either. I’m talking that “I can't believe I have this much sweat in my body” and “I may or may not pass out” kind of hot. It’s nothing to mess around with, and after a year or so of not being able to go, it’s easy to forget just how serious that heat can be.

To get the maximum enjoyment and benefits out of your heated yoga classes, you need to prepare yourself before and take care of yourself afterward. Luckily, I’ve been taking some classes (sweating enough for the both of us) and I’ve listed my five favorite must-dos to help you readjust to your heated classes and get back to the hot yoga summer that we all want.

1. Go at your own pace

Heated classes are difficult in nature. The normal difficulty of regular poses is mixed in with the added challenges of sweating and dealing with the humidity and the heat (at times, I’ve seen the thermostat climb to 108 degrees—yikes!). Depending on what type of yoga class you’re taking (sculpt, Bikram, power vinyasa), the difficulty level and temperature are going to vary. It’s also important to remember that each person in the room is going to practice in a way that’s unique to them. Hours slept, hydration levels, food intake, and different lifestyles are all contributing factors that make our practices different. What you practice on your mat is your own––trust your body and only do what feels right to you.  And remember, it’s okay to take breaks!

2. Hydrate like your life depends on it (honestly, it might)

The rise in temperature mixed in with the humidity that we all know and love creates the perfect recipe for sweating—like A LOT. You go into a heated class dry and come out feeling like you just took a dip in the pool. Before heated classes, I had no idea it was physically possible to sweat that much. If you’re going to a heated class, especially after a long break, it’s easy to forget just how much you might sweat. Is it possible to lose that much water if you haven’t consumed it first? Trust me, going into your heated class super hydrated is going to make a world of difference and help you feel good throughout your practice. And don’t forget to take some sips of H2O while you’re practicing!  

3. Nourish your body

Heated classes are challenging, but I can’t stop going. Nothing quite compares to overcoming the challenge— and experiencing the cleanse my body feels after I’m done. It’s the perfect blend of hard and rewarding, but I couldn’t do it if my body wasn’t properly nourished. On the days I know I have a heated class booked; I like to make sure I am eating right. I make sure to take my vitamins and fuel my body with fruits, vegetables, and my favorite superfood shake. I hold off on food about an hour before my practice, so I feel comfortable. After the class, I like to replenish with a big protein shake (boosted with collagen to aid with muscle recovery and skin elasticity). There is no one-way path for properly nourishing your body but making sure you’re fueled for the challenge of a heated class is essential for getting the most out of your practice and feeling good on and off your mat.

4. Replenish those electrolytes

Increasing and maintaining your water intake on the days you take a heated class is important, but sometimes you need something a little extra. If you’re sweating that much, you’re basically an athlete (at least in my book) and if you’re performing like a rockstar yogi, you need to hydrate like one as well. That means replenishing those lost electrolytes. Reward yourself and your body for the hard work and treat yourself to your favorite drink. I switch off between electrolyte-boosting drinks and coconut water depending on what I’m in the mood for that day. Adding these to my post-practice self-care routine has helped me feel more hydrated after and ready to take on the world again after especially sweaty classes.

5. Bring the right equipment

Usually, a yoga mat is all you need for your practice––but heated classes are a different ballgame. I’ve gone with just a mat, and I’ve slipped all over the place. Let me tell you, there’s nothing worse than having sweat drip all over the place while you’re trying to hold a pose that makes you grip your mat for dear life (never again). Make sure you bring a towel to place over your mat, this will help with support and grip. Bringing a smaller towel is also a good idea. You can use the smaller towel to dry yourself off during water breaks or whenever you’re feeling just a bit too sweaty. This is a small step that makes a world of difference during those super-hot classes.

So, there you have it. Five of my favorite tips (more like lifesavers) that have helped me readjust to those heated classes I love so much. Getting back into it is a challenge for us all, so know you’re not alone. No matter where you’re at in your practice, remember to be kind and gentle to yourself––celebrating your health and your body’s ability to do what you love. We’re all just getting back out there, together.

Ready to jump back into your hot yoga routine? Browse Mindbody to find the perfect class for you

While you’re at it, check out some Intro Offers near you that can help you get back to your cadence of hot yoga classes.

bree lewis headshot
Written by
Bree Lewis
Marketing Content Associate
About the author
Born and raised in a small mountain town just south of Yosemite National Park, Bree is an avid lover of health, wellness, and connecting to the outside world around us. As a Cal Poly English major alumn, she has a knack for books, writing, and all things words. In her free time, she enjoys being outside, drinking craft beers, and keeping life jazzy!